10k+ users can probably still see this: https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/109342/why-were-there-civilians-in-char

Screenshot of the question

I just clicked on a link to this question, read it, went to upvote but it said the question had been deleted. I (stupidly) refreshed the page, and got the "This question has been deleted" page

I'm not 100% sure why though, it seemed to be a basic game-storyline question (which AFAIK is on-topic).

Would someone be able to tell me what the close reason was, and why this led to the question ultimately getting deleted?

  • 8
    It was closed as Not Constructive. Aug 5, 2013 at 4:27
  • 1
    @Robotnik I edited in a screenshot of the currently deleted question. Aug 5, 2013 at 4:38
  • 3
    Because "Evacuate the civilians" is a randomly selected thing to say, it's not part of the story. The question is facetious and not useful. Aug 5, 2013 at 4:39
  • 2
    @MatthewRead - I think a named character saying anything throughout the context of the game is the definition of 'part of the storyline'. Even if the answer was "Most Generals have standard evac procedures drilled into their brains, so barking that order was probably a reflex more than anything" it still would be a valid question. Further, I think the OP was being humorous, not facetious. (The latter is treating serious issues with inappropriate humor). As for 'not useful', could you not argue that about most story & lore questions?
    – Robotnik Mod
    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:02
  • 4
    "Questions about Game Design and Development are off topic. This includes speculative questions about developer intent, as well as lore questions not addressed directly through in-universe sources." We do not handle out of game lore questions.
    – user9983
    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:05
  • @OrigamiRobot In any case it is fairly trivial, I'm not arguing that it should be re-opened, I just wanted to know why it was closed originally. thanks everyone
    – Robotnik Mod
    Aug 5, 2013 at 5:16
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    @MatthewRead Sounds like a good answer.
    – badp
    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:23
  • @Robotnik I can't agree that canned lines repeated incessantly suddenly become part of the current story at the moment they are played back. I have assumed the asker knew it wasn't a valid question, hence the facetiousness. And to be clear I am stating why it was closed, not making an argument for its closure. We're well past that point. Aug 6, 2013 at 5:37
  • 1
    @MatthewRead - I assumed it was a trigger-based response (over a canned one), meaning he said it when you storm the main base or something. I wouldn't make the mistake of thinking the asker knew it "wasn't a valid question". He even states "...just wondering about SC's plot [snip]. I assumed it would be fine, as I've asked other plot questions about Final Fantasy". and just so we're clear, an example of facetiousness would be watching someone get electrocuted, and whilst everyone else is calling an ambulance/doing CPR, you say something like "Ho HO! I bet he just got the shock of his life!"
    – Robotnik Mod
    Aug 6, 2013 at 6:23
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    A better question would be why was the question undeleted? It sat closed for 4 months. We delete closed questions (except duplicates). It should've stayed deleted.
    – Niro
    Aug 6, 2013 at 18:15
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    I voted to undelete so I can vote to reopen. I don't see a problem with plot questions that can be answered in game.
    – Resorath
    Aug 6, 2013 at 18:20
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    @Resorath Except it's not a plot question. It's random voice work that sometimes gets said.
    – Frank
    Aug 6, 2013 at 18:23
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    @Resorath Except it's been pointed out repeatedly in the comments here that it's not a plot question that is handled in the in-game lore. See comments from MatthewRead and OrigamiRobot.
    – Niro
    Aug 6, 2013 at 18:25
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    @Everyone - I assume noone is bothering to write any of this in the answers section because this decision is (obviously) contentious and not set in stone, but if you guys want to argue for and against can I suggest writing answers here so the community can vote on this accordingly?
    – Robotnik Mod
    Aug 7, 2013 at 0:54
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    @Robotnik Honestly, it doesn't matter. The question's been deleted again, and hopefully it stays that way, making it a rather moot point. Unless someone actually wants to argue it being on-topic.
    – Frank
    Aug 7, 2013 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


The question was deleted because it was closed, 4 months ago, as Not Constructive. I initiated the push to delete it after a low-rep user had an edit approved on it. We shouldn't be giving people reputation for minor edits to closed questions, particularly ones waiting for deletion.

The fact that this one had been sitting closed, uncontested, for 4 months, was cause enough for me to push for deletion; we delete questions closed as anything but duplicate. It was completely normal.

That being said, it has since been undeleted, re-deleted, and is now on the brink of being undeleted again. Based on comments seen here, this is a facetious question based on a randomized in-game audio clip, not an actual lore question. Thus, it is something we do not handle here. As such, it should remain closed, and deleted.

  • 2
    Pretty much this. There is no reason for it to stick around.
    – user11502
    Aug 8, 2013 at 0:50

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