The Worst Videogame Father Figures
Today it’s Father’s Day in the United Kingdom. That means it’s a day about celebrating fathers, and of course, our virtual fathers too. Videogames provide many great lessons in the field of parenting, although admittedly this is usually in the form of what you shouldn’t be doing. Read on to see who I’ve singled out as some of the worst father figures in videogame history.
Note: There are various spoilers for all the games discussed below
Ethan Mars – Heavy Rain
Ethan Mars is a really strange guy. You can listen into his thoughts and he thinks things like ‘I should put on some clothes before I head downstairs’. Yes you should Ethan. His inability to act like a real person translates into some pretty poor parenting; one child walks off and gets run over when Ethan takes FOREVER to find the change to pay a clown. The other gets kidnapped when Ethan falls asleep at the park.
“You probably don’t remember, but we’ve met. I’ve changed your diapers before, you know.”
Ryotaro Dojima – Persona 4
Dojima is a pretty cool uncle. He works as a detective and smokes cigarettes. As a dad however he’s pretty terrible. His six year old daughter Nanako is in charge of all the chores, does all the cooking, and is left at home to watch the TV all day, every day. This can be resolved if you chose to build up Dojima’s social link, but it’s up to the player to teach him some serious parenting skills.
Kratos Aurion – Tales of Symphonia
Lloyd Irving doest”t even know who his real father is. Then his dad turns out to be Kratos, the cold hearted mercenary who betrayed the group. All is eventually made right, but not before an epic confrontation between father and son, in which Lloyd permanently cripples his father.
“Oh, so now the father who walked out on me is going to give me a lecture?”
Dad – Fallout 3
Liam Neeson has a simple approach to parenting; STAY INSIDE THE VAULT. Unfortunately he fails to lead by example, and when your adventure begins you realise that he didn’t actually prepare you for anything at all in the outside world.
Still, he left to go and do something important, right? Well, no. Eventually you find him trapped inside a videogame in another vault, having got sidetracked from his super important mission to build a giant Brita Water Filter. Nice one dad.
Okay, truth be told, this list could be composed solely of JRPGs, and a bunch of other Final Fantasy games could make the cut too. But who could top Jecht, the alcoholic Blitzball playing Johnny Depp lookalike? Well, maybe Hojo in FFVII, but Jecht’s abusive nature is made all the more offensive by the fact that he NEVER wears a shirt. Ever.
Dad – Pokémon
So like, where is this guy? The answer depends which game you’re playing; in most he simply isn’t about. In Ruby and Sapphire he runs the gym that’s two towns away. Seriously, he’s never home, it’s not even an issue that he doesn’t have a room in his house.
Meanwhile you’re raised by your mum, who lives in the kitchen. Without a strong male to talk any sense into her she sends you out into the world so you can go and make eye contact with strangers, train animals, and eventually fight your own father in a battle Freud would be proud of.
Booker Dewitt fails at parenting on some pretty basic levels. The main one being that he gambles away his child. Still, in his defence he was drunk when this happened. Sure he eventually rescues her, but this is counterbalanced by the fact that he’s rescuing her from an (even more) evil version of himself. There’s also the fact that because of the multiverse he effectively gambles away infinite babies, which is a pretty terrible thing to do.