Before the Great War, Primm was a small resort town sitting on top of the interstate connecting California and Las Vegas. Quickly becoming known as a budget version of the latter, Primm allowed tourists from California to get a taste of the city of sin on the way in or lose what remained of their savings on the way out. The resort had a number of tourist attractions to boost its appeal, including the Vikki & Vance Casino dedicated to a pair of outlaws who were the southwest answer to Bonnie and Clyde and the Bison Steve Cassino and Hotel with the Mojave's largest and most rickety rollercoaster, El diablo.
The town lost much of its appeal after the Great War, as survivors and then wastelanders had other concerns. It developed a small, tightly-knit community over time. In the late 23rd century, as the NCR expanded into the Mojave, it suddenly became a promising trade town, benefiting from the growing traffic to and from New Vegas, both civilian and military. For all who couldn't or wouldn't want to reach New Vegas, it offered a casino, a hotel, several shops and a courier waystation. Unlike its neighbor, Nipton, it also had an effective sheriff. All that changed when the prisoners of the NCRCFbroke out in late 2281 and started wreaking havoc. A number of convicts broke off from the newly formed Powder Gangers, organized themselves into a gang and stormed Primm, killing the sheriff and his wife in their sleep and taking control of the town.
The residents holed up in the downtrodden Vikki & Vance Casino, resulting in a stalemate: They had enough supplies to last for a while and the convicts couldn't pick them off, but they were in no position to retake the town. Those lucky enough to reach the highway left the town behind. Samuel and Michelle Kerr were two Primm traders who cut their losses and re-established themselves at the 188 trading post.
Over the next month, Primm became a lawless hell under convict control. The former inmates patrol the city and prevent caravans from moving safely up the I-15 to Las Vegas. The Bison Steve was turned into impromptu headquarters as the convicts plan to expand and wreck the town even further. The NCR maintains a token outpost at the eastern edge of town, with 1st Company of 5th Battalion keeping tabs on the convicts. The town would be a great strategic location in the southern Mojave, especially with the loss of Nipton, but the Company is undermanned and undergunned. A single squad would be enough to tip the scales and allow Lieutenant Hayes to storm the city and take it for the Republic.
Meyers, a reformed sheriff bent on implementing his own style of justice;
Sergeant McGee, stationed at Primm after it petitions for annexations and accepts Republic taxes.
Primm is divided into two distinct sections. The west side is predominantly made up of ruined commercial buildings, reduced to just a few standing brick walls, with NCR tents perched at the south-western corner. Lt. Hayes and his second-in-command, Sergeant McGee stay there, while NCR troopers patrol the edges of the district and the improvised bunkers, keeping tabs on convict activities. The player is approached by one of them when they near the town, warning them that the town is sealed-off.
The eastern part of the town is accessible through the mined overpass. Most of it is still intact and occupied by convicts. Several patrol the streets, keeping tabs on any foolish enough to venture in. The northwestern part of the district contains the aforementioned Vikki and Vance Casino, a derelict Poseidon Energy gas station, and two buildings: Primm sheriff's office and Deputy Beagle's residence. Across the street lies the Nash residence, doubling as the local general store and Mojave Express branch, with a small residential district separated from the old commercial zone by a fence further south. The huge building in the center of town is the Bison Steve Hotel, with the El Diablo rollercoaster winding around it.
No unique items. Checking the scenic overlook above the NCR tents will produce a copy of Lad's Life and True Police Stories at the campfire. Further out west is a coyote's den with a den NCR trooper and several weapons, which may include a pistol, submachine gun, shotgun or service rifle, and two ammunition boxes.
There's a hollowed-out rock behind the back wall, northwest of the district. It contains random loot. Two Jet doses and a Psycho are placed on the ground in front.
Primm, already torn apart by Powder Gangers, was dealt a killing blow by the Courier. Though prospectors pick through the remains of the town from time to time, no one re-establishes it as a settlement.
After Hoover Dam, NCR helps rebuild Primm as a major stopping point on the Long 15. Though Primm's citizens chafe under NCR's taxes, they benefit greatly from the increased protection and merchant traffic.
Despite NCR's pledge to support Primm, they abandon the town after their loss to Mr. House. As repayment for their NCR loyalty, Mr. House sends Securitrons to Primm to "protect" it and collect heavy taxes from its citizens.
Hot-headed to the end, Sheriff Meyers choose to oppose Caesar's takeover of Primm with a standoff. Though the citizens take out a few Legionaries, the town quickly falls to Caesar, its citizens utterly wiped out.
