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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Depending on your political ideology and ethical outlook, you can view all the factions in positive or negative light.
    • Yes Man: Cheery doormat who's just a tool to let anyone with the will take over New Vegas, or a sadistic Starscream who's been setting the player up from the start (though the latter interpretation has since been Jossed)?
    • Mr. House: A well-intentioned benevolent dictator and the best hope for restoring the world to pre-war glory and stability, or a Corrupt Corporate Executive that is totally out of touch with the realities of the wasteland and is only using the people as justification for appointing himself as an autocrat?
    • NCR: A nation that is dedicated to the ideals of democracy, freedom and individual rights, or a power that is on a slippery slop and is destine to repeat the mistakes of the old United States?
    • Joshua Graham: The Atoner seeking a way to make up for past misdeeds by helping the Dead Horses, or just channeling his thirst for blood in a more benevolent direction and in doing so corrupting a peaceful people?
      • And opposite him, Daniel. A fool who doesn't understand the need for violence even to defend one's self, or a naive but hopeful pacifist trying to shield the tribals from the harshness of the "civilized" world.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Wha?! After being Ruined FOREVER by Bethesda, Obsidian Entertainment, the sole surviving son of Black Isle, is developing New Vegas??
    • The fandom (particularly those without Playstation Network/XBOX Live access) also exploded with joy at the announcement of a rerelease of the game as the "Ultimate Edition" for February 2012. It will include ALL of the DLC (not just missions, but weapons and armour packs as well), and be updated to the most recent patch, finally giving those with the bugged console version the full experience.
  • Anvilicious: If you have the Confirmed Bachelor perk, you can chat up an NCR Major at Mojave Outpost, who will say that he would want to be your "friend", but the mood around the outpost is too conservative for him to want to deal with everyone he works with knowing. This comes across as a snipe at Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which becomes Hilarious in Hindsight following the repeal of DADT.
    • Dead Money takes the Aesop on why greed is bad Up to Eleven. Naming the Casino Sierra Madre makes it really obvious to anyone who has seen the film.
      • Though it's possible to actually beat the house, as it were, and turn this into a Broken Aesop.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Chief Hanlon.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The Fiend leaders are at least several times more powerful and durable than the generic mooks, but still fall under this.
  • Awesome Ego: Mr House
    • Caesar as well.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The various pre-order packs individually, or collectively as the Courier's Stash DLC. The items granted are of middling quality, and most are useful only the first half of the first act. Due to limitations in the game's engine, DLC cannot directly interact with other DLC, meaning the pre-order items don't work with DLC Perks at all. This leads to strange, counter-intuitive and anti-synergistic scenarios, such as the pre-order shotgun being the only shotgun not affected by the otherwise outstanding And Stay Back Perk. The Vault 13 canteen was the only truly useful item of the batch, being an item that would periodically automatically lower the player's dehydration level. However, dehydration is only tracked in (the entirely optional) Hardcore mode, where the canteen wasn't enough to survive on alone.
  • Broken Base: Not only the regular old versus new shtick, but also hardcore mode versus standard mode is emerging.
    • Dead Money has also been causing a debate. Both parties agree that the voice acting is amazing and it's much harder than any other sections of the game, but that's all they agree about. Either it is a brilliant, atmospheric, fun, strategic, Survival Horror adventure, or a frustrating, ugly looking, linear path filled with Trial and Error Gameplay, Fake Difficulty, and Demonic Spider enemies (the Ghost Trappers and speakers in particular get a lot of hate).
  • Cargo Ship: The Boomers. They REALLY like guns, and bombs, and cannons...or anything else that uses gunpowder at all.
    • Can't forget that one of the customers in Atomic Wrangler is asking to have sex with a robot. I mean real (metal) robot, not Robot Girl or humanoid-looking things.
    • Oddly, the Stealth Suit and the Light Switches in Old World Blues appear to have crushes on the Courier.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Vulpes Inculta. He pretty much razed Nipton to the ground, enslaved most of its people, and put the remaining group through a lottery to determine their fates. The one winner got to go free. The losers suffered various fates, crucifixion being one of the lighter punishments. Admittedly, Nipton probably had it coming, but it is implied this is not the first (or last, if you decide to tolerate his existence) time this has happened. Later dialogue reveals he is also the guy who arranged the chlorine bombing of New Vegas. Not even the Legate approves of his tactics. Put simply, Inculta is one of those rare characters who is right on the line between standard (if rather bloody) villain and Complete Monster. Of course, one must remember that he is part of a Roman-themed army, and Rome used similarly brutal tactics when integrating people they conquered. Rome was able to set up a large, relatively safe, civilized empire because these methods are actually effective in integrating people into their society (after a few generations, the integrated tribes would have lost their old tribal identity and consider themselves Roman). The Legion has the same goals as the Roman Empire and has been getting the same end result based on Raul's comments. It's tricky to determine if Inculta is using brutal, but historically proven methods to reach the end goal of Legion or if he is legitimately a Complete Monster using Legion as an excuse to brutalize people.
    • Also, the Legate. As if not enough bad came from the Legion winning, under his rule, it's even worse. If Caesar's Mojave was a well-run if brutal dictatorship, the Legate's was driven by pure, high-octane murder.
    • The Fiends embody this trope as a group, as they are a bunch of drugged-out maniacs looking to destroy everything in their path. Even the Legion is disgusted by them.
      • Their leaders generally epitomize this trope, but you will be hard pressed to find someone more evil and disgusting than Cook-Cook anywhere in the game. On top of being a drugged out maniac looking to destroy everything in his path, his hobbies include raping and burning prisoners. If they're lucky, he does it in that order. Apparently at one point he bought as slaves three young girls and a teenaged boy, and then forced the girls to watch as he burned the boy to death. Given his occupation and associates, it's also very likely that he's also a cannibal.
        • You can find human flesh on the grill near where you kill him.
      • Special mention also goes out to the pair who sold Cook-Cook the aforementioned slaves. Although even they were disgusted by what Cook-Cook did to them.
    • Father Elijah from the Dead Money DLC tops them all. He's kidnapped and killed dozens of unsuspecting treasure hunters like yourself to use as cannon fodder for the Sierra Madre's security so he doesn't have to go through all of it himself, and never intended to let any of them escape alive even if they succeeded. He forces you to go through a number of painful, tedious tasks and threatens to blow your head up whenever you stray off your task. Also, he brutally tortured and scarred Christine and was the one responsible for most of the Brotherhood being killed by the NCR at HELIOS One. When you call him out on all this at the end of the questline, he blames you for your situation because you were curious and greedy enough to seek out the alluring radio signal he sent out. In that same conversation, he reveals that his true intentions for getting the "treasure" are to turn the Sierra Madre into his own personal fortress, use the invincible Hologram security guards to take over the Mojave, and exterminate everyone he sees unworthy to serve him.
    • You can even be a Complete Monster if you want. Special mention goes to selling your friend into slavery as Caesar's personal doctor.
      • What about Letting Mortimer use one of your human companions as the main course?
      • Mortimer himself might also be an example of trope, since he plans to revert the entire White Glove Society to cannibalism
      • And we mustn't forget teaming up with the Powder Gangers to destroy Goodsprings and kill everyone in it, including the guy who saved your life.
      • Even that's topped by nuking the NCR in Lonesome Road. Congratulations, you may have just doomed all civilization on the West Coast!
