Most cowardly cowards in gaming

Pointy-headed intellectual types love to blather on about Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey while restating the obvious but with bigger words.  So the world loves heroes, maybe even needs them. OK, we get it. During our collegiate years, while learning how to restate the obvious but with bigger words, we also read about the idea of duality (something can’t exist without its opposite.) So what about the other side of the Hero coin? We almost never hear about the ones who wussed out and ran the other way. Heroes and cowards are inextricably linked in a cosmic web of interconnectedness through which their phenomenological manifestations are mutually reinforcing and co-dependent. So let’s look under the nearest rock for some of gaming’s most cowardly characters. Prepare to be disgusted by their pathetic weakness.

Al Asad – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Setting off a nuke in your hometown to cover your escape? Talk about alienating the base. If Al Asad has a redeeming moment, it’s when Price puts a bullet in his head. 

Captain Linebeck – Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Despite being a flamboyant pirate captain, Linebeck has more in common with the weasel-faced Daxter than the dashing Jack Sparrow. He’s a scrotumless blowhard who talks tough but somehow disappears whenever the situation gets even remotely menacing. He stays on the ship while Link, a mere child, does all the dangerous work and then has the audacity to try to take credit for Link’s success. There’s nothing worse than a conniving little bitch with a martyr complex and a huge chip on his shoulder, who spends more time trying to look busy than actually getting anything accomplished. And yet Link puts up with him, even though his presence is more hindrance than help.

Lord Lucien Fairfax– Fable II

The opening of Fable II contains a shocking scene of kindercide. The cowardly Lord Lucien shoots two defenseless children (you and your sister) in order to maintain his diabolical reign of terror. The sister dies, while you are sent flying out a window and miraculously survive to pursue a terrible vengeance. Or fart your way into bed with a comely villager, the world is yours to shape as you wish. 

Above: Hmm, I think I’ll have an orphan milkshake for breakfast 

The Lone Wanderer (you) – Fallout 3


At the end of Fallout 3, you’re presented with a choice. Someone has to perform a suicidal task to save the day. So are you a hero or a coward? Choices like these are a big part of why we gave Fallout 3 our coveted Game of the Year Chalice.


  • AznNguyen72 - August 5, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    Why hasn't anyone mentioned Hope from Final Fantasy 13? Seriously he whines and cries in almost every cut scene he's in!
  • Craza - July 23, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    Halo's Prophets weren't all that cowardly. Hell, you even had a boss fight with one of them. Besides, LOOK AT THEM, they're like.....5000 years old! Of course they don't want to fight the Master Chief! Haha.
  • ericn67 - July 22, 2010 6 p.m.

    what about roman off of gta he is a coward he hides in dust bins
  • gilgamesh310 - July 21, 2010 7:53 p.m.

    I just missed tour comment phoenix_wings. U made a similar point to me.
  • gilgamesh310 - July 21, 2010 7:51 p.m.

    An interseting article but you were clearly wrong about Irvine as can even be seen by the video. Irvine did eventually take the shot and Edea deflects the bullet with her powers, so it wouldn't have mattered either way. Besides even if he did kill her we would only have to endure one less disk, considering Edea was onlt a puppet to Ultmecia all along would would latter have to be dealt with as well as Adel.
  • ryno - July 21, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    where the hell is Brad vikers from resident evil
  • taterboob - July 21, 2010 6:45 p.m.

    @RazielArcanum Hey now, Zidane wasn't.
  • EdDeRs1 - July 21, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    god the evil ending of fallout 3 is so much of a cowards way out, admitedly i sent Fawks in as he was immune to radiation and i didnt relise it would explode...
  • Skykid - July 21, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    Here is what Al-Asad does to you: Gives you the middle finger (violent regime change), then nukes you because he doesn't have the guts to kill you himself. Give Price some plus points for ridding the gaming world of that d-bag with a shot to the head. At least Shepard in MW2 had the guts to stab his own international task force members in the back himself. Give that guy plus point for being able to do the dirty work himself. Al-Asad take note in your dark corner in Hell.
  • babyhenchy1 - July 21, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    Otacon gets too much crap for that encounter with the ninja. Yes he pissed his pants, but so would I. Solid Snake didn't, but he's f&*king Snake.
  • Clovin64 - July 21, 2010 11:56 a.m.

    Yes, blame Irvine. Because of him we had to endure three more discs of Squall's extreme emo-ness.
  • philipshaw - July 21, 2010 11:46 a.m.

    Great article and I knew Captain Qwark would be in here
  • FauxFurry - July 21, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    I'd say that Otacon's little sister Emma has him beat in terms of sheer cowardice. At least Hal comes through in the end, Emma just gets ended. I guess it ran in the blood before it ran out all over the floor. Still,Lionel Starkweather from Manhunt makes her look like Samus Aran by comparisson.
  • aJAWSOMEocelot - July 21, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    Come on, lay off of Otacon, anyone would piss themselves if an insane cyborg-ninja attacked you and you had no weapons or mortal arts training!
  • theemporer - July 21, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    "Would you trust this man" No, I would repeatedly stab this man. Wih lightening. Oh wait, that's not allowed.
  • phoenix_wings - July 21, 2010 5:41 a.m.

    But when Irvine finally did shoot, it turned out that there was a forcefield around Edea, right? So if he would have shot her first, wouldn't the forcefield deflect the bullet? Yeah, FF8 was an alright game, but it would have been better if it were minus 2 discs there.....
  • MadMan - July 21, 2010 4:19 a.m.

    I think Roman Bellic is a coward.
  • Ganonpork - July 21, 2010 3:47 a.m.

    @Raziel, wat about snow sazh of ff13? they werent wusses, hope was tho.
  • Spacegrass - July 21, 2010 2:41 a.m.

    I really enjoyed Infamous for the most part, but the characters were horrible, and Zeke isn't even the worst one (Cole's girlfriend is even less likable than he is). With friends like those, who needs enemies? Also, what does Zeke even do for a living? No one ever mentions him having a job, where does he get his money? Wait, are those kneepads... OH GOD NO WHERE'S THE FRICKIN BRAIN BLEACH?
  • 2dboy - July 21, 2010 2:25 a.m.

    Every game with a regenerative health system........well not everyone, but many of them.

Showing 1-20 of 37 comments

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