Bethesda’s characters come and go, but some manage to leave an indelible mark on players’ memories. One such character is the Adoring Fan from Bethesda’s iconic The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In a game teeming with grand quests, majestic landscapes, and rich lore, this Wood Elf became a symbol of both irritation and a victim of the player’s malice.
Before 2023’s tales of Korok Torture, players had the Adoring Fan. However, now Bethesda has brought the Adoring Fan back in their latest spacefaring adventure, Starfield, and this time, he’s kind of funny. The Adoring Fan from Oblivion was a source of frustration. In fact, I dare say I’ve been under the spell of a bit of a Mandela Effect for the past decade, as I’ve been referring to him as the “Annoying Fan.”
He was the quintessential annoying sidekick, following you with his peculiar appearance and offering little to no help in battle. With a mere six lines of dialogue to his name, he somehow became an iconic figure in the game. But why? What about this character has made him unforgettable to gamers worldwide?
Oblivion’s Adoring Fan Was a Random, Frustrating Clutch
To understand the Adoring Fan’s enduring appeal, we must first revisit his role in Oblivion. Here’s the thing about this iconic open-world RPG: it’s a game that makes you feel like a mighty hero shaping the destiny of a realm. But the Adoring Fan serves as a reminder of your newfound status. He embodies unwavering adulation, tagging along on your adventures like a loyal puppy, albeit annoying. His comically exaggerated appearance, resembling a strange mix of Jimmy Neutron and a short Bosmer, played into Elder Scrolls stereotypes, poking fun at the socially awkward Wood Elves.
Despite his complete lack of combat prowess, the Adoring Fan’s desire to accompany you on perilous adventures was all the more absurd. He was a character designed to annoy, to complete the joke of having an inept companion. Back then, we all embraced the humor, finding creative ways to rid ourselves of this adoring devotee.
Frankly, I’d say a whopping 99% of his irritation factor boils down to his character design. His hair color didn’t suit him and all. That colossal head perched atop his oddly stitched-together face is the straw that breaks my back. It’s fine if my character’s face looks like a tube lightbulb with neon-pink hair; I’m my own monstrosity. An NPC, however, must abide by the utmost pristine character creation standards.
Starfield’s Adoring Fan is A Wacky, Kickass, Unwavering Supporter
Now, fast forward to Bethesda’s latest creation, Starfield. The devs have surprised gamers with the return of the infamous Adoring Fan. In a vast cosmos filled with endless possibilities, you’ll now be intercepted by the unmistakable sound of that “By Vectera, by Vectera, by Vectera!” And so he shall rise, a replica of a character who pays homage to the one from Oblivion.
Except, he’s undergone a bit of a makeover. His face is now pleasantly proportionate, and his hairstyle, once an eyesore, seems fitting in the cosmic setting. Interestingly, the Adoring Fan has a surprising amount of health, which might be part of the joke, as he never turns hostile towards you.
Sure, he’s got some one-of-a-kind responses when you decide to take a swipe at him, but let’s be honest, there’s no reason to go down that road. Initially, I was all set to vent my annoyance on this character, treating him like my own personal punching bag. But to my surprise, I’m not raging; I’m actually chuckling at his lines. Truth be told, it’s an unexpectedly enjoyable trait that has me eagerly anticipating my next journey aboard the ship.
His dialogue’s the most amusing about the Adoring Fan’s return in Starfield. He delivers over-the-top, creepy lines expressing his unwavering adoration and devotion to you. However, clarifying that he’s not a romance option is crucial. Bethesda has fully embraced his obsession, with lines ranging from imagining writing a 437-book anthology about your adventures to believing it’s destiny that led him to meet you.
When you engage with him about his fandom, you have several options. You can encourage him to up the ante in his adoration, suggesting that he’s been slacking. His response? “Oh, I can definitely do that. On a scale of one to 10, I am going to be 11 times infinity just for you.” You can also express that his adoration is a bit excessive. However, he doesn’t quite grasp the hint, responding, “Excessively charming, underappreciated. Wonderful.” If you’ve had enough of his antics, you can tell him he can remain your fan but should no longer be part of your crew.
To have the Adoring Fan in your Starfield playthrough, select the associated trait during character creation. This choice means having someone who worships the ground you walk on. He’ll track you down as you navigate the city of New Atlantis, appearing when you least expect it. Upon meeting him, the Adoring Fan will express his desire to join your crew, and you can accept or reject him. Like other potential crew members, the Adoring Fan brings unique skills to your crew, which can be utilized on your ship, at outposts, or as a companion.
The Adoring Fan Went From Zero to Hero
The effort Bethesda put into this character sets the Adoring Fan in Starfield apart. They’ve provided ample content for a character that originated as a meme in a game released over 15 years ago. The Adoring Fan’s exaggerated obsession with you is a source of comedy throughout the game, whether he’s part of your crew at an outpost or waiting for your return in New Atlantis.
Craig Sechler, the voice actor behind the Adoring Fan in Oblivion, returned to reprise the role, making his reappearance come even more full circle. In a galaxy filled with diverse characters, the Adoring Fan remains unique in his unwavering and co(s)mically exaggerated adoration.
In a way, the Adoring Fan’s evolution from an annoying sidekick in Oblivion to a comedic homage in Starfield mirrors the growth and transformation of Bethesda’s games themselves. They’ve learned to embrace their quirky characters and their love for them, cementing a character that once was an irritating feature into something we can’t help but smile at in recognition. And, every now and then, when the cosmic vibes align, because he’s actually kinda funny.