TA Top Five: In-Game Vendors

By Marc Hollinshead, 4 years ago
In the real world (that's the one with the better graphics), we are constantly buying items and consumable things for our own benefit. Whether that's food, toiletries, games(!), or too many others to mention, our money is always being drained away one way or another. In the safety of our own homes, money is STILL sifting out of our wallets and into the hands of another. As we go about our travels in the gaming world, health potions, ammo, upgrades and all sorts of other goodies will need to be purchased. That is why we have vendors. Conveniently located all over the place, these people / creatures / machines aid us in our mission by providing us with what we so sorely need to keep going. Of course, to get those items, we need to give them something in return.

In this particular Top Five, we will be looking at the best vendors you will come across in games (as suggested by o DEEVIUS o). It's not just necessarily the items that are of interest here; it's the look of the vendor, their back-story, their quirky traits, or anything else that makes them unique in their own right. Before you go any further, I must warn you... The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim doesn't appear in this list. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! We love your vendors, Tamriel, but you have too many, so you aren't needed.

Honorable Mentions

Chop2Shop.Zom - Lollipop Chainsaw


Lollipop, lollipop, ohh lolli-lolli-lolli-lollipop! These little stalls are very useful in Juliet Starling's day from hell. If anything else, the fantastic tune that plays as you browse the virtual shop makes every trip a delight. You can buy tasty lollipops or a fabulous Nick Ticket, because we all love watching Juliet spin her decapitated boyfriend's head around in a frenzy of zombie killing. Chop2Shop.Zom is simply sweeter than candy on a stick.

Vending Machines - Borderlands series

Vending machines

These inanimate objects are every vault hunter's dream. The strategically placed machines switch up their inventory every twenty minutes and have their very own "item of the day." Whether you want guns, ammunition or medical assistance, there's always a vending machine to suit your needs. It's a shame that they don't ask how you are, because that makes every adventure all the more sweeter. Then again, a shiny new weapon or round of bullets is much better than a "How are you today sir / madame?"

Ozzy Osbourne - Brutal Legend


It's Ozzy Osbourne...selling you things...in a game. Is there anything cooler? Maybe me becoming a vendor... one can dream, right?

Top Five

5. Chocolina - Final Fantasy XIII-2


Chocolina is one weird-looking woman. She wears what looks like the remains of a dead chocobo and always presents herself as a happy-go-lucky gal. Although tragedy surrounds her, she combats it by wearing a bright orange bird outfit and retaining an equally strange demeanor. To be fair, she sounds like a blast to have at a party. My favourite colour is orange, so she's got my vote! The fact that she appears extremely randomly across different timelines must mean she's also a time traveler. Does she have a special ticket for secret rides in the TARDIS with time lord himself? If only we knew.

4. Snuggly the Crow - Dark Souls


Snuggly is one of the most unusual vendors as well as one of the hardest to find ones in a game. Of course, that game would have to be Dark Souls, but once you find him, you will meet an odd little chick who wants a "warm" and "soft" item. If you trade the right thing with him, you will get a specific item in return. Unlike most vendors who just want cold, hard cash, Snuggly isn't even human so something warm and soft is worth a million times more than pointless money. Also, did you think I was going to tell you where he was? Don't be stupid! Fine, I'll give you a tiny clue. He's hidden in a *insert spoiler here*.

3. Moira Brown - Fallout 3


Going from time traveling bird women to nuclear apocalypse survivors, we arrive at Moira Brown. This somewhat unlucky woman possesses a firey attitude and yet still manages to pull off a half-decent face. That is until you make a decision to blow it off. Well, you don't HAVE to do that but if you do, it's rather hilarious. Going from what we see here to this must be a bit disheartening for the poor lass, but she still made it, right? If she actually ventured out into the world instead of sitting in her workshop wondering if mole rats can be tamed and domesticated, maybe she would have gained some knowledge about how to avoid a giant explosion. At least she still has her personality.

2. Vending Machines - BioShock series

Circus of Values Machine

The Circus of Values machines from the original BioShock (Xbox 360) have provided many, many items for gamers across the globe. That freaky clown face is always a welcome sight as you spend your hard earned cash on upgrades and deliciously destructive items. Jack must certainly appreciate them and being able to hack the things only makes them better. A person can't be hacked but a box of circuits and wires can. Jackpot! On the BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) side of things, the Dollar Bill vending machines certainly give Booker an edge. It's surprising that the robotic man on those machines hasn't whacked Booker across the face with his swinging arms yet, though.

1. The Merchant - Resident Evil 4

The Merchant

This shady fellow with the trench coat is a bit of an icon in the survival horror franchise. His cockney accent and enormous pockets make for a memorable vendor and it's a wonder how he manages to move from place to place with so much live ammo tucked under that coat. The purple rag covering his face could only mean that he's got a contagious cold and he's just too nice to let anyone else catch it. His quotes like, "Got somethin' that might interest ya!" are oddly charming and whenever he's spotted, Leon obviously can't help himself. A trench coat and backpack full of useful (and probably expensive) goodies are enough to get anyone excited. One thing puzzles me, though... how on earth has he not been crushed under the weight of all these items?? It's the magic purple rag, I just know it.

There are our picks for the most memorable in-game vendors you will come across. They may not sell unbelievably amazing items (even though some of them do), but the characters themselves are diverse and intriguing. Just like the real world, vendors are vast and numerous in our games and so we obviously haven't mentioned every single vendor in video game history. What have we missed? What's your favourite in-game vendor?

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.