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Mojave Wasteland

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Mojave Wasteland
Mojave Wasteland.jpg
An NCR Ranger Veteran overlooking Vegas.
People
FactionsCaesar's Legion
New California Republic
The New Vegas Strip
The Chairmen
The Omertas
The White Glove Society
Freeside
Followers of the Apocalypse
The Kings
The Van Graffs
Westside Cooperative
The Crimson Caravan Company
The Gun Runners
Boomers
Brotherhood of Steel
Goodsprings
Great Khans
Novac
Powder Gangers
Primm
Bright Brotherhood
Jacobstown
State of Utobitha
Fiends
Greasers
Jackals
Scorpions
Vipers
LeadersMr. House
President Kimball
Caesar
Courier
Maps
MojaveMapBW.jpg
 
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Bull and Bear over the Dam, at each others throats... but a light from Vegas? Ball spinning on the wheel, more than two at the table, placing bets.

All lose in different ways, a dam of corpses, towns of corpses, scattered across the sand. But whose, in what shares? Even the dealer doesn't know.

Forecast: A rain of blood will flood the desert and not purify it.

The Forecaster, Fallout: New Vegas

The Mojave Wasteland is a region based on the remains of the Mojave Desert, and is the primary setting of Fallout: New Vegas.

Background[edit | edit source]

Compared to the Capital Wasteland (and perhaps surprisingly, given its reputation for nuclear testing), the Mojave survived the Great War relatively unscathed, but not for lack of trying on the part of the Chinese. At the culmination of the Sino-American War, 77 atomic warheads were launched at the city of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas, but due to intricate defense systems set in place by wealthy businessman Mr. House, 59 were forcefully disarmed mid-flight, 9 were blasted out of the sky by a laser guided missile defense system atop the Lucky 38 Hotel & Casino, and only 9 hit the surrounding desert.[1]

In the years since, the Mojave has largely been ignored by the developing post-apocalyptic civilizations: the New California Republic in the west, and Caesar's Legion to the east, thus allowing enemies of such civilizations, raiders, slavers, the Brotherhood of Steel, and super mutants, for example,[2] to prosper there. For years, Vegas sat at its heart, decayed by almost two centuries of neglect. But when NCR advance scouts reached Hoover Dam with the intent of expanding the NCR's borders, pre-War Securitrons rolled out onto the old Las Vegas Strip and rallied the three tribes occupying the city, claiming to act on behalf of Mr. House, the man who had saved the city in decades prior. By the time NCR reached Vegas, the city was in full working order, and the NCR returned to Shady Sands with tales of an oasis of light in the middle of the desert. An arrangement was made by the Treaty of New Vegas in 2274, whereby the NCR were given 95% of Hoover Dam's power output and McCarran International Airport as a regional headquarters, and the Strip, (and secretly Mr. House) retained its sovereignty, as well as the remaining 5% of power.

Since then, the combined armies of 67 conquered tribes had arrived from the east, led by Caesar and his Malpais Legate, seeking a city to call their capital. The Legion launched a massive initial attack on the Dam and the NCR troops stationed there, but were repelled by the NCR. Most of the credit went to Chief Hanlon for issuing a tactical retreat to Boulder City and luring the Legion into a trap that leveled half of the town, then routing the surviving Legionaries back across the dam, which ultimately led to the execution of the Malpais Legate. The outcome of the battle created a delicate balance of power, whereby the tensions between the three big powers in the region (the Strip, the NCR and the Legion) are the only factor keeping one another from attempting to seize total control of the region; should one attack the other, the third would take advantage of the conflict and attack in turn.

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Due to the fact that few bombs hit the west coast, rebuilding society was much easier. Buildings are more intact, which also includes pre-War factories. This has allowed businesses such as the Gun Runners and Michael Angelo's workshop to continue to run and operate. Technology is more well preserved, thanks to the lack of nuclear fallout, and items like the neon signs that dot the New Vegas Strip, the monorail within Camp McCarran, or the massive generators of the Hoover Dam, are now being repaired to proper working order.

Everyday society is equally as stable in some areas and not in others. While small time traders and traveling merchants along the Highway 95 and the Long 15 make a decent living, it is little compared to that of the larger and more organized traders and caravans with plenty of both manpower and firepower, and those that have managed to acquire pre-War technology, such as the Crimson Caravan Company. With the expansion, though, corruption and oversight is still in the air as trading monopolies abound as small time suppliers that are either bought out by larger companies, or simply cannot keep up with the competition.

