Ninja Looting NPC [Crowner open]
CPU-controlled characters can pick up items meant for the Player Character
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(permanent link) added: 2013-04-22 08:25:49 sponsor: StevenT edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2013-07-12 03:22:38)

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Looking for a consensus on a launch title. Crowner available here.


In many video games, characters other than the Player Character aren't programmed to interact with Power Ups. The worst they can do is interfere with the player trying to get the item, and sometimes they're intended to do just that, such as with a Beef Gate. Assuming the item doesn't vanish after a set period of time, the player can go scoop it up at the earliest convenience or when it would be most beneficial.

This trope is when enemies and/or Non Player Characters can pick up items lying out in the open. They may or may not actually use the items themselves, but stealing the opportunity from the player can be aggravating enough. The behavior might be intentionally designed or the result of a bug.

This doesn't include games with Competitive Multiplayer modes in which the opponents can be either computer-controlled or player-controlled -- in those cases, AI characters picking up and using items is a necessary component of game balance.

Sister tropes include Bandit Mook for when enemies steal directly from the player's inventory and Mooks Ate My Equipment which portrays the theft as literally consuming the item. Also compare No Item Use for You for when the player temporarily loses the ability to use items. Named after Ninja Looting, which is when a player takes item drops from another player in a "dishonest" manner.

Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
  • In the Assassin's Creed series, if you disarm a guard and he doesn't run away immediately, he'll usually try to pick up a weapon another enemy dropped and come after you again.
  • Turned into a Mini-Game in The Legend of Zelda Oracle games. Every 30 enemies killed (or 15 if wearing a particular ring) Link encounters an apprentice witch named Maple who could collide with him and spill her bag. Link and Maple then race to grab the good items first.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Action RPG]]
  • The Jestabocky Dream Eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D will steal any pick-ups left on the ground unattended, whether HP balls, munny, or items. Defeating the Dream Eater doesn't return the item, either. On the plus side, a Jestabocky as an ally will gather those items for the player.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Beat 'em Up]]
  • In the Streets of Rage games, enemies may pick up healing food items that the player leaves untouched.
  • In Zeno Clash, anyone wielding a weapon and who takes a few hits will have their weapon knocked out of their hands -- the player included. Enemies can and will pick up discarded/dropped weapons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Eastern RPG]]
  • Final Fantasy V: In Walse, the player has the option to free "Lone Wolf the Pickpocket" from prison. If you do so, a number of treasure chests in subsequent dungeons will be empty, except for an "I Was Here" note from Lone Wolf.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fighting Game]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:First-Person Shooter]]
  • In Blake Stone Aliens Of Gold, enemy guards and uncooperative bio-techs do not have unlimited ammo but are able to pick up ammunition packs to replenish their weapons when they run out, reducing the amount of ammo available to the player unless the player kills them first.
  • Wolfenstein 3D mods. In some mods wounded enemy soldiers can consume health items lying on the ground, thus denying them to the player. In at least one mod enemy soldiers can pick up treasure and prevent the player from getting it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Interactive Fiction]]
  • In the Apple ][ Eamon games, an enemy with a broken weapon can pick up and use other weapons lying on the ground.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:MMORPG]]
  • Ragnarok Online has several varieties of monsters that are fond of scooping up items lying on the ground, such as Porings and Thief Bugs. While a player can kill a monster to retrieve what it took, note that after a monster picks up a certain amount of items, any further items it collects are outright destroyed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Platform Game]]
  • In Sly Cooper, the enemies in Murray's racing levels can pick up the speed boosts, though at least they never use them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puzzle Platformer]]
  • In Lode Runner, enemies can pick up gold if they aren't already carrying some. Making them drop it is very important to play strategy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roguelike]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Shoot 'em Up]]
  • In the twelfth Touhou game, Undefined Fantastic Object, picking up three UFO tokens summons a large UFO. This UFO automatically draws in and absorbs all point and power-up items on the screen. However, this is actually beneficial and key to scoring points, as the UFO drops an additional power-up after collecting enough items, and the player can automatically collect all absorbed items upon destroying the UFO.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Turn-Based Strategy]]
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Enemy thief units can open treasure chests just like player-controlled thieves. The sole purpose of such enemies is to loot the chests before the player and then retreat from the stage, so they're often much weaker than other enemies and can be killed in a few hits to take the goods back before they make their getaway.
    • Enemy brigands and thieves can visit villages and take the item that the NPCs would have otherwise offered to the player. A dramatic village-burning animation plays instead of the gate-closing animation for when the player gets to the village.
    • Despite being a third faction of 'bandits' or 'ruffians', they act as Red Enemy Units, so the enemy army supposedly defending the treasure from you will not attack them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western RPG]]
  • One early Beef Gate in Arcanum can be made easier by placing very low-end weapons near the bare-fisted mooks. The AI will command the enemies to pick up and equip the items, resulting in drastically lower damage output. Another instance involves putting high-end equipment with a serious side effect (like constantly poisoning the user) near an NPC, which will pick up and wear it until death occurs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Wide-Open Sandbox]]
  • The rat bandit class of enemies in Borderlands 2 will pick up loot that the player hasn't picked up yet. If they pick up a gun or shield, they'll use it as if they spawned with it.
  • In Don't Starve, Pigs will eat any food items left lying around, including Monster Meat (which turns them into Werepigs). Gobblers will spawn from bushes and devour any berries that happen to be nearby.
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both feature NPCs that can (and will) pick up other weapons if the one they spawned with is inadequate (broken, out of ammo, etc.)
  • In Minecraft, Zombies can pick up dropped items (such as when a player dies and spills everything in the inventory).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Media]]
  • In the ReBoot episode "Between a Raccoon and a Hard Place", the characters inside of a game take the power-ups away from their usual locations and stash them elsewhere so the User can't find them.
[[/folder]]


Indexes: Steal This Index, Video Game Characters

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