    • Clanden. He makes snuff holotapes of himself raping, torturing, and killing women. And if you confront him about it and use a speech check to convince him to leave Gomorrah what he says to you is just chilling.

  Fuck it, I was getting tired of this place anyway. I can find girls to play with somewhere else.

    • It's not often the game gives you good karma for killing someone even if they've done nothing to you. Clanden is one of those rare individuals.
    • The Mojave Brotherhood of Steel does not count as this. Quite a few of them are jerks with a heart of gold, and Elder Mcnamara is a genuinely nice guy...but the group of fanatical Paladins who are so obsessed with ensuring that the Brotherhood stays utterly true to the Codex that they try to murder Veronica because she "poisoned the Elder's mind with her lies" definitely count, especially if you convince Veronica to leave the Brotherhood and join the Followers, in which case they murder every man, woman and child in a Follower outpost, including the sick and injured, under the suspicion that Veronica gave them their secrets, and then try to murder Veronica for "poisoning the Elder's mind."
    • The Omertas. Let's count off the list of human rights violations: keeps sex slaves by getting them addicted, lets one of their "specialists" get away with rape and torture on a snuff film, and they're secretly working for Caesar's Legion to cause a massacre in New Vegas as soon as the battle at Hoover Dam begins.
      • You want more proof? The only decent member of the Omerta leadership is Cachino, a rapist and a real asshole even by Omerta standards, who nevertheless is the only known member who does not care about their plans to attack the strip, and actually is willing to stop it in order to save lives.
      • Cachino does have one partial grace that makes him just a little bit less of a monster: he is aware that his misdeeds are wrong, and wants to stop doing them
    • If you believe what Bitter-Root says, several of the Great Khans massacred by the NCR at Bitter Springs qualify. Of particular note were his parents: his dad would shoot random children with a sniper rifle for target practice, get drunk, then brag about how many children he'd killed to his friends, whereas his mom was a worthless jet addict who tried to sell him to slavers as a child so she could get a quick fix.
    • Salt-Upon-Wounds, the White Legs warlord from the Honest Hearts add-on. Although he isn't given much screen time, he just gives off the impression of being a war hungry, sadistic psychopath. Joshua even remarks he personally killed any children or elderly New Canaanites who weren't quick enough to get away from his warriors. The White Legs in general come off as this, being given little characterization beyond being violent raiders.
    • Not even Game Mods are exempt from having these. The Big Bad of the immensely popular mod New Vegas Bounties 1, the Judge, is described as a butcher and a pedophile who has connections to most of the outlaws you fight in the story (who are all nasty pieces of work themselves). He takes a sick, perverted pleasure in the kill, and according to Randall he once beat a man to death with the man's own jawbone, all while laughing maniacally. His true Moral Event Horizon, however, was when Randall, in his early days as a bounty hunter, was assigned to work with him to track down a NCR deserter and bring him back alive. Not only does the Judge murder the deserter in cold blood purely For the Evulz, he would've also killed a young child who happened to be there at the time had Randall not intervened.
    • Lonesome Road gives us General Devilin, who controlled the missile silos before the war. He rounded up peaceful protesters to be experimented on by Big MT so they can be 'useful to their country', and treated a water plant worker with utter contempt for having the audacity to care about safe drinking water. America was at war with those filthy communists, and anything that dared to detract from that was obviously the work of lily-livered, pinko traitors.
  • Crazy Awesome: Lily, a schizophrenic Nightkin grandma wielding a weaponized vertibird propeller, and, apparently, Tabitha and Rhonda, if their post-game narration is any clue.
    • There's nothing stopping the player from roaming around in a pretty floral bonnet and a set of spiked football pads beating the crap out of people with a golf club.
      • Or a leather-clad dominatrix with a hockey mask and a chainsaw.
      • Or (with the latest DLCs) dress up as a rampaging construction worker (complete with hat) "fixing" the mojave with an Arc Welder, a Nail Gun, and/or a sawblade power fist.
  • Creepy Awesome: Vulpes Inculta. Dear Mars is he ever. Probably the reason he has a fanbase despite being the below trope.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Whenever you have a companion, try to give them an order you already gave them a few seconds ago and see the results.

 Raul: Right. Got it. I'll just stop using this melee weapon and instead use a melee weapon. Good idea, Boss.

Veronica: *Being told to stay close a second time* This is as close as I get until you turn into a leggy brunette.

    • Drop the barrels of radioactive waste on the Legion camp at Cottonwood Cove, and if you ever go there again to reach the Fort via the ferry, the ferryman will be wearing a radiation suit.
    • There are two quests that will end with you gaining the ability to wear Power Armor. One (For Auld Lang Syne) can only be completed in the third Act, and only if certain conditions are met. The other (Still in the Dark) can be completed at any time and is mandatory to finish Act 2 for three of the four endings. If you take the remaining ending and complete For Auld Lang Syne before Still in the Dark, the Elder will express surprise when he offers to teach you how to use Power Armor and you reply that you already know how.
    • There is another, unmarked quest near Goodsprings wherein you can be rescued by Victor yet again, this time from the various hostile wildlife off the main road. If he ends up trying to save you from something like a group of Cazadores, he will most likely be destroyed - and then he will inexplicably come back again, at which point you can ask him about it. He won't give a straight answer.
  • Demonic Wasps: Plenty.
    • Cazadores, fullstop. They are tough as nails (they'll murder you on lower levels, and can take several hits from your high-end toys), have a very potent poison, and travel in packs as large as eight at some times. They also move too quickly to get a decent shot off outside of VATS, and it's almost impossible to headshot them in VATS mode due to a minor glitch which makes their head impossible to click at times. The icing on the cake, however, has to be their poison. Pre-patch, it killed companions basically on contact thanks to a bug that made it never wear off. They fixed that, but in doing so actually made Cazador poison even more potent than it already was. It wears off, but it takes such a long time that you have to dope your companions with nearly a dozen stimpacks if they've taken more than one sting.
      • If that weren't enough, Honest Hearts gives us Giant Cazadores, and those bastards come right out of nowhere if your eyes aren't glued to the compass.
      • Old World Blues offers a chance for revenge. Hate those flying spider monsters? Kill around 10 in the Big MT for +30% damage against their relatives, plus another implant perk for an additional 10%. Between that and the poison immunity granted by your new mechanical heart, hunting them down becomes much more viable.
    • Giant Radscorpions fall under this same vein. Ridiculous armor, poison that quickly eats through your health, and they usually come in packs.
    • Deathclaws actually got EVEN WORSE since the previous game. They're just as fast, but now they're stronger, tougher, and crippling them is that much harder without the Dart Gun. They're like velociraptors on steroids. Then there's the variants in Quarry Junction, which are even more deadly, featuring twice the health and a stronger attack. Worse still are the boss variants, the Alphas and Mothers, who are about twice as strong as the regular ones. Topped off by the ungodly deadly LEGENDARY Deathclaw, which will almost certainly one-shot you on any level and have as much health as the Final Boss, Legate Lanius.
      • Weaksauce Weakness: See Video Game Cruelty Potential.
