Fallout: New Vegas might be a 13-year-old game, but fans of Obsidian Entertainment’s open-world RPG continue to tinker with and release mods for it to this day. Hell, just this week, New Vegas received 88 new PC mods and one of them is hilariously on point, replacing one of the game’s main antagonists with X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk, down to the cadence of his speech.
Created by modder NoUsernameSelected, the Elon House mod turns Robert Edwin House into Elon Musk. In case you don’t remember, Mr. House, as he’s commonly referred to in the game, is the CEO and president of The Strip, a district located in the heart of New Vegas. While cult leader Edward “Caesar” Sallow is the de facto villain, Mr. House can serve as another big bad if you refuse to work with him. Technologically and mathematically brilliant, he’s also arrogant, looking down on plebeians and eventually becoming so full of himself that he believes he must rebuild civilization under his command to save humanity. It’s not hard to see why one modder had the bright idea of replacing the New Vegas Strip’s CEO with one of our era’s wealthiest and most impetuous business magnates.
This is where NoUsernameSelected came in. Using artificial intelligence software such as the text-to-speech synthesizer ElevenLabs, OpenAI’s automatic speech recognition system Whisper, and the deep-learning text-to-image generator Stable Diffusion, NoUsernameSelected was able to construct a remarkable and uncanny recreation of Elon Musk in Fallout: New Vegas.
As you can see, when the player walks up to the screen, which would normally contain Mr. House, they’re greeted by a soulless-looking Musk. With the player—presumably NoUsernameSelected—choosing dialogue options to chat with Mr. Musk, you can hear just how accurate the voice sounds.
In an email to Kotaku, NoUsernameSelected said this is the most impressive mod he’s made thus far. As a big fan of the Fallout series, NoUsernameSelected thought both figures—Elon Musk and Robert House—were surprisingly similar, and figured someone should swap the two. Taking inspiration from a 2020 mod that replaced Mr. House with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, NoUsernameSelected sought to bring his vision to life. But first, he had to learn how to use AI tools.
”I’m more or less self-taught,” NoUsernameSelected said, crediting the nonprofit research group EleutherAI with facilitating his learning. “I thought it would take a while to make because I was learning how to use some of the tools involved for the first time, but I actually put this together in less than 24 hours from start to finish. I already had the Elon picture just from messing around in Stable Diffusion a few weeks ago. The rest was basically just figuring out how to rip the game’s voice lines open, transcribe them with OpenAI Whisper, voice them with Elon’s AI voice on Elevenlabs, and put them back in the game. The overall API and subscription costs were only a few dollars for [about] 600 lines transcribed and voiced. With the right know-how, this kind of content is actually surprisingly easy to create.”
With his previous modding experience being only small personal projects that haven’t been shared anywhere, NoUsernameSelected explained that artificial intelligence wasn’t the only tool that helped him out here.
“I also did a bit of manual batch editing in Audacity to make him a bit more robotic like House’s original voice through his speakers, because it was too ‘real’ and crystal-clear compared to the original voice acting otherwise,” NoUsernameSelected said.
Kotaku has reached out to X for comment.
It makes sense seeing Elon Musk replace the most arrogant and calculating character in Fallout: New Vegas. Considering that Mr. House has amassed colossal wealth but has little regard for how his decisions may impact the lives of others, the parallels between the two are close enough.
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