One of the more obscure entries on the list, Jake makes up for it in the sheer power and quantity of his tobacco intake. But first a little history: known as Jinguji Saburo in his native Japan, his series dates back to the NES era, but his first adventure in English was on the DS last year. His adventures are of the noir detective variety, and his smoking fits the gumshoe archetype, but Jake takes it a little further.
Jake needs smoking primarily to collect his thoughts. In the game, whenever you feel stuck in a situation and could use a clue, hit the right trigger to pull out a lighter. Jake starts smoking, and then gives you a fairly clear clue for what to do next. And this isn't something you can just do once in a while. In any scene, he can smoke over and over again. He can even "give clues" in a freaking hospital.
Not only does Jake teach players the powerful benefits of smoking for your state of mind, but by the end of each chapter in one of his digital stories he lights one more cigarette in case you hadn't got your fill. As you go through a multiple-choice questionnaire about recent events, he enjoys his umpteenth visit to flavor country. Jake always saves the day, but we wonder how well he'd do without his deductive crutch.
Most of the cast of Grim Fandango
Like most of the adventures made by comedy genius Tim Schafer, Grim Fandango is regarded as one of the ultimate underrated games. Taking place in a Mexican-influenced Underworld, the game casts you as Manny, a paper-pusher trying to help a dame get to the next world. The game is filled with smokers, and the most iconic image of Manny has him holding a lit cigarette. However, the manual did have a clever cover for it: "For those who are disturbed by the amount of smoking in Grim Fandango, we offer two reasons: 1) we wanted to be true to the film noir atmosphere, and 2) everybody in the game who smokes is DEAD. Think about it." Suck it, C. Everett Koop!
Bill in Left 4 Dead
Bill, the militant old Vietnam vet, is just the type of guy you want with you in a zombie apocalypse. His experience in war lets him keep his cool, and he could teach us San Francisco liberals how to shoot and reload a gun. In all, he's the grandpa we all wish we had, and because he's old-school, he's going to smoke whether society approves or not.
When in the field, Bill's never without a death stick. We guess brands and filters don’t matter to him anymore, as he'll settle for whatever he can find in this ruined world. Even when dead, Bill still has a cigarette in his mouth, though the smoke no longer rises from it, which brings a single, manly tear to our eyes just thinking of it.
Stubbs the Zombie
We’ve decided to give zombies their own space here, in fairness to glorifying their killers. Stubbs, star of the cult undead title from one of the creators of Halo, was a murdered salesman who awoke in a ‘50s utopia hungry for brain. Even when graphically chomping on skulls, he tenaciously keeps his lit cigarette. Still, we’re guessing he can’t inhale, so it just sits there, constantly ashing, as he takes apart the “City of the Future” one cranium at a time.
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