That’s right, it’s me again with the fourth installment. It’s time to rank those 9 characters in the game that are just complex enough to be called characters, yet still can’t be slid a kind gift under the table when ConcernedApe isn’t looking. As per the protocol, this guide is both entirely my own opinions and meant to just be a bit silly, so keep that in mind. Or don’t. It’s your life, I just made a guide in it.
What is a Non-Giftable NPC?
Welp, we’re down to what are basically the last 9 characters in the game, assuming you don’t count the random tourists that have a single line of dialogue during some festivals. And just to be clear, I will (probably) not be making a guide about those guys. Well… at least not any time soon.
But anyway, these characters all have some role in the actual gameplay, yet can’t have their friendship with the player increased. I unfortunately can’t figure out a way to work the “two hottest things in existence” joke into this description, but just so you remember – they’re consent and not committing adultery. There, now you can tell your friends and family this is technically educational.
Number 9: Morris
Okay, I know what you might be thinking. Morris is objectively one of the most written characters on this list, so how’s he here? Well listen… I dislike Joja Mart.
I really, really dislike Joja Mart. Not only do they steal sales from my main man Pierre, in part through physically handing out coupons in Pierre’s store, but they also ruin the entire experience of restoring the Community Center by making it all capitalism and no apples. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times, you can’t take the apples out of the community center and expect me to be happy. And sure, Joja Mart is the reason I got depressed, came to Stardew Valley, and met Abigail who I am not going to stop simping for no matter what anyone says, but I still don’t see that as a reason to like the company.
Morris isn’t fly, fine, neat, or any other positive adjective, because he’s the person I associate with Joja Mart, and because he is clearly undeservingly proud of the fact that he’s the face of the company in Stardew Valley I feel justified doing that. Now onto something more positive…
Number 8: Henchman
Okay… so this isn’t much of a step if I’m honest.
I like Henchman’s design I guess, but he really does nothing else besides that. He also seems to dislike physically everything in existence that is not Void Mayonnaise. I thought Haley passionately hating a rainbow gem worth 2,000 undefined currency was a bit silly, but Henchman literally will shun any and every item that is not a classic jar of Void Mayonnaise with that trademarked red lid. I just don’t see much of a distinct reason for Henchman to be a character, especially considering that a magical box of some sorts could basically do the same thing considering it is a witch’s hut.
Number 7: Bouncer
Here we are, now this is what I’m looking for!
Bouncer has a purpose and let me tell you, he serves it well. As far as I’m concerned he lives in front of the casino, and frankly that’s dedication to the craft of bouncing. Like I mean, and I didn’t even know this, but if you get past him through glitches he straight up drops a mega bomb. Like this guy has perfected the art of bouncing to the point of his only name being Bouncer along with building up a full immunity to an essence-infused explosion, and I literally don’t know how much cooler a single person can be.
If I’m honest though, I just can’t see anything more being able to be done with Bouncer as a character. Like he doesn’t have a house or anything, or any connections to anyone. And hey, that’s just a true bouncer’s life I guess, so I gotta respect that.
Number 6: Governor
The Governor is a bit of an enigma if you ask me.
He comes into town once a year for a few spoonfuls of free soup and might show up in the Movie Theater sometimes, but that’s about it. I’ll say that he has a mighty fine fit and a mustache that is no less then admirable, but as the wiki states well, his existence is only referenced three times in the entire game. I would honestly not be against seeing more of him in the game, I just have no ideas as to what could be done with him. Maybe you find out he isn’t actually the Governor, rather some random guy who just wants some free soup, and then everyone is honestly just fine with that. I know I’d be fine with that.
Number 5: Grandpa
Grandpa is a hard character to rank.
But the truth is, that’s how it is for the rest of these characters. There just isn’t enough about them to point out actual flaws, so the ranking becomes more about theoretical things. And while I can’t bring myself to put my own Grandpa any lower on this list, I honestly can’t imagine what else he could be used for besides. He serves his two purpose of giving you the letter at the start of the game and ranking your farm perfectly, and since he’s a ghost now it’s not like he could really become a functioning member of the community.
