The Thorn is an underground settlement located within the outer walls of the Westside, New Vegas. The entrance is just south of the Westside south entrance. The R in the sign is pointing to the sewer, letting you know that is the main entrance. The main interest of The Thorn is the arena, where you can bet on the outcome of fights between wasteland creatures or fight in the Arena yourself. Access to The Thorn is denied from 1:00 am to 6:00 am.
The Thorn is an area under Westside where residents can bet on fight involving creatures from all across the Mojave Wasteland. Red Lucy runs the competitions and accepts caps for the fights. You can talk to her if you wish to bet on the fights. If you like you can even set up custom fights with her. You get to choose what creature and how many of it will fight in red vs. blue team. Since the creatures are expensive to breed, keep and maintain you will have to pay for the fight. If the team you bet on wins you get your caps back plus a little extra.
You can also tell Red Lucy that you want to pit yourself against the creatures. The creatures you can fight are giant mantises, radscorpions, fire geckos, nightstalkers, cazadores and deathclaws. You can choose what creature you want to fight in addition to how many you want to fight (up to a maximum of three). The screen will fade to black and you will be moved to the arena cage. The winnings are dependent on what it is you fight and the number you are facing.
The Thorn is a large arena surrounded by a system of raised catwalks for the guards and spectators. There is a central pit where the creatures fight each other. There are two cages on either side to keep the creatures separated until they are to fight.
Using Explosive weapons with big blast radii is not recommended in the arena because the splash damage might cause the spectators to be hostile to you, although it is a possible strategy if you do not have Splash Damage or use smaller-scale weapons.
Entering the arena when a fight is in progress will cause all the guards in The Thorn to become hostile and attack. Although, if you attack and kill them, this does not cause spectators/ Red Lucy to become hostile.
With ED-E as a companion, the robot may help you out and fire at any enemies you are fighting against in the arena. This will not result in hostilities from guards or spectators.
Remember to talk to your follower(s) after you fight and select the 'Follow Me' option (if you aren't going to fight again) When you go into the arena your companion(s) is/are automatically set to 'Wait Here' mode because they cannot follow you into the arena. (Therefore giving you an advantage)
Boone's Spotter perk may help you to see the creatures you're fighting in the darkness at the other side of The Thorn arena.
There is a terminal in Red Lucy's chamber displaying several submenus and you can turn off the power in the cages. It was supposed to start a quest where you release the creatures to wreak havoc in The Thorn but the quest was cut in the final release of the game.
Originally it was intended that the player could set the animals in cages free, bringing The Thorn and its clientele to a bloody end. The quest was only ever half finished and abandoned due to lack of time, but many remnants of it remain in the game. Most obviously Red lucy's computer has absolutely no use at all in the finished game, lacking even any emails or notes to read. Its real purpose is to disable power to the creature gates and free the animals, but this option is set to be impossible to ever see. The quest VMS38b ("The Thorn Mayhem") handles the creatures escaping, but all they do is appear inside the thorn main area and then head to a waypoint (while doing this they naturally get into combat with the Thorn's staff and customers). Script variables suggest there was originally going to be more to this sequence than that - the variable bCreaturesAtWestside suggests they would originally escape the confines of the Thorn and attack Westside as well. There is still full dialogue that is supposed to be played during the event itself ("beasts got free!"), and NPCs throughout the gameworld can comment on it happening after the fact as well. There are also keys to the actual cage and to Red Lucy's room present in the game files that are unused, presumably at one point the beasts could be freed this way.. Jorge's script notes for the quest say the following: "Cut, not enough time to implement as polished as it should be."
Red Lucy's death is supposed to be commented on by many NPCs, but the variable for this that is supposed to be set when she dies never is, so this cannot happen in the vanilla game.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 After defeating any animals in the arena, the doors open allowing you to leave. A second or two later all the gates that just opened for you to leave instantly seal and the only way out is through the side of the arena, which itself is sealed unless this glitch occurs. This can easily cause you to get caught in between the two doors leading into the arena with no way out except the console. This doesn't happen every single time but it's extremely common.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 After choosing more than one participant for a fight, the cage doors will open and the participants will walk out toward the middle of the arena but they will not all stop in the correct "zone" to initiate the fight. As a result both teams will just sit there and no fight will take place.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 It is easily possible to walk through the gate before entering the battle area.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 Sometimes the enemies will back out through the door they came from (before the gate) before it closes or even if it has already closed. This prevents the battle from being completed, and so stops the Courier from leaving. If you're lucky enough, the enemy may reveal itself through the door by walking into it (a giant radscorpion's claws, for example), and you may be able to get a few cheap shots at it. It's advised to save before the battles, and not to use explosives on creatures from a distance before they get free as this can throw them back through the door or possibly hit spectators, which will turn them hostile. Though to avoid this altogether the player can hug the right wall of the arena and go around the column (next to the exit gate) to approach them so that they will be too close when engaged in combat and will not run away.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 After asking Red Lucy to fight and she tells you to go to the cage and your screen goes black, rather than reloading in the arena below, you may simply reappear in the same spot, with Lucy in a permanent bug state refusing to talk to you.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 When fighting three deathclaws, one or more deathclaws may spawn in the player's cage but will not attack until provoked.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 Regardless of the creature or amount of them you are fighting, they can be trapped behind the doors or gates making it nearly impossible to win the fight.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 Sometimes winning against some creatures, all the doors will remain locked and will say "Requires key", making you unable to leave the arena.
PCPlayStation 3 If you kill the creature(s) you are fighting before they exit their gate, the match will not end, and you will be trapped in the pit. Even no-clipping through the exit gate, Red Lucy will be stuck saying "The crowds are waiting for you, stranger." You can press console key "~" select animal and write resurrect. Kill the animal again and exit to cage door.
PlayStation 3Xbox 360 When using a plasma or laser weapon type, and disintegrating enemies into goo/ash, the goo/ash will not disappear immediately like corpses would.
PC Crash-to-desktops are very common in this area, especially while fighting in the Arena.
PC When two radscorpions are chosen to fight, the animation on their attacks will lock, only tilting back and forth, and neither of them will die, even after zero health.
PC In the halls with the animal cages, if the Courier attacks the creatures inside the cage, then leaves and comes back, the creatures will no longer be trapped in the cages.