Reputation image from Fallout: New Vegas.
Freeside is Kings' turf. Remember that.”— a King
Freeside, built from the remains of Fremont Street, is the main slum of New Vegas in 2281. Controlled primarily by the Kings, the streets are dangerous and lack the luster of the New Vegas Strip. It is not uncommon to be targeted by thugs in this neighborhood.
Las Vegas wasn't heavily damaged during the Great War, but people didn't immediately settle into the remnants of the old city. The various tribes that emerged years later hunted and fought amongst themselves within the ruins, but it was not until the "return" of Mr. House in 2274 that they ceased most of their hostilities and became employed by House, renovating the dilapidated New Vegas Strip. Mr. House made an offer to the three largest tribes willing to listen to him, which would in time become recognized as the Three Families. They quickly set to work using House's sizable quantities of pre-War construction materials to build the crude (but effective) outer walls that separate The Strip and Freeside from the rest of New Vegas.
While House valued the area around Fremont Street, he ultimately viewed it as secondary in importance to the Strip itself and had a second, inner wall that separated the two areas. When the NCR prospectors (and eventually the army) arrived in the region, people typically went straight for The Strip, leaving "Freeside" (as it had become known by locals) as an informal stopping point. Eventually Mr. House recognized that he could use Freeside as a filter for undesirables, and pulled his favored tribes and all Securitrons into the Strip, leaving Freeside to fend for itself. Everyone that refused to join House in his efforts were pushed out into the Freeside buffer zone by his Securitrons; if required, deadly force was utilized to encourage displacement. Those that remained in Freeside wanted a place of their own, where no one could tell them what to do and they did not want to go elsewhere to seek this freedom. These people settled in Freeside and made it their own. According to The King, the de facto leader of Freeside, "that's really all Freeside is, the best of a bad situation."
In the two years that followed, 2274 - 2276, Freeside had slowly degenerated into a hostile, lawless den of ne'er-do-wells. For a while, it was completely without order, but two power groups managed to come to an understanding about how the area needed to be maintained. The Kings, formed from the dispossessed remnants of unfortunate tribes around 2276, prevent all-out-chaos from erupting, but do little to deal with the day-to-day nastiness that Freesiders inflict on each other. Their leader, appropriately named "The King", knows everything that goes on in Freeside, holds the most influence in the neighborhood and has been having his gang keep the peace in his "kingdom". The Followers of the Apocalypse, no longer associated with the NCR, settled in the Old Mormon Fort. They receive some protection from the Kings in exchange for help with the community's basic needs, including food, water, health services, and some education. Despite the supervision from the Kings, and help from the Followers, the people in Freeside live in daily peril from each other as well as outside forces.
Section needed (The Locals and Squatters Relationships // the Kings and Van Graffs relationship)
This section is needed but has not been written yet. You can help The Vault by writing it.
Freeside is centered on the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street and is divided into two sections via a gate. The first section is C shaped and comprised of the western, northern, and eastern parts of the district. This section is the first you can enter from the Mojave as it has both of Freeside's external gates. Several rough bodyguards stand near the gates, offering their "protection" on the mean streets for a paltry sum of caps.
Points of interest in this section include:
- The Old Mormon Fort, the base of operations for the Followers of the Apocalypse, which is just inside Freeside's north gate
- Mick & Ralph's, which is just inside Freeside's east gate. Ralph sells a fake passport to the Strip if The King gives permission, or if you have a Speech skill of 50. Outside the store, a pair of children can sometimes be seen running around the streets, a boy and girl. The boy, named Max, is chasing Stacey with his "toy gun", which in reality is Euclid's C-Finder, a unique energy weapon that is powered by the Archimedes II satellite.
- Cerulean Robotics, which can be found in the western part of this section.
- A ruined store which holds an NCR food distribution center, also found in the western part of this section.
The second section covers the central and southern parts of the district. This section is reached from the north by passing through a wrecked-vehicle roadblock that divides the two parts of Freeside, or from the north-west through a zone door at the back of a ruin building between the Silver Rush and the Atomic Wrangler Casino, or from the south via the The Strip North Gate.
