11 best missions in Fallout: New Vegas

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Holy crap! The time has almost arrived - Fallout 4!

Not long ago we counted down the top 11 missions in Fallout 3, which you may want to read before moving forward. Anyway, there's no better time to look back at previous Fallout games, plus it can help serve as a reminder as to why we love the series so much.

So today we're going to look back at the very best missions from Fallout: New Vegas, a game every bit as awesome as Fallout 3, maybe even better.

11. Ghost Town Gunfight

We're starting with a somewhat straightforward mission but one that set the tone for everything to come. 'Ghost Town Gunfight' is one of the first missions in New Vegas, not long after your character wakes up from being shot in the head.

Upon entering the dusty town of Goodsprings, you learn that a guy by the name of Ringo stumbled through recently and said he was being chased by a gang known as the Powder Gangers. From here you can choose to help Ringo (possibly with the townsfolk) and fight off the Powder Gangers when they come to Goodsprings, or you can side with the Powder Gangers and gain their respect.

You don't know it at the time but this early mission telegraphs what is to come - choosing sides and fighting to liberate or crush the good people of the Mojave.

10. Come Fly With Me

I know not everyone loves this mission, particularly because it is a lot of "go here, get that, come back, go again." However, the pay-off to this quest is one of the most memorable in the entire game.

The plot begins when you reach the REPCONN Test Site and are greeted by a gravelly voice on the intercom. Eventually you meet up with the voice and it is that of Chris Haversam, a deluded human man living with ghouls. The leader of the ghouls, Jason Bright, explains that he, Chris, and the ghouls have been planning for years to reach the "sacred place." Where that is, exactly, is debatable but the common assumption is the Moon. Anyway, you have to clear the facility of Nightkin, find atomic fuel, fix the rocket thrusters, and bring 3 Sugar Bombs, in order to get the rockets working.

Once the rockets are in working order you have the duty/joy of telling jerk Haversam that he cannot accompany the ghouls on their journey. Then you make your way to the viewing platform and initiate the launch sequence. Watching the roof open up and the rockets take off is the type of sight rarely seen in Fallout, and it gave you the feeling that you'd accomplished something. Sadly one of the rockets thrusters malfunctioned and it flew off in a different direction and likely crashed but that only made the mission more memorable.

9. One For My Baby

And for the third mission in the list we have another from early in the game. After leaving Goodsprings you ventured off into the wasteland to discover, survive, and hunt Benny. On the way from Goodsprings to New Vegas, you most likely encountered the motel shanty-town of Novac, I mean, it's pretty hard to miss with that giant dinosaur at the gate.

Despite being one of the smaller towns in the game, Novac is chock full of zany characters, bizarre goings-ons, and great quests. The most important quest of all though is 'One For My Baby' -- which sees you get a companion, assuming you play it properly that is.

So you enter the Dinosaur and go up to the mouth, which is wisely being used as a watchtower. The night guard is a surly guy named Boone, who isn't much of a talker. Eventually you will find out that Boone is pissed because his wife was sold to slavers, and he wants you to find out who in Novac made the deal. Long mission short, you steal the slaver bill of sale from the safe at the front desk of the Dino Dee-Lite motel. Once you find out who sold Boone's wife you can lure them out in front of the dinosaur, wearing Boone's beret so that he knows, and allow him to snipe the persons head off.

Not only is this a very cool mission that involves slave trading, espionage, treachery, and murder, but it results in you getting a companion that can shoot from long-distance. 

Birds of a Feather

'Birds of a Feather' is a mission in which you have a short-lived career as a bouncer, then trek far across the Mojave in search of a female companion, who you then send to her death, and finally oversee a weapons deal that turns south.

The Van Graff's are one of the main gangs on the New Vegas Strip, and 'Birds of a Feather' is your primary altercation with them. The reason this mission makes the list is because of how morally grey it leaves you feeling -- should you really have fooled Rose of Sharon Cassidy into coming with you, only to get her killed? Of course you have the choice to fight the Van Graff's but that option is basically suicide and Cass usually dies anyway.

'Birds of a Feather' encapsulates the Fallout experience; making difficult choices that might leave you feeling dirty afterwards but which ultimately benefit you.

For Auld Lang Syne

This mission can be a tricky one to trigger, and as such it can be easily missed. To start this mission you must have Arcade Gannon as your companion and he has to trust you (with 2 trust points). The mission also only begins when you've reached a certain point in the main quest. Eventually, should all those stars align, Arcade will tell you about his old pals in the now-defunct Enclave, who could help out the NCR in the battle for Hoover Dam.

