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Nipton is a town located in the southern Mojave Wasteland that was ravaged by Caesar's Legion in 2281. Ranger Ghost at the Mojave Outpost reports the lack of traffic from their direction, but is equally likely to be encountered by traveling the same road to New Vegas which cuts through Nipton.
A town in San Bernardino County, California, Nipton was originally founded on February 9, 1905 as a stop on the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. Originally called "Nippeno Camp" following a nearby discovery of gold, the name was changed to Nipton when the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad merged with the Union Pacific Railroad around 1910. In addition to being a cattle-loading station for several local ranches, the town and depot also supplied numerous mines in the area, becoming a social center for the sparse population of the region.
Nipton eventually became a small-time tourist destination, offering Nevada hikers and travelers a place to restock, park their RVs, and set up their tents. Those willing to test their luck could partake in the Nevada State Lottery and potentially win a jackpot worth millions of pre-War dollars, while aficionados of cinema could enjoy the nearby Mojave drive-in theater. The state border between California and Nevada ran just outside the eastern exit from the small town, giving it a bit more appeal as a tourist destination.
It would remain a small town even after the Great War, due wholly to Robert House's defense of Las Vegas. In the 23rd century, it gained a seedy reputation under the leadership of Mayor Joseph B. Steyn. Prostitution and thievery thrived under the dubious leadership of the one-time Hub crook. Following the NCR Correctional Facility prison break, Steyn extended a hand to the Powder Gangers letting them know Nipton was open for trade. Luckily, Steyn was able to arrange servicing NCR soldiers in the night and Powder Gangers in the day and keep the two separated. The town's undoing came when Steyn arranged a deal with Caesar's Legion to turn over both NCR soldiers and Powder Gangers to Vulpes Inculta in return for 8,000 caps.
Instead, Vulpes used his small Legion force to round up the residents, including the mayor. What followed was a massacre. Those who resisted were shot. Those that did not were subjected to a lottery. Using Nevada State Lotto tickets, the fate of those gathered was decided. The lucky losers were decapitated, followed by crucifixions, enslavement for third place winners, crippling for the runner-up, Boxcars, and freedom for Oliver Swanick, the sole winner. The mayor was given a special prize: he was burned to death a pile of tires.
The town is aligned along two roads, one passing north-south from the town hall to the Good Luck trailer park, the other passing west-east from California into Nevada. The player is greeted by Oliver Swanick when they enter the town. Swanick can be seen cheering in the distance at first and will automatically engage in dialogue with the player once they come close enough.
The main road branches off towards Nipton Hall and is now lined with crucified Powder Gangers along with decapitated heads on posts and piles of trash set alight. Vulpes Inculta meets the player outside of the hall and tells them to spread the word of Caesar's Legion. After speaking to him the player is granted the quest Cold, Cold Heart. If the player is wearing NCR faction armor, Vulpes and the other legionaries will be hostile and attack on sight.
- Nipton general store is located on the corner of the crossroads in the heart of the town and has a man named Boxcars inside. He will explain the fate that befell Nipton.
- Nipton Hall is the seat of Nipton's government (well, used to be). It has been booby-trapped by the legionaries as a parting gift. Legion mongrels inhabit the town hall. They are automatically hostile, even if dressed as a member of Caesar's Legion, but do not inflict bad reputation when killed.
- Nipton Hotel is a small establishment with four New California Republic troopers murdered by the Legion left to rot inside.
- Nipton houses all have various amounts of loot and differing interiors. There are eight of them:
- Two on the southern side of Nipton Road passing through the town and one on the northern side, on the corner opposite the general store.
- Another pair is just south of the hall, on the opposite sides of the road.
- Yet another two are to the northeast of Nipton.
- And one just by the western entrance to the town.
- Good Luck trailer park is located to the southeast.
Some companions will comment on the crucified townsfolk. Cass, for example, will ask, "Should we cut the people down?" However, the people nailed to the crosses are on the verge of death can cannot be cut down through any means. A bullet is the only way to help them (and will not cause any loss of karma or negative reputation).
- Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap: In the wrecked truck east of Nipton, in the canyon. The truck is surrounded by a few frag mines hidden under traffic cones and used by a gang of Vipers as an ambush spot.
