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In Wasteland remastered, your maximum party size is 7, but you can only create a maximum of 4 player characters. If you want a full roster, you will have to hire some of the NPCs present in the game.
There’s a baker’s dozen of NPCs in the game, and these NPCs range from great to awful, with most falling somewhere in between. Due to the conditions in which you find them (prisoners or poisoned) most come without any items to speak of.
I have listed them all here, in order of best to worst, in my opinion.
Found in: Base Cochise
Vax can be built in Base Cochise, and it’s worth taking the time to do so. This character comes fully equipped with a good weapon, plenty of power packs, and the best armour in the game.
His skills and stats are also a useful mix, making him an instatly effective party member, even at the end game stage.
Vax stands head an shoulders over the other NPCs in the game.
Found in: Downtown Needles
Christina’s high rating is based on two things. Unlike many NPCs she comes fully equipped. Also, based on her location in Needles, you can collect her at the start of the game with a quick trip to downtown.
Christina’s equipment will be head of or equal to your own
In addition to a solid weapon and good armour, she comes with a mix of skills and stats that will keep her relevant for the rest of the game if you decide to keep her.
Found in: A jail cell under Ugly’s hideout in Quartz
Like most NPCs in Wasteland, Ace arrives with no equipment, only skills and stats. These are both useful however. Ace also comes with the unique ability to fix the jeep that will take you from Quartz to Needles and then from Needles to Vegas. The jeep isn’t necessary to play the game, but it’s a nice touch.
Found in: The Temple of the Mushroom Cloud church, Las Vegas
Doctor Mike can be found in a small room next to the infirmary in Charmaine’s temple. He comes with a few irrelevant items, and his rating is based on one skill in particular
Level 5 Doctor allows him to live up to his name and heal pretty much any injury your party might suffer. Just give him something better to wear than the robes he comes with.
Found in: The Las Vegas Jail
Covenant is one of Faran Brygo’s men. Caught in the gang war with Fat Freddy, he’s been left to rot in a cell in Vegas. You can break him out if you want.
His stats and skills make him a decent upgrade to Ace and/or Christina. His lower score is simply because you find him that much later in the game, and without any items. Also, he can’t fix a jeep. Also, his 4 points in Medic don’t look so great when you consider you can recruit Dr. Mike Scott in the same city. Still, a worthwhile party member though.
Found in: The Gila Tavern, Darwin Village (sick as a dog)
Metal Maniac is the better of the two character you can find poisoned in Darwin Village. Mix up some antidote and he will be ready to join you.
Found in: The Gila Tavern, Darwin Village (sick as a dog)
Named for the creator of the Bard’s Tale series Brian Fargo (just like Faran Brygo in Vegas), this character can be saved with some antidote and added to the party. His skills and stats are fine, but notably not as good as Covenant’s.
By the time you reach Darwin Village, you’ll probably value the 3 points in AT weapon on Metal Maniac over the 4 points in Assault Rifle of Mad Dog Fargo.
Found in: a jail cell in the Courthouse in Quartz
Mayor Pedros is an early NPC and comes with a reasonable mix of skills. HIs weak point is his low Hit Point total, which leave him vulnerable to being seriously wounded or worse. Chances are you will leave him in Quartz unless you really like hand to hand skills.
Founds in: strapped to a bomb in Ugly’s Hideout in Quartz
She has a mix of skills that speak to an interesting life before we meet her, but ultimately there are better options for party members, even at this early stage of the game.
Found in: strapped to a chair in the Courthouse in Quartz.
Poor Dan. He’s taken a beating from ugly’s thugs, but if you sneak up on them and give Dan a sip from your canteen he will recover enough to join you for a moment.
I say for a moment as you really only want him for the time it takes to move one level up in the Couthouse, rescue his father, and collect the Citrine family fortune.
Once this is done you can disband Dan and collect Mayor Pedros from the next cell up. Dan gets a high initial rating since $1,000 is a lot of money when you are starting out, but there’s no need to keep him in the party.
Found in: the jail cell of the Guardian Citadel
Redhawk has one us, and that’s the reward you get for taking him back to Junkyard Village. This reward is not the difference between victory and defeat though.
His mix of stats and skills would be okay if you encountered him in Quartz, but in the game’s penultimate levels he’s not good enough to keep around. If you have a spare party slot by all means bring him home, but it’s not necessary.
Found in: strapped to a rack in the Temple of Blood in Needles
Poor unfortunate Ralf. He’s been tortured and bled to within an inch of his life. He’s grateful enough to want to join the party, but do you really need a street bum?
Given his mix of skills and stats, and argument can be made that an empty party slot is more valuable than one filled by Ralf.
Found in: a cave under Highpool
Jackie is Bobby’s friend, who has gone to find the dog Rex and then ended up trapped in a cave.
With no skill levels greater than 1, and single-digit stats, Jackie lacks many things other NPCs would bring to the party. Unlike many NPCs, she comes with some items, but these are largely useless.
That canteen can be kept for someone better. Once you have brought her back from the cave, Jackie can be sent on her way.
The NPCs offer some useful skills, but they can be disobedient, even in the middle of combat. If you want reliability you’ll want to clone your rangers at Sleeper Base.