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If you in any way have followed any of my written content over the last decade or so regarding Fallout New Vegas, you may have heard that I absolutely adore the DLC content associated with this game. I have said time and time again that the Fallout NV DLC bundle is perhaps the most cohesive, wonderfully written, eclectic, and value-for-money DLC offering ever produced within the world of gaming.
In an era of gaming plagued by expansion packs and essentially cut parts of the game that could easily have been included, and of course, the dreaded loot boxes on that period, Fallout New Vegas was a shining beacon of hope. Proof that DLC could be a worthwhile venture for both the gamer and the developer.
All of these DLC offerings were excellent, but if pushed to offer my favorite of them all, I would always say Dead Money.
Dead Money was a wonderfully bleak adventure that took you out of the Mojave and to a Casino Resort where players would have to team up with a ragtag group of other captured runaways, use their skills to their benefit, and crack open the Sierra Madre to plunder the treasures that lay within, having been sealed up tight since the day the bombs fell.
It’s an intriguing concept and one that was carried out masterfully. This DLC did divide opinion due to the Slave Collar proximity mechanics; however, what one cannot dispute, is that the stories, the themes, and the characters within this DLC are sublime. In this article, we will be looking at one such character, Dean Domino.
Before the bombs fell, Dean was a famous singer and a well-known face within America, performing regularly across the country. However, the Sierra Madre would prove to be his curtain call. However, you may be wondering why Dean stuck around after the chaos, what role he plays in the Dead Money DLC and what fate awaits the Ghoul singer upon teaming up with The Courier.
All will be revealed below. So without further delay, here is our comprehensive Fallout New Vegas Dean Domino Guide
- Name: Dean Domino
- Affiliations: Ghoul, Sierra Madre
- Related Quests: Find Collar 14, Striking Up The Band, Curtain Call at the Tampico, Heist of the Centuries
- Related Perks: Unclean Living, Sierra Madre Martini
Who Is Dean Domino?
As we mentioned above, Dean was a well-known and respected swing-king who has performed around the world. He was known for his larger-than-life lifestyle, his egotistical, diva-like manner, and his ability to rouse the crowd. Despite all of his faults, he was an excellent entertainer. Even in his years after the tragic gala event, the player encounters them still dressed to the nines in a fancy tuxedo.
We suppose it’s hard to let go, which is the entire theme of this DLC. Due to his acclaim and ability as a performer, plus his stint performing at the Las Vegas strip, Dean was booked to perform at the Sierra Madre. However, his time spent at the resort was marred by his run-ins with Frederic Sinclair, the owner of the Casino.
Dean despised his carefree attitude and his ability to let adversity roll off him like water off a duck’s back. Dean longed to be the center of attention, and with Frederic in the picture, that was never an option, so he hatched a plan to ruin Sinclair.
He decided that he was going to take all that Sinclair held dear and steal the riches that lay within the Sierra Madre vault. He would ensure this plan would work by getting former lover Vera Keyes to help him crack the vault. However, she would eventually back out of the agreement, and only through blackmail was Dean able to keep her onside. He threatened to reveal her Med-X addiction to the public and destroy her career.
However, it was later revealed that this was not an addiction but to medicate her terminal illness. This all mattered not as before the plan could be put into action, the bombs fell, the Sierra Madre security killed the masses of visitors scrambling for survival, and the riches of the vault was locked away for good.
After the Bombs
While most of the Sierra Madre Gala Event attendees had the good courtesy to flee or die, Dean became obsessed with the treasures that lay within the Casino, and he would go through the stages of Ghoulification as he remained in The Villa, trying to trigger the Gala Event once more.
He became accustomed to the thick poisonous smog within The Villa, learned the ways of the Ghost People who became permanent residents of the area, and he managed to map out the security system around the area, allowing him to evade their potent death rays and survive in this hostile environment.
He would do so for 200 years, plotting and scheming in an attempt to get inside the casino once more.
Despite Dean’s clear intentions of cracking open the Sierra Madre and stealing the treasures within, Dean would also be captured by Elijah and his willing slave, Dog.
Dean was captured by the Nightkin brute, and Elijah slapped a slave collar on him, forcing him to work for him and bring the Sierra Madre back to life. Thus began a strained relationship between the two where Dean would constantly be the stumbling block in Elijah’s plans.
Dean, throughout the years before The Courier’s arrival, murdered quite a few of Elijah’s potential team members, showcasing that Dean doesn’t play too well with others. However, he was too valuable of an asset to Elijah to get rid of. His knowledge of the area his intimate knowledge of the security system was invaluable, and his clear desire to crack the Sierra Madre was enough to keep him there.
However, he regularly killed captured slaves to tinker with their collars in the hope of working out the tech and removing his own.
This brings us up to the events that take place within Dead Money.
Find Collar 14
The first quest that the player will embark on during Dead Money that directly involves Dean Domino is the quest where the player will hunt them down. The player will be tasked with finding all three of the ragtag slaves, and Dean is within the Residential District.
