The sewer locations are a few that I did not visit, but I read the book Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas, a non-fiction title from 2007 by author and journalist Matthew O’Brien that gives a clearer picture than I could.
I think that it may be possible for the locations found in game to be based on the real life communities that live in the sewer systems underneath Las Vegas.
# 313 – New Vegas sewers
# 314 – Central sewers
# 315 – East central sewers
# 316 – North sewers
# 317 – Sealed sewers
# 318 – Northwest sewers
# 319 – Southwest sewers
A network of sewage tunnels underneath the Las Vegas Strip houses thousands of homeless people, who call themselves the “Mole People”. They live in concrete pits that are meant to drain rainwater from the city after a storm. Pitch black and with no surveillance cameras, the tunnels are a breeding ground for crime and illegal activity.
The book was very riveting, and important, as it brought international attention to the fact that so many homeless people were living underground in Las Vegas. Several documentaries were made after the book was released, and spotlight series by NPR, ABC news (of which the non in-game photos on this page are from), and Las Vegas Review Journal. Hearing the stories of these people, their pasts, their struggles, really hits home. They are good, sweet people who are just trying to make it, just like you or me.
I talked at length in my entries on the North Vegas Square and Freeside, about the heartbreaking problem of homelessness in Las Vegas, and gave credit to the developers for showing subtle references to these communities, especially taking into account the struggles of the class disparity seen in real life and in-game.
If anyone does their own New Vegas tour, I encourage you to volunteer for an afternoon at the CARE Complex located in North Las Vegas, a project that is dedicated to the elimination of homelessness in Downtown Las Vegas. It will open your eyes and is quite worthwhile.