Points of interest in this section include:
- The King's School of Impersonation, home of the Kings
- The Atomic Wrangler Casino, run by the Garret twins
- The Silver Rush, an energy weapons shop and base of operations for the Van Graffs
Campfires can be found up by the north gate to the New Vegas Strip. As you face the gate, the fenced off area guarded by Securitrons is flanked by empty lots. In each of these lots is at least one campfire.
- Freeside streets
- If you achieve the rating of "Merciful Thug" in Freeside, Freeside thugs will not attack you.
- The drunks in Freeside have a unique animation where they lean against the wall and vomit; an NCR trooper will also use this animation when you first enter the New Vegas Strip.
- If you reach Accepted in reputation an unnamed King will come to you and give you either a few bottle caps or a random aid item every time you come in.
- If you have an Unpredictable reputation a local will approach you and tell you that Mick & Ralph would like to offer you a discount, so long as you: "Keep making waves".
- If you kill the giant rat that the group of kids are chasing they will eat it, using the cannibal animation. If you talk to one afterwards they will thank you.
- If you have a good reputation/karma with the Kings they will aid you when being attacked by local thugs.
Behind the scenes
- There are glimpses of different iterations of Freeside visible in the game's scripts. Initially Freeside was a single large worldspace. This bigger map would feature a lot more NPCs, and in particular a very neat touch where travelers would constantly enter at the North gate to head to the strip, explaining how all the people in the Strip got there (this code and its trigger is actually still in the final game and can be triggered, however a debug line deliberately makes the conditions for travelers to spawn impossible, and the trigger code is commented out. It also assumes Freeside is still one worldspace). However, this setup was too demanding for consoles and caused memory/performance problems. It seems the next iteration solved this by using triggers to activate/disable NPCs as the player approached/left an area. These scripts also give us an idea of what and where NPCs were originally placed, although this may have only been implemented once the area was split. In the initial iteration the Mormon Fort was also on the same map - this can be seen on the freesideworld map where the remaining LOD doors are shown completely open. Eventually things must have reached a head and the original plan was abandoned, with the map now split into two halves and the Mormon Fort closed and made into a seperate worldspace. If they didn't exist before, the enable/disable NPC triggers existed in this iteration. However it's clear this still didn't solve the performance problems (or perhaps it simply caused too many bugs by itself - fleeing npcs would disappear if the player chased them past one of their triggers). In the end the majority of NPCs were simply removed, and things that relied on the area being one persistent worldspace were removed or dummied out as well. This includes the travelers and a further scene with Orris' favourite customer getting a new bodyguard once G.I. Blues is completed.
- A huge amount of effort and expense was put into recording dialogue lines for locals, squatters, and other special NPCs in the area. This was unfortunately largely wasted effort as in the final game all squatters are removed save a handful in the NCR ruined store and even then their dialogue conditions are broken making them only able to say one single line of their lengthy dialogues. Most locals cannot say ANY of the dialogue as conditions don't allow it, and some potential local NPCs have the wrong voice type to say their lines anyway. In the final game there are only two local NPCs on the map. There were also lines recorded for Ghoul locals (both male and female), however ghouls are not included in the pool of NPCs that can be locals. There are also lines for generic child locals other than the rat chasers. There are in fact two different sets of dialogues for locals, covering different topics. However, they clash somewhat, as in one set many of the locals sound sluggish and drunken, whereas the same characters in the other set sound sharp and alert. This may also be why this particular set was disabled (unlikely, they were just botched to be honest). There are also several drunk characters near the east gate. These are all disabled in the final freeside, and indeed none appear at all in the entire game. They have unique dialogue and make use of the many special idle markers for them nearby. Many of the NPCs in the drunk pool do not have the right voice type however, and so cannot say any lines. Finally there are several unique (disabled) bodyguards near the East gate, and a final one by the north gate who is deliberately disabled.
- Peculiarly there is a buried minefield at the very edge of the map near the guard tower where the NCR/Pacer face-off takes place. It seems the mines here were just dumped against the fence when it was decided they were no longer going to be used. They are both disabled but also hidden under the ground so cannot be triggered. These mines are actually present on all the Freeside maps were they were copy and pasted over once the map was split but it seems they went unnoticed when things were then cleaned up. Even stranger there is only one of these buried mines in use properly in the entire game, a single one located near Cook Cook in Fiend territory.
