Letting Go

On the fabled Sierra Madre Casino.

“But getting there, that’s not the hard part. It’s letting go.”

In describing the tragedy that has taken place at the fabled Sierra Madre Casino, Father Elijah of Fallout: New Vegas’s Dead Money asserts that letting go of the pain attached to it is the hardest part of all. Before the Great War that ravaged the world of Fallout, a talented stage performer by the name of Vera Keyes caught the attention of one Frederick Sinclair, who built the Sierra Madre from the ground up for her. Another famous face from pre-war times, Dean Domino, also found himself enamoured with Keyes and jealousy reared its ugly head. All but Domino perished when the bombs fell, and the Courier finds themselves at the mercy of this two-hundred year old love triangle when Elijah forces them to break into the casino’s vault.

Dead Money’s journey is a grueling one through which the Courier must suffer if they want to escape with their life. So grueling, in fact, that the tragedy of the Sierra Madre almost feels real. It’s an allegory for the grief we feel in our own lives every day. By the end of Dead Money, the hope is that all of these suffering individuals will have learned to let go of their muddied pasts and personal grudges that they’ve been holding onto for so long. This is, ironically, something Elijah never manages to do, but it’s a misstep we can learn from. The pain of loss will run its course, whether we like it or not. It’s about finding the right path to process our grief so we can start on the road to healing. But as Elijah says, finding it isn’t the hard part. It’s letting go.

By Richard Kelly

Richard is a freelance video game journalist based in Ireland. When not drinking whiskey and making a fool of himself, he can be found replaying Mass Effect 2. You can follow him on Twitter @_Ricknarok_

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