10. Junpei Iori (Persona)
Persona 3 was an extremely important game for me. This was a JRPG that saved gaming for me in general. Ever since a game like Heavy Rain came out, I had terrible discussions about that game and for my young self back then was making me think differently about video games. A great friend got me to play Blazblue which started my love for fighting games and then Persona 3 FES. I will still pick Persona 3 over 4 mostly for what an impact the franchises made such a huge impression with me when I started with 3. Also I personally love how the story works compared to 4. Then for my favorite character of the franchise would have to be Junpei. In the beginning he was quite an idiot, but he wanted to do well. He wanted to make sure he got the spotlight for a reason and did not want to be outdone by anyone. Junpei changes his mind quickly though after he almost got himself killed. Now he still does act like a ladies’ man and fails almost every single time… Still he has a straight up fun attitude and can actually be the positive voice of the group. What made him stand out for me though was when he was with Chidori who sadly was on the opposing side. The two had a cute relationship starting out and then it was taken away from Junpei because of the battle. Her death not only causes Junpei to get a stronger Persona since both of theirs become one, but it actually has him stick to his positive attitude only more. He knew how devastating it was for him to lose someone he loved and in the end he thought of how others are losing people as well. It takes strength to not to be selfish after personal loss because people feel like things have only been taken away from them and they deserve more. Junpei lost someone and wanted to make sure others did not feel his pain. Now in Persona 3 Portable you can save Chidori after her death which I personally love that is canon. Then in the Persona 4 Arena series, he is the grand slam slugger! His play style is one of my favorites in fighting games, the whole baseball aesthetic is silly and shockingly strong. Overall Junpei is Stupei, but that is who he is and not only he is fine with that, so am I.
9. Bayonetta and Jeanne/ Dante and Vergil (Bayonetta/Devil May Cry)
Well this was a tricky spot… I will not lie I love the action genre and the late 2000’s have done amazing with the genre in general. Two franchises that still do stand out would be Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Both have strong action sequences, silly stories, and an overall huge sense of fun. Now for Devil May Cry I mostly like to focus on 3 and 4. The first Devil May Cry was a good beginning for the franchise, but the series started to have its great image with the 3 and 4. Bayonetta was amazing from day one and then Bayonetta 2 is simply one of the best games I ever played and I still have a hard time deciding which is better Devil May Cry 3 or Bayonetta 2. Either way for terms of characters I had to make this a four-way tie. First with Bayonetta and Dante, even if they have different stories, in terms of personality they are nearly the same. Both are flashy fighters that can get a bit over their heads at times. Then Dante is not afraid of the fan service just like Bayonetta, again Devil May Cry 3 has shirtless Dante and he has no shame spinning around a stripper pole. I love their overall fashion and style. The humor of these characters still stands out to me and then we get to the other characters. Vergil and Jeane were originally fighting their respective main characters and while Jeane has become a permanent ally for the Umbra Witch, Vergil only fought alongside Dante one time. Why I still can’t even pick over these two as well is that they both work perfectly with the main characters. I cannot imagine Dante without Vergil because the fights they had in Devil May Cry 3 is some of the best rival fights in general. Dante and Vergil have a strong story with each other and work has great foils as well. I defend the original Vergil a lot, people think he is a dumb character, but to be honest he is quite a tragic character. Unlike Dante who became carefree and wanted to help the humans since the death of his mother, the same did not go for Vergil. Again Dante wanted to help humans so that not only himself had to feel the pain of losing another, it was for others as well. Vergil focused on his despair and wanted to make sure no one could hurt him again hence why he wanted to become stronger than he once was. Then with Jeane, she originally tried to stop Bayonetta because of a prophecy with the Umbra Witches and was the one who sealed Bayo away. Bayo comes back though and the two fight and again they have some great fights and Jeane was a bit cruel, even if she was trying to defend the world from devastation. I love how Jeane turns a new leaf though and decide to help Bayo and the two just work together so well. Again I cannot see Bayo without Jeane now. What really helped with this was in Bayonetta 2 where the two had great exchanges of dialogue, even if a bit small, and it shown how much they cared for each other. Overall these two main characters are simply insanely fun people and the other two extremely help their image even more.