Primm Slim proves to be an able-minded, if not able-bodied, sheriff for Primm. Due to his slow speed, some crooks get away without a scratch, but Primm continues to prosper under his watchful robotic eye.
Primm has full reputation fimctopma;oty like other towns in the game, it just isn't used. This was likely cut out as there's little to actually DO in Primm.
The whole sheriff quest ('My Kind of Town') has had huge amounts of stuff cut out. Originally the player had two objectives they had to fulfill to get the NCR to help out - firstly they had to eliminate Eddie at the NCRCF, and secondly they had to petition all the citizens of Primm to get them to agree to be occupied by the NCR. Vestiges of this remain in the final game dialogue - Hayes warns the player that people must pay the new NCR taxes, and says the NCR cannot protect the town due to the powder gangers to the north. Originally these concerns would be the major obstacles for the player to overcome in this area, but this was changed in the final game to easily be solved by simply talking to Major Knight. Possibly this was due to the NCR branch being much longer and more complex than the other two (indeed the way the cut content works I doubt the other outcomes had even been thought of at this point, I speculate when it was decided to have other outcomes for the town the NCR branch was drastically cut short to match up with the new ones). There are still full quest objectives, huge amounts of scripting (in PrimmResidentScript for example), and the actual petition notes (PrimmSheriffPetition0 - 5) for all this, but only Johnson Nash has a line to say about it. Bizarrely the topic for this is 188ClayThoughtsHow, a topic intended for the weird kid at the 188 trading post!
There is a conversation between Hayes and McGee regarding taking over the town that is cut (and appears to be missing the first line in the game - a variable is not set that would presumably set by this line, the first line present has a "link from" set which only works if there is a line before it, and McGee's first line seems to be in answer to Hayes calling his name). Once McGee is installed for the NCR, 4 'Deputy' NCR troopers are supposed to be enabled, who then start patrolling the area. This is all set up in the game's scripts, but oddly is deliberately commented out.
There are also three disabled NCR troopers called PrimmNCRPatrolMcGee with AI packages to follow Sgt McGee. Presumably they would at one stage have patrolled around the town with him, either before or after he is made Sheriff. However, in the final game he mostly stays in the NCR base area, and never leaves the Sheriff's house once he is sheriff, which is probably why they were cut.
There are lots of patrol paths here that circle around the main Primm town area. In the final game no one uses them at all, and even the cut deputies do NOT use them! They seem to almost certainly be intended for the deputies, yet the deputies have peculiar patrol routes - very intricate ones that make them patrol the road between the town and the NCR base. I speculate this may have even been done to get round a plot hole - once the town is guarded by the deputies a gang of Ex-NCR soldiers hold the Vicky and Vance hostage, and claim to not even know the town was now defended. How could they not know if soldiers are patrolling right outside? Major Knight can also be persuaded to send soldiers due to the road being weakly defended, and the presence of more troops having knock on effects other than to Primm. Perhaps their pathways were to show this? Even so, the ex-powder ganger deputies ALSO use this patrol route, which makes zero sense - they're extremely unlikely to want to help defend an NCR base after being incarcerated by them for years! This may have been why the whole deputies idea was abandoned.
Primm's townsfolk are initially trapped inside the casino. Once the town is safe, they're then equally confined to their homes, and then never leave. However, there are a number of carefully crafted sandbox packages for them to populate the town once more that are never used (PrimmResident1Sandbox - 8). The markers these refer to are also oddly parts of the patrol routes mentioned above. Perhaps this was just clever reuse of existing markers, however.
There are also dead resident NPCs set up (PrimmResidentFemale5DEAD) that would presumably have been used to litter the streets (there are several inexplicable blood stains after all) like the murdered courier. There's also a marker called vvCorpseDisabler inside the Vicky Vance that changes the state of some things once Primm gets back on track, including removing some blood stains (which don't actually show up anyway). It doesn't actually remove any corpses, however - perhaps these are the ones it was supposed to get rid of?
There's dialogue for a cut scene involving Meyers giving a pep talk to the powder gangers he rallies as deputies for the town. It's unused in the final game, and has a bizarre snaking patrol package that takes him to a position by the Emergency Railway station by an absurdly circuitous and dangerous route (it passes through the NCRCF, presumably where he would then pick up his deputies). It's unclear if his rally really was going to take place here or was merely dumped here as a temporary measure, as it's extremely out of the way, and doesn't even use the area in any kind of sensible way (the disused train platform would make a great raised speaking platform, but instead the marker is just chucked by the side somewhere, and a seemingly corresponding marker presumably for his audience is bunged directly in front of it).
