Ulysses in Fallout New Vegas (2023)

For those obsessed with and playing Fallout: New Vegas you've likely heard tell about the feared Courier known as Ulysses. For those not familiar, he's the one who's choice led you to taking the job that got you shot in the face. This is my theory (constructed during times of ease at work) about who this mysterious figure is. My only problem is that I can't figure out his connection with the player character. Anyways, here's my thoughts on Ulysses in the game, and I should warn you, there be spoilers ahead from the DLCs and so forth for those who haven't played them. I hope this article helps you waste as much time as I have.

Why Ulysses Could (And Should) be the Lone Wanderer

As the title says, my argument is that the Lone Wanderer (the player character in Fallout 3) is the mysterious Ulysses who we've heard so much about over the past three DLCs. Let's start by breaking it down bit by bit. To understand my argument, we must first take a look at the backgrounds and narrative situation of both Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 3. Following that, we will take a look at what we know about Ulysses and why he's likely the Lone Wanderer. Then, after the evidence is displayed, I'll tell you why I believe, that even if he isn't, he should be.

The Setup

The writers and developers of Fallout New Vegas are very good at developing atmosphere and anticipation, even before the rumors of Ulysses, the Big MT, and the Burned Man ever emerged. Remember entering Vault 11 for the first time, as the knowledge slowly dawned at what happened there? It seems that with Lonesome Road the final loose end, Ulysses, will finally be put to rest. If only he truly were the only loose end. Throughout the whole of Fallout New Vegas the most menacing foe in the Mojave is constantly referenced by every other character throughout the region. Namely, shortage.

Food shortages, water shortages, and so forth are what rests somewhat in the minds of numerous characters throughout the game. Chief Hanlon is indicative of this, referencing the numerous lakes left dry in California by the NCR and the White Wash quest also remarks upon this. There seems to be few reliable sources of fresh water in the wasteland, and by extension, a declining capacity for foodstuffs that haven't been sitting around in radioactive wastes for two hundred years. In Fallout New Vegas the three major factions (Mr. House, Caesar's Legion, and the NCR) are all apparently based on three vastly different approaches to dealing with the impending shortage of water and what that implies for any civilization.

(Video) Fallout: New Vegas - Ulysses

The New California Republic is a bit like a devouring plague all of their own. Their approach seems to be safety in numbers or greater mass. This shows in nearly all of their doctrine, calling for more farmers, more soldiers, more of everything in order to overwhelm or outpace whatever may threaten them. In the case of the Mojave, the New California Republic needs both the electricity of the dam, and the water of Lake Mead in order to increase food production. Therefore, they hope to deal with the shortage by expanding until the gain of new resources outpaces the gain of population. Unfortunately, as we can see with the meeting with Caesar's Legion, eventually, you'll run up against other political bodies as powerful or more powerful than you are. Then, you are forced to go to war, and bit by bit, the war to expand resources will instead consume them.

Caesar's Legion takes a more ruthless, but possibly more effective approach. Rather than dramatically increasing the numbers of resources and people, they seem to want to reduce the number of people and therefore the consumption of said resources. This is seen in their handling of indigenous peoples and the emphasis on low-tech solutions rather than high-tech ones. Every person they kill is one less who needs water. Unfortunately there are not really enough people among the Legion within the game who speak on the domestic concerns of the Legion, and all we know is that they are constantly fighting and expanding. Perhaps they don't have any cohesive thoughts towards water management yet, but you can bet they will if they take New Vegas. The flaw here is that you can kill plenty of people, but turning to low-technologies over high technologies will not improve the quantity of water available. The arrival of failure may not be as quick as it would be for the NCR, but it will happen, in time.

Mr. House, as a person who doesn't really need water himself, shows the final extreme of dealing with a water shortage. He seems to support the idea of letting people take care of themselves. Rather than dealing with worldly things such as logistics or actually feeding people, he attempts to put them in a position to feed and water themselves. While I suspect he may occasionally step in to lend a hand, his interests don't ever really expand outside of the Mojave. As long as customers keep arriving, financing, and so forth, he doesn't care. The flaw here is that if he provides stability, more people will arrive. Without expansion or reduction of consumption eventually, New Vegas will reach a point where it can no longer support its population. When the population starts dying of thirst or hunger, you can bet that House's "high technology sector" and other plans will die with them.

