10 characters who know smoking is cool

Jake Hunter

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.

Above: Even in a special appearance in Mevo, Bill keeps smoking

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.

Above: Stubbs prefers his grey matter mentholated 

And now, a special message:


  • WiLdFiRe567 - June 16, 2009 8:56 p.m.

    ... That's Flintstone's ad is scary shit
  • somthing42 - June 16, 2009 9:04 p.m.

    Snake always looks cool when smoking
  • BigTuna - June 16, 2009 10:59 p.m.

    That Flinstones video was disturbing...
  • twishart - June 16, 2009 11:04 p.m.

    This article makes me regret ever quitting smoking.
  • yoreAtowel - June 17, 2009 midnight

    i blame my addiction to snake, cid, the spy, and Barney Rubble, that man can talk me into smoking crack. But lets not forget how cool and mysterious smoking makes you look. And roflcopter to the florida add on page one, classic.
  • candyman - June 17, 2009 12:03 a.m.

    I smoke because that's what Antista does.
  • animeman - June 17, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    Solid Snake and Cid are the two most kick ass cigaratte smoking charecter ever.
  • lava_lamp - June 17, 2009 12:30 a.m.

    the spy is the greatest person in gaming overall in my opinion
  • Gameguy151 - June 17, 2009 12:41 a.m.

    i've actually seen that halo inspired ad on tv's...weird, to say the least...
  • ELpork - June 17, 2009 12:57 a.m.

    ............. I need a cig'
  • JamesT - June 17, 2009 3:06 a.m.

    Agree with Master_Leap: insulting the Duke is just not cool. He may be on hard times right now but he's a veteran and a classic, damnit. Do you go to retirement homes and laugh at the incontinent old man who served in WW2? I think not.
  • Bloodstorm - June 17, 2009 3:35 a.m.

    Smoking's bad, m'kay Sargent Johnson is another one that is pretty well known. If we are just talking about smoking of any sort, Little Jacob from GTA4.
  • GR_HenryGilbert - June 17, 2009 5:33 a.m.

    @ MasterLeap Just to be clear I don't diss Duke just to be cool. I played Duke in his salad days. It impressed me at first, but only because he broke all these taboos. He could piss, pay strippers, say "sh*t." It was amazing. Then I saw Army of Darkness, They Live, Aliens, Evil Dead 2, and Die Hard among others and I knew he was a total rip-off. Also, time has completely passed him by. I wish Forever had come out just so it could flop massively and definitively prove it. I think anyone looking back objectively at that time will see how poorly those games hold up and that the homages (as Duke apologists would call them) are sad and tired. @ MGS4Snake Big Smoke is a rat and a two-timing motherf*cker. They don't belong on no lists.
  • Ravenbom - June 17, 2009 5:57 a.m.

    lol, nice article Henry.
  • Vagrant - June 17, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    Grim Fandango for el win. Also, another reason Big Boss is better than Solid Snake.
  • someformofmike - June 17, 2009 9:15 a.m.

    The Duke is a legend in his own right, so what if he's a rip off of a combination of other characters from different sources, He was still the first of his kind (to the best of my knowledge) to grace a game, and is anything truely original these days! We're all inspired and influenced by our surroundings even if it's only sub-conscience. I still occasionally load up Duke Nukem 3D on my computer for a go, it provides the kind of experience that I feel is currently missing from a lot of modern games, a simple straight forward, no nonsense shooter, purely fun, not taking itself too seriously. The best example of a modern game that has done this I believe is Serious Sam, and I believe a sequel is being made for this, so can't wait!
  • speno93 - June 17, 2009 10:03 a.m.

    another great article from GR. Loved the tabacco free florida and Flinstones vids, hilarious
  • Master_Leep - June 17, 2009 1:17 p.m.

    @GR Henry I appreciate the response, but I disagree whole-heartedly with your stance on Duke. I felt when Duke was quoting some of my favorite action movies, that he was paying homage to the same kind of favorites that I loved. The way that 3d Realms appropriated the cream of the badass film genres then funneled it into this badass character for me to play, was exactly what I didn't know I looking for at the time. I felt connected with Duke because we both loved Bruce Campbell and They Live. I've missed Duke ever since, and while I agree the Forever is a complete debacle, and might not have lived up to the original, I get a tad miffed when I hear a bunch of loud noise from the younger gen. BTW it's Master Leep, a video game reference that I'm sure a 3D Realms heckler would miss out on.
  • MechGyver - June 17, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    !!!!I only started smoking because i saw it on videogames !!!! Im still waiting for that dam Malboro game to come out ... (lol)
  • MechGyver - June 17, 2009 3:15 p.m.

    Marlboro,sorry for the writing eh eh

Showing 1-20 of 67 comments

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