The generic reaction dialogues relating to the outcomes of My Kind of Town are a real mess. There are two variables set once this quest is completed: VStoryEventPrimm which has two functions, to show if the player has got the town a sheriff, and secondly if the player put the NCR in charge, and VStoryEventPrimmSheriff, which keeps track of WHO became the sheriff. Now you might notice you've got a redundant case here. If the NCR take over you have two ways to check this is the case. So you've got some dialogue checking one variable, others checking the other. Messy, but not a problem. Apart from someone got confused as to which variable meant what. VStoryEventPrimm == 2 means NCR takeover. VStoryEventPrimmSheriff == 1 also means NCR takeover. However, someone put in loads of dialogue that checks VStoryEventPrimmSheriff == 2 when it relates to an NCR takeover - they've clearly confused the two variables. This means people go on about the NCR taking over when it is not the case. Just to make things even more confusing, VStoryEventPrimm == 2 is never set as a pro NCR event, and actually the variable is only set to 1 when you complete the quest in favour of the NCR. Further muddying the waters, at some point VStoryEventPrimm == 2 was repurposed to mean the player slaughtered everyone in the town and is checked as such during the end slides. Unfortunately, because of the mistakes above, killing everyone also amusingly results in people talking about how the town caved in to the NCR rather than how they died horribly. Basically, these two variables are a disaster of miscommunication.
The Vicky and Vance NCR Deserters have early player only dialogue which is mostly identical to their finished lines, but with a new choice for the player to promise to speak to nearby NCR troops to get them to let the deserters rejoin the NCR army without punishment. There are also other variables in VDialogueVickyVanceScript to support the extra stages of their quest (the player going off to get them back into the NCR, successfully achieving this, etc). This outcome was dropped in the final game.
There is a variable and some dialogue (from Johnson Nash) in place to recognise one Sheriff being put into power, being killed, and then replaced with another. This wouldn't work in practice, as quests cannot be restarted once they are completed, and dialogue in a quest cannot be used once a quest has finished.
It seems originally the idea was for the vicky and Vance casino to be littered with the dead bodies of people killed by the convicts. The place is clearly in a state of disarray that seems to not tally up with the townsfolk being safely holed up in there. There are also bloodstain decals on the ground that don't (probably deliberately) actually work correctly that suggest people were killed there. There are also a series of NPCs called "VVCorpse" that appear to be the dead bodies that would be found in this area, including a dead bartender who is never replaced, even when the casino is reopened and restaffed. These NPCs are extremely generic, and are actually just cloned from generic raiders, even keeping their faction standings etc (the Bartender is even called "Raider" still). They would presumably be disabled by the marker vvCorpseDisabler, which in the final game doesn't actually remove any corpses at all.
Hypothesis for what was originally going to happen in Primm: From cut dialogue (e.g. VDialogueVickyVanceVickyVanceExNCR1Topic008), it seems that originally the townspeople of Primm were going to be slaughtered in the Vicky and Vance by the Ex NCR soldiers. Possibly they were the original raiders who killed everyone in the town before it became the powder gangers. This is why the casino is in such disarray. The vvcorpse NPCs would litter the place, and the deliberately invisible bloodstains would also be apparent. The player would bump into the soldiers and ask them about this, e.g. the lines: "By extorting money from the locals? What happened here?" "It looks like these people got more than just hurt". The big goal of the town would then be to get rid of the NCR raiders, either by killing them or getting them back into the main NCR army. This was then abandoned, and the actual final game quest of stopping the powder gangers, and getting a new Sheriff became the goal, and the Vicky and Vance then became a safehaven for the people, rather than a mass grave. The Ex-NCR soldiers were simply reused later on in the game, with all their redemption plot gone to make their quest a lot shorter and simpler.
The NCR deserters meant to spawn at Vikki and Vance might erroneously spawn at the NCR tents.
Johnson Nash will start buying and selling at base value if Meyers is installed as sheriff.
Primm residents might spawn with factions incorrectly set, leading to them saying that Primm wimped out (if the player engineers an annexation).