      • Fortunately, however, this game eliminated the annoying habit Fallout 3 had of randomly spawning them everywhere. Now they never leave a few specific areas they inhabit. Deathclaws are extremely tough, but you can go the entire game without fighting them, which is not typically a characteristic of enemies that fit in the trope. The other examples given are much harder to avoid, and numerous quests will cause you to fight them, as opposed to the handful of optional ones for Deathclaws. Unfortunately, however, they are in the way of several key areas, one of which is vital for the peaceful resolution of a main story quest. They also guard two of the three faction safehouses, and are within striking distance of the main road to Bitter Springs, where Boone's companion quest takes place. In short, while you do not have to fight them, you will if you want to get the good endings.
    • Nightkin, which are Super Mutant ninja with Stealth Boys that make them near-invisible. Sure, they may shimmer like water, but just try and spot that when they're moving at any speed faster than a walk. These guys hide behind rocks until you're mere meters away, and they do not decloak until they're literally two feet away in mid-swing. On top of that, they are deceptively fast, recloak almost instantly, and can send you flying (no joke here). Even if you have ED-E, who negates a fair portion of their advantages, they will still catch a non-VATS user by surprise.
    • With the reintroduction of damage threshold (DT), the Super Mutants are much harder to kill while they use heavier weapons against you.
    • Legion Assassins and NCR Ranger hit squads if you have no followers with you, otherwise they're closer to Goddamned Bats. They spawn in dozens of locations near fast travel points on the main road, appear in groups of four, chase you relentlessly until they catch you, then declare you are a criminal and kill you where you stand before you have a chance to react. Unless you get the opening shot, only a high-level, well-armored player is going to live through their assault.
    • Hmmm...the Ratslayer? Located in an easy to find cave, no enemies except... Giant Rats? They sound like easy pickings...
    • Speakers and radios in Dead Money. Imagine there are these small devices hidden all around the environment. Imagine that if you stay in their field of range for more than about ten seconds, you die instantly. Imagine most of the speakers are indestructible, and the ones that aren't are hard to find due to (usually) being hidden just out of sight and in the dark. Imagine the radios being ham radios, which you will instinctively ignore, or brown Sierra Madre radios, which blend with the background. Now add on to the fact that in addition to making sure your head doesn't explode, you have to worry about the poisonous gas that's usually paired with this obstacle. I hope you studied the locations of the radios and speakers in advance, or you will spend most of the DLC searching for them.
    • The Yao Guais are back in Honest Hearts. In Fallout 3 they were tough, but not Deathclaw tough. Honest Hearts will teach you to fear them.
    • And now, with the Lonesome Road add-on, we have Tunnelers. This subterranean cretins are tough as nails and have highly damaging attacks that have a potential to knock you to the ground, meaning you must sit through a 5 second animation, during which they are still attacking you. Also, they pop out of tunnels in the ground at random intervals, meaning you will never be sure if you are safe or not.
    • Lonesome Road also gives us Deathclaws. But wait! These aren't Mojave Deathclaws. LR Deathclaws level with the player, making them even more dangerous (though not quite as durable) as the Legendary Deathclaw at the highest levels. They're also directly in your path to the end point of the DLC. Oh, and at certain points, the game just spawns them out of nowhere to make your life hell. In one particular instance, walking into an abandoned RV, which you will certainly do because it is a force of habit, causes one to spawn right on top of the RV. Guess the first thing that Deathclaw decides to do. At least Tunnelers can be attacked head-on with reasonable success. You are not bringing down an LR Deathclaw at anything but range.
    • Even at lower levels, the common Jackals and Vipers can still spawn with grenade rifles, which can kill you way before you're inside any of your weapons' effective ranges. Even worse in Hardcore mode, as you typically will have to run all the way back to Goodsprings to get 4 of your crippled limbs healed.
  • Designated Villain: Dr. Mobius. The Think Tank designate him as a threat that you ultimately have to eliminate, but the threat he represents is not immediately stated or explained by them. It's because it turns out he's not a threat, or even a villain, at all.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Many agree that Yes Man, the constantly smiling Securitron, is by far one of the coolest characters in the game, if only for the fact that he opens up the questline to diverge from the standard endings.
    • Veronica has gained surprising popularity.
    • Rose of Sharon Cassidy is also well liked, with IGN calling her "well written".
    • Also, Boone, a man who will likely snipe the heads off of most enemies you make before you even realize you've made them.
      • Veronica = Tali. Boone = Garrus. There, I said it.
        • As a character, Veronica is most similar to Kasumi Goto in fight style and personality, she just lacks the Stealth Boy.
        • Arcade and Joker are snarky, disaffected brothers from other mothers.
    • Raul as well, mainly for being voiced by Machete.
    • The King is very popular, and some even want an ending where he can be crowned the ruler of New Vegas.
    • Fisto seems to have a very high interest-to-plot-relevance ratio, probably because his related quest is both icky and hilarious.
    • Joshua Graham has also become very popular among the fans.
    • Also, Lily. It helps that she's wielding a helicopter blade in melee and occasionally goes berserk and babbles incoherently.
    • No-Bark Noonan and Fantastic are two highly hilarious side-characters, the former being a raving madman who knows more than he lets on, the latter being a man who knows far less than he lets on. "I know exactly what I'm doing! I just don't know what effect it'll have!"
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Uh, better hope the courier did something about those Tunnelers making their way from the Divide to the Mojave, or otherwise they'll end up with this no matter what faction they chose.
  • Even Better Sequel: With several of the first two games' designers working on New Vegas, the part of the fandom that can't stand Fallout 3 thinks this is a major improvement. The part of the fandom that liked Fallout 3 also thinks this is a major improvement.
    • Old World Blues is large enough it's almost its own entire game, and it's damn great. And hilarious. In many ways, better than the regular product.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: One quest fot the Followers of the Apocalypse has this in spades. You learn of a water shortage problem with an NCR farm. Following the trail, you come upon Westside's local FOA missionary, who helps with their crops. It doesn't take much to reveal that he murdered the first NCR officer to investigate the cause, and he'll try to do you in if you threaten to reveal what he's doing. Furthermore, if you manage to get him to turn himself in/extort him for your silence, Arcade will take issue with this and you'll earn negative reputation among them. In other words, the only way this quest ends positively is if you not only let him get away with murder, but help him steal more water, dooming the NCR farmers in the process or get him to turn himself in for something else while keeping the secret.
  • Fanon: The idea that Yes Man is a closet Starscream has become thoroughly entrenched in the fandom due to a single ambiguous line at the end of the game.
    • Jossed by J.E. Sawyer in one of his Formspring posts.
  • Game Breaker: Having Boone early on makes enemy encounters hilarious. Until the game glitches out and makes him run out of ammo and lose his rifle. The only downside is that the Legion will be hostile to you as long as he is with you, no matter if you don't plan on siding with them though (or maybe yes, see Dressing as the Enemy), Boom! Headshot! is still the best way to go for easy experience and loot.
    • Also, traveling a fairly short and safe distance to Broc Flower Cave from the starting town can lead to you getting the Ratslayer, a unique variant of the extremely common varmint rifle (so it's easily repaired) equipped with all the latter's mods (Day/Night scope, suppressor and expanded magazine) and it does more damage than normal. And it also has a x5 Critical Hit chance multiplier.
    • A mild one, ED-E with the enhanced sensors can make hunting nightkins a breeze.
    • The Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle. Being able to decapitate a Deathclaw from a mile away? Yeah, pretty much the definition of game breaker.
