Festus (Fallout: New Vegas)
|For the ghoul in Fallout 2, see Festus (Fallout 2).|
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Howdy partner, welcome to the headquarters of the Sunset Sasparilla company. Wrangle up a stool and listen to ol' Festus jaw awhile.”
Grandiose wasteland legends persist that Festus is a centuries old guardian of the Sunset Sarsaparilla treasure; the legends are technically correct, but the fact that Festus is an animatronic automaton made by RobCo Industries, designed as an interactive display for visitors and tourists takes away some the mystique. Unlike most other robots in the wasteland, who operate with a degree of autonomous artificial intelligence, Festus is a simple machine that only responds to a set of about a dozen designated command phrases and answers with pre-recorded responses.
Festus is barely operational with centuries of wear and tear. The wooden cabinet holding the robot is falling apart, having been shot several times and water damaged, and Festus himself has also been shot, breaking the front glass window and taking his right arm and right eye. Festus' speaker is also damaged, constantly shifting in quality and volume as the prerecorded lines are played.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- The Legend of the Star: commonly begins once the Courier finds a Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap. Malcolm Holmes may track the courier and offer most quest information and even some limited trade upon request.
Otherwise the courier may find Festus first and ask for star quest information.
- After the courier has 50 Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps, return to Festus to reclaim the prize.
- A Valuable Lesson: After finally collecting 50 star bottle caps and returning to Festus, he will reveal that the reward is to hear the story of how Sunset Sarsaparilla was invented: a saloon owner made a deal with a strange man to manufacture a soft drink based on a recipe made by the man, and the owner is implied to have had the man killed so he could take all the credit and profits for himself. The star bottle caps were supposedly created by the stranger's ghost so his existence would still be known.
After this story, the quest The Legend of the Star is automatically failed and the player can angrily complain about the nonexistence of an actual prize. Festus will then tell you that the company has received several such complaints, and a new, better reward is now available. The quest A Valuable Lesson will start, and the quest indicator will lead you to the vault, which holds your prize. No matter how many Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps you have in your inventory, only 50 will be removed for the quest The Legend of the Star. Once the quest is completed however, any extra star caps you have in your inventory will be converted to regular bottle caps, and any star caps found afterwards will also automatically convert to regular caps when picked up.
- When first meeting Festus you may want to select the "Pleased to meetcha" option. This option will explain all of the dialogue options available to the player.
- If the player asks Festus to tell you about the "Silly Ol' Advisory", he will list numerous serious health problems associated with drinking Sunset Sarsaparilla. He will ask the player to repeat yourself twice before finally telling. This was probably programmed into Festus in an attempt to prevent people from hearing the advisory.
- After redeeming 50 Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps for the quest, Festus will tell you the story of "The Legend of the Star". He'll make mention of Nuka-Cola, the principal rival soft drink of Sunset Sarsaparilla. After this, he'll mention that to avoid legal action from Nuka-Cola, he will inform you that Nuka-Cola is a "swell" drink, but sometimes people just want something different.
If you select the dialogue option "I Feel Lucky", you have the option to play a variant of blackjack called Lucky Horseshoes. You can ask Festus to instruct you on which buttons perform which action.
- Number cards count as face value.
- There are no face cards (Jacks/Queens/Kings/Jokers).
- The goal of the game is gets as close to 21 in order to win the hand.
- You may draw or hold, however once you hold you are done drawing for that hand.
- Attempting to hold in a losing situation will cause Festus to comment that it is not a good idea, and pretends you pressed the draw button instead.
- If a player draws and their new total equals the other player's total, the other player's total is increased (bumped up) by one. This is known as lucky horseshoes, and ensures that ties are not possible.
Each time you win you have a 6% chance of getting a Sunset Sarsaparilla star cap and a 24.44% chance of getting a card for your Caravan deck, otherwise you get up to 9 bottle caps. The game can be played repeatedly to garner more and more prizes.
- NOTE: A mental tally of yours and Festus' total must be kept, as Festus does not keep track of this for you.
