Video games are full of dads. Dads over here, dads over there. And why not? Games reflect society and guess what society has a lot of? Dads. Thus, in honor of father’s day, I thought we’d look at some the best and worst fathers in video gaming history. I’ve decided to break these dads into three categories: Bad dads, Sad dads, and Rad Dads.
Dads sometimes like to be bad. Could be rebellion against the feelings of being tied down by a family, or pent up anger over their favorite sports team losing the big match (THE DENVER SLIM SLAMS GOT ROBBED, HUH HONEY!?), regardless there’s a lot of bad dads out there in video games.
-Heihachi (Tekken franchise)
Fighting games seem to have a lot of bad dads, but none seem worse than Heihachi from the Tekken franchise. I know the Tekken universe is a little insane, but let’s put that all aside and look at the terrible father that is Heihachi. Let’s look at some of the fatherly things hes done over the span of the series.
- Throws his son into a ravine and forces his son to make a deal with the devil.
- Throws his son into an active volcano.
- Adopts a second child to fight his biological son.
- Enters a tournament to beat up his son and adopted son.
- Betrays his grandson to experiment on him.
- Shoots his grandson into space. INTO SPACE.
So there you have it. His son wants him dead, his adopted son wants him dead, and even his grandson wants him dead. That said, he has a pretty sweet bear that loves the hell out of him.
-The King of the Cosmos (Katamari Series)
Now you may be saying ‘THE KING OF THE COSMO IS THE GREATEST!”, and yes you’d be right. However, The King of The Cosmos is a terrible father. He’s constantly destroying the cosmos on accident on either drunken binges or haphazard tennis games that make black holes and then has the nerve to make his son clean up the mess. That would be all fine and dandy, but he doesn’t give his son the credit he deserves. He constantly talking crap about all of prince’s work making stars and then takes the credit for making the stars. WHAT THE HELL!? Nothing is good enough for this bad dad, not even creating an entire sun. He’s just a lazy, glory hogging, careless, tyrant.
- Kratos: Killing your wife and kids, even if being tricked by a God, is still pretty bad.
Let’s face it. There’s an odd amount of sad dads in video games. This could be because video games inherently make dads sad because they remind them of their forgotten youth, or because game developers use childrens’ death as a motive for plot progression and more developed characters more often than Mario saves Peach.
Joel (The Last of Us)
READ NO FURTHER IF DON’T WANT SPOILERS!
Joel is a mix of a sad and rad dad. The game starts with Joel desperately trying to protect his daughter from the onslaught of a mysterious outbreak. He tries hard, and in his attempt you see how much he loves his daughter even as she lays dieing in his arms. 20 years later he’s a sad, hardened dad. Unlike a lot of sad dads who sit around looking at pictures of their children, this sad dad has become the ultimate survivor. Of course, throughout the game he bonds with Ellie, a young girl that is thrust into his life, and shows that he still has the fatherly nature in him. DON’T BE SO SAD, SAD DAD.
Bowser (Super Mario Series)
Bowser isn’t a sad dad in the normal sense of a sad dad; you’ll never see him weep into a swansons tv dinner or grow a slovenly beard over missing his kids, but he is a tragic dad. Why? Because he’s a constant failure to himself and his kid/s. All Bowser ever wants to do is capture Princess Peach so she can be the mother of his kids. He’s desperate for a female role model in his kids life. Unfortunately he’s always foiled by Mario and his goons, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Time and time again he fails, only to rise up again and again. He’s so tragic that his own kids have disowned him (See the Koopa Kids) and his only remaining son is now deranged in his own right. It’s Okay Bowser… It aint easy being king.
-Doctor Light: Doesn’t have kids, so he build some. They have to save the world and almost die with each step they take.
Some dads are pretty rad. Hopefully your life is filled with Rad dads; dads who go to your ballet lessons and wait in the car listening to talk radio without batting an eye. Dads who give their Sundays up to take you to some kids party you’ll realize you hate years later. These are the rad dads that make up certain video games.
Octodad is a pretty rad dad. Why? It’s not only because he’s an octopus disguising as a human man to live a normal dad life of taking care of a wife and kids, it’s because he’s damn good at it. Contrary to naysayers who say “Octopuses can’t be good human dads!” or “He’d be as good at being a dad as an octopus could possibly be” Octodad blows all presumptions away by being an awesome dad regardless of being an octopus or not. Not only that, he does it while trying not to raise suspicion that he is an octopus; how many dads out there have to do that?
-Big Daddy (Bioshock Series)
Not all dads have blood relations to those they’re dads to, and Big Daddy is a great representation of that. What’s there to say that hasn’t been said about these massive, monstrous, creature dads in metal suits whose sole purpose are to protect the hideous and evil little children that dwell in a post apocalyptic underwater city? Regardless of what’s been said, i’ll say it again: these dads are rad. Like mad sports dads who fly off the handle when their kids get fouled in a game, Big Daddies protect their young at all costs, and that’s a damn honorable trait.
Hagger (Final Fight): He’s a the mayor of the city. That doesn’t mean he won’t kick some ass to save his daughter.
There’s some dads for ya. Let me know who your favorite video game dads are and why they deserve the respect of their peers and unsupportive children.