The NPCs that need a shot at the lime light
Are you tired of hearing about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Well too fucking bad because I ain’t ready to stop talking about it. It’s easily one of my top 50 games of the year and even though I’ve completed the campaign, I keep coming back to finish up shrines, find Korok seeds and generally experience this wondrous rendition of Hyrule. Back when I played World of Warcraft, I didn’t care much for the questing and raids. I was far more interested in seeking out the many landmarks Azeroth was hiding.
One of my favorite places to visit repeated in Breath is the Zora’sDomain. Even with its Tourette’s-like frame rate, I am infatuated with the place and one of its residents in particular. That’s right, I’m talking about the fine-ass fishman known as Prince Sidon. The star of my never-to-be-published fan fiction called “Sidon into my DMs,” the red wonder was briefly the most talked about aspect of the entire game as he was the first noteworthy character people met on their quest to save Hyrule. He’s charming, funny, energetic and quite handsome for a centenarian. He has arguably the most exciting of the Divine Beast action sequences and watching him swim across that water as he and Link tried the tame the beast convinced me quite quickly that this badass should have his own game.
The Zelda series is packed full of people who are ripe for their own adventure. Linebeck, Impa, Ganondorf, Skull Kid, Groose; they could all star and be fantastic in their own stand-alone adventure. But I just go back to that action sequence, and the fact that most people hate water levels, and I think what a wonderful experience it would be if Nintendo were to take this magnificent specimen and make him the star of his own deep sea adventure. Being a fishman would eliminate many of the issues people have with water stages (i.e. they’re slow) in the same way Starfy was able to create an entire game consisting of mostly water levels and be amazing. Side-note: Nintendo and TOSE need to make a new Starfy.
Beyond all that, he’s just so fucking positive and I can’t remember the last time a character absolutely radiated sunshine with every move he made and every word he said. So yeah, if there is a character most deserving of his own adventure, it’s Prince Sidon. Not a single person mentioned below can compare.
Ape Escape needs to make a comeback. No, I don’t mean in “first-person side show” form like it did with PlayStation Move Ape Escape, but a fully fledged adventure game on PS4. What better way to do that than with a Tron Bonne-esque villain entry?
Specter was the veritable Dr. Claw of the series. Hammy, but formidable enough, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. If Sony doesn’t want to go with the “human wrangling” aspect (I mean, they’ve gone weirder), having Specter gather up his army with a prequel of sorts, or a story that runs concurrently with the original Ape Escape, would be an easy sell.
I mean I just want more Ape Escape, really.
I’m going to cheat a bit here. I don’t want a game about one NPC. I want a game that centers around a whole village of them! The Pig Village (that’s the extremely creative name I’ve just given them…) from the Fools’ Gold quest in The Witcher 3 absolutely melted my cold, dead heart. Something about watching Geralt interact with these voiceless pigs through the in-game dialogue tree hit my funny bone hard. Itdoesn’thurt that it was insanely adorable too. Honestly, I would take anything starring these characters, but it would be amazing to see something that took place during the time between when they actually turned into pigs and the beginning of the Fools’ Gold quest. I don’t care how. I don’t care what genre. I want to play that fucking game now. Look what you’ve done, CJ….
Why is this never going to be a reality? Why is life so unfair?!? Why isn’t there already a crossover meme between them and The Village People called The Pig Village People?!?!? These are all questions that I may be asking myself, resentfully, until the day I die now.
Not sure what a full game would look like, but the best NPC of all time hails from King’s Quest 2015. His name isWalter Harris Ignatius Sally Percival Eduardo Ramon Jr. the Third of Modesto, or Whisper for short. Voiced by the iconic Richard White (voice of Gaston), this goofball has hilarious stories and animations when boasting about his heroics.
I suppose a game would be a prequel of his adventures in Modesto and beyond, but just sitting and listening to him talk for eight hours would be good enough for me.
If you’d ask me what my favorite video game lore is, I wouldn’t say Dark Souls, but Darksiders. I absolutely adore this series’ setting of Angels, Demons, and the Nephilim that separate them. I love the world, I love the story, and I love the character design.
So far in the Darksiderssoon-to-be-trilogy, much of the focus has been on the Horsemen and it’s easy to see why. They’re the coolest characters in the series and, as the dividing line between Angels and Demons, they’re also the most interesting in terms of lore. Nevertheless, the series wouldn’t be the same without the supporting cast, which has some real winners of its own.
Prime among those is Uriel: Leader of the Hellguard, Champion of the White City, and Mercy if Mercy was 10 times more hardcore.
Uriel is in a great place for her own video game. She already has a prominent role in the plot of the original Darksiders, and she also appeared in the sequel. She is already seen fighting her own battles against the Demons, and as the leader of the Hellguard after the fall of Abaddon, she surely has her own stories to tell. Furthermore, in the world of Darksiders, the Kingdom of Heaven certainly isn’t all prim and proper all the time. Wouldn’t it be cool to follow Uriel on a quest to weed out the evil that lurks underneath the surface of the White City?
Additionally, Uriel has a strong potential foil in Lilith, the Demon Queen. Lilith is indirectly responsible for much of Uriel’s misfortune, and they are striking mirror images of one another.