      • I feel like it must be mentioned that the regular sniper rifle has the same critical hit multiplier and actually does more damage than the Gobi.
      • But the Sniper Rifle+ is useless in close-range, thus you have to have another gun. The Gobi is equally effective at any distance. The Gobi's only downside is its high AP usage in V.A.T.S., although still effective considering it can be a 100% crit in V.A.T.S. with the right perks and stats.
    • What you can do by punching the enemy with the Ballistic Fist would make Kenshiro cry manly tears.
    • The Plasma Caster modded with the Plasma Caster HS Electrode basically turns the weapon into the Turbo Plasma Rifle. Add the Meltdown perk, and enjoy seeing your enemies explode in a chain of plasma fire.
    • The YCS 186 Gauss Rifle. You can get it early provided you know where to look. Will kill most human enemies in a single hit even without critical hit. If properly done (using sneak critical), this will turn even Legate Lanius into an Anticlimax Boss.
    • The Abilene Kid LE BB Gun, a shout out to Fallout 2 (where it was a shoutout to A Christmas Story), is a seemingly harmless BB gun with a long name, but has a devastating critical hit, requires only 1 Strength to carry, lower AP cost than most of the more powerful rifles, has a massive clip size, and has a higher than normal critical hit chance. For a Min Max sneak attack player, this, combined with other critical hit boosting perks, and a few accuracy boosts, makes it THE gun to get, allowing you to pull deadly headshots that turn your opponent's head into Chunky Salsa in Bloody Mess mode. That's right, you can chunky salsa a man's skull. With. A. BB. Ironically, it's easier to get when you aren't in Wild Wasteland mode, where it's just sitting on a shelf in an abandoned shack next to 100 pellets of ammo, while in Wild Wasteland mode, you need Rex along to help you find it (in a well), and it'll only spawn after talking to the dog several times.
    • Although they've both been mentioned separately, having both Boone and Ed-E with you can make long-range sniping a breeze, especially if you have a suppressed sniper rifle *coughRatslayer*. Call yourself AT, 'cause you're gonna reach out and touch someone!
    • Anti-Materiel Rifle + Incedinary Bullets + Pyromaniac + Better Criticals = Gamebreaker.
    • More on sniping: the Laser Rifle is one of the weakest energy weapons in the game, its only redeeming qualities being low ammo consumption and very good manual accuracy due to lasers actually behaving like lasers in this game. There are 3 easy-to-obtain mods for this weapon that slightly increase the damage but more importantly, give it a long range scope that further magnifies the weapon's tremendous manual accuracy. Combine this with stealth and the Better Criticals perk, and now you have a weapon that can be used to score sneak attack critical hit 1-shots on pretty much 90% of all enemies in the game (with the exception of the toughest ones like Deathclaws) from 100 miles away. Spot a group of deadly cazadores in the distance? No problem, just crouch and proceed to 1-shot all of them from relative safety!
    • Give Boone the Anti-Materiel Rifle. Have ED-E float around and detect enemies. The only way anything will ever get close to you is if they were right next to you the moment you entered a building.
    • Shotguns with Slug ammo, combined with the Shotgun Surgeon perk, and Center Of Mass Perk can be horribly devastating. Slugs don't fire multiple small shots, but rather one large shot that can be devastating, since the slug is equal in power to buckshot, just concentrated to one area. The perks negate a good chunk of an enemy's defense, and adds additional damage to all shots to the torso (the easiest part of an enemy's body to hit, nine times out of ten). Add this with a good shotgun, and you're a beast, provided you're armored and have some decent endurance. In Bloody Mess, using this build, a torso shot on an unarmored enemy is... impressively colorful. Although it makes picking out loot from individual remains a bit of a time consuming process, the show is well worth the annoyance. And for extra fun, start with beanbag rounds, which do fatigue damage and can result in knockouts. Now you can just load a slug in, walk up to your unconscious enemy, and finish him.
    • "This Machine", a unique rifle that can be obtained from an unmarked quest. Very high damage (matching a sniper rifle), high accuracy, high durability, and easy to repair, assuming the player takes the Jury Rigging perk. It's also rather easy to feed; .308 ammo isn't particularly hard to obtain mid-game, likely around the same point the gun is found. If the player is using .308 JSP ammo, the 50% damage boost makes encounters with tough enemies, such as Deathclaws, very easy.
    • A surprising gamebreaker is the humble cattle prod. While it does pitiful damage against anything, it still stuns nearly every enemy in 2 or 3 hits, leaving them at your mercy if you repeatedly restore the stun effect. You could literally poke them to death. This includes Death Claws, Giant Rad Scorpion Queens, Cazadores, or even Securitrons. If enemies get too close, this is basically the perfect emergency weapon.
    • The Holorifle from Dead Money, if you can find all the mods, turns into a deadly, accurate, slowly-decaying, ammo efficient killing machine, second only to the Gauss Rifle (and arguably even better when you consider what the Gauss Rifle does with ammo). The Automatic Rifle would also be this if it didn't chew through .308 rounds like it does.
      • The Holorifle is better than the Gauss Rifle unless you are sniping with sneak criticals (the only situation where the higher damage per shot is relevant). The Gauss Rifle only fires one shot per reload. The Holorifle fire four per reload that are not that much less damaging. No matter what perks you have, the upgraded Holorifle always does about 133% the damage of the Gauss Rifle. It also has a wider spread, though, so sniping at range isn't always a sure thing.
    • The Pulse Gun. Despite being very situational, it makes robots, turrets, and power-armored enemies a breeze. If you're wiping out the Brotherhood, it's a must have.
    • Sneak attack criticals are absolutely devastating, especially combined with a headshot. That's why weapons like the Ratslayer, which has absolutely garbage stats, can be gamebreakers. For reference just how low the Ratslayer's stats are, the Silenced .22 pistol, the absolute weakest pistol in the entire game, has slightly higher DPS than the Ratslayer. Only three pisols (.22 pistol, 9mm, and Maria, the unique version of the 9mm) do less damage per shot. Despite this, it becomes devastating when used with sneak attack criticals.
    • Step 1: get 100 Survival. Step 2: get the Chemist perk and the Day Tripper challenge perk. Step 3: cackle madly as a single desert salad heals a whopping 600 damage in Hardcore mode. Anything that has a time limit counts as a chem, and those two perks double the effective length of chems.
    • From Old World Blues, Rank 2 of the Implant GRX perk could count. Rank 1 just gives you five doses of non-addictive (albeit slightly weakened) Turbo. Take Rank 2, and you get double the amount of doses with each dose being just as strong as the chem. On top of that, it refreshes its supply daily. If that wasn't enough, you could blow all ten shots at once for a stacked duration. Want more? Day Tripper, Chemist, and the Logan's Loophole trait's effects stack (though Logan's Loophole only applies to Rank 1 only). According to the Fallout Wiki, Rank 1 with the trait and perks grants you a duration of 30.4 seconds in real time for each dose, whereas Rank 2 with the perks only gives you 22.8 seconds for each dose. If for some reason you decide to blow all available doses in one go, Rank 1 with trait and perks gives a total of 152 real time seconds (or around 2.5 real time minutes) of Turbo daily. Not impressed? If you don't take the trait, you can get to Rank 2, allowing you a whopping 228 real time seconds (that's nearly four actual minutes!) of Bullet Time per in-game day. At this point, you don't even need the Fast Times perk... or hell, you don't even need the drug to begin with after getting the perk. And to top it all off, if you haven't even touched the Dead Money questline when you get the perk, it won't be removed from your inventory at all.