That's three approaches, and in the words of Ulysses, at least two of them are flat out wrong, all "obsessed with the wrong bits of history." This leads us to the final approach to shortage presented to us in the new Fallout games. I speak of course of Project Purity. Project Purity's brilliance is in its simplicity. If a shortage of water is a problem in the area: create more drinkable water. Rather than relying on Old World tech or scavenged goods, Project Purity would create a vast supply of pure water which would essentially be free for all the wastes. The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel recognized this and immediately begins distribution in the Broken Steel DLC. So far, so good. The problem is, even if all the water of the Chesapeake was purified, so what? The population of the Capital Wasteland is nothing compared to the West Coast, or even the rest of the former United States. The Brotherhood can't get water to them all. Even if they could, you can't farm with bottled water. There's also a risk that people would become too reliant upon the Brotherhood and their supplies, making them much worse off in the long run.

So there you have it, the Fallout world is doomed. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some time in the future, the main regimes we've seen aren't going to survive. Enter stage left, Ulysses.

The Man

The Lone Wanderer was born in the year 2259, and arrived in Vault 101 not too much longer afterwards. He left the vault in 2277 at the age of 18. Yes, the player can choose their gender, race, etc, but for those familiar with Fallout 1 and 2, it's not an impossible thought for the proper canon of later games to be set by the writers. Therefore, we have this bright young man, who loses his father, and in the matter of a couple months shatters the old order in the Capital Wasteland. This single individual brings down the last big bulk of the Enclave, and proceeds to herald in a bright new day for the people in the wastes. What now? He can't go home. The Brotherhood doesn't seem to eager to have him full time. What does a person like the Lone Wanderer do when he can't go home? He freaking WANDERS, alone.

(Video) Lonesome Road Part 10: A Profile of Ulysses - Was He Right? - Fallout New Vegas Lore

Also in 2277, the Legion and NCR had their first major battle, and a disaster of some sort creates what's now known as the Great Divide. We're given no exact date for this, and obviously the Lone Wanderer wouldn't be there. In Honest Hearts Joshua Graham talks about hearing about a courier who works for Caesar in the east, and how he expected him instead. By the way he talks, Graham never met this courier himself, and it sounds like it would have been after his time of service with the Legion. We don't know when this could be, but the Lone Wanderer would have well travelled through Caesar's Land if he went to the Mojave.

We can start actively charting Ulysses travels with Old World Blues. We know that Ulysses first emerged in Caesar's Legion, and then at some point broke from them. Based on his own testimony we can infer that he had travelled to the Sierra Madre in his search, for something. After visiting the Sierra Madre, Ulysses then travelled to Big MT to talk to the Think Tank and to, very specifically, investigate the Meteorological Station. At some point after this he returned to the Mojave, was about to accept the Platinum Chip delivery, but then chose not to after seeing the Courier's name on the list.

That's what we know he's done. Now, what do we know about the man, personally? We know he served with Caesar's Legion, and thus is fine with working for slavers in order to make his way. He's been around a lot, has had at least some experience with the Brotherhood of Steel (Thought they were the best hope for the Mojave, west, and east, remember). He's obviously disillusioned with all the major power players in the Mojave, and believes that they're not focused in the right direction for a future for the wasteland. Most significantly, he has a faith in an idealized "America" and what it could be. He states that it's not dead, but sleeping, and that one day it will wake up, and that he carries it until it does.

Now if Ulysses is the Lone Wanderer, he could have waited to leave the Capital Wasteland at any point after the events of Broken Steel and still had plenty of time to reach the Mojave and create this persona and opinions. Yes, he probably had many adventures on his way, influencing and interfering as he so often does. It's unlikely that he would have arrived before the First Battle of Hoover Dam, but the ambiguity of the timeline starting at his arrival with Caesar's Legion could mean that he arrived in the area at any point between 2278-2281.

The Story

All right, I've flooded your brains with theories and information, but how does it all tie together? Here's the great (possible) story of Ulysses.

