Determining The Canon Ending Of Fallout: New Vegas

With its emphasis on player choice and multiple story branches, Fallout: New Vegas does not have an explicitly defined canon ending like other more linear games. However, through analysis of developer intent, lore implications, and the narrative’s overarching themes, the case can be made that there is a most likely canonical conclusion to the Second Battle of Hoover Dam.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: An independent New Vegas under the leadership of the Courier is the most likely canon ending based on developer statements and the underlying themes of the game’s narrative.

In this comprehensive guide, we will examine developer interviews, lore analysis, narrative themes, and character motivations to make the case for which ending choice represents the canonical series of events in Fallout: New Vegas.

Developer Statements

When it comes to determining the canon ending of Fallout: New Vegas, it’s important to consider the statements made by the developers themselves. These insights can provide valuable information and shed light on the intended direction of the game’s narrative.

Obsidian Entertainment Commentary

Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind Fallout: New Vegas, has provided several commentary and interviews over the years that offer insight into the game’s ending. In these statements, the developers have discussed their intentions and the choices they made in crafting the story.

For example, in an interview with Game Informer, Josh Sawyer, the project director for Fallout: New Vegas, mentioned that the team wanted to leave the ending open-ended to encourage player interpretation.

He emphasized that the game’s narrative was designed to allow players to create their own personal story within the world of Fallout.

Additionally, in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, several developers from Obsidian Entertainment reiterated this idea of player agency. They emphasized that the game’s multiple endings were intentionally designed to reflect the choices and actions of the player, allowing for a personalized experience.

Avellone’s Vision

Chris Avellone, the lead designer and writer for Fallout: New Vegas, has also shared his insights on the game’s ending. Avellone’s vision played a significant role in shaping the narrative and characters of the game.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Avellone revealed that he intentionally wrote the game’s ending to be ambiguous, leaving room for player interpretation. He wanted players to reflect on their choices and the consequences that unfolded as a result.

Avellone also mentioned that he enjoyed seeing the various interpretations and theories that emerged from the community regarding the canon ending. This further supports the idea that the developers intentionally left it up to the players to determine the true ending.

It’s worth noting that while these developer statements offer valuable insights, they do not provide a definitive answer to the canon ending of Fallout: New Vegas. Ultimately, it is up to the players to interpret and decide which ending resonates most with them.

Lore Analysis

When it comes to determining the canon ending of Fallout: New Vegas, there are several key factors to consider. The lore of the Fallout universe is rich and complex, and understanding the various factions and their motivations is crucial in making an informed decision.

West Coast Brotherhood

The West Coast Brotherhood of Steel plays a significant role in Fallout: New Vegas. As a technologically advanced faction, they have a vested interest in controlling the region’s resources. Their actions and alliances can greatly influence the outcome of the game’s ending.

According to the lore, the Brotherhood’s main goal is to preserve and control advanced technology. They are known for their strict adherence to their mission and their reluctance to share technology with others.

The player’s interactions with the Brotherhood and their choices regarding technology could have a significant impact on the canon ending.

NCR Overextension

The New California Republic (NCR) is another powerful faction in Fallout: New Vegas. The NCR aims to establish a democratic government in the wasteland, but their expansionist policies have led to overextension and strained resources.

As the player interacts with the NCR throughout the game, they witness the consequences of the NCR’s overreach. The faction’s ability to maintain control and govern effectively becomes a key consideration in determining the canon ending.

Will the NCR be able to sustain its expansion, or will it crumble under its own weight?

Caesar’s Legion Instability

The presence of Caesar’s Legion adds an interesting dynamic to the Fallout: New Vegas storyline. Led by the charismatic Caesar, this faction seeks to establish a totalitarian society based on ancient Roman principles.

However, the stability and longevity of Caesar’s Legion are called into question. The player’s interactions with the Legion and their choices regarding their leadership and methods can have a profound impact on the faction’s future.

Will Caesar’s Legion be a force to be reckoned with, or will internal conflicts and power struggles lead to its downfall?

It is important to consider all of these factors and how they interact with each other when determining the canon ending of Fallout: New Vegas. The choices made by the player throughout the game will shape the outcome and ultimately determine which faction prevails in the post-apocalyptic Mojave Wasteland.

Thematic Cohesion

Thematic cohesion is a crucial aspect in analyzing the canon ending of Fallout: New Vegas. This refers to the consistent and interconnected themes that run throughout the game’s narrative, character arcs, and player choices.

By examining how the various endings align with these themes, players can determine the most fitting conclusion for the game.

Independence and Self-Determination

One of the central themes in Fallout: New Vegas is the idea of independence and self-determination. Throughout the game, players are presented with choices that allow them to shape the fate of the Mojave Wasteland.

They can align themselves with different factions, each with their own vision for the future, or they can choose to forge their own path.

This theme of independence is best exemplified in the ending where the player chooses to side with the “Yes Man” character. By doing so, they reject the control of any faction and instead assert their own authority over the region.

This ending reinforces the idea that true independence comes from the individual’s ability to make their own decisions and shape their own destiny.

Letting Go of the Past

Another significant theme in Fallout: New Vegas is the concept of letting go of the past. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of the old world still linger. Many characters and factions are driven by their desire to reclaim what was lost or to seek revenge for past injustices.

The canon ending that best reflects this theme is the one where the player chooses to side with the NCR (New California Republic). The NCR represents a more organized and structured society, one that is focused on rebuilding and moving forward.

