- “Five years after The Second Battle of Hoover Dam, a strange fog swept over the Mojave, killing most of its inhabitants and greatly weakening the major factions. This event, and the events immediately following, are known by survivors as "The Fall"”
- —Fallout: DUST loading screen
Twenty years before the events of Fallout: DUST, the Second Battle of Hoover Dam occurred. The NCR, aided by Courier Six, claimed victory over Caesar's Legion and drove them back across the Colorado River. However, the Courier ultimately turned on the NCR (either by order of Robert House or Yes Man) and ordered them to leave New Vegas. The NCR would eventually annex the Strip by force and brand the Courier as a terrorist. As a result, unrest grew in Freeside and Outer Vegas, which would eventually become full-scale rebellion.
Beginning of the End
Some time after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, the NCR discovered the Sierra Madre Casino, as well as the mysterious and deadly Cloud. It is implied that the NCR conducted experiments with the Cloud, bringing both massive samples of Cloud Residue and corpses of Ghost People back to the Mojave. Many of these experiments were conducted in a makeshift laboratory set up in the lobby of the Lucky 38 casino. Though the full nature of the experiments is unknown, it is implied that they were brutal, sadistic, and inhumane.
Around the same time, the NCR received reports that a massive sandstorm was approaching New Vegas. They did not share this information with the public, and instead began to outline evacuation procedures.
Five years after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, something went terribly wrong. It is implied that a disgruntled Vault 21 custodian may have intentionally sabotaged the Lucky 38 laboratory, causing a new Cloud to form over the Strip, much more lethal and corrosive than the Cloud of the Sierra Madre.
Chaos in New Vegas
As the Cloud descended upon New Vegas, panic engulfed the Strip and Freeside. Riots and violence broke out. NCR troopers began to execute innocent civilians in the streets. In response, the Kings rebelled against the NCR, while also aiding in an evacuation of Freeside, saving countless lives. The Followers of the Apocalypse were forced to abandon the Old Mormon Fort. The NCR locked the gates to the Strip, with all civilians inside. The rebels were forced out of and under the city, to the Sewers below. NCR troops then dumped radioactive waste into the Sewers to kill any survivors, before fleeing the city themselves. Eventually, the situation became so bad that NCR General Lee Oliver ordered an evacuation of all NCR personnel from New Vegas via the Strip Monorail.
The city would ultimately fall to the Cloud and to the dust storms that blew in from the West. While some survivors managed to take shelter in the Strip's now-abandoned casinos, many citizens were not so lucky. Those who weren't immediately killed by the Cloud became Ghosts or Cloud Victims, while others died slowly of radiation poisoning and exposure.
While New Vegas fell to the Cloud, a massive radioactive dust storm engulfed the rest of the Mojave Wasteland, causing widespread devastation. Whole settlements and towns were evacuated or otherwise destroyed. One settlement in particular, Goodsprings, was struck by an unknown form of plague, killing most of its residents and turning the once-prosperous community into a ghost town.
Other areas, such as Boulder City, attempted to protect themselves with the same suits worn by Ghost people in Vegas and the Sierra Madre, ultimately becoming trapped themselves.
The ultimate effects of the Fall would spread as far out as Zion Valley, where spore carriers from Vault 22 ran wild, alongside another strange, terrible creature...
As predicted by Ulysses, the Tunnelers from the Divide eventually burrowed through to the Mojave Wasteland, causing even more death and destruction. The dust storms blotted out the Sun, allowing the Tunnelers to hunt by day, killing off most of the native animal population in the Mojave.
After the fall, little remained of the old Mojave Wasteland. Once-powerful factions such as Caesar's Legion, Great Khans, and Powder Gangers were either wiped out or dissolved into roaming gangs of tribals and survivors. Cannibalism became rampant, as people did whatever they could to survive. The NCR remained in control of various locations such as Camp Golf, Hoover Dam, Camp McCarran and Nellis AFB. Those fortunate enough to evacuate the Mojave mostly wound up at Camp Adytum, an NCR/Followers refugee center in the Boneyard.
