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Last July, I did a special mini-series called The Wonderful 101, where I listed 101 characters in gaming that I thought had been developed well, were entertaining, enjoyable, and really were just great characters. Now, after playing through Persona 4 Golden, I've decided to make a new list of characters to look at, all of them brand new, with some being the ones I had a hard time cutting out of the first list. This will again be divided into three parts, and I'm just going to go ahead and get into it! Kinda ironic that there still aren't any actual characters from the game in this list...
I knew we forgot someone...the other 101 of you!
When I originally started 999, Ace was my favorite character. I liked his wise personality, and his interactions with the other characters. He didn't come out as my favorite after beating the game (those reasons are in spoiler world), but I didn't think of him any less as a character. He's well developed over the Nonary Game, and like everyone else, he has own secrets he's hiding.
Ansem, Seeker of Darkness
Even though he isn't the true Ansem, he still holds the name Ansem, Seeker of Darkness among the fanbase of Kingdom Hearts. In truth, he is the Heartless of Xehanort, and the fact that he can function with human thought shows his true power, as well as his control over the darkness. He has several great quotes in the first game, such as "darkness is the heart's true essence" and "one who knows nothing, can understand nothing". We're almost guaranteed to see him again in Kingdom Hearts III, so you can probably look forward to hearing some talk about how great darkness is again in the next couple of years.
Aqua is my favorite of the trio from Birth By Sleep, because she's a great example of a headstrong, capable female protagonist. She is an adapt magic user, and I enjoyed her story the most of the trio (if we count that I didn't beat either of the two, that is!). I kinda don't get why she has the pieces of cloth draped on her sides, but whatever, her character design is pretty cool.
While Simon Blackquill was my favorite new character last year, Athena Cykes does come through as being second best behind him, along with Bobby Fulbright. Athena brings her knowledge of psychology to the courtroom, which helps her, Phoenix, and Apollo discover when witnesses have memories and emotions that are being blocked out. By using this ability of hers, she becomes a great asset to the agency, and proves her worth over the course of the game. Hers, and Blackquill's story made Dual Destinies my game of the year for 2013.
Barney's one of the important side characters in the Half-Life series. He's the protagonist of Half-Life: Blue Shift, and also assists Gordon Freeman throughout the events of Half-Life 2 and its episodes. He exists mainly for comic relief, which is seen in the parts where he's in a stand-off wit Dr. Kleiner's pet headcrab, Lamar. I've always enjoyed his character, though we most likely won't get to play as him again in any extra games, due to him being voiced now.
Alan Wake's manager isn't the most competent person on the planet. He's clumsy, bad with women, and also drinks a bit too much. Like Barney, he exists really for comedic writing, but that's not a bad thing. His actions are both supportive to Wake, and also provide humor in the dark, dreary game. He also wore Christmas lights to protect himself...so he's a genius.
Yes, I'm going to break the rule like I did in the first series and include a couple characters that aren't originally from a video game. Don't worry, I only have a couple two, and they should have been in the first entry. In any case, Bigby Wolf is a much better protagonist as far as I'm concerned compared to Lee Everett in The Walking Dead. While Lee's actions are a bit more malleable, Bigby feels more real, and also better developed comparatively. I can't wait to see where his story goes in The Wolf Among Us.
Blue, or Gary, is the best Pokemon rival, as far as I'm concerned. He's obnoxious enough to encourage the player to try and beat him, and serves as a good contrast to the player's sense of righteousness and friendship. While the recent Pokemon games have had more friendly protagonists, I sort of want one that's more like Blue. They don't need to be totally rude, but at least enough to egg on the player and motivate them.
Detective Gumshoe will always be my favorite detective, but Bobby Fulbright was a great substitute for him Dual Destinies. He always does the most outlandish acts, all with a sense of great justice. I liked his character a lot more than I thought I was going to after beating the game. He's definitely one of Ace Attorney's finest.
