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Camp Forlorn Hope
Camp Forlorn Hope
Another day. Another battle. Another trooper dead. When is this shit gonna end?”— NCR trooper
Established in 2274, right after the Republic secured Hoover Dam, the camp was set up around a water source, the Forlorn Hope Spring in an effort to quickly secure the shores of the Colorado downstream. The haste is evident in the mixture of tents, tin shacks, rubble, and sandbags that make up the Republic's primary camp in the south-eastern Mojave. The camp was never overhauled due to more pressing concerns, be it Operation Sunburst, the First Battle of Hoover Dam, or implementing General Lee Oliver's defensive strategy. Unfortunately, this neglect hamstrung the Camp's ability to respond to the Legion's attacks. When Camp Searchlight fell and Legion overran NCR's fledgling outpost at Nelson, Camp Forlorn Hope suddenly found itself on the front line, incapable of effectively securing the shores of the Colorado or dislodge Dead Sea's garrison from Nelson.
The shutdown of the I-15 and Legion raids up and down Highway 95 have strained the supply situation. Water is plentiful, but everything else is in short supply, including food, ammunition, and men. Skirmishes in the no man's land between Nelson slowly deplete the ranks of troops stationed at the Camp and the armory. Morale is at an all-time low, made worse by the Legion's deliberate maiming of soldiers they fight, who are then left to die in the desert sun with booby traps strapped to them.  It comes as no surprise that to most soldiers, a posting at Camp Forlorn Hope is effectively a death sentence.
The commander of the Camp, Major Polatli, blames the ineptitude of the Army's highest commanders for the mismanagement of the situation at Forlorn Hope. However, he doesn't plan to sit idle while a Legionary comes to slit his throat and has prepared a plan to turn the situation around: Increasing his troop number, restoring supply lines, and getting the camp into fighting shape so that he can retake Nelson and secure the Army's flank in the inevitable battle for the Dam.
Established on a small mesa overlooking Lake Mohave and the Colorado, around the aforementioned Forlorn Hope Spring, the camp is a ramshackle collection of tents, shacks, and salvaged buses and other junk dragged to the area in the early years of the Mojave Campaign. The camp is roughly divided into two halves by a freshwater creek emptying into the Colorado.
The northern half of the camp contains the spring itself, with the main barracks, Camp Forlorn Hope jail, and latrines just next to it. The medical center staffed by Dr Richards is by the northern entrance and the makeshift guard post, with the Graveyard of No Hope filled with graves of NCR troopers killed in action or lost in the hospital stretching beyond on promontory. Just next to it is a shack, with the command center overlooking the Colorado in the south-eastern corner of the northern part of the camp. Major Polatli, the commanding officer, is here along with Tech Sergeant Reyes coordinating radio communications.
Four tents are squeezed into every available space between the buildings, with a salvaged bus and a covered eating space providing more spots for soldiers to gain a bit of rest in between deployments. A campfire has been set up behind the barracks by enterprising soldiers.
The southern half of the camp is particularly crowded due to less space. More improvised housing sits along the western edge together with a single tent, opposite the mess hall. Behind the mess hall is the storage shed, locked down tightly with a Very Hard lock, with the quartermaster's tent just the opposite. Carl Mayes is found here, trying to make do with what little he has. Further south are five more soldier tents squeezed in between the defensive wall and flanked by bunkers. Beyond that is the frontline and the desolate stretch of no man's land leading to Nelson.
Legion raiding parties will temporarily attack the Camp through the no man's land after starting Restoring Hope. Although the soldiers are usually able to repulse them, especially after the camp is shored-up, named characters are always at risk of dying in the attack. Note that although the troopers dying in the stretch of land between Nelson and the Camp beg for death, killing them outside stealth will cause a reputation drop with the NCR and turn Camp Forlorn Hope hostile.
