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All Time Favorite Characters

So I felt like my top 50 list was lonely, so I wanted to call out all the characters in games I've played that meant something to me. I'm not saying their game was good. I'm not saying the story/graphics/art was good. I'm saying that I either loved them, or loved to hate them. I reserve the right to ignore games that featured the characters that I didn't like(specifically Other M, and Parasite Eve 2 and 3). It's my list-- my rules.

List items

  • Number one is easy. At least it was before they decided she needed an inner monologue. It was so refreshingly uncomfortable and strange to have to supply inner monologue to fill in the gaps for a female character. She is a woman who is competent and self-sufficient. I refuse to accept any evidence to contrary. Leaving her personality up to the player means that the player must become her. Which is a cool experience as a guy.

  • As a guy who likes to cook, read romantic stories, etc. I love characters who don't need to be a testosterone fueled killing machine to be a man. Men are loving fathers, husbands, friends. Many of them don't even kill people! Kanji represents the grey area in which most of us reside: we are ourselves for better or worse. Not enough stories showcase how tough it can be to cope with being gay, but I also think that not enough stories showcase how tough it can be to NOT be gay. Male and female personalities aren't black and white, nor should they be. Kanji demonstrates how you can love yourself no matter where on the spectrum you fall and what physical gender he happens to be. He isn't gay. He isn't straight. He isn't transgendered. He doesn't need or want labels. He just wants to make some god damn sock puppets!!

  • This was one of the first games I played that had a real story, and Cecil was the point upon which it all turned. His struggle to deal with his past misdeeds and leave them behind were really moving to me. Even though I don't think it's cannon, I like the version where he knows what's in the package he's taking to Mist but does it anyways. Kind of like a "Han shot first" thing, I guess. And I checked the manual-- English AND Japanese, and he doesn't have a listed last name! Total retcon.

  • Playing as Faith was a magical experience for me. Once you figure out the controls, you can make Faith move fluidly and expertly over any obstacle. There was genuine empathy and synergy playing this game. The story is so-so and the actual personality of Faith is nothing special, but playing as her is incredibly liberating. Anyone who can wall-run on a giant window as it's being shattered by gunfire and leap onto a scaffold at the top of a mall is ok by me.

  • I tried to justify leaving him off, but I realized I was just being petty because everyone else loves Link. Then I realized that everyone else was right.

  • With barely a single word, he tells a story more nuanced and deep than any 30 minute cutscene. All of his intentions are laid out by his actions-- your actions. Even without words, it's clear that he's doing something very wrong because he feels so strongly that he is willing to do anything to bring back someone he lost. Team Ico are masters at speaking volumes while never speaking at all. Pretty much every video game with dialog could afford to learn from them.

  • Aya is another character who is female and makes no excuses. She doesn't try to be strong, "for a girl." She's genuinely strong. Her competence is gloriously silent. She doesn't need to tell everyone how empowered she is, she is just powerful.

  • She has to partner up with 'roided out Redfield and always makes him look like a wimp. Self-possessed and capable, she's another example of a woman in games that doesn't make me embarrassed to be a guy. I always play RE5 Co-op and I ALWAYS play as Sheva.

  • Um. I want to avoid spoilers, so... Let's just say that there is only one video game that has made me cry nearly uncontrollably.

  • Not only is he a total dweeb, but he has a ton of compassion, bravery, and a cool head. Despite being in a military game, he has no qualms with showing emotion. Plus his pickup lines all involve comparing girls with insects. Smooth, bro.

  • He's a brooding, dark, immortal warrior. Who is a father. And a grandfather. Who cries. The 1000 Years of Dreaming stories flesh out a man who is struggling to come to grips with immortality. He has to watch all those around him die.

  • Millenia is a capricious spirit who does her best to show everyone how evil she is. The problem is, she isn't evil. She's an unfairly vilified victim of people assuming what kind of person she should be-- people including herself. Seeing her develop and come to an understanding of who and what she really is was a really great experience. She's also a hell of a lot of fun.

  • Boyd gives us what is almost certainly the most wondrous and hilarious single level ever to grace a video game. No game has made me laugh until I cried-- other than Psychonauts. I had to pause constantly to catch my breath.

  • He might be a flagrant racial stereotype... But he's a very funny one. I guess that makes me a racist?

  • Okay, I can't really explain this one. But I like her better than Goombella, and Goombella is going on this list, dammit.

  • Heck yeah. Just. Heck yeah.

  • We are all heroes! You, and Boo, and I! Hamsters and Rangers everywhere, rejoice!

  • He's a bit of an idiot, and there are times when it's hard for me to see him as my avatar, but we had a long relationship. I ported my Blair from WC1 all the way to WC3, and I would have taken him to WC4, but I don't think it's possible. You can't spend that much time as a character without it affecting you.

  • A stupid, but genuine person. He knows nothing of duplicity, nothing of strategy. He does what he feels is right immediately, without considering the consequences. But he always DOES it.