Fallout: New Vegas locations project
You'll dig us, baby! We're the Tops!”— The Tops Slogan, Radio New Vegas; Mr. New Vegas, Fallout: New Vegas
The Tops Hotel and Casino was one of the foremost establishments of the Las Vegas Strip before the Great War. Though ruined by the war, it was restored by Robert House and the Chairmen to its former glory, becoming a mainstay of Strip casino visits by 2281.
Opening alongside the Ultra-Luxe, The Tops quickly became a centerpiece of the Strip before the war. It was well known for its comprehensive coverage of all of its patron's needs, offering great accommodations, dancing, drinks, and, of course, plenty of gambling, though perhaps its most attractive feature was the Aces Theater, constantly attracting fresh talent to entertain its patrons.
After the Great War, the casino was abandoned. Spared nuclear devastation, it was instead left to rot for centuries. Tribes came and went, inhabiting the halls of the gambling establishment, rising and disappearing into the mists of history like the scorching sun of the Mojave. Things changed in 2274, when House detected the first NCR forces at Hoover Dam. Lucky 38 opened and Securitrons deployed to the city en masse. The tribes were offered a choice: Extermination, resettlement, or working for House. The future Chairmen, the Boot Riders, were approached east of Vegas by a Securitron. After initial miscommunication (and the deployment of twenty more), they listened to what House had to offer. That included shelter, food, and medical services. Most of the tribe was against the deal. Benny was all for it. Bingo, the tribe chief, challenged Benny to a knife fight over their disagreement as to the course the tribe should take. The fight took place three days after House made contact. Benny emerged victorious.
The tribe moved to Vegas and began renovating the Tops, bringing it back to life. As they worked, a number of House's Securitrons dropped off boxes with suits, ties, and wingtip shoes, together with a message from their employer announcing they were the Chairmen now. The tribe hated the name, but Benny overrode their decision. As he put it, it was "ciao to the old ways and time to swing in style." And swing they did: By 2281, the Tops returned to its role as the mainstay of the Strip, offering everything one could desire and teaching its patrons how to truly enjoy the finer aspects of life. A true classic Vegas experience, with cool, hip, fun, and macho posturing to entice those with a sense of style. Most importantly, the legendary Aces Theater was brought back to life by Tommy Torini, giving a venue for talents from all over the wasteland to perform.
But the Tops was not enough for Benny. Although he was groomed as a protege by Mr. House, he did not share his employer's views on Vegas. He saw the city as a potential for an independent power, not answering to the NCR, the Legion, or House. The Tops became his stronghold, where he planned how to overthrow Mr. House, protected by the contract which expressly forbade Securitrons from entering the premises without invitation or probable cause. To this end, he hijacked a Securitron and set up a workshop in one of the suites on the 13th floor, where he and Emily Ortal conceived Yes Man, a covert tap into House's vast electronic network. Now all that was needed was the right opportunity.
The Tops is the quintessential Vegas casino, roughly divided into two distinct parts. The lower two story building contains the casino, Aces Theater, the courtyard, and the restaurant, while the tall one is the hotel, with thirty stories worth of apartments.
Weapons are confiscated by the door greeter and placed inside the lockers at the cashier's office. Of course, holdout and improved holdout weapons may be retained by the player. Once the player exits the casino, the player receives the weapons back.
Period songs are piped in the background and include Ain't That A Kick In The Head, Blue Moon, Hallo Mister X, Jingle, Jangle, Jingle, Manhattan, Something's Gotta Give, Slow Bounce, and Why Don't You Do Right?.
Lobby and casino
The casino of the Tops is located in the L-shaped building, with a circular lobby holding the reception area. Swank mans the reception as Benny's second in command, with Chairmen greeters ensuring that guests relinquish all their weapons before entering the casino proper.
The casino itself is divided into two distinct sections. The northern wing is a large open space, holding roulette and blackjack tables in the pit. Right next to it are entrances to the Tops restaurant and presidential suite. Patrons may relax in a gallery overlooking the pit.
