Alyx from Half-Life 2 is now the star of her own game, and Barney from the original Half-Life got his own spin-off in Blue Shift. Rebecca Chambers from Resident Evil was one of the protagonists in its prequel, and Gat and Kinzie from the Saints Row series became the stars in Gat Out of Hell. Let's not forget that every single Rabbids game is technically a Rayman spin-off.
There are plenty more examples of side characters who got to be heroes later on. But we're asking who should be next. Which NPC deserves their own game? Here are some of our ideas, plus a few from our forum members (opens in new tab).
The Spire from Slay the Spire
Jarred Walton: I don't know if it's really an NPC as such, but I really want to know what's going on in its throbbing heart. Does it feel pain? Does it laugh at my pain when another run ends with the dastardly Time Lord obliterating me? These are important questions. Where was Spire born—or at least, who created it? What was its childhood like? Did it have any favorite toys? Maybe all of those toys got corrupted by the Spire's black heart, and it's really just a metaphor for a lost childhood. My childhood consisted mostly of early videogames, and sadly there's no C-64 analog in Slay the Spire. But maybe there's a reason for that and we can uncover it in Become the Spire. OK, that's not a great name. I'll let someone else figure out that part—Untitled Spire Game.
Triss Merigold from The Witcher
Wes Fenlon: The obvious guess for CD Projekt's next Witcher game is that it will star Ciri, Geralt's adopted daughter and apprentice witcher (and also cosmically powerful chosen one, I guess). Thinking about the world CD Projekt built up across its three games, though, I'd love to see a game that delves into the politics and powers of the Lodge of Sorceresses. There's a great story arc in The Witcher 3 about sorceresses being hunted, and I feel like Triss has a lot of room for character development beyond her relationship with Geralt. It would also let CD Projekt make a game that played totally differently. Triss would be a ranged fighter who learned a wide range of magic, as opposed to Geralt's measly signs. It could even—gasp—work well as a turn-based RPG. All this applies to Yennefer as well, but I feel like her character is already better defined. Let Triss have her story told!
Simon Arish from Control
Andy Chalk: Simon is the kind of guy I admire: Unassuming, quiet, in the background, but sharp and competent. He doesn't have Jesse's abilities, or Pope's expertise, or Marshall's authority, but he's Seen Some Shit, he's taken care of it, and he's ready to file a report. Guys like Arish are dependable—they keep the lights on and the wheels turning while the heroes are out saving the world—and I think it'd be fun seeing him do his thing during a "normal" workday at the Oldest House. I envision it as something akin to an indoors Alan Wake: A regular guy in an extremely irregular situation, working hard to keep everyone cool and piece together the mystery of the day, so when the boss comes around and asks what's going on, he's got a good answer.
From our forums
Pifanjr: I'm convinced that a spin-off featuring Solaire of Astora from Dark Souls would be very popular, if done well.
I Will Haunt You: Garrus Vakarian of course. From his early days at C-Sec to his stint as Archangel. Kinda like The Bourne Supremecy in space. Or maybe a ship repair sim for all those calibrations.
Diana Burnwood. Like a Hitman management sim to some extent, but you also get to roam around the ICA offices talking to people either to glean information from them or manipulating them into doing something for you. Maybe even break into an office or two to bug a phone or steal files from a computer. You also have to manage resources for your agents in the field so they can complete their contracts. Agent 47 doesn't do all the work ya know.
Alma Wade. It's time we got to be on the distribution end of her nightmarish abilities. Use your psychic powers to rip and tear the flesh and melt away the sanity of the weak minded all the while singing lullabies to your unborn child because, if you don't, the child will unleash unpredictable psychic powers of its own...
Hveðrungr: Kyu, the fairy from HuniePop. There's so much we could explore about her motivations, new depths to be discovered in her character. Her metatextual knowledge that she is an NPC also makes her a fascinating proposition for a philosophical meditation along the lines of Plato's Cave.
Zloth: Let IO Interactive (developers of the Hitman series) have access to BioWare's HK-47 character.