During this quest, the player will have to navigate the Residential area, deal with the various Ghost People that call this area home, avoid the masses of booby traps that Dean has set up to protect himself, and eventually, the player will encounter Dean in his hideout.
Your job will then be to convince the ghoul entertainer to join you as a companion. He will accompany you, or he will head to the Villa fountain if you wish to go it alone instead.
Related: Comprehensive Fallout New Vegas Companion Guide
Striking Up The Band
The next direct quest involving Dean is the quest that sees you play the role of escort and take Dean to his Gala event spot successfully, dealing with all the perils on the path. You’ll have to navigate the hostile area and deal with more smog patches, traps, and of course, those nasty Ghost People.
The purpose of this is to get Dean into an area where he can complete the broken circuit, acting as the conductor himself, and launch his part of the Gala Event. As long as the player leads them to their designated spot, they will complete the quest.
However, if the player wants to do Dean a solid and earn some good karma in the process, they can go out of their way to activate two hologram security guards, which will protect him during his stay in Puesta Del Sol.
Curtain Call at the Tampico
The Curtain Call at the Tampico quest acts like the grand finale for Dean’s story arc, and it can really go one of two ways, depending on the player’s relationship and their interactions with Dean.
As one will know if they have played Dead Money, when you finally enter the Sierra Madre Casino, the gang go rogue, and you will have to confront and deal with them somehow to pull off the grand heist. Dean, true to form, holds up at The Tampico, the theatre where he was set to play his show before the bombs.
He is hiding backstage and has placed a series of protective measures around the theatre; the player will have to navigate the speakers in the main hall and take out what speakers they can to clear a safe path. The player will eventually clear a path that leads to a stand with some sheet music belonging to the starlet, Vera Keyes.
Grabbing this will also add the backstage key to the player’s inventory, and with that in hand, you can then confront Dean.
From here, the player has two options. Either to go in guns blazing and kill Dean, or they can try and talk him down and help him see reason. This will be dependent on certain skill checks, the treatment that Dean has received from the player, and the player will also have to avoid certain confrontational lines of dialogue during the confrontation.
Hint, don’t bruise his ego. After this, you will be granted Vera’s Master Key and move on to Last Luxuries, where you will encounter Christine Royce.
Heist of the Centuries
Then lastly, while Dean is not directly involved in the last battle with Elijah, if the player manages to keep Dean onside and avoid putting a bullet through his head, then he will help the player out when it comes time to take on the vault. He has the ability to turn off the speakers in this area, and it makes navigating the area and making a quick escape when you inevitably lure him down a breeze.
Related Perks and Skills
The player will be granted a unique perk while traveling with Dean called Unclean Living. Throughout his time living in the Residential area of the Sierra Madre Villa, Dean had built up quite a tolerance to the thick, red, poisonous smog. So if you bring him along for your travels, you too will inherit this ability to tough it out in less than ideal environments.
The player will also have access to the Sierra Madre Martini perk, which isn’t so much a perk but more of a crafting recipe. The player can choose the correct dialogue checks, and if they do, Dean will teach the player how to craft this intoxicating mixture. To craft a Sierra Madre Martini, the player will need to combine two Junk Food, one Tin Can, and a Jar of Cloud Residue.
Dean Domino’s Playstyle
Dean is a great companion to have on your side, but he isn’t as much of a combat-ready companion when compared to the weathered Christine Royce and the animalistic Dog/God. Dean is a character that will work best if the player is a more stealthy type. He will be able to guide the player through thick smog, which offers safer routes through the Villa.
Dean also offers dialogue that offers hints as to where he has hidden his various stashes around the Villa, which means you will always be able to locate some handy supplies. Plus, when push comes to shove, he isn’t too bad with his 9mm Pistol either.
Dean’s accomplice and former lover, although he never so much as spells the latter out. However, it is very much implied throughout the DLC.
Vera was intimate with Dean throughout his stay at the Sierra Madre, and even though there was a love-hate relationship there on both sides, there was definitely a shared affection between the two. However, it was certainly a strained relationship, not only because of Vera’s relationship with Sinclair but also due to the act of blackmail that Dean used to keep Vera compliant and help him with his plan to steal Sinclair’s riches.
Ultimately, she would succumb to her illness, and if Dean survives the DLC and finds out the truth, it is clear that his actions and the way he treated her truly upsets him. He may not have the emotional intelligence to understand why, but this much is clear to the player at least.
Frederick Sinclair was the owner of the Sierra Madre and the reason why Dean arrived at the Sierra Madre, but also why he would come to loathe his time there, and why he could not have his love, Vera Keyes.
Sinclair was clearly in a financial hole and was not the shrewdest businessman in the Mojave, but despite this, he was always the life of the party, in good spirits and able to play up to the lavish lifestyle that he led. All of this irritated Dean to no end, as his fragile ego could not handle all eyes being on Sinclair, with his love on his arm.
This is why he enlisted the help of Vera, why he would blackmail her and why he would spend centuries trying to steal the riches hidden in Sinclair’s vault. However, Sinclair had already seen it coming and had a booby trap of his own setup and ready for Dean if he ever managed it; go figure!
