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Reputation image from Fallout: New Vegas.
Novac? Nice enough place, I guess, but just between you and me, when I rolled into town, my skin started to itch. Watch yourself.”— Victor, Fallout: New Vegas
Established alongside Highway 95 before the Great War, the town of Novac was once just a small, nameless stopover point for travelers looking for a restroom, a motel, or a coolant refill, particularly on the way to the REPCONN test site. Dinky the Dinosaur and the "World's 2nd Largest Thermometer" were novelty roadside attractions, to help attract customers. After the war wiped the slate clean, the settlement was abandoned for the better part of two centuries, until it gained a new lease on life in the first half of the 23rd century, around the 2230s-2240s.
The settlers gradually cleaned up and restored the area. The fledgling town was named after the neon sign advertising the motel. Of the name, arrow, and the No Vacancies sign, only the arrow and No Vac remained. Though it lacked access to natural resources, its proximity to the REPCONN test site and the seemingly inexhaustible supply of salvage allowed the town to generate a stable supply of pre-War technology, scrap, and other goods to caravans passing up and down the highway. The arrival of the Bright Brotherhood around 2281 and the feral ghouls that blocked the road to REPCONN facilities have caused concern that this might threaten the town's livelihood. However, the recent increase in caravan traffic up Highway 95 has given the town an additional source of income, due to the virtual shutdown of I-15. In fact, some denizens expect Novac to become Nevada's next boom town.
However prosperous it might be in the future, Novac's denizens aren't too trusting of transients and non-residents in the present. This is due to the proximity to the front lines along the Colorado and Legion and other raiders skulking in the south-eastern Mojave, particularly after the loss of Nelson and Camp Searchlight. Although not a territory of the Republic, the NCR Army extends its protection to the town as a vital stopover point for caravans. Permanent protection is provided by two NCR Army veterans, Craig Boone and Manny Vargas, who use the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex statue as a watchtower to eliminate any would-be troublemakers at range. The only other potential law in the town, Ranger Andy, is a retiree who recently hurt his leg falling down the stairs in the motel.
Novac occupies a crossroads on the western side of a major Highway 95 interchange, leading east towards Nelson and west towards the REPCONN test site. The west side contains the residential houses, including Jeannie May Crawford's house, the McBride house, and two more Novac houses. There's also a small water tower with a swampy, irradiated area to the northwest, No-bark's shack by the road exiting north, and a mess tent set up just across the street from the Poseidon Energy station by the motel.
The Dino Dee-lite Motel is the centerpiece of the area, featuring three accessible bungalows (Ranger Andy's bungalow and Cliff Briscoe's bungalow) and seven accessible rooms, including Boone's room and Manny Vargas' room. One can be purchased from Jeannie May Crawford at the Dino Dee-lite front desk for 100 caps or received for free as a reward for reaching the Accepted reputation in the town. Of course, there's also Dinky the T-Rex, which contains the Dino-Bite Gift Shop, ran by Cliff Briscoe, and the town's watchtower up the stairs.
The town has good infrastructure, with a workbench and a reloading bench in the garage of the Poseidon Energy gas station, and another in the makeshift shack near the water tower. There are also three lootable graves, two by the boarded-up home north from Crawford's house, and another one near the water tower. Two campfires are located in walking distance, one in a cave west of the water tower on the hillside and another at Gibson's shack, north and a little west behind Gibson scrap yard.
List of buildings
- Jeannie May Crawford, motel proprietor
- Ada Straus, local doctor
- Cliff Briscoe, local trader
- Bruce Isaac, New Reno singer
- Manny Vargas, town sniper
- Craig Boone, town sniper
- Daisy Whitman, former pilot
- No-Bark Noonan, local beggar
- Alice McBride and Dusty McBride, local ranchers.
- Ranger Andy, retired NCR Ranger
- Generic Novac settlers
- D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine: On the bed in Ranger Andy's bungalow, must be stolen.
- That Gun: Dino Bite Gift Shop, can be purchased from Cliff Briscoe or stolen from the store room. It's located on a metal shelf behind all the rocket souvenirs.
- Two Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps:
Behind the scenes
- A dead generic raider can be found dead on the eastern side of Novac, one of the only raiders in the entire game with no faction allegiance.
- Perhaps tied to the above is the fact that Novac was the first cell developers constructed because it's more advantageous to not build tutorials around areas that you're going to end up scrapping in the end, and due to game engine fluctuations. Notably, Novac has no equivalent in the real-world, as the interchange between routes 96 and NV 165 is empty. The roadside attraction is inspired by Baker, California, which holds the world's largest thermometer, and clearly takes some inspiration from Claude Bell's Dinosaurs.
- Novac's script was written by Eric Fenstermaker.
- A tumbleweed may appear and freeze in the middle of the road near the motel, remaining fixed in place.
Novac appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.410-412: "[5.18] Novac
Before the war, this community was a small hamlet built as a refueling and restroom break along Highway 95, with extra tourists coaxed in to gaze at the settlement's main attraction: Dinky, a huge metal dinosaur biting "The World's (2nd) Largest Thermometer!" Some of the locals are friendly folk, though most are distrusting of outsiders. They appreciate the protection of the NCR, but are afraid of what's going on at the REPCONN Test Site to the west. The local law, Ranger Andy, is unable to investigate due to an injury, and periodic intrusions by Ghouls and the odd Viper from the hideout down the road."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- The Courier: "Have you lived here a long time?"
Alice McBride: "Oh! Well I'm Alice and you've already met my beau, Dusty. He's sweet, ain't he? I don't care what my mama said, I know how to pick 'em. (Oh! Well I'm Alice and that handsome stranger yonder is my husband Dusty. Going on fifty years, now.) I keep waiting for him to leave me for some young thing with platinum blonde hair and hoop earrings, but he still sticks around. Says it's my cooking. I think it's because I know which Brahmin udder you can milk without getting kicked in the noggin. We set up this ranch years back when Novac was just getting settled. But now with all the danger on I-15, folks are starting to come through here from all over. Novac might just be the next Nevada boom town."
(Alice McBride's dialogue) Note: The sentence in parentheses is spoken if the player has not talked to Dusty McBride before interacting with Alice.
- The Courier: "What do you need?"
Manny Vargas: "Novac, it's home for me now. I want that to be for good. I like it here, and I've left too many homes behind. But the only resource we got here is junk. Without that, people wouldn't have anything to trade. They'd all have to leave. We get most of it up the road from the old rocket test site. But a bunch of ghouls showed up one day and took it over. We can't get in there now."
(Manny Vargas' dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas endings#Slide 21: Novac: 6 "While the destruction of the REPCONN rockets appeared to be a boon to the salvagers of Novac, the benefit would never be realized. Radioactive fuel from the wrecked ships seeped out and contaminated the area. Salvagers were forced to move on, and the town was abandoned." Note: Complete Come Fly With Me by sabotaging the rockets.
- Joshua Sawyer on Formspring October 29, 2011: "For the planned Legion territories, why were they cut from the main game?
Time. Re-scoping the size of worldspaces can be very problematic, so we developed areas essentially in a loose radial pattern, working out from Novac (the first area we developed). Because the Legion camps were on the other side of the Colorado River, they were scheduled for late development because the natural barrier presented by the river meant that cutting off access would be relatively easy. Unfortunately, that's what we wound up doing."
- JE Sawyer on Formspring
- baby goat: nevada/utah/colorado/wyoming/montana trip '09: the post