Fallout: New Vegas locations project
Bull and Bear over the Dam, at each others throats... but a light from Vegas? Ball spinning on the wheel, more than two at the table, placing bets.
All lose in different ways, a dam of corpses, towns of corpses, scattered across the sand. But whose, in what shares? Even the dealer doesn't know.
Forecast: A rain of blood will flood the desert and not purify it.”— The Forecaster, Fallout: New Vegas
Compared to Washington D.C. (and perhaps surprisingly, given its reputation for nuclear testing), the Mojave survived the Great War relatively unscathed, but not for lack of trying on the part of the Chinese. At the culmination of the Sino-American War, 77 atomic warheads were launched at the city of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas, but due to intricate defense systems set in place by wealthy businessman Mr. House, 59 were forcefully disarmed mid-flight, 9 were blasted out of the sky by a laser guided missile defense system atop the Lucky 38 Hotel & Casino, and only 9 hit the surrounding desert.
In the years since, the Mojave has largely been ignored by the developing post-apocalyptic civilizations: the New California Republic in the west, and Caesar's Legion to the east, thus allowing enemies of such civilizations, raiders, slavers, the Brotherhood of Steel, and super mutants, for example, to prosper there. For years, Vegas sat at its heart, decayed by almost two centuries of neglect. But when NCR advance scouts reached Hoover Dam with the intent of expanding the NCR's borders, pre-War Securitrons rolled out onto the old Las Vegas Strip and rallied the three tribes occupying the city, claiming to act on behalf of Mr. House, the man who had saved the city decades prior. By the time NCR reached Vegas, the city was in full working order, and the NCR returned to Shady Sands with tales of an oasis of light in the middle of the desert. An arrangement was made whereby the NCR were given 95% of Hoover Dam's power output and McCarran International Airport as a regional headquarters, and the Strip, (and secretly Mr. House) retained its sovereignty, as well as the remaining 5% of power.
Since then, the combined armies of 67 conquered tribes had arrived from the east, led by Caesar and his Malpais Legate, seeking a city to call their capital. The Legion launched a massive initial attack on the Dam and the NCR troops stationed there, but were repelled by the NCR. Most of the credit went to Chief Hanlon for issuing a tactical retreat to Boulder City and luring the Legion into a trap that leveled half of the town, then routing the surviving Legionaries back across the dam, which ultimately led to the execution of the Malpais Legate. The outcome of the battle created a delicate power balance, whereby the tensions between the three big powers in the region (the Strip, the NCR and the Legion) are the only factor keeping one another from attempting to seize total control of the region; should one attack the other, the third would take advantage of the conflict and attack in turn.
Due to the fact that few bombs hit the west coast, rebuilding society has been easier. Buildings are more intact, which also includes pre-War factories. This has allowed businesses such as the Gun Runners and Michael Angelo's workshop to continue to run and operate. Technology is more well preserved, thanks to the lack of nuclear fallout, and items like the neon signs that dot the New Vegas Strip, the monorail within Camp McCarran, or the massive generators of the Hoover Dam, are now being repaired to proper working order.
Everyday society is equally as stable in some areas and not in others. While small time traders and Traveling Merchants along the I-95 and the long 15 make a decent living, it is little compared to that of the larger and more organized traders and caravans with plenty of both manpower and firepower, and those that have managed to acquire pre-War technology, such as the Crimson Caravan Company. With the expansion, though, corruption and oversight is still in the air as trading monopolies abound as small time suppliers that are either bought out of by larger companies, or simply cannot keep up with the competition.
Casinos and Gambling are popular among the locals in the area, making the New Vegas Strip a popular hub of activity for merchants, caravans, NCR troopers, opportunists, and everyday people wanting to hit it big at the slots. The main casinos, The Tops, Gomorrah and the Ultra-Luxe, are run by the three tribes that settled in New Vegas. Each has its own personal rules and customs (other than the universal rule against carrying weapons into their casinos).
