There are a lot of famous video game protagonists; from Mario to Sonic the list is rather large. However, because I mentioned those two twats in the intro, they aren’t going to be on this list. No, this list contains the characters that have stood out to me over the years I’ve been playing games, the heroes who I still remember even if I haven’t played the games they’re in for a long time. Without further ado, I present my top 4 favorite video game protagonists!
#4 – Galvis from Evil Quest
Evil Quest is an indie-RPG released by Chaosoft Games and is available on Steam for under £2, definitely my favorite Indie title, this game is short but sweet.
The game isn’t particularly original, as far as I’m aware it’s heavily based on 90’s RPG Crystalis, a game I’ve never played. However, unlike a lot of games the protagonist is not out to save the world, no he desires to destroy it.
Galvis is an evil prick who hates the world, for some bloody reason. The intro of the game mentions a powerful Demon that tried to rise up against God, seemingly suggesting that Galvis is descended from this Demon.
We begin the game witnessing Galvis marching on the Capital when he’s betrayed by his general and is captured by the Kings men. He escapes prison years later by taunting a guard about murdering his parents, stabbing him and leaving him to die there in agony. That poor boy rises up in vengeance as a boss fight, but Galvis slaughters; him, many other powerful creatures, anyone who gets in his way and people who just plain annoy him.
Galvis even kills people who are loyal to him after they outlive their usefulness. This guy simply known as a Shadow Mage offers to serve Galvis and teach him his spells, and Galvis kills him immediately afterward.
There’s not much more to say about Galvis honestly, he’s a great villain and it was very interesting playing from the perspective of the villain. He’s kind of a badass and will stop at nothing to acquire the Chaos Axe, kill God and take over the Astral Plane allowing him to bring destruction to the world.
#3 – The Hero of Twilight from Twilight Princess
Ah, Twilight Princess. As previously mentioned I love this game and it’s my favorite Zelda and this Link is my favorite Link.
The Hero of Twilight is a manly man, he doesn’t mess around with that magic shit, Nah that’s for pussies! He uses the tools available to him, his own wit and his pure strength, seriously this guy is bloody strong!
The Hero of Twilight started out as a simple farm hand until his friends are kidnapped and during his attempt to save them, he is pulled into the Realm of Twilight and is transformed into a wolf. After it’s revealed that a git named Zant has invaded the world, Link goes on a world-saving quest in order to stop Zant and save his friends.
For those who don’t know much about Link, let me explain. Link is the spirit that bares the Triforce of Courage, and he’s the spirit that is reincarnated as the Hero every time Hyrule is threatened by an evil, one he must put down.
So why is The Hero of Twilight my favorite? Because in my opinion, he displays courage more so than other Links that I’ve seen. He charges after his friends’ kidnappers despite being unarmed, he constantly faces great odds single-handedly with little sign of fear, takes on massive beasts at the end of every dungeon without breaking a sweat; including a big fucking eel the size of a goddamn skyscraper whilst locked underwater with it.
However, he loses lad points for being a chosen Hero that fate dictates must succeed, and thus he’s only fulfilling his destiny unlike…
#2 – The Champion of Cyrodil from Oblivion
Ah, Oblivion, the first RPG I ever played and a bloody marvelous game! Might be on the old side, but that doesn’t stop me from still enjoying it.
In this game, you play The Champion of Cyrodil, a nameless adventurer who we find starting in the Imperial prison for unstated crimes. You get to fill in these gaps yourself, which can lead to some interesting ideas. Well, anyway Emperor Uriel Septim VII (The ruler of Tamriel, the continent all Elder Scrolls games take place on) arrives at your cell with three bodyguards. These men intend to escape from the city due to an assassination attempt on the Emperor’s life.
The Champion, who was mocked by another prison, gives him a hearty “Fuck you!” before bouncing with the Emperor and his posse. By the end of the tutorial; the Emperor and two of his men lie dead, only one bodyguard remains and the Champion stands tall as the assassins flee due to his sheer badassery! All of this before he’s even got proper gear!
Well, he decides to do as the Emperor bids, because he’s bored and needs some danger. (It appears I like to RP as “Madjack” John Churchill) And on this quest, he discovers that the Daedra of Oblivion (The Elder Scrolls’ version of Demons and hell) have invaded Tamriel through portals to Oblivion known as Oblivion gates. The first being outside the city of Kvatch where the Emperors last living son resides.
While the guards puss-out, The Champion rushes into the gate and beats back the forces of hell before nicking the rock that holds the gate open. Then like the manly-man he is, he helps liberate Kvatch from the rest of the Daedra.
Though this feat is the first of many: He closes numerous other Oblivion Gates including a Great Gate, one that can release the beast that destroyed Kvatch, thus saving the city of Bruma from said fate, almost single-handedly destroys the cult responsible for both the Emperor’s assassination and the Oblivion Gates opening, gathers the relics of the Gods and defeats the returned Umaril, a being of great power who once ruled over the race of men until his defeat, then casually becomes a God. Yup, The Champion of Cyrodil becomes a God. He also defeats a God in single-combat before becoming one, because he’s cool like that.
To sum up, The Champion of Cyrodil is an irrefutable badass! While he might be a part of some divine plan, it’s possible he’s just some average Joe caught up in a mission bigger than him and yet turns out to be the biggest badass involved, the world would’ve been destroyed had it not been for this guy!
While the Nerevarine and The Last Dragonborn are certainly badass, they had the luck of being prophesied, heroes; with the former being the reincarnated spirit of the Chimer Warlord who was the Champion of Azura (A pretty rad God) and the latter being the chosen Hero of the Chief Deity of the Divines (The Good deities worshipped by most in Tamriel) and pretty much a Demigod.
#1 – Sparrow from Fable 2
Of course, Sparrow, the protagonist from what is currently my favorite game of all time. I already spoke about him enough in my Fable 2 article, so I’ll probably just summarize.
Sparrow is my favorite character because their story is rather deep. Their sister is murdered by a deranged maniac and he’s (Or she’s, I guess) out for revenge. And this story makes sense regardless of the alignment your Sparrow has:
If they’re Good, the death of their last family motivates them to protect others and do Good to prevent others from suffering the same fate. If they’re Evil, they are unable to overcome their grief and so wants to watch the world burn in revenge. If they’re neutral, they’ll do whatever it takes to gain the power necessary to defeat their enemy and avenge their sister, even if it hurts others.
This depth of the character is amazing, and it’s the main reason I love Sparrow so much. They aren’t as badass as The Champion of Cyrodil in my opinion, but they’re more interesting to me because their personal story is more gripping. Hell, I could gab on and on about that sequence with the music box at the end of the game until Christmas, because it’s so great to have that recollection of the Games events and seeing how Sparrow has grown over the game. From a young innocent child to an all-powerful being by the end.
And there it is, my favorite protagonists in video games, while there are other greats, these are the four I could write the most about in enough detail to warrant them being on this list.