That’s What She Said: The Characters We Should Not Have Loved
We all spend so much of our lives playing games that it is only natural (for some of us) to sort of fall in love with various characters we meet along the way. Some of those characters may have noble qualities (or generally a hero complex), some are psychopaths and some we tend to romanticise because Stockholm Syndrome. Here is a list of 5 characters we fell in love with, and really shouldn’t have. Spoilers will follow.
1. Booker DeWitt (BioShock Infinite)
Maybe it’s because I love most protagonists that are voiced by Troy Baker or maybe it’s because I have some inherent character flaw that attracts me to alcoholics in the face of multiverse storylines. Booker is so charming in that whole “I don’t care about anything and hate everyone because I hate myself” sort of way. It really is charming, and quite endearing really. Personally, for someone who had fundamental grossed out issues with his hands and the vigours, I got over that quite quickly and was enamoured for the rest of the game. But in all seriousness, Booker is a gambler and an alcoholic; both quite serious and fundamental character flaws. And let’s not forget the not so small and insignificant detail of selling his own daughter to repay those gambling debts. Yip, not someone we should really be throwing our hearts after.
2. Commander Shepard (Female) (Mass Effect Trilogy)
I love Mass Effect and I have played every game with a fem-Shepard; mostly because other Shepard is as interesting as bran flakes cereal. Commander Shepard is smart, pretty damn amazing with any type of gun you give her, fiercely loyal and fair (I am also always a paragon player), and if you, like me, also spent three hours creating and tweaking her physical appearance, super hot. She is simply, quite perfect. She works well with her team mates, is not afraid to challenge authority and get her hands a little dirty, and obviously do everything she can to save the universe. Which then makes me question Shepard’s priorities. The universe, sort of on the brink of collapse. And yet, we spend an awful amount of time talking and flirting to absolutely everyone we can. Maybe if we are at the collapse of civilisation, there is no better time for love but Shepard is definitely bipolar in the way she is hell bent on destroying the Reapers yet definitely has time to visit Kaidan fifty times while he is in hospital and then have romantic dinners on the Citadel.
3. Joel (The Last of Us)
Maybe it’s because I love most protagonists that are voiced by Troy Baker or maybe it’s because I have some inherent character flaw that attracts me to assholes in the face of an essentially zombie apocalyptic world. We start the Last of Us with Joel as a loving, single father to Sarah (who is quite an impressive character considering her short appearance in the game), who just wants to protect his daughter. After what is one of the most harrowing and emotional opening scenes of any game in the history of all games, we jump forward twenty years to a Joel that is jaded, tough and unforgiving in a world that doesn’t want you to survive. Which, after all the horror that he has lived though, we forgive him for and even love him a little bit more for being so broken. In fact some of us were actually quite happy when Tess dies (yes I know I am an evil person). Joel’s character development just gets better from there and we see him softening with Ellie’s influence into someone I would gladly spend my apocalypse days with. That to me is the measure of true love. But Joel is quite a lot selfish, and by quite a lot selfish what I mean to say is being incapable of putting himself aside, to just sort of, I don’t know, save the entire human race. A completely human trait, but not the best one (especially considering the whole apocalypse thing).
4. The Princess (Super Mario Bros)
I don’t know if this is reverse Stockholm Syndrome or what it is, but over the course of eight worlds, the Princess becomes this mystical and elusive, ethereal creature that you, as Mario, must save. Because she is evidently the love of your life. And so you face all sorts of scary creatures, most of which actually make no sense if you think about the gameplay or the story (was there even really a story?) all in the noble quest to save the Princess. Do you know what the Princess sounds like? The Princess sounds like the most amount of admin in a girl I have ever encountered. Does she even do anything? Nope. Try, in any way to escape her fiery torture chamber? Nope. You would think if it was so easy that all you had to do was jump over the final boss, she would have tried atleast something along the way. But no. All you get at the end for saving the Princess is a thank you, not even a pixelated kiss.
5. Jodie Holmes (Beyond Two Souls)
Who doesn’t love Ellen Page? I think every person on the planet had a serious crush after Juno which was only confirmed and intensified by Inception. And then they make game where the protagonist looks like Ellen Page and is voiced by her. Jodie has the type of story where you can’t help but feel sorry for her. She is ostracised from a young age and her own parents are terrified of her, to the point that they give her up to the military. Jodie has a tough life, devoid of any love and affection apart from her handlers, Nathan and Cole. We see Jodie grow older, more self assured and able to somewhat deal with the psychopath in her life, Aiden. All this time, you are rooting for Jodie, hoping that she gets to live some semblance of a normal life one day. Then the actual story gets batshit crazy throwing everything in from a mad scientist to an apocalypse of sorts (because every game needs one apparently) all culminating in Jodie spending at least ten minutes of a cut scene crying and whining. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
And so dear readers, guard your hearts carefully from these wolves in sheep clothing. Also, there is really only one man for me. Super intelligent (theoretical physicist) and silent, very goddamn silent. Gordon Freeman, I love you.