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1.“Hey! I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!”
Honestly, this whole list could have been Pokemon quotes. Between weird translations and strange writing, to begin with, this long-running series has a lot of weirdness in it.
But our favorite line comes from the kid in Pokemon Red who blurts out “Hey! I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!” First of all, he’s not wrong: shorts are comfy as hell. And second of all, how can you not relate to a socially awkward character who blurts out the first weird thing he can think of?
Look, this list is about NPC lines that are unforgettable. That doesn’t mean they are lines that you enjoy.
The best example of this is Navi the fairy and her frequent insistence that Link “listen” to what she has to say. To this day, hearing her annoying little voice is the absolute worst part of replaying Ocarina of Time.
3.“Do a barrel roll!”
In the original Star Fox, the characters’ voice lines were just gibberish. But starting in Star Fox 64, these characters spoke in English, and they gave us some truly memorable lines.
While many of the lines are great, nothing quite beats Peppy’s encouragement to “do a barrel roll.” In fact, many hardcore Star Fox fans consider this the signature line of the entire series!
4.“What Is A Man? A Miserable Little Pile Of Secrets.”
What makes for an unforgettable NPC line? Well, it’s always great when the line sounds like a freshman college student trying to sound smart in their Philosophy class.
And that’s what we get in Castlevania, Symphony of the Night when Dracula himself asks “What Is A Man? A Miserable Little Pile Of Secrets.” Sure, the game is amazing and the fight is cool, but this insane bit of dialogue is still the most memorable aspect of playing.
5.“I am Error.”
What if you can’t tell the difference between an insane translation and baffling in-jokes? Well, that’s the secret sauce for a memorable line!
For instance, Zelda II gives us an NPC that first tells you only “I am Error.” It seems like an actual error until later characters ask you to go back to this character for information. This is most likely some bizarre programmer humor, but it soon became a funny bit of lore for hardcore Nintendo fans over the past two few decades.
Unless you’re naturally good at sneaking around, you’ll spend a few times dying in Metal Gear Solid. And this leads to a line of dialogue that will soon be burned into your brain.
Most of the time, Snake’s death triggers Roy Campbell into dramatically bellowing “Snake” for as long as he can and as loudly as he can. Later characters take this habit up in later games, making this single line of the most iconic bits of dialogue from the series.
7."Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better."
On a bad day, video games will give you mistranslated nonsense that makes you shake your head in frustration. Every now and then, though, a game will give you some genuinely inspirational life advice.
For example, in Animal Crossing, Chief eventually tells you "Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better." It’s a simple line, but it serves as a powerful reminder that we can always change ourselves even when we cannot change anything else.
8."It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!"
Sure, there’s a lot of Zelda on this list. But what can we say? The series has produced some bonkers NPC lines over the years.
And it all goes back to the first franchise dialogue you ever hear: the old man in the original game who tells you "It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!" The franchise has only gotten more popular over time, and this phrase now serves as a cultural touchstone for older and younger fans alike.
9.“Thank you, Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”
Eventually, Toad would become a fully fleshed-out character in his own right. But in the original Super Mario Bros., he was mostly there to let you down gently as you discovered that, once again, you failed to rescue the princess from Bowser.
It’s a charming bit of dialogue meant to explain why your adventure must continue. But over the years, the line has taken on a life of its own as a way for nerds to tell other nerds that they aren’t going to find what they are looking for.
10."Science isn’t about why! It’s about why not!"
Jurassic Park quickly became a dominant pop culture influence on the world. And one of the standout bits of dialogue comes from Ian Malcolm, the man who confronts John Hammond by telling him “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
But in Portal 2, Cave Johnson gives us a very different perspective. He gleefully exclaims that "Science isn’t about why! It’s about why not!" Not only does this serve as a fun counterpoint to our typically cautious view of science, but it helps to explain why the world of Portal is so downright deranged.