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Wizardry 8 NPC Guide

The big issue with NPCs in this game is that they're all very fussy about which areas they will and will not enter. Presumably this is to make you try some of the later available NPCs rather than just staying with the first two the entire game. If you're the kind of person who hates wasting time and experience points developing NPCs who aren't going to finish the game with you, I'll save you some time: stick with Vi, RFS, and/or Saxx.

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Those three will go to most areas and can finish the game with you. If, however, you're the kind of person who likes to explore everything a game has to offer, you lose very little by letting every NPC do a brief stint with the party. There's enough XP to go around, honestly, and it's fun to hear the new voicesets, try out the various classes, see what everyone's skulls look like when they die. If you don't mind being spoiled, you can visit my page of Wizardry 8 Quotes to read some of the funniest things the NPCs (and the PCs) popped out with at important moments. Otherwise, here's a bit of low-spoiler information to help you make personel decisions.

MYLES is the first NPC you'll encounter, an oddly mincing street thief in Arnika. Ask him about 'jobs' a couple times while you're talking to him, though you could have found everything he tells you about on your own anyway. Once he joins your party, he can rapidly become a potent infighter if you develop him carefully; however, he fails to realize this, and will continue whining and cringing at every falling leaf. He won't go further than the Swamp with you, but by then you ought to have built up your own Locks and Pickpocket skills and will probably be sick of his complaining anyway. Once he leaves your party again you can pickpocket him for a book of Sleep as a going-away present. He has an interaction with Heli at the bar and with Vi when you first meet her, and he has some comments for you in Arnika, Trynton, and the Swamp. Oddly, Myles will leave the party and turn on you if you get into a scrap with the Arnika police. He's fine with it if you kack the bank guards, though. Myles will actually go to the Rapax Rift with you; from poking around the sound files it seems there was a planned plot for him to be held prisoner there, presumably in one of the strangely useless jail cells on the upper level. The plot never made it in, but Myles can still traverse the Rift without penalties. If you don't like dragging whining cursed characters around the Rift, you can always give Myles another go.

VI DOMINA is also available in Arnika. She's a polygonal-breasted Lara Croft knockoff who rather annoyed me at several points, but she has more relevance to the storyline than any other NPC, and is one of the few who will finish the game with you if you let her. Once she's joined your party you can gain some minor XP bringing her around to talk to Heli and Braffit. She refuses to enter the Rapax or Bayjin/Sea Caves/underwater areas on very stupid premises (given her history with the Dark Savant, you'd think she'd be a little more interested in the outcome of the quest, and I found it very irritating that she both kept claiming to be the coolest and most fearless member of the party and kept getting pointlessly afraid of various areas). However, she will do all the other maps, including Ascension Peak if you can get her there (it may take a portal, or else dragging her unwillingly through the Rapax areas to get to it in the late game), and she has commentary all along the way. In the final endgame she will inexplicably leave your party and stand around as an unjoined PC again, and will not have an end-of-game comment, unlike RFS or Saxx.

MADRAS is a Trynnie, which means he looks sort of like a big hamster. He's a gadgeteer and comes with a couple minor gadgets to get him started. You pick him up in Trynton, and he'll go to many places Myles won't (though not the Rapax or Bayjin/Sea Caves/underwater areas), so it may be worth trading them off till you get to the Mine Tunnels even if you already have a gadgeteer. Disappointingly, Madras has no interactions with any of the other Trynnies, including Burz (who I trekked all the way back through the Monastery to visit because Madras declared him 'a friend of mine'. :P ) If you attack the Trynnies or otherwise piss them off, though, he will leave the party and turn on you.

RFS-81 is an android, a renegade Savant Trooper you have to fix before he'll join you. Talk to him thoroughly before asking him along, as his answers reveal interesting things about the Dark Savant and his agenda. RFS will go to all the areas in the game except for the Rapax Away Camp, and he eventually becomes almost stupidly powerful as a frontline fighter (he's a monk, and though he can't cast spells, he does have android immunities). He's also somewhat relevant to the plotline and continues making comments throughout, and you can take him right up to Ascension Peak, so he's a good choice of companion from almost any gaming perspective.

TANTRIS is a T'Rang samurai. I didn't keep him in my party long, but he seemed kind of cool if you could get past the crappily voice-acted hissing the game team saddled all the T'Rang with. I assume that if you betray or attack the T'Rang he will leave the party and turn on you.

SAXX is an Umpani bard you can pick up in the base camp. Though his picture is very badly drawn, his voice set is the coolest one in the game, and unlike most NPCs he will stay with you on Ascension Peak if you can get him there (it may take a portal, or else dragging him unwillingly through the Rapax areas to get to it in the late game). Unfortunately a second bard is nearly useless, as bards are mediocre fighters, have no spells, and you don't benefit from duplicating their special abilities. I was so enamored of Saxx' voice and personality that I changed him into a saxophone-playing ranger at his next level-up, which worked pretty well. He might also do for a ninja or samurai if you already have a bard but want Saxx along. He won't go to the T'Rang, Rapax, or underwater areas (well, he will, but he'll bitch entertainingly at you the whole time and suffer from a hex to his abilities). If you betray or attack the Umpani he will leave the party and turn on you.

SPARKLE is a Trynnie ranger you can pick up in the Umpani base camp. She looks like a cute little hamster and talks like a particularly saccharine eight-year-old girl. Everything is "pretty!" or "mean!" or "super!", and it all has exclamation points. She wore her welcome out with me immediately, in other words, but if you go to the base camp before doing Trynton, she might be more interesting to have with you for that mission. If you betray the Umpani or attack the Trynnies she may leave the party and turn on you. Sparkle won't go to the Rapax, T'Rang, or Bayjin/Sea Caves/underwater areas.

URQ is a Mook psionic you can recruit once you get into the Mook base. He signs on so that you can accompany him to his points of research, but frustratingly, there is nothing you can do to get him to tell you where those points are. By trial and error I determined that he wants to visit Arnika, Trynton, the Swamp, and Marten's Bluff. He'll pay you 500 gold for accompanying him to each of these locations. However, by the time Urq becomes available, 500 gold is meaningless, and his refusal to enter the Umpani, Rapax, and other areas makes him unwieldy. He's also rather weak and dies easily. He doesn't squawk if you steal from the Mook, though he presumably would if you attacked them.

SEXUS is a Rapax mage you can recruit after becoming a Templar in the Rapax castle. He's a pretty good mage and comes with a special sword only he can wield. He is even more difficult to travel with than most NPCs, however, staying with you only in the Rapax and wilderness areas--and by the time you've become a Templar you're just about done with the Rapax areas anyway. Unless you attack the Rapax, that is, in which case he'll leave your party anyway.

GLUMPH, DRAZIC, and RODAN are situational NPCs; you need to add them to your roster to complete certain quests, but they leave your company as soon as you finish them. Theoretically you could travel with them further by never finishing their quests, but you'd lose a lot of XP that way and the NPCs would complain every step of the way (Glumph even attacks you in frustration eventually), they won't let you swap them in or out of the party, and Drazic and Rodan won't split up even if one of them dies so you would have to keep both in your party. They're really not special enough to go to those lengths to keep. Just take them and do their quests and let them go.

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