8. Sol Badguy (Guilty Gear)
Guilty Gear in terms of it story took some time to really dawn on me. Originally I thought it was too straight forward, but looking back at it there are many great things about it, one being the main character himself and the best fighting game protagonist, Sol Badguy. You want a badass? Well Sol Badguy would be that badass. He can be a bit brash and hot-headed and at the same time he is an incredible scientist and an overall strong hero. That is one aspect I do love about the character is how insanely strong he is. To me, he is the strongest fictional character I can recall. Most of his biggest wins come from when he was holding back his powers and at the same time he keeps getting stronger as well. Even if he is this insanely powerful character, he does not have that get over his head. He has had tough fights in his past like with Ky Kiske (which he won every fight), he took down Justice which is someone Kilff could not stop even when he was at his strongest (that guy killed a Hydra the size of Everest!), and he still stayed toe to toe with That Man (who actually has a name now, but I want to stick with That Man). Sol only has one loss in his record which is with That Man, but that would make sense since That Man made Sol near indestructible. Along with that then Sol has some great powers of using fire based attacks, the Dragon Install being my favorite transformation even with Devil Trigger around, it is no Dragon Install. Then his story is well another tragic one (again go figure) where he is forced to become a Gear and even ends up fighting the love of his life and him actually killing her (twice in a technical standing). After all of that though he isolated himself from many people, it did not also help that many people wanted him dead. He was seen to be dangerous because of his powers and some would try to test it or simply want to kill him. He could not trust anyone including himself. Thanks to great progression though, people start to change. The best being Ky Kiske who stopped being hot headed and tried to overcome Sol in combat and ended up falling in love with the half Gear, Dizzy and even had a son who carried Gear blood. Sol’s mission was to kill all of the gears, but he could not bring himself to kill Dizzy or Sin. It is because Ky changed and not only was he kind to others, more importantly he became kind to Sol and looked up to him. Sol killed the love of his life and believed he even did it before that time. Ky had something that Sol could not have, a family. Sol did not get jealous, he felt compassion. Which is thanks to how Ky even extends his hand to him to help and he trusts Sol so much to even watch over his son because of how many people would be after Sin since he was half Gear. Sol Badguy is just an overall nice guy, he can be a bit blunt and straight forward, but he is done losing things in his life and the same goes for others. He has no reason to take anything from them since he lost too much and knows that pain.
7. Zihark and Ilyana (Fire Emblem)
Now for Fire Emblem characters these are not main characters, but hey Thraja is my favorite unit from Awakening along with her daughter simply because they are enjoyable characters so this match up falls in the same category. Zihark and Ilyana make their debut in Path of Raidence as recruit able units, and where you get them are two of my favorite missions in Fire Emblem history. Ilyana you get from mission eight where Ike helps her get out of the wrong crowd as they were forcing her to fight so that she could eat again. The silly thing about her though is that she can eat a lot, like servings worthy of five men. The frail girl also does have some Laguz blood in her which are these half human half beast creatures. The best part about her is she has the best supports which I will mention on later. Still a crowning moment has to go to the time she tried to eat someone’s shoe! Along with that she is my favorite magic user because of her use of lighting and how she can achieve the strongest lighting magic in the game which becomes so helpful against Dragon units late in both games. Then Zihark was in mission eleven where he is helping out some rebels and Daein forces to take out Ike’s crew, but when he sees that Laguz are part of Ike’s crew he starts to consider if he was fighting on the right side. Zihark’s story is that he did have a lover who was a Laguz, but because of the social status issue he had to be separated from her (or in the Japanese version of the game she was killed right before his eyes). Zihark wishes the bloodshed can end between the two races so that everyone can live in harmony. Zihark is still not afraid to fight though if it comes down to it and his is just my overall favorite unit to use. He is strong, fast, and can have a killer skill set if used properly. I also love when we first meet him he has the Killing Edge, along with his good critical chances that is already doubled and add-on his good Skill stat he can activate adept many times which just leaves for more chances for a critical strike. Now the reason this is a tie is because I love the Zihark and Ilyana support conversations! There are only three, but damn they are great! Zihark just like many other men give Ilyana food, but then he decides to stop and actually teach her a lesson about respect. Ilyana takes many people’s food, but never truly thanked them; she does not even remember their names. She soon starts to listen to Zihark and she does in fact remember acts of kindness now, a little too much though as in Radiant Dawn she recalls that Zihark helped her twenty-three times, but who’s counting? This relationship is just too much for me, it works to damn well! It is the only time you will ever hear me ship characters because these two are just perfect. Zihark even mentions about marrying her in Radiant Dawn (but there are no good support conversations in that game that could build up on that…WHY?!). Overall these two units are just my favorite, they are both powerful and their support with each other is just too much for me to handle.
