Before embarking on a big adventure to save the day from evil monsters and cataclysmic disasters, it’s always best to first meet the local merchants for additional supplies. Even the strongest protagonists need the help of shopkeepers to procure essential items.
Most games have nameless NPCs selling all the goods you need, but others feature memorable vendors with unique personalities. Some of them like to take advantage of their character’s situation and make them pay high prices for essential items, but they’ll all want to visit you even when they’re in good spirits and have no spending.
By the time Snake’s final mission in Metal Gear Solid 4, the technology used by the military and PMC has advanced to the point that even guns can’t be used without an ID chip. Fortunately, the aging hero meets Drevin, a soft arms dealer who provides cannons and ammunition for Snake on his travels.
Like most Metal Gear Solid characters, Drebin has a number of odd behaviors that make him as memorable as anyone else in the series. He tends to perform little magic tricks, like making apples appear out of thin air, and his catchphrase “Eye Have You” is a reminder of Snake’s excellent customer service skills.
9 Pork – Cuphead
After a failed deal with the Devil, Cuphead and Mugman must collect the souls of a giant boss to save themselves. It won’t be easy, but if you collect enough coins from the run-and-gun levels in the game, you can buy new weapons and talismans in Porkrind’s Emporium.
Porkrind may not be as lovable as the other citizens of the Inkwell Isles, but the items he sells are essential to increasing Cuphead and Mugman’s chances of survival. His tough exterior can make him look like a secret boss, but he’s always happy to help the duo unlock powerful new abilities once they know they have the cash to pay for them.
8 Shopkeeper – Crypt Of The NecroDancer
In most games, you’ll usually find a vendor or store in a fixed location, so you know where to go when you need to restock. Others – especially roguelikes – keep things interesting by randomly positioning useful shops so you never know if you’ll run into them next time.
Crypt of the NecroDancer cleverly hides the shopkeeper during certain stages, but a fun audio cue makes finding him a bit easier. As you get closer to a person, he starts singing over the background music, which gets louder as you get closer to him. Shopkeeper may not have as much personality as the others, but his voice will resonate with you long after you’ve finished the game.
7 Nook – Animal Crossing
Tom Nook has been a staple of the Animal Crossing series since he was first released and is usually welcome when he arrives. He will help you settle down and find a place to call home. He will then tell you the bills you owe him for his services. You have to use bells to make bells, so you have to visit his shop to buy tools and sell items to pay off your debts to him.
Despite his monopoly on the real estate business, Nook is not such a bad person. He mostly wants to help you improve your quality of life, but unfortunately, upgrading your home or moving to a new area is expensive. He is a reliable trader until he retires and can pass the business on to Timmy and Tommy.
6 Ravio – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an excellent title that subverts your expectations by weaving familiar elements from past titles into new mechanics. Most Zelda games hide valuable items like Hookshots or Boomerangs inside dungeons, but in A Link Between Worlds you can rent or buy them from a shop run by a mysterious merchant named Ravio.
Ravio was incredibly eccentric when you first met him, and he decided to turn Link’s house into a makeshift shop to help you defeat Yuga. It can be hard to tell how important he is at first, but by the time the final battle rolls around you’ll find that Ravio plays a pivotal role in one of the series’ best twists.
5 Anna – Fire Emblem
Some of the game’s most memorable merchants only make one appearance, but Fire Emblem’s Anna is the most recurring character in the series. Since her debut in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, she has appeared in almost every game in one way or another, usually as a traveling merchant who trades hard-to-find items in bulk.
Each iteration of Anna is playful and cheerful, with a sly personality that can make you question where she got her merchandise in the first place. When she’s not showing up to sell her precious accessories, Anna can usually be seen making small cameos in other games or joining forces in titles like Fire Emblem Engage.
4 Emilnier Automata
It’s not uncommon for one of the main characters in a game to become a merchant in a sequel. In the original Nier, Emil is a small child who joins the party but eventually changes physical form after merging with his sister. Thousands of years later, Emil is discovered by 2B and 9S roaming the City Ruins as a merchant from Nier Automata.
Despite all the time that has passed, Emil is still a child at heart and plays the catchy jingle of the store whenever he spots an android wandering around. Aside from selling supplies, Emil has one of the game’s best side quests that illuminates his journey and ultimately leads to a spectacular optional boss fight and one of Nier Automata’s 26 endings.
three Beedle – The Legend of Zelda
Aside from Link, Impa, and a few others, there aren’t many recurring characters in The Legend of Zelda series across multiple entries. Beedle first appeared in Wind Waker as a traveling merchant selling unique merchandise, and has since appeared in five other Zelda games, continuing to offer amazing deals to his customers.
Whether you see it in Skyward Sword or Phantom Hourglass, Beedle is always a delightful character to interact with, and loyal customers usually have an advantage. Most iterations of Beedle hand out membership cards to patrons, offering discounts and rewards when they spend a certain amount of rupees.
2 Brok And Sindri – God of War
Few game vendors step out of the store to join the adventure, but Brok and Sindri from the God of War series do just as much romp across the Nine Realms as they do selling new armor and items for Kratos. Not only are they integral allies to Kratos and Atreus, but their story is one of the strongest threads in the entire Norse duology.
In 2018’s God of War, Brok and Sindri have an estranged relationship that prevents them from reaching their full potential. They eventually reconcile by the end of the game and work together again when Ragnarök begins. They’re wonderful blacksmiths, but they’re better friends to Kratos and to each other.
One Merchant – Resident Evil 4
Since Resident Evil 4 was first released, it has influenced countless games with its innovative over-the-shoulder perspective, action and horror elements, and nameless merchants who made purchasing items more fun than ever. It may seem suspicious, but the Resident Evil 4 Merchant just wants to help in exchange for Peseta.
If you’re looking for new weapons, treasure maps, or places to sell items, Merchant’s Store is your one-stop shop for everything you need on your quest to rescue the President’s daughter. He may not have an impact on the overall story, but the merchant is one of the most welcome faces in a game full of terrifying monsters and suspense.
Next: All Unlockable Ranks in Resident Evil 4 Remake