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Exposition Fairy

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"Who the hell is this guy? 'Hail fellow adventurer!' Terry the Adventurer? His name is Terry? Who the fuck is Terry? Seriously! Who? What the fuck is Terry doing here? How did Terry get here? Why did Te — [laughs] Is Terry here to rescue the Mayor, too? I mean, he's gotta be, right? Why else i... Did Lord British hire Terry? I mean, he should, because this guy is awesome! I mean, he got here first; he's better than me, looks like. Shit, Terry, looks like you got this one handled, man. Honestly, I think I'd just get in your way."
Noah Antwiler on Ultima: Runes of Virtue

A recurring or sidekick character whose purpose is to fill you in on elements of the interface and your abilities. Sometimes, they will also offer hints or help players in the form of Notice This. Some sidekicks have a tendency to do this too often, at which point the player is likely to shout, "Stop Helping Me!"

Many more recent games with Heroic Mimes use this so the game has a character who can actually have reactions to the plot, and engage in dialogue with other NPCs. In this case, they not only act as a tutorial of sorts, but keep track of the story and help move it along.

Frequently a Fairy Companion, hence the name. For modern-day humanoid variants, see Mission Control and Voice with an Internet Connection. See also Pet Interface. Can overlap with Expressive Health Bar if they let you know you're low on health. Sub-Trope of Mr. Exposition.


Video Game Examples


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  • Your AI sidekick Arthur in the second and third The Journeyman Project games offers hints and color commentary.
    • The first game sort of has one as well, in a text message window that occasionally pops out of the HUD to give you warnings and such. The remake, Pegasus Prime swaps that out for an AI Biochip that serves the same purpose, but is nowhere near as funny as Arthur.
  • In the Xbox Ninja Gaiden game, Ayane will occasionally toss kunai with notes written on them to help Ryu Hayabusa get through his quest. She, being a ninja-in-training, does all of her work from the shadows.

