When Hank MacLane fled the Boneyard (née Los Angeles) in the final moments of Fallout‘s first season, he brought the series to an iconic video game locale. New Vegas is home to what some consider the franchise’s best entry. By going there, though, Prime Video’s canonical show has raised all new questions about the wasteland’s Sin City. The Fallout: New Vegas video game has four possible endings that players can unlock. Small variations can then also occur within each of the New Vegas endings, putting even more Fallout possibilities on the table. But the TV series can’t treat all four as fact. So, based on what we learned from the events of Prime Video’s series, which Fallout: New Vegas ending does the show treat as the definitive one?

The answer is almost certainly the best option for fans of Fallout: New Vegas—none of them.

What is Fallout: New Vegas About?

Fallout New Vegas, Vegas Strip
Obsidian Entertainment

Whether you’re new to the Fallout franchise or a longtime fan, you can read all about the game in our deep dive primer and learn what it revealed about the state of the western half of the United States 15 years prior to the start of Prime Video’s series. (The game takes place in 2281. The Fallout TV series’ present-day timeline begins in 2296.)

Fallout: New Vegas has gamers play as The Courier, a character who gets caught up in a multi-pronged battle of powerful groups over some invaluable real estate. They’re all fighting over New Vegas, the nearby Mojave Desert wasteland, and the Hoover Dam. The dam is of special importance as it offers both clean water and energy for whoever controls it.

At the start of the Fallout game, the New California Republic (NCR) operates the Hoover Dam. They also have an arrangement with the leader of New Vegas, Mr. House, a character who appeared in season one of the Fallout series.

Who is Fallout: New Vegas‘ Mr. House?

Obsidian Entertainment

Robert Edwin House was only 22 when he started the multibillion-dollar robotics conglomerate (and close Vault-Tec business partner) RobCo in 2042. Mr. House was much, much, much older when The Courier arrived in glamorous New Vegas.

It was because of Mr. House that New Vegas was as close to a pre-Great War city as America had left. He’d prepared the city for nuclear war, and thanks to his planning, Vegas took a fraction of the damage that befell almost every other major city when the bombs started dropping.

But Mr. House was still in control of his gambling mecca two centuries later, thanks to a special life-support hibernation chamber. With his body (barely) preserved and his brain hardwired directly into a massive supercomputer, Mr. House was able to continue ruling over New Vegas.

The Courier’s decisions in the game determine whether Mr. House still lives and controls his city by the end of Fallout: New Vegas.

What Are the Four Alternate Endings of Fallout: New Vegas?

Obsidian Entertainment

Fallout: New Vegas ultimately culminates in the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. (The first took place a few years before the start of the game.) Three entities all hope to control it: the NCR, Caesar’s Legion, and Mr. House. The player’s option to align with one of them (or not) determines who takes over the Hoover Dam and New Vegas. Those four possible Fallout: New Vegas alternate endings include:

The New California Republic Annexes New Vegas and the Mojave Desert

Obsidian Entertainment

In this Fallout: New Vegas ending, the NCR not only keeps the Hoover Dam, but it also takes over New Vegas and its surrounding area. The total victory contributes to the growing and powerful government’s eastward expansion.

Caesar’s Legion Claims the Entire Region at the End of New Vegas

Obsidian Entertainment

If the player supports The Legion—a group modeled after Ancient Roman society that enslaves people and that barely lost the First Battle of Hoover Dam—it takes over everything connected to New Vegas. Its victory also forces the NCR to retreat westward, slowing the NCR’s expansion.

Prior decisions by the player determine if The Legion’s leader, Edward “Caesar” Sallow, lives or dies in this Fallout: New Vegas ending. In endings where he doesn’t survive, his subordinate, The Legate, is named the new Caesar. No matter which of the two ultimately rules, though, they bring a brutal form of tyrannical civilization to New Vegas.

Mr. House Claims the Hoover Dam and Mojave Wasteland

Obsidian Entertainment

Gamers who back Mr. House by upgrading his Securitron robot army allow for an ending where the New Vegas ruler forces both the NCR and the Legion away from the Hoover Dam. Mr. House then takes control of both it and the surrounding Mojave, firmly establishing himself as the leader of the Fallout region.

