The Fathers of Video Games

fathersNo, I am not talking about Ralph Baer, I’m talking about digital dads that we’ve come to love through our favourite medium! It’s Father’s day, so what better way to celebrate than with a  run down of 5 of my favourite video game dads!

Without further adieu, and in no particular order:

1. James (Fallout 3)

James was the chief scientist and leader of Project Purity, the  group in charge of providing clean water to the Capital Wasteland. In the opening scene of Fallout 3 he is the first person we see as we play his child the Lone Wanderer. Unfortunately his wife doesn’t make it and he leaves and seeks entry to Vault 101 for himself and his child.  He becomes the Vault’s physician, throws a great birthday party and is an all around stand up guy. And most importantly, is voiced by the big screen’s best dad there is Liam Neeson.

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2. John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)

There is no denying that John Marston loves his wife Abigail and his boy Jack. John had a pretty tough childhood himself, with his mother dying during childbirth and his dad dying when he was only 8. He ended up in an orphanage and eventually under the wing of the gang leader Dutch van der Linde. He ran in this gang for quite some time until he was shot and left for dead. He then decided to retire. All was well until the FBI decided they’d like to catch some of Marston’s ex-associates, and who better to ask for help than John Marston himself. Only they didn’t so much as ask, as kidnap his wife and child and force him to go on a manhunt to save them. He goes through a lot and well… Yeah, love that guy…..

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3.  Barrett Wallace (Final Fantasy VII)

We meet Barrett as the leader of the eco terrorist group Avalanche. with a gun as a replacement for one forearm. He seems aggressive, curses a lot, and has a tendency to shoot his gun arm when he’s pissed off. Sounds delightful! But Barrett has a softer side, his adopted daughter Marlene. Barrett came to hate Shinra and adopt Marlene when he tried to save his childhood friend Dyne, after he fell over a cliff. One of the Turks, Scarlet, shot Barrett and Dyne’s arms allowing Dyne to fall to his assumed doom. Barrett then had his gun arm installed, and took Marlene to Midgar with him. Where she was apparently taught to be a barmaid at age 4. Besides this apparent case of child labour, we know that Barrett loves Marlene more than anything and is torn between needing to save Gaia and be with his daughter. Aww…

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4. Big Daddy AKA Mister Bubbles (Bioshock)

Yes, I know that technically they’re not the fathers of the Little Sisters in the game, but they have the bond that a father and daughter would have. Big Daddies are genetically spliced human beings who have had their skin and organs grafted into a huge diving suit.  There was an engineered conditioned bond between Big Daddies and one particular little sister. This was called a “Pair Bond” and emulated the emotional bond between parent and child. This bond between Big Daddy and Little Sister would make sure the Little Sisters were protected at all times. If the Little Sister died or became separated, the Big Daddy would become permanently enraged or go in to a coma. Creepy, yet heartwarming eh? No?

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5.  Bowser (Mario games)

It was tough picking only five characters, but I just went ahead and chose the characters from the games I love most. And who doesn’t love Mario games?? Bowser deserves the last spot. I mean, he’s a single dad of eight kids. EIGHT!!! The Koopalings and Bowser Jnr. The Koopalings, as they’re known , are made up of Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa and Ludwig Von Koopa, Yes I know that the Koopalings are supposedly not his kids, but they’re his minions, he’s the only big Koopa around and he gives them all cool machines and ships in which to terrorize the Mushroom Kingdom in, so that constitutes as being a father figure right? You would have met them as various different bosses or maybe flinging a shell at you in Mario Kart. Either way they’re spoiled rotten. But they do their bit in giving back by facilitating kidnappings of princesses and whatnot.

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Like I said there’s a lot more I could have mentioned, from Big Boss to James McCloud to Heihachi Mishima… Ok that one was a bad example. Throwing your son into a volcano isn’t very fatherly really. But that said, I’ll dedicate this list to my own, and all the other great dads out there today! Happy Father’s day, kick your feet up and have a beer!

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