| ||This page is about the package courier. For the AI overseer of the Big Empty, see ODYSSEUS.|
Ulysses is a mysterious courier roaming the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. Ulysses was one of seven couriers hired by Victor to carry strange packages to the Strip North Gate, but his delivery, the Platinum Chip, was left to the Courier after Ulysses' mysterious disappearance.
Ulysses was once a successful bighorner rancher at Wolfhorn ranch, but he recently abandoned his ranch and is now nowhere to be seen. This is the only detail known so far about his life, everything else is inferred from evidence he has left behind on his travels.
Ulysses is known to have visited the Big Empty at some point, where he was caught up in the conflict between Knight Royce of the Circle of Steel and Father Elijah. It was there that Ulysses rescued Royce from the Y-17 medical facility, nursing her back to health in a nearby cave. At some point after Elijah spoke with the Think Tank (whom Ulysses regarded as the "Gods" of the locale), Ulysses and Elijah made contact, at which point Ulysses directed him to the Sierra Madre - and his subsequent death. Ulysses, too, spoke with the Think Tank, specifically Doctor Klein, who recalls him as a melancholy fellow who asked a lot about history. The conversation was interrupted twice - once by Elijah's escape attempt, and then again in an event that seems to have been erased from Klein's databanks. Klein notes that Ulysses was never brain-scrubbed like the other visitors, so there exists a possibility that he left with some knowledge that he should never have possessed. Ulysses also spoke with Doctor Mobius, who recalls him asking about "what makes a nation?" - a question that the Think Tank regarded as extremely dangerous.
Learning from the Think Tank was apparently not his only objective in the Big Empty - in fact, what had drawn him to the location in the first place was the X-17 meteorological station. This, coupled with references on a terminal at the Y-0 research center to a geoengineered disaster near Hopeville and the mysterious map displayed at the weather station, seems to suggest that Ulysses has some interest in the weather patterns of the Divide. This is further reinforced by Ulysses' repeated references to the location, and his insistence that the Courier travels to the Divide to "sink their feet in Old World ash" and "see what happened".
A major question surrounding Ulysses is that of his allegiance. When the Courier visited Zion Canyon, Joshua Graham commented that when he heard a courier was coming, he had expected another. He said that he had heard stories of one of the Frumentarii traveling as a courier and stalking the land in search of enemies of Caesar, although he says that he finds it unlikely that said courier would associate himself with the Happy Trails Caravan Company. However, Ulysses mentions in the Patient log: Y-17, a conversation between him and Christine Royce that he had thought the Brotherhood might be the last hope for the Mojave, the West, and the East, but ultimately found that they were "no better" than the Bull and the Bear, and that there was "no future" in any of them. It was confirmed however that Ulysses did indeed work for the Legion, and was responsible for arming and training the White Legs.
It seems that Ulysses' ultimate goal is to reawaken the Old World in the shape of one of the new societies that has emerged in the aftermath of the Great War, and that his journey has been one of finding a suitable society to carry out his vision. This hypothesis, however, is far from reconciliation with the stories recounted by Graham, and fails to address Ulysses' apparent obsession with the Divide whatsoever. It is possible that he consorted to some extent with both NCR and Caesar's Legion, and found them to be wanting in terms of their capability of carrying out his vision.
At some point before the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, Ulysses contacts the Courier via radio transmission, promising to explain the incident in Primm in exchange for one final job. Depending on how Dead Money ended, the ending slides say that word would eventually reach both Christine and Dog of some sort of a battle in the future. The battle is said to take place at the Divide, "beneath the torn skies and the old world flag", between the two couriers, "each carrying a message for the other".
Ulysses is known to have some sort of a relationship with the Courier, but the nature of this relationship is unknown.
Just prior to the Courier's ambush outside Goodsprings, Ulysses was at the Mojave Express in Primm to receive a delivery order, a job he was about to accept until he saw the Courier's name down next on the list. He asked if the Courier's name was for real, as if he'd expected the Courier to be dead. Nash informed him that the Courier was still kicking, and Ulysses only said, "No, let 'Courier Six' carry the package", as if he expected the Mojave Wasteland to finish the Courier off, and then left without another word.
