Peter Molyneux on NPC Emotion for Fable 2

At the Game Developer's Conference 2007, Peter Molyneux discussed some interesting game design decisions when working on Fable 2, the follow up to Fable, the critically acclaimed RPG for the Xbox. Kotaku featured a detailed article on Molyneux's presentation.

Some Armchair Arcadians might recall Molyneux as a producer/designer of several classic PC games such as Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, and Syndicate.

Here's a clip:

Why, I asked, use a dog as the emotion in this game. Why not your husband or wife, or a sidekick.

"You can get married in the game, but you'll notice that after the first year of marital bliss your wife becomes a bit of a nag and she is certainly needy," Molyneux says.

People are like that, he points out. They have their own needs and wants, but animals can be slavishly devoted and everyone cares about animals.

The full article is worth checking out, but it got me to thinking how many games have tried and failed to have a memorable NPC that the player has some sort of an emotional connection with.

The only example that I can think of off the top of my head is Robo from Chrono Trigger for the SNES. Early in the game, you stumble upon Robo, a robot (big surprise there), being beaten up by other robots for being different, which made me sympathetic. The fact that I enjoy robots as characters in generals also helped with my identification with the NPC.

Anyone else have good game NPC memories?

Molyneux is Scared -- Kotaku


Joined: 05/20/2006
The girl from Ico is my

The girl from Ico is my favourite NPC, and Shadow of the Colossus almost achieved the same thing with a horse.

Max from the Sam & Max games is a great character too, but too emotionally detached (and deranged) to count here.

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