Thesis and antithesis. The Colorado River is my Rubicon. The NCR council will be eradicated, but the new synthesis will change the Legion as well... from a basically nomadic army to a standing military force that protects its citizens, and the power of its dictator.”
Caesar, born Edward Sallow, is the charismatic founder and leader of Caesar's Legion. He is worshiped by Legionnaires as the self-proclaimed "Son of Mars". He is a former member of the Followers of the Apocalypse and citizen of the NCR. He serves as the central antagonist for three endings in Fallout: New Vegas.
- 1 Background
- 2 Interactions with the player character
- 3 Inventory
- 4 Notes
- 5 Notable quotes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
An educated and highly intelligent man, Caesar is infamous as the most dangerous enemy the New California Republic has faced. Inside the Legion, he is respected for his charisma as well as his brutality. These traits are the main reason such a large, sprawling organization hasn't collapsed into a slurry of small, infighting factions.
But despite the grand persona Caesar has created for himself, he also has a less graceful side. If confronted with his past mistakes, or if he feels that he is not in complete control of a situation, Caesar will reveal his true nature as that of a prideful, megalomaniacal bully with a fragile ego and a hair-trigger temper, and act out in petulant denial and anger or even downright childish spite.
For now, Caesar looms in his fieldbase/headquarters at Fortification Hill, waiting to cross the Colorado River to avenge his humiliation at the First Battle of Hoover Dam and finally annex New Vegas as the capital he feels his empire truly deserves. Two factors have halted his progress. He has a debilitating brain tumor that prevents him from fully administering to the day-to-day operations of the Legion and his interest in reports of a resourceful Courier who's ambiguous allegiance could either be a problem or, potentially, a boon to his efforts.
Born in 2226 near the Boneyard as Edward Sallow, he was once a citizen of the New California Republic. Following the death of his father at the hands of raiders in 2228, his mother sought the protection of the Followers of the Apocalypse. While she worked for the Followers, cooking and cleaning in their Library, the young Edward learned how to read and started taking courses, provided by the organization free of charge. Taught to bring the torch of knowledge to the wastes, Sallow was a student of uneven quality. Though he was highly intelligent, his success in scientific pursuits was only proportional to his interest in the given subject, nor was he particularly popular among his peers, due to his bad temper and narcissistic attitude. For Sallow, the Followers were never an inspiring example, their devotion to scholarship too stifling, their mission of enlightenment too naive.
In 2246, the twenty year old Sallow was an anthropologist and linguist. To benefit from his talents, the Followers sent him east towards the Grand Canyon, on his first expedition. Accompanied by a physician named Bill Calhoun, he was tasked with learning the dialects of the tribes inhabiting the region. On the way to the Canyon, he and his companion happened upon a cache of historical books, including The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and the Commentarii by Gaius Julius Caesar. He studied the books rigorously for two weeks, not yet aware of their coming significance. Prior to their arrival in the Grand Canyon, they met with a Mormon missionary, Joshua Graham. Already an accomplished scholar of dialects, Graham was supposed to teach Sallow about the local languages. But before that could take place, the Blackfoot tribe captured the three scholars for ransom.
The tribe was a sorry sight, weak and insignificant. Worse for the hostages, they were at war with seven other tribes, outnumbered and bound to lose. Unwilling to sink with them, Sallow decided to take certain steps. Objections from Calhoun went unheard. Sallow taught the tribe how to properly maintain their firearms, how to properly shoot targets, how to reload ammunition. The next step was teaching them how to make explosives and drilling in small unit tactics. All based on books Caesar read as a young boy. Once they were ready, Sallow led them against the Ridgers, their weakest enemy. When the tribe refused to surrender, he ordered every man, woman, and child killed. No exceptions were made. The Blackfoot moved on under Caesar's lead, surrounding the Kaibabs tribe. Upon their refusal to surrender, Sallow took their envoy to the ruins of the Ridgers' village. The piles of corpses were a shocking sight to a tribesman who only knew tribal strife, with the occassional raid, raping, and pillaging. This was total warfare.
