Fallout: New Vegas locations project
Of course you haven't. Vegas always was one of a kind. What you see down on the Strip is just a fraction of the city's former glory, and yet... more than an echo. I preserved its spirit. Or perhaps you were referring to the Lucky 38? The years haven't been kind to her, but still she manages to impress.”— Robert House responding to the Courier, Fallout: New Vegas
The most prominent element of the New Vegas skyline, the Lucky 38 is a pre-War relic and an enduring monument to Mr. House's vision of Las Vegas: luxury without decadence, refinement without elitism, class without snobbery. But to assume that it was just a casino is erroneous, as in the years leading up to the war, Robert House thoroughly modified the building in preparation for the upcoming nuclear war. Accurate long range laser cannons linked to the massive processing centers inside were installed on top of the tower to defend the Mojave against nuclear warheads. An expansive underground storage facility for Securitrons was built into the foundations. But the greatest marvel was the reason behind Mr House's withdrawal from society: a preservation chamber built into the core of the penthouse floor, where the potentate sacrificed his mortal shell in return for immortality. Wired into the Lucky 38's mainframe and its power core, House was ready to face the coming apocalypse, save for one last item: an OS upgrade for the Lucky 38 contained on the platinum chip.
The chip never arrived. Forced to work with an inferior OS, Mr House nevertheless managed to destroy a majority of the warheads aimed at the Mojave, but eventually suffered a critical system crash and was forced into a coma. The Lucky 38 fell silent and for nearly two centuries lay dormant amidst Vegas ruins. Only the odd Securitron, controlled by Mr House after he awoke in 2130, left the premises occasionally to survey the wasteland and bring news of the developments.
The tower came to life in 2274, as Securitron agents detected NCR scouts at Hoover Dam. An army of Securitrons poured out of the Lucky 38, quickly destroying hostile tribals on the Strip and securing the location. Mr House then struck a deal with the three largest tribes, providing them with clothes, tools and supplies from stockpiles in the Lucky 38 in return for renovating the city and preparing for the arrival of the NCR. The Lucky 38 once again became a symbol of New Vegas, as the domain of its mysterious leader. No one set foot inside the tower ever since.
As of 2281, the Lucky 38 remains closed. No one knows what is inside, while Robert House prepares his bid to make Vegas into an independent wasteland superpower. Key to this plan is the Securitron army and the Lucky 38's reactor, which, if given a proper jolt of energy, can become an essentially limitless supply of power for the entire city of New Vegas, making it independent of power deliveries from Hoover Dam.
Only entered during a brief presentation, by either Mr. House or Yes Man, of the Mk II Securitrons' equipment, the Lucky 38 basement holds the on-site nuclear reactor and an in-door firing range for Securitrons. This area is largely walled off by force fields except for a spectator section.
Inside the front door is the casino floor, with gaming tables and slots that cannot be played. The empty cashier's room is to the left. The many gun cabinets within are safe storage, which provide an alternative to the storage in the Presidential Suite (since your companions will take items from those). Above the cashier's room is a VIP lounge, where a terminal can be found that is used in the quest The Moon Comes Over the Tower.
In the center of the floor is the elevator. Victor must be spoken to in order to use the elevator so long as House is alive, but otherwise the player can operate the elevator directly.
The cocktail lounge is near the top of the Lucky 38, beneath the penthouse. Companions are not allowed inside, and will be left waiting in whatever room you entered from. The room is filled with empty tables, cash registers with small amounts of pre-War money, unplayable slot machines, and other assorted miscellaneous items. There is a Average-locked safe with some decent loot inside, and a hard locked briefcase. The Test Site Snowglobe can also be found here, tucked behind one of the cash registers. There is also a Hard locked briefcase containing C-4 plastic explosive x3, detonator and a silenced .22 pistol with some ammunition. This could be related to a pre-War plot to take over or even blow up the Lucky 38.
