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Gaming's Most Dysfunctional Families

It’s the holidays, which means that many of us are spending some quality time with family members that we don’t get to see very often during the rest of the year. A lot of us have a goofy uncle that won’t stop with the bad jokes or grandparents that need you to explain "the Google" to them, but that’s nothing compared to some of the family issues gaming characters deal with. Here are five of the more dysfunctional family trees in the video game industry.

The Bowser clan

For those of us that grew up on Mario’s 8- and 16-bit adventures, the situation with Bowser’s kids is a bit confusing. We were originally introduced to the Koopalings, seven delinquent kids that exist solely to help their dad be a total jerk. In 2002, we were then introduced to Bowser Jr., who Nintendo now claims is his only kid (they’ve retconned the Koopalings at this point). If you’re keeping score, Baby Bowser is just Bowser as a baby, and Koopa Kids are wholly unrelated. Confusion aside, Bowser’s kids don’t seem to have any idea who their mother is, and none of them seem to have anything to do other than fly air fortresses and be a general thorn in Mario’s side.

The Snakes

Few characters in gaming can claim more family drama than Solid Snake. After being cloned from Big Boss, he was ordered to kill his “father” and (sort of) succeeded (twice). Then, his cloned brothers both lost their minds and decided that they had to see their father’s misguided plans for Outer Heaven through. Snake (kind of) killed his brother Liquid, and then dealt with his brother Solidus being killed in a swordfight on a New York City rooftop. These three brothers all felt a need to live up to the legacy of their conflicted father, and a whole lot of people died as a result.

The De Santas

It’s hard to like Grand Theft Auto V’s Michael De Santa, but it’s just as hard to like his lazy, money-grubbing family. His wife is constantly cheating on him, his son is useless and constantly asking for money, and his daughter is constantly hanging out with the skeeziest of Los Santos skeezeballs. That said, we’re guessing the De Santas are basically Beaver Cleaver’s family compared to Trevor’s.

The Belmonts

For decades, this gang of vampire hunters has bravely marched into ominous castles filled with werewolves, zombies, mermen, and flying Medusa heads with one goal – to kill Dracula. Things get tricky, though, when one of them turns into Dracula, and another is a half-vampire whose parents got lazy and just named him “Dracula” backwards. Starting a grocery business or just about anything else sounds a whole lot safer than their selected family trade.

The Kongs

When thinking about the Kong family, one of the first obstacles is figuring out who’s actually related. We’re not even sure if Kong is a proper surname, as obvious relatives like Donkey Kong and Cranky Kong don’t seem to share much in common with lesser-known simians like Karate Kong and Dread Kong. Hell, Diddy is a chimp and he’s somehow the nephew of Donkey Kong (a gorilla). I’d tell them to get their family tree organized, but they usually seem tied up with the constant theft of their banana stockpile. My money’s on that burnout Funky Kong being behind a heist or two.

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