    Action Adventure 
  • Pey'j and Double H from Beyond Good & Evil frequently fill these roles, offering advice on where to go, what to do, and information on the world, from time to time. Most of their more detailed advice is optional—but Double H has the habit (moreso than Pey'j) of shouting out the completely obvious unbidden. "There's the secret passageway we need to get in!"
  • BloodRayne has Mynce, another dhampir who explains your strengths and weaknesses during cutscenes as well as dragging you through the tutorial.
  • Darksiders
    • The Watcher in Darksiders is bound to War's artificial arm by the Council in the first game to ensure that War does his duty. He is probably one of the most dickish examples of this trope ever, constantly treating War like a dog on a leash. He occasionally has some good advice, especially during boss fights, but that doesn't make up for being a Jerkass. It's pretty satisfying to see War pop the Watcher's head like a grape when he loses his power over War.
    • Darksiders II has Dust, Death's crow Familiar and formerly one of many belonging to The Crowfather. His main purpose is to help find paths in the environment and to give Death clues to various puzzles (using Notice This style glowing), but he doesn't actually speak. The Abomination Vault novel shows he has a deadpan manner about him despite being unable to speak and can communicate with Death via telepathy with images or connect him to the Crowfather.
  • The Heart from Dishonored plays with this trope as, unlike most fairies, it only provides exposition on demand, but also averts the usual irritating nature of this trope by being creepy as hell - literally a human heart carried around in Corvo's hand that beats when close to an upgrade and whispers disturbing secrets to him in his mind. To make it especially charming, the Heart was ripped from the chest of the murdered Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, the woman he had sworn to protect with his life, who may have been Corvo's lover and whose death prompted his vengeful rampage. And in the sequel, you have to delete the personality inside, who will either go peacefully while you're forced to watch or call you out for desensitizing them to violence before making their existence pointless.
  • The first God of War was originally supposed to have one of these at the start of the first game to explain the controls and such. And then just for the hell of it (combined with a heavy dose of 'didn't see this coming, did ya'), it was going to be killed by that first Hydra head that surprises you on the boat.
    • Athena talks far more in III, commenting on equipment stolen from the Gods themselves. Except it's not Athena - at least, not the Athena Kratos knew before she died - and she tries to enslave the world after Kratos has killed all the physical gods. Kratos decides to spite Not-Athena by splitting most of his divinity into tiny pieces for the surviving humans to 'share' (i.e. kill each other over), and fucks off to live in obscurity with the Vikings.
    • The Norse games play the trope straight with Mimir, who Kratos and Atreus free from his 109-winters-long imprisonment by cutting off, and reanimating, his head. From that point forward, Mimir acts as your guide to the Norse mythology, telling the history and stories of the Aesir and other creatures of the Realms while the player is traveling. He also gives players a hand in battle by warning about enemy attacks from behind, and warning you when your health is low. Most of all, in-story he’s the one to give Kratos advice about Atreus, and whom Kratos opens up to over the course of two games.
  • In The Haunted Mansion video game, Madame Leota becomes one of these, riding in Zeke's bag and giving advice.
  • The Jak and Daxter series:
  • Iwazaru of Killer7 drops into view on occasion (he hangs from a bungee cord) and informs the title assassins of what they need to do next, often by insulting them (for example, when he complains about MASK DE Smith, you have to switch to MASK to advance). The ending reveals that Iwazaru is Kun Lan in disguise, explaining why someone supposedly loyal to the Smiths has so little respect. Aside from the gimp, the Smiths travel with an entire retinue of 'quirky' exposition ghosts. Easygoing Travis also offers hints and is generally more trustworthy, Kess Bloodysunday is a shell-shocked ghost kid who tells you how to beat the bosses, and severed head Susie... the less said the better.
  • The gargoyles in MediEvil alternate between being Mr. Exposition, mocking Fake Ultimate Hero Dan Fortesque, and telling you how to go about getting through the level.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Fusion: Adam, Samus's AI advisor. She has no choice but to listen to him, as he was part of the deal that got her a replacement spaceship. He's eventually revealed to be part of a Government Conspiracy, but pulls a Heel–Face Turn in the closing moments of the game.
    • Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: Samus's Cool Ship occasionally sends hints on where to go next.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: Fleet Admiral Dane and Aurora Units 242 and 217 serve this role, each at different points of the story: Dane when Samus aims to destroy the incoming Leviathan in Norion and later when she's looking for a way to disable the planetary shield in Pirate Homeworld to prepare the Federation's assault, AU 217 while Samus is in Elysia in her quest to gain access to that planet's Leviathan, and AU 242 in the rest of the game.
    • Metroid: Other M has you meeting the living Adam on whose personality the above-mentioned AI is based. He serves primarily as Mission Control, but he's on your ear piece through most of the game guiding the player through the story.
