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Here's to you, random-JRPG-dialogue-writer-man

7:00 PM on 10.13.2009 // Andrew Kauz

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The heroes of our time are often thought to be presidents, celebrities who “accidentally” show a bit of side boob, and Jim Sterling*, but to this I must reply: poppycock. There is only one hero that you need to be concerned with, for the triumph of this impressive figure is far greater than even a project lead, developer, artist, or that guy who they hire to say stupid shit to get press.

He is the pinnacle of brilliance. The apex of acumen. The king of entertainment.

He is the guy who writes dialogue for random unnamed JRPG characters who do nothing but stand in one place all day.

Imagine, for a moment, a world without NPCs. You, the greatest hero the world has ever known, stride into a town made up of various shops, an inn, and maybe two or three houses. Yet aside from the owners of these establishments, who are quick to complain about their lack of wares and dearth of customers, there is no one in sight. Captainless boats are moored to empty docks, and streets are lined with nothing but poorly rendered plants. It’s a world that no one wants to live in -- not even NPCs.

Imagine perhaps a nightmare even worse: a world filled with lifeless shells. Bodies stand comatose at the edges of homes, refusing to acknowledge you as you mash in vain upon the action button. Speech is but a dream for the unblessed inhabitants, for the creator was never tasked with the most noble of undertakings. Free will is but a dream in this universe, and all words are predestined. Is, then, the dialogue writer not God himself?

Luckily, this is not a question that we must concern ourselves with. As unwavering as the presence of clichéd forces of evil and the acquisition of an airship at 76% completion, we know that these frumpy, soulless, unmoving creatures will always have something to offer in the way of unspoken elocution.

It is time that we honor the creators of these literary triumphs that grace our screens hundreds -- even thousand -- of times in a single RPG. Imagine the sheer number of man hours that these characters demand. Do these people not deserve acclaim of the highest degree.

No, you say? Perhaps you have yet to see the sheer brilliance penned by these wordsmiths. The exhibits below are undeniable pieces of evidence proving the divine inspiration of the dialogue writer.

“I tried cooking a stew, but I don’t think I used enough spices. I guess I’ll just have to throw it out.”

“The empire seems to know what it is doing, but sometimes I think that they don’t know what’s best for the people.”

“Woof! Woof woof ruff! Ruff…meow?”

“I’m sorry, but I’m very busy right now. I don’t have time to talk. I was just on my way to the inn to see a friend of mine who came across the Sea of Iltrobia by way of ship, and I have prepared a meat pie to welcome him. So, as you can see, I’m very busy and have no time to talk.


“Wow, you’re that guy who is about to save the world. Want to play with me and my dog?”

“This is a really beautiful garden. In fact, I think I’ll stand here and look at it until I die of starvation, which may or may not be sometime during your 70-hour playthrough.”

“I’m standing in front of this door so you can’t get in. Nope, I don’t have any good reason to do this.”

“Oh god, I think I’m dying. This is it for me.” “Oh god, I think I’m dying. This is it for me.” “Oh god, I think I’m dying. This is it for me.” “Oh god, I think I’m dying. This is it for me.”

Just try to deny the power of the dialogue creator now! It’s clear that these poets deserve our respect, money, and perhaps ovaries. While we may never know the names of these champions, let us all, right now, raise our favorite drink to them, for they are the true heroes of our time.

In conclusion, I’ve prepared a song for the occasion. I hope you will drunkenly sing it with me.

Here's to you, random-JRPG-dialogue-writer-man
Rest forever, here in our hearts
The first and last line of dialogue is yours
Banality is your triumph

*for the record, I feel it is important to clarify that I have no grievances with either Jim Sterling or side boob.

Andrew Kauz,
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