Then lastly, you have to include Christine Royce on the list of key relationships as Christine has one hell of a reason not to like the King of Swing.
You see, when Christine tracked down Elijah to the Sierra Madre after chasing him through The Divide, Big Mountain, and Zion, she fell into the clutches of Dean Domino, who had a dastardly plan in mind for her. Upon his first attempt at cracking the Sierra Madre when he had somehow launched the Gala event, he learned that to access the vault, he would need access to a voice recognition passcode, and the voice belonged to the long-deceased Vera Keyes.
However, Dean learned that the auto-doc had the ability to surgically alter vocal cords, and Christine would be the unlucky target. Dean lured her into the auto doc and trapped her in there, where the auto-doc would repeatedly perform the surgery over and over again until the player arrived on the scene; this is why she is mute until the player encounters her in the Last Luxuries quest.
Dean has two endings which are essentially the good ending and the bad ending. These are dictated by the player’s actions and treatment of Dean throughout the DLC and what goes down during the Curtain Call at the Tampico quest. Here they are explained below:
The good ending is a somber one, but ultimately it is one that sees a chance for Dean to begin again and finally let go of the Sierra Madre for good. After the events within the vault, Dean wanders around the Casino and takes in the scenery, the casino treating him as a guest rather than an intruder.
He searches through the hallowed halls of the Sierra Madre and finds out all of Frederick Sinclair’s plans to trap him within the vault and indeed about Vera’s terminal illness. This makes Dean sad for reasons that he does not understand, but he does not linger on these thoughts, instead finally leaving the Sierra Madre behind him.
With a wink and a nod, he turns and heads to the New Vegas strip, where he can perform again and begin again.
This ending will occur if you cannot save Dean. After the player leaves the Sierra Madre, this ending will speak of the Tampico, the hologram version of Dean Domino performing on stage.
The lights would gradually shut off one by one, eventually leading to all that is left of Dean singing to an empty room, truly his final and eternal curtain call. The ending also sums up, stating that although the Sierra Madre finally claimed Dean’s life, his greed and need for vengeance meant that his soul belonged to the Casino long before his eventual death.
Just before we sign off, we want to leave you with some fun facts that you may have missed even if you played through Dead Money several times. Check it out below:
- Dean Domino’s character is loosely based on Dean Martin, the real-world 1950s jazz singer. If you aren’t familiar, the opening song when you boot up a new game of FNV, Ain’t That A Kick in the Head is none other than Dean Martin.
- The player can actually get a glimpse of things to come in the vanilla game of FNV. In casinos on the New Vegas strip and around Freeside, you will encounter some posters which mention the entertainer you later meet, Dean Domino.
- Aside from Boone, Dean is the only other companion where the player can alter their armor choice.
Question: What Other DLC’s Are Available In Fallout New Vegas?
Answer: Dead Money was only the first of five DLC additions for Fallout NV. One of these was an addition that added new unique weapons and challenges, so it’s not a fully-fledged DLC like the rest.
However, the other three main DLC additions are Honest Hearts which tells the story of Joshua Graham, otherwise known as The Burned Man, Old World Blues which is a wonderfully wacky sci-fi adventure, and then Lonesome Road which sees the player travel to The Divide, confront the courier that turned down the Platinum Chip and ultimately learn about your story before the bullet in the head at Goodsprings.
Other great DLC outings to try out within the Fallout series would be as follows:
• Point Lookout – Fallout 3
• The Pitt – Fallout 3
• Mothership Zeta – Fallout 3
• Far Harbor – Fallout 4
• Nuka World – Fallout 4
• Automatron – Fallout 4
Question: Does Dead Money Affect The Main Questline?
Answer: No, not at all, this is a standalone experience that will not affect any of the things that come to a boil at the end of your journey through the Mojave Wasteland. The only exception within the DLC offerings is within Lonesome Road if the player decides to alter the course of the nuclear warheads and destroy NCR or Legion Camps.
This will offer an extra piece of exposition in the ending credits, but in terms of the final battle of Hoover Dam, this has no effect whatsoever.
Question: What is the Best Game to Play if you Like FNV?
Answer: This is a very subjective answer but if you like the RPG-heavy aspects of this game, but also love the FPS format and the high octane action within, then we reckon you will love Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds.
This sci-fi game has the same witty writing, focus on narrative, and also some very refined and modern gunplay to boot. Other than that, you might get a kick out of the games listed below:
• Pillars of Eternity
• The Last of Us
• The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
If One Falls, They All Fall!
As you can see from the information above, Dean Domino is a very colorful character and one that is integral to the player’s success in the Dead Money DLC.
Ultimately, Dean never gets the happy ending of riches, fame, and fortune that he craved during his days at the Sierra Madre.
However, depending on your actions and decisions, you can send him off to that stage in the skies with a bang. We hope that this guide gives you all you need to know about Dean and as always, thank you for reading Wasteland Gamers!