    • Jury Rigging is a pretty big game breaker. You can repair anything with anything even remotely similar to it, so you can fully repair that Hunting Shotgun with a few cheap Single Shotguns and then sell it for tons of caps. It requires 90 repair to unlock, but that is totally worth it for the massive benefits you get.
    • All the gold bars in the Dead Money DLC. The game made them incredibly heavy so you would be forced to leave them behind to demonstrate the necessity of letting go of greed. Except that with a stealth boy and some precise timing, you can sneak off behind Elijah's back with all the gold with the total value of 389,943 caps.
    • The compliance regulator from Honest Hearts, does almost no damage, but every time it lands a crit it will stun the target for several second making them easy to pick off with a more powerful weapon. It also has an amazing fire rate so it's easy to spam hits at a distant target and land at least one crit before it reaches you and uses the very easy to find SEC's for ammo. Best part nothing in the game is immune to the stun, this includes all end game/DLC bosses, if you crit it, it will fall over stunned for quite some time.
    • C4 Explosives can be dropped without attracting attention and can be detonated in hiding, this allows the player to basically murder anyone they want without anyone the wiser.
  • Game Breaking Bugs:
    • Getting locked out of The Strip. Virtually all of the main plot missions take place there, and most of the action as well. Fortunately, it's easily fixed by hitting ~ to go to console, entering 'unlock' and clicking on the gate. You can also take the monorail at Camp McCarran; worst case scenario, you'll need to don an NCR disguise first. Finally, you can just snipe one of the Securitrons guarding the entrance and loot the key if you manage to be unseen.
    • In some circumstances, the lockpick screen becomes completely blank, which makes lockpicking somewhat harder than it's supposed to be.
    • In one particular savegame, taking RadAway caused a hard crash on the Xbox360, requiring a revert to a previous save. Save early, save often!
    • Cazadors are almost impossible to head shot because of the fact that in VATS mode, you can't target the head unless it's the first thing highlighted.
      • The odds of getting the Cazador's head to be highlighted are increased, however, if you VATS target them after crippling a wing.
      • Another Cazador-related bug. Cazador poison will not wear off companions. Attempting to use a Stimpak on them will kill them, since using a Stimpak on a poisoned companion will "cure" the poison by dealing the full amount of damage at once before applying the Stimpak's healing, and since Cazador poison never wears off companions they will take an infinite amount of damage that can never be healed.
      • Cazador poison actually will wear off companions eventually, but unless their health is full it's a moot point because the poison lasts so long. If they got stung more than once, it's just your choice whether to kill them now or later. Sometimes they'll heal themselves, but it's generally better to have them wait before heading someplace with Cazadores.
    • Vault 11 has a bugged turret in the final room which is aligned to the Lucky 38, and by destroying it you fail Mr. House's quests automatically and turn all the Securitrons hostile. So if you did more exploration than plot chasing before coming to New Vegas, you probably won't be able to join his faction at all. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to happen often with the latest patch, so you can probably get away with it.
    • If you have ED-E with you when you start Dead Money in the 360 version, he becomes hostile upon returning to the Mojave.
    • If you enter Dead Money while suffering from withdrawal, the debuffs sometimes become permanent.
    • On the 360, if you're Vilified with the Legion when you first enter The Fort, kill everyone, and let Benny go free, the chip goes with him and the game becomes unwinnable.
      • The chip is in Caesar's body, if you approach him without being vilified he will tell you that he has the chip, and also even if the chip disappeared you still have the NCR path, so not unwinnable, and you probably are vilified because you helped the NCR.
      • Also, if you managed to become vilified by the legion between the point where Vulpes Inculta pardons you and the point where you go to The Fort then you are Too Dumb to Live
    • Vendors never restocking. This is only fixable by starting a new file, and might not become immediately evident until several hours into the game.
    • One of the Gun Runners' Arsenal challenges, which requires you to kill Deathclaws with specific weapons, is almost impossible to complete unless you know exactly which Deathclaws actually count. Thanks to an update, no adult Deathclaw in the wild, except for the blind ones, counts unless it's a mother, alpha, or the legendary. You have to kill five, and you can easily have killed all the viable targets before trying to do the challenge. The only option left is the Thorn, and to fight Deathclaws there takes a very long, dangerous quest to unlock the option. At least the Deathclaws in the arena are weaker.
    • One bug that is annoying enough to make one want to restore an earlier state involves Boone talking to you without prompt after re-recruiting him in the Lucky38. Along as he's with you this makes any movement or gameplay impossible thanks to him interrupting you with an infinite loop of "What is it?"
    • Some merchants sell multiple copies of a single Caravan playing card. Buying more than one copy at once will make the game freeze.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Arcade laments his useless research, the goal of which is "[making] stimpacks out of barrel cacti and other fantastic improbabilities", implying the Followers have been seeking ways to manufacture medicines for some time. But if your survival and science skills are high enough, you can make stimpacks, super stimpacks, doctor's bags, limb-regenerating beer... But you can't share these discoveries with the Followers. What you can do is teach the Great Khans to make all of these, along with more addictive versions of drugs they already have!
    • Well they do end up producing their own meds too, if you get them to work out the deal with the Garetts. Arcade's research was probably means of using new ways to manufacture them, not relying on old materials.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Subverted in Dead Money.
    • Several of the general meta game "dump" stats are obviously important for both stat checks and because you can't use items or companions to try to replace the function of those stats.
    • You lose all of your equipment for the duration of Dead Money. The weapons of choice are mainly an energy weapon with limited ammo, an automatic weapon that requires higher than average strength and explosives. All weapons often ignored by meta gamers.
      • Noooot really, at least postpatch. The holorifle is like the ultra-useful Drone Cannon B from Mothership Zeta, which players of that will feel at home with. The automatic rifle is a more powerful version of the Light Machine Gun, which is a more than capable weapon by itself for some players, and explosives have recieved a noticable boost. Failing that, there's the police pistol that uses .357 magnum ammo but deals a more damage at the cost of accuracy.
    • Sneaking around requires a high amount of the skill and proficiency in actually sneaking around (walking quietly, not walking into direct line of sight, turning off your light, etc). You can't hoard stealth boys and walk straight past everything.
    • Your funds, ammo, and consumable items are limited. You can't run off to farm caps. You have to make do with what you have.
    • Reading messages and postings on terminals gives a lot of major clues about the easiest method to get past obstacles. You can't just keep following the arrow, shooting everything in your path.
    • Your choices matter far more than in the main game. Elijah will kill you if you mouth off to him even a little, and whether or not Dean and Christine betray you is determined by your choices throughout your time with them, not simply during your final dealings with them as you may be used to.
    • Companions aren't expendable. If they die, you die due to linked bomb collars. Their contribution in battle is also important due to your limited ammo.
  • Genre Blindness: Dr. Hildern, director of the eastern NCR Office of Science and Industry exhibits this: when telling him about the potential dangers (meaning here a disease that would make feral ghouls look harmless) of data you recovered, he puts you off saying that they are the goverment, not some insane vault alchimists. Seeing how the world of Fallout follows the rules of 50's B-Movies (radiation turns scorpions giant,and genetic engineering turns venus flytraps into semi-animalic hunters) you can pretty much except that some experiment based on that data will soon wreak havoc in an NCR-facility near you!
