7 Best RPGS With No Party Members

Even though these characters seemed to be on the verge of joining the player’s party, they never actually do.

In a role-playing game, it’s always fun to put together a group. Heroes-to-be get to know the people who will be with them on a big adventure. Not only can these guys help in battle, but they are also often interesting people. But sometimes the process isn’t so easy.

Some games have fake people in the party. These characters trick players into thinking they’re joining the fellowship, but they leave the party instead. Most of the time, it’s because they have something else in mind. Or, the story may just need them somewhere else. No matter what, these taunts hurt.

The Kingdom Hearts Series

In the first Kingdom Hearts game, the main character, Sora, spends a lot of time looking for his old friends Riku and Kairi. When the first one tries to steal Pinocchio’s heart, monsters lock the puppet up. Sora and his friend who went off on his own then put their differences aside to save the wooden boy. During a boss battle, Riku joined the party to help fight alongside them. Sad to say, he quickly goes back to being mean. Fans have been teased like this before, and it won’t be the last time.

In these games, there are many times when the heroes meet new allies, only to have those allies be taken away from them quickly. Look at Mickey Mouse in Kingdom Hearts 2, Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts 3 for a recurring example. In fact, this is the case for every tag-team battle in Kingdom Hearts 3. Sora is fighting a boss when another person with a Keyblade shows up and then leaves. Donald Duck and Goofy are the only ones who seem to stick around.

God Of War: Ragnarok

In this God of War game, players can get help from a lot of different people besides Kratos’s son. At different times, Brok, Sindri, Angrboda, Thrud, and even Thor join the battle. All of them help players get around the world, and most of them can be told what to do in battle. Not everyone, though, is a mainstay.

Most of them don’t stay long. Atreus and Freya are the only ones who have their own skill trees. But their AI doesn’t seem to be any better. Also, some of the other characters, like Brok and Sindri, have just as much at stake in the fight. So, it’s not clear why there are so many one-offs in Ragnarok.

Mass Effect 2

In the Mass Effect sequel, Shepard is separated from his crew and is thought to be dead. Most of the people in his new party are strangers, but there are a few people he already knows. Garrus and Tali come back as members of the party. Later, it seems the same for the asari who lives there.

Shepard meets Liara on Ilium in the end. Players help her with her personal business, just like they do in other recruitment missions. In this case, it’s stopping a very powerful criminal known as the Shadow Broker. During these parts, Liara stays with the party, but the end result is different. After the Shadow Broker is defeated, Liara takes his place and uses his network of information to help Shepard behind the scenes. So, she won’t be back with the crew—at least not until Mass Effect 3.

The Final Fantasy Series

There are a lot of tricks in the Final Fantasy series. In the early chapters, there are a lot of characters, but only a few of them stick around for the whole story. This is true of Final Fantasy 2, 3, and 4. This makes it hard to feel like you know those characters.

Maybe this is why later games cut back on the number of fake party members, but not all of them. Biggs and Wedge show up at the beginning of Final Fantasy 6, and General Leo shows up at key points. In Final Fantasy 9, when the main party members go their separate ways, Beatrix and Zidane’s pirate crew helps them. In the beginning of Final Fantasy 13, Snow’s resistance group is there to help him. How funny that the brawler himself is just a minor character in the next movie. I don’t know why these games need fake friends. Many times, there are so many people at the party that many players don’t even use them all.

Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age games have always been party-based RPGs, but the first one starts with the player character’s story of how they got to where they are now. That means filling in the other slots so the player can learn how the game works and not die too quickly. For example, the Human Noble has Gilmore and Eleanor as back-up. But in true dark fantasy style, these allies die in horrible ways.

Besides being shocking, this makes it easier to get people to join the mainline fellowship. Players take on a number of smaller stories across the land, and each one adds more people to the party. They might pick up more temporary party members as they go. I think of the Tower of Ishtal. Like the characters from Origin, these guys either die or decide not to stay. Come easy, go easy.

The Etrian Odyssey Series

Like Final Fantasy, there are a lot of fake parties in the Etrian Odyssey series. In the third game, players go on quests at sea. The people who gave the party their quests join them on these water adventures. In the fifth game, there is also Lili, and in Nexus, there is Charis. Both of them join the party during a boss fight. It’s clear that the people who made these didn’t think they were enough.

In the remakes, there are even more guest stars. Ren and Tlachtga are now on the hero’s side when the first game starts. In some of the battles in the second entry, Wulfgar and Hrothgar also join in. Even if their help against tough enemies like the Chimaera is only temporary, fans are probably thankful for it. It looks like these guys had better things to do than watch children, which is fine. Having the remakes as wildcards could change the outcome of the rest of the fights.

The Xenoblade Chronicles Series

Most of the time, this is used as a tutorial in the Xenoblade Chronicles games. Fiora is in the first, Jin, Malos, and Nia are in the second, and Mwamba is in the third. As usual, they either die or leave the players to figure things out on their own. After all, they’ve done their job once they’ve taught what they know.

Still, fake parties in Slope Game aren’t just for tutorials. In the third game, after the heroes free Ethel from brainwashing, she helps them get to their goal for a short time. She has to leave to report to her boss, which is too bad. So much for being thankful.

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