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Thread: Your Top Ten Favorite Video Game Characters

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Relm Your Top Ten Favorite Video Game Characters

    That's right, I want to know who your top ten favorite video games characters are! Though I have a one small rule for this: you are limited to one character per franchise. So who are your ten face game characters and why?

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    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    WarZidane's Avatar
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    Top ten characters is probably an impossible question for me, not only because of how many characters i love in video games, but also because it kinda depends on my mood. Some days I'll prefer the ones that undergo big personal development and character arcs, while other times I'll just enjoy that badass of the party, or the character who's great during all the light-hearted banter.

    With that said, I can at least list 10 characters I love, even if they might not always be my absolute favorites

    Mild spoiler warning just in case, though I won't go into any spoilery details.

    Mir - Ar Tonelico series
    Because of her character arc/development, but also because she's a badass and I love her songs

    Pascal - Tales of Graces f
    Just great during all the party banter, and a bundle of joy in all the scenes and skits she's in. Graces f has probably my favorite Tales cast in terms of party interaction/banter and Pascal's at the top in that regard.

    Olivier - Trails series
    In a way, basically an embodiment of what I like about Trails. Make of that what you will

    Zenos - Final Fantasy XIV
    Because sometimes you just need a villain who fights purely for the thrill of combat.

    Axel Almar - Super Robot Wars Original Generation series
    Has a great mech, a character arc that sees him going from villain to anti-hero to hero over the course of the multiple OG games, and his theme's awesome.

    Well, maybe I'll just leave it at 5 for now, these lists always take me ages because of procrastination and looking up all the things

  4. #4

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    Oof, your rule cuts like the top 3-15 out of my list. Most of my favorite characters come from just a handful of franchises. I think it'll be more interesting this way, though.

    10. Clementine (The Walking Dead)
    Clementine was a fine character in the first few Walking Dead games, but she didn't become one of my favorites until The Final Season. Seeing her grow from someone who needed protecting to someone who could protect others herself was an incredible thing.

    9. Eddy Raja (Uncharted)
    I love his relationship with Nate. He takes such delight in taunting Nate and gloating over him, only to go totally nuts when Nate or Elena pull some ridiculous trick to get the better of him. It's wonderful. His death is probably the saddest moment in the series for me.

    8. Jodie Holmes (Beyond: Two Souls)
    There's something really intense in Elliot Page's performance as Jodie. Jodie's always stuck in her own head, never completely present in the moment—which I guess is apropos for someone who has a ghost stuck inside her head. But it's not even just about Aiden. Even when she's in what should be a happy situation, the emotions she displays are always more complicated. She carries the sadness of her early life with her throughout the entire game, even if your choices take her to a happier place in the end. It's tragic, but riveting.

    7. Goro Majima (Yakuza)
    When you meet Majima in the first Yakuza game, he's pretty much just a cackling madman who seems to have a bit of a thing for Kiryu. He's hilarious and terrifying in equal measure, and I really didn't know what to make of him at first. But as the series progresses, you get to see more sides of him, and he somehow turns into a rich, layered character, while still retaining the wild insanity of his first appearance. You see someone who joined the yakuza to escape the restrictions of everyday life, only to feel frustrated and constricted by internal yakuza politics. Someone who, after being betrayed, inexplicably doubled down on his loyalty rather than seeking revenge. Someone who's nuts enough to drive a truck through the side of a building when he absolutely could have just walked through the front door, yet also has enough honor and courage to protect an innocent person he's been ordered to kill. Majima is an enigma, and I love him for it.

    6. Rachel Amber (Life Is Strange)
    When I played the first Life Is Strange, I found the mystery of Rachel Amber to be far more interesting than the whole time travel bit. When I was in high school, one of my classmates died in eerily similar circumstances. We weren't close, but I knew her well enough that Chloe's emotional journey throughout the game was all too familiar to me: first worry about her disappearance, then that fear crystalizing into dread as the weeks stretched by, and finally horror when her body was finally discovered. Because of that connection, Rachel Amber managed to have an impact on me even before she made an on-screen appearance. But I never expected that her death would be the least tragic part of her story. In Before the Storm, Rachel seems to have everything going for her: money, looks, grades—she should be happy. But she's not. Even before she learns of her family's secrets, she seems... well, lonely. Lonelier than you'd expect for the most popular person at Blackwell Academy. But throughout Before the Storm, she doesn't actually appear to have any friends. In fact, the only person she confides in is Chloe—someone she literally just met. And in one of their first conversations, Rachel suggests they play "two truths and a lie," a game that's really just a not-so-sneaky way to learn Chloe's tells and protect against future betrayal. Rachel Amber is someone to whom trust does not come easy, and that inability to trust keeps her at arm's length from everyone. Even after Chloe proves herself to be loyal and trustworthy, Rachel ends up pushing her away, too. Rachel Amber chooses to be lonely, and that is nothing short of heartbreaking.