The Courier (With Yes Man’s Help) Frees New Vegas

Obsidian Entertainment

In the final alternate Fallout: New Vegas ending, the Courier goes into business for themself. Using the beloved character the Yes Man—a Securiton voiced by Dave Foley who can only say yes to any request—the Courier takes over Mr. House’s network and, in turn, the Hoover Dam, New Vegas, and the surrounding area. In this Fallout ending, New Vegas is set free.

In each of these conclusions, New Vegas seems poised to have long-term leadership that will keep the city stable (even if that means brutal, despotic rule). Yet, 15 years later, on Prime Video’s Fallout series, regardless of ending, that’s not the case for New Vegas.

What Did Fallout Season One Reveal About New Vegas?

Prime Video

The animated end credits for Fallout‘s season one finale showed New Vegas in rough shape. Rather than a bustling city of either gambling and fun or strict order, it looked like something terrible had happened in the intervening 15 years since the Courier made their decision. It looked like a city of ruins, as though a major battle had destroyed the strip. Who did that? Why were crashed NCR aircraft on the streets? What happened to the victor of the Second Hoover Dam, no matter who it was?

That carnage is why the series might never give us a canonical answer about what happened there before. It doesn’t matter who “won” in Fallout: New Vegas because enough time has passed that winner no longer seems to matter, as things can change quickly in the wasteland. (Something the show’s creators have specifically pointed out.) The Vault-Tec mastermind behind the proverbial wheel The Ghoul seeks might have come in and claimed the important region for themselves.

Prime Video

By only focusing on the current state of New Vegas and what it means for the present, the Prime Video series can both honor Fallout: New Vegas without picking a definitive ending. It’s the best of both worlds. Minus if you lived in New Vegas at any point over the last 15 years.

But just because Fallout seems unlikely to pick one of the New Vegas‘ possible endings as being canon doesn’t mean there won’t still be meaningful connections to all four.

How Did Fallout Season 1 Directly Connect with Fallout: New Vegas?

Prime Video

Fallout‘s first season featured none other than RobCo’s Mr. House himself. He was seen at the Vault-Tec meeting where Barb Howard discussed the company starting a nuclear war. On the show, House was skeptical of society thriving underground, which fits in with his character’s preparation to keep Las Vegas habitable on the surface. Whether the Courier killed him or not in the “canon” New Vegas ending, did someone reconnect his brain to the network in the lead-up to the Fallout series? Is a re-reprogrammed Yes Man with him? Did Mr. House destroy his own city rather than let someone take it over? Or is he the very same person Hank is going to in the last scene of the Fallout show?

The show also revealed the mysterious current ruler of New Vegas, whoever it is, dropped a nuclear bomb on the NCR’s capital city, Shady Sands, years ago. That atrocity actually seemed to conflict with the canon established by Fallout: New Vegas. In the New Vegas game, Shady Sands was said to be still thriving, but Prime Video said it actually fell in 2277, four years prior to 2281 (the time when New Vegas takes place). However, the show’s creators have said that the apparent discrepancy was intentional, and we can, therefore, expect an explanation of what really happened in future seasons.

Prime Video

We can also expect to learn more about the current state of the NCR in the Fallout series. The once powerful and expanding government seems to be in tatters now. Moldaver seemed to be leading a much smaller NCR from the ruins of the Griffith Observatory when she died.

Does a larger force of NCR officials exist elsewhere? Or is the group now gone forever as the region falls under the brutal metal thumb of the Brotherhood? And what does all of this have to do with the Hoover Dam?

The Fallout Series Doesn’t Have to Pick One New Vegas Ending

Prime Video

Clearly something terrible happened to the NCR at some point over the last 15 years. The same is true of Mr. House and his beloved city after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. Bad for them, sure. But great for video game fans who don’t want Prime Video’s Fallout series to say three of the New Vegas‘ possible endings canonically never happened.

The Fallout series doesn’t have to pick just one conclusion as the only one. What matters is that the NCR, The Legion, and Mr. House all had problems after Fallout: New Vegas.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist currently trying to book a weekend at Fallout’s New Vegas. You can follow him on  Twitter and  Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.