The other wing is divided into two floors. The lower floor holds the casino's myriad slots machine and leads into the hallways holding high speed elevators (though currently only one is functional, leading to the 13th floor) and an exit into the Tops Courtyard.
The upper floor contains the cashier's office and the Aces Theater.
The player will be permanently banned from casino games if they win 10,000 chips.
- Blackjack: The Tops has a payout of 3:2, with the house rule that a dealer must stand on all 17s.
- Roulette and slots: Standard rules apply.
- Complimentary rewards
- 2,500 chips won: Vodka
- 5,000 chips won: Brahmin steak and wine
- 7,500 chips won: High Roller's suite key
Connecting to the courtyard and the casino, the restaurant consists of the dining area, a bar counter, and a kitchen where the meals are prepared. This highly popular dining establishment may not offer the quality of food of The Gourmand, but is rich enough for wastelander tastes.
The bartender has plenty of drinks in stock. Invading the kitchen yields miscellaneous food and drinks, although it does include 5 Nuka-Cola Quartz bottles.
- 5 Nuka-Cola Quartz inside the kitchen.
The Aces theater
The staple of entertainment at The Tops, The Aces theater hosts numerous acts hired by Tommy Torini. Patrons can kick back, relax, and enjoy with a drink in hand, provided by the well stocked bar.
The presidential suite is the absolute best suite in the entire Tops casino and hotel, fit for any VIP. It is essentially a luxurious flat, offering a conference room, bedroom, kitchen, and, of course, the beautiful main room, among other amenities.
The courtyard is a recreational area, offering a pool surrounded by lush vegetation, including palm trees. Patrons wishing to relax and bask in the sun can leverage the loungers and umbrellas circling the edge of the pool.
The 13th floor contains Benny's personal suite, as well as hotel rooms. High rollers winning it big in the casino may also win the key to the exclusive High Roller suite (requires winning 7,500 chips). Hidden beyond Benny's suite, in a secret workshop, is Yes Man, the key to an independent Vegas, and his personal elevator into Vault 21.
The sub-basement is a small storage room deep beneath The Tops, where Benny blasted his way into the intact portions of Vault 21, establishing for himself a method to enter and leave the Strip unseen.
The most important dwellers of the Tops are high ranking Chairmen, including Benny, their leader, Swank, his second in command, and Tommy Torini, the talent agent for the Aces theater. After completing Talent Pool, the Tops will also host Hadrian, Billy Knight, the Lonesome Drifter, and Bruce Isaac, complementing the Rad Pack dancers at the Aces. Last, but not least, Yes Man lurks in the workshop beyond Benny's suite.
Other inhabitants include gamblers and other patrons, enjoying their time at the tops under the watchful eye of the Chairmen. The Chairmen themselves can be distinguished by their two piece suits and automatic firearms strapped at their hips, just to ensure that any threats to security are dealt with swiftly.
- While Ring-a-Ding-Ding! is active, the player can speak to Swank and convince him that Benny is up to no good. After talking to Yes Man and learning of his owner's plans, Swank can be convinced to allow the player to bring weapons into the casino and kill Benny.
- As Talent Pool nears completion, the names of the recruited performers will be displayed on The Tops marquee.
- Cashiers do not respawn.
Behind the scenes
- Unused files suggest that craps were once planned for inclusion in the game.
- The wall that circles the courtyard is not present on the Strip.
- The Tops and the Chairmen draw inspiration from the historical Las Vegas of the 1960s. The casino is loosely inspired by The Sands Hotel and Casino, frequented by The Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin. Guess who's the number one act in the Aces theater?
- Originally the player would be kicked out for doing something at the tops, most likely for breaking the bank on the gambling games, or possibly just to force the player to leave if they refuse to give up their guns like in Gomorrah. There are two identical scripts/quests (VTopsKickedOutSide VTopsKickedOut - I'm pretty sure the "side" one is for the long abandoned Tops side entrance) that handle this by forcing the Tops greeter to come after the player, but they are deliberately dismantled so never run. It's likely they found that banning the player completely from the Casino wasn't very fun, so just stopped the player from gambling any more.
