- "-This NPC acting job really isn't for me. My legs are hurting from all this standing around.
-You shouldn't give up on your dreams so easily! Do your best, and someday you'll become the best NPC I'll ever meet!
- ―Conversation between Jamie, an NPC, and Matt, Epic Battle Fantasy 4
Non-Player Characters, also called Non-Playable Characters, usually abbreviated into NPC(s), are any non-hostile characters in a game that are not controlled by the player. While in theory the term would encompass all characters, hostile or not, classically it is used only to refer to those non-hostile, while hostile entities are instead simply called enemies, mobs, foes etc.
In the main games of the series from Epic Battle Fantasy 3 onwards, following the expansion into a full-fledged JRPG featuring an explorable overworld, numerous NPCs now inhabit the game world and may be interacted with. Among NPCs there are some shopkeepers, who may sell the player equipment, items, and food, or buy items and food the player doesn't want, as well as quest-givers, who in exchange for providing them with certain items may reward the player with other items, equipment parts, skills, or summons. However the majority of the NPCs are just simple characters that talking to will result in them saying a few lines of text or having a short dialogue with the player characters. Their statements may include pieces of lore about the game world, tips and hints for the player, or just some funny lines.
In EBF3 talking twice in a row to an NPC will usually draw up a different line than the first time, this will be repeated afterwards. Leaving the current screen will reset the memory of all NPCs standing there (except the quest givers' memories). In EBF4 some NPCs may change their lines after certain game events, such as obtaining one of the major key items.
NPCs are often used as references and cameos of characters from anime or other games, such as for example Konata, Yoko, and Alphonse Elric.