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|For Hoover Dam as it was supposed to appear in Black Isle's canceled Fallout 3, see Hoover Dam (Van Buren).|
|Fallout: New Vegas.|
The big one. The one the NCR is trying to hold onto, that the Legion's pushing for. Whole war depends on holding it.”— Craig Boone
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives.
Background[edit | edit source]
The Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power since 1900. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and the lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned over the dam to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule. Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. The dam is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 25 mi (40 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.
As the resource crisis escalated in the 21st century, the dam was fortified with anti-aircraft weapons to protect against an aerial attack. In 2077, the People's Republic of China attempted to sabotage the Dam. The attack, led by their Crimson Dragoon special forces, was foiled by U.S. forces. When the Great War struck, the Dam was abandoned and left to the elements for nearly two centuries.
In 2274, Hoover Dam was discovered by the New California Republic (NCR). When the first NCR scouts arrived at Hoover Dam, Mr. House was spurred into action by the sign of civilization. He sent his Securitron army out onto the New Vegas Strip and rallied the tribals occupying the city, ensuring that when the NCR first reached New Vegas, they would return with stories of a city of lights in the middle of the desert, bringing in the tourist revenue required for Mr. House to carry forward his plans. He worried about the independence of his new city's power source, but fortunately the arrival of Caesar's Legion in the region meant that the NCR could not take the Dam and the Strip without leaving them vulnerable to the Legion. Mr. House and the NCR drew up the Treaty of New Vegas, out of necessity more than anything. 95% of the Dam's power output would go to the NCR, and in return Vegas' independence would be guaranteed. Within a year of the treaty, the NCR had the dam running at 50% capacity and New Vegas was running bright on its 5%. At one point in time the NCR had the Dam running at 75% capacity but for unknown reasons the Dam's output declined back to 50% capacity.
In 2277, the Legion, led by the Malpais Legate, attempted to take the Dam, but were defeated shortly after when Chief Hanlon, alongside NCR Rangers and First Recon sharpshooters, performed a tactical retreat to destroy the Legion's elite forces by trapping them in Boulder City with NCR Troopers under the command of General Oliver managing to successfully hold the Dam and both decimate and rout the Legion's main force. After the Battle of Willow Beach and the Battle of Arizona Spillway, the Dam stands as the only foothold the NCR has east of the Colorado. It is the central point of the power struggle between NCR, the Legion, and Mr. House, and with the Second Battle of Hoover Dam on the horizon, it is certain that the outcome will determine the fate of the entire Mojave Wasteland.
Layout[edit | edit source]
Hoover Dam covers a large area with extensive exterior and interior sections, despite there only being one map marker for the entire location. Following the Colorado River downstream (or coming upstream from Cottonwood Cove) the player will encounter a pontoon barrier presumably to keep the Legion at bay.
Exterior[edit | edit source]
The west side of the dam is controlled by the NCR and features the anti-aircraft gun seen on billboards. The fast-travel map marker puts the player just outside of the entrance to the Hoover Dam Visitor Center. Just north of the visitor center building is a stage and viewing area. To the west of the stage is a large anti-aircraft cannon. Continuing north along the barricaded road leads to the top of the dam itself. Two towers are along the south edge of the road. Access to Hoover Dam Intake Tower 01 and 02 is via a bridge connected to the north side of the road. The road ends at a checkpoint door which is inaccessible until the final quest, such as Eureka!. The checkpoint contains a Very Hard locked terminal, and a few lockers with minor loot. It also houses a small sniper nest on the roof; accessible via a ladder.
Access to the north and south bases of the dam are blocked off by a pontoon barrier. Pontoons hold sections of chain link fence in place along the top of the water while weights keep the submerged ends in place and the whole structure taut. While it is possible to get above the top of the chain link fence from the water, invisible barriers prevent you from actually hopping over it, even when attempted from the cliffs far above the barrier; though it is possible to jump off the north side of the dam into the water. This places the player on the opposite side of the pontoon barrier and allows the player to swim the length of the Hoover Dam. A one-way ladder upwards is available to return to the top of the dam on the NCR side of the river.
The east side is controlled by the Legion. Going west along the barricaded road leads to the top of the dam itself. Access to Hoover Dam Intake Tower 03 and 04 is via a bridge connected to the north side of the road. There are two towers along the south edge of the road, one ruined.
The south base of the dam is accessible by descending through interior sections of the dam and exiting from the second tier of either Hoover Dam Power Plant 02 or 04. There are spectacular gushers of water from outflow pipes high up on the east and west walls of the river canyon. You can swim from the west to the east side and climb up on the concrete area by swimming all the way to the south end and walking up the sandbar to the southeast corner.
Interior[edit | edit source]
See the individual buildings and sections for descriptions of the dam interior;
Inhabitants[edit | edit source]
Notable loot[edit | edit source]
- Snow globe - Hoover Dam - central reception desk in the Visitor Center.