The denizens of these wastes have survived as semi-nomadic tribes and hunters, with farmland and towns few and far between. However, with the foundation of the Strip and the arrival of both the NCR and the Legion the region experienced a boom in settled life. Although they never quite gave up their wandering self-reliant nature.

Casinos and gambling are popular among the locals in the area, making the New Vegas Strip a popular hub of activity for merchants, caravans, NCR troopers, opportunists, and everyday people wanting to hit it big at the slots. The main casinos, The Tops, Gomorrah and the Ultra-Luxe, are run by the three tribes that settled in New Vegas, the Chairmen, the Omertas and the White Glove Society, respectively. Each has its own personal rules and customs (other than the universal rule against carrying weapons into their casinos).

Politics, as always, also play a rather large role in the society of the Mojave. The NCR is finding its war with Caesar's Legion both increasingly unpopular back in California, and expensive to fund. As a result, caravans and merchants heading to and from the Mojave deal with exorbitant taxes and fees imposed on them by the NCR. Caesar's Legion is coming ever closer to finding out what happens when their absolute ruler, and god, finally takes sick and passes away. They will soon be faced with the question of what truly unified the Legion in the first place: Caesar's ideals, or Caesar himself.[3] The casinos on the strip have their own agendas and Mr. House has his own mysterious plans for the Mojave and more specifically, The Strip.

Regions[edit | edit source]

Spring Mountains[edit | edit source]

The Spring Mountains are a mountain range of southern Nevada, running generally northwest-southeast along the west side of the Las Vegas Valley and south to the border with California. Most land in the mountains was owned by the United States Forest Service as part of a Southwest Commonwealth Conservation Area. The mountain range is named for the number of springs to be found, many of them in the recesses of the aforementioned Red Rock Canyon, which is on the eastern side of the mountains.[4] Notable locations include, Goodsprings – in the foothills, Little Devil Peak, Mummy Mountain – its second highest point, Mount Charleston – its highest point, Red Rock Canyon, and Vault 22.

Furthermore the Spring Mountains divide the Pahrump Valley and Amargosa River basins from the Las Vegas Valley watershed, which drains into the Colorado River watershed, by way of Las Vegas Wash into Lake Mead, thus the mountains define part of the boundary of the Great Basin.[4]

New Vegas Valley[edit | edit source]

Main article: New Vegas

The Las – or New Vegas Valley[5] is an alluvium basin which trends northwest-by-southeast. It was originally named las vegas (the meadows) by the original Mexican explorers, due to the meadows that made up the valley, fed by several aquifers. All perimeters, except the northwest, are foothills or mountain ranges. Such as the Spring Mountains to the north and west, the Las Vegas Range to the north, McCullough Range to the south, Frenchman Mountain and Lake Mead to the east.[6] Notable locations include the New Vegas Strip, Camp McCarran (both of which dominate the valley), Freeside, Westside, Vault 3, Nellis Air Force Base (at the northeast corner of the valley), Camp Golf and Lake Las Vegas in the southeast.

After Interstate 15 traverses the McCullough Range through Jean Pass before descending into the valley. From there it enters the semi-rural south Vegas area. After passing through first farmland, it then enters the conurbation, roughly dividing the west from the rest of Vegas. As it enters the conurbation it becomes a ditch and moves directly north until just west of the northern half of the Strip where it elevates and turns northeast, continuing over Freeside, and the northern suburbs until it makes a sharp turn directly north before Nellis Air Force Base.

U.S. Route 95 enters the valley just northwest of the 188 trading post and follows the course of the valley. First traveling northwest through Henderson until where it elevates and continues northeast – skirting Frenchman Mountain (which contains Vault 34), until it abruptly turns northwest. From there it continues over the north Vegas suburbs until, just before Freeside it descends to ground level and merges into urban Vegas. Once through Freeside, 95 widens back into a highway and continues northwest, past Floyd Lamb State Park and the Corn Creek Dunes.