    5. Vette (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
    Vette is put in a number of difficult situations in this game. She's initiallly a slave to the Sith, and even if you choose make her a paid member of your crew instead, she's pretty much pressed into service to the Empire. But though Vette is rarely the master of her own destiny, she never allows anyone to break her spirit. She has quips for every occasion, and she gleefully makes fun of anyone who claims to have power over her. Though she's often in dires straits, she's ever optimistic about the future, even when the situation seems completely hopeless. She always finds a way to take back a small sliver of control even when she appears completely powerless, something I only wish I knew how to do. I greatly admire her strength of spirit.

    4. Ellie (The Last of Us)
    I liked Ellie fine in The Last of Us. Her sense of humor never failed to land with me, and watching her grow over the course of the first game was interesting. And I liked her even more in Left Behind. She displayed a vulnerability with Riley that video game characters rarely get to have. It was really sweet, and it made Riley's off-screen death more devastating than many of the on-screen deaths in the series. But it was the events of Part II that made her one of my favorite characters. I don't think I've ever been so upset at a character's choices than I was by Ellie's in that game. It was almost like I was in some kind of hell, having to guide her on this mission of carnage and death. But throughout it all, I found myself captivated by the pain she was feeling. I've been lucky enough that I haven't yet lost anyone that I'm close to, so it's difficult for me to fathom what it would be like to have someone you love taken from you like that. But through Ellie, I could imagine what it might be like. Though it was a horrifying experience, it was one I value deeply. Death and grief are a vital part of the human experience, and Ellie's journey of revenge gave me the chance to explore them without the pain of experiencing them firsthand.

    3. Lightning Farron (Final Fantasy)
    This should be a surprise to absolutely no one. I mean, you can see my avatar, right? I absolutely adore Lightning. She's antisocial, impulsive, and arrogant, but her heart's in the right place. I'm autistic, and it's always kind of bothered me that the characters in stories who share my inability to relate socially with others usually end up either as the villain or in some sort of sidekick role. So I love that someone as aloof and cranky as Lightning got to be the hero of an entire trilogy. She might have a negative emotional intelligence score, but she moves heaven and earth (quite literally!) to save the ones she loves. I very much aspire to have that ability to help those I care about, even if I can't always say the right thing or show empathy in the way others can.

    2. Morrigan (Dragon Age)
    Morrigan is one of the most fascinating characters in video games. On the surface, she appears to be incredibly powerful, arrogant, and cold-hearted. And, indeed, she is all of those things, at times. But if you delve a bit into her past, you find out that those traits mask a deep insecurity, an overwhelming fear, and an intense need to be loved. If you manage to get her talking about Flemeth (her mother) in Dragon Age: Origins, she'll tell you that Flemeth taught her to always be afraid of losing her power. She taught Morrigan that the whole world was out to get her, that she could at any time be betrayed by people she might trust—which isn't entirely untrue for a mage in a world where mages are feared and imprisoned. But Flemeth also treated Morrigan like a tool, just a convenient pawn for her own gain. She made Morrigan feel worthless, taught her that no one could love her more than they would fear her, and that the only way to survive was to constantly seek greater knowledge and power. You'd never know any of this if you spent more time fighting darkspawn than chatting quietly in the camp, but that's part of what makes her so interesting: her story isn't force fed to you, you have to seek it out and work to uncover it.

    1. Samantha Greenbriar (Gone Home)
    I didn't really have much of an adolescence. I wasn't diagnosed with autism until my 18th birthday, so when, at the age of 13, I suddenly found myself inexplicably unable to communicate with my peers, I had no idea that it was because while they were all developing new and more complex ways to communicate, I was stuck trying to relate to them like we were still 7 years old. I spent the entirety of junior high and high school pretty much mute—scared, confused and alone because I just didn't have the capacity to understand what was going on. So when I played Gone Home just after I graduated high school, Sam Greenbriar was like a mythical being to me. Her story, one of teenage love, striving for acceptance, and learning about who she wanted to be was almost completely foreign to me. Through Sam, I got a glimpse of some of the things I imagine my peers experienced during that time: playing video games together at arcades, tentative first kisses at parties, going to rock concerts and discovering passions. It was like looking into another world, one I'd always existed alongside but never been a part of. It was absolutely magical. On top of which, Sarah Grayson's performance is incredible. She plays Sam with this sense of wonder, discovery, and vulnerability that made it feel as though Sam was in as much awe at her own story as I was.
    Last edited by remy5623; 01-18-2021 at 10:43 AM.
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  5. #5
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Though I have a one small rule for this: you are limited to one character per franchise.
    Thanks. That makes this list significantly less monotonous. I'll start by saying I'm intending this less as an absolute list and more as an excuse to talk about some awesome video game characters. With that said, this took a while, let's go.



