New YouTube series The Cutting Room Floor dives deep into the piles of content that is cut from many games. In the first few videos of the series, host Griffin Lambert looks at the incredible amount of material that didn’t make it into developer Obsidian’s beloved RPG, Fallout: New Vegas.
While New Vegas marks a great jumping off point for this series partially because of the host’s love for the game, Lambert also rightfully notes that New Vegas‘ cut content is particularly fascinating because of just how many incredible ideas didn’t make it into the final version of the title. While some of that cut content can be blamed on Obsidian’s relative inexperience with the Fallout engine, Obsidian says that they would have been able to put much more into the game had it been a PC exclusive. The limited capabilities of consoles at that time forced them to make quite a few content concessions.
That’s especially true of the “Legion” faction. Caesar’s Legion, a society of slavers who model themselves after ancient Romans, were visually fascinating, but the actual content associated with them left much to be desired. That may be because the Legion-related parts of the game took the biggest hit when it was time to start cutting content. For instance, there is a Legion NPC called Alexus who has the highest charisma rating of any Legion member in the game, but he only speaks in stock dialog replies. It seems that he was originally going to play a much bigger role in the game. In fact, there are even hints that he would have been the crux of a major side-mission involving hostages.
It gets better. It seems that there were originally supposed to be much larger random battles between factions in the game. In fact, the very first retail build of New Vegas contains scattered dead bodies and some smaller instances of these conflicts. However, the limited memory of consoles at that time forced such things to be cut or patched out of the game.
Players might also have been able to participate in slave trading at one point, but it’s not clear whether that was cut due to memory shortages or a creative decision. The same goes for Legion “priestesses” who would have been a key part of convincing slave soldiers to serve.
Of course, New Vegas wasn’t the first time that Obsidian was forced to cut a great deal of content from a spin-off/sequel to a popular game. For more on that, check out our retrospective on how Knights of the Old Republic II became the studio’s unfinished symphony.