The Legion is Born
The Kaibabs surrendered, then the Fredonians, then all the remaining tribes. Caesar was acutely aware that the root cause of all the problems were tribal identities, leading to internecine conflict and preventing any substantial recovery. He knew what had to be done. He had to erase all traces of tribal identities and replace them with a single, monolithic culture. A year later, in 2247, when his confederation was large enough, Sallow crowned himself as Caesar, leader of the Great Tribe: the Legion. He deliberately patterned it after Imperial Rome. One of the reasons was that this ancient European culture was completely foreign, alien to the ignorant tribals he was subjugating. Second, he considered Rome's highly militarized autocracy adept at integrating conquered cultures the perfect template for a society that could adapt to the challenges of the post-apocalyptic world and thrive, institution prosperity and peace: a new Pax Romana. The Legion would be a nationalist, imperialist, totalitarian, completely homogenous culture that would focus on long-term stability at all costs.
He soon began putting his words into practice. Calhoun was sent away to the NCR as a messenger, and to warn them against interfering with Caesar's plans. Graham became the Legion's first Legatus. In the decades that followed, the Legion secured holdings in both Utah and Colorado, while the entirety of Arizona and a sizeable portion of New Mexico were brought under its control. Tribes were forcibly assimilated into the Legion, while cities and their inhabitants lived on as subjects of the Legion. Since 2250, Caesar styled himself as the Son of Mars, divinely ordained to subjugate the world to his will.
The War with the NCR
Conflict with the Republic was inevitable. For Caesar, this wasn't just petty ambition. He sees himself as Caesar returning from his conquest of Gaul and the NCR as the corrupt Roman Senate. It's a textbook example of Hegelian dialectics, where the thesis and antithesis conflict, creating a synthesis when the conflict is resolved. When the Legion conquers the NCR, it will be transformed from a republic crippled by bureaucracy, corruption, and gridlock into a highly efficient military dictatorship. The Legion will become a standing army protecting all the citizens of the new empire and the absolute power of its dictator.
Quite understandably, the New California Republic was not willing to roll over and surrender. Following a series of skirmishes and smaller battles (most notably the destruction of Fort Aradesh out east), the Legion forced a confrontation. In 2277, the Legion faced the NCR at Hoover Dam, in what became known as the First Battle of Hoover Dam. Discovered by Ulysses, a frumentarius, the Dam was a symbolic Rubicon. Caesar's 68 reformed tribes attacked the Dam under the lead of Joshua Graham, following a series of deep raids on NCR territory by small groups of skirmishers and sabotage actions by the Frumentarii. However, Graham's elite troops were drawn into a trap laid by Chief Hanlon of the New California Republic Rangers. As General Lee Oliver's soldiers held the line, Rangers and Army sharpshooters targeted their commanders, sowing chaos in Legion ranks. When the Legate ordered his elite forces to punch through and pursue Rangers decimating his officers and sowing chaos in the ranks, the Rangers and 1st Recon sharpshooters retreated into Boulder City. Elements of the Army and Rangers kept the Legion engaged long enough to allow the most experienced legionaries to enter the city. When they did, the Republic's forces pulled out of the city. Once most of them were safe (soldiers and Rangers trapped behind Legion lines had to be abandoned, they triggered explosives packed into the buildings in advance. Chief Hanlon's plan went off without a hitch: The exploding buildings acted as giant fragmentation bombs, killing and maiming most of the legionaries and leaving the rest in a state of shock. The Army and Rangers followed the detonation with a counter-attack, destroying the Legion on the western side of the Colorado and forcing the Malpais Legate to retreat from the Dam. Flanking attacks at Camp Golf and other camps in the Mojave were similarly repulsed. The Malpais Legate returned to Caesar in shame. To demonstrate that failure is not tolerated, even at the highest of ranks, Caesar ordered Graham to be burned alive. The former Legate was covered in pitch, lit on fire, and thrown into the Grand Canyon. This was the worst defeat in Legion's history.
Graham was replaced by Legate Lanius, who embarked on a campaign of expansion eastward to subjugate further tribes for the Legion and gather forces for another confrontation with the Republic. Over the next four years, Caesar rebuilt his army, creating the finest possible blade with which to cleave through the Republic. The Legion's increasing power was accompanied by a noticeable decline in Caesar's health. Once healthy, his face became sunken and sickly, his nature more reclusive. But the worst were the headaches, increasing in strength and frequency, affecting his ability to lead. Although they remained silent, the decline was visible to his officers, but Caesar denied these problems, lashing out at any queries.
