User Avatar Image

What is your top five favorite game protagonists

posted by Bioshock Infinite WD on - last edited - Viewed by 761 users

What is your five favorite game protagonists. They can be from any genre of games.

29 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • 1) John Marston
    2) Ezio Auditore da Firenze
    3) George Stobbart
    4) Guybrush Threepwood
    5) April Ryan

  • You want me to list FIVE? Are you SERIOUS? Okay....here goes....?

    1.
    Mzxgl6y.jpgGabriel Knight
    Games: Sins of the Fathers, The Beast Within, Blood of the Sacred Blood of the Damned

    This guy is so charming, it's sickening. It's no wonder Tim Curry's lustrous voice fits this native New Orleans boy like a glove. It's not just Tim's voice, though. It's the character. He's played by an American in The Beast Within, in live action, and he's still charming and likable. In a 90's FMV game. Nothing can break this character down, although he was at his best in Sins of the Fathers.

    This character really breaks a mold that characters since have tried and failed to fit: the mysterious bad boy. Most characters come off like tryhard douchebags with bad fashion sense when trying to pull this off. That's where Gabriel excels. He is a tryhard douchebag with bad fashion sense...or at least that's what everyone around him thinks. But once you get to know him, and take him on the journey from starving author to protector of righteousness and vanquisher of evil, you realize the type of person he always portrayed himself as is just the type of person he was always meant to be. Frankly, Gabriel is embarrassing to himself when the first game opens. He's an asshole, he's clumsy, he has no idea what he's doing, and he is kind of an idiot. That's part of what makes him so charming. Instead of trying to pass this guy off as a genuine hero, they embrace his faults. A more realistic, less cartoony Guybrush, so he goes higher on the list.

    When he finally claims the family mantel of Schattenjäger, he doesn't do it because he's ready, but because he has to. He doesn't know what to do, but he knows what he can do, and he embraces it with fear and respect. And that's when I respected him.

    There's no hero I enjoy watching or listening to (Tim Curry) more. Thank you, Jane Jensen.

    2.
    rLFUMQi.pngLucas
    Games: Mother 3

    It's hard to think of a hero in video games who has had it worse than Lucas. If there are, Lucas beats them out in one major regard: what he does with it. Many characters would be on the slow descent to madness after what this kid has learned and gone through and felt. Lucas's mother is killed by a peaceful species that is genetically altered by the villain's army into a horrible monstrosity. His brother goes missing. His father becomes a recluse, searching the mountains for his brother every day and night. Lucas spends years grieving at his mother's grave. What must he feel at this. Anger. Vengeance. Hate? No. That's his father.

    First, Lucas forgives the species that killed his mother, and makes peace with them. Then, he lets his grief have its day, but he doesn't let it overcome him. He takes the time to grow. His village gets more and more cynical, cruel, and obsessed with material things and finding the quick road to happiness. Eventually, what was sympathy turns to hatred for Lucas. They want him gone. They want bad things to happen to him. He's a "crybaby".

    Lucas doesn't get angry. He recognizes something isn't right, and he decides to uncover what is happening. He doesn't wait on his father, and his courage gets a few others who recognize what's happening to the world to rise to action.

    And when Lucas and friends find out an earth-shattering revelation: that his village and everyone in it erased their memories and created a fake village and fake history on the one remaining landmass so they wouldn't remember that it was the END of the WORLD, he still keeps strong in the face of everything he knows crashing down around him. He fights to change the world in the face of a massive cataclysm that could reshape the world into a paradise or destroy it.

    His family is destroyed. His mother is gone. His village hates him. His village is a lie. The world is ending, and nothing can stop it from ending. His brother is missing. His father is mad with grief. Lucas is a force that takes these harsh, terrifying truths, and uses them to do good instead of evil. Lucas is one of the most, if not the most, complex and wonderful child characters ever written, and Clementine can kiss my ass.

    3.
    VviC4yL.pngLink (Child Timeline)
    Games: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask

    Here is another kid that has had the shittiest time. The difference between Link and Lucas is that, while not every Link is great in my eyes, or relatable, the one Link that hits home with me as an enduring, interesting character has an unfinished story. Lucas has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The fate of the Link I love is unknown, and branches off into two paths that are far less interesting to me than this particular path.

    Still.

    This Link begins in Ocarina of Time, as a lonely laughingstock and outcast, who lives in a village of ageless children with fairies. Link has no fairy, so he is looked down on by everyone. Eventually, a fairy is assigned to him by a Great Deku Tree, and together they embark on a quest to stop an evil king from overthrowing the kingdom of Hyrule.

    And they fail.