So the quest consists of you travelling across the wasteland and trying to find and recruit Arcade's buddies. You will likely meet one or more of these citizens on your journey but you will have to go to Novac, Jacobstown, Cannibal Johnson's cave, Westside, and NCR Sharecropper Farms. Once you've rounded up the remnants and meet up at the old bunker, they ask if you want them to aid you against the Legion, or the NCR. Whichever option you choose will make one or two different characters leave and you can't change that.

So this is another mission that sees you recruiting for the big upcoming battle with the NCR or the Legion, or both, at Hoover Dam. This is a fun one that is easily missable but it has genuine ramifications on the endgame and your companion.

Nothin' But A Hound Dog

This here is another mission that you may not see on too many 'Top 10' lists but it makes our list (of 11) because of the freedom of choice it offers and the outcome.

The mission begins when you talk to The King at his School of Impressions on the New Vegas Strip. The King tells you that there's something wrong with his dog, Rex, and asks you to speak to Julie Farkas. Once you've spoken to her you will be off for a trek up the mountain to meet Dr Henry. The doctor at Jacobstown explains that Rex needs a new brain. From here you can choose one of four new brains, from living dogs in the wasteland, each giving you various perks.

The first brain is at the Gibson scrap yard, which can be bought for 700 caps or, of course, by force. This brain will give Rex +25 attack damage and the Faithful Protector perk. The next brain belongs to a mutt by the name of Violetta. This brain offers +50 movement speed and can only be obtained via murder. The third belongs to Lupa, a regal dog owned by The Legion. Should you want Lupa's brain, which grants Rex a +10 damage threshold, you must fight her in the arena with nothing but a machete. The final brain is that of an NCR guard dog that is only available at a particular time and grants no bonuses.

Once you choose the brain and obtain it, Dr. Henry will implant it in Rex and give him a new leash of life. See what I did there. Horrible puns aside, the quest ends with The King allowing you to take Rex with you as a permanent companion and, truth be told, he's probably the best one in the game.

Volare!

There's a few missions in the Fallout series that I regard highly because, during the mission, things happen within the world that seem impossible. Basically, the wasteland in the Fallout games is very static and unchanging - there are no weather effects, no set-pieces, and it all looks fairly drab. So when things do happen in the world, it always takes me by surprise - blowing up Megaton being a good example.

One of these moments happens in 'Volare!', although on a smaller scale. So once you've gained the trust and good will of the Boomers faction, old Pearl will tell you about the dream she has of raising the old B-29 bomber from the seabed where it lies. From here you talk to a few around Nellis Air Base and get the necessary equipment to go raise the B-29, including a rebreather that allows you to swim indefinitely. Then you go to the spot on the map where the plane is said to be, swim down and find the old girl in her resting place. After attaching ballasts to both wings you swim back to shore and hit the detonator; there's the dull boom of an explosion, and seconds later the B-29 bursts through the surface.

I was expecting to attach the ballasts, then head back to Pearl and have her tell me the plane was retrieved. However I got to see the plane rise from the grave and rest on the water, it was a really simple thing compared to games like Uncharted, Call of Duty or Tomb Raider, but that's part of the brilliance of Fallout,  a world where the small becomes meaningful. This mission is made even more important and memorable when, during the fight for Hoover Dam, you get to see the B-29 fly overhead in all her glory and drop bombs....but more on that later.

Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

This mission is all about justice and revenge. There are a lot of better missions in Fallout: New Vegas but few feel as satisfying as 'Ring-a-Ding-Ding!'

After chasing Benny, the douche that shot you at the beginning of the game, you find out that he's at the Tops Casino, and once you gain entrance to the Strip you can confront him. But, seeing as this is Fallout, you don't have one option, you have several. You can run in and immediately shoot Benny in the face, which I'm sure many did. Players can speak with the casino owner, present evidence of Benny's guilt, and get him taken care of. You can also talk to the coward, who asks you to meet him upstairs to discuss a deal - which he of course does not show up to. Instead his goons do while he tucks tail and runs to Caesar's Legion.

Personally I was a fool and agreed to speak to him upstairs. After killing his goons I was enraged even further and made it my mission in (Fallout) life to kill the rat. When you arrive at Caesar's Legion you discover Benny, kneeling on the floor, hands tied. Caesar offers for you to kill him there and then, or to throw him into the arena with you and fight man-to-man. I chose the latter and beat Benny with my bare hands. I was more than satisfied with this option and hearing his smart-aleck quips as I punched his stupid face was the best end to the bitter rivalry.

Arizona Killer

In how many games do you get to kill an important political figure? Well, quite a few actually. However the mission 'Arizona Killer' is a fairly unique one, for Fallout anyway.

The mission begins with Caesar giving you instructions to off the New California Republic President, Aaron Kimball. After receiving some armour and suggestions to rig a bomb, you make your way to the Dam and, Assassin's Creed style, blend into the crowd. Before Kimball lands on the stage you have some time to decide how you want to kill him, and prepare to do so.