The penthouse is the highest level of the Lucky 38. Companions are not allowed inside, as with the cocktail lounge. Mr. House's control center is located here, down the stairs to the left of the elevator. Jane is right in front of the elevator, waiting to accept any snowglobes you've found. To the right is a bedroom. The shelves are stocked with numerous pre-War books.
Unlike the cocktail lounge, there is a wall which prevents people from circling the entire room; this conceals the elevator to the control room. A terminal to open it is to the left of House's control center, which requires either a Science skill of 75, the Platinum Chip, or the Lucky 38 VIP keycard to operate. Inside are two Securitrons which will be hostile, since using the terminal turns all the Securitrons against you.
The Presidential Suite is made available to you as soon as you've spoken with House the first time. It's fairly spacious, consisting of five rooms. There is the master bedroom (this holds your owned bed), the guest bedroom (the two beds here are not owned), the kitchen and dining room, the study, and the bathroom (which has clean water). The fridge has some food in it, and various drinks are present. All of the storage within is safe. Through a terminal to the left of the master bedroom, additional storage can be purchased, as well as a workbench.
The Presidential Suite will become your base of operations, since all inactive companions can be sent there in lieu of their original homes. Idle companions will wander around, talk to each other, and occasionally sit in the chairs or sleep. Most notably, however, they will help themselves to anything you leave inside, so long as the items aren't considered stolen and you're in the suite to see them do it. This includes taking items from containers. This is usually limited to food and drink, but they may also take weapons.
- Snowglobe - Test Site - in the cocktail lounge, behind one of the three cash registers.
- A large amount of alcohol, as well as one of the greatest sources of absinthe in the game (next to the Atomic Wrangler), on the center shelves of the cocktail lounge.
- Golden Gloves - at the VIP section, near the access point terminal.
- 2x Boxing Times - one at the VIP section, near the access point terminal, sitting behind the Golden Gloves, and the other on a table in the cocktail lounge.
- 2x Future Weapons Today - one in the games room of the presidential suite, and the other on a table in the cocktail lounge.
- 2x Today's Physician - in the bathroom and master bedroom of the presidential suite.
- True Police Stories - on a table in the cocktail lounge.
- 2x Jake Juice – on a table in the presidential suite.
- (hard) Locked Brief-case; In the Cocktail Lounge from elevator entrance, third table & couch set-up to the right, in front of the circular window. Items in briefcase: .22LR ammunition, .22 silenced pistol, ¡La Fantoma! mag, C-4 explosive, detonator, pre-War money, psycho.
- Victor explains that companions are not allowed to visit the penthouse. This holds true even if Mr. House is killed or incapacitated. This also applies to the cocktail lounge. The companions will remain wherever the player left them (usually the casino level or the presidential suite) in "wait" mode. The player must return to them and request that they follow using the companion wheel before they will follow again.
- The poster of the Lucky 38 in 2025 shown in the game's opening sequence is not actually there in-game. This is probably an oversight by the developers.
- The Lucky 38's roof is fitted with lasers designed to shoot down missiles during the Great War.
- The Lucky 38's reactor is powerful enough to allow a signal to be sent as far as Fortification Hill to activate the Securitron vault.
- The casino and presidential suite may appear very darkly lit with Screen Effects set to None or Bloom. Choosing HDR fixes this.
- In the cocktail lounge, you can see friendly icons on your screen indicating that it is right below the penthouse floor.
- Most of the items in the casino can be taken without karma loss.
- The design of the Lucky 38 makes it impossible for the second elevator to Mr. House to exist.
- The whole casino can be used as player housing as all storage containers on all levels are safe.
- Strangely, when you shoot the doors of the Lucky 38, it makes the same noise of glass being shot.
- Upon leaving the Lucky 38 for the first time, all non-player characters will be looking at the player character and will comment on how he/she was the first to be seen coming out from it. They will also receive some fame on the Strip.
- The Lucky 38 sign appears to have graffiti on parts of it. The second "V" in revolving appears to be crossed out and replaced with a "T", so it says "revolting cocktail lounge" instead of "revolving cocktail lounge".