By 2281, Caesar returned to Fortification Hill at the head of 87 tribes, determined to take the Dam this time and claim New Vegas as his Rome. Caesar is playing his cards more cautiously this time, and will not give the order for Lanius to attack the Dam until he can unearth the contents of the vault sealed beneath his base in the Mojave, neutralize the ruler of New Vegas, Robert House, and Brotherhood of Steel, assassinate NCR President Kimball, and forge an alliance with the Boomers, Great Khans and the White Glove Society. Perhaps most importantly, Caesar is plagued by a brain tumor.
A case can be made that Caesar should have an evil (or very evil) alignment, but he also exists in a bubble that insulates him from what he's doing. Caesar does what he does because he feels that it is contributing to a better society”— J.E. Sawyer on Caesar's alignment
Aside from military defeat, Caesar's greatest fear is being exposed as a fraud. Most members of the Legion, excluding some of the most trusted ones, are oblivious to the fact that the Legion's culture is based on books about ancient Rome – they believe that all of the customs enforced by Caesar were dictated to him by Mars himself. Those who claim otherwise are viewed as ultimate blasphemes. While some of the newly captured slaves are skeptical, they don't tend to be vocal about it, and their children are taken away from their parents to be raised by Caesar's priestesses. Secretly, Caesar still doesn't feel like a real Emperor of Rome – with his loose nation of savages, he still thinks of himself as merely a barbaric king of the Gauls. Caesar desires two things: a Carthage, and a Rome; by seizing New Vegas, Caesar felt that he would finally be able to elevate his Legion into a legitimate nation by giving it its own "Rome" by destroying the NCR, Caesar's "Carthage" – transforming them from a nomadic army into a true empire; a militaristic, imperialist, autocratic, culturally homogeneous empire whose ruler holds undisputed power - a "Pax Romana" which would prevent humanity from ever fracturing itself again.
He regards the NCR as only an extension of the corruption that existed during the Old World and that it is ultimately doomed to repeat the same mistakes. He sees in it similar attributes associated with the Roman Republic before Julius Caesar seized power; extensive bureaucracy, corruption, senatorial infighting and filled with a people driven solely by greed and personal gain. It exists as the antithesis to the Legion and as a catalyst for change that only a confrontation with it can bring; a clash he sees as an inevitable product of Hegelian dialectics. The conflict is a vital one, not only for the future of his Legion strategically, but also philosophically; the NCR is the first of his enemies to which he is truly ideologically opposed and the first that can truly test the Strength of his Legion, as well as his philosophy.
In his view, the NCR does not have a long-term solution to the problems of the Wasteland - the bombs had reset humanity's progress and he believed the time had come to rebuild it into something new. He argues that NCR is weakened by its democracy, and that it was at its strongest when under the dominating rule of its second president – Tandi – whose popularity was such she remained leader of the NCR for most of her lifetime as the senate would never dare oppose her. He was taught to venerate her as a child and observes that she was ultimately more of a Queen than an elected official and that it is similar centralized power that a new civilization needs.
Interactions with the player character
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Render Unto Caesar: From here on out, the Courier can choose to work for Caesar and thus the Legion.
- Et Tumor, Brute?: Caesar has a lethal brain tumor that he desperately needs remedied.
- The House Always Wins, Wild Card: You and What Army?: When the Courier comes to The Fort, Caesar believes he has another pawn to use. He orders the Courier to go to the underground weather monitoring station and destroy the Securitron vault. When Mr. House or Yes Man contacts you from within the bunker and tells the Courier to activate all the Securitrons, the Courier can. The resultant shaking of the ground fools Caesar into thinking you destroyed whatever was there.
- Return to Sender: If Caesar has been killed, the Courier can complete the quest without Chief Hanlon killing himself.
- I Forgot to Remember to Forget: If Caesar is killed, 2 companion points are gained, which helps gain access to the Craig Boone's personal quest.
Effects of the player's actions
- If the player has completed Restoring Hope or I Put a Spell on You (on the NCR side), Caesar will mention how you have been so much trouble for the Legion. This also happens by completing Birds of a Feather, killing Dead Sea (can be done with or without completing Restoring Hope), breaking the alliance with the Khans in Oh My Papa, brokering peace between the Kings and the NCR as part of Kings' Gambit, completing How Little We Know in Cachino's favor, or killing Vulpes Inculta.