By aligning with the NCR, the player embraces the idea of leaving the past behind and working towards a brighter future.

The Courier’s Ascension

The character of the Courier, the player’s avatar in Fallout: New Vegas, goes through a personal journey of their own throughout the game. Starting as a simple delivery person, the Courier becomes embroiled in the power struggles of the Mojave Wasteland and ultimately has the opportunity to rise to a position of great influence.

The canon ending that best represents the Courier’s ascension is the one where they choose to side with Mr. House. By aligning with Mr. House, the player helps him maintain control over the New Vegas Strip and solidifies their own position as a powerful figure in the region.

This ending reflects the Courier’s growth from a mere delivery person to a key player in the wasteland’s political landscape.

Character Motivations

The Courier Seeks Vengeance

The protagonist of Fallout: New Vegas, known as the Courier, is driven by a personal quest for vengeance. As the game begins, the Courier is left for dead in the Mojave Desert after being ambushed and shot in the head.

With no memory of who they are or why they were targeted, the Courier embarks on a journey to not only survive but also to uncover the truth behind the attack. This quest for revenge serves as a powerful motivation for the character throughout the game, as they navigate the treacherous landscape of post-apocalyptic Nevada.

Mr. House Seeks Control

Robert House, or Mr. House as he is commonly known, is a mysterious and powerful figure in the world of Fallout: New Vegas. As the founder and CEO of RobCo Industries, Mr. House is driven by a desire for absolute control over the Mojave Wasteland.

With his vast wealth and advanced technology, he sees himself as the only person capable of restoring order and establishing a new civilization in the region. Mr. House’s motivation stems from a belief that he alone has the knowledge and resources to shape the future of humanity in the post-apocalyptic world.

Caesar Wants An Heir

Caesar, the leader of the Caesar’s Legion faction, has a unique and personal motivation driving his actions in Fallout: New Vegas. As a former member of the Followers of the Apocalypse, Caesar was inspired by the ancient Roman Empire and seeks to recreate its glory in the wasteland.

One of his primary motivations is to find a suitable heir to continue his legacy. Caesar believes that by establishing a strong and disciplined society, he can build a lasting empire that will stand the test of time. His search for an heir becomes a central focus of his character throughout the game.

Kimball Wants Expansion

President Aaron Kimball of the New California Republic (NCR) has a clear motivation in Fallout: New Vegas – expansion. The NCR is a sprawling democratic nation that seeks to bring order and stability to the wasteland.

President Kimball sees the Mojave Wasteland as a key strategic location and believes that by annexing it, the NCR can further expand its influence and secure its future. Kimball’s motivation is driven by a desire to strengthen the NCR and ensure its survival in the face of rival factions and the harsh realities of the post-apocalyptic world.

An Independent New Vegas

When it comes to determining the canon ending of Fallout: New Vegas, one of the most popular choices among players is achieving an independent New Vegas. This ending allows the player to establish themselves as the leader of New Vegas, free from the influence of any major faction or individual.

It offers a unique and empowering experience for players, as they have the opportunity to shape the future of the Mojave Wasteland in their own vision.

The Courier’s Potential

The main protagonist of Fallout: New Vegas, known as the Courier, possesses incredible potential to bring about change in the Mojave Wasteland. Throughout the game, the Courier is presented as a skilled and resourceful individual who has the ability to navigate complex political landscapes and make impactful decisions.

Their actions and choices can greatly impact the fate of New Vegas and its surrounding areas.

By siding with neither the New California Republic (NCR) nor Caesar’s Legion, the player can forge their own path and become an influential figure in the region. This independence allows the Courier to make decisions based on their own values and ideals, rather than being constrained by the goals and agendas of others.

Mr. House’s Limitations

While Mr. House, the enigmatic and powerful figure who controls New Vegas, may seem like an appealing option for some players, his limitations become apparent upon closer examination. While he has the resources and infrastructure to maintain order and stability in the region, his vision for the future of New Vegas may not align with the player’s goals.

Furthermore, aligning with Mr. House means placing a significant amount of power in the hands of a single individual. This can lead to potential abuses of authority and a lack of true freedom for the people of New Vegas.

By choosing independence, the player can ensure that power is distributed more evenly and that the people have a voice in shaping the future of their home.

Best Outcome for Mojave

Opting for an independent New Vegas is often seen as the best outcome for the Mojave Wasteland. Without the presence of any major faction, the region can potentially thrive under the player’s leadership.

This ending allows for a balance of power and the opportunity for various factions and individuals to coexist peacefully.

By establishing an independent New Vegas, the player can promote a sense of unity and cooperation among the various groups in the Mojave Wasteland. This can lead to increased prosperity, improved living conditions, and a brighter future for the people of New Vegas.

Ultimately, the choice of the canon ending for Fallout: New Vegas lies in the hands of the player. However, an independent New Vegas offers a unique and fulfilling experience, allowing the player to shape the destiny of the Mojave Wasteland in their own image.


Based on a holistic analysis of developer intent, lore, themes, and character motivations in Fallout: New Vegas, the most likely canonical ending involves the Courier fighting alongside Yes Man to defeat Caesar’s Legion and the NCR, then ruling New Vegas as an independent power.

While fans will continue debating this complex issue, we’ve built a strong case for why this ending choice represents the definitive chronology of the Fallout universe moving forward from the events at Hoover Dam.

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