One of the best parts of FromSoftware Soulsborne games are the myriad of characters you meet while on your quests. Whether they’re cheering you on, asking for your assistance, stabbing you in the back, or simply existing in the harsh FromSoftware worlds alongside you, the many encounters in these games are memorable, but some are far more memorable than others. With that in mind, the Soulsborne-loving staff here at Shacknews put our collective thoughts together to create a list of the best NPCs throughout the FromSoftware Soulsborne games. Did your favorite make our list? Check it out below!
Top 10 Best FromSoftware Soulsborne NPCs
This list was created from the combined opinions of TJ Denzer, Sam Chandler, David Craddock, and Dennis White. It is limited to discussion of characters in the FromSoftware Soulsborne games, so while there might be some cool ones elsewhere, this focuses on the likes of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. Check out the full list below!
These diminutive little crows are some of the only animals who will do you no harm in the Soulsborne games. Whether we’re talking about Sparkly, Snuggly, Dyna, Tillo, or Pickle Pee, these crows serve a very distinct purpose in the game. You can give them items and if they like those items, they’ll give you one of their own treasures in return, usually with some chirpy dialogue to go with it. One of the most unique things about the crows is we cannot see them, so we cannot harm them even if we wanted to. They are invisible, yet their presence is certain. For being unseen, they are some of the cutest and most cheerful characters in worlds that are often desolate and sad. And they give you some sweet, otherwise unobtainable goods should you oblige them.
Biorr of the Twin Fangs
In all of the characters throughout Soulsborne lore, Biorr is perhaps the most just and faithful even when the circumstances give him no reason to believe in his duties anymore. Even after his brother goes missing, his king goes mad, and he is imprisoned, Biorr keeps up the sense that Boletaria and its honor are worth fighting for. He just needs your assistance getting out of his jail cell. Once the player and Biorr are well met, he even lends a helping hand at various points of the game. When you face down the deadly Penetrator, Biorr is there to lend his great sword and crossbow. When the Blue Dragon blocks your path to King Allant, Biorr puts his body on the line to give you the opening you need to move forward. He might be an old and silly fellow prone to outbursts of laughter and sudden sleep, but his honor and might are unmistakable - a true knight among knights.
Patches the Hyena/Spider/Horrible Jerk
Take everything we just said about Biorr and go the complete opposite direction of that. Just a complete wretch of a being. A liar, thief, and scoundrel without remorse for his devious actions. That’s Patches. “Then why is he on this list?” you might ask. Because at the end of the day, Patches, in all of his forms throughout the series, is reliable. He will reliably try to trick you in some dastardly ploy that may end in your death. He will also reliably try to play it off later as if you’re the one being soft for his trolling antics. Weirdly, if you play along, he can be of major use. Patches is almost always key to some item or questline you otherwise could not pursue if you didn’t fall victim to his shenanigans. For all of these, as much as we know Patches is a rotten jerk, we can also appreciate that he’s a tiger that never changes his stripes, whether appearing in Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, or even Bloodborne (though he’s more of a spider there).
Ostrava of Boletaria
Ostrava is truly a pitiable figure. He’s not a great fighter or even a particularly good one. However, he does have the misfortune of being the son of King Alant of Boletaria, who went insane and became a demon. And so, capable or not, Ostrava quests to find his father because his honor dictates he has little choice but to do so. Nearly every time you find Ostrava, he’s in a different kind of trouble, and yet he carries on his quest. He doesn’t have the might of Biorr or the magic of Yuria, but he carries on with sheer force of will (and a little help from you). His fate ends up unfortunate, but he pushes through to the bitter end. For that, we appreciate Ostrava. You deserved better than the entirety of fallen Boletaria gave you.
Lucatiel of Mirrah
Lucatiel is both a figure of admiration and one of pity in the narrative of Dark Souls 2. She’s a self-made woman who came from nothing and proved her worth on the battlefield with superior skill with the sword and perseverance to survive. Unfortunately, like many in Dark Souls 2, she also suffers the curse of the Undead. Lucatiel is, at first, cold to the player, distant… but slowly warms up to them and even becomes a friendly ally. However, continued encounters show her losing her very being to the curse as it rots away her memories. As strong as she is, it frightens her to lose all sense of herself and makes her desperate for a solution. And yet she chooses to aid you in boss fights throughout the game anyways. Lucatiel is a cautionary statement about the powers at work in Dark Souls 2. If one as strong as her cannot defeat it, what hope is there for us?
