Thursday, April 26, 2012

Top Four (Non-Playable) Video Game Characters That I Love

#4. Mario Auditore (Assassin's Creed II) - There is little remarkable about this particular Mario, but that is kind of the point. He is the uncle of Ezio Auditore, the game's main character, and he is always there to lend a helping hand. His villa serves as the Assassin's home-base throughout much of the game and is where Ezio's mother and sister live after they are forced from their home. The most important thing that is does is train Ezio and help him follow his father's footsteps by joining the Assassin's fight against the Templars. For most, Mario Auditore is a simple and possibly, forgettable character. So, why do I love him? Simply because of something he says when you first meet him, "It's a-me, Mario!" This shout out to Nintendo's beloved Italian plumber is my favorite video game reference of all time and has earned Ubisoft's Mario a place on my list and in my heart.

#3. Deckard Cain (Diablo Series) - In Diablo, Cain is your Dumbledore, your Gandalf. Unlike the other two, he has no magic powers, but he is old and has a bushy white beard. He also happens to always be wearing a cloak/robe and is the most knowledgable character in the game. Another link between the three is that Dumbledore did die, Gandalf almost died, and the introduction to Diablo III leads you to believe that Cain has died, until you start playing. During the Diablo series, Cain has served as the players' main guide and source for information. Blizzard even released a book titled The Book of Cain that is supposed to be written by Cain and tells about everything that he has witnessed first-hand as well as all of the knowledge he has accumulated about Heaven, Hell, and Sanctuary (the equivalent to Earth in the game). Besides Diablo himself (or herself if you believe certain theories about the upcoming third game), he is the only character featured in every game; Diablo wouldn't be the same without him. Blizzard also linked a game mechanic to Cain to make him even slightly more important and badass; he'd identify your items for free. What I (and many fans) love most about Cain is his voice. Cain's voice has become the voice of the series. His most famous soundbite is, "Stay awhile and listen" and if you place Diablo II at all, it is a line that you will hear frequently. Despite how many times I've heard it, it never gets old; I love it.

#2. Claptrap (Borderlands) - I love Claptrap. I hate Claptrap. I love to hate Claptrap and that's why he's soared all the way up to #2 on my list. Claptrap is a talkative, boxy robot with a single wheel for a leg and two arms. He is the face of the Borderland franchise and is somewhat of a mascot. There was very little dialogue in the first game, so at time it was refreshing when you'd come across a Claptrap in town. The problem was that they'd never shut up, which is why Claptrap is a love/hate character for virtually everyone that's played the game. Like Cain, Claptrap had a game mechanic tied directly to him. Occasionally, players would come across a broken Claptrap while they were out and about. If they found that Claptraps missing piece and fixed him, they'd be rewarded with an additional inventory space. However, the entire time you were around the broken Claptrap he'd be yelling, "Help me! Help me!" and wouldn't stop crying for his life. At first, it was just sad, but after awhile it became annoying. By the time you put 30 hours into the game and finally beat it, you hated Claptrap with a passion. There was good news though. Gearbox later released some DLC called Claptrap's New Robot Revolution. During this DLC, players got to do what they had wanted to do for quite sometime; kill Claptrap. Borderlands 2 is set to release this September and it is sure to provide me with more reasons to love hating Claptrap. Until then, I get to enjoy him dance to some dubstep (about 2:24 in).

#1. Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect Series) - I must start by saying that I have never played as a female Commander Shepard or FemShep, so I have never played as a character that pursued a romantic relationship with Garrus. Moving on. Garrus is the man that other men dream of being like and women dream of being with. He shows compassion and understanding when he needs to, while also being a ruthless badass that accepts nothing less than perfection on the battlefield and works to cleanse the galaxy of villains and scumbags alike. People speak of him in hushed whispers. Upon being seriously injured, he decided he didn't feel like dying. He chose to keep his scars just to look even more awesome. He knows how to brag without coming off as arrogant. My Commander Shepard caught him getting it on with Tali vas Normandy, so clearly he has a way with the ladies. He never questions or doubts you. He always has "calibrations" to make and he knows it. Some of his dialogue and cutscenes are the most satisfying in the series. He is one of only two characters that serve as a member of your crew on the Normandy in all three games. You really get to see him change and develop as a character. He starts out as a C-Sec (Citadel Security) Officer, later becomes a powerful vigilante wittily named "Archangel," and ultimately becomes Commander Shepard's most loyal ally and best friend (if you let him anyway). When I first heard that ME3 was going to have multiplayer and that you could play as all races, I dreamed of creating a Turian and making him as close to Garrus as I could. Unfortunately, the multiplayer part of the game doesn't really work that way, so I'm left dreaming of what it would be like to play as Garrus. Before heading into the finale of ME3, your brief goodbye with Garrus fuels you to want to bring the galactic war to an end even more so you can share a drink with him. Now that Bioware is making changes to ME3's ending (after thousands of fans expressed their disappointment and rage), maybe we'll all finally be able to have that drink. Garrus Vakarian is the most interesting Turian in the Galaxy and I love em'.

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