The psychology of video game characters

Man, do we control a lot of psychos in video games! Observe:

Mario - Classic enabler of the princess. When will he learn not to jump in at the earliest moment and let her do something on her own?

Yoshi - Co-dependent, often doesn’t act at all unless someone rides all over him.

The Belmont Clan - This entire family has massive S&M issues due to their stunning addiction to whips and candles.

Garrett - Classic kleptomaniacal tendencies.

Kirby - Bulimic, has a history of eating just to satiate and then spitting back it back out when he’s done.

Link - Completely anti-social: doesn’t talk, smashes people’s property and has some deep issues with chickens. (Apparently also fraternizes with faeries.)

Rockman - An underwear fetishist with penis envy, wears blue underwear on the outside of a metal suit, despite the fact that he is a robot and cannot in fact rock Roll.

Mayor Mike Haggar - Political leader with aggressive tendencies, tends to solve conflict through violence with a hunger to smash people’s heads in.

The Prince - This poor boy has grown up in a home with absolutely no boundaries set. Tends to draw people up into his own problems.

Rikimaru - Excessively shy, tends to hide in the shadows whenever anyone comes around.

Cloud - Secretly gay: emulated his idol right down to the clothes until he thought he was him, has the hots for a bishounen in leather and ignores the attentions of a woman with the most aerodynamic boobs on his planet.

Prince of Persia - Consumed by regret and anguish, found to constantly keep wishing he could turn back time and jumping to his conclusions.


I’ve read that Pac-Man is in fact a “raver” who runs around in the dark while listening to repetitive music all the time, eating pills. Obviously, ghost hallucination and delusions of grandeur are symptoms of his addiction. He tends to be drawn to fruit snacks that may be laying around.

I’ve always figured that there’s something really wrong with most RPG characters: “Hey mister! Can you help me find my toolbox, it’s washed downstream into that swarm of cannibal fish-men!”

Typical RPG character answer: “Duurrr… okay!”
Better answer: “What, are you fucking nuts? Your tools are gone, man! Fucking gone!”

Even better answer:

“Don’t insult my family! Graaah!”

The joke among ravers usually goes like this: What, if video games affected us as kids we’d all be running around in dark halls, eating pills, and listening to repetive electronic music!

To be fair Bioware satirised this in BG2. One of the PC dialogue choices, in the Underdark section, was ‘Great. Another bunch of back-tunnel munchkins who eant me to risk my life to help them.’

I liked in the beginning of Icewind Dale 2 you meet another merc and shoot the shit about all the silly starter quests. It was pretty funny.

Every RPG character ever - absolutely no compunctions about breaking into people’s homes and swiping everything that isn’t nailed down, often right in front of the inhabitants. Rarely arrested or otherwise punished for their larcenious ways.

Yeah, too bad after you repel the goblins, you get…a bunch of silly starter quests. So they’re not so much skipped as deferred. :-T Still, definitely a good thing that you start by bustin’ some heads.

Funny, I remember going to jail in Morrowind when I tried that.

Besides, some rpgs don’t have anything in the houses to steal: A Bard’s Tale springs to mind (and introduced me to the word snarky), but I don’t doubt there were others.

I was playing the new Mario for DS and this got me wondering. Have they ever explained Bowser’s motivations for kidnapping the princess? I don’t think he ever asks for a ransom. Is it just to get attention? The attention of a certain plumber perhaps?

I used to run like hell and pay the nice man at the Thieves’ Guild to fix the cops for me. Wood elf rogues were good at that

Yeah, okay, so it was only my first char that went to jail for theft :P

The rest just killed the guy, then looted it all.

This is before we start on the psychological web of insanity that is The Nameless One. Even the smack-talking skull is scared of him. I’m still not sure as to Serious Sam, too.

Dante- Has an obvious Oedipus complex. Fraternal issues are also a problem.

Patrick Galloway from Undying is FLAMING.

Most main characters in point and click adventure games need to think outside of the box and find more than one solution to life’s problems.

Arthas was obviously spoiled as a child. Spare the rod, destroy the kingdom?