- Major Joseph Polatli, commanding officer
- Doctor Alex Richards, medical officer
- Quartermaster Carl Mayes, head of supply and logistics
- Tech Sergeant Reyes, radio officer
- Private James Sexton
- Private Stone
- 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, reassigned to the camp after completing Three-Card Bounty
- Lieutenant Hayes, reassigned to the camp after completing I Fought the Law
- Lieutenant Monroe, reassigned to the camp after completing Boulder City Showdown without wiping out the NCR detachment
- Generic characters
- NCR troopers, armed with low-grade weapons like caravan shotguns due to supply shortages
- NCR military polices
- NCR heavy troopers and NCR Ranger Veterans, appearing after the player enters the third act of the game (preparations for the Second Battle of Hoover Dam). The Rangers replace Army lookouts in the bunkers.
- Big Book of Science: In the command center, on a table in the back, to the right.
- Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap: On the table directly opposite the entrance in the mess hall.
- Restoring Hope and We Are Legion: These two quests determine the status of Camp Forlorn Hope during the second battle of Hoover Dam, with the NCR emergency radio reporting that the Camp either supports Hoover Dam, is under attack, but holds ground, or was wiped out by the Legion, depending on which quest was completed or if they were tackled at all.
- Return to Sender: Investigating false reports leads to a decision that affects the NCR Rangers' and Chief Hanlon's fate.
- Side quests
- Still in the Dark: The player is expected to collect a report from a Brotherhood Knight surveying the Camp.
- Medical Mystery
- No, Not Much
- Unmarked quests
Behind the scenes
- There are around 20+ dead troopers that are meant to make a pile of corpses in Forlorn Hope's graveyard. However, they're disabled and don't actually spawn, this is mostly likely attributed to memory reasons.
- Megan Parks was responsible for layout, prop placement, decoration, terrain shaping, and vistas in this location.
- Forlorn hope is a term referring to soldiers spearheading dangerous operations, such as assaults on heavily fortified enemy positions. It's a mistranslated Dutch term verloren hoop (lost heap; the Dutch word is not cognate with the English hope), used to refer to military units placed in hazardous situations and expected to suffer high casualties. The term entered English use in the early 19th century and remained in use ever since. It was also used to describe risky expeditions bound to fail, like the 1847 desperate attempt by the Donner Party to find help for settlers trapped near Lake Truckee (now Lake Donner) in northeastern California.
- There seem to be several attempts at post 'We Are Legion' events in Forlorn Hope. In that quest the player is tasked with killing key officers in the camp, with the intention of destabilising the NCR forces there in order to break the stalemate and result in a Legion victory. In the vanilla game, completing the quest results in little change to the area. Any troops who weren't killed by the player first time round will still be about and enter combat if the player is still in poor standing with the NCR. However, disabled NPCs in the area tell another story. In the graveyard area there is what appears to be a mass grave - a huge pile of dead and dismembered NCR soldiers in uniform. This is enabled by the marker VCFHDeadBodiesMarker. It's never triggered in the game, but presumably after the camp was weakened it was intended for the Legion to take it from the NCR and massacre all the NCR troops there, before dumping their bodies here. To add further credence to this theory, is a further marker, called VCFHMassacredMarkerREF that ties to several disabled troops from the base "VForlornHopeNCRTrooperRefugee". These are never enabled, and have no extra lines of dialogue, but presumably they would be enabled after the massacre event had happened, and have something to say about their comrades being murdered. In the final game they are completely indistinguishable from regular Forlorn Hope troops, with no extra dialogue relating to the event. A final part of this puzzle is the marker VCFHCrittersMarkerREF and the Cazadores linked to it. Enabling this causes the camp to be invaded by cazadores. Presumably what was intended was that the Legion were to massacre the camp, but be unable to occupy it themselves due to lack of men, and so it becomes overrun by cazadores. This seems to clash with the refugees idea, although perhaps they were simply then meant to be killed by the invading insects. Possibly the Cazadores where only supposed to spawn if both locations were wiped out by the player? It's highly likely these outcomes would also be post-endgame events.
- Peculiarly there is also a marker (vForlornHopeSleepersMarker) that enables lots of sleeping troops in various tents in the camp. This is never activated so is somewhat strange. Perhaps it was forgotten or simply used to cut unneeded NPCs? It's also noteworthy that many of the miscellaneous NPCs in CFH are persistent refs. This is completely unnecessary, and likely done either by accident/someone who didn't know what they were doing, or more likely done deliberately so those NPCs can be manipulated by a script - likely so they can be disabled for the massacre event outlined above (to hide their bodies apart from the pre-placed ones in the graveyard).