The Boss's actions have had significant repercussions in the Metal Gear universe, which is seen in Metal Gear Solid 3. Even after her eventual death, she still left behind a legacy that influenced the likes of Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, and the Patriots. We may even seen some of these effects in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V.
The grand master of punches doesn't really have much of a character in his own games, but in the anime based on F-Zero, and in Super Smash Bros. Of course, his defining characteristic is the fact that he as a punch powerful enough to create reactions this large. Here's to hoping he returns in the latest game!
Wigglytuff's right-hand Pokemon in Explorers of Time/Darkness is stingy, a bit rude, and also strict. But y'know what? He's amazing. Despite his belittlement of you and your partner, he ultimately cares for you two, and works hard to make sure everything runs smoothly at the guild. I'll never forget about this little bird.
Oh boy, the first of the Persona 4 characters! The cast of Persona 4 Golden is so great that it inspired this list, and what better way to start it off with none other than Chie! She's the tomboy of the group (well, Naoto is one too, but in a different way), and her peppy attitude and desire to consume meat is always funny and inspiring. Her relationship with Yukiko, as well as her commitment to solving the case of the murders is at the forefront of her thinking more often than not...besides meat, of course.
The Borderlands series has a lot of emphasis on vulgar humor, but Claptrap is a literal personification of that humor. He's always complaining about things, making dirty jokes, and just serving as a way for Gearbox to continuously make the player laugh. He shows off Gearbox's clever writing, and hopefully in Borderlands 3, he learns how to climb stairs.
Clover is the only character to appear in both 999 and VLR, and she's also been confirmed to appear in Zero Escape 3, if it garners enough support. She's not my favorite character from the series, but she definitely has her moments. They're most often devoted to her desire to protect her brother, Snake, and her friend, Alice.
Coach acts as the leader of the group of survivors in Left 4 Dead 2. He discusses Jimmy Gibbs Jr. and the Midnight Riders with Ellis, has menial conversations with Rochelle, and occasionally fights with Nick (but they also make up and enjoy each other's company as well). I always have a hard time picking my favorite character from both games, since all of them (but Rochelle) are pretty great characters. If he's lucky, maybe he'll finally get a chocolate helicopter in a new Left 4 Dead.
Colonel Roy Campbell
As the original "SNAKE?! SNAKE?! SNAAAAAAKE!" person, well, Colonel Campbell should be well known in the video game space. He always provides Snake and his allies with valuable insight into tactics they should pursue, and is one of the most notable characters in the Metal Gear universe. Perhaps we'll see some of him in Metal Gear Solid V, before his colonel days.
Commander John Shepard
Shepard is one of the most malleable characters in the history of gaming, which is quite a feat for Bioware. He can be arrogant, passive, condescending, forgiving, and a host of other traits, all chosen by the player.
While Crono may not have the development of Robo, Magus, or other Chrono Trigger characters, he does function well as a protagonist. There's a few choices he can make that do have repercussions later on in the game, and there's also of course the big thing that happens to him at the Ocean Palace. The fact that he keeps on fighting with his friends is what makes him stand out.
Cynthia is the champion in the 4th generation of Pokemon games, which is the one where I got back into Pokemon after playing FireRed so many years before. She actually has a well balanced team, including such Pokemon as Spiritomb and a Milotic. I faced here dozens of times, and it never got old. She also has a pretty awesome character design, too.
As one of the supporting characters of Xenoblade Chronicles, you see Dickson often, but not too often. He acts as a sort of surrogate uncle to Shulk, after Dickson found Shulk after the Monado expedition. There are definitely better characters than him, both playable and non-playable, but his charisma is notable.
This Class-A jerk face is the most antagonistic of the characters of Virtue's Last Reward. He almost always betrays everyone, works on his own agenda, and saying he's unfriendly is an understatement. Though, he's very well developed as a character, and functions as one of the best from VLR. Don't believe what anyone says, though: he deserves no love.