The NCR would eventually launch expeditions into the ruins of New Vegas, presumably to acquire materials left over from the Lucky 38 laboratories. However, none of these expeditions were successful, and the NCR soon abandoned all attempts to return to New Vegas, with only the Royst-Bernard Expedition consisting of rogue NCR scientific and military personnel returning in an attempt to succeed, where regular NCR failed.
List of notable areas affected by the Fall
See the Locations category for more areas and locations.
- Bitter Springs - occupied by Tribals
- Black Mountain - occupied by NCR
- Boulder City - overrun by Ghost People
- Camp Golf - occupied by NCR
- Camp Forlorn Hope - overrun by Cannibals
- Camp McCarran - overrun by Ghouls
- Camp Searchlight - occupied by Brotherhood of Steel
- Cottonwood Cove - overrun by Cannibals
- Freeside - destroyed by Cloud, overrun by ghouls
- Fortification Hill - Occupied by Tribals
- Goodsprings - destroyed by plague
- HELIOS One - overrun by Cannibals
- Hidden Valley - destroyed by NCR
- Hoover Dam - occupied by NCR
- Jacobstown - occupied by Super Mutants
- Mojave Outpost - overrun by Cannibals
- NCR Correctional Facility - occupied by survivors
- Nellis AFB - occupied by NCR
- Nelson - occupied by Tribals
- Nipton - occupied by Legion remnants
- Novac - overrun by cannibals
- Primm - overrun by cannibals
- Red Rock Canyon - occupied by Tribals
- REPCONN Test Site - overrun by cannibals
- Sloan - overrun by cannibals
- The Strip - destroyed by The Cloud
- Zion - Destroyed by The Cloud and Vault 22 spores
Factions and Individuals affected by the Fall
See the Factions category for more factions.
- Boomers – wiped out by NCR Rangers
- Bright Brotherhood – unknown; presumed killed by Nightkin
- Brotherhood of Steel – weakened; occupying Camp Searchlight
- Brotherhood of Steel (East Coast Expedition) – stranded at the emergency service railyard
- Caesar's Legion – disbanded; Republic of Aurelia and Nipton tribals claim succession
- Chairmen – deposed and disbanded by the NCR
- Crimson Caravan – withdrew from the Mojave; stragglers residing at the former regional headquarters
- Dead Horses – wiped out by Divide Tribals; Dead Horse Point sacked by White Legs
- Enclave Remnants – presumed deceased by natural causes
- Fiends – fragmented; Vault 3 inhabitants are ostensibly lead by Motor-Runner
- Followers of the Apocalypse – evacuated the Mojave, later formed the refugee camp at Adytum
- Greasers – wiped out or integrated into the Sewer cannibals
- Great Khans – disbanded; some survivors formed into the Red Rock Tribe
- Gun Runners – ceased all operation in the Mojave
- King's Gang – integrated into the New Vegas Rebels
- Mojave Express – supposedly disestablished
- New California Republic (NCR) – abandoned the Mojave
- New California Republic Army (NCR Army) – evacuated the Mojave; expeditionary forces dispatched
- New Vegas Rebels – unknown; presumed deceased, although one member survived
- Omertas – disbanded; later reconstituted as the Council
- Powder Gangers – fragmented into groups of survivors and tribals
- Robert House – unknown; presumed deceased
- Royst-Bernard Expedition – occupying Black Mountain, Camp Golf, and Hoover Dam
- Sorrows – wiped out by Divide Tribals
- State of Utobitha – disestablished; occupied by members of the Royst-Bernard Expedition
- Van Graffs (Mojave branch) – Mojave branch wiped out by the NCR
- Vault 19 Powder Gangers – reconstituted into the Vault 19 survivor group
- White Glove Society – deposed and disbanded by the NCR
- White Legs – unknown