VGC Day 2: Characters

The Video Game Challenge continues!

Day 2: Name your favorite character

Oh boy…. obviously the people who came up with this list don’t follow this blog. I only get one?? How to choose, how to choose…

This one took a lot of thought. I’m tempted to say Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series because he’s such a beautifully real and tragic character, or Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess because her story arc is interesting and compelling, or Leliana from Dragon Age because I just love her, or Morrigan because she’s so fascinatingly complex. But I think my (current) favorite character is…


…Samantha Traynor from Mass Effect 3. Her character concept and development is fantastic (yes, this post is now officially part of my extended love letter to BioWare). She’s the communication specialist aboard the SSV Normandy and is one of the most brilliant people you meet in the series.

However, one of the things I like most about her is that she defies so many stereotypes. She’s homosexual, and while it’s a part of who she is, it’s not her defining feature. She’s not put in the game as some fantasy or sexual object for the (stereotypical) heterosexual male gamer; she’s gay because she was born that way (coded that way?).

She can tend a bar and she loves spa treatments. She plays chess, is a master at stragegy games, and could probably beat any of us at a video game. In spite of her brilliance, she’s a hypochondriac, but she has a very down-to-earth attitude about it. She’s socially awkward, but honest in who she is and what she wants, even with her cheeky sense of humor.

Samantha is the only character that I’ve come across so far in any game that I thought that if I met her in real life, I would instantly like her without hesitation. Leliana? After being initially put off by her religious visions, I’d be terrified she’d kill me in my sleep. Morrigan? She’d straight up terrify me, period. Midna? Same. Snake? …you get the idea.

But Samantha? She’s the type of person I wouldn’t mind grabbing coffee with after work. She’s well-rounded, she’s realistic, and she is my favorite character for this Video Game Challenge.

Who is your favorite character? What draws you to him/her?

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  1. I’m curious where you found this challenge! I did a Game of Thrones one a few months ago, and I love these things.

    Midna is my favorite Legend of Zelda character. I absolutely loved the end of Twilight Princess when her true form was revealed, and Link was speechless (which is pretty hilarious considering he never says a word anyway lol). I remembering finding this amazing cosplay of her, and I was as awestruck as Link. Leilana’s song brought me to instant tears the first time I heard it. I’ve never played Dragon Age myself, but I’ve seen a great deal of it. I’m watching a Mass Effect 2 let’s play right now (just finished up the first one), and I’m really hoping Wrex shows back up, because I love that dry, sardonic mien. I can’t wait to meet Samantha when I watch ME3! I’m enjoying Jack’s character immensely hehe.

    My favorite video character of all time is Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII for reasons that way too deep to really delve into here. I love complex and tragic villains to on a good day, and there were just things about his past that really spoke to me. For main Final Fantasy characters (non-villains I suppose) I’m torn between Celes from FFVI and Cecil from FFIV. They both have similarities to Sephiroth (Celes definitely) in being people thrown into military command pretty much against their will, definitely with Celes (and Seph) since she, too, was an enhanced human who was forced into difficult situations with terrible choices. Final Fantasy loves its dilemmas and manipulations!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are so many great characters out there, it really is hard to choose just one! I highly recommend Dragon Age. I really love the series, even though Origin will always be my favorite. You can always count on BioWare for great characters!

      Yes, I love that Midna comment on Link being speechless haha. Let me know what you think of Samantha (especially if you think I’ve just gone off the deep end of fangirling??)

      That’s one thing I noticed about the Final Fantasy series: the storylines are filled with well-developed characters and definitely do a nice job of throwing those characters into fantastically complex situations!

      I honestly don’t remember where I got this list. I saved a jpg of it a while ago and just dug it out recently. If you want, I can try sending it to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen quite a lot of it and definitely know how great it is! I like Morrigan and find her and Flemeth really intriguing.