Maiden Astraea is technically a boss in Demon’s Souls - a supposed one of the corrupted souls the player must collect to save the world. However, she is also one of the most pure and good-willed beings in the game and a foil to the idea of whether players are truly pursuing a just end. Astraea is a healer who tended to the disease-ridden inhabitants of the Valley of Defilement alongside her trustworthy bodyguard Garl Vinland. Making your way to her is no easy task, but her ending is far different from any other boss. If you kill Vinland, she will bitterly take her own life, mocking your quest for souls to appease a supposed godly being. What caused a being as good-natured as Astraea to take on a demon’s soul is a complex issue, but liberating it from her is a moment at which every player in Demon’s Souls should have questioned whether what they were doing was truly for the greater good.
Maiden in Black
The FromSoftware Soulsborne games have featured a cavalcade of characters throughout the years who served as the conduit for players to spend their currency and level up their being. The Maiden in Black is the one who started it all. She sits in the Nexus, guiding you towards every step you are to take in your quest and channeling the souls you have collected into your strength. In a way, the Maiden in Black is the most comforting presence in the game. She is the reliable presence that will always be waiting for your return from whatever terrifying ordeal you have just faced. Where others are nervous, sad, downright hostile, or mostly caught up in their own problems, the Maiden in Black is simply the ambivalent custodian of progress in Demon’s Souls. You cannot kill her and she does not judge you for whatever you do. She is simplicity incarnate and kicked off an array of characters throughout Soulsborne who essentially mimic her peaceful and utilitarian being.
Siegmeyer of Catarina
You might know him as the first onion knight of Dark Souls and it is a title well-earned. Siegmeyer and his descendants are unmistakeable in their… well… custom fat guy armor and onion shaped helmet. And if that wasn’t enough to recognize Siegmeyer from a mile away, than his hearty disposition might just make sure you don’t forget. When he’s not pondering his way about an obstacle or conundrum, he’s heartily sharing in happiness to move forward with his adventures. It is an unfortunate truth that your constant assistance chips away at Siegmeyer’s pride as an adventurer, but he takes it in stride, choosing always to repay his debt to you for the help you give him. Siegmeyer’s legacy would be carried on in later Souls games by the equally chipper Siegward, but we’ll never forget where the legend of the mighty onion knight began.
Eileen the Crow
Eileen the Crow is, without a doubt, the most fashionable and badass of all hunters in the base Bloodborne game, and she even gives DLC characters a run for their money. Plus, she takes on one of the most thankless duties possible. Eileen is a hunter of hunters in Yharnam - an assassin specifically set towards destroying those who have given into their lust for blood in the pursuit of cursed beasts. She cautions the player to not become one of her targets themselves. However, if the player sticks with Eileen, they are entreated to her dirty work and the difficulty of slaying fellow hunters with grace. In the end, once players prove themselves Eileen rewards players with her Crowfeather outfit and her work. For Eileen, the Hunter’s Dream had been severed and permanent death became a real threat, and one that her aging body was starting to struggle against. To have lasted as long as she did makes Eileen an easy stand out of iron resolve in a world of insanity.
Solaire of Astora
Who else could have possibly been waiting at the end of this list than the original Warrior of Sunlight himself? Solaire has the most cheerful of dispositions among cheerful dispositions. Even though his entire jam is a bit of a self-destructive journey to “find his own sun,” he spends much of the game aiding you in boss fights if you’ll only let him. After all, right from the get-go, Solaire is convinced that your fates are intertwined and you should help each other out because that’s just the kind of cool good guy he is. Solaire’s brilliant and helpful ways carved the path for his covenant and became the standard by which all co-op players aiming to aid in a boss fight should strive to match. He embodies the nature of praising the sun and acts as a role model of positivity throughout an otherwise very dour and dismal universe.
These were our combined picks for the best NPCs in FromSoftware Soulsborne games. Did your favorite show up? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment section below.