15/06/2012

Random NPC Love

One thing that never ceases to entertain me is the way Bioware manages to make even some of the most mundane quest NPCs memorable. Part of it is the voice acting I suppose, since characters speak different languages and have different accents. It also helps that conversations aren't limited to 511 characters, so there's some more wiggle room to infuse each character with personality instead of only having them convey the absolute bare minimum of information.

More than anything it's simply creative effort though. I'm guessing the writers are quite aware that it's hard to make the nth quest to kill ten whatevers memorable, but they do pull it off over and over again. Quest NPCs are made visually interesting via facial scars or unusual species/class combinations, and every dialogue contains potential hooks to pull you in and make you chuckle or raise your eyebrows.

I was questing on Dromund Kaas on my bounty hunter alt last night, and I immediately found it striking how differently I got addressed depending on my class. On my agent, NPCs generally seemed respectful, but also at ease and happy to see me. On my Sith inquisitor, they were wary. And now on my bounty hunter, they seem to have a certain disdain for me... most of them anyway.

I actually laughed out loud when I approached Guard Kullin (aka the guy who guards the blocked off jungle road near the spaceport), and the following exchange happened:

My bounty hunter: "What's this? Shaking down travellers?"
Guard Kullin: "Heh. What are you going to do if we say 'yes'?"

OMG, I don't remember you being funny with any of my previous characters! Too bad there was no option to flirt; I could totally see this guy and my bounty hunter having a fun night out at a cantina or something. It's a shame that he only has something like three lines. I did go out of my way to be nice to him however by offering to run his little errand willingly and without asking for compensation. Because he made me laugh, it made me want to be decidedly un-bounty-hunter-ish for once.

Other NPCs were as I remembered them, but still entertaining. The paranoid Imperial who admits to having killed his own men for "suspicious behaviour" while they were planning a surprise birthday party for him still makes me raise an eyebrow every time. Talk about over the top!

I could almost make this a regular feature: Random NPC Love for a character that only has a few lines but still manages to be awesome in their own way. What are other people's favourite random NPCs?

6 comments :

  1. On Republic Taris, there's a twi'lek doctor who has poor social skills - he's kinda hilarious. He says you can't take the serum because the patients will then succumb to the rakghoul virus and "they'll try to eat my liver!" The note you get from him after finishing the quest (if you pick the light side option) is pretty awesome.

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    1. Hm, I don't remember him right now but I've only done Republic-side Taris once and there was a certain blending together of quests there due to everything being about rakghouls. :P

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  2. Chief Engineer Soobo, a little Ortolan engineer on Hoth that you help as Republic. Plucky little guy who is wiling to stand up against the Empire.

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    1. I hope he wasn't the little guy I kicked out of the power plant...

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  3. The Gree Emissary Droids on Coruscant. The first time I encountered them I could not make head or tails of what they were saying. Got a nice title from them, though (Black Bisector).

    On Imperial side, Aristocra Saganu for calling my Agent his Red Flame. What can I say, I asm a romantic sap. :)

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    1. The Gree droids are awesome! I actually missed them completely on my first character since I refused the quest to steal the senator's parcel and it serves as a sort of breadcrumb trail to get you into the right room.

      As for Aristocra, I didn't flirt with him because of Vector but he sure was memorable!

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