- There are also two more unused dialogue factions for Freeside locals - vFreesideLocalAngryDialogueFaction and vFreesideLocalDepressedDialogueFaction. These would presumably work the same as the similar factions/NPCs at the 188, and add extra lines for NPCs of the above dispositions. These dialogue factions are actually assigned to NPCs ingame, but have no corresponding dialogue to go with them so do nothing. All of this combined with the above make it even more of a shame that the vanilla game only features TWO locals on the entire map - there was clearly an insane amount of effort and imagination put into the planning for them.
- There are two more unused NPC types - Pickpockets and Beggars. There were to be two pickpockets on the map, charmingly nicknamed "Roger the Codger" and "Bitter Bob" as visible in VFreeFormFreesidescript. A very basic script for pickpockets exists, and full dialogue exists in VfreeformFreeside2, but has no recorded voice lines. No actual NPCs exist, but a faction exists. Beggars are in the game code, and consist of 3 old men. They have no dialogue and are not placed on the map. They seem to have two conflicting behaviors; there is an idle marker called VFSBeggarMarker that would make them stand up and beseech people for caps, but there's also a sitting down AI package which is the default package they all have.
- Strip gate rushers would randomly spawn instead of travelers. These were to be drawn from a random pool including ghouls. In the final game the traits of these characters are not inherited, so the one single rusher left in the game (the one that appears when Old Ben is first talked to) has a weird looking placeholder face/body.
- Originally there were three children chasing the rat. The retail release reduced this to two, and a subsequent patch left just one child.
- There were supposed to be lots more Kings around. There are unused patrol routes for the Kings all over the area, and lots of unused King NPCs. In particular, at some stage there would be large groups of patrolling kings, the NPCs VFSKingsPatrol01Follower (etc) are set to follow the NPC VFSKingsPatrolLeader, but in the final game the leader is the only NPC used.
- Interestingly there are lots of kings set up with the name "exterior", (e.g.VFSExteriorKing01). These are next to the NPC VFSExteriorGateKing which is used for the Kings outside the gate. Were these NPCs going to be Kings found OUTSIDE Freeside? The old enable/disable scripts also show there were originally several Kings members guarding the water pump, not just one.
- There are three interesting disabled NPCs in Freeside and the surrounding area linked to a cut quest/follower. These are Betsy the Brahmin, Tom Dooley, and Kevin Hargrove. They are all part of an unnamed quest that would eventually net the player Betsy as a permanent follower. There is no dialogue for any of these characters (save a few lines for the player to say to Betsy), but script notes paint a reasonably clear picture of what would go on (if not the character's motivations). BetsyTheBrahminScript is pretty much the sole source of what would happen in this quest, but it's clear a) Betsy was located in a pen outside of Freeside's North gate (the wire "gate" on one side is named as such) b) the player could buy Betsy from Kevin Hargrove (who therefore must be nearby, almost certainly sitting at the nearby floor idle marker), and the player could also barter for a better price. Once this happened the player would own Betsy and she would presumably act like a normal companion. However, once the player slept anywhere, a check would run, and if the player had put more than 50 items in Betsy's inventory, she would run away back to Kevin. At this stage the items would be put in the shop inventory of another character called Tom Dooley (this name is clearly a reference to the folk song of the same name about a soldier who killed his lover) who would hang out near the North gate bodyguards in Freeside (he would possibly be hawking his wares to the passing (cut) tourists). Once this happened Betsy's name would also be set to a generic "brahmin" name, which suggests this was all kept secret from the player. It's unknown what would happen next (save the player getting their stuff back), but there are variables for Betsy to be "Hired for real, won't run away", so she presumably would have been a true follower character like Rex etc.
- Rotface's tip about a guy selling stuff of dubious origins is likely a hint about the above quest. In the official strategy guide it's claimed it's related to Mister Holdout, but this doesn't make any sense. There's nothing significant about him selling weapons nor does the game ever bring into question where he gets them from - he's quite open about what he has for sale. Tom Dooley however is selling some very interesting "second hand adventuring gear" - it's the player's! Rotface also claims the character in question can be found on "the main drag", and while this could be a reference to the strip, Dooley can also be found on the main road in Freeside leading up to the Strip. Finally there's the fact none of Rotface's tips directly relate to anything in the Strip itself (has he ever even been there?). Why would this one be any different?
