Readers, I have a confession to make. I might have to stop playing Starfield. Not because its main story quests are intensely boring and repetitive. And not because its planets are all mostly dull, lifeless husks. It's mainly because wherever I go in the universe, I'm haunted by the fleshy spectre of a misshapen man. I'm not even talking about the adoring fan (though he does also stalk my every step, too). Rather, I'm alluding to my own in-game father, who's randomly generated face and features are so utterly horrifying to me that I do a little sick in my mouth every time I run into him. Who can blame me, honestly, when his mouth is so high it clips right through his goddamn nose?
Yes, that's the sucker up there, smirking from his breakfast bar seat like he's the cat's pyjamas. Why is he like this? I've heard anedoctally that your in-game parents are based on whatever sliders and levers you feed into the character creator, but if this were true, I still don't believe that you could feasibly extrapolate that from what my character looks like:
Sure, it doesn't help that every time I enter Starfield's photo mode, my character seems to have a 99% chance of either blinking or looking incredibly bleary-eyed like they've just stumbled forth from some cave where they've only ever seen the colour grey their whole life. But even so, side by side, I simply don't believe you'd go, "Yeah, those two are definitely father and daughter! I can totally see the resemblance!" The nose is different, the mouth is different. Heck, even his eyelashes are longer than mine!
My mum, thank goodness, is more ordinary looking, though I'd still say she doesn't look much like me either. But at least her features are all in proportion. Dad, though... I mean, yikes, he's either been spending my send-home money on several trips to the Enhance booths lately, or space botox just hits different on New Atlantis, I don't know... I can't really pay attention to anything he ever says to me, as I'm too entranced by the way his lips curl over the edge of his nose, his moustache disappearing into the folds of flesh straight up into his nostrils...
*Ahem* Sorry, got carried away there for a second. Brrrrr. Thing is, it would be totally fine if my Starfield dad stayed locked away in his apartment like a good little goblin man, but he just... keeps... showing up places and embarrassing me. I mean, Starfield's NPCs aren't really nuanced enough to actually react like he's hanging around like a bad smell, but if this happened in something like Baldur's Gate 3 or, I dunno, real life, you can bet my Constellation colleagues would be like, "You sure you're related to that guy? You want us to... kick him out for you?" Honestly, it's bad enough when your parents show up at work with a care basket saying what a great daughter you are and what a good little space cadet you're going to be, but when I travel out to Neon on official Constellation business, trying to set up a covert meeting to obtain another artifact and catch them both raving it up in the Astral Lounge, pretending they definitely hadn't taken Aurora drugs... That's just... Daaaaaaaaaaaad, stop it, please, I'm trying to look cool in front of Barret and my boss, okay?! Geez.
Parents. You can't take them anywhere.
Really, I should just remove the Kid Stuff trait and pretend like this all never happened. I think it would be better for everyone's sake if I did. Just cut all ties and let them carry on living their terrifying lives, all flappy lips and wet kisses. Seriously, I hate to think of the state of his beard under there. Shaving it must be a nightmare...