SparkiJ’s Top Ten Compilations – Part 2: Top Ten Protagonists in Games

August 29, 2008 § 1 Comment

Back from Reading (which was awesome! Saw fucking Rage!) and slept all day.. So now I’ve decided to keep my promise and continue the “Top Ten” compilation. Also, look forward to a shiny new podcast feature you can download from the site every once in a while as soon as we all get our act together. Anyways here you have it, the top 10 protagonists in my opinion in gaming so far.

10. The Prince of Persia – Why is the Prince at no. 10 you ask? Why he’s even on this list at all is probably because of how much I love the Prince of Persia series but there’s something rather annoying about him. For one, he tries to act older and wiser than he is. He tries to talk and think like Yoda sometimes and finally he’s a bit of an emo. However his free running and combat abilities make playing as him rather enjoyable and the fact that he can rewind and slow down time effortlessly must mean he has to be awesome. All I want is for him to stop being so depressing and perhaps crack a smile once and again. Seriously, get him to take that stick out of his ass please?

9. Cortez – The legend, steroid pumped protagonist of Timesplitters 3 is at my number 9 for many reasons. He provides humour and is a brilliant asset to the Timesplitters storyline however his abilities on the battlefield aren’t really all too great. You don’t really experience any moments where you feel Cortez’s personality and skill are a part of the gameplay experience. The best way to put this is when you actually play as him. As a first person shooter, you feel very detached from Cortez. He deserves to be on here though, he’ll make you laugh for sure and Timesplitters is a game worth having so the protagonist may as well also bask in the glow.

8. Jak – I say Jak with an open mind because although I love the Jak and Daxter series, the only reason he’s at number 8 is because of inconsistency. The Jak in the first Jak and Daxter doesn’t actually speak and he follows the strong, silent type. In the latter he’s still withdrawn but a little bit more sarcastic and aggressive in what he says. Daxter is a much more consistent character but fits the sidekick role to a tee. What I love about Jak is that he’s probably more human of the people on this list but still when you play as him you feel so very kick ass. His unique ability for everything he attempts is something that can’t be ignored and at the same time we forget that he’s driven by his family and friends which is the only reason he’s put himself through so much. He’s the big friend you hide behind when there’s a bully taking your lunch money.

7. Tommy Vercetti – To the beaches of Miami Vice! Tommy Vercetti, flown into Vice City in the 80s. Just left prison, owes Sonny Forelli a lot of money and almost gets killed in the middle of a gun fight. Seizes control of Vice City basically alone, killing the traitors along the way. Never during any of this do you see genuine emotion or regret to anything he does. This guy seriously though is the person to make you fall in love with Grand Theft Auto. He in my eyes is the epitamy of everything outrageous Grand Theft Auto is meant to be about. This was before it took a turn down the realism path and stealing cars and killing pedestrians was fun because you could. Tommy was just the person to be for you to do that. His personality is that of a nutter and his sarcastic cutscene comments are cringe-worthy to the point where you think whatever, it’s just a game that doesn’t take itself seriously. If you’re someone cynical, you’ll love this guy because he’s one of the most detached protagonists you’ll ever meet and is just what Grand Theft Auto is all about.

6. Dante – You can’t kill Dante. Period. This is why he’s on the list. The son of the legendary demon Sparda, Dante is the most powerful being in this post. His personality is also rather inconsistent in my eyes as he seems to be a cocky arrogant powerful toerag with the world at his feet when he was young to a silent, strong creature of sheer hidden power back to the cocky arrogant Dante, except he doesn’t care for any of the things he stood for before. Still, I retain that if you can consistently watch someone have 6 ft swords enter and leave their body without them feeling a thing then you’re playing as a pretty cool character. The half demon half human seems to be the most stylishly blessed with kills and nature favouring everything he does. He mixes sword skills and gun play in one and effortlessly leaves everything sliced in half. You’re basically unable to not love him because you can play as him and you too can stylishly kill everyone near you.

