10 video game heroes who have been THAT GUY
Scottish video games journalist and author, Chris Scullion, takes a look at 10 video game heroes who have been THAT GUY when it comes to female characters.
Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid
Hideo Kojima’s games often show women in a sexual way, often with silly explanations to justify it: the perfect example is Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V, who has to stay almost naked the entire time because she has a parasite that makes her breathe through her skin. Aye, right.
A lot of the time, though, the problem lies with Snake, the hero for much of the Metal Gear Solid series. In the first game in particular he’s often found flirting with other women, be they ones he communicates with via his Codec or Meryl, who he meets in person.
In literally the first cutscene where he meets Meryl, within less than two minutes he’s telling her “you’ve got a great butt”, completely ignoring the dangerous situation they’re both in.
Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is widely considered to be one of the greatest games ever made, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some questionable moments.
When Leon first meets special agent Ingrid Hunnigan, he immediately begins flirting with her by saying he expected her to look older. Later in the game, he tells her: “You’re kinda cute without your glasses, gimme your number when I get back.”
There’s also some dodgy moments involving Ashley, the president’s 20-year-old daughter who accompanies Leon for part of the game. At times when she’s on a ladder, the game lets you look up her skirt, which makes her close her legs, ask “hey, what are you looking at” and call Leon a pervert.
The game’s actually pretty irresponsible with this, because despite this clear harassment, at the end of the game Ashley still asks Leon if he fancies having sex. Please don’t be that guy in real life, because that’s really not how it works.
Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes
The star of the No More Heroes games is portrayed as an achingly cool guy who can cut bad guys to ribbons with his beam katana laser sword and always has a one-liner prepared for every occasion.
Unfortunately, he’s also a pretty awful role model when it comes to his attitudes towards women, whether it’s referring to some of the female boss characters he fights as “bitches” or his love for anime featuring large-chested girls.
The worst example, however, is his relationship with Sylvia Christel, the agent who assigns him his task in the first game. When Travis is told that his job is to kill all the top assassins in the world, he responds with: “If I become number one, will you do it with me?”
Travis may be a bad-ass when he’s fighting, but asking for sex as part of a bet is a big no-no.
Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher
Geralt may have a reputation for being one of the most well-loved characters in gaming, but he’s also one of the worst when it comes to treating women like throwaway sex objects.
This is most obvious in the first Witcher game, where the player can collect a series of ‘romance cards’. How do you get these cards? Um… by having sex with as many women in the game as you can.
Every time Geralt sleeps with a woman in the game he earns their ‘romance card’, which shows them half naked.
The modern equivalent of this would be getting your phone out and taking a photo of every woman you sleep with, then saving it in a folder as part of a growing collection. And surely you don’t need us to tell you why treating women’s bodies like your own personal Pokédex is wrong.
The gun shop owner in Resident Evil 2
Not all heroes are the star of the show, and not all sexual entitlement is immediately obvious.
Take the owner of the gun show in the original version of Resident Evil 2, who you encounter early in the game. If you’re playing as Leon, the man points his gun at you then says “Woah, sorry about that, I thought you were one of them.”
Play through the game as Claire, however, and when you reach the same point the man will instead say “Ooh, sorry about that babe, I thought you were one of them.”
Capcom obviously changed the line to make it clear to players that the dialogue was changing depending on who you played as, but in doing so it also highlighted how some men talk to women differently.
If the gun shop owner wasn’t that guy, his line to Claire would have been identical to what he said to Leon.
Frank West in Dead Rising
Frank is a veteran photographer – he’s covered wars, you know – and he’s seen some things you wouldn’t believe. But that all pales in comparison to the zombie apocalypse which ends up trapping Frank in a shopping mall.
While killing zombies is obviously the main aim of the game, players can also level up Frank by using his skills as a photojournalist and taking photos of the horrors that are unfolding in front of him.
Each photo Frank takes is given a rating based on one of five categories, including Horror (gory, zombie-filled photos), Drama (other humans discussing what to do), Outtakes (funny moments), that sort of thing.
Worryingly though, one of these categories is ‘Erotica’, where Frank is scored on how well he takes photos of the breasts and crotches of female survivors and zombies.
It’s obviously wrong to take photos of women in this way without their knowledge and permission, and in Scotland ‘upskirting’ is illegal.
Kratos in God of War
God of War is one of the most popular PlayStation series, and millions of players all over the world have enjoyed playing through numerous adventures as Kratos over the years.
However, even though Kratos is clearly the hero of these games and is supposed to be seen as the good guy, it’s pretty obvious that the way the games handled women (at least until recently) was far from heroic.
In almost every God of War game up until the 2016 reboot, Kratos will occasionally encounter a naked women (or even naked twins at one point).
To Kratos, these women only exist as a reward, as having sex with them gives him a power-up. It may only be a game, but don’t take its messaging literally or you’ll definitely end up being THAT GUY.
You in Sid Meier’s Pirates
Pirates does what it says on the tin (well, on the box) – it lets you sail the seven seas as a pirate and do whatever you like while you’re there.
Sailing, attacking other ships, getting into sword fights, they’re all options available to you. Or, if you want to be legit, you can just focus on trading goods.
One thing you can do, however, is attend balls held by governors and dance with their daughters in an attempt to win them over.
Each of the governor’s daughters in the game is rated by her looks, and the more attractive she is the more famous your character becomes.
It’s a pretty grim example of not only judging women purely on their looks, but also using them as a status symbol as if they’re a man’s property.
Mega Man in Mega Man Legends 2
Not every example of THAT GUY in gaming is a musclebound, action-loving tough guy. Sometimes even friendly, cheery heroes can mess up and be that guy.
Take Mega Man, everyone’s favourite video game boy robot, whose best friend is Roll. Roll’s always there to help Mega Man with upgrades and give him encouragement on his adventures, which is why one scene in Mega Man Legends 2 is so disappointing.
At one point, Mega Man is told that Roll is taking a bath, and that maybe he should get cleaned up too. Instead, you can make him go to Roll’s room and ‘accidentally’ see her in the bath.
Naturally, Roll kicks him out, but instead of feeling bad about what he’s done to his friend, Mega Man punches the air with joy instead. Not cool.
Mario and Bowser in Super Mario Odyssey
Yes, we’re sorry to say it, but even loveable old Mario can be that guy sometimes. You’d expect it from Bowser – after all, he’s always kidnapping Princess Peach – but Mario? Surely not?
Well, at the end of Super Mario Odyssey, after Mario prevents Bowser from marrying Peach, he approaches her with a flower and goes down on one knee, which confuses her. Then Bowser muscles in and goes on one knee two, as the pair try to get Peach to decide between them both.
Unfortunately, neither of them are coming off well here, even Mario. Just because he’s managed to rescue Peach, that doesn’t mean he’s entitled to her, and he’s putting her in a very awkward position.
Thankfully, Peach isn’t having any of it, and she tells them both off before jumping into Mario’s spaceship and flying off herself.
Follow Chris Scullion on twitter @scully1888Back