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Top 10 Computer Game NPCs

Eight - The Horned Reaper

Featured in: Dungeon Keeper

OK, so the Horned Reaper isn’t truly a character in the Dungeon Keeper games. After all, he never says a word, can’t be directly controlled very easily and doesn’t really undergo any development of any sort.

Those relatively minor issues aside though, the Horned Reaper still remains an instantly recognisable figure that can scare you witless or summon feelings of whimsy and nostalgia depending on whether you’re holding his leash or in his path.

In Dungeon Keeper, the Horned Reaper represents the most powerful creature at your disposal, albeit one that comes at an awful price. The Horned Reaper really cannot be controlled or commanded like a normal creature and will cause havoc and murder wherever it treads, destroying your own property and slaughtering allies if left unoccupied.

Top 10 Computer Game NPCs Top 10 Computer Game Characters - Eight, Seven
The Horned Reaper featured heavily in the advertising campaigns for Dungeon Keeper

Even getting hold of a Horned Reaper proved to be a devils bargain all on it’s own as they couldn’t even be recruited like normal units. Instead, if you wanted a Horned Reaper then you’d have to sacrifice three specific and very powerful units to the dark gods – begging the question of whether or not the deal was even worth it.

Nowadays the Horned Reaper isn’t as well known as he perhaps should be, mainly due to the fact that Bullfrog Studios no longer exists and Peter Molyneux and Co. are off exploring the RPG genre for a change with Fable 2. Regardless though, the Horned Reaper remains an important and iconic character that somehow represents not just one fun game, but all the fun games of that generation.

Defining Moment: That first time you dumped a Horned Reaper near enemy territory and gave him a few slaps to drive him forward – a great way to strike fear into your opponent.

Don’t Mention: That cameo in the introduction of Theme Hospital – it’ll just make him even angrier.

Seven - Gunther Hermann

Featured in: Deus Ex

Gunther joins the long list of villains who make up this list, most likely as a result of the fact that most FPS games for the PC don’t actually have huge casts of characters or spend a large amount of time developing them.

Deus Ex is a massive and cerebrally stimulating game, which more than one member of the bit-tech staff thinks should be required gaming for all politicians (provided you ask Joe twice that is). It’s odd then that of all the characters in the game, it’s the most stupid of them all who somehow has become the fan favourite.

Top 10 Computer Game NPCs Top 10 Computer Game Characters - Eight, Seven
The Deus Ex HD texture pack makes Gunther look a lot more up-to-date

Gunther Hermann is a field agent for UNATCO, is of German descent and is incredibly good at his job – and that is about all anyone knows about him. Despite playing a fairly important role in the game as he hunts the player across the globe and seeks retribution for the murder of his partner, Gunther is one of the few whose political motivations are never really explored.

Regardless, Gunther’s blind devotion to UNATCO and his insatiable bloodlust make him the perfect foil to the characters around him and as Walton Simons and Morgan Everett and Tracer Tong each try to gain control of the world, it’s Gunther Hermann who manages to shine through as the most memorable of the lot – even if much of that is due to his dodgy accent.

Defining Moment: The Skul-Gun – a possibly fictional weapon that players can discover Gunther is obsessing over by hacking into his badly spelt emails.

Don’t Mention:The Maintenance Man – he knows I vhanted ohrange but he giff me limon-lime!