You've inspired me and it produced another cool idea.
We enter a fantasy world based on the premise of existing within an RPG video game, yet is living and breathing. In this world, instead of social or economic classes, there are role classes. Monsters, Bosses, Nameless NPCs, Major NPCs like plot characters and kings, and Player Characters, or Heroes. The world revolves around these heroes, but they are rare, having been "made" using a special artifact called the Protagonist Ring.
Over the centuries, many Heroes were created and took part in many adventures and stories that helped define and give life to the world. But they became drunken with power and narcissism. One by one the Heroes perish and fall, their purpose of protecting the world having been lost in the throws of stardom.
Four Heroes remain, and travel the world trying to restore some order and peace.
Cut: Small Town.
We see a sleepy little town in black and white. It's cute, yet seems lifeless, almost as if stuck in slow motion. NPCs (including the future PC) very slowly roam about as NPCs do.
Scrawl: Down to town gate.
Four Heroes enter town, their sprites in full color. As they enter the view of the NPCs, color seeps into the entire frame.
Our Heroes pass through town to a glorious welcome from the townsfolk as they cheer their passage toward the castle, perhaps some fireworks being set off as a grand horn section scores their triumphant return.
As they pass, the color fades away once again to black and white.
Navigate: To PC's sprite.
Your NPC friend approaches, beginning a dialogue, neither having names.
FRIEND: "Come on, buddy. We better find some loot for our household chests before the Heroes are unleashed upon the town."
PLAYER: ". . ."
FRIEND: "Don't tell me you actually sold your chest. You'll be the laughing stock of -insert town name-."
PLAYER: "The Heroes never come to our little town. Besides, I needed the gold."
FRIEND "At least help me find something good. I'd like for one of them to talk to me this time."
PC and NPC friend navigate the outskirts of town to forage items, and FRIEND reminds him that monsters and bosses can't see NPCs, so they have nothing to fear.
After they gather some materials and craft a potion, they return to their homes for the night.
Not expecting the Heroes to search his home for loot, PC prepares to bed down for the night when Hero #1 busts into his door, wounded. PC is both flabbergasted and star struck, as well as embarrassed about his loot chest.
PAYER: "I sold my loot chest yesterday-"
HERO: "Please. . . There isn't much time. . ."
PLAYER: "I would normally keep a tribute on hand, but the economy has been so rough-"
HERO: "Keep your potions, good citizen, for my end draws near."
PAYER: "Yeah, I'm not really the healer around here."
HERO:" Please. . . You must take this."
HERO lurches toward PC.
Hero #1 gives PC the Protagonist Ring, explaining that the king has betrayed the Heroes, killing the others and becoming a Boss in the process. He tells him that he must use the ring to become the last Hero, and fix the damage and chaos the Heroes of old had allowed to take root, and defeat the evil Boss king.
Using the power of the Protagonist Ring, the PC can recruit other NPCs, discovering what skills talents and perks they an grow to offer your party.
Also, the PC can click a button to change from NPC to Hero in order to accomplish different ways of approaching situations and navigating different types of scenarios and actors/enemies within them.