Question Which characters are on your “Mount Rushmore” of gaming


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I was listening to a podcast (Kinda Funny Games Daily - I miss the PCG podcast :() and one of the hosts who was reviewing God of War Ragnarok said Kratos is now the best character in gaming. The other hosts followed up by questioning that statement and said they’d have to revisit the topic with their “Mount Rushmore” of game characters.

So who’s up there for you? For me it’s really tough to throw “silent protagonists” into the ring even though I’ve loved playing as many of them. Off the top of my head? SHODAN, Geralt, Max Payne, and GLaDOS.

Let’s hear yours!
Do they mean gameplay-wise, story-wise or both?
I assumed its just characters from games that have stuck with you the most from over the years.

I'll go with Doom Guy, Solaire, Gordon Freeman, The Nameless One

Probably the game series that actually have main characters that affected me most over the years. Shout out to Bioshock guy who is apparently called Jack, but as I didnt know that until I just Googled its probably fair he didnt make the cut.
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I would be really tempted to say Cid from Final Fantasy just to annoy the committee that's overseeing the work. There was a character called Cid in all but the earliest Final Fantasy games, but each character was completely different. Essentially, they were totally different people that just happened to have the same first name.

I'll go with:
  • Minsc from Baldur's Gate
  • HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic
  • Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (the older ones will work best for carving, and I kinda owe it to the committee after that immature Cid stunt)
  • Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza - and put a little Goro Majima somewhere close, taunting him. After all, a gaming Mt. Rushmore needs to have an easter egg!
If I'm being honest, Batman should be on there, given how much I've played the character. I've never really liked the character, though. He can be the hard-working character that deserves much more credit than he gets from the Power That Be.

L L Look at you, hacker! A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you chisel a mountain. How can you carve an image of a perfect, immortal machine?


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Do they mean gameplay-wise, story-wise or both?

It can be however you interpret it. For me it’s mostly dialogue. I love the gritty noire lines delivered by Max Payne, the cold egoism of SHODAN, the humor and spitefulness of GLaDOS, and the brooding grunts of Geralt.

If I was going by gameplay I would have definitely added more like Gordon Freeman or the Marked One from STALKER.
Definitely Geralt, but it may be slightly cheating because part of the reason I love the Witcher universe so much is from reading the books alongside playing the games.

I will say that it kind of struck me while thinking about this question that not much readily comes to mind, which I find interesting. There are obviously a ton a great characters across the many games I've played, but only Geralt came to mind. I suppose I'd probably put Master Chief on the list as Halo is one of my all-time favorite franchises and one I've stuck around with the longest. I really don't know who else I'd pick that clearly slots in here.
It can be however you interpret it. For me it’s mostly dialogue.
Thanks, that helps define the question for me, as the most memorable game characters are based on dialogue, personality, and voice acting. But narrowing it down to 4 characters is tough for me, especially for an avid player of Bioware games who have created some of the most memorable characters I've experienced.

The first 2 are set in stone for me:

Minsc (BG1 &2) - by far the most memorable, eccentric, "whacked", and unique video game character I've ever experienced. Minsc, voiced by Jim Cummings, has a memorable voice, and some of the most iconic lines in PC game history.

Garrus Vakarian (ME1-3) - the ultimate "I've got your back" companions, voiced by Brandon Keener. He'll stick with you through all 3 games, no matter your choices (not to mention he's great with a sniper rifle). The iconic line, "I'm in the middle of some calibrations" is joked about in ME3.

Spots 3 & 4 are tougher, because there are many characters that could fill those spots, so I'll list 2, though they're not necessarily exclusive:

Morrigan (Dragon Age 1 & 3) - Morrigan, voiced by Claudia Black, has a complex personality that is often brutal, sarcastic, but can also be a bit sensitive if you dig far enough in the conversation options. Good luck trying to romance her in DA Origins.

Oghren (Dragon Age Origins) - voiced by Steve Blum, is one of the unheralded characters from the DA games. More of a tie between him & Alistair (voiced by Steve Valentine), as they both have some really funny dialogue.

As a side note, I have to say that the importance and quality of voice acting in PC games can't be understated. It's the quality and feeling that's provided by voice actors and the voice actors guild that really gives depth and feeling to video game characters and those memorable characters we experience wouldn't exist otherwise.
I'm not sure I'd put him in my top 4, but I think Duke Nukem deserves a mention. Maybe I'd use him as an alternate if Lara Croft can't show up or something.

Definitely Geralt, but it may be slightly cheating because part of the reason I love the Witcher universe so much is from reading the books alongside playing the games.
What came first, the books or the games?