Fallout New Vegas: The long road to Novac

(This is part of my journey going playing through 2010’s Fallout New Vegas. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

You can’t see it, but my eyes behind those goggles are hollow. My lips are cracked from the screams. And that burning town behind me? That’s the horror show that was Nipton, California.

Let me back up a bit. Right now I’m making the very long journey from Primm to Novac. It’s a trip that literally spans two states and a whole lot of deadly between Points A and B. I’m overloaded with gear I’d like to sell and probably greatly underleveled (I’m inching my way toward level 6), but it’s where I need to go.

And then I arrived at Nipton.

The storytelling that happened in Nipton is actually well told. You don’t know it when you arrive, but it starts in reverse, with the very end of things. This loony guy comes running at you, extremely jubilant that he’s won some “lottery.” He doesn’t explain it, but goes running into the wasteland all giddy and out of his gourd.

I walk past him and enter the town, which looks like a scene from Dante’s Inferno. Everything’s broken, burning, or dead. Lots of folks hanging from crosses.

And the game tells me that these people, who are obviously still alive, can’t be cut down because that’d kill them. So? I’m sure they’d rather one final moment of mercy than to leave them up there. For shame, New Vegas.

Anyway, a crippled man in the general store fills me in on what happened here. The Legion came in and backed a guy to become “mayor” if he’d just betray everyone. Kind of a Trojan horse situation. Then the Legion took over the town, rounded up everyone (mayor included), and ran a “lottery” to see who lived, who would be horribly maimed, and who would die in various ways.

This guy ran the show, and if it wasn’t for the six guys and multiple attack dogs around him, I would have taken him out on the spot. As it was, he let me go to “spread the word” of what happens to lowlifes.

Suppressing the urge to run away, I did a very careful looting of the town left behind. There were a few interesting houses, such as one with an aggressive floating robot and another with numerous traps, but in the end I walked away with plenty of upgraded weapons and ammo.

I also got to fight a whole ton of dogs, including this one up here who thought that he’d attack me by running over a mine. How’d that work out for you, Fido?

After what seemed like forever, I finally left Nipton and California to enter Nevada and a lot of empty desert. As a player who vastly prefers wide-open spaces to dense urban crawls, this was a relief.

Still a very long way from here to Novac, but I have hope that I’ll see it through. Some day. Maybe next week.

5 thoughts on “Fallout New Vegas: The long road to Novac

  1. Gamera977 October 25, 2019 / 10:22 am

    I loved Obsidian’s writing here. Most games just point and say ‘this is the bad guy’. But here after Nipton I honestly hated Caesar’s Legion. I hunted the jerks down and killed them wherever I found them. I don’t remember really viscerally hating the villains in any other game like this.

    BTW: second time I ran though the game I was a bit higher level. As the Legion was filing out of Nipton I shot the leader in the back of the head and then proceeded to cut down the whole squad dogs and all.

  2. Yeebo October 25, 2019 / 11:40 am

    I have New Vegas “hyper lotsa extra stuff edition” for the 360 sitting on a shelf in shrink wrap. It’s one of a huge backlog of games that I have no idea when I will ever really get to. I can only very rarely bring myself to really invest in games that don’t have other players running around in them any more, they don’t seem as “real” to me.

    For example, based on one of your previous posts I finally got around to playing the first hour of Vampire the Masquerade (I’ve been sitting on it for over a decade). I have to say it was really great, I was quite impressed. I then promptly returned to whatever MMO I was playing at the time and haven’t been back.

  3. Gnomenecro October 25, 2019 / 12:49 pm

    I totally agree with Gamera977 in that the Legion is one of the most despicable groups of bad guys I have seen in any game. I actually managed to kill off Vulpes and his goons at a fairly low level and paid a heavy price for it. The Legion doesn’t take kindly to that big of a setback and makes your life “interesting” to say the least. Talk about decisions and actions having consequences, this is a great example. It got so bad that I ended up going back to a saved game and un-doing my righteous slaughter just to make progress in the game again. That action had real consequences in the game and in the end I wimped out and saved my crusade against them for later.

    I have never been able to complete a playthrough allied to the Legion. They go against my grain so badly it is just a constant internal struggle to do their bidding.

    A close second for me as far as despicable villains are any groups of cannibals, which Bethesda seems to always include in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games. As soon as I figure out human is on the menu I commence to taking them out. No, I don’t care to hear why this is happening or what lead to it, I am just going to put a stop to it right now.

    Keep up the play-through. In my opinion the journey from Primm to Novac is probably one of the slower parts of the game where you struggle to survive and are getting small clues to what is going on. This is the first layer of an onion you are beginning to peel with a lot more story to be told yet with a lot of really interesting characters yet to met. It still pains me that they went from this kind of game to Fallout 76.

  4. TheRoyalFamily October 25, 2019 / 6:23 pm

    If you have a high enough Medical stat (I think that’s the one), you can give the folks on the crosses an OD of stims to put them out of their misery.

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