The recently released Dead Money, aside from its own, self-contained story, contains some hints about what we might expect in future Fallout: New Vegas add-ons. While a lot of these have been already added to the relevant articles, I decided to post it as news as well, for those who don't keep track of article additions. Lots of potential spoilers ahead, so if you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now!
During Dead Money, Christine mentions that she was rescued from Father Elijah in the Big Empty (which is one of the locations that were originally meant to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 that some of the New Vegas developers worked on) by a courier "who wore the flag of the old world on his back". This courier seemed to imply he was seeking another, telling Christine to go after Elijah because he knew what it was like to search for someone who'd had a major impact on your life.
It is also stated in one of Dog's endings that:
- "The new voice did not think of the Courier again until the battle at the Divide reached his ears. The battle between the two couriers, beneath the torn skies and the Old World flag... each bearing a message for the other. And the mutant prayed the Courier that had saved him... had been saved in return."
Both of these instances act as triggers for the Things to Come! challenge, seemingly confirming that these plot threads will either be part of a future DLC.
The courier who wore the flag of the old world is most likely a reference to Ulysses, a companion character that was cut from the final version of Fallout: New Vegas. On the card that came with the collector's edition of New Vegas, he also carries a flagpole, a weapon that can be found in the game's files as Eagle Flag Pole. Chris Avellone stated in an interview with Lightspeed Magazine:
There’s a character on one of the trading cards, Ulysses, who was supposed to be a companion. Oddly enough, tearing him out of the game was almost as hard as putting him in because companion scripts touch almost everything (and he also was a complicated character in terms of some of the hooks into the storyline). Maybe he’ll come back at some point. I miss him.”
The knowledge we gain about Ulysses from Dead Money provides a greater context for comments made by Johnson Nash in Primm. Nash states that another courier (now believed to be Ulysses) was originally supposed to deliver the platinum chip, but after seeing the Courier's name down next on the list he apparently turned right around and he asked Nash if the Courier's name was for real, implying that Ulysses had thought that the Courier was dead. Nash told him that the Courier was still kicking, and Ulysses flat-out turned down the job, saying "No, let 'Courier Six' carry the package", as if he expected the Mojave Wasteland to finish the Courier off, and then left without another word.
Additionally, Dead Money was first hinted via in-game graffiti. The textures for these graffiti are in a folder in the game files called "nvdlcgraffiti", and all the textures share the filename "nvgraffitisierra". Interestingly, this folder contains a number of other textures, sharing the filename "nvgraffitihonesthearts". These read:
This implies that one of the future add-ons will be titled Honest Hearts and will feature Joshua Graham, Caesar's former right hand, who is also known as the Burned Man, as he was set on fire and thrown into the Grand Canyon for his defeat during the First Battle of Hoover Dam. New Canaan is another location that was originally meant to appear in Van Buren - a Mormon town that Graham originally came from.