The ways you can kill Kimball are vast and fun to do over and over. Of course you can take the classic sniper approach and pick off Kimball from a distance. However, there's a number of very creative options you can choose from. For example, you can use your science skill to rig an anti-aircraft gun to shoot down his Vertibird before it lands. You can also sabotage the Vertibird's computer system, so that it crashes when it attempts to take off. Other options include planting a bomb on the Vertibird, sneaking up on him using a Stealth Boy and using a good 'ole Power Fist, using a Fat Man from distance, or even planting C4 in an NCR soldier's hat, who is being decorated by Kimball, and detonating it when they're shaking hands.

This is a fantastic mission that gives the player a plethora of choices, some quick and easy, others more challenging, and some downright hilariously dastardly. 'Arizona Killer' is easily one of the best missions in Fallout: New Vegas.

Beyond the Beef

I think, perhaps more than any other mission, 'Beyond the Beef' showcases why we love Fallout so much. This mission has everything; mystery, crime, secret societies, hierarchy, and even cannibalism!

As part of your recruitment mission to find help for the Hoover Dam fight, you're tasked with enlisting the White Glove Society, who occupy The Ultra Deluxe resort on the Strip. The Ultra-Deluxe is possibly the nicest place in all of New Vegas, it's super clean, white and everyone is well dressed - it feels like a pocket of civilized society has been revived. So you'll speak to Heck Gunderson, a decidedly out-of-place farmer who is looking for his son. You offer to help find his son and go speak to a receptionist by the name of Marjorie, who explains that not only did a bride recently go missing but that the White Glove Society was once cannibalistic, however the practice is now forbidden.

From here you speak to the manager, Mortimer, who you can drag answers out of. Turns out Mortimer wants to turn to Society back to their old ways and he has a plan for doing so; Mortimer is going to serve human meat to the society and not tell them until after it is eaten. Hence, why people have been going missing. Of course you can either help Mortimer or stop his insanity, change the meat from human to animal and allow him to expose himself, or even kill someone else, use their meat and save Heck's son, thus appeasing everyone.

There's actually more ways to do this mission as well but for time's sake I'll just say that it's a very diverse mission that is very unique and Fallout-y - full of moral dilemmas and morbid hilarity. It frankly doesn't get much better than 'Beyond the Beef', and not just in New Vegas but all of Fallout.

So why isn't it number 1?

All Or Nothing/ No Gods No Masters/ Veni Vidi Vici

Because the last mission is mind-blowing. Similarly to Fallout 3, New Vegas went all out for the last mission and did everything to make the frame rate plummet!

The final mission focuses on the battle for Hoover Dam, the winner of which gets control of the New Vegas Strip, and therefore the Mojave. This mission and it's overall effect on the entire game, from beginning to end, is one of the reasons I think it's probably a better game than Fallout 3. I say this because Fallout is a series about choice; the moment you emerge from the Vault, or Dr. Henry's house, the world is entirely yours to explore. And the main quest in New Vegas is all about choice.

It's a power struggle, you're the middle man between the NCR, Mr. House, and Caesar's Legion. But unlike most video games, you aren't forced into choosing a side and being the lacky, you can take a side or you can screw everyone over and take the glory for yourself. Whichever way you approach the mission, it's a sight to behold!

The fight on the dam is literally awesome. Caesar's soldiers are fighting NCR troops, explosions are raging, the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave remnants, Securitrons, and whoever else you recruited, are doing their thing. Then the amazing spectacle of the Boombers B-29 flies overhead and drops bombs on the Dam, significantly changing the battle. After that, you can fight Leate Lanius, war monger of Caesar's Legion, and/or General Oliver of the NCR. So you either take control of the dam for Caesar, retain it for the NCR, destroy it, or connect it to Mr. House's mainframe. The outcome is yours to decide and having such varied options makes for fantastic replay value.

And that's it, the very best Fallout: New Vegas has to offer. Those 11 missions are all fantastic, and of course there are tons more that could have made the list but these 11 encapsulate the Fallout experience better than all the rest.

Fallout: New Vegas is an incredible game that came out just 2 years after Fallout 3, developed by Obsidian, not Bethesda. In many ways it is a better game than Fallout 3 and gives players an insane amount of choice like few other games have. It begins with you being shot in the head and buried in the ground, and ends (depending on your choices) with you as the king of New Vegas. It's a fantastic story arc and immersive world like few others.

Fallout 3 is seven years old. Fallout: New Vegas is 5 years old. Fallout 4 arrives in less than 24 hours. Go outside, maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air, spend time with loved ones and generally live life, because that all goes out the window tomorrow. However, take always take a few minutes break and come visit GameSkinny!

Published Nov. 8th 2015

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