Best. NPC. Ever.

Sometimes a player character is interesting enough to make the game (Farvin in our Friday night game, Kelly in our Continuum game), and sometimes the cast of characters interacting make the game (as in our Amber game, where infighting was what kept it most amusing). But when those fail (and they are rare and precious), for my money at least, NPCs make the game.

This is, for obvious reasons, especially true for computer role-playing games. And of the games I have played, there is not a single NPC that comes as close to being perfect as HK-47. Ostensibly, HK-47 was simply comic relief. ...But, shy of the Jedi if you roll that way, he was the single best character to bring into combat, since you were an infighter, and he was a very skilled ranged fighter.

I also have a weak spot for droids.

I will often tell people, with great conviction, that you should play KOTOR for no other reason than to experience HK-47. Yes. He's just that good. ...Really, what isn't there to love about a psychotic, sarcastic assassin droid?

[while dealing with Jawa:]

Revan: Can you help me out here, HK?
HK: I'm 98% percent sure this miniature organic meatbag wants you to help find his fellow miniature organic meatbags.
Revan: And the other 2 percent?
HK: The other 2 percent is sure that he is just looking for trouble and needs to be blasted, but that might be wishful thinking from my part.

This week, I played Portal. It's a short game, so it was something I did in a single evening. I was looking forward to it, because the AI that guides you through the game was supposed to be an excellent NPC, for many of the same reasons as HK-47: sadistic, sarcastic, and humorous. ...And I did laugh quite a few times while playing it, particularly at the ending credits. (And, by the way, it's an excellent game.) But it didn't have the same magic as HK-47.

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