Politics, as always, also play a rather large role in the society of the Mojave. The NCR is finding its war with Caesar's Legion both increasingly unpopular back in California, and expensive to fund. Caravans and merchants heading to and from the Mojave deal with exorbitant taxes and fees imposed on them by the NCR. Caesar's Legion is coming ever closer to finding out what happens when their absolute ruler, and God, finally passes away, and is facing the question of what truly unified the Legion in the first place, Caesar's ideals, or Caesar himself. The Casinos on the strip have their own agendas and Mr. House has his own mysterious plans for the Mojave and more specifically, The Strip.
Save for areas like the Divide and the Sierra Madre Casino, plants grow in relative abundance in the Mojave Wasteland with a wide variety of herbs, flowers and cacti being encountered commonly in the desert. In fact, in Vault 22 and the areas around it, plants thrive vigorously. Nevada agave fruit and banana yucca fruit grow and thrive, however, glowing mushrooms are also a common sight. Taking advantage, the NCR have set up the NCR Sharecropper Farms. New Vegas has an assortment of luxurious plants and to the standards of Las Vegas, plenty of vegetation. A possible reason the Mojave Wasteland has more plants than the Core Region is due minuscule size of the Mojave compared to the Core Region and the fact that while the Core Region has only little access to the Colorado River, the entire society of the Mojave is built off of Hoover Dam.
Due to the various sources of water in the Mojave Wasteland, with most of them being pure and safe to drink, the Mojave, unlike other wastelands, has a stable ecosystem. According to Chief Hanlon, the Mojave Wasteland is more green and fertile than the Core Region, despite that the population of the Core Region has exploded, allowing room for development in both regions.
- The Mojave Wasteland did not receive nearly as many nuclear attacks as other parts of the America, and is gifted with many healthy, green plants as a result of the lower radiation levels. Nevada agave fruit grow in abundance, as do Banana Yucca. The ever-present radioactive fallout has still altered some of the native life, with glowing mushrooms a common sight. Snow is also present in the area so it appears that the pre-War climate was not significantly affected, or has at least recovered.
- As a result of the lack of nuclear damage, a large number of native and familiar species have continued to thrive in the Mojave Wasteland. Raven and a variety of other kinds of birds are seen fairly often in the wastes, pecking through debris and vegetation for food. Likewise, there are fish present in Lake Mead and several other smaller reservoirs. Coyotes have also managed to survive in the wasteland with little to no mutation. Despite this, the Mojave wastes are still peppered with mutated species, such as bighorner, brahmin, along with Nightstalkers and cazadors, the last two due to experimentation at the Big Empty.
- Unlike the Capital Wasteland, the Mojave Wasteland has some form of a stable ecosystem. Water encountered throughout the Mojave is safe to drink and does not contain radiation (for the most part), plant life is found consistently throughout the area, and various animals are encountered on a regular basis and thrive in the mostly undisturbed lands. This is mostly due to the fact that the bombs of the Great War never hit Vegas land.
- As most of the local citizens left behind their homes, much of the surrounding areas have been left untouched (examples: Vault 22, H&H Tools Factory, etc.), while others have been resettled (examples: Freeside, Novac, etc.). As a general rule, either buildings have gone into complete disrepair or are being "restored" by the local population.
- According to Hanlon, the state that was once Nevada is more fertile and has more water and greenery than California, as the population in California has exploded and had caused the eventual expansion to go East in search of new opportunities and land.
- There are 187 marked locations in the Mojave Wasteland without the Wild Wasteland trait. With the Wild Wasteland trait there are 188 marked locations.
- When looking at the Moon at night, the PC can see it slowly moving.
- The sky in the Mojave is astronomically correct, the moon changes phases each day according to the month.
 Behind the scenes
- The Mojave Wasteland map in the PIP-Boy has a different (larger) scale than the map of the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3. The actual play area is similar or even slightly bigger than the play area in Fallout 3.
- The Mojave Wasteland appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- ↑ Chief Hanlon - "Thirty, forty years ago, the wasteland was full of despots. Slavers. Raiders. Tough-talking hoodlums with gangs who liked to kick around towns. Back then the NCR military was still young. Couldn't cover much ground. It took groups like ours to tip the balance back to the good guys."
- ↑ JE Sawyer