Top 5 Most Memorable NPCs in RPGs
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Ah yes… NPCs. Those wonderful CPU controlled characters that exist in just about every video game ever made. We program them to act as our friends and our enemies. Sometimes, they’ll be there to help you or be there to hurt you, and they always have something to say… or nothing to say.
There are a lot of memorable NPCs in the realm of RPGs, but which ones do you think are the most memorable? Well here’s a list of NPCs that are considered to be the most memorable in any RPG by me and the fellas at the OnRPG forums.
(Please note that this list is not set in any particular order, with an exception)
Manjin (Dungeon Fighter Online )
Part arcade action, part MMORPG, Dungeon Fighter Online paved its way into the western gaming market, but it also introduced us to a strange man named Manjin. Along with his gang of pot wearing merchants: Danjin, Arin, Pokin and Kardin, they can be found across Elvenguard selling pots that contain rare equipment (or at least that’s what they say.)They also give out betting quests to dungeon fighters. Most people recognize Manjin by his trademark line: “You have to spend money to make money!”
I mean just think about that for a quick second… You have to spend money… to make money. It’s so simple, but makes so much sense in these tough economic times! Manjin and his troop give players strong words to live by, so not only is Manjin a memorable NPC, but also great philosophers of our times…
(…nah, I’m just kidding about the philosopher thing.)
It’s the blacksmith that everyone loves to hate! Ferghus, the blacksmith of Tir Chonaill town, does repairs on all weapons, armor and other equipment for players. However, he has a reputation for being the worst blacksmith ever, as he tends to break player equipment on a regular basis. It’s kind of a trolling moment to see the game stating that his repair rate is 90%, but it’s really more like 40-50%.
He even warns players that he pretty much sucks at his job, telling everyone to go get their items blessed before bringing them to him. Unfortunately for first timers, he tells you this AFTER he attempts to repair your equipment. While he may suck at his job, he’s a really nice guy that will always apologize to you after he breaks your stuff.
Although I hear tons of stories about how this guy has broken a countless amount of equipment, I’ve had Ferghus repair my equipment all the time, and he has never broken ANY of it. I swear to god, not even once! All I can really say to that is “Gee, I must be really lucky…” or maybe my high luck stat has something to do with it?… Eh… Probably not.
Kafra ladies (Ragnarok Online)
What’s this? Cute anime girls wearing maid outfits and offering convenient services? It can only be the unmistakable Karfa ladies of Ragnarok Online. These adorable NPCs offered services all over rune midgard, allowing players to store equipment, save their location or teleport to different areas with a few clicks. The Karfa ladies didn’t many interesting things to say, because for the most part, their dialog would constantly remind you that you’re playing a video game, but their cute faces will really stick in your head.
Sylvanas Windrunner (World of Warcraft)
Now here’s an NPC that sure has quite an amazing story behind her
She was once a Ranger-General of Silvermoon (a group of blood elf rangers), until she was attacked Arthas the Death Knight. After her death, she was then re-animated back to life by Arthas as an undead banshee to do his bidding, but Arthas didn’t count on Sylvanas regaining her free will to oppose him. After she got her free will back, she broke away from him and went to rebel against the Lich King and the Scourge. She eventually helps to kill the one who betrayed her and her kind, finds her old body, and helps destroy Arthas. And now she controls the Val’kyr army.
Now I’ve never played WoW before in my life, but I’ve never heard such an amazing tale that shows how payback can be a real bitch. If there are tons more stories with characters like this, then I can see why so many people love WoW to death. For that, Sylvanas and her amazing story make her incredibly memorable and deserved a spot on this list.
Deckard Cain (Diablo series)
I saved the best one for last! This NPC is known for his hilarious nature and rambling with overlong stories. Diablo players will visit Cain to learn of new quests, ask for advice, or even just a little gossip. He’s packed with so much dialog that it will take several minutes just to get through just one of his stories and will almost never repeats himself. Whenever Diablo players hear the phrase “Stay awhile and listen!” they’ll instantly think of Deckard Cain.
Cain has been poked fun of by both the Blizzard community and by the developers themselves, such as the fact that he was caged and tortured by the demons. This was somewhat of a present for Diablo fans that suffered endlessly clicking through his stories in the first game. Cain has played an important role in both Diablo 1 and 2, so it’s only obvious that he will appear once again in Diablo 3.
So which NPCs do you find to be the most memorable of them all? Shout out on the OnRPG forums and tell us what you think!