    10. Sarah Kerrigan (in Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm)

    For me Kerrigan is the mother of all redemption arcs. A human who's been broken and twisted beyond repair, for whom a normal life is long since impossible, and who has done absolutely horrible atrocities, but who, by the time she regains her lost humanity even while still being a zerg queen, carries the weight of her sins along with a feeling of responsibility over them to do what's right by a people that would never accept her anymore no matter what she does. She's far perfect of course, she is just a human being, but she is undeniably the hero of Starcraft II who saved everyone, and had to scramble her swarm back from zero to do so. Easily my favorite arc in any Blizzard game.



    9. Auron (Final Fantasy X)

    My Final Fantasy representative switches between Auron and Rikku on occasion, both for their own very different reasons. Auron is the heroes' shadow, the one who went on already had his own journey, wishing to accomplish great things, and failing in every regard and carrying those failures with him as he watches over the new generation. He's the best instance of his trope I've seen, and a lot of that is due to his distinct and memorable relationships with both Tidus and Yuna, and how you can see him struggling inbetween letting them - and the party as a whole - make their own mistakes even when he knows they're mistakes, and taking charge to lead things in what he's already concluded is the proper direction. He's one of the very few characters who knows and understands the nature of Tidus' Zanarkand, giving them a bond that nobody else really has with him. But what really makes him for me is how you can see how at heart he's still just like Tidus; he's a guy who really wants to be the "reliable badass", and is also definitely a total showoff. But he always takes himself back out from center stage in the end, leaving the limelight to those who have their trials yet ahead of themselves. Definitely one hell of a guy.



    8. Dana (Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA)

    The real hero of Ys VIII, Dana is a selfless, empathetic and very strong girl. She's not a particularly complex character per se, but she makes up for it by being someone who you get genuinely invested in wanting to succeed simply by who she is and what she's faced with. Helps that she's really damn fun to play as, especially in the Sanctuary Crypt where you have access to her three different forms. Don't have too much to say there, it's just a joy to have her in this game. She combines a kind of childlike innocence and expression with a strength that you can't help but admire and respect.



    Trails of Cold Steel 2 OST - Altina

    7. Altina Orion (The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2+)

    There's a lot of Trails characters I could put on the list, really, but for personal reasons really can't pick anyone else over Altina. She spends her first bit of actual characterization making a fool of Rean for fun, without ever changing her expression, which hits too close to home, not gonna lie. She's someone who clearly has a ton of personality to her but is not developed to be showing any of it, and her arc is in large part just learning to be herself. The bond she and Rean share feels closer than what he has with just about anyone else, whether romantic or not, since they're kinda incredibly important pillars for each other during some of the most crucial periods of both of them trying to find their place in the world. She feels way ahead of her age in some ways while way below in others, but not in a moe anime cutesy kind of way but more in the way a human being actually is, and I love that about how she's written.

    And by god she is seriously damn cute.



    6. Gwendolyn (Odin Sphere)

    Gwendolyn's story is the truest encapsulation of Odin Sphere's story and themes for me. The characters in this game are mostly humans struggling between their own wants, their still open wounds from the past, as well as their perceived duty. Gwendolyn begins the story duty-bound to fight for her father and king Odin, but is clearly starved for his love and affection and praying to obtain it this way. But as her story progresses she becomes increasingly independent from him, as she can only find happiness and love by removing herself from this squabble of duty and power entirely and building her own home with Oswald. And the further away she gets from it, the better off she is. It takes a while before they find each other properly, but it's a pretty touching love story, probably my favorite one in video games in general, of two people who go from trying so hard to get appreciation from people who ultimately use them, to leaving it behind and finding their own love together. And as much as I like Oswald as well, Gwendolyn is the star here. No wonder she ends up being the one protagonist to face the true final boss.



    5. Izumi Juro (13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim)

    This game is incredibly recent AND YOU SHOULD ALL PICK UP AND PLAY IT so I'll keep this brief. Izumi Juro is the standout of this game for me mainly because of how many different faces he has. At times he's playful and lighthearted, at times he's serious and commanding respect, and at times he's straight up nightmarish. And yet they all flow so seamlessly together as facets of a single person it's impressive. The major players of 13 Sentinels' story are all great characters, but Juro stands at the top for me. For the time being, anyways.