- The rat chasing children originally had much more complex behaviour. VMS49GunplaySCRIPT shows how they would sneak up on a rat as well as get tired chasing them. There is an unused ai package that would also make the children display the same "tired" behaviour as the script originally contained, but this is unused, it seems the idea was just abandoned. Looking at the original script it seems the intention was to have more than one rat as well.
- Dixon the drug dealer originally had two extra bodyguards with him. They are present but disabled in the final game. Their inventories also reveal something else interesting - despite being armed with varmint rifles, they carry .22LR ammo. This is almost certainly due to that weapon originally using this ammo, and later being rechambered to 5.56mm for balance reasons. Dixon also has two unused AI packages that would make him travel to both Jacob Hoff and Bill Ronte during the quest to get them off drugs. These were presumably removed once Freeside became two worldspaces.
- The lights here only turn on from 8pm till 11:30pm. This is clearly to emphasise that Freeside is poor and cannot afford to have the lights on all the time. You can of course route power here during 'That Lucky Old Sun', and it's likely this was supposed to make the lights stay on all night. This doesn't happen in the game, and there is no code in order to do so.
- There are a LOT of unused heading markers in the little detour area Orris takes the player around. They are marked with names such as VFSRandom6aSP4. Presumably the "SP" part stands for Spawn Point, and these would be spawns for some kind of random characters - likely some of the random NPCs designed to wander the area before they were removed. In the final game none of these spawn points are used by anything at all.
- The telephone poles in Freeside all have metal plates with "TES-04" stamped on them. This is a reference to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, another game by Bethesda.
Freeside only appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Sometimes after you kill the giant rat, the first boy chasing the rat will fall to his knees to take a bite but will continue to move forward at running speed despite being in a crouched position and going through the rat-eating animation.
- In Freeside you will notice a boy and a girl chasing a giant rat, talk to them as they run and the girl has a regular voice actor as well as the boy. After killing the rat, the girl or the boy (whichever is closest) will eat the rat. When you talk to them now they share a voice actor. So the boy now sounds like a girl, or the girl a boy.
- If you are outside of the Vegas Strip when you update the game, but have gained access to it at another point, you can be permanently locked out.
- The game may randomly crash by walking down the street adjacent to the Old Mormon Fort.
- If you achieve a certain level of reputation in Freeside, a Kings Gang Member will encourage you to keep up the good work and give a little present. However, sometimes those messengers keep coming in quick succession: as soon as one leaves the location, another one appears. This doesn't seem to fix over time.
- Upon entering Freeside you may get stuck in between some of the 'Bodyguards for Hire'. To get out, simply kill one of them. But make sure you have a good gun, as they are sometimes hard to kill.
- Mick & Ralph's sometimes glitches if you stand by one of the corners and walk forward and hit your Pip-Boy at the same time you will fly all the way up the corner of the building and be above and sometime it will summon you on top of the Lucky 38. The building by
- Sometimes the two kids will be going through the rodent chase animations but the rodent will be nowhere in sight.
- After you've killed the giant rat for the first time, it will re-spawn a few days later, but the kids will no longer chase it. If you kill the rat, the kids will run and eat it again.
- When acting in Freeside for an extended amount of time the time in which the screens load will increase until it takes about 15 minutes. An easy fix is to restart your console.
- Sometimes when the player fast travels to an area in the wasteland, the background effects of Freeside, such as dogs barking and glass bottles breaking, will be heard.
- The Courier: "Who exactly are you, Mr. House?"
Robert House: "I am Robert Edwin House, President, CEO, and sole proprietor of the New Vegas Strip. I oversaw the city's renovations starting from 2274 onward. The Three Families are my employees. Before the Great War of 2077, I was the founder, President and CEO of RobCo Industries, a vast computer and robotics corporation."
The Courier: "How did you establish New Vegas?"
Robert House: "We can discuss this in greater detail at another time. Suffice it to say that when my Securitrons detected NCR scouts at Hoover Dam, I took action. I recruited a tribal force to supplement my Securitrons and renovated the Strip just in time to welcome the NCR as it marched into the region. Instead of war, a treaty was negotiated. And the money started to pour in."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What can you tell me about Freeside?"
