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Look, I know you're riding high right now, but let me tell you - you ain't pissing on me right now, you're pissing on the Bear. You been far enough West I'm guessing to know how far that claw stretches. Fuck with the Bear, and...”— Lee Oliver
A career New California Republic Army soldier, General Lee Oliver is an outspoken supporter of warhawk President Aaron Kimball and his campaign of eastward expansion. As the commander of the Republic's forces in the Mojave, he is responsible for the overall strategy in the theatre. Unfortunately for the Mojave Campaign, Oliver has a tendency to plan strategically questionable operations that are decidedly inferior to his skills on a tactical level. In short, this means that he is a blockheaded, aggressive glory hound without the forethought necessary for effective military campaigns.
This is perhaps best exemplified by his preparations for the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, which Robert House mockingly calls "tunnel vision", where he diverts few resources to rather pressing strategic issues; for example, while the the Legion builds an increasingly strong foothold on the western bank of the Colorado River south of Hoover Dam, Lee recently left his administrative post at Camp McCarran to build up the garrison at the Dam proper, and intends to confront the Legion in a glorious great battle with a mass of NCR troops in an attempt to destroy the enemy through attrition. This strategy has earned him the defamatory moniker "General Wait-and-see" amongst many lower ranking officers and soldiers, who generally doesn't think much of him, and believe that got his post mostly due to nepotism.
The situation is complicated by Oliver's personal grudge against the Rangers and Chief Hanlon, due to the role they played during the First Battle of Hoover Dam in 2277. The strategic ingenuity of Hanlon's plan earned him widespread praise and popularity, obscuring Oliver's contribution. As a result, Oliver is determined to win the second battle entirely with his own methods, to the point of obstinately refusing to listen to Hanlon's input and jeopardizing Rangers in the field.
That said, Oliver isn't without redeeming qualities. He is a patriot, dedicated to the NCR and what it stands for. At the same time, he is also a rational man, unwilling to throw his men away at a lost cause or to just protect the NCR's honor. He has the Republic's interests at heart and is willing to commit drastic changes to the campaign, if he is convinced they would benefit the Republic in the long term.
Interactions with the player character
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Eureka!: If the Courier sides with the NCR, after the victory Lee Oliver personally congratulates the Courier in the Legate's Camp.
- All or Nothing, No Gods, No Masters: If the Courier chose either to work with Mr. House or to fight for independent New Vegas, Lee Oliver also appears after Lanius is dealt with.
- Veni, Vidi, Vici: If the Courier has chosen to aid Caesar, General Oliver becomes the main antagonist. The Courier has to battle his way through his defenses and reach his personal compound within the dam. There, Oliver can be persuaded to surrender. If not, he escapes to his office, being protected by force fields. The Courier will then have to fight their way through to him, eventually cornering him and killing him.
Effects of the player's actions
- In the independent path, after convincing the General to surrender with the speech check, it is possible to tell Yes Man to throw him off the dam, resulting in a special cut scene showing him ragdoll over the side of the Hoover Dam.
- Following Mr. House's quest path, many outcomes, depending on if the play saved or killed Kimball, can happen to Oliver from him being a disgrace in his country, to him rallying the citizens of the NCR to re-invade New Vegas after the death of Kimball. Mr. House also calculates that there is a 40% chance of him committing suicide after the defeat at Hover Dam.
|General Oliver's uniform|
General Oliver's cap
|.44 Magnum revolver|
Drops on death
- "Look, I know you're riding high right now, but let me tell you - you ain't pissing on me right now, you're pissing on the Bear. You been far enough West I'm guessing to know how far that claw stretches. Fuck with the Bear, and..."
- "What the hell are you talking about? What is this? The Free Economic Zone of New Vegas... What the hell does that mean?! Oh, wait, here we go. Demands NCR's immediate withdrawal... Withdrawal? Like fucking hell we're withdrawing... we just held the dam, we didn't do it to let it go! This paper of yours? Isn't fit to wipe my ass. If you think after all that's happened, I'm going to grab my ankles and take it like the Legion..."
- "Caesar on the cross, been a long time since I've seen the kind of work you've laid down today... a damn long time. And the screams of those Legion bastards as they kicked dirt running East... like a choir of angels to my ears. Speaking of - that crazy lightshow over the Fort, what the fuck was that, some kind of thumb from God you called down? Amazing, fucking amazing. Could use a hundred of you, just scatter you over the East like jacks, give those plumed fucks the what-for."
- "I would sooner spit on the grave of my dead mother than let some courier-walk-the-wasteland-fuck talk to me like that. Who the hell do you think you are? Looking to cash your chips to the sound of NCR bullets, eh? I can oblige."
- "What the hell? No, get away from me, you goddamn TV on wheels!"
Lee Oliver appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
General Oliver doesn't seem to grasp basic military strategy. What real life persons were an inspiration for his character? Would you agree Oliver's the main cause the war is going badly for the NCR?”— J.E. Sawyer
- Killing him might cause him to become "Unconscious", but never getting back up, making it impossible for the player to loot his body.
- When Oliver and the rangers blow down the door to the Legate's camp (and when any Securitrons show up after) everyone can get stuck outside the camp, possibly making the game unwinnable.
General Lee Oliver and Vault Boy, as they appear in the achievement/trophy for Eureka!
- J.E. Sawyer: "He's a mishmash of various aggressive, blockheaded military commanders. Generals LeMay and Patton are obvious examples, though completely without the forethought of those two men."
- The Courier: "How will the NCR defend Hoover Dam?"
Robert House: "General Oliver's strategy - or "tunnel vision," as I like to call it - has been to mass troops at Hoover Dam. He wants to out-fight the Legion in a straight-forward slugging match, and then, when they rout, pursue and destroy them in detail. A crushing, decisive victory of this sort would overshadow the tactical ingenuity of Chief Hanlon's defense four years ago, you see."
(Robert House's dialogue
- Mr. New Vegas: "Unconfirmed reports say NCR's General Lee Oliver may have uprooted from his post at Camp McCarran in order to be present at Hoover Dam. NCR sources say that holding the Dam against Caesar's Legion has become their main strategic priority, and this move would not be unexpected."
(Mr. New Vegas' dialogue)
- The Courier: "What do you think of General Oliver?"
Craig Boone: "Didn't know him. He's a signature on my discharge papers. Wasn't real popular, though. Even overheard my C.O. complain about him once. General Wait-and-see, he called him."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Do you know Colonel Hsu at all?"
Craig Boone: "Yeah. He introduced himself to me once. I shook his hand. Doubt he'd remember me now, though. When he looked at you, you could see he understood. After some of the things we'd seen, that meant something. What I heard, he'd be a general right now if Oliver didn't know the president."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Tell me about General Oliver."
Hanlon: "Oh, well... now, you'll have to excuse me. The general and I don't always see eye to eye on things. Maybe it's best that I just say that he is a trooper, through and through. The man will not give up an inch for anything, least of all to the Legion."