    • Metroid Dread: Adam's AI form returns as the ship's computer and general Mission Control for Samus. Except, save for the opening and closing cutscenes, it's not Adam at all, but Raven Beak, who notably exposits about things Adam should not know, such as the exact components of Samus' Chozo DNA and how it interacts with her Metroid DNA.
  • In the Soul Reaver installments of the Legacy of Kain series, the (usually disembodied) voice of the Elder God serves this function—mostly.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Starting withThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link is assisted by a character, who mainly serves as this role. Need help? Touch a special tile on the walls of dungeons and Sahasrahla is always there to help. You don't even need to be in the same world as him to do this!
    • In the A Link to the Past comic adaptation, Link is accompanied by Epheremelda who offers him the lay of the land in the Dark World. This is before Ocarina of Time introduced Navi as the first canon Fairy sidekick.
    • Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the most notorious of these, because of the frequency with which she hints the player. The Trope Codifier, to the point where Exposition Fairies in subsequent Nintendo games are often called "Navi" internally.
    • Though the owl from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was there first, for most Zelda fans the "owl helper" trope is ingrained with Kaepora Gaebora, who followed child Link through Hyrule in Ocarina of Time just so he could give you all the advice Navi didn't. Hoot! Do you want to hear what I said again?
    • Tatl from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a lot like Tinker Bell: particularly memorable for her snark, poor attitude and general non-helpfulness. Fortunately, her audio comments are limited to a fairly inoffensive jingly sound. She was also unhelpful since she would just chide Link for not knowing how to fight enemies from Ocarina of Time instead of telling him how, at most giving you a vague hint. This was changed in the 3DS remake, since the game no longer assumes you've played the previous game.
    • The King of Red Lions a.k.a. King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule from Wind Waker, who also serves as your main means of travel through the Great Sea. He keeps in touch while you're on land via a magic stone given to you by Tetra, who fills this role during your first visit to the Forsaken Fortress (the fact they can both use the stone is a plot point).
    • Ezlo from Minish Cap who, in addition to being your nice hat, also serves as a means to shrink down to Minish-size.
    • Midna from Twilight Princess offers helpful services the others didn't (such as warping), but her expository knowledge is limited to the dark world. Her poor attitude doesn't help much either, but makes part of her charm. Also, she doesn't bug you as oftennote  and her alert sound is a few quiet words in Simlish rather than a shrill yell.
    • Ciela from Phantom Hourglass. At least she also acts as a cursor, bugs an NPC instead of you, and she actually helps in battle...when you have enough courage orbs anyway. The fact that she uses the same "Hey!" as Navi is bound to send shivers down your spine upon first meeting her, though. In a bit of irony, when you unlock the hammer, Ciela will wield it and Link will point her where to hit, giving him the chance to be the annoying one (if he wasn't mute anyway).
    • Princess Zelda herself serves as Link's Exposition Fairy in Spirit Tracks.
    • The Exposition Fairy of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is Fi, the Spock-Speaking spirit of your sword. She can give the most info of any Exposition Fairy in the series. If you can lock onto it, friend, foe, random critter or dungeon device, she has info on it. At the tap of a button she'll analyze boss moves (as well as the arenas in which you fight them) to give you strategies, provide a recap of what's happened recently, remind you of what you should do next, tell you how many times you've killed a monster in addition to your previous record when it comes to fighting that monster, has a ton of helpful rumors and hints, will provide info on your current location and how suited the items you have in your pack are to your current location/situation, keeps track of how long you've played during the current session and overall...and this is just a summary of what she can tell you when you ask. It's the amount of info she dispenses when you don't ask that draws ire.
  • The wolf's spirit companion in Lost Ember acts as this if the player enables spoken dialogue, providing additional context through commentary on the locations they visit and narrating the events playing out in the holographic memories.
  • Kliff serves as this in No Straight Roads, giving Mayday and Zuke information on NSR's artists and various other things throughout the game. Rather idiotically, he continues doing this to an extent even after getting exposed as the Big Bad.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, the Prince gets one in the form of the Dark Prince, his own bloodthirsty alter ego, who first manifests as a gruff but helpful voice in his head.
  • In Primal Jen can ask Scree for help. In Count Raum's Mansion in Aetha an array of severed heads serve this purpose in a cutscene. In the mansion proper various severed heads randomly hanging around shout advice and encouragement.
  • Issun from Ōkami, acting in a role similar to that of Link's sidekicks, providing exposition, tutorial information, and acting as the supplement mouthpiece for the silent hero.

