Bison Steve hotel

The Bison Steve

"Fallout New Vegas Heartbreak Hotel"10:14

"Fallout New Vegas Heartbreak Hotel"

Fallout 3 is known to have some pretty unsettling locations. Sites like Vault 106, and the Dunwich Building are practically infamous for their levels of horror in what is an otherwise action-oriented franchise. However, there also examples of a more subtle form of horror right under most players' noses. One of the best examples, though, may just come not from Fallout 3, but from its sequel, New Vegas.

If you've played New Vegas, chances are you're familiar with the hotel and casino called the Bison Steve. It's a Fallout-universe parallel of the Buffalo Bill in the real town of Primm. Early in the story, you are expected to go into the Bison Steve, and rescue a hostage from a gang of escaped criminals who have turned the building into their own hideout.

You don't have to do it, of course. If you skip past the section and head on down the road, events still trigger to allow the main quest to "catch up" to you. However, the chances are good that most players will go through it, at least once, if only because that's where the quest markers point them. How often do players really look at the building, though? Not just searching for loot, but how often do we as players pay attention to all the little details in the scenery? Poke around in the rooms upstairs, and you start to see signs that the Bison Steve was not a happy place, even before the escaped convicts moved in. It wasn't a happy place, even before the bombs fell.

Most players will probably find the ransom note, of course. It's on a holotape, making it an obvious collectable, and hard to miss. Look around a bit, though. See what else you can see. Did you find a skeleton on the ground near a desk, a discarded gun on the floor and a trail of old blood leading away from the head? Did you notice the other skeleton lying on the blood-soaked mattress in the same room? Why do you suppose they're like that? Is it the remains of a centuries old murder-suicide? What about the skeleton in the tub, it's arm over the side...did you notice that there's a bunch of chems - Fallout's drugs - and a switchblade lying next to that tub? It's almost as though the person that skeleton belongs to was taking something to dull their sense of pain, then slit their wrists.

There are other places like this too. Like a skeleton with a helmet along the side of one of New Vegas' lonely roads, the rusted wreckage of a motorcycle nearby. Other signs of suicide, too. If you know where to look. If you're of a mind to be looking. With such a vast and open world, though, isn't it strange? So many bodies, carefully laid out, the forensic evidence carefully laid out. It's been preserved for centuries in that world, just so you can see it. Of course, Fallout is just a game. It's not as though New Vegas were a real place. Doesn't that mean someone had to place them all, though? Just what sort of a person must they be, to have thought about so many ways and reasons for people to die? Why even go to so much trouble for something so few players would even pay attention to? Someone had to approve it, for the game to have an official "corpse placer".

Just one last thing...did you ever notice how at the wreckage of Ringo's caravan, and at the raided ranger station, it's only the female characters' bodies that have been stripped of all their items? Food for thought.

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