  • Goddamn Bats: Geckos, coyotes, rats, giant mantises, small radscorpions/bark scorpions (thanks to their venom), etc. Also, Cazadors at higher difficulties. They can't do much damage to a hulking player character rapped in power armor and carrying a plasma caster, but they move around lightning fast, close in on you in seconds, are almost impossible to hit outside of V.A.T.S., have a bug that prevents from targeting their heads in V.A.T.S, come in groups, and poison you, forcing you to waste Antivenom and stimpaks.
    • Goddamn Tunnelers from the Lonesome Road DLC. They have incredible strength, attack in packs, can crawl on the walls and cielings, can pop out of the ground beneath you, and take a lot of punishment. If you get surrounded, you're screwed. Even by using their weakness of the flaregun, they only panic for a short while and run away from you, forcing you to chase them so you can use the small window of opportunity to kill them. Oh, and they're found in small cramped tunnels with minimal running room. Have fun.
  • Good Bad Bugs: While attempting to kill or disable Mr. House in one quest, all the Securitrons in his penthouse will just stand there rather than attacking you. Considering that they may have all been upgraded to their Mark II OS, and are now armed with rocket and grenade launchers, this is extraordinarily helpful.
    • This does not appear to be the case after the first couple patches. The Securitrons will attack the player but will not use the grenades or rockets while inside the Penthouse. Maybe House just doesn't want his place totally trashed.
    • One developer revealed that Boone's utter lethality was actually out of proportion compared to how he should have been (with a guns skill going straight over 117% at level five). Now that IS a good bad bug.
    • ED-E's laser weapon may randomly change to an Alien Blaster.
    • It's actually possible to gain infinite XP by killing Big Sal and repeatedly shooting his corpse.
    • Before patch 1.2.0.310, various kitchens and ovens had shaped human flesh inside them due to a mixup by area designers, suggesting that said inhabitants were cannibals. This has since been fixed.
    • Unarmed weapons tend to have a habit of turning invisible, which may make it irritating when trying to figure out what weapon you're using, but the fact that your bare fists can launch people into the skybox as if you're Goku makes it amusing, nonetheless.
    • Is the doctor at the Followers Safehouse? If so, then loot the fridges continuously for infinite food.
    • While under the effects of Turbo, certain fully automatic weapons will expend their magazine and then some when used in VATS, especially during bad framerate.
    • The Holorifle and the Anti-Materiel Rifle can be repaired past their max conditions using weapon repair kits, thus increasing their condition and value to completely insane amounts.
    • Once you've completed the "That Lucky Old Sun" quest after setting the power to "full region", keep telling it to Ignacio for infinite XP, stimpaks and Doctor's Bag. Just make sure you have at least one companion to help you carry those bags!
    • Do your non-magazine guns annoy you by needing every bullet to be individually loaded? Does it upset you that the computers can reload these types of weapons in under a second? Well now you can too! Just carry a different type of ammunition, switch to it when you run dry and switch back instantly. That single bullet you loaded actually contained an entire magazine's worth of bullets, which all teleported to their proper positions immediately.
    • The Autodoc in The Sink can wreak some real havoc by swapping out Traits. It only works once, but that's all you need. Swap out Skilled to keep the free skill points but lose the XP debuff, or just select it again for another free +5 to everything (you can also do this while leaving Goodsprings, granting a staggering 195 free skill points, 15% of those available in the entire game, or a 130 (10%) without a drawback). Take Logan's Loophole, then swap it out around level 29 (the drawback doesn't apply until level 30).
    • You can get infinite money by getting 32,678 chips, dropping them, and them cashing them in again and again.
    • As for those that don't affect gameplay, a programming error makes "Big Iron" play twice as often on Radio New Vegas as other songs.
  • Harsher in Hindsight Arizona Killer is the quest in which the player character assassinates President Kimball, of the NCR. Consider the events in Tuscon, Arizona in January of 2011. .
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One response you can give is "I was a courier. Then I took a bullet to the head." Note that this came out before The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim.
  • Ho Yay:
    • There's a panel in All Roads that has a quite a bit of subtext.
    • Aside from that, you can actually play a gay/bi character, with the option to have G-Rated Sex.
      • This is actually enforced by the Confirmed Bachelor/Cherchez La Femme which is just like the Lady Killer/Black Widow perk which is also available... Except that it is effective against people of the same sex rather than the opposite one. Considering how valuable the female counterpart was to the male one in the third game, this can be considered a blessing since males are far more commonly encountered as enemies in the wastes than females.
      • It could even be regarded as Getting Crap Past the Radar, as this is perhaps the first RPG to confer a measurable benefit to being a male homosexual.
    • Manny Vargas; he sounds downright jealous of Boone's wife, not just disdainful of her like the others. ** A female with Black Widow can't get relevant quest information out of him, while a male with Confirmed Bachelor can.
    • Arcade Gannon's gay and can be recruited with a bit of flirting from a male Player Character. He claims he's never gotten a guy due to considering himself a boring man. Totally not because he's related to the Enclave.
    • There are eight possible companions in the game. Four don't express much interest in the Courier, being a ghoul, a cyber-dog, an Eyebot, and a grandmotherly Super Mutant. Of the rest, Veronica is a lesbian, Arcade is gay, Cass admits to experimenting when drunk, and Boone has a hard-on for killing Legionnaires.
    • Use Confirmed Bachelor to ask Major Knight at the Mojave Outpost whether he wants to be "friends".
    • If you play a woman and travel with Cass this can happen.
    • Though not really with Veronica (there's some flirtatious remarks but that seems to be her personality more than anything) despite her canonically being a lesbian (ask her about "love"). The female PC just doesn't seem to be her type. Lots of players actually want to romance Veronica so this kind of causes some problems.
    • You can do this with Dr. Dala in Old World Blues, too.
  • I Thought It Meant: When Giant Bomb did their Quick Look of the Old World Blues DLC and came across the K9000 Cyberdog Gun, they mistook it as a gun that could shoot dogs. Sadly, this is not the case.
  • Magnificent Bastard: You can very well be one if you go for the Wild Card ending.
    • Mr. House is quite a Magnificent Bastard too. Just ask the NCR. Instead of letting New Vegas be annexed by the republic, he has been exploiting them both economically and politically for his own gain.
    • The Great Caesar is not pleased he isn't on this list.
    • It was Yes Man rather than Benny who masterminded the Courier's ambush outside Goodsprings, and despite the Courier's position as head of an independent Vegas at the climax of the Wild Card ending he/she is still dependent on Yes Man's control of the securitrons and the power plant.
  • Memetic Badass: Boone, a thousand times over. People have even begun referring to awesome things in other video games as "Boone-tier."
    • That could be just because he's a walking Infinity+1 Sword though.
    • Joshua Graham in-universe. Just to hammer home the point, 1st Recon has had several "confirmed kills" against him, and after failing Caesar at Hoover Dam, he was covered in pitch, set alight and thrown into the Grand Canyon. Caesar's slaves seem to revere him as some sort of heroic figure and even Caesar himself has spies patrolling Utah looking for him, suggesting his reputation as an unkillable Badass might not be too inaccurate.