After helping the Brotherhood of Steel crush the Super Mutants and Enclave in the Capital Wasteland, Ulysses didn't have too much else going on in his life. Encouraged by the success of his father's legacy, Project Purity, he begins looking for a way to create a legacy of his own, and to help even more people. In his quest, he rummages through the ruins of Washington D.C., and while reading the histories of the lost America, he becomes obsessed with an idealized nation or country which once could have existed by that name. Also in his travels, he learns of an experiment that had been in progress at a place called the Big MT. This experiment was dedicated to the manipulation of weather patterns and spontaneous providing of rain. Believing this experiment could help provide for the whole of America, and not just one small section, Ulysses journeyed far to the west.

(Video) The Politics of Ulysses | Connor W Goode

After encountering numerous adventures across the former American South, Ulysses eventually reaches Arizona and New Mexico. Rather than attempting to face down the Legion, he instead works his way west, becoming a bounty hunter for Caesar and the Legion. His success became fairly well known, and eventually he made his way into the Mojave and Nevada. Once more, he worked as a courier and bounty hunter, not staying too long, but long enough to witness the increasing burden upon the NCR and its failure to hold back the Legion. Eventually he left the Mojave, travelling to the fabled Sierra Madre to learn more about Big MT. From the terminals in the villas around the casino, he learned the location of Big MT and all about it. Here he encountered Elijah and Christine, helping the latter, and leading the former to his doom. He investigated the Meteorological Station where he learned that an experiment was already in place at the town of Hopeville. In theory, this experiment could restore pre-war weather patterns to North America, providing fresh, sweet rain to everyone. The water shortage his father had been so obsessed with, leading to his death, would finally be brought to its conclusion.

The rest of the story? It can't be told without figuring out the connection between him and the Courier. Are they friends, enemies, lovers? Did the Courier try to kill Ulysses? Fortunately, that doesn't matter to why Ulysses SHOULD be the Lone Wanderer.

As I stated earlier the greatest unresolved theme of both Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas is the shortage of water. If the secret the divide holds, the sleeping America, is in fact a way to restore weather, and thus climate, followed with flora and even greater fauna, that shortage is brought to an end. Imagine a GECK for the whole of post-apocalyptia! The true enemy of civilization, any civilization, would be brought to rest. Ulysses as the Lone Wanderer is the way to tie everything together, from Fallout 3 to the present. Of course, then we can have Fallout 4, when governments based on shortages suddenly find there's no shortage to stabilize their government any more. Viva la revolution!

The List

Here's the short list of in-game and out-of-game links between the Lone Wanderer and Ulysses and support for my theory that were not mentioned above:

-The Lone Wanderer's mother was black, Ulysses is black. Not a great example, as I'm sure there's more than one black family in the world, but still a possible link.

-Abraham Lincoln's marble head can be found in the Mojave (Broc Flower Cave). Coincidence? I think not!

(Video) Fallout New Vegas Lonesome Road - Ulysses' final message

-ED-E, an eyebot from Adam's Air Force base, features prominently in the Achievements listed for Lonesome Road. This alone suggests a link between the DLC and Fallout 3

-The actions of Ulysses are not unlike the actions of a player character. He affects everyone he meets, and his causes provide very definite effects for the wasteland. Not to mention, he's easily the single-most badass NPC.

-Ulysses speeches reference the Brotherhood of Steel, and "west and east," leading to the belief that he is after something that would change everything.

-The recent mention of something from Lonesome Road changing part of the Mojave in an interview I think supports my idea of what's to come.

Other Theories

Here's a couple of other theories on Ulysses which came from random thoughts throughout my otherwise dull days:

-Ulysses is (or is the descendant of) the last survivor of Vault 11.

(Video) Fallout: New Vegas (PC) - Ulysses Talks About Legate Lanius and Joshua Graham

-Ulysses was a rancher in the Mojave, eventually left to seek his fortune. When he arrived in Hopeville, he attempted to bring the old experiment there online. Unfortunately the Courier accidentally screwed it up, leading to Ulysses to go on a vengeful search for both the solution to his technical problem and revenge on the Courier. The scale of the disaster of the Divide suggests that Ulysses would have good reason to expect the Courier to be dead.


Can you spare Ulysses? ›

For more details, see the article Ulysses' Temple. If one decides to spare his life, they will have to pass a hard Speech check of 100 (90 if you have a high reputation with the NCR or Legion or the Strip), which makes Ulysses join the Courier against the incoming marked men.

