Being Escorted in a Videogame? Here's How Not to Die!

Image courtesy Kevin Dooley

Image courtesy Kevin Dooley

So you’ve decided to become the object of an escort mission in a videogame. Congratulations! You’re entering into a long and glorious career, with plenty of tradition and role models behind you.

However, it should be noted that there is a right way and a wrong way to be an escortee. There are many ways a rescue can go wrong (such as being attacked by an aerial enemy that your rescuer barely noticed). Remember that no matter what happens, the failed mission will be seen as your fault. But never fear! Here are a few simple techniques you can utilize to ensure your escort mission goes as smoothly as possible, with no unnecessary cursing or resentment from your rescuer.

Have a “Warning Signal”

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The best escortees in videogames have a signature gasp, or a cry of “Look out!” But no matter what it is, you must have some noise to indicate that danger is closing upon your rescuer. It’s one of the best things you can do as someone being escorted. The escortees of Siren: Blood Curse were amazing gaspers who would make a warning sound the moment danger approached their rescuers. As a result, they were able to protect their heroes with ease.

This is doubly true if you don’t have a hitbox that registers attacks within a steady distance. No hero can strategize a technique for passing through an area if he has to worry about his escortee dying from some invisible force. Maybe you stepped on a sharp rock. Maybe there was a land mine left behind. Maybe your rescuer didn’t move fast enough to save you from the worst dinner of your life. It doesn’t matter, escortee! If the hero can’t see the source of damage, you WILL encounter frustration from your rescuer. This manifests as mostly curses from the person playing the rescuer, but still -- you don’t want that.

Stay Visible, But Only Just

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No one likes an escort that gets in the fucking way, dammit. Especially if you’re too close. Oh my, the abuse that can come from a hero who has been followed too closely...it's unconscionable.

If you must be in your rescuer’s line of vision, adhere strictly to the “Rule of Two Limbs":

Make sure to expose only two of your limbs to your hero at any one moment. These can be your arms, reaching to pull him up. Or your lovely legs, urging him along while hinting that there may be future opportunities to indulge the Male Gaze. And if you’re in motion, lead with one foot and one arm. But never more than two simultaneously! That suggests desperation, and heroes always hate it when we insist, in any way, that they should go faster.

Poor Miranda Fortuna from Red Dead Redemption tried to go outside the Rule of Two, and she ended up with a horrible reputation as an escortee.

Ladies, it’s just not worth it.

Following? Maintain a Steady Distance.

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If there’s one thing a well-trained escortee should be able to do, it’s follow the hero properly. You don’t have to dodge, wield a weapon or even look cute. But if you can keep the rate at which you follow your rescuer consistent, you will be infinitely more useful than if you didn't. This consistency allows your rescuer the ability to plan the mission around your movements.

The only thing worse than a dead escortee is a needy escortee.

This sounds easy, but I reassure you that it's not. The smart escortee does not explore because it serves no purpose.* You’re delaying your own rescue, and you have no pockets to store things in. By diverting your rescuer’s attention, you are wasting his time and making life more difficult for both of you. Just stick to his side or his rear, and try not to trip him up.

Be Useful OR Invisible

No! NO! Get back in line, missy!

No! NO! Get back in line, missy!

You never want to annoy the person who’s rescuing you. You can’t lollygag! Make yourself useful to your rescuer! Scrounge for whatever supplies you can find, especially health items. At the very least, restore your rescuer back to health whenever they fall.

If you don’t have any special combat or healing powers, stay out of the way. The only thing worse than a dead escortee is a needy escortee.

Of course, it should be noted that all of these rules go out the window if you are being rescued by a woman. If you’re being escorted by a woman, you’re not an escortee. You’re her partner. Grab any weapon you can find and protect her.

Even if you cannot carry a weapon, offer any service you have to any woman who rescues you. Can you glide safely over ledges? Have her jump on your back as a last-ditch attempt. Distract enemies. Heal her, if that’s all you can do. Because unlike a male rescuer, she’ll appreciate your skills even if they don’t include weapons. If all you do is heal, you’ll be much more likely to receive thanks afterward.

*There is one benefit to minor exploration during a rescue: locating health items for yourself. A rescuer will forgive a slightly wandering escortee if she appears to be particularly hard to kill. He’ll write it off as a “health glitch,” and press forward.