Games where you can choose NPC character names? (PC preferably)

I apologise in advance if this post is a bit rambling because even I’m not sure what I’m trying to describe.

A couple of days ago I finally decided to shell out on X-Com Enemy Unknown and its expansion pack Enemy Within as I read in a review that you can give your squad whatever names you choose to. This is a feature that I personally feel adds a lot of fun to games but you aren’t really given the option to do it that often.

I used to play Grand Prix 2 a Formula One simulator where you could re-name all the other drivers, it used to amuse me greatly to just leave a race running automatically in the background with drivers named after friends, family and famous people race it out while I did something else.

But in basically every driving game I’ve played since you are given pre-named drivers/cars/teams and you can’t change them.

Anyone else feel the same way or am (as I sometime suspect) utterly insane?


Forgot to add, what other games let you do this?

Sims 3 lets you name new sims you create and there are well regarded mods that allow you to edit the NPC names and characteristics.

I am annoyed by games that force you to choose a name, rather than “His name is Bob. Is that okay?” I generally prefer to keep the defaults. It was fun (when you’re twelve) to make dirty names within the constraints of the character limitations, “And I, Lord NUTSAK will defeat you!” Or you could try to see if the dialog would be more funny by changing the character’s name to Jack or something.

I can’t remember if you could rename in the original X-Com, but I built an IHOP of troops, making sure to hire unique ones. I think my squad leader was Wernher or something.

Thanks to voice acting, changeable names are getting rarer. But coolest example of that not mattering is in Black & White, where the game will say your name in a creepy voice.

X-Wing let you rename all your wingmen, not that they were worth anything more than distracting the TIE fighters long enough for you to go kill the bombers.

World of Warcraft and Rift both allow you to name some of your pets (hunters have boars or bears or cats; mages have elementals). Sadly, WoW doesn’t allow warlocks to rename their demons.

In City of Heroes, Masterminds could name their pets.

Back in Civ II, when you visited a city with a spy and viewed the city screen, you could change its name. You know, in case you wanted to change your rival’s capital to Pooptown or something.

In the ancient days of computing yore, there was a little whodunit with primitive pseudo-graphics called Sleuth. Sort of a riff on Clue, there was a dead body at a manor house party - you had to stalk the house to find out who did it, where, and with what, and were rated on how few steps it took you to do that.

My favorite part of the game was the fact that you provided a list of names for the game to use for the guests, and one of them would be selected to be the corpse, the rest assigned to the other guests, including the murderer.

One of the Wild Arms games for the Playstation let you rename almost everyone with a significant number of lines (including NPCs).

All the main Shin Megami Tensei games (not the Persona line or other lines) before IV have allowed you to name your party members and often a few important NPCs. They’re sort of PC in the fact that you can do them all via emulation, and 1 and 2 are best available via emulation due to their fanmade translations.

I also prefer the game style where when they ask you to input a name, the canon name is pre-filled-in and you can delete it if you want. With voice acting being so pervasive now though, it’s difficult for developers to do that. A lot of times when you can name the Main Character, the other characters go through all sorts of verbal loops to not directly say your name. Developers have gotten especially good at constructing sentences wherein your name will be in the text on the screen, but if the sentence is read out loud with the name omitted it still makes sense.

I came in to mention this one! Big fun, I loved putting in names from TV shows and having a kinda fanfic/mystery experience.

Also, old version of Microsoft Hearts let you enter names for the 3 computerized opponents. No idea if the latest ones still have that.

For years at my house, my brothers and I would play MS Hearts against Ben Dover, Hugh Jass and I.P. Freeley.

Oregon Trail.

I had one of those with robot pets. Named the set of three Domo, Ori, and Gato. Not sure what I named the others…think the set of two were Caprica and Boomer, can’t remember what the big single one was…