Happy Father’s Day, everyone! I thought I would do something a tad out of my comfort zone. While I don’t have a good relationship with my biological father, especially after he put me down with insults and stole from me, video games have shown me how parents can be great….and terrible. I’m looking at you Jecht from Final Fantasy X. Before anyone says anything in the comments, I like the character, but he is a crap dad. But this list will go over the standout dads in gaming…at least the ones I have played or seen walkthroughs of.
Keep in mind this is no best of the best. These are just great dads within video games. Let’s begin!
Sazh Katzroy from Final Fantasy XIII
I hate Final Fantasy XIII, what with a plot that makes little to no sense, and the review I have to do for the sequel is only making this unbearably worse. However, there was at least one good thing about the series: Sazh. While I didn’t honestly care about the character at first, my disdain for the game overpowered with what I saw with the character. Sazh is a citizen on the world of Cocoon, living peacefully with his son until Dajh became a l’Cie and is then taken away by the Sanctum. A l’Cie has two fates: become a monster if they don’t follow their focus, or become encased in crystal for the rest of their lives. Ignoring the horrible elements of the plot, we do get to see legitimately good moments and a bit of development from Sazh. In the game, we can see how much he cares for Dajh by getting him a pet Chocobo chick (which is kept in his afro for some reason) just after the news.
And so he tries everything in his power to save his son…and fails. Really, it seems more like a suicide run with his idea were it not for Lightning making the exact same move. He may be a guy that mainly relies on luck, a bit of a coward, yet he’s always willing to draw out his pistols and start shooting when things get rough just to save his kid. In fact, he even knows his fate is either destruction or death with no way to stop it, so he just wants to see his kid one last time before he bites the big one. Even when Vanille tells him to shoot her because it’s her fault that Dajh ended up this way, Sazh is pissed off because he realized that shooting those responsible isn’t going to just turn everything into sunshine and rainbows.
Not to mention out of everyone, he is the voice reason and sense, pointing out the obvious flaws no one else seems to be able to see, such as destroying the Sanctum destroys Cocoon, how stupid it is that their focus is to save Cocoon when they got recruited by the opposite side, manages to resist revenge when it is easy to obtain, and even admits his own mistakes when bad things have happened. What starts out as a cowardly character who could barely stand by the side of Lightning against giant monsters, shows how much of a caring person and fairly good character Sazh is. Not exactly perfect, but Sazh is easily someone Dajh can look up to in the future.
Sadly this might be the only good thing I will ever say about Final Fantasy XIII. Unless Lightning Returns ruins this and completely voids whatever I said.
John Marston from Red Dead Redemption
While the game does follow mostly John, and the interactions with his family are saved until near the game’s end, we do see him act like a good father that wishes to protect his family. Once a part of a group of bandits, he fled with his wife and tried to change for the better. When other forces, aka the government, involved themselves in Marston’s life, things became more complicated. In order to see his family free of harm and control, John Marston sets out to find his former partners and bring them in, dead or alive. He goes through hell to make sure they are going to be okay, getting captured and nearly killed multiple times.
However, it’s revealed that his son, Jack, didn’t quite grow up with his dad, leaving a lot of time for the two to try and form a strong bond. For the most part, things seem to go well enough, teaching Jack how hunt and properly tend to the farm. John even saved his own son from a grizzly attack when his son tried rebelling and “proving he was a man.” When John finds out about what happens, he expresses anger at the person who was supposed to be watching out for him, showing he really does care about his son. Well that and fighting a grizzly that’s barreling towards him like a train. After that, he acts pretty much like how a parent should by worrying and scolding his son properly. Even as the two are arguing about how John is never around and doesn’t think he is a man, John keeps reassuring him that he isn’t leaving again like he did before. Things aren’t exactly perfect, and John’s history as a bandit certainly doesn’t help the argument, but at the end of the day, he just wants what’s best for his son and not to lose him.
John may not have been around Jack his entire life thanks to what happened in the past, but he tried his best, a lot better than some people could do. He even sacrificed himself just so his son and wife could live without the fear of being hunted down. Don’t know about you, but John Marston is certainly a family member I would love to have. If it weren’t for his death, everything he did wouldn’t have been in vain though.
Dr. Light from Mega Man
Dr. Light created Mega Man and the robot masters to benefit humanity, but also gave them the ability to think and act on their own, even having emotions. Those who watched Game Theory would know more about this, as the channel blamed Dr. Light being the most at fault because Wily was able to talk robots into betraying the world. At the end of the day, Dr. Light was just someone trying to make the world a better place with his technology. And while Mega Man is a technically a robot, he adopted his father’s goals with his sense of justice, striving to do what was right. And as the games went on, it feels like Mega Man was simply doing this because he was programmed. There’s clearly a soul in there, and capable of feeling and making his own judgments, ignoring whatever robot laws are in place.