6. Raiden (Metal Gear)
Here is quite a controversial character, originally being the main character of Metal Gear Solid 2 many people hated how he was the main character, only because he was kept a secret and everyone just wanted Snake again. I personally love the change of pace as Raiden is my favorite character from the Metal Gear series. He was a child who was taught to kill at an early age and he was effective at it. He was only ten years old and was put into war! Raiden even gained a nickname from his war days, Jack the Ripper. He soon fights for his independence again from the man who adopted him and forced him into the fray and got the codename Raiden. He even fell in love with a woman named Rose and sadly she was part of an organization that soon used Raiden for their experiments. Then we get to Metal Gear Solid 4 where he is mostly machine now, but luckily, he already had a son before that, phew! With him being the cyborg ninja he became insanely powerful and then later on with nanomachine technology he only became stronger. Again has I said before a video game character can simply be awesome when you play as them. Well being able to slice through anything is too much damn fun! In Metal Gear Rising, Raiden not only becomes my favorite Metal Gear character, but also a character I can put in my top ten. Raiden becomes even more mechanical than he once was and in that game and he delivers a whole ton of butt whopping! Also in Rising I do love how he is finally fully accepting himself even with his Jack the Ripper attitude. Which even opens another awesome mechanic where he can just slice anything at will (usually he would have to perform a certain attack to do that). I love how down in the dirt he got in Rising and how he finally found that he is fighting for himself in a good way of course. Still I just cannot get enough of playing as Raiden in Metal Gear in general as he started out streaking in Metal Gear Solid 2 and then slices through Metal Gears like they are nothing in Rising… I so want Rising 2!
5. Miles Edgeworth (Ace Attorney)
Man, I only recently got into the Ace Attorney series and already these games got me impressed with the depth it has. Not only were the puzzles great both in and outside of the court, but even the character progression is amazing. Phoenix who starts out as the hero of the courtroom who even loses his badge at some point for seven whole years! Phoenix still picks his old job back up, but during those seven years he was a father which is quite shocking. Anyways this is sort of off topic, but let’s just say the Ace Attorney series is not afraid to do certain things. Then with progression Miles Edgeworth started out a prosecutor that wanted to find people guilty so that no criminal can walk free. He witnessed a man no one believed in of being not guilty get a not guilty verdict and this was about his father none the less. That anger made Edgeworth into the scary prosecutor he started out as. Rumors said he would use forged evidence just like his mentor Von Karma and while not true, Edgeworth still had to work around those rumors when he started to turn a new leaf. Edgeworth even left his profession for some time and when he came back he might still be stubborn and quite rude, but his pursuit for the truth speaks clear in the end. Things get way more developed for this character as we hit his own spin-off series where Edgeworth had to face near impossible enemies to bring into the courtroom. Some of the best still has to go the second game of his series where he was questioning of what he should be, a defense lawyer or a prosecutor. Edgeworth dealt with some annoying prosecutors and they tried to strip him of his title, but he kept finding ways to interfere with the situation. The best moment had to be when poor Kay was being suspected of murder even when she had no memories. Edgeworth literally throws his badge away to help his friend. Edgeworth put pride into his job and that was clear in the beginning, but now he clearly fights for the truth and the innocent even if he is on the prosecuting side. What also makes Edgeworth fun is that he is a constant surprise when you face him in the courtroom. Even in the most recent games he can still be a scary foe. Edgeworth’s logic can really work out some crazy situations. I am even a fan of how Edgeworth has logic battles and is never a poor sport. He had made bonds by working with others even if he intended to or not to. Overall, Edgeworth started out as a scary prosecutor to another law hero like Phoenix which is quite surprising to watch develop.
