Fallout: New Vegas is considered one of Obsidian Entertainment’s best games and one of the best titles in the Fallout series. Like many other open-world games, traveling the Mojave Wasteland can lead some players to make rare discoveries and world details even without the Wild Wasteland trait.
While the main quest will point you to New Vegas and uncovering the mystery surrounding the Platinum Chip you were carrying, nothing is stopping you from stepping off the beaten path. In fact, exploring on your own, though it may be incredibly dangerous, can lead you to some of New Vegas‘ best content.
The Crashed Vertibird
The farther away from civilization that players travel, the more likely they are to find interesting locations in the Mojave. One such location is the Crashed Vertibird in the southern-most region. This was once an Enclave vertibird that, for unknown reasons, crash-landed. The crash formed a massive impact crater that is now guarded by hardened Sentry Bots and Mister Gutsies.
The location is a reference to Fallout 2, which included a crashed vertibird that first introduced the Enclave to the series. Once all of the robots have been destroyed, players can loot a unique version of the powerful Tesla Cannon energy weapon called the Tesla-Beaton Prototype. If you happen to bring along Arcade Gannon, it’ll make him reminisce about his time in the Enclave and work towards his companion quest, “For Auld Lang Syne.”
Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Cap
One of the most time-consuming quests in Fallout: New Vegas is “The Legend of the Star,” which tasks players with finding at least 50 unique Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps in order to unlock a mysterious treasure. With so many of these unique caps to collect, it can take most players until near the end of the game’s story before they’ve acquired enough. Many of these star caps have fixed locations scattered all over the Mojave and DLC regions but can occasionally be acquired by drinking a Sunset Sarsaparilla soda and collecting the cap.
Once you’ve finally collected 50, take them to an animatronic robot named Festus at the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters, northwest of Camp McCarran. Handing in the caps to Festus, he rewards you with a story of how the drink first originated. If you ask Festus about an actual, tangible prize, he’ll direct you to a vault within the factory to collect your reward. Inside, you’ll find over 300 Deputy Badges, which are weightless, worthless and can’t be worn by you or any followers. Fortunately, there’s also 1500 caps and a unique laser pistol, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
When exploring the town of Freeside, you’ll occasionally see an orphan child named Max chasing his friend with what looks like is a toy ray gun called Euclid’s C-Finder. When you talk to him and comment on his gun, he’s willing to sell it to you for 1000 caps, but this can be talked down with either a barter or speech check. In reality, this is the missing target locator for Archimedes II, an orbital laser weapon developed by the Poseidon Energy company for the military.
Of course, the C-Finder itself is useless unless players have completed the side quest “That Lucky Old Sun” by diverting power from HELIOS One to Archimedes II. Choosing to divert power to any other output will lock players out of the weapon forever. When using the C-Finder to paint a target, three harmless laser beams will converge on the site before a massive blue laser beam is fired from the sky, destroying everything in the immediate area.
Brotherhood of Steel Patrol
Situated in a fenced-in area near the center of the Mojave is Hidden Valley, a long-abandoned series of pre-war bunkers enveloped in an almost constant sandstorm and home to hostile rad-scorpions. But should players decide to visit the ominous location between 1 am and 3 am in-game, they’ll come across a squadron of Brotherhood Paladins emerging from one of the bunkers to go on patrol. This is an early indication that Hidden Valley is where the Brotherhood’s Mojave Chapter is hiding.
If you try to interact with these Paladins without either having already contacted the Brotherhood or Veronica as an active companion, they’ll capture you, starting the “Still in the Dark” side quest. More importantly, they’ll immediately turn hostile and attack if you encounter them while wearing NCR armor.
Boulder City War Memorial
While the ruins of Boulder City are part of the main story, there’s a little detail to this location that most fans had no idea was inserted by the developers for the longest time. Found on the northwestern edge of the city next to the Big Horn Saloon is a war memorial commemorating the first battle of Hoover Dam between the NCR and the Legion. In front of the stone slab is an NPC named Private Kowalski, who came to pay his respects to his brother, who died in the battle.
If you shoot at the memorial, Kowalski will confront you about it, accusing you of disrespecting the fallen. With a speech check of 30, you can successfully apologize to him, refuse to apologize and incur NCR infamy, or double down and insult him and his deceased brother, leading to him attacking you.
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