    4. Haseo (.hack//G.U.)

    My favorite protagonist of any JRPG. Haseo is aggressive, competitive, and at the start of the game very impatient with everyone around him. Mind you he's trying to solve a mystery of how the hell his girlfriend got comatosed by a game while being dragged into the affairs of people in not nearly as pressing situations, so it's kinda hard to fault him. But from the moment Atoli immediately recognizes him even when his character completely changes, and when he recognizes her as 'so not being Shino' despite their identical avatars, the theme of their relationship and a major part of G.U. as a whole is firmly established, and I love it. I love watching him grow more open and vulnerable as much as I love watching how the very same traits that can lead him to be pretty damn jerkish at times are also the same traits that make him lead Atoli out of her shell and has him get involved in matters for the sake of others more than just himself. And I also love how when he attains his avatar he immediately at first goes on a power trip because he is *not* mature about this kind of stuff inherently but has to learn crucial lessons the hard way. There's nothing too unique about any of this at the core but G.U. just does it all in a way that really pulled me in, more so than any other JRPG.




    Danganronpa V3 OST - Scrum Debate

    3. Oma Kokichi (Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony)

    If there's one major reason DRV3 stands above the other two for me it's because of its cast of characters, and more specifically, the juxtaposition and conflict of Kaito and Kokichi, very different people both of whom are your most important ally at one point and your worst nightmare at another. But to me it's the little gremlin himself who takes the cake as the best and most interesting character in Danganronpa, someone who perceives the motives of both the case culprits and the mastermind himself from his own perspective; that of a manipulator. I enjoy the fact that the game allows you to ultimately decide for yourself what you make of him.

    As should be clear enough by his placement on this list, I love the guy, not only is he incredibly entertaining and a proactive force in the story, he's also someone I can't help but respect a lot, ultimately. He gets lumped in with Nagito from DR2 a lot as they both disrupt the group's frail harmony a lot but they're really incredibly different people, and as memorable as Nagito is, I have to give it to Kokichi.



    2. Kotomine Kirei (Fate/Stay Night)

    Fate/Stay Night is truly deceptive. What is sold as a battle royale between heroes throughout history, King Arthur, Gilgamesh, figures of Greek mythology, is in actuality an introspective journey on what it means for a person to be a hero, and what misery lies down that road. I was going to put Emiya Shirou on this list as he's the protagonist of the story after all, but in the end I had to go with his dark mirror: the priest Kotomine Kirei.

    As soon as he tells Shirou to "rejoice, for his dream is finally coming true" in their very first encounter, it's clear he gets exactly what Shirou is all about. But while Shirou seeks to bring happiness to others, Kirei is the opposite; what brings him joy is the suffering of others. He's lived with knowing this about himself all his life, considered his own existence immoral, sought salvation for himself in devoting himself to faith and becoming a priest, but no matter what, he never found any happiness or satisfaction in any of it. In the end, it's others' pain and misery that he is fascinated by, and continues to seek.

    But Kirei is not an in your face psychopath with evil laughs. Rather, he feels a lot more threatening because he rarely takes direct action himself. He enjoys leading people down roads that WILL bring them misery and lead them to self-destruct as he watches from the sidelines, only taking a more active role when he deems it necessary himself, even going to the point of helping the protagonist at times because he believes it will only lead him and his lover to suffer more in the long run. All the while completely self-aware about what he's doing. He has a moral compass. It just doesn't change who he is. At the end of Heaven's Feel, he fights Shirou to let a being of natural evil come into existence - not because he wants to see the world burn at its hands - but because he's defending his own right to exist, over accepting that he should never have been born the way he is in the first place. Truly a one of a kind villain.



    1. Beatrice (Umineko no Naku Koro ni)

    Hasn't changed a bit. Her heart is the core mystery of Umineko. She wears many faces but they all come together to form a singular person. Of course the appearance she mainly dons is that of the Golden Witch Beatrice, one of Umineko's core duo and her chemistry with Battler is absolutely incredible. She is delightful and also frightening, capable of acting out both selfish cruel pleasure and also truly selfless deeds. And at the end of it all, it's hard not to love her. I won't go into detail much because the wild ride of trying to understand her through Umineko's many episodes is one I don't want to take away from anyone. But, well, her placement on the list speaks for itself I hope.
    Last edited by Karifean; 01-25-2021 at 02:45 PM.

  6. #6
    Depression Moon's Avatar
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    I know Zidane is my number 1, but I don't have a ranking for the others and I'm not even sure if I can come up with 10, but I'll just say that Zidane, Hwoarang, and Bayonetta are three of my favorites.

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