The King: "To understand Freeside, you have to look back a few years. Originally, we were all just tribes making a living in this area. That all changed when Mr. House came around. He made an offer to the three biggest tribes that were willing to listen to him. Today, everyone calls those tribes the Three Families, and they live in luxury and run their own casinos in the Strip. The rest of us were left to fight over the crumbs, living in the shadow of those more fortunate. Things got pretty nasty for a while. But we wanted more. A place of our own. A place where no one could tell us what to do. And we didn't want to go elsewhere to find it. So we took control of this place, and made it our own. And that's really all Freeside is, the best of a bad situation."
(The King's dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.42: "Freeside"
"Las Vegas wasn't heavily damaged during the Great War, but people didn't immediately "settle" into the remnants of the old city. The various Vault tribes that emerged years later, hunted and fought among the ruins, but it was not until the "return" of Mr. House that they ceased (most) of their hostilities. Mr House directed the tribes to use his sizable quantities of pre-war construction materials to build the crude (but effective) outer walls that separate The Strip and Freeside from the rest of New Vegas. While Mr. House valued the area around Fremont Street, he ultimately viewed it as secondary in importance to the Strip itself and he had a second, inner wall that separated the two areas. When NCR prospectors (and eventually the army) arrived in the region, people typically went straight for The Strip, leaving Freeside (as it had become known by locals) as an informal stopping point. Eventually Mr. House recognized that he could use Freeside as a filter for undesirables, and pulled his favored tribes and all Securitrons into the Strip, leaving Freeside to fend for itself."
"In the two years that followed, Freeside has slowly degenerated into a hostile, lawless den of ne'er-do-wells. For a while, it was completely without order, but two power groups managed to come to an understanding about how the area needed to be maintained. The Kings, formed from the dispossessed remnants of unfortunate tribes, prevent all-out chaos from erupting, but do little to deal with the day-to-day nastiness that Freesiders inflict on each other. The Followers of the Apocalypse, no longer associated with the NCR, settled in the Old Mormon Fort. They receive some protection from the Kings in exchange for help with the community's basic needs (food, water, health services, and some education). Despite the oversight from the Kings and help from the Followers, the people in Freeside live in daily peril... from each other as well as outside forces."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- The Courier: "What's your opinion of Mr. House?"
Beatrix Russell: "Before or after the human race shot itself in the foot? I been around long enough to have both opinions, see. Before the war, Mr. House was a famous captain of industry - robotics, to be specific. Seemed charming in interviews, until he became a recluse. Since the war, though? Didn't make a peep for near two hundred years - but when he came back, he came back strong and killed a lot of people."
(Beatrix Russell's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Tell me about Freeside."
Beatrix Russell: "What starts in misery tends to stay there. Freeside wasn't Freeside until six or seven years ago. That's when Mr. House's robots rolled out of the Lucky 38 and started pushing everyone who wouldn't join him off the Strip. Lots of folks died. Some scattered to the winds. The rest wound up in Freeside and seem never to lose the habit of living like refugees."
(Beatrix Russell's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Who are The Kings?"
Julie Farkas: "They've been Freeside's gang for the past five years or so, ever since Mr. House and his Three Families pushed everyone else out of Vegas. They've done a lot of good for the community - but that seems to be changing. The flood of NCR squatters has been an affront to them. I guess that explains the situation with the water pump. Usually The King wouldn't let his crew bully folks around like that."
(Julie Farkas' dialogue)
- The Courier: "If I wanted to calm things down in Freeside, where would I start?"
Julie Farkas: "The big man around here is The King. Not much happens in Freeside that he doesn't know about. He has the most influence locally, and some of his crew haven't helped the situation by harassing NCR citizens and charging double for water. Some NCR soldiers have been bringing in supplies, but none of it is going to Freeside locals. I've tried to speak to both sides to no avail."
(Julie Farkas' dialogue)
- The Courier: "Things seem pretty rough here in Freeside."
Julie Farkas: "More than rough, it's a damn mess. Freeside townies are constantly picking fights with NCR civilians. Thugs and thieves are always looking for a victim, and the local families are just sitting back making caps on the mess. Freeside is in dire need, but no one has been man enough to step up. The Followers can only do so much to stem the tide."
(Julie Farkas' dialogue)
- Spare Us the Cutter