Lies that NPCs tell you, Part 1


This screenshot is taken at the end of the Culling of Stratholme instance. Arthas, your group’s pet NPC in this timeline, calls out the big boss. Unfortunately, he’s constrained to use the same lines that he used in this encounter in Warcraft III, where he wasn’t accompanied by a party of Azeroth’s finest.

So he says, “We’re going to finish this right now, Mal’Ganis. Just you… and me.” And every single player who has run that instance thinks, “What am I? Chopped liver?” Then he bats at the boss ineffectually while players kill it.


This screenshot is the last boss in the Trial of the Champion 5 man instance. The Black Knight isn’t so much lying outright as suffering from the worst care of delusional thinking in the entire game.

Has anyone not seen this dialogue and thought, “Yes, of course we thought that.”

15 thoughts on “Lies that NPCs tell you, Part 1

  1. In Eve Online, the pirate Krull invariably declares ‘I’m out of your league’ right before my missiles shred him in a single volley …

  2. That Arthas line always makes me think of “Men in Tights”. What’s missing is the “just you, and me, and my GUARDS!” part. Probably chopped off when they added the dialogue *nodnod*.

  3. I think the Black Knight was referring to the quest line prior to the instances opening where we out him as a minion of Arthas and pound him into the dust. ofcourse, being the Black Knight, it was only a flesh wound.

  4. “You face not Malchezzar alone but the legions I command” obviously by legions he is referring to the Infernals that land every couple minutes or so to AOE the DPS group, by the end of the fight they don’t even outnumber the raid so hardly a legion…

  5. I dunno, when TOC 5 came out, Black Knight was pretty legit. I probably pugged the normal version 20-30 times for the Black Heart, which meant a lot of fresh 80s, and he is a challenge at appropriate gear level (see also, Loken, Anub5, Slad’ran)

  6. I usually /yes when the Black Knight asks that.

    One thing that’s always bugged me a bit about WoW bosses is the way they say the same thing at 95% health as they do at 2%, phases notwithstanding. It’d be nice if they reacted more to their own state and that of the raid, e.g. becoming more and more arrrogant as people die, or more afraid/determined as their own health decreased.

    • Many of the bosses do get rather smug if they happen to kill a party member. Especially in ICC. I seem to remember Doom Lord Kazzak being particularly pleased, seeing as every player he killed increased his power…

  7. So, what should the Black Knight say? “I see you’re rather well geared and my chances of success are small so why don’t I just give you my loot and you can let me go?” or “I’m not quite sure I’ll defeat you, but let’s fight it out and may the better side win.” Would that be a more satisfying role-play of the situation than a Black Knight with a bit of hubris?

    • I just think you have to be careful with rhetorical questions, because they do invite the player/s to answer them (and that can either be really immersive or anti-immersive depending on how it’s done).

      For example, there’s a single player instance in LOTRO where you walk around Rivendell with Frodo and he’s asking a lot of rhetorical questions. It’s very clear that the intention is that you can answer them if you feel like roleplaying the scene.

      This one comes very close to breaking the fourth wall and reminding the player that they’re in a game.

  8. “I think I made an angry poopoo!”

    Well no, actually we made that, what with our removing the debuff to spawn the small oozes, and then merging the oozes…

  9. Well I dunno…

    At one part in Minister Cho’s Estate (starter mission in Guild Wars: Factions), one of your NPCs declares that you must go with Master Togo to ‘die gloriously’ (or something along that line).

    When you are in absolutely no danger of dying…

    …maybe delusional optimism does fit better into NPC lines than possibly non-delusional (if you’re really, really bad) pessimism.

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