River Mountains[edit | edit source]

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Section needed (Biter Springs, Guardian Peak, Devil's Throat, Gypsum trainyard)
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Lake Mead and the Colorado River[edit | edit source]

The Colorado River flows from the Rocky Mountains southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the the lower end of the Grand Canyon before the Colorado widens into Lake Mead, formed by Hoover Dam (north of which is Callville Bay). Crossing the Colorado is U.S. Route 93, passing over the Hoover Dam and into Arizona. After leaving the confines of Black Canyon, the river emerges from the Colorado Plateau into the Lower Colorado River Valley. After passing first Willow Beach and Cottonwood Cove the river flows south past Bullhead City (which borders the southernmost point of Lake Mohave), where it continues south toward Mexico.[7]

The tributary Virgin River flows from the Dixie National Forest through Zion Canyon then southwest through Arizona and Nevada emptying into Lake Mead.[8]

McCullough Range[edit | edit source]

The northern portion of the McCullough Range is volcanic in origin, while most of the southern area is composed of metamorphosed Precambrian rock. The McCullough Range is surrounded by three valleys, the Las Vegas Valley which lies to the north, the Ivanpah Valley to the west, and the Eldorado Valley to the east.[9] Traversing the range is Nevada State Route 164 which begins in the Ivanpah Valley and ends at Searchlight in the Piute Valley. Also traversing the range is Interstate 15, climbing northeast through the mountains, past Sloan (and Hidden Valley, a basin in the range) and into the Las Vegas Valley. Notable locations include Black Mountain – not to be confused with the Black Mountains range, Jack Rabbit Springs, Primm Pass, Scorpion Gulch, Wolfhorn Ranch – in the foothills, and the REPCONN test site.

Ivanpah Valley and western mountain ranges[edit | edit source]

The Ivanpah Valley is between the New York Mountains, the Ivanpah Mountains and the Clark Mountain Range in San Bernardino County, California, and the McCullough Mountains in Clark County, Nevada.[10] To the northwest of the valley is the Mesquite Mountains and Sandy Valley.

The valley itself and its surrounding mountains have several notable locations. These include Primm, Jean, and the Ivanpah dry lake located in the valley; in the mountains is the Mesquite Mountains crater, the infamous canyon wreckage to the Divide, and the Mojave outpost. The outpost is built on Interstate 15, which traverses the mountain pass between the Clark Mountain Range to the north and the Mescal Range to the south. At the foot of the mountains it turns northeast and continues through the McCullough Mountains, passing Sloan and into the Las Vegas Valley. Also at the foot of the mountains however is Nipton Road, which continues past Nipton and into Nevada. At the border it becomes Nevada State Route 164 continuing through the New York Mountains to Searchlight.

El Dorado Valley and the Highland Range[edit | edit source]

The El Dorado Valley is an endorheic basin, bordered by the McCullough Range to the east, the River Mountains to the north-northeast, the Eldorado Mountains to the east – between it and the Colorado River, the Piute Valley to the south, and the Highland Range to the south-southwest. U.S. Route 95 traverses eastern portions of the valley, and climbs steeply to meet U.S. Route 93 (now at the 188 trading post), connecting Boulder City to Henderson.[11] Notable locations include the El Dorado dry lake – a large salt plain and its lowest point, Vault 11, Helios One, and Novac.

The Highland Range and the McCullough Range are separated by a narrow approximately three mile wide valley.[12] This valley is notable for the location of Ranger station Charlie, on Powerline RD. As for the range in the southeast, its notable for a Legion raid camp and the broc flower cave – a pre-War toxic waste dump site.

Piute Valley and the Newberry Mountains[edit | edit source]

The Piute Valley runs north-south, with some of the valley extending northwest from Camp Searchlight. The valley is bordered by the Piute Range to the west, the Newberry Mountains to the northeast, and the Dead Mountains to the southeast. Notable locations include the aforementioned Camp Searchlight, its airport, and the old nuclear test site.

After traversing the McCullough Range Nevada State Route 164 terminates at U.S. Route 95 in Searchlight. From there it continues east as Cottonwood Cove Road through Cottonwood Valley to Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave. To the south of Cottonwood Valley is the aforementioned Newberry Mountains. Which includes a scar from the Great War: Cottonwood Crater.