Drops on death
- If the Courier attacks Festus with a melee or unarmed weapon, Festus will stand up, look around, and then return to his idle stance. Any companions following the player will then initiate combat briefly before returning to their idle stance(s). Shooting Festus or using explosives will not count as hitting him as all projectiles will simply go through and hit the wall behind him.
- Festus is one of the three characters (excluding active companions without Hardcore mode and children) in the game who cannot die. The other two are Yes Man, and the Gun Runners' Vendortron.
- There is an option to pickpocket Festus when crouched, but this only initiates dialogue with him.
- The story Festus tells you about the origins of Sunset Sarsaparilla does not fit with the information he gives you. He tells you that before Sunset Sarsaparilla was invented, the main choices people had for drinking was water or Nuka-Cola. Nuka-Cola was founded in in the year 2044, but according to the logo of the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters, Sunset Sarsaparilla was founded in 1918, over 125 years before Nuka-Cola was invented.
- He is affected by the Robotics Expert perk.
- You cannot play Lucky Horseshoes with him after you have completed The Legend of the Star.
- Festus appears to have been shot many times.
- "Howdy partner, welcome to the headquarters of the Sunset Sasparilla company. Wrangle up a stool and listen to ol' Festus jaw awhile."
- "Ah, new to the hunt, are you? Well listen carefully, as ol' Festus don't want to repeat himself."
- "Why are these stars there, and what do they mean? Nobody knows! Except maybe ol' Festus, Hee Hee."
- "Woohoo, you did it partner! Bully for you! Ol' Festus knew you could do it. I suppose you'll be wanting that prize now."
- "We at the Sunset Sarsaparilla Company would once again like to thank you for your patronage."
- "Excessive ingestion of Sarsaparilla can lead to deleterious effects including, but not limited to: kidney damage, nausea, digital numbness, anxiety, loss of visual acuity, dizziness, occasional nosebleeds, joint inflammation, tooth decay, sore throat, bronchitis, organ rupture and halitosis."
Festus appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Festus is a reference to the character Festus of the 1952 radio and 1955 television Western drama series Gunsmoke.
- Sometimes when entering the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters a loud metal crashing noise can be heard (like when a robot crashes to the floor), due to Festus having turned 180 degrees to face the wall. Interaction is still possible even though the player will only be able to see the back panel. He may eventually turn back if you re-enter.
- It is possible to knock him unconscious with the Golden Gloves or boxing tape. If done so you cannot speak to him and he will not regain consciousness. If you do kill him you can walk through him.
- The Courier: "You mentioned someone named Festus. Who's that?"
Malcolm Holmes: "It's said that the treasure is guarded by a man named Festus, and he's the one who asks for the blue-star caps. It's also said that he's been around since the war, standing a lonely vigil, waiting for someone to come and take the treasure off his hands. That'd make him pretty damn old, but I've met a few people in my travels who claimed they actually met him, and they weren't the lying type either."
(Malcolm Holmes' dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.308-309: "[2.17] Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters
The old headquarters of the well-known and loved "Beverage of the West Coast," this structure features a many-faceted glass bottle of the company's signature drink, Sunset Sarsaparilla. Before the war, an urban legend circulated that if you collected bottle caps marked with a star, you could send them in to the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters and receive a prize. Now, this legend has taken on a life of its own; crazed individuals stalk the Wasteland searching for "SSSs" (Sunset Sarsaparilla Stars), a fact exacerbated by an automated robotic attendant, Festus, who prompts people with an option to present their Sunset Sarsaparilla Stars. Dare you find out the truth?
Sitting in his rundown saloon, Festus is the mascot for the old Sunset Sarsaparilla Company, and here to bring you great news of a competition, and the official word on that health advisory (keeps asking!). Requesting information on Star Bottle Caps begins Side Quest: The Legend of the Star. Returning with 50 or more Star Bottle Caps starts Side Quest: A Valuable Lesson. You can also play Lucky Horseshoes (speak to Festus about the rules)."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)