188 trading post
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With regret comes a girl... smiling sad, brown robe, name Veronica, half here. Wraps her and her heart up like a pack, in the pack, a key, some say.
Forecast: Cloudy, with a chance of friendship.”— The Forecaster, Fallout: New Vegas
The 188 trading post is a trading post set up at the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 95. It's a major crossroads for traffic to and from New Vegas and Hoover Dam and an important location in Fallout: New Vegas.
Originally nothing but an ancient highway interchange, the confluence of Highways 95 and 93 has always seen much traffic, especially after the NCR moved into the Mojave around 2274. However, a trading post wasn't established here until the late 2281, when a pair of traders from Primm set up shop here after the NCRCF prison break forced them to flee the city and the wave of escaped convicts. Samuel Kerr and his daughter, Michelle, chose this location after realizing just how much traffic was going to flow up Highway 95 to Vegas now that the I-15 was shut down, adding to the usual troop movements between Hoover Dam and Camp McCarran. Capitalizing on their experience in Primm, they established the 188 Slop 'n Shop, offering food, water, supplies, and repair services to travelers.
It was a bullseye. Within a month, the 188 trading post became a bustling hub of commerce frequented by soldiers, merchants, and Republican citizens either heading to New Vegas with pockets full of caps or limping shamefully back home with naught but the shirts on their backs. Even the Gun Runners took notice and set up shop at the post to coordinate caravans in the field, with an independent arms merchant selling her wares out of the back of an Army truck up top. It's not known which of the Kerrs came up with the ingenious proposition to name the post after the highways (95 added to 93 gives 188), but the name caught on well.
The 188 has two distinct levels. The overpass is where the Kerr's Slop and Shop shack is set up, with Samuel and Michelle alternating shifts at the counter. Michelle is the designated merchant, while her father offers repair services and foodstuffs. Veronica Santangelo is found near their Slop and Shop, patronizing the tables. On the other side of the overpass is the arms merchant, near the old Army truck. The lower level is in the underpass, with Alexander and the Gun Runners in the makeshift office at the north end. The Forecaster sits against the western wall, surrounded by items that help him focus. Travelers needing a break can make use of the free beds in the trailer parked on the overpass.
The 188 is an NCR location and has an Army garrison present. The soldiers are typically regular troopers, but are replaced by NCR heavy troopers equipped with heavy incinerators and super sledges as the Second Battle for Hoover Dam nears.
- Veronica Santangelo: Journeyman Scribe of the Brotherhood of Steel (Mojave chapter). Unarmed combat specialist, grants the Scribe Assistant perk.
- Samuel Kerr: Food and repair services.
- Michelle Kerr: Weapons, ammunition, and food.
- Arms merchant: Weapons, ammunition, weapon mods, apparel, and miscellaneous items.
- Alexander: Weapons, ammunition, weapon mods. His offer is typically unique when compared to the regular Gun Runners shop.
- Ezekiel: A Followers' scholar, tied to the Great Khans.
- The Forecaster: A gifted child with psychic pwoers.
- Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap: Behind the bar.
Behind the scenes
- The 188 is a messy area, with rushed and confusing design, featuring many added, then disabled NPCs and numerous abandoned ideas, consistent with it being one of the earliest locations to be implemented in the game and quickly finished to move on to other ones.
- Alexander has only one bodyguard in the final game. In fact he was supposed to have at least one more, and their AI packages would cause them to alternate guarding and sleeping so that he has a bodyguard at all times. One works the day shift, the other the night. There are actually TWO such bodyguards set up for both eventualities (for a total of four altogether), but only one of each kind is actually used in the game (and in the final game the night shift guard is disabled). Possibly these were supposed to be used as a random pool but never were.
- Similarly there are also lots more civilians that were intended to be used here. There are three different NPCs for both "civilianHopeful" and "CivilianUnhappy" dispositions. The different kinds of civilians have different dialogue topics where they either praise or disparage the NCR and Vegas. In the final game there are only one of each present on the game map at the 188. They are both disabled and can never be seen.
- The unhappy civilians have a lot of dialogue, including an interesting topic where they have the ability to beg the player for caps. This dialogue fork has a lot of different options, but it has a tiny chance of ever being seen - it's a random topic like the rest of their dialogue. It's possible these lines were intended for dedicated beggar characters, but this was never finished properly if so.
- The merchants here were supposed to have a water brahmin. For some reason this was placed on the map but disabled.
- There are two of each kind of NCR trooper (regular or power armour depending on the game's story progression) placed here, but in the final game only one of each kind is enabled.
- There are also several out of work mercenary characters killing time here. In the final game they are disabled.
The 188 trading post appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.396-397: "[5.02] 188 Trading Post
Formed after the Powder Ganger break-out down at Primm [4.17] forced traders northward, the intersection of the 95 and 93 (hence "188") is now a bustling Trading spot, catering to the NCR from Boulder City [3.32] and Hoover Dam [3.33] as well as offering good connections down the 95. Start on the eastern side of the intersection."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)