      • He shows up eventually in one of the DLCs. He really is incredibly tough, with a damage threshold of 50. This basically means any weapon not called the rocket launcher, anti-material rifle, YCS-186, Holorifle, Fatman, or Alien Blaster will only do Scratch Damage.
  • Memetic Molester: Veronica has become this due to the Power-Fist pun.
  • Memetic Mutation: Patrolling the Mojave almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter.
  • Moe: Veronica Renata Santangelo.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • While horrific, most of the Legion's early actions seem to follow a guideline of the ends justify the means or are designed to punish wastelanders fo their depravity. However a slave at the fort reveals that they endorse rape, sometimes even targeting children and old women. She'll even warn the female player character that some of the soldiers are planning on raping you. Combined with Centurion Aurelius's cannibalism and chilling holotape message where they brag about raping one of the soldiers in Ranger Station Charlie, this pushes many players from seeing them as extremely dark well meaning extremists into complete monsters and hypocrites.
    • It's hard to say where exactly Elijah crossed it- was it when he got hundreds of people killed over his own pride? Was it when he brutally tortured and scarred Christine? Was it when he enslaved a mentally handicapped Nightkin? Or was it when he kidnapped and murdered dozens of people in an attempt to access the Sierra Madre? The answer is none of the above. It was when he plotted the mass murder of everyone in the Mojave Wasteland using the Cloud, and got damn close to accomplishing this. In fact, he WILL accomplish it if you side with him at the climax of Dead Money, though this results in a Nonstandard Game Over.
    • Vulpes Inculta manages to cross this the very first time you meet him. If not, he's getting damn close to it, though, and when you learn about what he did against the NCR camp at Searchlight and his plans of massacring the civilians at New Vegas, then he's definitely crossed it, big time.
    • You can probably cross one of the largest in all the Fallout Games. In Lonesome Road, you can chose to launch ICBMs at either one particular or all the factions vying for power in the Mojave.
    • Ceasar passes this in Honest Hearts when he orders the destruction of New Canaan to get back at Joshua Graham. While previous Legion targets at least had some military significance of were at least morally questionable, New Canaan had never fought the Legion and was actively trying to improve the Wasteland, while Casear destroyed purely for personal revenge on one man.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Dead Money's incessantly beeping collars.
    • Yes Waking Cloud, I know Zion was a nicer place before the White Legs showed up, stop telling me about it.
    • How many times must you talk about paper squares, giant dinosaurs, and the oddity of the foreign flora in the Valley, Chalky?
    • Okay, we've upgraded ED-E's laster, armor, multitools, ammo-recharging facilities, and onboard construction equipment. Can we do something to make his engine run quieter?
    • Dean, I get that the Sierra Madre isn't getting any younger. You can stop reminding me.
    • I don't think either Dr. Klein OR Dr. Borous are particularly cute, Stealth Suit. Yes, I know my Pip-Boy light is on, shut up!
    • '"RETRIBUTION!"Screamed by every single Legion member in a ten mile radius anytime you attack one of their soldiers. Every. Single. Time.
    • Goddammit NCR troopers, will you fucking shut up about wishing for a nuclear winter. It's hot! We get it! Shut up!
  • Most Wonderful Sound: When you're all alone in the Big MT, it's quite comforting to listen to the Stealth Suit and to know someone's got your back.
    • The drums that play whenever you level up.
    • The Mysterious Magnum. Just draw it, shoot someone, and then holster it. Aw yeah.
  • My Real Daddy: How most of the hardcore fans feel about this game being made by Obsidian; turns out, they're pretty justified. It really does feel like the sequel to Fallout 2.
  • Narm Charm : Benny has some pretty bad voice acting. No matter his alleged emotion, he always comes off as weirdly emotionally bland.

  Benny: (while being crucified) "HAPPY now, you twisted bum??"

    • This seems to be a reflection of everyone who works at the Tops, which takes Camp and Narm Charm and turns it into an art form. There's the tap dancing show, for one. Talk to one of the clerks there, and they will ask you how they can make your stay "the Tops." With. A. Straight. Face. Benny's second in command also seems as emotionally bland as Benny is, even after his Klingon Promotion. The Tops, and it's employees all seem to be trying hard to embody the Camp of the days of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Minus Jerry Lewis.
    • The ending narration for Dead Money is either sad or touching depending upon your actions, and very effective at conveying emotions. That being said, hearing everyone chant "It's letting go" at the end is more funny than poignant.
  • Nausea Fuel: Try to fight cazadors in first person view, you will see nasty and scary giant wasps attacking you in fast speed, even if you aren´t afraid of bugs you won't forget them.
    • One of the clients for the Atomic Wrangler wants a male ghoul Cowboy dominatrix. And indeed you can find a ghoul meeting all of the requirements except that she is female. The client you hire her fire expresses sadness that it wasn't a he, but that you can't get everything you want. You can also use her services.
    • The "Bill of Sale" you find in Boone's companion quest, because it is sickingly official and specific. The line "Payment of an additional five hundred bottle caps will be due pending successful maturation of the fetus" was enough to send the Legion into complete Monster territory for me.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The description of Elijah's escape from the Big Empty and the aftermath of it paints a darn impressive picture of it, as does the holotapes and terminal entries left by him, Ulysses and Christine. But the description is somewhat vague and unreliable (it is given by members of the Think Tank), the holotapes and terminal entries only touch on the impressive things, and since it happened before the Courier got there, and Elijah doesn't tell us much of what happened when the Courier meets him, it remains mostly offscreen...
  • Older Than They Think: The Lonesome Drifter's song "The Streets of New Reno" is a retooled version of a much older folk song.
  • One of Us: Well, they're game developers, so this is pretty much a given, but Lead Designer J.E. Sawyer is known to be a Goon.
  • Only Six Faces: For no good reason. Face Gen isn't cheap to lease, and anyone who's created a character for Oblivion knows the breadth of customization possible. The same software was leased for this game, yet every character looks like one of a small handful of clones.
    • This is probably a shout out to a joke from the earlier Fallouts in which there were only 6 sprites and it got mercilessly lampshaded by the same developers as this game.

  "The way I look at it, there must've been some cloning accident in the past."

  • Paranoia Fuel: The Ghost People fromDead Money. What's that clicking sound? Is someone there? Hey wai- why is there a spear in my shoulder?!?
    • Phew, finally got that one down. Let's get movAAARGGGhhhhhh...
    • Also Vault 34, especially if you have no companions. Ghouls behind unaccessible doors? You just know they'll break out eventually after your back is turned... so you end up constantly looking behind you, expecting them to be charging at you at any given moment. In general if you're alone and with the radio turned off, any dark derelict building, vault or cave can quickly make you creep onwards very slowly and carefully. The horror-esque ambient music these areas often have doesn't help.
    • There are some terminals in Vault 22 mentioning noises coming from inside the air vents. Turns out they are right. And those whispering noises never, ever stop. As it turns out, they are produced by giant mantises; they never jump out of the vents, but still...
      • Of course, a truly paranoid player will be busy pumping shotgun shells into every patch of flowers he comes across, out of fear of Spore Carriers.
  • Player Punch: The Lonesome Road DLC delivers a couple of these. [[spoiler:Most notable is a deliberately engineered one where as you journey through the Divide with ED-E, you learn more and more about the Eyebot's past, and can even interact with it. Then, at the end, it can potentially sacrifice itself to prevent missiles from being launched.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Think Tank may consist of Morally Ambigious Doctorates , but they are Crazy Awesome.