Does Ulysses like the Legion? ›

Notes. Even though Ulysses is no longer a member of Caesar's Legion, and thinks the Legion has taken the wrong path, he still considers Legion members to be "brothers," and says "Caesar" in the classical Latin pronunciation favored by the Legion, unlike Joshua Graham, who uses the Anglican pronunciation.

Why does Ulysses hate the Courier? ›

“Ulysses' dual obsessions with the Courier and the Divide are motivated by several factors. He is the only unmutated survivor of the disaster at the Divide, and because he believed it was the Courier who caused the destruction of the community.

Is Ulysses evil fallout? ›

Ulysses is a sophisticated and educated villain who wants to change history. Ever since he tragically lost his home because of the Courier's "clumsiness", Ulysses became obsessed with the idea of reshaping the wasteland by casting aside the old symbols of the Old World.

What happens if you nuke the Legion in lonesome road? ›

Nuking a faction will drop the Courier's reputation with that faction down to the lowest possible rank (Idolized will become Wild Child, while Liked will become Soft-Hearted Devil).

How can I get free ED-E? ›

A simple fix is to go back to the Divide and then leave again but the player can have 3 companions at once during this glitch. Attack ED-E just outside the entrance to the Divide long enough to knock him unconscious, then exit the Divide.

Can you wear glasses with Ulysses mask? ›

About this mod. ulysses' mask is now a choker, so it can be used with hats and glasses.

Did the Courier cause the divide? ›

In short, the destruction of the two towns was, from the Courier's perspective, just a simple "fetch-quest" he took, never knowing he was indirectly responsible for the creation of the Divide.

Can you return to lonesome road? ›

Yep, you can. I just completed the DLC recently.

Which Courier was Ulysses? ›

Courier 6. Originally posted by i'm cool i promise: Courier 6.

Was the Courier Legion? ›

According to Ulysses in The Lonesome Road, the Courier was part of the Legion. He was actually renowned, so much so that Ulysses had never actually met him before the Lonesome Road, he had only heard of him.

How old is the Courier in Fallout: New Vegas? ›

4 years old. Anything further is extrapolation, but we can probably assume he didn't crawl out of the womb and immediately start delivering packages.

Who is Ulysses main antagonist? ›

Blazes Boylan

Realistically, Boylan is small-fry.

Who is the main antagonist in Fallout: New Vegas? ›

Caesar (real name: Edward Sallow) is the charismatic, yet ruthless and cruel leader (and founder) of Caesar's Legion. A former citizen of the New California Republic, he is the main antagonist of Fallout: New Vegas unless the player sides with the Legion.

Who are you who doesn't know your history? ›

Ulysses : "Who are you, who do not know your history?" You came all this way for answers. Only currency I have. Nothing else to be gained. Could turn around, walk away at any time.

Why does Ulysses want to nuke? ›

His intention is explicitly to nuke NCR/Long-15 as in his words, cutting of the Republic will in a long time destroy the Republic, which will then lead to the Legion collapsing because he believes when the NCR is done for, so is the Legion as they don't have anyone to fight.

Does nuking the NCR make them hostile? ›

Will NCR get hostile if I nuke them after that? Your infamy with them will max out, so if you're Idolised, you'll go to Wild Child. So, not hostile.

Can you save ED-E in lonesome road? ›

As far as I know, there is no way to save ED-E, but if you gather all the upgrades (and get the ED-Ecated achievement) - you can add some new features to the ED-E at Primm. Many prefer don't like Lonesome Road, but it is my favorite DLC.

Where does ED-E go if dismissed lonesome road? ›

If ED-E is ever frenzied, it will become hostile if dismissed as a companion and returned to Primm. The only exception is if it is sent to be upgraded. After a few days, ED-E should be willing to go with the player character again, found roaming around Primm instead of inside the Mojave Express.

Can you take companions to the divide? ›

About this mod. Companions can quite simply enter the Divide as you embark on your misadventures in Lonesome Road.

Can ED-E use weapons? ›

Yes. Ed-E's built in weapons are considered holdout weapons, which can be carried into a Casino.

Does glasses shape your nose? ›

Wearing glasses may cause a temporary depression on the skin of your nose but ultimately it will not cause a permanent change to the shape of your nose.

