By the Last Token Gaming Staff
A little while ago, we here at Last Token Gaming vented our unbridled frustration over the 15 most irritating recurring enemies in gaming history. Before that, of course, we unloaded on the 10 most annoying sidekicks. (Somehow, every single entry wasn’t Navi and Slippy.) Today, we return with a list of figures that aren’t quite as abrasive: our most hated NPCs (non-player characters for the uninitiated). After all, they’re not purposefully trying to kill you, nor are you forced to drag them along against your will. But engaging, likeable NPCs are an absolutely invaluable part of a gaming experience, especially in an RPG/open world/adventure title. But when they’re unpleasant to encounter, whether because of endless dialogue, annoying voices or whatnot, they drag the pace down considerably. Whether you know these characters or not, you’ll wish you could do anything to avoid them. Here are the top 10 most annoying NPCs, counting down from 10 to number one!
- Mr. Resetti – Animal Crossing
Sean: Who hasn’t rage quit over a game when things go bad? We all have done it at least a few times just to go back to a save or fix something that didn’t go as wanted, and just take the repercussions of resetting the game and losing all that time. Or, perhaps, to keep from losing a precious item or save a character you didn’t want to die. All good reasons. Well, if you ever did that in the real time based collect-a-thon known as Animal Crossing, then you’d know it was a bad thing. Not for all the problems that come with playing with the clock or erasing your own unsaved progress, oh no. It was a mole, an incredibly angry mole who saw you do that and isn’t gonna take your rage quitting antics!
Just look at the guy, he’s pretty much made to be angry at you. Really, why are you messing with him? Oh, I can see your look already, you have that questioning “oh he’s hardly a problem” look. After you recover from losing your favorite items to a very insistent villager who just has to force you into a trade for all of your items in exchange for worthless bugs, BAM! There he is as you walk out of the house. Give you two, maybe three, steps before popping up, and then wails on you without hesitation. He yells, screams and just doesn’t stop. Well, he’s nice to ya the first time anyway. Every other time he’ll go on for what feels like hours, make you type up and repeat something he says, or just force you to apologize. Fittingly, every letter has to be spot on.
Heck, in the Gamecube version he’d even go as far as restarting the game on you or turning the machine off. Well, more like faking it to show an example, but it was pretty surprising the first time. Mr. Resetti’s so angry, Nintendo even tossed him into Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an assist trophy, as if the cute adorable puppy pawing at the screen in the middle of a fight wasn’t bad enough. Fortunately in the latest Animal Crossing on 3DS he was actually optional, heck you only see him once if you forget to save and its kinda sad since he no longer has a station anymore.
9. Fargoth – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Marshall: Morrowind is less a video game and more of a state of mind for me. No game in the world brings a state of serenity and happiness like it. So naturally, being such a perfect adventure, there has to be at least one hideous character to tar a little part of it. Enter Fargoth, one of the first characters you’ll see in the entire game. No sooner have you chosen your background and gotten off the dock at Seyda Neen, when you might just be approached by this whiney little shit. He’s misplaced his ring, and tasks you to find it. Simple, but he speaks in a voice that sounds like a cross between a colicky baby and one of those know-it-all genius movie villains. That, and his face looks like he’s perpetually holding in a massive dump. Really, if you want to have an altruistic character without a criminal bounty, just lead him out of sight and kill him quickly. He’s arguably a bigger menace to Morrowind than Dagoth Ur himself.
- Toad – Super Mario Bros.
Jake: Toad as a character proved to be more of a helpful NPC in earlier 3D platforming Mario games (like Super Mario 64), while becoming a playable character in more recent Mario games and Super Mario Bros 2. However, in Mario’s debut in Super Mario Bros., Toad became anything but useful. After you defeat Bowser in the first castle, you’ll be expecting the captured Princess Peach, only to find a midget with the mushroom top for a hat telling you that “The Princess is in another castle”, making your efforts to traverse through a world almost all for naught. This gets tiring after a few times, making your use of warp pipes warranted so you won’t see this 7 times.
- Omochao – Sonic franchise
Jake: Omochao was set as a tutorial to help assist players with learning how to play some of the more recent Sonic games. He didn’t sound like a bad idea on paper, but when you put a character like that in a game where the protagonist’s primary trait is speeding through levels, the odds of avoiding this flying tutorial plushie doll are very miniscule. In Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, he is hard like the dickens to avoid because you’d go so fast and you can’t see him until you’ve already touched him. Once you even get contact as minimal as slightly scraping his hitbox, he starts talking about how to jump or use your homing attack, without the option skip any of his dialogue. If he ends up getting hit by explosions, he’ll blame you, regardless of whether or not it was your fault. In Sonic Heroes, he appears everywhere in each tutorial level for the teams. Omochao was sure endearing in the Omochao Garden, but Sega, if someone makes a hack based on one of your earlier games just to use one your NPCs to make it super annoying, you might want to rethink your use of your tutorial character. Case in point:
- Beggars – Assassin’s Creed
Jake: It has been years since I played the Assassin’s Creed. I barely remember much, aside from a small amount of Desmond Miles parts and the last boss of Assassin’s Creed where he was very paranoid that an Assassin will come for his head. However, there is one more thing embedded into my memory more than anything else in that game: the beggars that will come up to you begging to you asking for money or food. This wouldn’t have been big of a problem if they didn’t come to interfere with your attempt to kill your target and blow your cover, making you seen by the guards. I had this occur to me more times than I could count with my two hands. These guys will be sure to make you more cautious when approaching your targets.
