Fallout is the story of a post-apocalyptic Earth - something that SHOULD be enormously depressing, but is undercut by Fallout's wonderful sense of humor and acute pop culture awareness. Sometimes, it's shown through the ridiculous dialogue of characters talking about hand-penises or about how they have a theoretical degree in theoretical physics. Sometimes, it's shown in the happy, optimistic musical choices contrasted against the terrifying reality of the post-apocalypse. And sometimes, it's through sly references to pop culture snuck in by the developers. And while all the games have references in spades, Fallout: New Vegas really goes all out (especially once you've activated the Wild Wasteland trait, which many of these depend on).

We now humbly present to you 10 of the weirdest and greatest references hidden throughout Fallout: New Vegas.


1. Zybourne Clock / Johnny Five Aces


Let's start by digging deep into the ancient ruins of the internet, where even the most strong-willed dare not tread: the SomethingAwful Forums archive. For $10, you can participate in one of the more robust, productive, and occasionally infamous message boards on the internet - and it's there you can find the beginnings of many now-famous memes, including Slender Man, All Your Base, and other stuff I'm embarrassed to know the history of.

It's also the home of one of the most hilariously failed projects in internet lore: Zybourne Clock.

Zybourne Clock was to be an RPG developed by the goons of SA - instead of criticizing games, they would use their passion and knowledge of the genre to MAKE one. As the name suggest, the core concept of the game would involve time travel, described (insanely) as such:

When the object enters the timestream, time begins to correct itself. Let me use this example: Imagine four balls on the edge of a cliff. Say a direct copy of the ball nearest the cliff is sent to the back of the line of balls and takes the place of the first ball. The formerly first ball becomes the second, the second becomes the third, and the fourth falls off the cliff."

Time works the same way.

Needless to say, the project was an enormous and hilarious disaster and completely fell apart, right before the eyes of thousands of goons. Thankfully, there were a ton of concepts and artwork created during the "development" period that survived, and spawned a ton of memes and mockery. And the best, most everlasting of these was Johnny Five Aces - illustrated as such:


Really soak that in - the faux "badass" pose of one leg on the table, revealing a way too prominent moose knuckle; the sad, wispy facial hair; the insane pose of holding one ace up while extending his middle finger (while four other aces are already on the table). And it's all tied together by the poetically-written cursive "Johnny."

Okay. Now that's a lot of information about a (relatively) obscure piece of internet ephemera, but that's kinda the point - Fallout: New Vegas EXPLICITLY references Zybourne Clock and Johnny Five Aces, and it happens VERY early in the game.

While you're helping Sunny Smiles with the Goodsprings gecko issue, you can find a small cliff - and who's sitting there but...


First off, the 4 balls by the cliffside? Perfect.

That dead guy on the ground, who's just fallen off his chair, is none other than Johnny. His mug of beer is the pitcher by his side, he has an ace by his other hand, there are four aces on the table near him, and best of all, THIS is what his face looks like:


They really went the extra mile to include this weird, not-that-well-known piece of internet history as canon in the Fallout universe. Play the guitar, Johnny Five Aces. Play it again, my Johnny.


2. Kate Beaton


If you're not familiar with the work of Kate Beaton and/or her comic Hark! A Vagrant, how are you even on the internet right now? Who are you? Go get familiar right now. She and her work are consistently great, so it stands to reason she's the webcomic artist of choice to be referenced in Fallout: New Vegas.


via Hark! A Vagrant

One of the rarer weapons in the game is the Tesla-Beaton Plasma Cannon, a weapon tucked away near the old nuclear test site way down south. It's named after Nikola Tesla, the internet's favorite mad scientist / death ray manufacturer, and Kate Beaton, one of the best webcomic artists out there - and one who helped popularize Nikola Tesla before The Oatmeal co-opted him completely.


3. Fallout 1 & 2


Although Fallout 3 has plenty of references and characters from the previous Black Isle isometric Fallout games, it's New Vegas that really has them in spades - which makes sense, because New Vegas is geographically closer to the previous games, and was made by a lot more people who worked on Fallout 1 & 2. A good deal of Fallout: New Vegas actually came from the designs of the abandoned ORIGINAL Fallout 3 (codenamed "Van Buren"), so the ties go even deeper.


  • Marcus, the mutant who runs Jacobstown, is the super mutant companion from Fallout 2. Still voiced by Worf, no less!
  • Also in Jacobstown is Doctor Henry, a scientist character who resided in NCR in Fallout 2, trying to work on a serum to cure super mutants. In New Vegas, he's trying to cure the Nightkin of their out-of-control schizophrenia.
  • One of the more enduring mysteries of Fallout 2 was the fallen Vertibird you find early in the game. It's never really explained or referenced by any character around, so you're left questioning what could have happened. In New Vegas, you find out - the pilot, Daisy Whitman, shows up in New Vegas, now much older and wiser. She reveals she crashed the Vertibird while working for the Enclave years ago after a rotor failure.
  • Rose of Sharon Cassidy is a recruitable companion in New Vegas - and she just so happens to be the daughter of another companion, John Cassidy of Fallout 2. If you played Fallout 2, you may remember John as the old, grizzled guy who hung out outside Vault City and was the best non-Sulik companion in the game. Both are marked by having terrible strings of bad luck.
  • Bruce Isaac - probably the weirdest and most fun callback to Fallout 2. Bruce originally hails from New Reno - but after stealing some caps from Mr. Bishop's casino, he had to hide out in Novac until the heat died down a bit. It's possible the "Mr. Bishop" he's on the run from is the son of the main character from Fallout 2, since you can sleep with the elder Mr. Bishop's wife (or daughter) and impregnate them with a child, who ultimately inherits the Bishop empire.