- If none of the above actions have been taken, Ceasar will offer compliments if the player has done quests or done certain tasks detrimental to the NCR, or completed quests for the Legion before meeting Caesar such as completing Cold, Cold Heart, unlocking Archimedes II for yourself in That Lucky Old Sun, killing or releasing Silus in Silus Treatment, and completing We Are Legion.
- After Caesar has gone to lie down and told the player to leave him alone. If the player ignores him and speaks to him again, he will call on his Praetorians and they will attack you.
- Caesar will turn hostile and send his Praetorian guards to attack if the player refuses to work for him twice.
- Caesar's ailment can be inquired about if your Medicine skill of 40, but sometimes the pain will bother him enough that he will cut the conversation and lie down. You can talk to him, mentioning that you believe something is wrong, after which he will lie back down and warn you not to speak to him again until the following day.
If the player manages to kill Caesar the effects on the game are fairly minor, (although the Legion ending is massively changed), due to the fact that Caesar, as the leader of the Legion, no longer directly participates in combat.
- Julie Farkas exclaims "So, the great Caesar is dead ..." and goes on saying that she doubts that it will have much effect on the imminent attack.
- If you talk to Mr. House about killing Caesar before he dies, Mr. House will reply that "[He] does not want you to touch one hair on that man's head, assuming you can find one." He says that Caesar provides a good distraction for the NCR.
- If you kill Caesar while working with Mr. House on the various "The House Always Wins" quests, you can return to Mr. House and tell him that Caesar is dead. Mr. House simply notes that this has a "minimal" impact on the battle for Hoover Dam, and offers no reward or punishment for the action.
- If you kill Caesar, Mr. New Vegas will say "it is still unknown how the assassin managed to evade security."
- If Caesar is killed with Boone as a companion, Boone will smugly say "Thumbs down, you son of a bitch!", a reference to the gesture that is commonly thought to have called for the execution of a failed gladiator in ancient Rome. He will subsequently have further dialogue options when selecting the "Talk" option. He will also talk about the death of Caesar having little effect on the attack on Hoover Dam, but admits, on prompting from the Courier, that he still enjoyed it immensely. You will also gain two points to use toward Boone's quest I Forgot to Remember to Forget.
- If the player speaks to Lily, she will remark that Leo thinks there will be more people to chop up and that the player should be careful.
- There is dialogue with the Legate at the end of the game, stating "So, Caesar giving orders from beyond the grave?" - an indication that Mr. House is right, and Caesar's death was no more than a minimal setback. However, House will also note that Lanius is a poor leader compared to Caesar, and predicts that within a year of his death the Legion will be torn apart by infighting.
- Caleb McCaffery greets you with "All hail the slayer of Caesar!"
- Marcus remarks that the Legion follow Caesar, not Caesar's ideals, and that when Caesar dies the Legion will fall apart—though perhaps not immediately.
- Most NCR troopers will say: "Wish I could have been there to see Caesar die. What an asshole."
- Chairmen at The Tops will state "That's the guy/gal who killed Caesar!"
- Francine Garret states "here's one on the house for taking down Caesar, serves him right for treating women like livestock," and gives you a free bottle of liquor.
- James Garret will also give you a free bottle of liquor, like his sister.
- Some travelers on the Strip will comment, "Now that you've killed that Caesar bastard, the Strip's really going to bloom."
- White Gloves in the Ultra-Luxe will coment, "I hear you killed Caesar, is it true, that he wore a toupee?
- If Caesar is killed, Sergeant McCredie at Camp Golf will compliment the Courier on a great job, and Mags will say "I hear Caesar's dead, and we have you to thank for it... nice work."
- In Honest Hearts you are able to tell Joshua Graham that you saw Caesar die. He will not react much to the news but he will admit that he thought he would die before Caesar. He also remarks that Caesar's death is good news for the Mojave, and states that without Caesar's leadership the Legion will eventually fall apart. However, you cannot do the reverse, as killing the Legion's former right hand man (or even leaving him alive) brings no dialogue options with Caesar.
- At the end of Lonesome Road if you speak to Ulysses after the epilogue you can tell him that you have killed Caesar, he isn't angry despite his former allegiance to the Legion. He states that the East may fall apart in time but that it's to soon to tell what will happen, but he states that unless you do the same to Lanius he won't thank you.
|Platinum Chip (if Benny survives the confrontation at the Tops)|
Drops on death
- Members of the Legion pronounce Caesar's name /ˈkaizar/, the classical Latin way, emphasizing the diphthong. Legionaries who knew him before the Legion, as well as most other wastelanders, pronounce it as the Anglicized /ˈsiːzər/.
