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. While killing them grants you a larger dose of ADAM, sparing their lives brings about rewarding plot twists and, arguably, a more satisfying ending.
- 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. Killing him offers no reward, plus you miss out on his witty dialogue and challenging duel in the end.
- Pros: Witty dialogue, challenging duel.
- Cons: No immediate reward.
The Rachni Queen, Mass Effect\
The decision to spare or kill the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect can significantly impact the outcome of subsequent games in the series. Her survival can lead to an ally in the future, making her one NPC you should think twice before killing.
- 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 purveyor of rare items and absolutions in the merciless world of Dark Souls. While killing him can land you the Bloodbite Ring early, sparing him keeps open a valuable merchant and services for the rest of your playthrough.
- Pros: Access to rare items and services.
- Cons: Miss out on the Bloodbite Ring early.
Paarthurnax, the wise dragon in Skyrim, can be your mentor or your foe. Sparing him allows you to continue learning the Way of the Voice while killing him robs you of a great teacher and a powerful ally.
- Pros: Continual learning, powerful ally.
- Cons: This could lead to complications in the main plot.
The Merchant, Resident Evil 4
The Merchant in Resident Evil 4 is a mysterious character who pops up at the most convenient times, selling you weapons and upgrades. Killing him permanently removes this handy resource. He is one NPC you should definitely let live.
- Pros: Access to weapons and upgrades.
- Cons: Miss out on rare items if killed.
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 can kill someone doesn't mean you should.