Starfield Includes One of The Elder Scrolls Most Hated Characters

One of Starfield's first confirmed Elder Scrolls references revives a character that fans would have preferred stayed in Tamriel.

Photo: Bethesda Softworks

It’s been a little while since we’ve gotten any Starfield updates, but Bethesda’s Todd Howard recently broke that information dry steak by appearing in a new YouTube video focused on the upcoming RPG. While that video includes quite a bit of interesting information about the game, it’s hard to get past the fact that the video also subtly confirms that one of The Elder Scrolls‘ most hated NPCs will return in Starfield (kind of).

At around the 3:15 mark of the video above, we get a brief look at Starfield‘s “Traits” menu. Traits are basically the defining aspects of your character that you pick during the creation process. Many of them grant your character some kind of performance bonus in specific situations, though some offer a blend of bonuses and drawbacks. Anyone familiar with the character creation process in most Bethesda RPGs will also be familiar with that basic concept.

Well, it turns out that one of the traits you can pick for your Starfield character is “Hero Worshipped.” Here’s how the game describes that fascinating trait:

“You’ve earned the attention of an annoying ‘Adoring Fan’ who will show up randomly and jabber at you incessantly. On the plus side, he’ll give you gifts…”

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If the name “Adoring Fan” rings an annoying bell, that’s because The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion also featured an NPC named “Adoring Fan.” In that game, Adoring Fan was a young Wood Elf with shockingly bright hair who gleefully approaches you once you obtain the rank of Grand Champion in the Arena. He soon offers his…enthusiastic congratulations as well as an offer to join you on your adventures.

Whatever you do, don’t accept that offer. Not only is Adoring Fan useless in pretty much every combat scenario, but his relentless enthusiasm shows why the phrase “toxic positivity” needs to be a thing. Adoring Fan’s “aw shucks” disposition, unwavering admiration of everything you do, and grating voice show why the worst thing about being famous is having fans.

To be fair, it’s a bit of an exaggeration to describe Adoring Fan as “hated.” It’s pretty clear that the NPC was meant to be annoying, and a lot of Elder Scrolls fans have accepted that he’s very good at that job. Some Elder Scrolls players have even found ways to beat up Annoying Fan mercilessly in order to level up their combat abilities. Other players prefer to tell Adoring Fan to “eff off” from a great height.

To be clear, it seems like Starfield‘s Adoring Fan is more of a tribute to Oblivion‘s NPC of the same name rather than the exact same character. It would be wild to learn that Starfield is somehow set in the Elder Scrolls universe, and it would be truly disheartening to learn that Adoring Fan is some kind of immortal being who has survived throughout the years. Then again, that does sound like exactly the kind of thing he would do just to get on our nerves.

In any case, it feels like we keep hearing more and more about the ways Starfield will essentially be a traditional Bethesda Studios RPG in many of the ways that matter most. Yes, Starfield‘s sci-fi style is a bit of a departure for Bethesda (a studio that really only dabbled in that style with their Fallout games), but nearly everything we’ve seen of the game so far invokes a serious sense of deja vu. Of course, that old familiar feeling means that some longtime Bethesda fans are left to wonder if Starfield‘s massive size will result in the biggest Bethesda RPG yet. The game’s early delays and production problems certainly seem to suggest that Bethesda is still working to get the project under control.

However big Starfield ends up being, it’s nice to know that those little touches that really elevate Bethesda games won’t get lost in the shuffle. Granted, there are “little things” about those classic RPGs I’d rather see in Starfield before Adoring Fan, but you’re lying to yourself if you’re not already thinking of ways to trap Starfield‘s version of that character on some distant moon.

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