Sometimes… You are the character in the game. Depending on the game, You may be yourself where ever you are looking in, or you may be considered inside the universe as yourself or as a self Insertion. Some of the examples maybe under a couple of headings as some have some cross over. For example, Blank Slates might be entirely undefined but some may be treated as in the game’s world.
- AFGNCAAPS / Blank Slates
- Create your own Player
- You as an In-Universe Character
- You as an Out of Universe Character
AFGNCAAPs / Blank Slates
The AFGNCAAP has been defined in the Zork Series an an abbreviation that stands for Ageless, Faceless, Gender Neutral, Culturally Ambiguous Adventure Person. The term was coined by Zork Grand Inquisitor where Dalboz of Gurth refers to you as one of these. All Zork Protagonists are considered AFGNCAAP however both Return to Zork and Zork Nemesis also crosses the line of “You as an in-universe Character” as both have a light smattering of plot for why you’re at the beginning of the adventure.
I’m also grouping in any game where “You” as the player is undefined as you are a blank slate – a lot of Myst-likes… including Myst do this! They just leave you as an undefined character.
|Return to Zork||This could also be considered as a You as an In-Universe Character as no one refers to you as an AFGNCAAPs and you have a reason to be there (You won a Sweepstake! You’re officially the Sweepstake Winner|
|Zork Nemesis||This too also could be considered as a You as an In-Universe Character as while the game itself is very vague about who you are. However both the game manual and one document in game mention that you are most likely an Zork Inquisitor investigating the disappearances of the Alchemists. You are also potentially a woman as at least one incidental character tells you about how pretty you are so clearly not so faceless.|
|Zork Grand Inquisitor||Not sure if I would consider this as an in universe as as much as characters refer to you – there is no rhyme or reason so why you’re there.|
|The Psychotron||Also considered as In Universe as it’s eluded that you’re party of a special operations Unit.|
|More to be Added… like Myst|
Create your own Player
In this instance you may create your appearance and some of your history in the game world and the name you create is included in the game’s text.
|Daughter of the Serpents||Choice of Male or Female, Name and various skills will change your path through the story. Note: the CD remake “The Scroll” is not a Create your own Player as it gives you two story paths and have invented characters for both paths that you play as.|
|Mixed Up Mother Goose / Mixed up Mother Goose Enhanced / Mixed Up Mother Goose Deluxe||Pick one of 6 children and name them!|
|Mixed up Fairy Tales||Pick one of 6 Children and Name them!|
|Al-Qadim’s The Genie’s Curse||Nameable character – Technically more of an Action RPG but has enough of an Narrative structure that I’ve included it.|
|Detective Barbie: The Mystery of the Carnival Caper||There’s like 30,000 names but never any names you know like Amy or Kate. But Zxyzxy is a name Barbie will pronounce. (That’s Pronounced Zee Zee)|
|Detective Barbie 2: The Vacation Mystery||Clearly this used the same name Database as the previous game|
|Eagle Eye Mysteries||Type in your own name – You’re also an in-universe game though ill-defined as no one has said why you’re hanging out with the Eagle Twins.|
|Eagle Eye Mysteries in London||Same naming system as previous game.|
You as an In-Universe Character
This is where the game assumes you are in the game Universe – So all characters are aware of you – however you are generally nameless and there is non to almost no mention of history or backstory when characters refer to you.
|Game||Game Refers to you by…||Notes|
|Eagle Eye Mysteries / Eagle Eye Mysteries in London||Typed in name. Audio dialogue is edited to omit any referance to your name.||You’re ill-defined in your position in-universe as no one has said why you’re hanging with the Eagle Twins but every character in world acknowledges you.|
|Eagle Eye||Same as above.||Same as Above.|
|Escape from Horrorland||Unnamed||Generally only the three children in the game and the main villain talk to you, Other characters largely only interact with the three children.|
|I Expect You to Die / I Expect You to Die 2||Agent||VR Title|
|Nevermind||Dr. “Your Name”||Only the game menus refer to your direct name and while people talk to you, they only call you Doctor and aren’t really interacting with you as reacting to what you’ve done in their mind.|
|Shivers||Unnamed||No one refers to you by name however you are locked into the Museum grounds by your “friends” so you’re clearly in Universe.|
|Victor Vector and Yondo the Dog in: The Cyberplasm Formula / The Last Dinosaur Egg / The Hypnotic Harp / The Vampire’s… Coffin?||Archivist||You’re in Universe, But you may not be visible to all, Need to be replayed so they can be laid out here in the Key and clarification will be added then.|
You as an Out of Universe Character
You are largely ignored by everyone except the Main/Sidekick characters of the games. These are games that acknowledge you are in front of a computer at your house (Well, depending on the setting they might be ignorant of what a computer is, but they know you aren’t there in their world.)
|Paintbox Pals: The Jungle Book / Peter Pan / Around the World in 80 Days||You can enter your name but no on refers to you by it. The “focal point” of the scene and the Paintbox Pals acknowledge you but otherwise everyone ignores you.|
|Mulan: Disney;s Animated Storybook||Only Mushu talks to you at all.|