  • In Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, the heroine has a pixie friend to give advice and explain the story.
  • In The Dog Island we have Petashi, a cute little...err...something that only the player can see —and hear, for that matter— who follows you all through the game, providing advice and pushing you into plot-important actions. He even goes as far as appearing as cursor in the Menu. Unfortunately, all characters in the game are mute, so we never get to actually hear his funny remarks.
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture has the balls of light. Activating them shows scenes related to the townsfolk and their doings just before the Rapture. They even seem to be intelligent, seeming to guide you to these moments and places at certain points.
  • Ithena in Liath.
  • The Lost Islands of Alabaz has your best friend Trig, who helpfully explains how to play an Interactive Fiction game.
  • Puck, the six-inch Shakespearian robot in the video game adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series, was created by Dr. Richard Wakefield specifically to help you explore the titular alien spaceship, having been programmed with the team's initial survey data to do so. His most useful comment is "There appears to be an object of some interest lying on the ground."
  • In Return to Zork a crystal-ball looking item called a teleorb can summon a guy in a turban who gives you useful advice once you replace his batteries.
  • Parodied in episode 5 of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, "8-Bit Is Enough", where Homestar is turned into one of these after the video-game world and Free Country USA start blending together.
    • He even says "Hey! Listen!".
    • The only reason Strong Bad even agreed to disentangle the worlds was to stop Homestar from popping up everywhere.note 
  • Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure features Woody Woodpecker, who acts as your guide throughout the game. He explains the game's objective at the park entrance, and provides instructions for each of the park's attractions.
  • In Zork: Grand Inquisitor, you receive advice and companionship from a lantern possessed by the spirit of Dungeon Master Dalboz.

