Non-player characters (NPCs) are common components in many role-playing games. As the term implies, these are characters not controlled by the player.

NPCs are generally placed as to convey that the player is interacting with the world as they would with persons in the real world. Quite often, an NPC will give the player some snippet of information needed to reach an objective or to provide depth to the game's narrative. Some NPCs even act as the player's companion(s) in battle.

As an integral part of the Dragon Quest series, NPCs serve numerous varied functions dependent upon the game's setting and mechanics. For instance, an NPC might ask the player to take on a quest that they themselves may be ill-prepared for. Completing said quest will reward the player with an item.

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