- Two Chinese stealth armors - Hoover Dam offices, Radioactive Barrel Storage in the middle stack of crates.
- President Kimball's suit - can be looted off his corpse during the quests Arizona Killer or You'll Know It When It Happens.
- General Oliver's cap and General Oliver's uniform - can be looted off his corpse during the quest Veni, Vidi, Vici.
- Programmer's Digest - bathroom stalls in Guard Tower #2, and another in Colonel Moore's second office.
- Locksmith's Reader - desk on the upper balcony in Hoover Dam power plant 01.
- Fixin' Things - Hoover Dam Offices, between Colonel Moore's two offices next to a lantern.
- 12 frag grenades - in the intake towers
Related quests[edit | edit source]
Notable quotes[edit | edit source]
- "Well, I'll be. Hoover Dam. One of the last remaining functioning wonders of the Pre-War world. I'm amazed it's still running at all. Too bad everyone's killing each other over it." (Arcade Gannon)
Notes[edit | edit source]
- If you jump on the anti-aircraft gun, run down the barrel and jump, you can go past the game's barrier and go to the bottom of Hoover Dam. Just save before you hit the ground, then load. Facing the direction of the river, if you go on the right side, you can find a door to the Hoover Dam Power Plant 2 and a door leading to Power Plant 4.
- During the battle at Hoover Dam, most non-player character wear masks. This has been motivated by J.E.Sawyer as an attempt to reduce memory usage, since "FaceGen/FaceFX data can be expensive". These masks look like Recruit helmets.
- When on top of the first sniper tower, you can lock and unlock the ladder. However, it can be used either way.
- If you jump down from the Hoover Dam into the water on the north side, and swim as far east as possible until you can't jump/walk any further, you may begin to hear artillery fire and flying shells even though you have not started the battle at Hoover Dam.
- You can't get past the barrier in the water even if the barrels and netting are removed because there is an invisible wall there.
- The full and undamaged engraving on the dedication monument says "It is fitting that the flag of our country should fly here in honor of those men who, inspired by a vision of lonely lands made fruitful, conceived this great work and of those others whose genius and labor made that vision a reality."
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- The graffiti on the Dam towers includes a passage saying LEGION GO HOME, both a propaganda statement and a subtle reference to Life of Brian where Brian writes the same graffiti in poor Latin, earning the wrath of a Roman centurion (it's not actually incorrect in English).
- Hoover Dam originally had a hugely impressive looking pair of water exhaust jets that shoot a vast amount of water down into the river below. They're probably the most impressive visual effects in a game that graphically speaking, frankly only a mother could love, yet while these are present in the final game they have for some reason been disabled. The problem with this effect is they cannot be seen at extreme range due to lacking LOD models meaning the suddenly teleport in out of thin air as you approach. Looking at the game's intro sequence, these water jets are prominantly displayed on shots of the dam, which sugests they are indeed supposed to be on all the time. They were probably removed due to the above LOD issues (you can't have animated LOD objects).
- There is a long winding road leading to the Legate's Camp. This area is filled with legionaries to fight. However, it is NOT navmeshed, and in fact the area is filled with two big triggers that teleport anything that gets stuck in here to either side of the big gates. The area was basically used as a staging ground for reinforcement enemies during other parts of the dam fight, but their script is commented out, so they don't seem to actually be used at all? There's a clever conga line system used to send one set of them in to fight, but this seems to be disabled. There is actually a trigger behind the gate that enables some enemies here, but it is impossible to ever get to in the vanilla game. This suggests however, that at some stage the player WAS supposed to fight their way up here to the Legate's camp. The trigger that enables the pair of enemies that were supposed to fight the player is disabled so never triggers even if the player did somehow get inside. Further up there are also crucifixion telegraph poles lining the road lending further credence to this being a genuine route for the player at some stage (it's impossible to ever see them otherwise). Interestingly some of them are hidden behind parts of the cliff that show how the area was redesigned over time. This whole section was probably cut/left unused due to lack of time.
- There were supposed to be Followers medics helping injured NCR soldiers during the endgame fight (presumably only if the player convinces Julia Farkas to help the NCR). The NPC exists as VFSFollowersDamDoctor, and his dialogue exists in VdialogueHooverDam.
- There's an unused/deleted empty map called "Arizona Spillway Tunnel" (HooverDamIntArizonaSpillway). The Arizona Spillway is a real part of Hoover Dam, and at one end features a long cylindrical tunnel that drains off excess water. Presumably at one point you would have to go in there to fight the Legion (who are said to be gaining entrance to the damn through drainage tunnels). This is probably the large tunnel underneath the bridge to the Legion camp (much easier to see if you clip there BEFORE the endgame fight where it is covered over). The spillway is specifically indicated in the official strategy guide. It is indeed the big pipe/ditch area which has a bridge over it by the endgame. If you look under the bridge there is a large grating, as well as a small hatch, either of which may have lead to the deleted map. Possibly this was where the player would have originally emerged from after pushing the Legion out of the inside of the dam? It's also where the game lore says the NCR were pushed back off the East side of the dam before shoring up the defenses on the dam proper leading to the stalemate at the start of the game. It was clearly an important location at one point (see also Cass' cut dialogue relating to it), but for whatever reason it seems it was excised fairly early on in development.