More proof comes in Mega Man X, where Dr. Light made X with the ability to make decisions for himself. And for the most part, X does a good job in keeping the world at peace from enemy forces such as the Mavericks, following in Dr. Light’s dream of making this a better world for humans and reploids. However, Dr. Light further proves that his love for his little bomber by leaving capsules for him to aid him on his quest, leaving behind holograms to give a message to X. Even after death, Light does his best to watch over his son. Serving as a great inspiration and even a protector after death, Dr. Light is certainly a great dad for Mega Man.
Maybe not for Roll though; I don’t see a Roll X, Light!
Joel from The Last of Us
While never stated he adopted Ellie in the game with words, it doesn’t need to be. Before life began to suck, Joel had his own daughter, Sarah, to care for, alone as well, for his wife left him shortly after she was born. As if that wasn’t hard enough, he can barely keep his own job together, and just wants to try and provide the best life for his daughter and himself. He even gave up his own dream of becoming a singer, though trying to imagine that now with his face does manage to make me chuckle.
During the horrible outbreak, which basically turned people into the things from 28 Days Later, he does his best to look after his daughter from all the chaos. Sadly, she is shot by a soldier even as Joel risked his life to shield her. 20 years later, Joel becomes uncaring and mostly watches out for himself and his partner. And after a few events, is left with Ellie in his care, for she possesses a cure for that outbreak throughout the world in her body. He’s of course reluctant and only does so to complete a job. As you play the game, you can definitely see and feel the bond the two go through as they try to go through this harsh world, dealing with problems that threaten to take more than just their lives. Even when Joel has the chance to quit the job of protecting her and pass of the traveling duties to his brother, he takes it back because he cares about Ellie like his own little girl.
But it’s not just the fact that he is willing to sacrifice his well-being that he makes this list. It’s because of what he turns Ellie into: a survivor. Later in the game, Joel is rendered unable to continue fighting for quite some time, leaving Ellie to take the lessons she learned throughout her journey, and do the protecting for him. With him in such critical condition, she could have just abandoned him, leaving her chances of survival up by only looking out for herself, especially when it seems like Joel can’t survive. But she has grown to care for Joel like a father, willing to keep him alive and even take on a large group of ruthless, evil people by herself. It’s very similar to what Lee did for Clementine in Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game.
Then there’s the last stage of the game. I won’t spoil it for you, but needless to say, it’s worth playing the Last of Us, or doing what I did and watch it on YouTube, to see the last example of how Joel cares for Ellie. There are moral problems sure, but not a lot of us can make such a decision as harsh as that.
Chuck Greene from Dead Rising 2
If you played the first Dead Rising, you would know things have gone bad, what with zombie virus going around and the government not exactly being the most competent of organizations to handle this. As such, when Chuck’s daughter is infected, he must constantly administer Zombrex in order to keep her from turning into a zombie. Not only that, but he had to put down his own wife when she became a zombie just to save his little girl. Even when everything seems fine at the shelter, he’s all out of Zombrex, and needs at least enough to last for at least three days before rescue comes.
And if you really played the first game, you should know Chuck has to do the most insane plan: go into a mall and battle several psychopaths and zombies, as well as even soldiers, to make sure everything is alright for what remains of his family by getting the Zombrex. Ya know, this situation could have been prevented if people didn’t try to make a damn sport of killing zombies using motorcycles with chainsaws attached to them. I know it sounds cool, but you are also just asking for trouble. Just saying. Still, during it all, he also helps save survivors as well being harassed by the crazy nutjobs, ranging from standard punks, to sniper crazies, to even a man who trained a tiger, and then sicks a tiger on Chuck! Not even other people are too trusting of Chuck once he is framed for being the cause of the outbreak by freeing zombies. So on top of saving his daughter, there’s proving your innocence, rescuing other survivors, killing psychopaths who are killing others for fun or because they are insane, the government’s soldiers, and zombies…I’m surprised he hasn’t gone insane. Well, in one DLC he does, but that doesn’t count. Hell, Katey is his main reason for going on living. If she should die, he can’t handle it.
Still, some of you might be saying: “Well what makes him stand out from any other dad?” The answer is this: Chuck managed to tame a tiger, and can then give the tiger to his kid as a gift! And it doesn’t eat her! I don’t know about you, but that is so crazy and insane, it’s awesome! Who wouldn’t want a tame tiger as a pet that can slice through zombies with ease!? Out of all the gifts you can give her, Snowflake the tiger is easily the best one!
Notice how I’m only bringing up Dead Rising 2 for this list. If you played Dead Rising 3, you’ll know why. And sadly, there’s not much to talk about his daughter, unlike Ellie from The Last of Us. Doesn’t make Chuck any less awesome of a dad though.
And that’s that! Believe me, there is a ton more I wish to talk about, but that’ll have to be saved for next year since I want more information to create a more enjoyable article. Until then, keep on reading and playing, and hopefully next time will actually be a video.
I’m the Smartest Moron, and Happy Father’s Day!