    Link is sent through time, and as an adult, forced to see everyone he grew up with move on, sad that they don't know what became of him. The kingdom of Hyrule has become a wasteland. The once thriving peoples of the kingdom are wrecked. What survivors there are are mainly evil people given control by Ganondorf. Link's closest friends as a child; friends he made on his original quest, are now sacred Sages. It's very sad and bittersweet. And by the end of the game, when you defeat the Dark Lord, you're told that the life you once had can be given back to you. Instead of making good with the kingdom you've saved, you are sent back in time to prevent Ganondorf from tricking you, changing the timeline back to one where Link can finally have the childhood he always wanted, or at least I wanted him to have.

    Then comes the middle.

    Link's fairy friend Navi parted ways with him after Ganondorf was defeated. Link goes in search of Navi, and is led by a Skull Kid into a parallel world to Hyrule in which everything is a blasphemous, surreal opposite to the world Link knew. Link meets a new fairy, and together they stop the Skull Kid from causing the apocalypse by crashing the moon into the planet. This part of the story is incredibly somber, and is really one tragic situation after another.

    Link ultimately saves the planet, makes friends with the Skull Kid, and embarks once again on his quest to find Navi.

    After all this loneliness, disappointment, and sadness in Links life....what happens? No one knows. But I do know that this Link is my favorite. His story is interesting, mysterious, and filled with regret and bittersweet moments. And I want to see his ending.

    (It's not Twilight Princess, that's a different Link)

    4.
    7nJs6St.pngGuybrush Threepwood
    Games: The Secret of Monkey Island, LeChuck's Revenge, The Curse of Monkey Island, Escape From Monkey Island, Tales of Monkey Island

    What is this guy's story? He walks down from a mountain one day and says those immortal words "My name is Guybrush Threepwood and I want to be a pirate". Where did he come from, really? We may never know.

    The way he handles his dream is amazing. He's this weird combo of doing everything right and everything wrong at the same time. Nothing good happens to this guy, yet he manages to always come out on top at the end. His life is an oxymoron. So you know when he's trapped in a voodoo spell at the end of Revenge, he'll somehow find a way to escape.

    He constantly overcomes negative expectations, he's more than competent as a swordfighter and a swashbuckler, and he's probably more than a little bit smarter than most of the pirates he comes across. Yet at the end of the day, he gets no credit whatsoever. Everyone and their grandmother takes credit for defeating LeChuck, and he has to prove himself over and over again until he has nothing left.

    By the time we find out his nemesis LeChuck is really his brother, we realize the entire world is truly and competently screwing with him. His parents are dead, and ghosts, and LeChuck wrecks him at every turn. Guybrush is one of those comedy heros that it's fun to see be a complete dick while bouncing back and forth between absurd situations and shitty luck. In a way, he's the pirate Rincewind, but a good deal braver. His story is simpler in many ways than others on this list, as his first feats involve defeating the greatest swordfighter, and traversing an island of cannibals to save a governness from an evil ghost pirate....simple.....but its the way his story is turned on its head at every turn that sets this apart from Mario or Dirk or whatever.

    And deep down, he loves it. He loves the stuff he gets into. When he loses a hand, and has to replace it with a hook, he's ecstatic.

    5.
    kYQqC5V.pngFrancis York Morgan
    Games: Deadly Premonition

    He's Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks. Well, I'm done.

    Okay, I'm not done. This guy is a trainwreck. This guy is the Tommy Wiseau of videogame characters. And he's amazing. Every quote he says. Every expression his face makes. Every action he takes. Every part of his story. Is. Amazing.

    You truly never know what will happen next with this guy. He's far different than other trainwreck games in that the events that unfold are actually engaging and interesting. He's engaging. You want to know what he's going to say or do. You want to see how his 3D model will spaz out. You want to know what ridiculous, creepy, or hilarious turn his story will take next.

    He's such a good agent he can drink coffee, eat pickles, use a laptop, and talk on a cell phone all while driving in a heavy downpour. Until he crashes his car by going off a ramp down a ravine. And then he survives like he doesn't care. After all, there's a proper procedure for everything. He's such a good agent he can carry unlimited ammunition. He's such a good agent he has access to his wardrobe everywhere. In the woods. In a hospital. Everywhere.

    Every single aspect of this guy is basically a cheap ripoff of Dale Cooper. BUT. Unlike Coop, this guy is much more personally tied to the case at hand, which is...actually.....pretty good. It's very Stephen King. It might pull Stephen King off better than Alan Wake. You've got an over-the-top malevolent demonic entity. You've got a Lynchian Red World and White World. You've got an axe murderer. You've got an eerie idyllic town.

    York is also kind of endearing due to the fact that every time you think he might get boring, he acts like a complete asshole to someone and everything is amazing again. He regards this small town as the Middle Ages. He looks down on EVERYBODY. He's also an unreliable narrator. There's no telling what is in his mind, and what isn't. There's even no telling if anything supernatural ever really happens. Trying to figure out York is an exercise in insanity, and I love it.