- Originally there would be gun turrets at Hoover dam. There are full scripts and messages (vHDLVLTurretScript, vHDTurretMessageNCR01, vHDTurretMessageNCR01b, etc) that show they would be initially disabled in the conflict, and the player could then repair them to help fight against the legion. In the final game there are no gun turrets anywhere near Hoover dam.
- There's a LOT of reworked/redundant code involved with the endgame fight. It's extremely difficult to unpick it all as there are several iterations/implementations of things like the reinforcement code as it was clearly realised having so many enemies in the area at once would kill console performance. It's difficult to separate what was abandoned from what actually works, but I'd guess there is unused stuff here.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Check out those guns - rumor had it they used to shoot planes down before the war."
(Rose of Sharon Cassidy's dialogue)
- American intelligence report
- Terminal, No Clue What These Are
- The Courier: "Where does New Vegas get all its electricity?"
Robert House: "Hoover Dam, of course. A hydroelectric dam? The NCR had it up and running at 50% capacity within a year of occupying the dam. By treaty, New Vegas receives 5% of its output - more than enough."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What can you tell me about Hoover Dam?"
Cassandra Moore: "It's of immense strategic value to the NCR. Hoover Dam sends enough electricity west to light every city and major settlement. It's moderately defensible, with a single point of entry on the east side. To get to the power plants below, the enemy has to cross the entire top. The Legion's tried to cross the water on a few occasions, but slow-moving boats make easy targets for sharpshooters."
(Cassandra Moore's dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.458: "Controversy over the Vegas Frontier
The NCR spread east into Nevada in large numbers just five years ago on a "humanitarian mission" to "bring the light of civilization to the savage wastes of the Mojave." Hoover Dam was the symbol of the expedition-reports from the Followers of the Apocalypse had confirmed that it was still intact as early as 2170-and its occupation by NCR troops in 2274 was a celebrated event. Even more exciting was the restarting of the dam's hydroelectric plant eleven months later, which dramatically improved the access of many NCR citizens to electricity and water.
Since then, most of the news has been bad. Skirmishes with local tribes and the first battle for Hoover Dam have cost the lives of more than 400 of the NCR's soldiers and civilians. Until the oft-promised annexation of New Vegas becomes a reality, the government continues to spend much of its budget on "safeguarding the region" while in return receiving not one Cap in tax revenue. The expedition has proved to be an enduring, low-intensity political embarrassment for President Kimball.
Among NCR citizens, the most common political attitude is impatience. They want Vegas annexed; they want it over with. Most expect that this will finally occur once Caesar's Legion has been "beat for good." Opposition to the Vegas occupation amounts to a vocal minority, and of these, most oppose it as a waste of lives and tax caps. The more radical opinion that the expedition amounts to the imperialist subjugation of an unwilling territory is seen as unpatriotic: the kind of pap spouted by the good-for-nothing agitators like those Followers of the Apocalypse."
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.372-376: "[3.33] Hoover Dam
All of the Main Quest in Act III centers around this location, as do the Main Quests involving the visit of President Aaron Kimball. A stronghold of extreme strategic importance for centuries, this location has seen recent turmoil between major Faction too. A few years before current events, Caesar's Legion rolled in, led by ex-Mormon missionary Joshua Graham, Caesar's Legate. Not considering NCR's army to be a serious threat, Graham exercised somewhat lax control over the Legion. During the Battle of Hoover Dam, NCR Rangers and Sharpshooters from First Recon employed risky tactics against the Legion with the help of the enlisted Troopers, and despite horrific loss of life, Caesar's forces were pushed back, but not routed.
The NCR has been holding the dam continuously since, and have fortified positions along the dam and up and down the west side of the Colorado River. Recently, the Legion pushed the NCR off of the east side of the river at the Battle of Willow Beach (which destroyed an NCR military camp) and the Battle of Arizona Spillway. Day to day military operations at the dam are under the command of Colonel Moore. While troopers are active here, there are also a large number of civilian contractors who are trying to keep the dam running. They are of a secondary concern to Moore, who is preparing from for an impending attack by Caesar and a visit by President Kimball."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- The Courier: "General Oliver, Hoover Dam is ours. Leave at once."
Lee Oliver: "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."
The Courier: "Are you sure that's wise?"
Lee Oliver: "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..."
The Courier: "How about I ask these robots to fuck you and your entire battalion with a rocket barrage?"
Lee Oliver: "Do you know what you're doing? Making a nation - like you think you're doing, ain't like chowing down on a pile of Fancy Lad Snack Cakes. Think you got the guts to carve out a frontier? Build towns, protect the roads, run supplies, train troops?"
(Lee Oliver's dialogue)