- As explained previously there was also originally a further Tops exit that lead to what is, in the final game, outside the bounds of the strip map. In the final game the actual corresponding wall inside just has some decorations there and no door (It's exactly where Benny stands in the final game if you avoid him on your first visit to the Tops).
- vCasinoCompsTheTops has an unused quest objective ("Visit your private Suite on the 13th floor of the Tops.") that suggests originally the player would be given the Tops suite as a gift for winning lots of money in the gambling games.
- There seems to have been some kind of extended chase sequence with Benny planned once he fled the Tops. Inside his Hotel room is of course the secret back area with Yes Man, but also a further corridor area with a locked door at the end. This door cannot be opened, but there are exploits to get inside (as well as of course simply using the console to "unlock" the door). On entry the player can explore an area that segues from the Tops basement through to a rocky underground area full of explosives (which Benny has clearly used to blast through the walls) into the remains of part of Vault 21. The tunnels extend a ways in two directions here, with some loot to be found and some locked doors that can be opened. However, both directions eventually lead to empty void where the section was never finished and was just abandoned. Parts of the left hand tunnel and Vault 21 roughly align, so it's likely that at some point the two areas would be joined together. The sole marker header in this area is also called "vault21totops", further adding credence to the two areas being deliberately linked. There is a sizeable but unfinished part of Vault 21 behind an unopenable door that roughly leads to this area, so possibly at some point it was intended for the player to be able to open the door and enter the tunnel that way. The code that runs this sequence is confused - Benny's AI Package to escape unlocks the door to the area and locks it when he reaches it. This makes sense on the surface, but in the game he never actually goes through the door; his end target is the door itself. This enables an exploit where if the player gets ahead of Benny (perhaps crippling his legs) they can get inside the unfinished area. As he never goes inside it, unlocking it is completely unnecessary. In fact, inside to the far left (where the tunnel finally ends in void) there is a trigger that controls an unused stage of VMQTops that would tell the player to "search for Benny". Instead in the final game this is bypassed in favour of telling the player to search his Tops suite in order to find Yes Man.
- According to J E Sawyer the area was intended to lead to an exit some ways outside of the Strip walls which Benny would use to get in and out of the Strip without Mr House noticing. Unused quest stages of VMQTops were originally to be used if Benny escaped, which include the line "Benny has disappeared. Go see Mr. House for information on his whereabouts.". Clearly Mr house would be aware of where Benny had gone, which could suggest he did indeed go through Vault 21 (so why didn't get his securitrons to shoot him?).The trigger script in the tunnel also calls Quest objective 45, which doesn't exist (but would have been the above "talk to Mr House" bit). The whole extra tunnel area also has no navmesh in the final game, so it's impossible for Benny (or any other NPC) to move about in there. See http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer/q/325276093445587111 and [https://archive.is/I6WgB http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer/q/325296073004313572
- There is a second Tops door greeter defined who is unused. Some Greeter dialogue refers to both NPCs, so presumably it was intended for both to be used at one time, possibly with one greeting one side of the room, the other. The second greeter has no GREETING dialogue set up however, making it impossible for him to say what lines he does have. He can only say the lines that occur after the player's weapons have been given up. The far left entrance door was disabled once the design of the strip was changed and the gates added. It still has its frisking trigger in front of it anyway. There is also a further frisking trigger dumped next to it, suggesting at one stage there was a further subsequent door to the left of even this one.
The Tops poker chip replica from the Collector's edition
- Rarely, the script that stores weapons in the weapons locker does not return them to the player.
- Pre-War newspaper articles.
- Pre-War advertisement.
- Pre-War newspaper articles.
- 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."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "How did Mr. House introduce himself?"
Benny: "We were east of Vegas when the first Securitron we ever saw rolled up on us. We junked it in a minute flat. The next day twenty roll up. So we listened. Said we'd been selected. Vegas needed us to defend it. In exchange, we'd get cushy digs, full stomachs, medical treatment. Everything a nomad never gets, in other words. Most of the tribe thought we should say no. I thought it was the best idea ever."
