Not every hero is a young, intelligent, and nuscle-bound man with a taste for wearing insanely tight spandex unitards complete with a cape waving in the wind and wearing his underwear on the outside. In fact, despite their appearance, some of the videogame world’s most impressive and popular protagonists have been unusual figures with qualities atypical to those generally associated with the traditional ‘saviour of the world’ story.
Videogames have their own set of antiheroes, a handful of which we have decided to give respect to and list below for your entertainment. Some are more famous than others, but there’s no doubting that they are all unique in their own curiously appealing and left-of-centre ways.
Disagree with our choices? Who the hell do you think you are questioning us? A person with an opinion, eh? Then don't hesitate to tell us all about it in the comment section... but keep it clean. There's kids in these here parts.
Phoenix Wright – Phoenix Wright series
Phoenix Wright, the young legally minded protagonist of the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS courtroom sagas isn't just a prime antihero candidate because he's positioned in an unusual gaming genre, but also because of the guy that he is: inexperienced, clumsy, cynical and the owner of a shock of truly offensive hair. Wright has plied his investigative legal trade a little too close to the grain on more than one occasion throughout the ongoing courtroom drama series - and it’s safe to say that gamers love him for it.
The name of GTA III's main character is never disclosed during the game itself, giving this man's anti-hero status an immediate credibility boost. In addition, he's not much of a talker either. In fact, less than lovable Claude never utters a single word throughout the entire game. Talk about antisocial. Still, deceived by his girlfriend and forced to work his way up the criminal ladder in order to finally confront her, rough-around-the-edges Claude epitomises all we usually disassociate with the stereotypically chiselled and gravel-voiced hero.
As a central protagonist, action-loving Rayne is particularly significant, not just because she is a solid example of the antihero, but also because she fills one of only a minority of mainstream videogaming roles assumed by strong, kick-ass, wouldn’t- want-to-meet-them-in-a-dark-alley women. Further to that, once you factor in the narrative strength that vengeful Rayne begins her quest as a Vampire child on a mission to track down and murder her own father, a man known to have raped Rayne's mother, and Rayne’s place as the annuls of the uncharacteristic anti-heroine is duly secured.
Created by LucasArts and voiced superbly by Dominic Armato, Guybrush Threepwood is the lead character of the Monkey Island series, and he’s undoubtedly a fantastic antihero. Despite existing as a truly distinguished pirate, his name is mispronounced numerous times by other disrespectful characters, often deliberately. Physically Threepwood is but a scrawny youth, lacking the prerequisite clichéd pirating skills of courage, intelligence, wit, and charisma – while his primary talent inexplicably seems to be the ability to hold his breath for 10 minutes. What a hero.
Fun-loving tortured soul Kratos of hack-and-slash extravaganza God of War is perhaps the most vengeful, destructive, conceited, merciless, selfish and amoral antihero to ever grace the videogame world. Motivated in equal counts by his irrepressible internal rage and stubborn pride, loving family man Kratos has repeatedly reinforced throughout the God of War games that he serves no one and nothing, neither mortal man, immortal Gods, or even fate or destiny. And he’s certainly spilt enough blood to reinforce that standpoint. Regardless of his utter lack of sympathy for those around him, and his staunch unwillingness to portray even the slightest fallibility, Kratos still manages to emerge as an endearing individual whose own deep-rooted guilt and emotional suppression draw the player into his demon-haunted world. Kratos truly is the leading light in the hotly contested field of antiheroes.