10 characters who know smoking is cool

For too long, political correctness has choked expression much like smoking might choke someone’s lungs. Back in the good old days, it was common for prominent pillars of society to be seen smoking: baseball players, gangsters, Popeye. Now it’s incredibly frowned upon, because “smoking may slowly kill you,” if you believe “proven medical facts.” But there are a proud few in gaming who celebrate their freedom to poison themselves, even if it means a T-rating and a lower life expectancy. Plus they offer helpful hints on the lesser known positives of tobacco.

Cid Highwind in Final Fantasy VII

One of a long line of Cids who make flying machines in Final Fantasy games, this Cid appeared in FFVII and its never-ending supply of spinoffs. Perhaps based on suicidal, hard-working game designers, Cid is committed to being a pilot and chain smokes while working to help him focus. In fact, this daring Dragoon is rarely seen without a pack in his headband and a cig on his lips.

Not only was Cid seen smoking during the story, but after winning a battle he would light a fresh one. And while it looked like he quit in the Advent Children film, the unlucky few who played Dirge of Cerberus know he's already lapsed one year later. He also has the nasty habit of swearing too much, which you kids shouldn't do.

But Cid does clean it up for the kids when appearing in the Kingdom Hearts games, as Disney is known to abhor smoking. Well, the company currently does; Walt Disney loved to smoke most of his life and eventually died from lung cancer complications because it was so much fun. Despite this censorship, Cid keeps his oral fixation alive with a toothpick as he fixes Gummi Ships.

Above: Walt enjoying tobacco decades before Disney took away Cid's 

Repede in Tales of Vesperia

In Tales of Vesperia, the protagonist's loyal pup Repede continually carries around his trusty pipe. That old-man accessory and his collection of scars give the adorable doggie an air of experience. Sadly, he only carries the pipe, which belonged to his former master, never smoking it. Perhaps it's because he can't light it, but that's hard to believe since he handles swords and healing items well enough.

Duke Nukem

Few people are more uncool these days than Duke Nukem. His game that was delayed forever got the bullet in the brain it deserved, he's completely unknown to any gamers under 13 other than as a joke and he's a total failure. Nobody wants to be like him, no matter what he shoves in his mouth. But as uselessly inconsequential as he is today, the cigar-loving misogynist was amazing if you were between the ages of 11 and 16 in the mid-‘90s, and also were a sexually frustrated male.

Above: "What do you mean 'overcompensating?'"

Back then, Duke had it all. He was funny, he was edgy, he molested women and he murdered authority figures. And part of his appeal was his cigar-smoking, which gave him that one last affectation the put him over the top. He didn't take no for an answer, and would light up in the face of those in charge with their no-smoking signs. An actual Duke quote: "I like a good cigar... and a bad woman."

Then you grow up, and the magic is gone. You see more movies and realize the "original" Duke steals quotes and characteristics from every action film from the '80s and early '90s. You realize he long ago crossed the line between badass and idiotic, and that as cool as smoking is, it isn't enough to make Duke palatable. Now Marcus Fenix, there's a timeless character!

Above: We've come so far 

You in BioShock

Fitting with the Objectivist and Libertarian ideals Rapture was built on, it's no surprise that you can smoke if you choose to in this submerged utopia. Among much of the detritus in the waterlogged world are packs of cigarettes. Much like they are for Metal Gear’s Solid Snake, here they're a double-edged sword: smoking brings up your Eve for more plasmid fun, but hurts you at the same time. Though perhaps that's because, as one audiolog puts it, they're made out of seashells and fish eggs.

Above: Choosy objectivists choose Oxford

And now, a special message:


  • Decoy906 - June 22, 2009 10:12 p.m.

    im sure snake is more worried about bullets then cancer
  • KillerPotato - June 21, 2009 11:17 p.m.

    Great article!!!
  • gmilf71 - June 21, 2009 8:35 p.m.

    dude what about afro samurai? he always has his hand rolled cigarettes.
  • Shane1403 - June 20, 2009 10:33 a.m.

    that was a seriously weird flinstones ad
  • HungryBeaver - June 18, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    I loved that Flinstones Winston cigarette ad that was great. Yep, there's nothing like a Winston, Barney!
  • spongejerk89 - June 17, 2009 10:47 p.m.

    Where the F is Sgt Johnson?
  • DragonSovereign - June 17, 2009 8:07 p.m.

    50th! While I don't smoke, i've got to say that this article is very convincing. Curse you Hank Mother Effing Gilbert!!!!
  • AnonymouZ - June 17, 2009 7:48 p.m.

    loved the commercials. That fps one against smoking looked like a cool game... x)
  • HypherionWing - June 17, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    Oh and i find it kinda funny how the person that wrote this article has a fake gun, a brew and is wearing a terrible pair of aviators. This icon is telling us what is abominably cool.
  • jesusfrk15 - June 17, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    i thought jericho from fallout would be on this article. "damnit its hard to find a smoke around now in days" "f**k! my last cigarette!"
  • HypherionWing - June 17, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    W...Why the low blow to the Duke? He wusn imposin on nuthin sir ._.
  • skyline19 - June 17, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    I might start smoking, because gamesradar showed me alot of cool people smoking in games. Yes, I will not light one up. I wish I was a Flintstone.
  • Bloodstorm - June 17, 2009 1:46 p.m.

    I live in florida so I've seen that comercial a lot. Whats bad is they made a decent looking "game" for this commercial, but when the commercials for a school that offers video game design comes on and look like crap compared to an anti-smoking ad, it makes me laugh.
  • Master_Leep - June 17, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    P.S. Why is a quote from Army of Darkness sad and tired? Is Army of Darkness sad and tired all of a sudden? Help me understand your degree of hatred toward awesomeness, Henry.
  • EmmaXII - June 17, 2009 12:02 p.m.

    And we all know who thinks smoking isn't cool. . . thats right people, Leon scott kennedy.
  • someformofmike - June 17, 2009 9:17 a.m.

    P.S. it's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all out of gum!
  • PS360Rulez - June 17, 2009 7:57 a.m.

    Henry did Duke like rape your puppy or something because you seem to resent him quite a bit. Me and a friend found my old N64 the other day and played some Duke and actually had fun killing some pigs and killing eachother. Sure it ripped stuff off but so do lots of games. Also why would you want a game to come out and flop? Dont we see that enough latly? I hope they do bring back the duke one day because he is funny because of how overly macho he acts. Plus im all for blowing shit up.
  • MechGyver - June 17, 2009 3:35 a.m.

    Smoking is cool!!!I tried it myself, you sould to!!!!! (smoking is bad for your health, ...but only if your under 13)
  • MGS4SolidSnake - June 17, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    subconsciosley big boss might contribute to the fact that i think cigars r cool...well that and the fact that they totally are
  • MGS4SolidSnake - June 17, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    wat about big smoke in gta san andreas hes always smoking

Showing 1-20 of 67 comments

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