El Dorado Mountains[edit | edit source]

The El Dorado Mountains, is a north-south trending mountain range. The range is also on the western border of the Colorado River's Black Canyon of the Colorado, and El Dorado Canyon. The El Dorado Valley borders the range to the west, and connects to the Highland and Newberry mountains. Named for the legendary city of gold, the El Dorado Mountains still contains the remains of several mines. Notable locations include Hoover Dam – which spans the Black Canyon of the Colorado, Boulder City, – Nelson, the Techatticup Mine, and the Lucky Jim Mine – in El Dorado Canyon, and the bunker 13.

Vegetation[edit | edit source]

Save for areas like the Divide and the Sierra Madre Casino, plants grow in relative abundance in the Mojave with a wide variety of herbs, flowers, fruits and cacti being encountered commonly in the desert. Plants such as evergreens thrive in the Spring Mountains, while Joshua trees, Nevada agave and banana yucca thrive in the desert. Even glowing and brain fungi are also a common sight in the caverns of the region. The New Vegas Strip even has an assortment of luxurious plants such as palm trees lining Las Vegas Boulevard. However not all plants in the region are plentiful and relishable, for the Mojave is home to abominations as well. Spewing forth from Vault 22 the plants thrive and even kill. This is the second point of origin of the spore plant.

The reason for such a lush and diverse flora (barring Vault 22)? The radiation free and clean flowing watersheds. Especially the Colorado River watershed, for which the NCR is taking full advantage. Such as with the NCR sharecropper farms in the remains of the Las Vegas Conurbation – in the eastern Las Vegas Valley. These are made possible by utilizing the regions pre-War waterworks, such as the many aquifers, Hoover Dam and Lake Las Vegas.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • As a result of the lack of nuclear damage, a large number of native and familiar species have continued to thrive in the Mojave Wasteland. Raven and a variety of other kinds of birds are seen fairly often in the wastes, pecking through debris and vegetation for food. Likewise, there are fish present in Lake Mead and several other smaller reservoirs. Coyotes have also managed to survive in the wasteland with little to no mutation. Despite this, the Mojave wastes are still peppered with mutated species, such as bighorner, brahmin, along with Nightstalkers and cazadors, the last two due to experimentation at the Big Empty.
  • As most of the local citizens left behind their homes, much of the surrounding areas have been left untouched (examples: Vault 22, H&H Tools Factory, etc.), while others have been resettled (examples: Freeside, Novac, et cetera). As a general rule, either buildings have gone into complete disrepair or are being "restored" by the local population.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Mojave Wasteland appears only in Fallout: New Vegas. It is also mentioned in Fallout 4 by Jack Cabot.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The Mojave Wasteland map in the PIP-Boy has a different (larger) scale than the map of the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3. The actual play area is similar or even slightly bigger than the play area in Fallout 3.[13]
  • The sky in the Mojave is astronomically correct; the moon changes phases each day according to the month.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References

  1. The Courier: "What preparations did you make to save Las Vegas?"
    Robert House: "On the day of the Great War, 77 atomic warheads targeted Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. My networked mainframes were able to predict and force-transmit disarm code subsets to 59 warheads, neutralizing them before impact. Laser cannons mounted on the roof of the Lucky 38 destroyed another 9 warheads. The rest got through, though none hit the city itself. A sub-optimal performance, admittedly. If only the Platinum Chip had arrived a day sooner..."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "Okay, what are you supposed to be doing?"
    Hanlon: "To protect against all forms of tyranny. As simple as that. Thirty, forty years ago, the wasteland was full of despots. Slavers. Raiders. Tough-talking hoodlums with gangs who liked to kick around towns. Back then the NCR military was still young. Couldn't cover much ground. It took groups like ours to tip the balance back to the good guys."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "What do you know about the Legion?"
    Marcus: "Caesar thinks he can change human nature. Most of the Legion is following Caesar, not Caesar's ideals. When he's gone, it'll crumble. Might not happen overnight. Might take a few decades. But it'll happen. Basic human nature - greed, ambition, jealousy - will see to it."
    (Marcus' dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Spring Mountains on Wikipedia
  5. New Vegas Valley
  6. The Las Vegas Valley landform on Wikipedia
  7. Colorado River on Wikipedia
  8. Virgin River on Wikipedia
  9. McCullough Range on Wikipedia
  10. Ivanpah Valley on Wikipedia
  11. Eldorado Valley on Wikipedia
  12. Highland Range on Wikipedia
  13. JE Sawyer
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