You might not realize it, but for every game you’ve played where aliens and terrorists are the cause of untold trouble, there’s another in which the real problem is poor family dynamics. The issue may be caused by sibling rivalry or might stem from daddy hurling junior into a volcano.
Either way, immediate relatives can create an awful lot of sticky situations. Just check out this little lot…
The Monroe family
As seen in: Siren: Blood Curse
If you were investigating a Japanese village famed for rumors of human sacrifice, would you really bring your six-year-old daughter along for the ride? That’s what Sam Monroe and Melissa Gale do. It takes all of five seconds for disaster to occur, culminating in Bella – the unfortunate child in question – being blasted back through time and transformed into an evil, immortal, flesh-eating nun.
Drugs. Corruption. Violence. That’s GTA’s McReary family. There’s corrupt cop Frankie, mob boss Gerry, thug Packie and down-and-out Derrick, whom Frankie decides to have assassinated on the off-chance he might tell the press about his brother’s penchant for backhanders. Despite living among these nut-jobs for years, sister Kate stays free from trouble for quite a while. But the very second she attends Roman’s wedding she gets gunned down on the church steps. See, ladies – bad guys may be glamorous but they’re also dangerous. Why not try games journalists instead?
Orvus and Clank are a bit like Geppetto and Pinocchio, but are a scientist and robot instead of a carpenter and puppet. In A Crack in Time, it transpires that Orvus built The Great Clock to heal the universe and then made a robot – Clank – to look after it, promptly passing his guarding responsibilities to his ‘son’. If we were Clank, we’d be pretty peeved at this. But then, if we were Clank, we’d be able to make multiple copies of ourselves and travel through time. Which must be some sort of consolation for years of zero parenting.
The Snake family
As seen in: As seen in the Metal Gear series
After Big Boss falls into a coma in 1972, he must be surprised to wake up and discover three sons he didn’t have before. Unfortunately, the boys – Liquid, Solid and Solidus – have been created from his DNA to become genetically enhanced super-soldiers. Liquid ends up dying before having his mind taken over and his arm transplanted onto Revolver Ocelot, and Solidus somehow lucks his way into becoming president of the USA. And Solid? He smokes a lot of cigarettes and kills his father. Well, among other things…
The Mishima family
As seen in: The Tekken series
Tekken’s Heihachi Mishima is not a nice man. He throws his son Kazuya over a cliff when he’s only little, and then into a volcano once he’s grown up. Then there are Jin and Lee, Kazuya's sons (Lee being adopted), who have – perhaps understandably given their granddad’s behavior – established an unhealthy obsession with beating up their own family. Heihachi has an ace up his sleeve, though, in the shape of his bodyguard – a massive, slavering, bloodthirsty bear. Don’t look at us like that, we don’t write this rubbish.
Bayonetta – mom, if you can call her that – is a witch. Her "daughter" Cereza doesn’t exist at the start of the game but flashes into existence aged about six. Then there’s Baldur, a crackpot and demi-god – oh, and Bayonetta’s dad. Not only has he created Cereza by kidnapping a younger version of Bayonetta – yes, she is her own "daughter" - and bringing her to the present day, he also wants to destroy the universe. We’d just strike him off the Christmas card list, but Bayo chooses to give him a good thrashing instead.
Oh, so you don’t think Wander and his girlfriend Mono are a dysfunctional unit? How else would you interpret the game’s climax? Wander’s transformed into a baby – containing, perhaps, some of the evil spirit of Domus – while Mono awakes, finds her boyfriend is an infant and has to bring him up. This means that Wander’s girlfriend is now, in effect, his mom. If that’s not twisted, we don’t know what is. God only knows what Agro makes of it all.
In one of gaming’s less uplifting opening segments, Heavy Rain’s Jason Mars is hit by a car and dies. Then his brother Shaun turns into a complete brat and gets kidnapped by an asthmatic fake detective. Dad Ethan, meanwhile, has blackouts and thinks a locked part of his mind has set him a stack of trials with which to demonstrate his ‘dad worth’ – most of them seem to involve lacerating or electrocuting himself. There are special clubs to visit if you’re into that sort of thing, Ethan – err, apparently.
We are family
Can you think of any other gaming families that could use a little therapy? Let us know in the comments!
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