↑Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.44: "Primm" "Pre-war, Primm was "budget Vegas", a tiny town where Californians could go to gamble, the shortest distance between their wallets and a hole in the ground. Now it's not much of a settlement at all, poorly populated to begin with and more treacherous since the Powder Gangs broke out of prison. The landscape of Primm is dominated by a few empty ranch homes, the rubble of the town's main streets and store-fronts, and a small NCR camp set up southwest of town to prevent Convicts from pushing further south to the NCR's Mojave Outpost. The townsfolk, now without a sheriff after he was murdered by Gangers, are hold up across the road from the Mojave Express Couriers, in the down-trodden old Vikki & Vance Casino. Low on supplies, the townsfolk can't hold out much longer, and the Convicts' presence continues to build as they've recently commandeered the larger Bison Steve Casino and Hotel, patrolling the unstable El Diablo rollercoaster and wrecking the remaining grandeur this place once had. Primm faces a grim reality; there are few people here to keep order." (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
↑Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.385-388: "[4.17] Primm Pre-War, Primm was "budget Vegas", a tiny town where Californians could go to gamble, the shortest distance between their wallets and a hole in the ground. Now it's not much of a settlement at all, poorly populated to begin with and more treacherous since the Powder Gangs broke out of prison. Wastelanders have scouted out Primm for a settlement in recent years, but even at its "prime," it was unlikely to have had a large population. To attempt to woo potential travelers along the then-freeway, two "themed" casinos where built around the exploits of two desperadoes from ancient history, and an archaic (and now highly dangerous) rollercoaster." (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
↑The Courier: "Tell me about Primm." Primm Slim: "Primm is a thriving resort community located in Clark County, Nevada, right along Interstate 15. Whether you can't wait 'til Vegas to try your luck, or want to hit one last jackpot before you leave Nevada, Primm's your place! The town's Primm-eer attraction is the world-famous Vikki and Vance Casino and Museum, so you came to the right place, pardner!" (Primm Slim's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "His sentence was almost up, and he isn't tied to the Powder Gangers." Knight: "[SUCCEEDED] Hmm.All right. If his sentence was closing up I can see about getting him pardoned. Primm is important to our trade up from California, so having someone there who owes us a favor... that couldn't hurt." (Knight's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
↑The Courier: "What happened to Primm?" Johnson Nash: "Let's see. Been tough around here for a good while now. Worse since them thugs kidnapped our deputy. It started with that breakout from the prison up the road. First there was just a few thugs rolling through town, but then they got organized. Now they call themselves Powder Gangsters or something, and run around throwing dynamite and shooting people. Little while ago a good chunk of them left whatever kind of organization they got up there to squeeze all the food and drink out of us they could." (Johnson Nash's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "What's at Vikki and Vance?" Johnson Nash: "That's where we are. This here little casino brought some cash and bodies into the town before them Powder Gangsters came in. They can't rush us without eating a good bit of hot lead, but we are in kind of a box canyon. Guess this is as fitting a place for that as any. I reckon if they thought hard enough about it, they'd realize they got more bodies than we have bullets, but for now we're safe enough in here." (Johnson Nash's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Who are you?" Michelle Kerr: "Name's Michelle. My Dad and me run this store. His name's Samuel. I take the day shift and he takes nights. We came here about a month ago, when Primm went to hell on account of the prison break north of there. Found a bin to call home and set up shop." (Michelle Kerr's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Why'd you leave Primm?" Samuel Kerr: "Michelle and I ran a little shop in Primm 'till a prison break north of town spoiled it for everyone. Goddamned convicts just about shut down I-15. When traffic dried up, we took to our heels to find us some customers. I'm not one to sit around waiting to get saved, and Michelle ain't, neither." (Samuel Kerr's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Primm is in dire need of some real law." Hayes: "We know Primm is a great strategic point, and we aren't blind to the needs of the town, but we're barely holding our own against the Powder Gangers. We don't have the guns or the personnel needed to carry out our mission, much less take on defending this town as well." (Hayes' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "What do you need to take over protecting the town?" Hayes: "What we need, more than anything, is bodies. If we had just one more squad, we could easily install a sheriff and still handle our primary objective of protecting the interstate south of here. If you'd like to see the NCR include protection of Primm in its duties, then you'll have to get some more troops up here. Knight, at Mojave outpost, may be able to help." (Hayes' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "I got extra troop support for Primm." Hayes: "Yes, I just got word of that. There's a squad of rangers standing by. Sergeant McGee will take over as sheriff and the rangers will be his deputies. This town will be an NCR territory. This means that aside from protection, the citizens will also need to become registered NCR citizens and pay any appropriate and associated taxes." (Hayes' dialogue)