Whether it was the main character or a side character, steady character growth or one dynamic moment, maybe even a plot changing move or a small gesture irrelevant to story. These are 5 characters that I and probably you grew to really care about by the end of their stories.
THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AND LOTS OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS.
5. Knuckles the Echinda : Sonic series
If people are unfamiliar, the protagonist of the Sonic games, is Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s a blue hedgehog that runs really fast. The premise of his early games was to collect rings, and you go through the story to get something called the chaos emeralds. So this is Sonic:
After you collect the chaos emeralds, you become this badass, Super Sonic:
And Super Sonic can fly, is essentially invincible crashing into everything doing whatever he wants. And so you ask me what does this have to do with Knuckles? The first thing that happens when Knuckles first appears in a game is he takes your freaking chaos emeralds away from you and makes you regular Sonic again. Seriously. Watch the first 34 seconds of this video:
What a fucking dickbag man. As the story progresses he just does more things like this. He seems to be the jerk of the game, he pushes boulders to trap you in a volcano, cuts bridges, and other things a 90’s cartoon villain would do. We learn though, that Knuckles is the guardian of the Master Emerald and was told by Dr. Robotnik(the real evil villain) that you were here to steal that. After discovering he was tricked Knuckles goes after Robotnik and gets schooled, and decides that he should help you. From there on, he shows you what to do, but is too exhausted help you himself. Later on, Knuckles gets in a fight with Mecha Sonic, and wins, but is about to die because the ground crumbles under him, but Sonic saves him. A bromance is born. Knuckles essentially becomes the badass that shows up when you need him the most, the mystery character that has a lot of unknowns, but you’re glad he’s on your side.
4. Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad : Assassin’s Creed
I first started playing the Assassin’s Creed franchise a few years after the first one was released, so after having heard a lot of good things, I was really excited to start this game. Little did I know people loved the series so much, mainly because of the main character in Assassin’s Creed II, Ezio Auditore. So, much to my surprise when I first started playing as Altair, I find he’s a huge jerk. He’s a rebel in the worst kind of way, and not really a hero you can get behind from the start. He kills for convenience and not out of necessity, he is extremely arrogant, and he even get’s another assassin maimed and has no remorse for it. The only really redeeming quality he had was that he respected his master that taught him. He annoyed me to the point where even this wasn’t as fun:
As the story progresses though, he gets taken down several pegs, and really is nerfed into the ground. This is where the story truly begins, Altair’s journey from cocky asshat murderer to humble master of the assassins is impressive because he doesn’t change much in what he does, but rather the reason for why does things. After being betrayed by the master he respected so much, and going through the relearning process of what the Creed really means, Altair becomes much wiser and a true Assassin. He separates himself from what the Templars(the order opposite the Assassins) by learning what his purpose is. He learns to kill only the necessary and not the innocents, to preserve the interest and image of himself and the order, and finally that an Assassin’s purpose is to create peace in the world and within himself. By the end of his story your respect for him goes through the roof, just take a look at him, how can you not think he’s a boss:
3. Gremio : Suikoden
Suikoden is an old RPG originally released in 1995 on Playstation. It is not as well known as some franchises like Final Fantasy, but those that do know this franchise know that the RPG genre owes a lot to it, and that its cult following is absolutely deserved. As you can tell, Suikoden is one of my favorite games of all time, and if you haven’t played it I highly recommend skipping this reading and playing it. Suikoden has 108 characters that can join you, even though only 6 at a time are playable in a regular party, they can join you in the Toran Liberation Army. The main character is Tir McDohl, he is the son of a legendary general Teo McDohl of the empire. Teo saved the life of a man named Gremio. And Gremio decides to repay that debt by taking care of his son. Tir begins his story as an Imperial soldier, but after learning of the corruption of the top of the empire, he decides to leave. Gremio throughout the game disagrees with Tir’s decision, essentially being a huge nag the whole time. It gets to the point that you’re surprised that Tir isn’t doing this:
But similar to all mothers and guardians, he does it out of love. At points you wonder if he really loves Tir or he does it out of loyalty to Teo. That question is answered numerous times throughout the game, but most poignantly at this moment about a little more than half way through the game:
Note: Where it says Ryan is just the main character renamed.
I can barely watch it. And I know it is possible to bring him back to life by recruiting all 108 characters of the cast, but it is highly(and I mean HIGHLY) unlikely you’ll do that on your first run through. And even if you know you’re going to get him back by recruiting all 108, the scene is still incredibly touching.
2. Tidus : Final Fantasy X
I debated putting every single FFX character on this list as one entry, simply because by the end of the game, all of the characters are so different from when they began. The game goes through so many plot twists, emotional moments, and losses that each character is constantly changing their life view. Tidus though is the only character I can say that I wasn’t a fan of at the start. Wakka was a fun loving guy, Yuna was a girl making a huge sacrifice, Auron is a complete badass, Kimahri is a freaking wolf man, Rikku is a funny and bubbly character, and Lulu is Lulu(fun fact: I absolutely love Lulu). Tidus begins as a self-centered Blitz Ball athlete, and throughout the story he is really childish and immature. While its hard to blame him, after all he is a 17-year old kid who got his home destroyed. It just gets really taxing and annoying hearing him complain about the world though, and how unfair it is. I mean just look at him:
And early on he continues to complain with problems going on much bigger than his which prompts reactions like this:
However, this changes as he meets the other characters and learns something from all of them. Most importantly Yuna and Auron. Under the tutelage of Auron, he learned how to be a guardian of a summoner on a pilgrimage, but with Yuna he found love. And that is really what makes you grow to love Tidus. He learns so much from his relationships with the other characters, and see how much of a better person he becomes through his interaction with others. I would argue that Tidus and Yuna is one of the greatest romances in all of video games, because touching moments like this stay with you:
But also because of how much Tidus improves as a person simply by knowing Yuna.
1. Raiden : Metal Gear Solid
Some of these characters were on this list because of how much I grew to love them. Some of these characters are on this list because of how much I hated them at the start and came to find them acceptable. Raiden is both. Honestly I would be completely ok with any of the top 3 being switched around, now that I’m actually writing and watching these clips again it reminds me how much I do love these characters. Back to the point though. Raiden first appears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. He appears to be the main character after you play the first mission as the main character of the of previous MGS, Solid Snake. So, essentially we start the game with a character we already absolutely fell in love with, and we presumably watched die. And now we’re supposed to be attached to this new kid who has an annoying voice(this is a big deal because Snake’s voice is iconic), thinks he is awesome, and does a whole hell of a lot of complaining throughout the game. And who could ever forget this part:
Eventually, we find out Snake is alive, and that Raiden has a really messed up past. He was a child soldier, and his name is Jack, and he was nicknamed Jack the Ripper for the horrible things he had to do. He finds love in a woman named Rose throughout MGS2. By the end of MGS2, I respect Raiden, but I’m not necessarily a fan of him, and I was happy to see Snake at the helm of the next MGS game. This isn’t the end of Raiden’s story though. His arrival in MGS4 is quite the event. It starts at about 1:35
HES A MOTHERFUCKING CYBORG NINJA. Raiden does badass thing after badass thing in MGS4, but you don’t play as him at all, you wish you could though. Eventually, he sacrifices himself losing his arms stopping a tanker from crushing you. He then offers to go through a microwave corridor for you so you don’t die, and after you refuse, he defends the corridor WITH NO FUCKING ARMS. I would post the MGS4 cutscenes where he was a boss, but that’d take up the whole page, so if you want set aside like 5 hours and watch through the cutscenes and watch Raiden become one of your favorite characters. Also, this:
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