  • The hovering camera droid, Holocam-E, AKA, "Cammy" is this in Star Wars Droidworks. She serves to track the audio/visual feed of the droid you've built and sent out on missions, and for some reason speaks in a southern accent. Unlike most examples, Cammy can actually be muted in-game (and is even compassionate about that if you examine the mute button).

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2 and episodes, serving as a counterpart to the player's Heroic Mime and a genuine Action Girl.
  • Halo generally has AIs fill this role:
    • Cortana for the Chief in the mainline games.
    • 343 Guilty Spark sometimes does this.
    • Auntie Dot in Halo: Reach.
    • Serina in Halo Wars.
  • In Tron 2.0, Jet gets a Byte (an upgrade from the simple Bit of the movie) to instruct and acclimate him to the Electronic World.

  • In The Adventures of Lomax, The Old Wise Lorock. Touch his floating hat to make him appear and share some gameplay tip.
  • Bottles and his relatives play this role in the Banjo-Kazooie games. That and being the butt of Kazooie's endless torrent of insults and cynical remarks to which they act accordingly. Which means "insult her back at every opportunity".
  • Chao of the Distorted Travesty series acts as Mission Control alongside her brother Jeremy. She seems to have more free reign than Jeremy does, however, and so is able to take on a form similar to that of Navi to be used as an enemy scanner (to provide information about attack patterns and weapon weaknesses). In the third game, she gets kidnapped when the party travels into the Vault, thus rendering the player unable to scan enemies for a time.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns: Professor Chops shows you how to use the controller via bubbles on-screen, offers you checkpoints throughout a level, and offers the Super Guide when you die enough times.
  • Gus Gremlin from an unmade WW2 Disney movie, serves this role in Epic Mickey in a Jiminy Cricket style.
  • Being a digital record of a dead inventor, the Architect from Ghostrunner can only help you by telling you information about the levels you're in (all of which he built), the main villain and her Mooks (who he used to employ), and your many abilities (which he designed when creating you). He is particularly talkative during the tutorial sections you go through in Cyberspace after unlocking a new power.
  • In LostWinds, the Exposition Fairy also serves as the Wii remote pointer, and the source of your wind-related powers. Pushing a button causes her to offer up a hint, and moving the pointer while holding A or B will make her summon gusts or slipstreams, respectively (once you gain those abilities, anyway). She occasionally speaks to other characters as well.
  • Jett Rocket has helpful droids to give him advice. They also activate certain cannons for him.
  • Mega Man: Characters who provide this function are typically called Operators and often double as Mission Control.
  • Kao the Kangaroo:
    • Round 2 has glow-worms that give you tutorial tips.
    • Mystery of the Volcano has the Shaman's totem that does the same, though he's restricted only to the training level.
    • The Rock Man Complete Works games feature the Navi Mode, where various characters provide Mega Man with hints and instruction about the challenges he faces. The Navi Mode characters, Dr. Light, Roll, Proto Man, Kalinka and Dr. Cossack, reprise their role in Mega Man Anniversary Collection.
    • In the later Mega Man X series, you're helped by "Navis" (natch), female reploid operators who explain some of the perils you encounter in the game. Much like Zelda's Navi, they bug the player with an alarming frequency, and during their first appearance, you could not just ignore them and move on. They became much more helpful in X8, where they can be unlocked as hidden playable characters.
    • Mega Man Legends localizes the Operators with the term Spotters. Roll and Tron Bonne respectively spot for Mega Man on the one hand and Tiesel Bonne and the Servbots on the other.
    • Exaggerated in the Mega Man Battle Network series, where "Network" Navigators and their Operators occur in pairs, providing this function for each other. Lan Hikari can consult MegaMan.EXE for advice and instruction when being controlled by the player, while Mega can consult Lan while he's being controlled.
    • Mega Man Star Force reprises the Navigator-Operator relationship with EM Beings and the humans they partner with. Geo can consult Omega-Xis for instruction just like Lan consulting Mega.
  • In Pokémon Colosseum, there is Wes' sidekick Rui. After he rescues her, she follows him around, and is able to see Shadow Pokemon for what they are, pointing them out whenever an enemy uses one in a Pokemon battle. (This is why the villains were trying to kidnap her in the first place.)
  • Ford Cruller in Psychonauts offers you hints on where to go, information on enemies, and has a few other services he can provide for you (such as instantly teleporting you to his lab). You can summon his services by waving a piece of bacon around. He rarely pops in to provide information unbidden.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure introduces Tikal, a Spark Fairy who provides instruction when approached by the characters.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 introduces Omochao, a Robot Me Chao knockoff who will fly circles around you while explaining things. Unlike Tikal, Omochao can take damage from both enemy and player attacks. Omochao returns in Sonic Generations but now with a setting to turn off his help in the game.
    • There's always someone helping you in Shadow the Hedgehog. If Shadow is currently doing a Dark Mission, it's either "Doom's Eye" (an extension of Black Doom) or Dr. Eggman; if he's doing a Heroic Mission, it's one of the heroes of the franchise, like Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Rouge, and others. While Shadow can run into them in the level itself, he can choose between assistants in the menu at will or even get both of them to disappear (although there are certain points in which one or the other will automatically rejoin you); in this case, Shadow will talk to himself upon coming across a puzzle.
    • This is continued in Sonic Unleashed with Chip, who usually sticks to cutscenes and not actual gameplay but still remembers quite a lot of information despite losing his memory and having been asleep in the centre of the planet for millions of years.