4. Baiken and Sheena (Guilty Gear/Symphonia)
These two ladies are no pushovers and that is a huge reason why I do enjoy them so much. Sheena has been a childhood favorite of mine ever since I played Tales of Symphonia. Then Baiken has always stood out to me the most in the Guilty Gear franchise. Baiken is a pure badass in so many ways. Even when I first saw her I just fell in love with how different she felt compared to a large majority of female characters before and after her. Baiken will kick anyone around if they dare to piss her off and her anger does come from somewhere too. Both Sheena and Baiken have hard lives and both started around their childhood. Baiken lost her family, her eye, and arm due to the attack on Japan that started the war against the Gears. Baiken is also one of the few people who saw That Man and wanted revenge no matter what. Sheena has a child could not make a pact with a vicious summon spirit that soon attacked the chief of her village and put him into a coma and killed many others. Many never forgave her for failing and this even becomes a side story for this character. Sheena became afraid of making pacts because of the bloodshed around her. Then both of these characters did have someone to set them straight a bit. Baiken had Anji who is very calm and thinks things through. Anji wanted to meet That Man to learn of what really happened as the two traveled together and I think they still do for the most part. Anji even got Baiken to forget about her revenge since getting to That Man was near impossible. Sheena then had Corrine and Lloyd. Corrine offered his life for Sheena and Lloyd was the one to bring her out of her fear (also for the romantic option, I always pick Lloyd and Sheena). Then in terms of their play styles I love them both. Sheena is a mixture of close range combat with far range summoning spells, she can even change elements around which really helps if you need that advantage. Baiken is a pure offensive character so much that her defense is offensive. Baiken has many counters on her where she can do a quick stab, an anti-air counter, summon the kickboard, or even inflict a status effect on her foes. Baiken also has my all-time favorite special move even if it is a simple extension of slashes, it just melds so perfectly with any of her attacks. It is also high damaging! The number one thing I love about these gals is they are tough and while they do have some beauty as well, the first thing I think for them is how tough they are. Which to me is quite rare to find sometimes with female characters because there is so much fan service all around. Baiken really shows that since she even throws out her gender, she is a warrior first and foremost. Both have their hardships and learn from them, something I love my characters to keep on doing.
3. Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles)
This is also my main in Smash Bros Wii U/3DS
Shulk is simply one of the best RPG protagonists around. Shulk really stands out as the main hero because he is after Dunban most of all, the man who took on an army by himself. Shulk stayed inside for the most part studying the Monado a sword known for defeating his deadliest foes, the Mechon. Shulk wanted to discover everything it had and well he does since he starts wielding it. When the Mechon return, Shulk takes the Monado and has no side effects while using it. Shulk also picked up the ability to see into the future and has the ability to change it. Sadly, this does go well for him in the beginning as Fiora was murdered by the Mechon known as Metal Face as Shulk had to witness that twice. Filled with despair, Shulk decides to get revenge for his fallen comrades in his colony along with Reyn and later on Dunban. The man builds up a pretty large party and it was because of him being a genuine good person and leader. Shulk is honest with himself as when he is on his quest he knows it is not noble to fight for revenge. He knows this and still fights because the Mechon are also a great threat as he wants to prevent further tragedy. Even throughout his journey he starts to show mercy for his foes. Again, in the beginning he yelled out bloody murder for Metal Face’s head and the later on he actually gives him mercy. I always loved this about Shulk since it shows courage and trust in others. Sharla and Melia join forces since they all share the common feeling of losing others. It felt genuine and not forced at all which is thanks to how Shulk acts. He will never force his way to be the better way which is great leader quality for me. The overall journey Shulk has just builds on his character and it is amazing how many people he works, fights, and even bond with. Then him using the Monado is incredibly fun. Being able to use many buffs to change the tide of battle and unleashing massive damage to any type of foe. Shulk even carries some nice personal heals with him and a great arsenal of back and side attacks. Teamwork is the key which is Shulk motto from the beginning so seeing that work in gameplay really speaks true to his character. Shulk is an unexpected hero as he does not seem to be the strongest, but surprises can come anywhere.
