Who Cries for the Non-Player Characters?

Illustration for article titled Who Cries for the Non-Player Characters?

We see them every day, but do we really look at them? When a nameless, faceless non-player character stumbles into your line of fire, who sheds a single tear? Commenter Sol does, and he wonders if you do as well in today's Speak Up on Kotaku.


Does anyone else feel sorry for NPCs? Strange question, but I do sometimes. A few times I was struck by something that happens in a game like Skyrim or Assassin's Creed. I'll give a few examples.

Far Cry 2. I remember early in the game, I got a sniper and made a perch on a hill to take out some bad guys. I shot one in the leg and he fell, nothing I didn't expect. Then one of his fellow NPCs ran out in the open and started trying to pull his wounded ally out of fire. I didn't shoot at him. I hesitated for a moment before telling myself, "It's just a game." I'm usually a pretty stoic and uncaring when it comes to media, but that really hit me.

Assassin's Creed Revelations. I've accidentally hit random NPCs (that I don't mind pickpocketing en masse) and I cringe, partly because of the gameplay, but I hate doing it anyway.

Skyrim/Fallout/Oblivion. I never could bring myself to slaughter a town of NPCs on my first, main play through. When I'm seriously playing, I hate being the bad guy. I got mad at Skyrim a couple times because they made me kill seemingly innocent NPCs. I always feel bad doing things like that.

What about you guys? Were there any particular moments that struck you, especially if they weren't directly meant to make you feel bad?

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.



I was upset when a goddamn Giant Radscorpion killed Dogmeat in Fallout 3.

Generally, I hate doing nasty things to "innocents," but I have to say that I found NPCs in Skyrim to be INCREDIBLY annoying, so I didn't feel quite as bad when I had to lay the schmack on 'em.