#1 Edited by Rxanadu (508 posts) -

I've been wondering if there were any characters we could identify as leaders in most video games. In this case, what I defines as a leader is one who does one or more of the following:

  • helps others out in times of need
  • is able to command others to create a better future
  • is someone you would want to aspire to be

Some examples I thought of were Commander Shepherd, Lee Everett, Sly Cooper, (maybe) Marcus Fenix. I can't think of any others as of right now, but I would like to know what everyone else can think up.

If you are going to post, however, I'd like to know why the characters you suggest are leaders. A one sentence summary will do. For example: Lee Everett shows himself as a leader whenever he takes care of Clementine. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from everyone about who they think is a leader and why.

N.B. The benchmarks for being a leader I presented above are not the only ones I'm looking for. If you can give an good argument (which can be done in a single sentence indeed) for your character, that would be much more beneficial compared to simply dropping a name down.

#2 Posted by Veektarius (4817 posts) -

The greatest leader of all video games is Chris Stone from Freedom Fighters. He gave that speech from the radio station and the entire city materialized from thin air in ten seconds to cheer him on! You try giving a speech and see if you get the same result.

#3 Posted by Winternet (8018 posts) -
#4 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3310 posts) -

Some JRPG fans are going to show up and explode this thread. Your definition of leader is nearly every young hero in a JRPG who had to lead a crew of hopefuls through darkness to save the world. That said, many JRPG heroes are in fact led by other characters/goals so I'll pick a dark horse, which, is, tun ta da da: Squall. He really forces his crew to band together and he's very much the leader of the group and of the school (you even give a speech to the students!). For a character perennially described as "bummed" he's actually very nice to all the party members and has to really help them grow at some point in their stories before murdering their space-time memories in that castle, or whatever happens at the end of that game.

#5 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5479 posts) -

Andrew Ryan and Zachary Comstock are extremely flawed, but leaders none the less.

#6 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -
#7 Edited by EquitasInvictus (2029 posts) -

@animasta said:

the snarky answer is Crusader Kings 2 (or any paradox game really)

I'd say that's too much of a technically a valid answer to be snarky!

Other answers that I think could technically be considered "leaders"

  • The player in any RTS - You're commanding units, some to certain dearth, who will obey any move or attack command issued by you no matter what!
  • SimCity mayors - Until your bankrupt, your word is basically law. You control everything from utilities to taxes and even zoning in your city. Sims will protest at City Hall or even your house, but heck as long as you still have money you still have control!

Okay, those answers could also be considered snarky.

For realsies now, I'd suggest Christopher "Maverick" Blair from Wing Commander because he is the titular Wing Commander. Climbing through ranks until reaching Lieutenant Colonel and leading his people (with player choice) to victory in countless occasions.

#8 Edited by fisk0 (4101 posts) -

While those 3 bullet points could pretty much be applied on every single video game protagonist I can think of, I have to agree on this one:

For realsies now, I'd suggest Christopher "Maverick" Blair from Wing Commander because he is the titular Wing Commander. Climbing through ranks until reaching Lieutenant Colonel and leading his people (with player choice) to victory in countless occasions.

#9 Edited by TheCreamFilling (1225 posts) -

Peace through power.

#10 Posted by Yummylee (21616 posts) -

The Boss, yo. S/he is literally the President of the United States after all and yet is still out there on the front lines fighting back alien scum. The most leaderest of leaders.

#11 Edited by mosespippy (4169 posts) -

Most of the ones that immediately come to mind are main characters in JRPGs, and Ico, who literally leads Yorda around the castle by holding her hand or calling for her to come.

The leader that stands out the most to me is Princess Cordelia from the Valkyria Chronicles series. She's the head of her country and only 16 years old. That's not what makes her a good leader. What makes her a good leader is that the Prime Minister, the Ambassador of the Atlantic Federation and Prince Maximilian try to influence or force her to further their own motives; wether it's to use Galia as a pawn in the war or to become the ruler of Galia, depending on the influencer and his role. None of them are able to influence her to do what they want her to do, despite their power or position. She chooses her actions based on what is best for the country and it's citizens. That's what makes her a good leader.

#12 Posted by AssInAss (2645 posts) -

April Ryan when she becomes the leader of the rebels in Dreamfall, the sequel to the Longest Journey.

Her character growth from the first game as sarcastic, insecure know-it-all to selfless and maybe slightly colder leader in the second game is an awesome experience. She single-handedly talks down religious fundamentalism and a foreign invasion. The rest I can't spoil, but you really need to play the Longest Journey games for some of the best female characters in games and most well-realised unique worlds.

#13 Posted by Rxanadu (508 posts) -

@veektarius: Somehow I forgot about Freedom Fighters, despite it being one of my favorite Xbox games. I guess I never consciously thought of Chris Stone as a leader despite all the leading you did in that game. That's definitely the beauty of games: players can become the leader rather than just having a leader shown to them.

@assinass: I never played The Longest Journey, but I would definitely say April Ryan was a leader to Dreamfall. I don't remember much from the game, though; it's been about a year since I played it.

These responses have shown me two things: there are a lot more leaders in video games than I thought; and my definition of what a leader is may be too broad. So, I ask everyone to present to me what makes a good leader and, as before, give me concrete examples that prove your definitions. With these different viewpoints, I hope to broaden my own definition of what a leader is so I can better explain it to others in the future.

#14 Posted by AssInAss (2645 posts) -

@rxanadu said:
I never played The Longest Journey, but I would definitely say April Ryan was a leader to Dreamfall. I don't remember much from the game, though; it's been about a year since I played it.

Did you know the developers of Dreamfall played the whole game in a livestream during their Kickstarter for Dreamfall Chapters? Some really great insight in there that I made notes of in a NeoGAF thread.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9_Y9poFoht3c0Ugss7_wq6Lk0jr1_pqv

I think there even was a thread here about it.

Just in case you're interested.

#15 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

Like every character ever.

Mario is a leader. He helps out the Mushroom Kingdom by rescuing their monarch, and crushing the Koopa Army. He's constantly sending out commands to "Letsa go!" and "Whoopee!" And I aspire to be a fat Italian plumber. Skilled labor makes a ton of money these days.

#16 Posted by BobSacamano (10 posts) -

Frank West (Dead Rising). Rescues a few dozen people, uniting them against a zombie apocalypse. Going by the terrible survivor AI he's probably the only one in that whole mall who knows what's going on.

#17 Edited by AlexanderSheen (5004 posts) -

Narukami Yu might be a silent protagonist but I will choose him anyway. He helps his friends sort things out in their lives, he's a player and they actually call him Leader.