        I was able to dredge it up on the internet. I found a picture on Twitter and took a screen cap. I definitely want to do this. I’ll probably draft them all and schedule them in one day. Time isn’t my friend lately, and I’d worry I wouldn’t get to it on a day by day basis. I did a Game of Thrones one, but did it all in one day. I’d actually want to follow the rule for the video game one though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve reminded me I really need to play the MGS and Mass Effect games at some point. I seriously need more gaming time… Anyway, I loved Midna’s story in Twilight Princess. I was thrilled when they released the Wolf Link and Midna Amiibo. Now I have a plastic version of her on my shelf 🙂

    Samantha sounds like a unique character and someone I’d like to have coffee with as well. A lot of video games tend to use stereotypical characters (i.e. the brave hero and the hapless princess who needs saving). It’s so great to see that the industry is evolving and creating more diverse characters. That way more gamers out there can discover a character that truly represents who they are, or one that they feel a special connection with.

    You’ve asked my two favourite questions to answer! 😀 I could ramble on about my favourite character for quite a bit, but I’ll try to give you my “TL;DR” version to spare your innocent blog:

    Lightning from the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy. IRL, I have the rarest introverted personality type, and she is the only character I’ve seen that shares so many of my traits. Most people misunderstand her and see her as being arrogant. But she is actually someone who would do anything to protect the people she cares about, and she desperately wants to save her entire world. I also admire her fierce determination and incredible strength. I played her three games during a dark time in my life, and it really helped me when I found a character I could relate to. I know she’s just a fictional character, but I will always see her as someone to look up to when harsh life starts bringing me down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. INFJs unite! …right? 🙂

      You’re welcome to write as much as you want; I love talking about game characters (and other topics related to games)!! I completely understand, I think I re-wrote this post about five or six times because it turned into me just gushing about how much I love Samantha.

      Would you believe that Lightning Returns was the reason I seriously considered (gosh that sounds so awful) trying Final Fantasy again? But then I looked at reviews and critiques and… well with limited funds and time it seemed like it wouldn’t be a good investment of either. But from the way you describe her, her games deserve a second look.

      That’s wonderful that you found a character you connect so strongly with. I’ve been searching and searching for academic literature to support these anecdotes, but I’ve noticed that children (and adults) who don’t have people they can turn to during difficult times seem to instead reach out toward fictional characters for friends or strength (I’ve done this myself, especially growing up, so I’m certainly not judging). There just seems to be something special about finding a fictional character like you – maybe not only because you identify with the character, but because it means that someone *created* that character, so a real person somewhere understands you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes!! INFJs unite! We’re here, we’re uncomfortable, and we want to go home… 🙂

        Thanks! I don’t say much IRL so I tend to ramble a lot online when it comes to things I’m passionate about, haha. I guess it’s how I express myself. You definitely made Samantha sound like an amazing character. I look forward to seeing her when I get the chance to play the Mass Effect games.

        Lightning Returns has a STEEP learning curve. I was horrible at it when I started, and also hated the idea of a 13 game day time limit. Once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it and never felt rushed by the “end of the world” timer. If you fail, you do have to start the game again but Lightning keeps her stats making things easier. It was also awesome seeing Lightning as the savior of her world in that game. I’m aware of all the negative reviews for the entire FFXIII trilogy, but I do recommend you give them a try or watch a “Let’s Play” of them someday. Take my opinions with a grain of salt though. I’m heavily biased toward liking the games since I have such a strong connection with Lightning.

        Yep, that’s exactly what I did now that you mention it. I’m really glad you understand how this feels! If you do dig up any literature on the subject, I’d like to know. When I discovered Lightning it did feel like someone out there actually understood me, for once.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, you’ve sold me on Lightning and Final Fantasy XIII! (adds game to “to play” list). It sort of sounds like the book “Life After Life” meets “Majora’s Mask” so I’m interested to see how the game puts all that together.

          And I haven’t given up my search. It’s still a topic I want to talk about, so I will definitely keep you posted!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Excellent! *tents fingers* 🙂 There is a definite “Majora’s Mask vibe” in Lightning Returns. It would have been so much easier if she had Link’s Ocarina of Time though…

            I hope you enjoy the games! I feel like I’m part of the minority who actually likes Lightning and FFXIII, lol. I’d like to know what you think when you get a chance to play it.

            Liked by 1 person

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