    York has an imaginary friend named Zach that he speaks to right out of the blue, with no care as to whether someone is standing nearby or not. He'll talk to Zach in front of a room full of people. Yet he still worries someone might find him psychotic. And we wouldn't want that, now, would we, Zach? This and many other things York does over the course of the game actually have a reason, so what seems like just another part of an odd, janky game with no direction is actually part of a larger purpose in the story, and is therefore....pretty good. I could detail why and spoil everything, but I'm unsure of whether I want to spoil the entire game like I did with Mother 3.

    I'll merely say that the reason he is the way he is is tragic, horrifying, psychological, and kind of neat.

    And now I'm going to cheat.

    6. Wario
    7. Gordon Freeman
    8. Luigi
    9. Kazooie
    10. Larry Laffer

  • Wow, that is pretty extensive Fawful, you really explain why they are so great that I will agree and I have not played any of those games.

  • @Alcoremortis said: I mean you can avoid pretty much every single combat in the game and treat it like a big old adventure game.

    No, you cannot. Not even close.

  • Abe if I can be bothered to get the good ending on Oddworld.

  • @der_ketzer said: No, you cannot. Not even close.

    Okay, you can't avoid the one with one of your companions at the very end. And a few others, I think. Possibly. But the rest, if you're sneaky and good at talking, you can typically get by without a fight. I think the number of fights I actually fought was a single digit number. Or a really low double digit number. Or at least it would be if you don't count the ridiculously long modron maze, which was an optional section anyways.

    I'd still count it more like an adventure game than an RPG. Because it really doesn't reward typical RPG tactics at all.

  • My favorite is Ice Climbers

  • Can't decide placement, but...

    Starkiller (Star Wars: Force Unleashed)
    Alex Mason (CoD: Black Ops)
    Cole McGrath (Infamous 1-2)
    Desmond (Assassin's Creed) - Only because of Altair and Connor xD
    Hector (Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword/Rekka No Ken)

  • @Mark$man said: Hector (Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword/Rekka No Ken)

    Good thing you put in those parentheses, or I would have thought you were talking about the Hector that Telltale distributes. That would really be saying something!


  • Hs1ChHR.png?15. Meat Boy
    Super Meat Boy

    Meat Boy is a character with a lot of hidden subtext built into his very nature. He's not a boy made of beef or steak cuts, but a boy without skin. He's completely exposed to the elements, always in pain but he keeps his smile up anyway. He's a character who is very pure in a lot of ways, his animations show a lot of character in what is a very tiny space, and he himself doesn't change throughout the course of the game, either mechanically or emotionally. Character development is a grand thing, but a pure, expressive character with a strong sense of purpose can mean a lot in terms of games, which don't need to rely as much on narrative progression.

    OaabmMl.png4. Wario
    Wario Land series, Made in Wario series

    Wario perfectly embodies that part of video game players that just wants to get all the coins, to get that high score, to reach 100% completion. Players are told that Mario wants to save the princess, but what does the player do? We stop, we grab coins, we try to rack up points, even if it's not the most efficient way to save the princess or to stop the villain. Wario allows a purely ecstatic sense of wanton greed that other characters try to slip under the rug. It's great!

    3J5J2Wc.png?13. The Nameless One
    Planescape: Torment

    AKA “The Restless One”, “The Deathless One”, “The Lost One”, or one of my personal favorites: “The Walking Scab”. Unable to die(at least in the permanent sense that mortals are familiar with), this is one of the few western RPG protagonists who is not only given a rich and emotional backstory, but is also one of the few who is allowed to express their personality throughout the duration of play. There is, sure, a good range of interpretation that is given to the player as to HOW to play this one, but he is definitely a set character with his own fleshed out narrative, and his is one of gaming's best(and is certainly its best-written!).

    Om5j6sM.png2. Guybrush Threepwood
    The Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

    A perfect mix of humor, ignorance, and the kind of enthusiasm you generally only see in children, Guybrush Threepwood is gaming's go-getting-est protagonist. He enters the screen from God-Knows-Where and proclaims he wants to be a pirate, and become a pirate he does. This is a hero who will overcome any odds almost out of pure wit, luck, and drive. He's hilarious, enthusiastic, expressive, witty and dumb at just the right times, there's no other character in games exactly like Guybrush Threepwood.

    7W4rATG.gif1. Sam & Max
    Sam and Max Hit the Road, Sam and Max: Season One, Sam and Max: Season Two, Sam and Max: Season Three - The Devil's Playhouse

    Man do these two make me laugh.

    Sam and Max are the funniest characters in gaming for me. They barrel into every kind of adventure imaginable based purely on a very vague sense of moral compass and a desire for chaos and mayhem. They're perfectly matched to each other, being each others' perfect half, and neither is truly capable of functioning properly without the other. With everything they get into and with as warped or broken as their sense of morality might be, it's entirely possible that these two are the most loyal friends in the history of video games.


    I'm a tad bothered that none of my top five are women. All my favorite female characters are generally in the supporting cast, what's up with that?

Add Comment