Nipton town hall
- Big Book of Science and two Programmer's Digest: In the Mayor's office, on the desk.
- Worn key: Behind the counter in the entrance hall (note the mine). Opens the first door on the right, leading into the basement.
- Future Weapons Today: In the cabinet behind the Mayor's desk. A Nuka-Cola Victory is behind the average-locked door.
- Salesman Weekly: On the store's counter.
- Milsurp Review: In the apartment upstairs.
- Weapon repair kit: Tipped-over shelf left of Boxcars.
- Opposite the Nipton general store
- Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap: On the bookcase.
- Harry Collins' house
- The Declaration of Vital Essence: Tool cabinet in the kitchen.
- Patriot's Cookbook: In the safe in the bathroom.
Behind the scenes
- Megan Parks was responsible for layout, prop placement, decoration, terrain shaping, and vistas in this location.
- The sadistic lottery imposed by Vulpes is inspired by Nipton's one-time record lottery ticket sales in California, which seems to have persisted in the Fallout universe.
- With the Wild Wasteland trait, there are two additional corpses in the town. Found outside the ruined building near the eastern exit from Nipton, they are named Owen and Beru. The corpses reference the famous scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, when Luke Skywalker discovers that his adoptive parents on Tattooine were killed by Imperial Storm Troopers.
- The Declaration of Vital Essence is likely a reference to "Dr. Strangelove" and General Jack D. Ripper, the deranged commander obsessed with guarding the American bodily bluids and purity of essence.
- There are unused NPC models for the mayor and the two nipton prostitutes (NiptonDeadRoseCF, NiptonDeadSylviaCF) that are only alluded to in notes in the final game. There's also a cut note from the mayor that seems to have been the original source of the location of the secret cache that contains the radiation suits used in the quest 'Wheel of Fortune'. It seems at some point the receipt of this information was moved to the character Boxcars instead.
- Vulpes Inculta has a fair bit of unused dialogue due to botched condition checks. In particular the variable vnipton.knowvulpes is used to check whether the player can see a lot of lines, yet it is immediately set on starting a conversation with him, meaning those lines are cut off forever no matter what (including, most glaringly, being able to ask him who he is!). Vulpes also has his lines duplicated for Gabban, who takes his place if the player kills Vulpes without going to Nipton. However, Gabban has different conditions for these identical lines, relying instead on the player's standing with the legion to determine whether they can be heard or not, which seems a lot more sensible. There are also other lines that are supposed to check the player's standing with the legion that fail as New Vegas sorts through its dialogue topics top down until it finds one that validates, and the first options here have no checks, so cannot be falsified by the game resulting in it always choosing this option even if the second option would have been the correct one.
- Peculiarly the cell that Nipton Rest Stop can be found in has the name "MayorSteyn" in the GECK. Would the character have been found dead here at one stage?
- Ranger Takedown can be used to knock people off the crosses. However, as this is not intended to happen in normal gameplay, they have no new dialogue.
Nipton appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Nipton, California on Wikipedia
- Nipton town marker and cinema location.
- State signs in the town.
- Mayor Steyn's Terminal, Prison Break
- Mayor Steyn's Terminal, High Roller
- The Courier: "How'd your plan go wrong?"
Boxcars: "We get in position and next thing we know, we're surrounded by those fucking Legion freaks. They dragged us and everybody else into the center of town. And that asshole with a dog on his head, he starts talking about how we're bad people! He said we needed to be punished for what we did, not all of us, but some of us. And then he gives everyone a fucking lottery ticket..."
The Courier: "What happened after everyone got lottery tickets?"
Boxcars: "What do you think? He started drawing tickets, and that's how people got punished. First up was the "lucky losers." They got decapitated - guess that's "lucky" because it's pretty quick. Then came the crucifixions. Goddamn but those went on and on and on... Third-place runners-up got enslaved. I got the fuck beat out of my legs, and the winner they let go free."
- The Courier: "How did you survive?"
Boxcars: "Luck, that's how! I'm just that fucking lucky! You're looking at the second place winner of the Nipton lottery! That asshole Swanick took first place, so him they let walk!"
- The Courier: "What happened to the mayor?"
Boxcars: "Him? When his ticket came up, they burned him alive on a pile of tires."
- Megan Parks' portfolio