      Chip doesn't narrate anything when triggered in the PS360 version of the game, however in the WiiS2 version he appears during the tutorial levels and the final boss, narrates things, and this is out of your control.
    • Sonic Colors features no one but Tails himself. Much like Tikal, Omochao, and Chip, Tails only talks when you touch a "?" circle, and his text can be skipped. When facing the final boss: There's a "?" at the start, but Tails' voice is replaced with static, so he can't help.
    • Other characters to fill the role throughout the series include Lumina, Shahra, Merlina and Caliburn.
  • Rayman: Murfy:
  • Tinker from Rocket: Robot on Wheels will give you tutorials, as well as upgrades once you have enough tickets.
  • Spyro the Dragon usually had a dragonfly named Sparx to help him out. But for anything beyond this little insect's ken, he also had the fairy Zoe and the Dragon Elders that helped him. In the Retcon, Sparx's role has shifted from this to being pretty much resident Deadpan Snarker. The role has been taken up almost entirely by the Dragon Elders.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario World introduces Tip Blocks shaped like speakers that only activate when hit from below. Tip Blocks appear later in the Yoshi's Island series, where they're scattered more frequently throughout the landscape, and provide useful info to the Yoshis when these hit them.
    • Wario: Master of Disguise: Goodstyle is a sentient, mustached wand with magical attributes that help Wario gather the fragments of the Wishstone before Cannoli and Carpaccio do. During the game's ending, he's revealed to be the original member of the Cannoli clan, and the one who originally sealed Terrormisu. He guides Wario to reassemble the Wishstone so he can defeat Terrormisu for good.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • The Cheshire Cat, in American McGee's Alice, serves this role, giving you somewhat cryptic clues to solve puzzles. You can summon him up, as well, but most of the time his advice is unhelpful and rather disturbing. Why, oh why, are you telling me "Only the insane equate pain with success" or "There's an ugly name for those who do things the hard way"?
  • Fatima from Anachronox, who is not only the game's actual mouse pointer, but also powers one of Boots' skills.
  • Hilariously, these are actual fairies in the Atelier Series; you run into one in the first game who explains how the fairies can be used to help around the workshop, and inAtelier Iris: Eternal Mana and Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island, you have a fairy as part of the party whose primary purpose is to explain almost all game mechanics.
  • "Pluffy the Fairy" in BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is a parody/subversion. He shows up in Chapter 6, eager to help the party break the seal on the third PasSWORD shard... except he's actually One_Wing, an ancient troll king whose power was sealed away in the same room. He's manipulating you to get his former strength back, and when he does, all hell breaks loose.
  • Airy from Bravely Default, is feeding the party lies the entire game. She lets the player know the role of the crystals and guides them to the proper locations to awaken them, but her role as The Dragon means she embellishes what she must to achieve her goal, which is awakening her Omnicidal Maniac, Eldritch Abomination of a boss.
  • In Disco Elysium this is the Encyclopedia skill's specialty. If high enough, it will inform you on the lore of the world when you hear terms that don't exist in the real world. If too high it will bombard you with useless trivia that is not particularly relevant, and may compel the Player Character to brag about this information or correct others, make him become an Insufferable Genius.
  • Stella in Dragon Quest IX. After all, they need someone to speak in a game where all protagonists are silent.
  • In the Fairune series, the Ancient Codex takes this task, providing the player with the backstory of the game as well as a short tutorial on how to make CheckPoints, as well as which enemies should be hunted for next.
  • Mog in Final Fantasy XIII-2. As if the Datalog wasn't enough.
  • Wakey Wakey the alarm Clock from 40 Winks.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star has Nall, who looks like a flying cat.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, an anthropomorphic suitcase serves as both your Exposition Fairy and your inventory menu! He has a bad habit of making up adjectives to describe your situation. Like the evil minion Fawful from the previous Mario and Luigi, his mannerisms are a parody of bad video game translations.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story casts the star sprite Starlow in the same role. Amusingly, she pretends to be a different Exposition Fairy for Bowser ("Chippy"), directing him to perform Mario-supporting actions and occasionally driving him to Stop Helping Me levels.
    • Starlow returns in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. Additionally, Prince Dreambert acts as the other exposition fairy in Dream Team, meaning you've got two characters who seem to be acting as helpers throughout the adventure, allowing one to take care of dialogue for a pair of Heroic Mimes in the dream world, while the other manipulates Luigi in the real world.
    • Starlow also returns in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, making her the only character who isn't a Mario series regular to show up in the game. Though she's effectively a regular herself at this point, as far as the sub-series is concerned.
  • EDI from Mass Effect 2 offers advice during missions and while aboard the Normandy.
  • Bajarl in Monster Rancher EVO, although he has the distinct mercy of being inside a pot-looking container, so he only gives you hints if you want him to.
  • Pepe in Muppet Monster Adventure.
  • Kohaku, Seimei's personal fox shikigami (who, mind you, is not a dog) acts as this at the beginning of Onmyōji.
  • Gnarl in Overlord explains not only how the controls, but frequently what you should do next. His 'advice' is frequent and specific enough that it's an accurate piece of Lampshade Hanging when he says at then end that if you win he'll "gladly have you back- I mean, serve you again."
  • Paper Mario: In the first two games, Mario allied with an array of partners with unique abilities, where only one was dedicated to explaining things. In later games, the Exposition Fairy role was given to significant central characters.
    • Goombario of Paper Mario 64 and Goombella of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are explicitly specialists at providing information. Their special ability is giving you hints, and providing flavorful information about the world.
    • In Super Paper Mario, you have a Pixl named Tippi, a butterfly, who identifies objects, gives hints, and, since Mario is a Heroic Mime, helps move the dialog along. She also turns out to be the former loved one of the Big Bad. It was his despair at her disappearance that led him to seek the destruction of the multiverse, and therefore, bring about the events of the game.
    • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Mario has a flying crown sticker named Kersti as his companion.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash has a sarcastic Exposition Paint Bucket named Huey.
    • And Paper Mario: The Origami King presents the naive but also sweet, friendly, and innocent origami girl Olivia.
  • Gouto in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army acts as a helping hand to what the player must do, and also acts as Raidou's 'voice' when it comes interacting with other characters—with Raidou being one of MegaTen's many Silent Protagonists. Gouto is in reality the first of the Raidou Kuzunoha Devil summoners, and thus has a personal interest in making sure the current Raidou is doing his job correctly.
  • Dr Polito's role in System Shock 2. Or so you thought. It's actually SHODAN masquerading as Dr Polito, followed by several levels as your Voice with an Internet Connection, and she finally finishes as the final boss.
  • Yoku's Island Express has Kickback, a creature who sporadically chimes in to remind you how much progress you've made through the main plot while also blocking the gaps at the bottom of each pinball "table" to keep you from dropping through.

