War Hero, two words with such an impactful meaning, usually associated with a war winner’s abilities as a soldier to take command of a battle, no more, no less. I personally find that meaning too broad and too easy to meet, that meaning simply judges a soldier’s merits, as a hero, is based on kills and bodies saved. I think there should be more to a war hero, especially a video game war hero. In addition to the definition above I shall add some amendments:
- Not only must their presence on the battlefield make a difference in terms of skill, their presence alone MUST boost soldier morale
- Even when the battle is almost lost their troops will rise up for him
- Even in death they are not lost
- They must be composed when everyone else is not
- Last but not least unparalleled dedication to the job
So let’s start with Honourable Mentions:
Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series), when you see who makes numbers 1 & 2 on this list you will understand why Solid Snake would make this list illegal if he was on it.
Marcus Fenix (Gears of War I & II), maybe next year Marcus, you have time to build a legacy and save people and make sure when you’re in a 2-man team the other guy FOLLOWS your orders.
Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem), he was a one man army who saved the world from being fucked by aliens but that’s about all I can say about him, there is never any other recognition he gets from other people.
Number 10: Fox (Star Fox), from the time he graced SNES in his starship until he left it on N64 he was center stage getting it done and when he died his crew would try to get him up.
Number 9: Zack Fair (Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII), when your predecessor dies, you usually go into some form of depression, not this guy, he gets promoted and he’s gung ho, let’s go! He doesn’t let anyone get depressed about his predecessor’s death he just says to honour their legacy. But Zack dies and his bro in his bromance, lives for him and on his behalf, yeah Cloud Strife is creepy like that. But when Sephiroth remembers you, you know you did something in life.
Number 8: Kratos (God of War series), this guy took on Zeus; who has the balls to do that? He led his own war against the gods themselves, again this guy has balls. At that point real people thought they could say “FUCK ______!” that blank is where you put whatever you believe in.
Number 7: Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad (Assassin’s Creed), one man army working for the Assassin’s Clan. This guy breaks all three rules in the first five minutes; “Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent,” “Hide in plain sight” and “Do not compromise the Brotherhood”, because of this he is demoted to grunt work and has to earn his rank again, and recognition. His job mainly is to bring peace to the Holy Land, but it becomes much greater, he must save humanity from the treachery of a single man, and does so although you are reliving the past to find clues to the future.
Number 6: Zeratul (Starcraft), even in exile he would protect his people, even when denied being able to call himself a Protoss, he would protect his brethren in their time of need; he would come to their aide. At a very young six hundred and thirty-four years old he wields his blade better than Yoda. When his matriarch asked to be killed instead of enslaved he did so without a second thought, when asked he led his people while in the darkness. His people recognized him, his clan was eventually recognized and he was looked up to as a hero; that includes me.
Number 5: Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII), not everyone’s favourite Final Fantasy party leader but this guy led a group of misfits to free a nation, assassinate a sorceress, break out of a high security prison, break into a missile base and blow it up, take back an mercenary organization from a tyrant, lead a war against another nation, walk on a train line across an ocean, go to space to witness a sorceress be released from cryogenic sleep, come back to save the world and finally saved time; that’s dedication for you. During their war when they were down he told them to get up and they did, he asked them to fight for him not just for themselves, they did and when he was lost in time, they believed. I should write motivational speeches.
Number 4: Sparda (Devil May Cry Series), mentioned very seldom only really identified as Dante and Virgil’s old man that every demon in every dimension across generations fears. Now this guy was special he felt pity on humanity, there we were and there he was ready to step on us, trample us and makes us the demon’s bitch, but he said “These guys should be given some chance to live, I mean were going to trample their shit cause we feel like it without any provocation” So he stood up for humanity and single handedly took down his own brethren and left us to clean up the mess, he could have helped out but he had just taken on an army, we gotta do something to make it look like we humans are useful. After his demise he is still feared, the name Sparda makes every demon shit their undergarments. Even long after his demise he is still worshipped, like a god, for his heroics.
Number 3: Auron (Final Fantasy X), “Doomed to obscurity for refusing the hand of a high priest’s daughter” killing SIN was more important that reproducing for this warrior monk and when he couldn’t get it done the first time, he went to release his anger on the bitch that was the reason friends died (Remember Yunalesca said they couldn’t permanently get rid of SIN using the Final Aeon, Auron said “Don’t do it we’ll figure out a permanent solution” Jecht said “You pussy, you don’t wanna die, I will, go raise my kid in Zanarkand for me”), he also died, but instead of joining them in the afterlife he had some promises to uphold and some indestructible ass to kick. He went from uptight religionite to sunglass wearing, sake drinking and all knowing badass; without Auron the world of Spira would still be trapped in the spiral of death. When people thought he died, they remembered him as the greatest guardian and guardians looked up at him as the prototype guardian. When the party was shitting their pants about fighting Yunalesca he said “Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!” That speech alone makes him worthy of number 3.
Number 2: Big Boss (Metal Gear Solid Series), I know eyes just came out of eye sockets if this guy is two who in the world is number one! Like Auron, this hero meets all 5 of my amendments. So what does Big Boss do differently that gets him a higher rank than Auron? This guy was anointed the Boss to surpass the Boss (I know it’s redundant but that is what the president said), his charisma lead to the creation of FoxHound, his reputation led to the creation of the Patriots, when he defected his troops went with him, when he failed to sustain Outer Heaven the first time he tried to recreate it from scratch, and finally this guy was cloned; his memory wasn’t enough the people needed him. Even in death Ocelot and EVA followed his commands and wishes to the “t”.
Number 1: The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater), you know what they say the original is always better than the copy, it holds true again. Also code named “The Joy” for her love of battle, she and her unit, The Cobra Unit, were the key to ending World War II for the U.S. When her squad mate went back to the Soviet Union she carried out the orders to kill him, when her country asked her to betray them, she did, she got her squad to follow her even with the high possibility of death and she died for her country labeled a traitor not the patriot she truly was, given a blank tombstone with no name only the words “A Patriot”. If that isn’t enough for you without her there is no Big Boss and without him there is no Solid Snake.