2. Zero (Megaman X)
If I was making this list like back then on my old blog, Zero would be number one with no regrets at all. Zero has been my favorite character in my early days. I love the Megaman X and the Megaman Zero series and the biggest reason is Zero. First off, I love his designs. I am not the biggest fan of the Megaman Zero design, but the weapons he does carry make the design better. Classic Zero is the way to go for me with the great flowing blonde hair with his red armor and green laser saber. My all-time favorite design of his has to be Black Zero where he gets white hair, black armor, and the purple laser sword! I remember the first time I saw this design and I knew I was in for a fight. Then there was the journey of being able to play as Zero. In the beginning, you played as X who got to be strong as Zero then we soon get to X2 where we save Zero and bring him back. X3 and X4 is where he is starting to become playable and man his sword frenzies never get boring. Sure, he has to get in close, but his sword skills are no joke. I love short hopping around for some quick slashes and when you get the full combo in that is massive damage. Then with X4 and Megaman Zero 3 being my favorites of the Megaman franchise both of these games say a lot about Zero. In X4, he is brought to fight a friend and lover and yes there is the iconic “What am I fighting for,” but as for me as a kid I did not see the bad voice acting I saw the pain Zero went through. Megaman Zero 3 brought everything to light to what happened to Zero and how he lived on through the carnage. Then Megaman Zero 4 was his end and he died as a hero which to be honest is funny considering who built him. There is a lot to Zero as he brings a lot to the Megaman franchise. He was my motivation as a child and I can never forget that.
1. Travis Touchdown (No More Heroes)
Now here is an interesting outlier to everything I have brought up. I love characters that stand up for the good fight and develop as people. Edgeworth changed himself to be a better person to protect others, Baiken and Sheena learn how to deal with their feelings, Shulk learns about his philosophy, and Zero loses many close to him and becomes a war hero. Travis Touchdown is none of that at all. In the first game, he was fighting to sleep with a woman and just happened to forget what he was really fighting for. Then in the second game he fights for revenge and does learn more about what fighting really means. Travis still does develop as a person, but just not in the ways some others would. Travis is also a big-time loser and pervert as he stays in his crappy motel and watches the same anime, wrestling, and porno videos. What makes Travis awesome though is how ridiculous he can be. This man literally has to jerk off his sword to charge it, who does that?! In the beginning, Travis was a literal contradiction in every way possible. He forgets what he was fighting for and boasts off things he is not even sure about. Like fighting to become number one and saying he is not fighting for any titles. Sparing Shinobu only so she can be stronger later on and then Travis can kill her later with a more satisfying fight. He even yells at someone for being a perverted psychopath which he is! Playing as Travis can get confusing, but it is a fun journey to learn his logic. Travis can also be quite a smart ass with many great lines. He is surprisingly strong and takes blows from many powerful foes. In No More Heroes 2, Travis feels a bit different since he has become the type of person he wanted to fight. Travis became a legend and got back into the ranking fights because of revenge. The best moments for him in the second game is when he is talking about his fights. Travis can be many things, but a fight is important to him. This was quite clear in the first game too. Travis did learn of how it feels to fight with everything and he did kill many people as most of those people were strong foes and some did leave an impact on him. Holly teaching Travis to fear death and to then always fight with everything he has. In the second game that tone really stays strong when Travis gets closer to the first rank. He fights many honorable foes and wants to respect them as such. Travis’ speech when he kills Alice still rings true to me as death is important. Even if a character is fictional they still will die like a normal person (unless some characters are immortal, but forget that part). It just speaks true to me as a man who enjoys the entertainment medium and loving the characters I enjoy to this day. To be honest a character’s death can be many things and it should be important. You can go out in fashion and leave on an awesome note or their death can bring sadness, but that is okay. Also with Travis being the most non-noble person does make an easy bond with him since he is like many others with desires to fight for. It can be for revenge for someone or it can just be for pleasure. Playing as Travis really taught me that since we all deal with grief in many ways. “Some people f%#@ at funerals, I cut off heads.” Travis is simply an enjoyable mess of a person and being that No More Heroes is my go to game, I can say Travis just stuck onto me over the years.
So that is my list of my favorite video game characters. Leave any comments about your personal favorites. Again characters are all important to someone in different ways and I would love to learn about those views.