    Shoot-Em Ups 
  • In CarnEvil, Umlaut, a Monster Clown skull, gives you a taunting rhyme on the nature of each area. In the final boss battle, you get to kill him.
  • Crypt Killer: Right at the start of the game, you're greeted by Galazon, a spirit head that guides you on proceeding with your adventure, firstly by warning you the consequences of entering the monster-infested crypt, and at the end of each level throw hints at you on which two doors to choose in order to proceed.
  • Peppy Hare of Star Fox fame, of course. It's pretty much his entire role: "To Barrel Roll, press Z or R twice!". Star Fox 64 also has a raccoon mechanic that fulfills this role in the training stage.

  • Fantasy Life inverts this — Flutter, by being clueless of Life in Reveria, prompts other NPCs to explain details that the player character would have already known about.
  • Harvest Moon: Animal Parade's Finn follows the character (in the form of a Navi-like glowing ball outside of cutscenes) and tells him or her about the plot and prods the character to ring the bells, meet with the Harvest Goddess, and other plot-advancing actions.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Gardens has a butterfly.
  • In Shepherd's Crossing, there's Brammy, a sapient talking duck with a straw hat and a wine bottle. Given that the rest of the game is otherwise fairly realistic, he comes off as especially strange for the setting.
  • Starlancer has Moose, your WSO sitting behind you in the cockpit and giving you (quite timely) warnings about incoming missiles or enemy fighters on your six. He's supposed to be running the fighter's sensors and electronics, so he's pretty much doing his job.
  • Starmancer has Kat, a cat-shaped AI who provides tutorials and is responsible for communicating with other characters.
  • Theme Park World has Buzzy, who advises you on how your guests feel about your prices, if one of your rides is broken down, etc.


    Survival Horror 
  • Throughout the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise, Phone Guy and Phone Dude act as your fairy, subtly or blatantly explaining the idea of the game and what you're supposed to do. Sometimes they can be misleading, though.

Non-video game examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • During a videogame-based plot arc in Yu-Gi-Oh!, when a faerie appears to the gang, Joey explains that "Games like this always have a faerie or something to explain how the game works."


  • Sunny, Mezzo's Umbreon in We Are All Pokémon Trainers, takes this role in an October 2011 sideplot, as a Shout-Out to the exposition fairies in Zelda. Included is the ability to cast portals on the ground, Midna-style, justified in that he's a Dark-type Pokémon. He gives competent advice.

  • Homestuck:
    • Aranea is a parody of this type of character, being completely addicted to explaining things that people already know to such an extent that she abandons her much more useful plans just to lug around a Peanuts-style Exposition Stand so she can pay people to listen to her. For bonus points, she has reached god tier and has the insectoid wings that come with it, meaning she literally is a fairy of a sort.
      • The fact that she's never been a "playable" character in the comic (i.e. she has never been controllable in a walkaround page, and has never had a command issued to her by the reader) could suggest that she was only created to be a walking exposition dump.
    • All of the alpha timeline god-tier trolls (Vriska, Aranea, Aradia, and Meenah) show shades of this at one point or another.
  • Swords has the Beginner's Blade, a talking sword that gives advice to newbie adventurers.

    Web Video 
  • Parodied in Sequelitis, in which Egoraptor points out that games of the 8-bit and 16-bit era managed fine without them and were just cleverly designed so the player could teach themselves how to play them. He does a recurring sketch based on if the first Mega Man game had Roll as an Exposition Fairy whose signature call is a high-pitched "Mega Man! Mega Man!" This has since entered Memetic Mutation, with many Let's Players saying "Mega Man! Mega Man!" when they run into an Exposition Fairy.
  • Super Mario Bros. Z parodies Stuffwell from Partners in Time who will always exclaim "BACK TO ADVENTURE!!!" as he frequently did following monologues in Partners in Time. This eventually prompts Sonic to tell him to shut up.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series parodied the concept by giving the fairy (see the example in the anime and manga folder) the voice of Navi from Ocarina of Time—namely her constant "Hey! Listen!"—and having Joey turn homicidal towards it.

    Real Life 
  • In versions of Microsoft Office from 1997 on, Microsoft included the infamous Clippy The Paperclip, who would try and assist the user if it looked like they were doing something. The Memetic Mutation line "It looks like you're trying to write a letter", with several options to help, came from this. Clippy and the entire concept were axed after 2003.

Alternative Title(s): Ninja Butterfly



He's there to help you

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExpositionFairy

Media sources: