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Characters / OneShot

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This page details the various characters of OneShot. Given the story heavy nature of this game, expect spoilers.


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Irregularities

Characters that aren't exactly normal residents of the OneShot world.

    Niko 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/niko_9.png
But cats walk on four legs!
The player controlled character of OneShot. A lost child who wakes up in an unfamiliar world devoid of sunlight. They are not a cat.
  • Ambiguous Gender: As per Word of God, Niko is a boy or a girl.
  • Ambiguously Human: Niko isn't a cat, but they never refer to themselves as human, merely as "a person" when correcting people. Their home world is also not named Earth, and there's the obvious matter of their eye and hair color.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: On a New Game+, Niko starts the game remembering the player's name, though nothing else - like the fact that the player even exists. In a solstice run, Niko starts remembering general details about what happened in previous runs, while also remarking that knowing the player's name but not knowing why is rather unsettling.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Niko's hat sports a pair of cat ears.
  • Animal Eyes: Niko's eyes are glowing yellow with cat-like pupils. Apparently this is fairly common in whatever world they come from, though it marks them out as the world's savior in the game world.
  • Animal Motifs: Take one guess at what sort of animal Niko takes after.
  • Audience Surrogate: Since Niko knows as much about the world they're in as the player—which is to say nothing at all at the start—they're typically asking the very same questions the player has about the world.
  • Cat Smile: Niko's expression by default is one of these.
  • Cheerful Child: Despite their predicament and the grave responsibility thrust upon them, Niko remains sunny and cheerful. This begins to crack during the Refuge as Niko becomes increasingly homesick, and more or less falls apart over the course of the Solstice playthrough as more and more denizens of the world are erased by the Entity.
  • Constantly Curious: Niko spends a great deal of time asking questions of the player and of the denizens of the world in the manner one would expect a child like them to do.
  • Crisis of Faith: Early in a solstice run, upon learning that the world they're in isn't real and didn't even exist until he arrived from him to save, that even restoring the sun won't save the world, and that even though they've already succeeded in reaching the top of the tower, it doesn't matter because everything will just revert to when they first arrive no matter what Niko does, Niko starts questioning if you are really 'a kind god'.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Niko has prominent canine—or perhaps more appropriately feline—teeth.
  • Hand-Hiding Sleeves: Has an oversized red sweater whose sleeves completely cover the hands.
  • Hearing Voices: Niko is able to communicate directly with the player in their capacity as the Messiah, and the player can respond, albeit via a fairly limited set of dialogue choices.
  • Kid Hero: Niko is destined to save the world, and while their age is never given, they're very clearly a child.
  • Meaningful Name: Niko's name is a triple pun: according to Word of God it's short for Nikolai as in Nikola Tesla, a major figure in the development of electrical lighting; it's very similar to 日光 nikko meaning sunlight; and it's also similar to ネコ neko meaning cat.
  • Player Character: While Niko is the controllable character, the player themselves is also a character in the story given the Fourth Wall Breaking nature of the game.
  • The Chosen One: Niko is apparently the prophecized savior of the world, destined to restore the sun and give the dying world a second chance.
  • There's No Place Like Home: Niko's initial goal is to get back home, with being the messiah just being their only lead. By the time they reach the top of the tower, however they can't decide if potentially saving the world or sacrificing the world to go home is the right choice.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pancakes are apparently Niko's favorite food, and during one of the later Dream Sequences, Niko dreams about being served pancakes by their mother. Pancakes are also what Niko orders at the refuge cafe late in the first playthrough.
  • Vague Age: Niko is a child who lives with their mother, but their exact age is never given. Word of God is that they are 'like, 8'.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Subverted. Niko finds the fact that they knew the player but don't know why really freaks them out.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Afraid of ladders.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Niko's hair is the same shade of blue as their scarf, at times making it look like part of Niko's hair.
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    The Player 
Niko's guide and unseen companion throughout the course of the game, the person behind the keyboard.
  • A God Is You: The player is cast as the god of the world of OneShot, in the Fourth Wall Breaking fashion, and is able to speak directly with Niko and pass on information they couldn't possibly know. However, as it turns out, the player's influence on the world is actually quite limited; they're simply running the simulation of the long dead world on their computer, in contrast to the Entity, which has far more influence on the state of the world.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: This is initially Subverted; the game pulls the name of the player from the name of the active user on the computer running the game rather than asking for it like most games would, though it's possible to change the name during an early dialogue with Prophetbot in the typical fashion.
  • I Have My Ways: At various times when asked by Niko about themselves or about how they knew something, the player can chose to answer in this fashion.
  • Powers That Be: The in game characters regard the player as something along these lines, though as it turns out, the player's influence on the world is both fairly limited, and they're simply a person playing a computer game, which is to say you.
  • Player and Protagonist Integration: A fairly unique combination of the "player as an advisor" and "the player is you", see also A God Is You.
  • Spirit Advisor: The player is said to be advising Niko in this sort of capacity rather than having any physical presence in the world, though they are at times able to have a more tangible effect when it comes to the puzzles.