What kind of glasses make nose look smaller? ›

You should have a square or rectangular frame in your collection, as they are great to deviate the appearance of your nose. This is because blacky shapes are more eye-catchy on the face, instead of the round ones. For a better appearance, you can go for colourful frames, instead of monotonous black and grey ones.

Where is the rebreather in Fallout New Vegas? ›

The rebreather is located in the apparel section of the Pip-Boy and cannot be worn in conjunction with any kind of eyewear, but it can be worn with most headgear such as the space suit helmet or the combat helmet.

Is the Courier superhuman? ›

The Courier is a human, but the race and the gender can be chosen by the player.

What is the Courier's real name? ›

Actually the Courier's real name is Ahmed, which ties into Benny's 9/11 reference.

Why did the NCR fight the enclave? ›

Knowing the inevitable, some of the Enclave personnel fled with their families and comrades. Several years after the destruction of the Oil Rig by the Chosen One, the NCR, convinced that the remaining Enclave forces were a threat to security of the region, staged a full-scale assault on Camp Navarro.

How do you survive the Courier's Mile? ›

There are two very easy ways to do the Courier's Mile.
  1. Burn a ton of stealth boys and snipe everything from a safe distance. Having Rad-Away hotkeyed is a good idea.
  2. Go in with a Grenade Machine Gun with plasma or high explosive granades. The second the area loads start shooting. Do not stop shooting. Ever.
15 Oct 2015

Can you go back to Honest Hearts DLC? ›

Honest Hearts and Old World Blues can be returned to after completion (but must be completed to leave), and Dead Money can never be returned to after leaving.

How do I activate lonesome road? ›

Lonesome Road: After you step out into the Mojave for the first time, a new radio signal (titled only Radio Signal) appears, and a new quest (The Reunion). Follow the quest marker to the Canyon Wreckage and go into the Divide to start walking along the Lonesome Road.

Where are Ulysses Holotapes? ›

The holotape is inside the toolbox. Ulysses log: Y-17.21 - Next to the marked men supply outpost, behind a locked gate (leveled difficulty). The key to the gate is available in a metal box inside a trailer west of the supply outpost.

Who voices Ulysses New Vegas? ›

Roger Cross is a Canadian actor who voiced Ulysses in the Fallout: New Vegas add-ons Old World Blues and Lonesome Road.

How do you get to dry wells? ›

It will only be accessible to the Courier after completing the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Lonesome Road, by aiming nuclear weapons at Legion territory; and can only be reached by the boat in Cottonwood Cove.

How do you get Ulysses as a companion? ›

After finishing the events of Lonesome Road, if Ulysses survived, you can recruit him as a permanent companion to follow you throughout the Mojave.

How many Ed E upgrades are there? ›

The Courier must find all five of ED-E's upgrades in the Divide leading to the Camarader-E perk.

How old is Roger Cross? ›

What did Roger Cross play in? ›

Roger Cross

Who voiced Joshua Graham? ›

Keith Szarabajka is an actor who voiced Joshua Graham in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Honest Hearts.

What happens when dry well is full? ›

Once it reaches it full capacity, water begins to spill out over the side of the cup. The same thing happens to your gutters. Another bad thing about drywells is that if leaves or any other debris gets into the line, the stone becomes clogged easily. Leaves fall into your gutters and then wash down into the drywell.

Is a dry well a good idea? ›

Dry wells can be a safe and effective way to manage stormwater and recharge groundwater as long as: The stormwater is not contaminated. Appropriate pretreatment is used. The dry wells are installed in suitable locations.

Do dry wells work in clay? ›

Dry wells penetrate layers of clay soils with poor infiltration rates to reach more permeable layers of soil, allowing for more rapid infiltration of stormwater.


1. Confronting Ulysses (Neutral Courier)
(Papito Qinn)
2. Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road - Talking to Ulysses After the Ending
3. Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road - FIGHTING ALONGSIDE ULYSSES Ending
4. Lonesome Road Part 7: An Ending to Things - Confronting Ulysses - Fallout New Vegas Lore
5. Fallout: New Vegas - Ulysses Temple Ending w/ Speech Check (Lonesome Road) [1/2]
6. Ulysses Causes The Think Tank To Remember America
(Schizo Elijah)
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