Gaming's Crappiest Fathers

by Dan Ryckert on Sep 09, 2010 at 08:45 AM


In many games, we don't really get a chance to meet our protagonist's parents. Sometimes it's their death that sends our hero on a path of vengeance, and sometimes they're just never mentioned at all. However, when we do get a chance to meet the fathers of the character we're controlling, they're frequently terrible. Here's our look at some of the worst offenders.


Big Boss (Metal Gear Solid)

Solid Snake was bound to have some issues thanks to being born in a laboratory and raised in a variety of foster homes. Big Boss was your typical deadbeat dad during Snake’s adolescence, never contacting his son and presumably missing all of Snake’s little league games. As crappy as that is, the man who executed Operation Snake Eater back in the 60s hadn’t yet shown off just how bad of a dad he was capable of being. He earned his spot on this list by forming a militant rogue nation and spending a good chunk of his time trying to murder his son. Sure, his last moment was a teary cemetery meet-up with his son, but that doesn’t excuse all his attempts at 85th trimester abortion.


Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat)

To be accurate, Shao Kahn is more like an abusive, drunken stepfather than a crappy biological father. Even though blood relations aren’t a part of the equation, Kahn did adopt the infant Kitana as his own daughter once he shacked up with her mother Sindel. Rather than pretending to be interested in her schoolwork or teaching her how to drive, the dude decides to raise his stepdaughter as his personal bodyguard. Not only that, he decides he’d rather have twin stepdaughters, so he tells Shang Tsung to conjure up a sister. Unfortunately, Shang Tsung is an idiot and somehow creates the grotesque Mileena. He almost got it right, except for the fact that he seemed to cut and paste Baraka’s snaggletoothed face onto Kitana’s human female body. If he wanted Kitana to have a sister so she’d have someone to play with, that intention was immediately voided by the fact that Mileena is always trying to eat her face.

Oh yeah, and Shao Kahn is also a terrible husband. He proposed to Sindel in romantic fashion by invading her kingdom, enslaving her people, and decapitating her then-husband Jerrod. Understandably, she committed suicide. However, King Kahn here decides he hasn’t gotten enough wife-abusin’ in and BRINGS HER BACK FROM THE DEAD for more. Holy crap this dude sucks.


Ness’s Dad

It’s bad enough when you’re so disengaged from your family that you can’t bother to show up for dinner, but this guy couldn’t put in any face time even when one of his kids was off saving the world. As hero Ness soldiers on with his friends, his frequent calls to his mother help alleviate his homesickness and keep him happy. Dad, on the other hand, is essentially an ATM. Yeah, it’s great that he deposits money into his son’s bank account, but there’s more to being a father than simply bribing your children. Way to go, Ness’s dad.


Dark Tooth (Twisted Metal)

We never really see this Twisted Metal 2 boss do anything specifically targeted at his son Sweet Tooth, but he’s definitely psychotic. Apparently he’s been hanging out in the sewers of Hong Kong for a while, and only emerges to shoot his flaming head at anyone who comes near him. Also, he’s keeping a senile old man inside the aforementioned flaming head. It’s confusing, trust us.


Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain)

Ethan demonstrates bad parenting early on in Heavy Rain by losing his son Jason in a mall, leading to his tragic death. Even after this traumatic moment, Ethan doesn’t really become any better of a father to his other son Shaun. If the player chooses, you can simply shoot hoops in the rain while your hungry son pulls a chair up to the cabinet to grab potato chips for dinner. Oh yeah, and Ethan mysteriously blacks out, which leads to Shaun getting kidnapped as well. We’re hoping he never applies to the Big Brother program anytime soon.



On the surface, it’s impossible to dislike Yoshi. He’s adorable, he’s a huge help to Mario throughout his games, and he makes the best “getting knocked out” noise by far in Smash Bros. However, upon closer inspection he may be one of the worst fathers on this entire list. Others may be neglectful, but Yoshi’s the only one that murders his newborn children by the thousands. Ever since Super Mario Wolrd 2; Yoshi’s Island on SNES, the green dino has developed a heinous habit of throwing his children’s eggs at enemies, switches, or anything else this sociopath sees. As terrible as he is, there’s evidence to support the idea of him having a terrible father as well. After all, Yoshi came out of one of hundreds of abandoned eggs throughout the Mushroom Kingdom.


Dracula (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)

He’s Dracula, for ****’s sake. As if turning into a demon and trying to murder his son isn’t enough to put him on this list, he throws a wine glass at his son’s friend for trying to visit him. What a jerk.


Jecht/Sin (Final Fantasy X)

Even in his earlier years, Jecht was a terrible father. He was a hard-drinking Blitzball star whose time with his son Tidus was spent verbally abusing him. However, getting called a crybaby from a whiskey-soaked sports star paled in comparison to what Tidus would have to put up with later. You see, his dad turns into a gigantic murderous sea monster that tries to kill everyone in Spira. After a couple of encounters with this huge whale beast, Tidus was probably missing the nights when the worst thing that happened was some hurt feelings.


You (The Sims)

Let’s not pretend like you’ve been the greatest caretaker when looking after your Sims. You’ve neglected them, forced them to take craps in the bushes or on the floor, or even constructed little prisons for them. We know our own Joe Juba is fond of these activities, and we’re gonna go ahead and assume you’re guilty as well.


Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon)

The dude punches babies. End of story.



The Koopa King here is a little harder to pin the “bad dad” label on. After all, he seems to give the kids pretty much whatever they want. Whether it’s flying fortresses, their own castles, legions of minions, or just a bunch of hula hoops in Wendy O’s case, he keeps them happy. However, he’s also raising his kids to be total pricks. They really don’t have any redeeming characteristics, they’re just a-holes that try to kill Mario (who’s a pretty cool dude, overall). Also, Bowser is directly putting them in harm’s way by pitting them up against the plumber. Considering he’s been bested countless times by Mario, why would Bowser put his own children in his path? He also seems to favor some of his kids more than others. Bowser Jr. and the Koopa Kids have always been loyal to the king, but they’ve never been able to share the “Koopalings” title with his seven favorites.


Heihachi Mishima (Tekken)

Being the head of a huge crime syndicate is pretty shady to begin with, but Heihachi seems to take a certain kind of joy in tormenting his son Kazuya. After all, he deemed him “weak” at five years old and threw him off a cliff. The only way Kazuya survived was by making a deal with the devil. When you’re selling your soul at five, you’re probably gonna have a rough childhood. Many years later, Heihachi announced a fighting tournament to further test his son’s abilities. Kazuya passed the test, and understandably went the extra mile by throwing his father off a cliff. For some reason, Heihachi didn’t quite understand how “an eye for an eye” works, and proceeded to throw his son into a volcano. At this pace, Kazuya’s gonna have to uppercut his father into the sun to stop this vicious cycle.