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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
22380 20180919140509 1.png
Icon settlement large.png
Nelson loc.jpg
Map MarkerNelson
BuildingsNelson barracks
Nelson house
FactionsCaesar's Legion
New California Republic (Possibly after completing the quest Restoring Hope)
LeadersDead Sea
QuestsBack in Your Own Backyard
Restoring Hope
We Are Legion
Cell NameNelson (Nelson)
NelsonHighground (high ground)
NelsonBarracks01 (barracks)
NelsonBarracks02 (barracks)
NelsonHouse01-05 (house)
ref id000dea72 (Nelson)
000dea7b (high ground)
00124099 (barracks)
001244cd (barracks)
001244.. (house01-05)

Guess the miners got fucked.

Rose of Sharon Cassidy

Nelson is a small settlement that was taken over by Caesar's Legion, in the Battle of Nelson. It is located south-west of Camp Forlorn Hope and just east of Novac.



Nelson's history dates back to the 18th century and the Spanish discovery of gold in the Eldorado Canyon. The future Nelson was at the heart of the biggest mining boom in Nevada's history when gold and silver were discovered around the town. Its meteoric rise was assisted by a corresponding one in crime, especially the notorious Techatticup Mine in the middle of the canyon. Ownership, management, and labor conflicts led to a spate of wanton killings, made worse by the town's remote location and popularity during the dark years of the American Civil War, when it attracted deserters from both the Union and the Confederacy, hoping to elude authorities. It received its name in 1897, after a camp leader killed by a renegade native American. By the middle of the 20th century the mining activities petered out, turning Nelson into a virtual ghost town.[1]

As such, the Great War barely touched it or the people living here. However, in the decades after the Great War, the closed mines were reopened by enterprising miners in order to exploit what remained of gold, silver, copper, and lead. What would have escaped the notice of pre-War corporations was more than enough for the wastelanders.[2]

NCR occupation

Main article: Fall of Nelson

In 2281, the NCR Army occupied it, with the intention of turning it into a military camp for logistics planning as well as to fill in the strategic gap between Camp Forlorn Hope and Camp Searchlight.[3][4] However, the troopers barely managed to settle in, before a Legion attack force under Decanus Dead Sea arrived and took Nelson.[5] Combined with both the lack of proper reinforcements and Camp Searchlight falling to Legion sabotage, the NCRA stationed at Camp Forlorn Hope could not properly react to Nelson's capture and has remained in Legion control since.[6]

Under orders from Caesar to demoralize troops in the area,[7] Dead Sea had killed most troopers stationed at Nelson and executed dozens of other troopers by throwing them off the cliffs into the Colorado River. The few remaining that had not been killed were crucified in the middle of camp for any on-lookers to see.[8] Since taking Nelson, Dead Sea has led assaults against Camp Forlorn Hope to the north with two contubernia.[7]


Nelson rests on a mesa on the western side of the Eldorado Canyon, enclosed by what remains of State Road 165. Outlying homes and buildings have been stripped of salvage and turned to skeletons, with the mining camp and town itself enclosed by a chainlink fence and surrounded by bunkers made from sandbags. The tallest point in Nelson lies just up the hill, with a flag post bereft of the Bear, replaced by watchful Legion sentries monitoring approaches to the town. The NCR cannot help but try to contain the Legion, watching it from Camp Forlorn Hope and a roadblock established up the road from Nelson.

The town itself is centered around a plaza, now decorated with three crucified NCR troopers. A pair of barracks overlook the plaza, with a dumping ground in the back. Surviving houses line the perimeter, used for a variety of purposes, including storage, armory, mess hall, and other needs. There's also a small fortified position on the terrace below the town, overlooking the Colorado, with three graves nearby.

All of the inhabitants have been culled by Dead Sea and his legionaries, either hacked apart or forced to jump off the cliffs. As such, the only people who remain in the area are the aforementioned crucified troopers and legionaries. A squad of three NCR trooper with caravan shotguns will occassionally stage a raid at the town, but be easily repulsed.