At the end of the day, I basically just want more of Darksiders. And while the third Horsemanperson is currently gearing up to ride out, there is more to the series than the Nephilim alone. Maybe it’s time for the Angels’ prime warrior, Uriel, to shine.
What a topic, the idea of this honestly sent my head whirling, but I always came back to the same answer, Waluigi. I have a weird love for the character. I’ll admit it was probably nurtured by the fact that not a whole lot of people like him when I was a kid. Mario was too milquetoast for me and Luigi was too much of a spaz. Waluigi, however, was just plain weird.
Ever since he weirdly stormed into our hearts in Mario Tennis, I’ve been clamoring for some back story on the weirdest plumber in the Mario universe. Luigi has gone solo, so has Wario so why can’t Waluigi get a fair shake.
I’m not asking for some weirdly inventive game like Luigi’s Mansion, but I want to know where Waluigi came from. What motivates him? What is ishisconnection to Wario and how did he score an invite to all of these parties and go karting events.
Occams Electric Toothbrush
My two favorite parts of Half-Life 2 were Lamarr, the de-beaked Headcrab and Dog, Alex’s robot companion and protector. While Lamarr is amazing and I would legit have a headcrab as a pet if that were viable, its Dog that shines through for me. Valve took a page from Star Wars and went the R2-D2 route with Dog, giving him emotions and expressions using beeps and whistles and a particularly creative camera aperture for a head. The telescoping and retracting lens and folding panels emulate a dog’s behavior in a way that is instantly recognizable for most folks who have spent any time around dogs. He’s the family pet in the body of a giant robot gorilla and has a gravity gun in his hand. If that doesn’t make a lovable badass, I don’t know what would.
So what kind of game would star Dog? Easy answer is an open world brawler. Just Dog running around throwing cars at the Combine and bringing Striders down. But you could throw in some RPG elements, an upgrade system, maybe even different bodies for Dog (his head is his core) and then suddenly Dog is in a giant spider body and he has drill mandibles. There have been games that have done similar set ups but Valve could knock this out of the park.
Dog is the giant robot best friend we all wanted as a child. Immensely powerful and at the same time vulnerable and sweet. He needed Alex as much as she needed him. I miss being able to play in a virtual world where Dog lives and thrives.
Rodin is an interesting character in terms of utilization. He’s only a supporting character who never does too much to progress any particular quest Bayonetta is a part of. He is responsible for forging some of Bayonetta’s awesome weapons, and he does step in from time to time. The biggest impact he leaves on the game is consistently appearing as a secret, challenge boss for Bayonetta to take on after paying out one million halos. Fighting him in both Bayonetta games reveals Rodin’s past as Father Rodin shows him in his prior angel form and Rodin, The Infinite One shows the form he took after he fell from heaven.
We do get a taste of playing as Rodin in Bayonetta‘s Tag Climax mode, but this combined with the implied lore of his boss forms makes him a very interesting character to me. I would want to play a game where you see Rodin’s fall from heaven and subsequent reign in hell. Or we could see a new story with Rodin where we explore mysterious forces that could restore him to his former glory. His play style in Tag Climax was of a heavy, bruiser type of character, relying on a parry rather than an evasion, and barely any mobility being buoyed by a projectile (which was just super strong spit). A game starring Rodin may want to balance him out to be more balanced rather than leaning into a heavy fighting Platinum fighter, but who knows what Platinum could do if they just want to change up their combat mechanics?
Pixie The Fairy
I had to think pretty hard about this one. I could have gone with the Chozo from Metroid, Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid or Granny Rags from Dishonored.
But then I remembered Greg, a beloved character from the Final Fantasy series. Like Cid, Moogles or Chocobos, Greg is a familiar face known to all and a bit of a rascal. He travels from one Final Fantasy world to the next and is something of a weapons collector.
Sometimes Greg will challenge you to a duel and if he wins, he gets your weapon. Or so he says, I’ve never seen him win a fight and even though it’s supposed to be a duel, he lets you pummel him with two to seven of your friends. He’s got a Buster Sword, Gungnir, and the Brotherhood, though I don’t recall him ever fighting Cloud, Kain or Tidus in their games. He fought them in Dissidia, but the terms of winning there were “win or cease to exist” and Greg didn’t get to set the rules there.
I want to know why Greg does what he does. What are his life goals? Did he really beat others for their weapons? Why does he like bridges so much? Is it a fetish? What were his adventures in Spira like? What became of his loyal companion, Enkidu, and why did he replace him with a chicken? Why did he dye that chicken’s feathers green? Why does he get upset when I call him Greg? Why won’t he get his own damn axe rather than try to take mine?
Greg needs his own game where we follow his journey through the Final Fantasy multiverse so these questions may be answered once and for all.
My first idea was a Music Rhythm game starting K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing, but then I realized how much I wanted a Shopkeeper Sim starring The Merchant from Resident Evil 4. Then I thought, why you both?
A game where you play as a smooth-talking masked gun dealer and a guitar playing dog trying to manage a speakeasy slash live music venue is sure to be a big money AAA hit.
These are all extremely solid answers (especially that one in the headline) but something tells me with the decades of gaming history available, our readers have some NPCs in mind they feel are quite deserving of their own starring role.