Open world fantasy RPGs and MMOs are supposed to be immersive—lands with intricate histories and miles of breathtaking territory.
When I remember Skyrim, I think of misty, winding mountain paths, tall forests, beautiful running water… and whisking the pants off city guards with my Khajitt’s maxed-out Pickpocket skill.
Epic NPC Man is a short form comedy series about a self-aware NPC dealing with all the absurd animations, glitches, inequalities, game logic and continuity problems that break immersion.
Episodes so far have involved:
- Carrying several full suits of metal armor in your pack, then suddenly becoming “overburdened” by plucking one daisy too many
- Players fast-forwarding through pivotal story moments, then slaying villagers for fun
- Multiple players turning in a quest only to receive the same “unique” item
- Game-breaking glitches with horrifying results
- Taking a break from combat to eat copious amounts of cheese for HP
Viva La Dirt League is the group responsible for the series, a collective of “actors, singers, directors and designers” who love games. They started out making parody StarCraft music videos.
In which a town guard mistakenly(?) thinks he hears something. A great spoof of guard AI in Skyrim and stealth-action games in general.
Britt Scott Clark, Alan Morrison, Rowan Bettjeman and Adam King play the main characters in this series. Epic NPC Man was born from a one-line concept that sat in the group’s Google Drive for months.
“For me it was just this one sentence that I wrote down in our draft shared folder: ‘Self-aware NPC dealing with the shit of being an NPC’,” says Morrison (Faceless Gaming).
Luckily for us, the group rediscovered the note and started churning out scripts.
In which our heroine is not impressed with the female model of this armor.
This series will remind you just how much RPGs require from us to maintain suspension of disbelief. And why, just maybe, having that engagement broken now and then isn’t so bad after all.
Epic NPC Man posts new skits every Monday. If you love the series, you can help the team invest in lenses, props and costumes by pledging to Viva La Dirt League’s Patreon.
In which NPC Man’s home is vandalized by a bored player.
Episodes run just one to two minutes long, so you can binge the entire first season in 12 minutes. About as long as it takes to scarf down some cheese wheels in the middle of a fight.
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