- The Courier: "How long were you the head of the family?"
Benny: "Seven years. Took over three days after Mr. House introduced himself. Our chief at the time, mountain of a guy named Bingo, wanted to stay nomadic. I disagreed, so he challenged me to the knife. He looked so surprised when I stuck that knife in his neck. Thought he was so tough, but he was so slow. That's how I made chief. It's how things were back then."
- The Courier: "Was your tribe always called the Chairmen?"
Benny: "Nah, in the way-back we called ourselves the Boot Riders. Silly name, but that's how we rode the Mojave, dig? - on our feet. We were nomadic badasses, not to be trifled with. A gang of ruffians, though with a certain panache. When House gave us the Tops to renovate, his robots dropped off boxes full of suits and ties and wingtip shoes. Told us we were the "Chairmen" now. That caused an uproar. But I said "the name sticks." Ciao to the old ways, baby - time to swing in style. If the shoes fit, you wear them."
- The Courier: "Tell me about Mr. House."
Benny: "A good cat to swing with. Or was - until he stopped mewing. It was House's big idea to resurrect the Strip. He recruited the Three Families as muscle, showed us how to set up casinos, negotiated with the NCR. None of this in person, mind you. Did all his talking through those Securitrons of his. But lately? The silence is deafening. The robots collect House's share of the take every week and life goes on. Ain't exactly what I'd call leadership."
- The Courier: "What makes the Chairmen so special?"
Benny: "We're the definition of cool, baby. We know how to swing. Folks come to us to learn how to enjoy themselves. Of the three families, we're the only ones with the heart and savoir-faire to run the Strip on our own."
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.343-345: "[2D.04] The Tops Casino
The Tops offers a classic Vegas experience, with cool, hip, fun, and macho posturing to entice those with a sense of style. This is a place for manly men with a dame on each arm; here to see the Rad Pack as they perform their routine "The Four Taps" over at the Ace Theater. Choose a fine wine, order the Brahmin stake rare, and have a good time, baby! The place is run by The Chairmen, who talk tough, but most of them don't take things too seriously; they're just too cool and laid back to let anything get to them. Well, all but one of them...."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- Fallout: New Vegas appearances.
- The Courier: "Why shouldn't Mr. House run Vegas?"
Benny: "Mr. House hides Vegas under his skirt when the bombs fall a thousand years ago, so it belongs to him? Forever? You buy that? Baby, every boss has a line to explain why he's special, why everyone gotta do what he says. Just figuring that out? Vegas gotta swing, baby, gotta have pizzazz. Respect where due, but that old man is square to the core."
- The Courier: "Why can't you be the one to tell Swank?"
Robert House: "By contract, Securitrons are to enter the casinos only when invited by the Three Families or if other extraordinary circumstances arise. The moment I send one into the Tops, Benny will know I'm on to him."
(Robert House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What's the deal with your secret workshop and "Yes Man" friend?"
Benny: "You really weren't supposed to talk to him... All right, so he used to be a Securitron on patrol. Square as the rest, until I gave him a mickey in the shape of pulse grenade. Once he was on the nod, I yanked some wires and dragged him up to the workshop. I had... some help, you see. Gal named Emily, one of the Followers over in Freeside, a real whiz when it comes to things technical. She programmed his personality. Once Yes Man was hooked back in to House's data network, I started learning a lot more about what he was up to, dig? Like where and when to find you."
- The Courier: "Hand over the Platinum Chip, maybe you live."
Benny: "Can't do that, baby. The Chip, it's... special. But savor this, baby... I can comp you the Presidential - best suite in the house. After what you been through, you deserve a taste of the VIP lifestyle. Give me a moment or two to catch my breath and knock back a few cocktails, and I'll swing by for a meet and greet. I'll clue you in, guaranteed - every question answered. This can be the start of a beautiful friendship."
- J.E. Sawyer
- J.E. Sawyer