Remembering Companions

May 30, 2010 at 5:34 am | Posted in mmorpg, rpg, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 5 Comments
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Her Backpack's Got Jets

I have a weird habit of getting attached to my companions.

I remember playing X-com many years ago and becoming quite attached to my soldiers. X-com is kind of a cross between a resource management game and a turn based strategy game. Final Fantasy Tactics might be a popular comparison. Even though your soldiers were completely random, you could outfit their inventory, armour and most importantly you could name them. I named them after Star Wars, Marvel, DC characters, whatever I could think of.

The thing is, your soldiers are dead meat in that game. You can’t get through one mission without losing a few. After a while I got attached to some, because they would come through with some crazy Snap Shot and kill the last alien, or maybe because they had an amazing mission:kills ratio.

So if Han Solo got jumped by 2 Snakemen and shot multiple times with plasma rifles, I might just load a previous save to avoid that. I can’t let Han Solo get whacked!

I wasn’t attached to my Neverwinter Nights companions but I remember them. RedTiger the half orc. The halfling rogue who I took absolutely everywhere because he disarmed all the traps and unlocked all the chests (had to wiki his name though) Tomi Undergallows. Sharwyn and Linu were more interesting story-wise, and easier on the ears though.

Neverwinter Nights 2 vastly improved on companions but by then Obsidian had already screwed up KOTOR2 a bit so they must have learned. Grobnar. You remember him don’t you? I thought the gnome in NWN was annoying. Bishop. My good friend Heather loved loved loved him. She would not shut up about him and even went so far as to say, and I remember this clearly, that she would trade me for him any day. *SPOILER* The guy is a traitor and a douche bag! *SPOILER* I liked Neeshka though, she was adorable. I really wanted to get my hands on that tail if you know what I’m saying. Sand and Bishop made for some really interesting and amusing banter. I had never heard that level of sarcasm until maybe Dragon Age.

I only remember about half the companions in Knights of the Old Republic, but damn if they aren’t some of my favourites. My former queen of all time favourite game characters is Mission Vao. The cutest little tinsy teeny Twi’lek in the whole galaxy. Just something about the voice actor or the writing made me love her. Just not in that way, because you know, she’s 14. I hated her Wookie friend, but Carth, Canderous Ordo, HK-47 and Bastila make up one of the most memorable casts of all time.

The sequels companions were just like the game itself, a not quite as good knock-off. Some guy standing in for Carth, a floating ball of an interrogation droid, and for some reason HK-47 (why we needed both HK-47 and the Interrogation droid, I’ll never know) and the astromech return. You know George Lucas had a hand in that one, he just loves bringing those stupid droids back into play. But there were good memorable characters too. Mira the red headed bounty hunter. Brianna the Echanni chick, Canderous comes back, the dark apprentice, and I remember pretty well the Zabrak who made me grenades all the time. Or was it splices. He made me stuff anyway.

In Guild Wars it’s not particularly wise to be an Elementalist with a pet. Nevertheless once I had Cringer, my Melandru’s Stalker, I could not part with him. I figured out farm builds using him as a tank, I took him almost all the way through Prophecies. I’m not giving him up. My Ranger equally will not part with Honey Bunny, his pet crab. Heather was not amused that the crab is named after her.

I find it amusing I’ve told you everything anyone ever needed to know about my friendship with Heather in 2 lines of text about video games.

Pets are far from the only AI in Guild Wars. There’s Henchmen waiting in every outpost, and there’s Heroes you can unlock and customize and even play small roles in the storyline.

Star Trek Online has AI too, although I’m not too sure how they work or how useful they are.

Modern games like Mass Effect (2) and Dragon Age, I don’t have to remind you of the level of finesse that is written into these characters. Personalities, deep backgrounds, quests and storylines surrounding them. My all time favourite video game character is Tali’Zorah. My god what a lovable alien. I just love nerdy women.

Enter Vette. A Twi’lek that sounds somewhat vaguely like Mission Vao, playful, silly, young. I don’t know how companions are going to work in SWTOR, but it’s a history like the above that makes me hopeful. Sure AI following you around isn’t necessarily intuitive in an MMORPG, but I see no reason to despair. And okay, maybe the name Vette reminds me of Fett’s Vette by MC Chris. But it means I get a cool side quest that takes me to Ryloth. Hope you’re happy MMOGC.

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5 Comments

  1. I dont think it is so strange to get attached to characters in games npc’s or otherwise if they are an integral part of the story and the story is good. I dont see that it is any different than getting attached to a character in a book or a movie. And the attachment is even greater when it is a character that you control and develope. I for one would not be too happy if I were to somehow lose any of my Guildwars characters especially Elsa who I have been working on for five years. Minsc and Boo will never get old.

    • It’s not strange? I think it’s a little strange. I had to do very little research on this post, spelling stuff mostly. I think i last played NWN 8 years ago and still remembered redtiger, the rogue and the two ladies.

  2. Haha ok maybe a little strange in the sense that it happens at all. But I don’t think that it is abnormal behavior. Many people get attached to characters in many different forms of media for whatever personal reasons. It is an interesting subject and definetly food for thought.

  3. The more well-written a character is, the more I find I’m attached to them. Mass Effect characters were okay, but they only spoke with you if you initiated the conversation.

    In Dragon Age, on the other hand, I love the fact the companions would actually start up a conversation with you! I was absolutely in LOVE with Alistair, as soon as I got enough “rep” with him and must have triggered this conversation where he presented to me a rose. He is like the perfect Bioware boyfriend đŸ˜›

    Oh, and totally off topic here, but I don’t think that’s a jetpack! I think it could be the back of a seat, because if you see the whole picture, Vette’s actually propping her legs up on something…

    • So you don’t get attached to characters just when they’re there? I do. There doesn’t have to be writing for me. Particularly if they save my butt.

      Yeah I liked that too, the random banter while standing around specifically.

      You did not watch the mc chris video for Fett’s Vette! “I’m boba, the fett, my backpacks, got jets!”

      yeah its probably a chair. but it could be a jetpack! stop ruining my fantasies! đŸ˜›


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