- The Adoring Fan – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Marshall: I’ve been playing Oblivion nonstop lately, and even after the lunar leap of gaming evolution that is Skyrim, it’s still as breathtaking in scope as it was back in 2006. Some may consider the character models/NPC’s quite dated, but they still largely hold up in my view. But oh man, there is one character in this game I can’t defend in any way: The Adoring Fan. A Wood Elf with an irritatingly chipper voice, he becomes obsessed with you should you become the Grand Champion of the Arena battles, following you nonstop as a result (but of course, doing nothing in actual battle). The worst thing about him…well, there are two worst things actually. The first is that he respawns three days after being killed. The other worst thing is that he clings to you like a barnacle after you fully experience one of the most creative, challenging aspects of the entire game. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight in the Arena, but if you do ascend its ranks, get ready for him to sully your moment of glory.
Then again, you can always do this to him:
- Conrad Verner – Mass Effect trilogy
Terry: Where do I begin with Conrad? This guy is one of the most annoying NPCs I’ve had the displeasure of meeting. This is the guy who worships everything Shepherd…and I mean everything. Chances are, Shepherd could pee on the floor right in front of him and the guy would worship it. What Conrad obsesses over even more is the desire to be a Spectre, and will do everything it takes to make it. He’ll even admit he doesn’t care what his wife thinks, or her worries, and will leave her if he has to. Conrad will ask you questions that he believes will help his chances at being a Spectre more…and at the same time mirror what he believes is your “personality”. For example, in Mass Effect you can point a gun at him to try and “scare him straight”. Instead, he believes it’s the idea of using “fear to rule” and will go on to be a ruthless, violent vigilante. Luckily for players, the character is skippable. For those who have unfortunately talked to him…well, they know.
- Otis Washington – Dead Rising
Jake: There are NPCs out there that aim to help you on your quest to accomplish your goal. There are those who could pull their weight, and there are those who lack their worth. And yet, there is one NPC that is a prime example that you can be too helpful to the point where you can be rude. Case in point: The elderly janitor from Williamete Shopping Mall named Otis Washington. He was helpful in pointing out survivors in distress, as well as reminding you for important quests, but if there was an award for calling you at the most inconvenient times, this guy would sure be nominated for such an award, if not take said award. There are times when Otis will call you as you’re walking among masses of zombies. If you ever end up answering Otis’s call and find yourself getting interrupted by zombie munching or getting shot, Otis will call you back to chastise you for interrupting him. And he’ll do this every time you get interrupted without considering the fact that you are running around in a zombie-and-psycho-infested mall. I’d make sure to do a background check if I ever had to look into Otis Washington for employment consideration.
2. Tingle – Legend of Zelda series
Isaac: Let it be the first thing said that Tingle is a creepy, creepy dude. He got slapped with the ugly stick, permanently cosplays as a Kokiri, and is 35 frickin’ years old. Ew. If ever there was a caricature of otaku in games…
But Tingle is infinitely worse than that. He plays a vital role in several Zelda games, providing maps and directions. It wouldn’t be so bad, but he is always in a hard-to-reach place, always charges a truly exorbitant amount of money for his wares (those full body suits do not come cheap), and follows any interaction with his catchphrase: “Tingle, Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah!” In text, it doesn’t seem that annoying, but try running around a public place shouting it every couple of minutes. You’ll get to about the third time before someone physically assaults you.
Speaking of physically assaulting, Tingle’s insanity doesn’t end with the green suit or the magic words: in Wind Waker, he has his own island (presumably purchased with all the money you gave him from Majora’s Mask), where he has forced two hapless souls to dress up in elf costumes and spin his clockwork tower, day in and day out. One of them even says that Link should visit as often as possible because Tingle doesn’t abuse them as badly when he’s around. Mark my words: you’re gonna see him as a villain in the next installment of Silence of the Lambs.
- Kaepora Gaebora – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Marshall: Some say video games are bad for your mind, including your attention span. If ever I needed evidence to prove that growing up gamers made a chunk of millennials more patient and careful, it’s Kaepora Gaebora from Ocarina of Time. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in the history of all games pushes you to the limits of your patience like this bloviating owl. While not around to badger the player as much as Navi, seeing him perched atop a tree, ready to uncork a long lecture about your journey (or maybe about them Cowboys…I can’t remember what he tells you honestly) just triggers the most deflated feeling. He goes on and on and on, momentarily turning the best game ever made into your least favorite class. The worst part, however, is that he’s a self-aware troll about it. You of course can skip through his and anyone else’s dialogue by quickly pressing the B button, but when you do it to skip through Kaepora’s speech, you’ll come to a prompt that asks whether you need him to repeat it or not. Naturally, you’ll be in the middle of pressing B repeatedly out of sheer impatience, causing you to select “Yes.” Aside from the entire Water Temple, nothing else in OOT is as much of a tedious pitfall.
Also, a little slice of hell. Can you take it?