Playing video games gives us a magical power trip that real life just can't compete with. In these digital realms, we're given god-like abilities and free reign to wield them with no real-life repercussions. But should we always use these powers to cause chaos and destruction? Here, we look at eight non-playable characters (NPCs) that we argue should always be spared. Let's dive into the moral complexities of gaming!
The Innocent Little Sisters, Bioshock
In the underwater dystopia of Bioshock, Little Sisters are the harvesters of ADAM, a substance that gives you superhuman abilities. Eliminating them provides you with a greater amount of ADAM, but choosing to let them live leads to intriguing narrative developments and, potentially, a more fulfilling conclusion.
- Pros: More ADAM, plot twists, satisfying ending.
- Cons: Missed out on immediate power-up.
Nil, Horizon Zero Dawn
A wandering warrior, Nil crosses paths with you several times in the game, helping to take out bandit camps. Eliminating him provides no incentive, and you also lose the opportunity to enjoy his clever conversation and the demanding confrontation that awaits at the conclusion.
- Pros: Witty dialogue, challenging duel.
- Cons: No immediate reward.
The Rachni Queen, Mass Effect\
Choosing whether to let the Rachni Queen live or not in Mass Effect can have a major influence on the progression of the series. If she remains alive, she has the potential to become a valuable ally later on, indicating that one should carefully consider the decision regarding her fate.
- Pros: Potential ally in future games.
- Cons: Potential threat if spared.
St. John Brothers, The Walking Dead
Despite their horrifying actions, sparing the St. John Brothers in Telltale's The Walking Dead is arguably the more humane choice. It demonstrates that you don't lose your humanity, even amidst a zombie apocalypse.
- Pros: Moral high ground, retain humanity.
- Cons: They could pose a threat later.
"That Dog!", Resident Evil 4
A seemingly insignificant character, the dog in Resident Evil 4 can turn out to be a valuable ally if spared. When released, it later assists you in a boss fight, proving that every life counts in this survival horror game.
- Pros: Aid in a boss fight.
- Cons: No immediate reward.
Oswald Of Carim, Dark Souls
Oswald of Carim is a trader of uncommon goods and indulgences in the unforgiving realm of Dark Souls. Eliminating him may grant you access to the Bloodbite Ring ahead of time, but allowing him to live maintains access to a useful vendor and offerings throughout your game journey.
- Pros: Access to rare items and services.
- Cons: Miss out on the Bloodbite Ring early.
In Skyrim, Paarthurnax is a venerable dragon who can either be a guide or an adversary. If you choose to let him live, you have the opportunity to further your understanding of the Way of the Voice, whereas deciding to end his existence deprives you of a wise instructor and a formidable friend.
- Pros: Continual learning, powerful ally.
- Cons: This could lead to complications in the main plot.
The Merchant, Resident Evil 4
In Resident Evil 4, there's an enigmatic vendor who appears just when you need him, offering an array of weaponry and enhancements for purchase. Eliminating this character would mean losing this valuable service for good. It's in your best interest to ensure his survival.
- Pros: Access to weapons and upgrades.
- Cons: If you are defeated, there is a chance you might fail to acquire uncommon items.
Everyone loves a good power trip in a video game, but that doesn't mean we should always wield our powers haphazardly. Based on gamers' reviews, choosing mercy over massacre often leads to richer storylines, unexpected rewards, and a well-rounded gaming experience. And among our picks, Paarthurnax from Skyrim emerges as the most beneficial character to spare. So the next time you load up a game, remember: Just because you have the power to take someone's life doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.