Notable loot

Related quests

Behind the scenes

  • Megan Parks was responsible for layout, prop placement, decoration, terrain shaping, and vistas in this location.[9]
Spare Us the Cutter
  • As with Forlorn Hope, there are odd things cut here. Firstly there are several markers around the central campfire as with Forlorn Hope. These again control the enabling/disabling of various groups of NPCs. Of particular interest is VNelsonDeadTroopersMarker, which enables lots of dead NCR troops in the area (most of which are placed on top of land mines). This is unused in the final game and the dead troops are never seen (despite the Legion boasting of recently massacring them).
  • There's also a second marker called VNelsonExtraNPCMarker that enables a whole load of extra Legion NPCs. It's again unclear why these were left disabled, other than either to improve frame rate/fix memory problems on consoles, or to make the area easier. Looking at the game's code, these NPCs are supposed to be disabled after talking to Dead Sea in certain situations. His dialogue script individually disables some of the NPCs tied to these markers. However, this doesn't actually work, as NPCs with enable states tied to other objects can ONLY be enabled/disabled if the parent object is itself enabled/disabled.


  1. History of Nelson, NV.
  2. Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Guess the miners got fucked."
    "Where's the mine from here?"
    "If this place got hit, Novac's next."
    (Rose of Sharon Cassidy's dialogue) Note: VCassLocationNelson
  3. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.417-418: "[6.02] Camp Forlorn Hope
    After NCR captured Hoover Dam, it took them a while to fully reinforce the river to the south. The first camp that was established was Camp Forlorn Hope; an improvised mess of tin shacks, salvaged rubble from Boulder City, tents, and lots of sandbags, it is the most pathetic-looking of all NCR's camps, but the one that sees the most action. It only exists at all because of the natural spring there (in fact the camp is named for the spring). Recently, Caesar's Legion captured NCR's logistical/planning forces in the ruins of the small, ruined town of Nelson, a disaster that has disrupted Forlorn's Hopes attempts to patrol the western coast of the river.
    Graveyard of No Hope
    A nickname some in the camp whisper about the collection of graves of the fallen, on a two-tiered promontory behind the shacks, overlooking the Colorado River. Shoot the Bloatflies in the area for sport. Due to the height disadvantage, attack from here only if you plan to be stealthy."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  4. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.418-419: "[6.06] Nelson
    Nelson was a second NCR outpost, as the Republic slowly gained ground along the Colorado River to stem the tide of the Legion's advancement across Arizona. But Caesar struck back, razing Nelson, and capturing any NCR troopers that weren't executed or shot, and crucified them as an example of barbarism; to crush the NCR morale."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  5. The Courier: "Tell me about Nelson."
    Hanlon: "Nelson was barely set up. We had a big stretch of unprotected land between Forlorn Hope and Searchlight, and Nelson was the solution. A decanus named Dead Sea took the place and caused a lot of damage."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "What happened here?"
    Milo: "Troopers tried moving down from Forlorn Hope because we got this big gap between there and Searchlight. Turns out we were spread too thin. We took our sweet ass time setting up in Nelson and the Legion managed to hop over the Colorado and attack before things were settled."
    (Milo's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Courier: "Why haven't you attacked the enemy?"
    Dead Sea: "I have attacked the enemy. I led the assault on Nelson with two contubernia against twice our number. It is Caesar's wish that we hold this position. Our mere presence this side of the Colorado humiliates and demoralizes the enemy."
    (Dead Sea's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "You're demoralizing the enemy by leaving them alone?"
    Dead Sea: "I do not question Caesar's will! I do not second-guess! I butchered this town. Those who weren't hacked limb from limb were forced to throw themselves from the cliffs. Three more, I have just crucified. All this, in full view of the enemy's spotters to the north. Yes, our presence here demoralizes the enemy."
    (Dead Sea's dialogue)
  9. Megan Parks' portfolio


Nelson appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.