    • There are a disturbing amount of people who believe Caesar's Legion should win.
  • Serious Business: To many, choosing what factions to side with in this game is serious business. People have written entire essays about this. See the Headscratchers page for some examples.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: For some reason on the Kink Meme Julie Farkas/Veronica has gained a large following despite they're barely interacting.
  • So Bad It's Good: Tabitha's radio show, which is described as "Less for outcasts and more for weirdos".
  • That One Attack: Characters using ranged weapons like Guns and Energy Weapons will actually have a really easy time beating Lanius, due to the fact that he is only armed with a BFS and it is possible to take him out with one sneak critical from the YCS/186. However, melee characters have to go up against him up close, and up close he may randomly use an attack that sends the player flying 50 feet and stuns them for several seconds, more than enough time for him to run up to you and beat you to death while you are helpless. If he uses that attack and you don't block it, it's pretty much a one hit kill.
    • Lakelurks' armor-piercing sonic shriek will rip anything from a player to a Veteran Ranger apart in seconds, especially since they're nearly always found in groups.
    • Enemy satchel charges in the Lonesome Road DLC. In addition to being hard to see thanks to their brown packaging blending into the road, they have a ridiculously short fuse and do massive damage, more than the bottlecap mine. With any other mine, the train of thought goes "Beep, beep, oh shit mine gotta find it!", followed by a another second to do the disarming. With satchel charges, it's "Beep, beep, oh shit--*BOOM!*". If you don't know exactly where it is when it starts beeping, it'll go off before you find it. Even knowing this, actually disarming it fast enough is still somewhat difficult.
  • That One Boss: You thought the Bloatflies were nothing but weak cannon fodder? The Legendary Bloatfly would like to tell you just how wrong you are. To wit: the thing can fly above melee range at high speed, kill you almost instantly with its plasma projectiles, and has 2000 hit points. The Final Boss has 920 and the Legendary Deathclaw has 1000 hit points.
  • That One Level: The quest Crazy Crazy Crazy is this unless you have the YCS/186 or Alien Blaster. It requires you to fight your way through dozens of Nightkin and Super Mutant Masters armed with Miniguns, Flamethrowers, Light Machine Guns, giant swords, and clubs. Or you just sneak in through the (Hard locked) back door and repair Rhonda.
    • Any decent sniper rifle can deal with the pests in Crazy Crazy Crazy. For that matter, any decent mid-to-high level weapon will do.
    • There's a segment in Dead Money where you have to activate a bell tower. After you do, you get a Zerg Rush of about forty Ghost People. By this point you should be very low on health and ammo, so fighting your way back through them is very frustrating indeed.
      • Even more fun if you didn't realize there was the Police Pistol and burned through ALL your ammo on the way up. Cue trying to fight off the Ghost People with a melee weapon.
      • Dead Money IN GENERAL qualifies as this.
    • Lonesome Road wasn't out long before many players began tearing their hair out due to The Courier's Mile. To elaborate, the area is small, about the size of Quarry Junction. You just nuked it, so it's teeming with radiation (at least +10 rads). One side is filled with Marked Men, who regenerate health at an absurd rate thanks to the radiation. The other side is filled with Deathclaws, and the radiation has made them stronger, too. Add on to that the fact that DLC Deathclaws and the Marked Men level with the player, making them even stronger on top of that (unless you managed to get there at a low level). Get spotted by even one Deathclaw, they Zerg Rush you. They can take two shots to the face from the YCS unless you get a sneak critical, and you'll only get one of those. It's a ridiculously difficult battle.
  • Tear Jerker: The tale of "The Survivalist" in Honest Hearts. You find various log entries of some wilderness nut who survived the Great War scattered throughout the valley.
    • Chief Hanlon if you turn him in.
    • Also the child in Matthews Animal Husbandry Farm whose parents turned into feral ghouls, forcing him to shoot them. Eventually in his lonely paranoia he burned down the house and himself with it to protect himself from the farm animals he believed wanted to eat him.
    • Another example would be the people who lived in Vault 3; it was one of the very few vaults in which the people were genuinely living good and happy lives with very few problems. As soon as they opened the vault doors due to a problem with their water system, they were all butchered by the evil Fiends who took over and started using the Vault as their base.
  • Uncanny Valley: Festus!
  • Unfortunate Implications: Used intentionally at the ROBCO building with the "Who can you tell" brochure. To paraphrase: "Sure you can tell your wife. But since women have to tell stories she will blab no matter how much you tell her not to." This is to show that the pre-war Fallout Verse never really left the 50s behind.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In an early Xbox Magazine article Tabitha was said to be an insane cross-dressing male. In actuality, she's female, but Super Mutants lack secondary sexual characteristics and thus males and females look exactly the same at first glance.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The final ending to Joshua Graham's path in Honest Hearts depends solely on how you treat the White Legs captured leader, Salt-Upon-Wounds. If Joshua Graham spares him, then Joshua will become much more merciful and pleasant. Apparently the dozens of White Legs he slaughtered to get to that point don't matter.
    • The dozens of mooks he slaughtered to get to that point doesn't matter that much - there wasn't much of an alternative to killing them once one had embarked on smashing the White Legs so the Sorrows could stay in Zion. The two White Legs at Graham's mercy that are killed just before Salt-Upon-Wounds appeals to you to stay Graham's hand, on the other hand...
  • The Woobie: Most companions count
    • Veronica can become one. If you finish her companion quest, I Could Make You Care, by persuading her to leave she will attempt to join the followers of the apocalypse, which results in the Brotherhood destroying a small outpost and it's inhabitants. She not only blames herself for this, but is so traumatized by what has happened, she refuses to enter the Brotherhood bunker with you anymore.
    • Boone. After everything that he has been though, it is no surprise that he became a Cold Sniper.
    • Raul's background story. Basically ever since the Great War, everyone that he cared about or loved died a horrible death with him being unable to do anything about it.
    • Cass' father left her at a young age. Then in her adulthood, the caravan company that she worked very hard to build up got wiped out just because she was caught in a conspiracy outside of her control. She is now broke and alone, sitting at a bar all day long. Until you come along.
    • Lily was living a peaceful in a vault as a kindly grandmother before being taken by the Unity and transformed into a Nightkin. She still has memories of her grandchildren, which most likely died a long time ago. Even sadder when you encounter her for the first time and she confuses you for her probably long-dead grandson, Jimmy.
    • Dog is a violent glutton, but doesn't appear intellectually capable of actual malice. He's also in constant pain and has God verbally abusing him every waking moment, unless he mutilates himself enough to make the voices stop.
    • The Stealth Suit in Old World Blues is incredibly lonely due to being a stealth suit and never being seen. That's right, an inanimate suit of armor is a Woobie. When wearing the armor the on board computer will chime in asking if The Courier likes her, declaring The Courier as her best friend, pointing out she thinks she's the most unnoticed thing, telling The Courier to take a stimpack because she doesn't want them to die, etc.
    • Muggy's entire existence literally revolves around his creepy obsession with coffee mugs, and he's painfully aware of it and how much of a joke it makes him. About half his dialogue is him bitterly lamenting his torment while clearly on the verge of tears.
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