- If the player uses the complimentary voucher bug to climb the front of the Lucky 38 above where the player enters, they can go under the 38 and a computer will be present.
- Strangely, there are four oversized doors that can all be used to access the Lucky 38, although when you walk in there are only two doors that go out.
The Lucky 38 appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- The Lucky 38 main floor assets (including lighting, meshes, texturing, props such as chairs, barstools, wall light fixtures, potted plants) as well as their placement were done by Kristen Altamirano.
- David Lieu created the tileset and handled the propping and lighting in House's penthouse.
- The name "Lucky 38" is a reference to the 38 numbers on a roulette table. The sign looks like a stylized roulette wheel and betting layout, and the tower top is modeled after a roulette wheel. Pre-War posters for the Lucky 38 have the slogan; "Take her for a spin!".
- The building resembles the real-life Stratosphere Las Vegas and the Space Needle, as well as the now demolished Landmark Hotel and Casino.
- Wiring up the El Dorado power station prompts this remark from either House or Yes Man
- Yes Man: "This gadget I'm handing you is called an override module! Mr. House had two of these made years and years ago - just like him to think ahead! Take the module to the El Dorado Substation and attach it the power control terminal! I'll handle the rest!"
(Yes Man's dialogue)
- Robert House: "Between the Strip and HELIOS One lies the El Dorado electrical substation. Humble as it appears, the substation has immense strategic value, for it's there that you'll jumpstart the Lucky 38's dormant reactor. Gain access to the substation's control room and install this override module. Just so you know, there are NCR troops guarding the station."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "I think I'll be leaving."
Robert House: "You are the first person to step foot inside the Lucky 38 in over 200 years. It was not an invitation I made lightly. We have a serious matter to discuss, concerning a contract you have yet to fulfill."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What's this about a dormant reactor?"
Robert House: "The strain of defending Las Vegas from annhilation exceeded my power systems' capacity. My primary reactor shut down. For years, I played a miser with my emergency power supply. I began to run out of reserves around the time I woke the first batch of Securitrons. Negotiating an allotment of power from Hoover Dam was crucial. That's what's powered the Strip for the past seven years."
The Courier: "Why didn't you restart the reactor earlier?"
Robert House: "I needed the operating software on the Platinum Chip to bring it back online. And to start the reactor itself requires a tremendous jolt of current. Very attention-getting. The NCR has its hands full now, of course. I doubt they'll raise much of a fuss."
The Courier: "You already have power. Why is this important?"
Robert House: "This is not a good time to be dependent on energy from Hoover Dam. When the Legion attacks, the NCR may cut power altogether. And I'll be needing a good deal more power than the NCR has allotted to the Strip. Broadcasting encrypted VMQ-boosted command signals to hundreds of Securitrons eats up more power than you might expect."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.341-343: "[2D.02] Lucky 38 Casino
The towering superstructure of the Lucky 38, which has been the base of operations for Mr. House for as long as anyone can remember (even the non-feral Ghouls), the giant monolith seems more like a well-maintained mausoleum of Pre-War Vegas glory once you enter. Though it is not an active casino, it is an enduring monument to Mr. House's vision of Las Vegas: luxury without decadence, refinement without elitism, class without snobbery. This is still the ultimate lure of Vegas: the one that tells anyone that they too could be a winner, just like Mr. House. Even with multiple wings and floors shut off, the rare visitors that enter the premises soon understand that the Lucky 38 is enormous.
This is the most prominent location in the Mojave Wasteland skyline, and should be used to situate yourself when wandering. Waiting outside the foot of the giant tower is Victor, who cheerfully beckons you in the first (and subsequent) times you visit."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- Robert House: "As you can see, Vegas is humming along. I've tested my c3i broadcasting arrays. Everything is in order. And just in time, as it turns out. The forces of Caesar's Legion are on the march, establishing a staging area east of the dam. Their assault could begin at any moment. So that's where you'll be heading, if you're ready - Hoover Dam."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- Kristen Altamirano's website
- David Lieu's portfolio