Top 10 Computer Game NPCs

Written by Joe Martin

July 18, 2008 | 07:10

Tags: #best-ever #npc #top-10

Six – Dogmeat

Featured in: The Fallout series

This is another entry in this list which doesn’t break the rules per se, but certainly bends them. Like the Horned Reaper of Dungeon Keeper, Fallout’s Dogmeat was a character with no dialog or real development throughout the game.

In fact, worse than that, Dogmeat is pretty nondescript visually too. While the Horned Reaper can stand tall, proud and er…horny about the fact that he was the iconic face of gaming for an age, Dogmeat can make no such claims. All he ever was was a generic mongrel dog in a post-apocalyptic RPG.

Dogmeat had two things going in his favour though – he was useful and he was available. In a harsh world where allies are impossibly hard to come by, Dogmeat is an easy friend to make. All you have to do is give the dog some food and he’ll follow you from then on, boasting an awesome ability to floor super-mutants with a single blow.

Top 10 Computer Game NPCs Top 10 Computer Game Characters - Six, Five
Dogmeat was one of the most-loved creatures to be found in the wasteland of Fallout

What made Dogmeat so great though was that he didn’t have a personality of his own, so you’d eventually start thinking of him as your dog. Dogmeat would somehow become more important to you than your own character and your first thought on entering a battle would be how you might plan to keep him alive.

There are a lot of computer game characters we like and a few we’d even go so far as to say we love. Dogmeat though, despite being a definite tabula rasa, sits in a different category altogether and is the only computer game character that we’d reload and repeat significant portions of a game for just to he could stand a better chance of survival.

Defining Moment: The first time you see him bite a Deathclaw and bring it down with a single critical hit.

Don’t Mention: The military base – all those doors which kept closing him in were a pain. Also, flame throwers.

Five – Kane

Featured in: The Command and Conquer series

Kane is evil, right down to the core. He can’t claim that he’s just misunderstood or a benevolent dictator, or any of that – he is just A Bad Man, who we love to bits.

Portrayed from the very beginning of the series by the legendarily melodramatic Joe Kucan, Kane really is a staple of the Command and Conquer franchise and has become a permanent fixture in the minds of PC gamers everywhere. He’s been so popular in fact that not only did he survive Westwood’s integration into Electronic Arts, but EA even gave him his own expansion at the first opportunity.

Top 10 Computer Game NPCs Top 10 Computer Game Characters - Six, Five
Kane may be an evil, genocidal psychopath, but we still love him to bits!

Kane’s secret lies in his sheer charisma, as well as his awesome interior decorating skills. Though it may be a rather awful link to make, Kane has drawn comparisons to Adolf Hitler on more than one occasion for his fevered speeches and an obvious ability to appeal to the working classes.

This charisma is Kane’s most powerful asset, to the extent that even when all his allies have abandoned him and he is left weak and half-dead at the start of Kane’s Wrath he is quickly able to re-establish his army and bring followers to his cause.

That said, few are really clear on what Kane’s ultimate objective is, as his single-tracked and brilliant mind seems to have access to information that nobody else does. Combine that with his apparent immortality and it’s easy to see why Kane is one of the most long-toothed and loved villains of PC gaming.

Defining Moment: Anything involving Kane is instantly considered a classic by virtue of his melodrama.

Don’t Mention: Tiberium. You probably won’t ever get him to shut up if you do.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04