- In the retail game files there were horrifically maimed NCR troopers situated in the no-man's land between FH and Nelson. These were disabled by an early patch. In fact, they were more than disabled - they were actually completely deleted from the game files! There were also random battles that would happen here where a random platoon of either NCR or Legion troops (or sometimes both) would spawn and attempt to assault the other side's base. These were dummied out around the time of Dead Money due to problems with console memory use.
- Camp Forlorn Hope also has special guard NPCs at each entrance consisting of patrolling soldiers with linked sniffer dogs who have unique dialogue lines (DialogueNCRSniffer) to detect disguised players. These seem to have been disabled on purpose probably to make the game easier. A guard and his dog can be seen around the 2:40 mark in this early video.
- Although it's scripted as an NCR location, the Camp does not display the player's current standing with the NCR when the marker is selected on the world map.
- 1st Recon characters might not update their scripts to recognize the fact they're at Camp Forlorn Hope.
- Soldiers killed here may respawn with more than one dog tag. They may even initially spawn with more than one.
Camp Forlorn Hope appears only in Fallout: New Vegas
- Milo: "You're always welcome around the Hope, Courier - least as far as I'm concerned."
(Milo's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas)) Note: This greeting is spoken after the completion of the quest Back in Your Own Backyard.
- Milo: "Well, well. If it isn't the courier who wiped out the Legion over at Nelson. Good to see you around the Hope."
(Milo's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas)) Note: This greeting is spoken after the completion of the quest Restoring Hope.
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.417-418: "[6.02] Camp Forlorn Hope
After NCR captured Hoover Dam, it took them a while to fully reinforce the river to the south. The first camp that was established was Camp Forlorn Hope; an improvised mess of tin shacks, salvaged rubble from Boulder City, tents, and lots of sandbags, it is the most pathetic-looking of all NCR's camps, but the one that sees the most action. It only exists at all because of the natural spring there (in fact the camp is named for the spring). Recently, Caesar's Legion captured NCR's logistical/planning forces in the ruins of the small, ruined town of Nelson, a disaster that has disrupted Forlorn's Hopes attempts to patrol the western coast of the river.
Graveyard of No Hope
A nickname some in the camp whisper about the collection of graves of the fallen, on a two-tiered promontory behind the shacks, overlooking the Colorado River. Shoot the Bloatflies in the area for sport. Due to the height disadvantage, attack from here only if you plan to be stealthy."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- The Courier: "What's your problem?"
Stone: "My problem? My problem is we're all going to die. We're out of food, we're out of men, and we're out of time. The Legion is right outside waiting to kill us all. Today... tomorrow... it doesn't matter, we're all going to die here. So why don't you just leave me alone."
- The Courier: "I wanted to check on the troopers sent from Camp Forlorn Hope."
Haggerty: "Yeah, they were here a while ago. Gave them all I could, which wasn't much. But as many problems as we're having here, I know they've got it worse. I've seen soldiers get assigned there. It's like they got told they were gonna die. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. If you're trying to track them down, we put a GPS marker in the supply crate. You can track it with your Pip-Boy. Good luck."
- Courier: "What's your take on the NCR's position here?"
Joseph Polatli: "It's no picnic, I'll tell you that much. My troops are out here every day dying for the NCR, but they've left us out to dry. We have no men or supplies and we're stretched too thin trying to guard the entire river. If the brass back home could get their heads out of their asses long enough to send support, we could turn this all around."
- Courier: "What do you need help with?"
Joseph Polatli: "I'm short staffed and I don't have the time to take care of some issues around the camp. I need someone to talk to a few of the officers and help them resolve some of the problems around here. I've got the Legion at Nelson breathing down my neck and not enough men or supplies to get this camp into fighting shape so we can strike back. I need someone to talk to a few of the officers and help them resolve some of the problems around here. If I can get this place in order, then I can focus our efforts on taking back Nelson from the Legion. And the more that gets done around here, the more resources I'll be able to put into assaulting Nelson."
- Megan Parks' portfolio