I AM NPC69
by Kira Minoru
"I am NPC69."
"Welcome to NPC World Online. I will be your guide on this adventure, oh mighty hero."
"What storyline are you in charge of?"
"The Greater Demon God."
"But hero, please don't expect much out of this story as it is among the most generic of the ones you can play through. It is so generic that you will forget everything about it by the end."
NPC World Online, the VR game that hit the world by storm with its seemingly infinite storylines. Each player is assigned a guide NPC when they first begin their randomly selected storyline. Heroes can take on this journey in single player mode or enable the MMO option on their world at any point. It is entirely up to the hero to decide. They can even immediately reroll for different storylines if they desire.
After completing a storyline, heroes can opt for new game plus where they are transported to another world with a unique storyline and new guide. Heroes can even carry over everything from the previous worlds they cleared. The endless variety is all thanks to the countless NPCs imbued with high level artificial intelligence.
However, all is not as it seems as there is something these unsuspecting heroes are completely oblivious to...
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Only the first few chapters but there you go..
It's about one NPC IA in a certain scenario that keeps on repeating and its interactions with other NPCs and the VR-players.
The MC himself is refreshing and the point of view is well-made up to here.
The interactions are funny and comical, enough to make it enjoyable.
The background of the story is rather peculiar and the reason I took off one star for now. You can slightly understand the POV of the NPCs for 'existing' but I have a difficult time understanding the reason behind player keeping playing due to a certain meta and the dev's reasons (the one at the end of chapter 1)... but we're at the beginning of this anyways.
Outside of that, the story is fun, light and has lots of potential. It's worth keeping an eye on ;)
Style: The world is an interesting mix between standard VR litrpgs, a dash of bladerunner, and a pinch of one-punch. It's an intriguing setup for a variety of potential arcs and a wide range of characters.
Story: Unfortunately pretty improv. Most story elements feel tacked on. Many times you'll ask: 'where was this earlier?' Actions don't always align with characters. But it flows forward well enough.
Grammer: No major problems.
Character: I struggle to understand the characters. Their actions tend to diverge from our knowledge of them, and how people work. There's a bit of leeway for most of them, as they aren't "real" people. But I wouldn't be surprised for a twist where even the "real" people are fake.
Overall: Its a good fiction, but often suffers from a lack of planning ahead. If this is thoroughly planned out, the outline needs a bit of polish to truly connect all of the great ideas that are attempting to work together.
Suggestions: Consider wrapping up, consolidating, or setting aside some of the active story arcs. You've got a number of character arcs active that are distracting from the main plot. If the characters are going to be the focus, it would help to more obviously force any main plot to the side. Ex: You've drank all the beer in the starter village. You'll have to send [person] to the next area to get more or we can't continue.