5. Ratchet – Ah the protagonist of my favourite platformer franchise, alas I wish you could be further up the list. There isn’t a reason why he wouldn’t be further up the list aside from the fact that the ones further up are kinda just more deserving. Ratchet, a furry lombax who knows nothing about his ancestors or purpose of life just takes everything on the chin and stands firmly for what’s right and fair. He’s made me laugh more than any other person and the reason for it is that the story and script behind Ratchet and Clank is gold considering the fact that it’s not to be taken too seriously. Everything unfortunate that happens, he solves with getting a bigger gun and he’s not a protagonist like Dante where the world sort of revolves around and you can’t do anything wrong. Ratchet unfortunately makes plenty of mistakes and the world is out to get him but he doesn’t care. He’ll crack a joke and move on. If your best mate was a squirrel, Ratchet’s your closest bet.

4. Kratos – If I wanted Dante dead then this is the person I’d call to give it a go. Kratos, under the bidding of the ancient Greek Gods, will kill anything and anyone for himself. Everything he’s done so far is for his own personal sense of well being as he wants the disturbing nightmares and voices in his head to subside after killing his wife and daughter in blind rage. Kratos was a character created almost as a shadow to humans. Devoid of emotion and called the “Ghost of Sparda” the warrior is not allowed to do anything but to kill and be used. Some play him and think “Wow, this guy is hardcore and brutal” and yet some might see a reflection upon themselves and feel sorry for him. You have all the power in your hands but you are never in a position to do anything you want. The simple truth of the matter is you play as someone who is brutally powerful and can kill almost anything but in exchange for this he has given away his humanity. The series itself makes you question was exchanging power for humanity worth it and makes you act and think like Kratos. The even more smarter thing is that if you play God of War then you know what Kratos would do in exchange for humanity however the killing and brutality must continue without question.

3. Niko Bellic – This is surprising to me. It’s surprising in my opinion the protagonist of such a recent game could be on my favourite list and it’s even more surprising to me that it’s someone from Grand Theft Auto almost completely different from Tommy Vercetti. I can write for pages on end as to why Niko is my third most favourite protagonist but I can condense it rather easily. Who do people look out for and love? Themselves. We all love ourselves and feed our ego so naturally we warm to people as like us as possible. Niko? In Grand Theft Auto we inject our own personality to the game. We decide who we want to save and kill. We decide what to do and which of our friends to hang out with. We like someone who we can relate to. Besides this, Niko reminds us the limits to which people are driven to in this world that some of us can never experience. To see our family and friends torn apart because of drugs and corruption. He’s the person that we would be if we were struggling with such problems in modern day. Dealing with racism, corruption, sabotage and murder. Never does he give up trying to attain the unattainable American Dream.

2. Cloud Strife – Ignoring the fact that I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan, the reason Cloud is at no. 2 is because he has similar attributes to Niko. In Gaia he too is alone. He’s seen his best friend die and is out of his depth in a world he is unfamiliar with. However, the good inside him opens up this hidden power that no one can touch which makes him a fantastically powerful person to play as in an RPG. As Final Fantasy VII is such a long and epic game, even if you don’t count the spin-offs, you get to really know Cloud and his background and why he feels so alone. You’ll have to trust me when I say there‘s good reason for everything but basically he’s a kind and powerful soul that will put his loved ones before himself because he feels he owes the world that. To base how you see life like this is something special and couple that with his Buster Sword, you’re in for someone rather difficult to take down.

1. John (Naked Snake) – Ooh la la. Shock horror yes? As a metal gear fan and fan of dramatic storytelling in games, Naked Snake or “Big Boss” is easily my favourite protagonist in games. Please remember that all Snakes, stealth and CQC combat originates from the original Naked Snake who solved the Shagohod crisis during the cold war in Metal Gear Solid 3. People could argue why not Solid Snake here to which I reply you don’t get better than the original and Metal Gear Solid 3 was the strongest of the series in my opinion in terms of gameplay. Also the ending of Metal Gear Solid 3 brings out true human emotion in terms of war and what soldiers go through because of the people in the suits. Big Boss is where the epic Metal Gear timeline starts and it’s a treat to play as him in Metal Gear Solid 3. By the looks of things it seems that Ryan Payton and Hideo Kojima agree, with rumours that seem to favour the return of Big Boss in the next Metal Gear game.

Also look out for our podcast which I’ve decided to call the “Monthly Hugs Podcast.”

Bloody hell Jon, four posts while I’ve done one? I’d also appreciate it if you didn’t put my mum as my no.1 protagonist between editing. Douche.

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