- Caesar is one of the characters that the player must eat in order to earn the Meat of Champions perk.
- Surprisingly, Caesar has a level of respect for Aaron Kimball, calling him "a man of potential". He believes that Kimball would have been more powerful and had more control over the NCR if he had have seized power, instead of being elected.
- If you pickpocket Caesar while he sees you, he will automatically go hostile (his inventory doesn't open).
|The following is based on Fallout New Vegas cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
- In Honest Hearts, there remains an unused model, although possibly used for Honest Hearts intro slides, of Caesar named NVDLC02CaesarYounger. The only difference between the model used in Fallout: New Vegas and this model is that the unused model has a comb-over.
|End of information based on Fallout New Vegas cut content.|
- "Yet we are at the throat of the Great Bear. Victory is at hand."
- "I was taught it was my responsibility to bring the torch of knowledge to the wastes. I may have taken the torch part more literally than they intended."
- "As an anthropologist and linguist, my assignment was to learn the dialects of the Grand Canyon tribes. What a fucking waste of time!"
- "If you think it's worthwhile to make smart people learn how to talk like backward savages, you're a Follower of the Apocalypse... or an idiot."
- "I showed them total warfare. Like I said, there's a lot you can learn from old books."
- "So that's what I did, once my confederation of tribes was large enough. I crowned myself Caesar and created a single Great Tribe - my legion."
- "We have cities of our own, but nothing compared to Vegas. Finally, my legion will have its Rome."
- "Thesis and antithesis. The Colorado River is my Rubicon. The NCR council will be eradicated, but the new synthesis will change the Legion as well... from a basically nomadic army to a standing military force that protects its citizens, and the power of its dictator."
- "The NCR has all the problems of the ancient Roman Republic - extreme bureaucracy, corruption, extensive senatorial infighting."
- "If there's anything I've learned as a Follower of the Apocalypse, it's that there's a lot of good information in old books."
Behind the scenes
- John Gonzalez wrote Caesar and J.E. Sawyer asked for Caesar to present his rationale in the framework of his interpretation of Hegelian dialectics.
- Metzger, the leader of the Slavers Guild from the Den, was initially named Caesar.
- While Caesar claims to be a son of Mars, the historical Julius Caesar claimed to be descended from Venus.
- Caesar, unsurprisingly, possesses a number of parallels to his historical counterpart. For example, the historical Caesar actually suffered from a condition similar to the one depicted in-game. He had headaches, blackouts, and sometimes even seizures. In terms of appearance, Caesar is balding and has an Aquiline nose, a sign of nobility in ancient Rome. One thing of note is that Caesar is 55 years old in 2281, and the historical Julius Caesar died at the age of 56 on March 15, 44 B.C.
Can you explain the similarities between Mr. Kurtz, and Caesar?
Both are men of intelligence and education who traveled from a life of relative comfort, technological wizardry, and "civilization" into a wilderness full of warring people with relatively low education and a relatively "primitive" lifestyle. Both rose to power and were essentially deified for their intelligence, knowledge and leadership capabilities. Both cut off communication with the outside world and lived in their (until now) remote, savage kingdoms, using the most brutal means possible to deal with rare instances of dissent. Both have an "unusual" way of looking at the world due to their cultural isolation.
Unlike Mr. Kurtz, Caesar's reign continues for a long, long time.”— J.E. Sawyer
On a related note, at least one source of real-world inspiration for Caesar was Charles Taylor of Liberia. Charles Taylor is a real dude. For real. Go read some of the trial transcripts where his war crimes are detailed. The shit that went down in Liberia (and Sierra Leone) on his command makes F:NV's Caesar's Legion look moderately cruel.”
I've never thought of Caesar's or the Legion's activities as "edgy". For their own purposes, they engage in a variety of horrible practices that others have engaged in throughout history. I'm sure individual players might want to engage in ranking atrocities -- something I've never really found was productive in discussions about history -- but Caesar and his crew in the same league as other brutal warlords. He was inspired (on our end) by people like Charles Taylor, Timur, and Simon de Montfort (the crusader). "Caesar" is a persona he adopted, but he effectively operates as a warlord with no regard for individual human lives outside of how he can use them.”
Caesar and Vault Boy in the achievement/trophy for Render Unto Caesar