Club Tropicana: Dumb NPCs

NPCs (non-playable characters) are not known for their intelligence, but they make the worlds of gaming feel much more alive. However, they must be held accountable for a lot of bizarre behaviour like letting the stalwart hero of the land walk into their house and steal their stuff. Usually it’s easy to forget, as gamers have grown used to them over the years. It all makes sense once you stop and pay attention to their activities and realize how absurd their behaviors are.

For some weird reason NPCs don’t seem to care much about who reads their diaries or where they usually end up.  It’s not absurd when players have to seek out pages of diary or journals when they are on side quest or it might be part of a certain mission or in other case it helps players understand the game’s plot. It gets weird when find such pages on the top of a roof, in the hands of a corpse or stashed in flowerpots. Plus, we’re not talking about materials written by the recently diseased; often such material is written by character who is alive and well but aren’t concerned that their secrets, confessions or safe combination are being read by total strangers. I mean how unsettling is that?

Witnessing a crime like assault or murder can be a traumatic experience, it’s something that sticks with a person forever and some never truly recover. That doesn’t seem to be the case for NPCs as they most likely forget such offences committed right in front of the faces while the offender is still staring straight in theirs.

Many NPCs who see the protagonist trespass into restricted areas, steal something valuable, assault someone or maybe assassinate a VIP will completely forget if the offender hides in a dark corner and avoid the guards for a minute or two. In Assassin’s Creed you just tear off your wanted posters and all will be forgiven and forgotten. Your average citizen seems to have a short-term memory that would make a goldfish laugh.

NPCs oddly trust any stranger with an important job before they even shake hands. For any sane person this would be completely mad, but they have no issues with trusting the first guy they meet with recovering the stolen relic or saving their beloved insert relative/pet here. Why does your average NPC do this? I mean, what’s stopping us from stealing or using what they’ve lost for our own purpose and doing something equally terrible?

Whether you love them or hate, NPCs add a valuable layer of depth to our favourite games. After a tiring mission in Grand Theft Auto, it’s always nice to kick back and relax; immersing yourself in the weird and wacky world of the average virtual joe.

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