Ulysses' dual obsessions with the Courier and the Divide seems to suggest that Ulysses may in fact be one of the fabled survivors of whatever happened there, and that Ulysses' seeks the Courier for their involvement in that event - whether it was conscious or not. The possibility that the Courier may not even be aware of his or her own involvement in the event is also something hinted at by Chris Avellone, who stated cryptically, "I also have a lot of love for Ulysses in Fallout, only because I like the idea of someone hunting my player for reasons of his own, and then hearing the reasons why… and realizing how important even the smallest of my actions are for the people of the wasteland – living or dead".
Interactions with the player character
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
|This character is a temporary companion.|
|This character is a permanent companion. They grant the - perk.|
|This character is a doctor.|
|This character is a merchant.||Caps: -|
|This character plays Caravan.||They can bid caps.|
|This character can repair items.||Repair cap: -|
|This character can modify weapons.||
|This character rents beds.||Cost: - caps.|
|This character starts quests.||
|This character is involved in quests.||
- The End
Effects of player actions
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|Apparel||Weapon||Other items||On death|
|Old Glory||-||Ulysses' duster
- Ulysses' markings can be found all over locations in the Big Empty. The symbol of the flag spray painted in all red, white, or dark blue (black in some light). These symbols were made as Ulysses tracked storms, in hopes that the marks might be followed and someone else could decipher a pattern.
- Apparently Ulysses created holotape logs and left them along the road to the Divide. These can be found by the Courier and were apparently a gift from Christine Royce for saving her.
- In Lonesome Road, his face seems to differ greatly from other human NPCs (ie. his eyes glow faintly, he doesn't blink, he has a unique hairstyle), and he wears a unique Breathing Mask at all times. It is possible that after the incident in The Divide, his body has become overly sensitive to radiation and he wears the mask at all times to avoid radiation poisoning. This could also explain his unusual eye color and their eery glow.
- When looting his body, after taking his duster and mask, his dead body will still be wearing them, showing that he is actually wearing NPC versions of both. It is also possible that the mask is not as much a clothing item as it may be part of his actual character model, meaning there may not be an actual design of him without the mask in the game.
Ulysses was originally supposed to appear in Fallout: New Vegas, but was cut from the final version of the game. He is mentioned indirectly in Dead Money and Honest Hearts, appears in voice in Old World Blues, and makes a full appearance in Lonesome Road.
Behind the scenes
- Ulysses is derived from Ulixes, the Latin name for Odysseus. Odysseus was the Greek king of Ithaca who was most famous for his epic voyage, as well as being known for his cunning and deceit.
- Ulysses was originally supposed to be a companion in Fallout: New Vegas, but was cut from the final version of the game and now only appears in the playing cards that came with the Collector's Edition. According to Chris Avellone, "he [...] was a complicated character in terms of some of the hooks into the storyline".
- In the original version of Fallout: New Vegas, Ulysses-as-companion was designed with a number of goals in mind:
- He had to reinforce the faction reputation mechanic, which Avellone thought was one of the key mechanics in the game.
- He had to react strongly to NCR/Legion conflict and the player's role in it, acting as a sounding board when possible.
- He had to be a Legion sympathetic character and explain Legion backstory elements, since there wasn't much Legion support in the companions.
- He had to continually remind the player of Hoover Dam as the focus, and his backstory incorporated that (he was the frumentarii who discovered the Dam and NCR long ago).
- Showcase myth elements. Ulysses was big about symbols, and his take on the NCR flag, the Legion flag was also reflected in their champions (he viewed Legate Lanius as an Eastern myth in the making, and he felt the player could achieve that same mythological status for the West or for the Mojave).
- He was to complement the cool visual design changes that Josh had included for other companions (similar to Raul and Arcade, Ulysses would have the vest/flag changes, except it would depend on player's end faction allegiance when they completed Ulysses' vision quest).
- ↑ According to Yes Man, seven couriers were hired, not six.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide.
- ↑ Patient log: Y-17
- ↑ Torn journal page
- ↑ Fallout: New Vegas DLC Mysteries: Update
- ↑ Will Ooi » Blog Archive » Unmasking the Gamers: Chris Avellone – game designer, writer, and former ‘unlucky schlep’ – Part 1
- ↑ Feature Interview: Chris Avellone, Game Designer, Fallout: New Vegas by Matt London | Lightspeed Magazine
- ↑ Gamasutra: Will Ooi's Blog - An Interview with Chris Avellone - game designer, writer, and former 'unlucky schlep' - Part 3