Yep, this time around, I decided to include characters from Super Replays. Because Dogs is here, you can expect two other characters from another game to appear as well. Hint hint. Wink wink. Anyways, for those of you who are crazy and didn't watch the Blue Stinger Super Replay, Dogs Bower is one of the two playable characters. He wields larger weapons like a Gatling Gun, but he's not very adapt at melee attacks. He garnered arguably the most positive response ever from the Game Informer staff when it comes to characters in "bad" games, and he's a fan favorite of the community. You can follow him on Twitter here.
If you don't like Donald Duck, I have no words for you, because he's literally one of the funniest characters ever created. His role in the Kingdom Hearts series is a supporter of Sora, and he accompanies him on his journeys to fight against the darkness. His relationship with Sora and Goofy is heart warming, and I'm hoping he gets to shine a little more in Kingdom Hearts III.
I don't really ever use Dunban when playing Xenoblade, but that's just because I like Reyn better as a tank. Dunban is more focused on sword skills, as he's adapt with one, and he used to wield the Monado. He's very helpful on Shulk's quest, and sort of acts as a mentor to Shulk in various ways. And, well, he has an awesome battle cry.
Egil is the main antagonist of Xenoblade for about 2/3 of the game. After the wrongs committed on the Machina by the Bionis, he longs to destroy the Bionis in order to exact revenge. He's a great antagonist, because he is justified in some of his actions. And, fighting him was one of the best moments of the game.
Eli Vance is pretty much the gaming equivalent of Morgan Freeman...considering he looks a lot like the actor. But really, he's a member of the Resistance, and supports Gordon Freeman in various ways. Possibly his greatest contribution is creating the Gravity Gun, which is a fan-favorite weapon of the Half-Life series, and is possibly Gordon Freeman's greatest asset.
A lot of people loved The Last of Us. I liked it a lot, but I wouldn't say I loved it. Ellie, for me, was a bit annoying at times in terms of how her character developed. It just felt a bit inconsistent. Overall, though, I enjoyed her presence, and her relationship with Joel. The part in winter with her was my favorite part of the game, and was also one of my favorite moments of 2013.
Professor Layton's assistant for the prequel trilogy of games acts as a agile fighter. She's often seen pursuing criminals, or tackling difficult puzzles alongside the professor. There's some reason that she doesn't show up in the original trilogy, and I'm eager to find out why in Azran Legacy.
Francis is a hot-head. He's almost always disagreeing with everyone, especially Bill, but he can also be enthusiastic about fighting the Infected and helping others when they need it. His favorite weapons are of the shotgun variety, and he also says "Merry Christmas" when giving people Pills/Adrenaline. Stay awesome, Francis.
Giovanni is a great antagonist for the Pokemon series. He's cruel, but used to be like you, a young Pokemon trainer. After fighting him several times, he eventually begins to feel like he used to when battling, and realizes the error in his ways. After this, he leaves the protagonist, and disbands Team Rocket. But, he's never been forgotten, nor do I think any of us will forget him as a character. I'd love to see him come back in some way in a Pokemon game in the future.
The rival prosecutor for Trials and Tribulations is the coffee-loving Godot. His past is so shrouded in mystery, that no one even knows his real name. All that is known about him is that he drinks 17 cups of coffee a day, and that he needs his special mask in order to see. Oh, and that he has some grudge to settle with Phoenix Wright. Godot is just another Ace Attorney fan favorite, and he completely deserves the praise he has received.
Just imagine Kingdom Hearts without Goofy. Goofy is the intermediate between the hot-headed Donald and the competitive Sora, though he isn't really ever successful in his attempts. He's a complete klutz, but is always genuine, and acts out of a pure desire to protect his friends.
Well, that'll be it for this first part of the NEW Wonderful 101. Part II will be up tomorrow, so you all can look forward to that! See you all then!