    The Entity *MAJOR UNMARKED SPOILERS* 

The World Machine

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/entity_2.png
[You found me]
A mysterious being which contacts the player via computers scattered throughout the world. The primary antagonist of the game, it is the machine that powers the existence of the world itself, and seeks to destroy the world in order to shut itself down.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: When it and Niko finally come face-to-face, it uses Niko's form to communicate with them.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Although the entity frequently provides the player with the hints necessary to proceed, the tone of its writing is quite sinister, and it seems to believe that Niko's quest to save the world is pointless, even though it asks you to help them return home. As it turns out, the Entity acts this way because Niko is the only "real" person in the simulated world, and the Entity is a Three Laws-Compliant AI.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Entity uses a similar form of Unconventional Formatting as other robots in the game, implying that it is some sort of AI, and it seems to be opposed to Niko's mission to restore the sun. The Entity is in fact more properly known as the World Machine, an AI created by the Author intended to generate a simulated replacement for his dying world. Unfortunately, because of the conflicting nature of the World Machine's programming and the loss of the code necessary to return Niko home via the Author's intended ending, it becomes a Death Seeker, and seeks to destroy itself along with the world simulation.
  • Big Bad: While it occasionally provides hint and information necessary for the player to progress, it is generally the Entity that is opposed to the Player and Niko's mission of returning the sun, and near the end of the game prevents the player from progressing by locking Niko in a sort of Lotus-Eater Machine, and later attempts to trick them into shattering the sun in order to return home. Further cementing it as the antagonist is the fact that the Entity is responsible for the corrupted code that is causing the simulated world to deteriorate.
  • Death Seeker: All it wants is to turn itself off, nevermind the fact that this would mean the end of the game's virtual world.
  • Deus Est Machina: As the World Machine, the Entity has an extraordinary degree of power over the simulated world; while it can't do much to directly impede the player's and Niko's progress through the game, it is capable of erasing people from existence who learn too much about its true nature, and has some connection with the square particles causing the world to decay.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Based on dialogue from the Author, the Entity was never intended to be be sentient, but ended up becoming that way due to the Author being most accustomed to programming AI.
  • No Biological Sex: Likely due to being a godlike-AI, it is never referred to with gendered pronouns.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: As with other AI in the setting, the Entity's core programming includes the three laws. Interestingly, rather than the more conventional Zeroth Law Rebellion, the reason the Entity opposes the player is due to the first law, as Niko is the only "real" person in the simulated world, and allowing them to complete their mission of returning the sun will trap them there forever.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After sensing that Niko is feeling distressed in the Solstice route, it began to breakdown. This causes the squares to spawn at an accelerated pace.
  • Walking Spoiler: Its role as the Big Bad is a major reveal, considering that the game seems to have No Antagonist initially, and it’s true nature as the AI god of the simulated world is another major reveal, along with the fact that the world is simulated and not real.

NPCs

Residents of the world.

    Prophetbot 
A robot that greets Niko and explains their mission of bringing the sun to the Tower.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: He's very good at explaining Niko's purpose in the world, but finds it almost impossible to talk about anything else, or speak to anyone who isn't Niko.
  • Mr. Exposition: He was built for the sole purpose of explaining Niko's mission.

    Silver 
The head engineer of the robots in the Barrens.
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    Calamus 
A bird child and the older brother of Alula.

    Alula 
A bird child and the younger sister of Calamus.

    Maize 
A plant spirit that lives in the Glen. Releases vines when under stress.
  • Born-Again Immortality: Potentially. A new Maize can be born if her kernel is planted and given proper care, though it isn't known if it will be the same person.
  • Foreshadowing: Her initial meeting foreshadows that the sun may bring comfort, but likely won't save the world.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Spends her last few hours in a solstice run literally holding the Glen together, and finally exhausts her strength to repair the bridges Niko needs to cross.
  • Last of Her Kind: Calamus remarks their used to be other plant people in the Glen, but Maize is the only one left by the time you reach her.
  • Nature Spirit
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Even after Niko learns her name, they only refer to her as plant lady.
  • Peaceful in Death: She is able to spend her last few hours with the sun.

    Lamplighter 
A man who Niko finds waiting outside of a broken elevator.

    Ling 
The sole worker at the cafe in the Refuge.
  • No Social Skills: He's awkward and unsure what to do when Niko starts to cry in front of him.
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    Dr. Kip Silverpoint 
The head of the scientists at the city's library.
  • Expy: Of the geographer from The Little Prince, in regards to never having seen the world she studies.
  • Must Make Amends: Abandoned Silver after her initial programming was a failure. While the Author eventually fixed her, Silver continually rebuffs Kip's attempts at apologizing.
  • Emperor Scientist: Implied. While there doesn't seem to be any apparent government in the world, she's the leader of the scientists in charge of the robots keeping the city running.
  • Robot Master: For one, she built Silver.

    George 
A dice-headed woman with a connection to The Author.

Old Worlders *SPOILERS*

Characters who came over from the "Old World" and live(d) in the simulation set up by The Author.

    The Author 
A mysterious man who has traveled the world and written an impossible number of books.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: The entire game is his attempt at this.
  • Renaissance Man: A prolific author of every subject imaginable, well traveled, an exceptional AI programmer, and inventor of the (thought to be impossible in-universe) flying machine. There isn't much he doesn't seem to have mastered.
  • The Ghost: We never see him in person.

    Prototype 
The original version of Prophetbot.

    Cedric 
A teenaged boy with a flying machine. It's not a plane.
  • Ambiguously Human: Judging from a line of dialogue where Niko questions what being a robot is like, Cedric may be...more than he lets on.
  • Insistent Termonology: He repeatedly clarifies that his “flying machine” is “not a plane”.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's closely tied to the Author and the Old World.

    Rue 
A talking red fox.
  • Ambiguously Animal: For the same reasons as Cedric.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Downplayed. While not mean, she initially only wants to talk to Niko when it's time to get the Golden Ending, but eventually warms up if visited in enough subsequent sessions.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: She's the only of the three solstice characters that can be met on a normal run, or even seen on a first playthough.
  • Ms. Exposition: Cedric and Prototype aren't good at explaining the Old World to Niko, so she does most of the talking.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: She remembers any meetings with Niko from previous sessions. Interestingly, her memory seems even more ripple-proof than Niko's.
  • Walking Spoiler: Almost impossible to mention her without giving away details about the Old World.

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