An interesting topic of conversation got started at work this week. Some co-workers and I started a small discussion on exchanging lives with our favorite video game characters. What startled us during our conversation was how difficult it was for us to decide on one to be. As soon as you begin cycling through your favorite video game characters, it is as if you immediately hit a speed bump in your thought process. You’re never quite a hundred percent sure if you’d truly want to live the life of your character of choice.
For example, we’ll start with one of the classics, Link, from Zelda, one of gamers most popular characters. Link is a humble, likeable, resourceful character who despite his bit boyish-looks is a rather bad-ass character. He takes down demons, creatures, skeleton zombies all the while traveling the murderous Hyrule by himself. Not a bad character to be, but Link happens to share the same linear, unfortunate, and relentlessly predictable life-style of another fan-favorite, Super Mario. Now, being a plumber isn’t as cool as a green-hooded MacGyver, but the two share the same annoying goal in life: save their beloved girlfriends from the bad guy(s). It would be awesome to run amok in Hyrule and even Koopa Kingdom, but if the love of my life kept getting kidnapped every other week I think I’d use my time investigating the peculiarity of why she’s continuously getting kidnap rather than rushing to beat up the bad guy. Either that or take my pay check and use it towards relationships counseling because something isn’t exactly right there.
In the search to have less of a relationship headache, it would be cool to be Leon from Resident Evil or John Marston from Red Dead Redemption. The two of them are some tough dudes. Fending off zombies by any means possible and gunning down outlaws and zombies in the Wild, Wild West doesn’t get too much cooler than that, does it? Oh wait, I forgot I freaking hate zombies. Scratch that lifestyle; I’d rather be blinded by love like Mario and Link, least they don’t have to keep a gun with them on the toilet.
It’s one thing to appreciate a character while playing them, but thinking about their actual lifestyles and living in their shoes, I’ll tell you, it becomes a different beast all-together. I would love to live an adventurous life-style, but maybe one that isn’t infected with zombies or kidnapped princesses. Come to think of it Drake, from Uncharted, and Detective Cole Phelps, from L.A. Noire live some reasonably action-based life-styles. Wouldn’t be too bad to be the male Laura Croft, searching for treasure, but only finding danger with the always welcomed company of Elena Fisher. Solving crimes and taking down the bad guys like Dec. Phelps wouldn’t be so bad either. Steady, exciting job, but don’t know if I could stand living in L.A… Despite, Phelps and Drake sharing exciting, somewhat realistic life-scenarios I’m still unsure if I’d want to live their lifestyles. If I were to take over for a day as a video game character, I’d rather live a life I couldn’t adopt in reality, forgive me if this sounds too nerdy, but I think I need something with a little bit more science and a lot more fiction.
Cue in Cloud from FFVII, Commander Shepard, the cast of Gears of War, and heck even Kratos, from God of War. All are the epitome of bad-asses and don’t think I’d mind living a day or two as any of them. Aside from being a homicidal maniac, Kratos is the God of War. He is a lean, mean, killing machine. A mortal, who took down a God! I can’t think of anything that can match the sheer awesomeness of such a feat, perhaps saving the world from an eminent destruction could come close. Shepard and the Cogs saved the world from an alien invasion, where Cloud and the gang saved the world from a sociopath and a meteor the size of Manhattan. Only problem with such awesome lives and stories is the amount of tragedy laced within them. Kratos killed his own wife and kids in a blood-rage. Marcus, Coletrain and the crew lost a number of good men before they defeated the Locust once and for all. Shepard’s battle with the Reapers cost him a number of comrades and even his own life. Cloud, lost the love of his life before he saved the world from utter annihilation. Despite being a God and saving the world, not quite sure if I’d be able to cope with the costs of such success in the long run.
Maybe living in ancient Rome like Ezio in Assassins Creed would be a thrill. The solo life of a highly skilled assassin sounds appealing, but who am I kidding – I’d be just like the four characters above. Living a wickedly awesome life with haunting thoughts of death and sacrifice on the inside. Come to think of it, there’s only one character that embodies what I’m searching for. Only one character that always gets the girl (and keeps them) unlike Link and Mario. Only one character makes fighting the undead appealing to me. Only one character blows the roof off of mundane reality. Only one character saves the day with deity-like skill without the sobering thought of decision based sacrifices along the way. If I truly was to step in a the shoes of a video game character, for one day, I think I’d buy a pack of chewing gum, a nice pair of shades, and put on my Duke Nukem ass-kicking boots for the day. After all, it doesn’t get any cooler then the Duke.
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