Number 4: Gil
We’ve talked about master of just vibing in this series before, but I think Gil is the apex of that scale. Aside from occasionally falling asleep while at the movies with Marlon, he just sits in his rocking chair 24/7 and doesn’t give a single dang about you unless you’ve killed enough of a certain monster species to impress him. I don’t care who / what / when you are, this man is dope.
I honestly really like Gil in part because I don’t want to see anything more done with him. If I had to name one thing, it might be cool to see him have a cutscene of some kind when you complete all the monster eradication goals, but that’s as much as I’d ever want to be done to him. He serves a singular purpose perfectly, and I feel like there’s no need to disrupt that.
Number 3: Mr. Qi
Yeah, so take that whole “The Governor is a bit of an enigma” thing and multiply it a few times, and we arrive at the mystery who is Mr. Qi.
Mr. Qi is just a really good side character in my opinion. He operates in ways that don’t make much sense, and yet I have no desire to question his methods. Because honestly, a hidden casino that you can only get access to by solving a series of riddles? Kinda cool, not gonna lie to you.
And come on, this man really has a whole man cave on floor 100 of Skull Cavern where he just sits and offers magic milk to strangers. He’s like a less chaotic version of Magic Man from Adventure Time, if that reference tracks. I truly can’t think of any fitting ways that increasing friendship with him could work, but he really works in every other aspect of his character so well for me that I don’t mind that in the least bit. And that cosmic cowboy getup? Dang. I mean, come on. That’s tight.
Number 2: Marlon
Sup, pal. So if you’ve been paying attention, you might know how number one is already. But hey, just between you and me, let’s pretend you don’t until you get there.
Marlon and the next entry share a lot of similar qualities in the fact that I really, really wish they could have their friendship increased. Honestly, I’d love some cutscenes with Marlon where you learn about his probably extremely interesting past, like how he got all of his injuries or how he met Gil. And I mean, considering there is actually a bedroom in the Adventurer’s Guild, through my very, very little knowledge of writing/programming video games it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to implement Marlon as another giftable NPC.
If I gotta rank him as a person for a second though… what kind of business decision is the Item Recovery Service supposed to be? Because I can get behind the whole selling back your items when you lose them thing, that’s an extremely marketable premise, but one item? What does that accomplish for profits that letting your customers buy back everything they lost doesn’t? If anything it makes me less willing to purchase from the service out of sheer spite.
Marlon is here because I truly do think he would make a great character with some really interesting heart events. I want to learn more about him (and possibly Gil), and he just seems like the (second) best Non-Giftable NPC who could be given the opportunity.
Number 1: Gunther
Let me tell you a thing or two about this guy.
I really want to learn more about Gunther. I mean, how is he so knowledgable on every possible substance/technology/artifact that exists in the valley, and why can he not just go get everything himself with said knowledge? Is it really legal for a museum curator to just take the whole dang collection just because they feel like? Just how on Yoba’s green earth can someone rock a sky blue hat and suit so gosh darn well?
When I think about Gunther I’m honestly always surprised that he isn’t already a giftable NPC, and especially how he doesn’t really interact with anyone or any events around the town. I mean, Marlon comes to these events and I bet he hasn’t even spoken to some of the townsfolk, but Gunther is both the potentially most intelligent person in town and librarian yet he never leaves to talk with people? I mean, maybe it’s just dedication to the craft, something I can respect as you may well know, but I still feel like Gunther could really make an amazing member of the town. If I could spitball a few ideas off the top of my head, maybe he talks with Emily about all the gemstones she likes, maybe he speaks dwarfish with Dwarf so we get to see more of them too, or maybe he needs the player to collect geodes or something as part of a quest. I just feel like there’s a lot to work with when it comes to Gunther and yet he hasn’t been utilized as much, at least as of me writing this, so I’d love to see that.
Overall, Gunther really earns his spot as number one on this list, partially because several of the other characters are borderline not characters, but heavily in part of just how much I want to see more of him. He really does look fresh, too. You can’t fight me on that.