2. Gray Fox
Frenemies with: Solid Snake and Naked Snake/Big Boss
Also known to Metal Gear die-hards as Frank Jaeger (and better known to pretty much everyone else as Ninja), Gray Fox has kept up a nearly constant presence throughout the Metal Gear series. And whether he’s shown up to menace Solid Snake or Big Boss, he’s been an enigma every time.
Most Metal Gear fans probably remember Fox from Metal Gear Solid, where he stole the show as the unfathomably creepy, cybernetically enhanced Ninja. Here, he turned invisible, cut up genome soldiers like some kind of crazed phantom slasher, and then challenged Snake to a bare-knuckle fight that left the words “I’ve been waiting for this pain!” burned into the psyches of everyone who played through it.
However, Fox was more than just a psychotic antagonist, occasionally contacting Snake via codec and giving him clues under the name Deepthroat. Later, he even tried to help Snake against the rampaging Metal Gear REX (piloted by Snake’s “brother,” Liquid) and was stomped into goo for his trouble – but not before nearly crippling the walking tank and delivering his poignant last words.
There was, however, a pretty significant history between Snake and Fox before MGS and the Ninja suit, and it began in the very first game in 1987, when Fox was a captured soldier who’d failed the same mission Snake was sent on. Later, they met up again in Metal Gear 2, when Fox – like pretty much all of Snake’s allies from the first game – turned traitor, attacking Snake to protect Big Boss and eventually fighting him, bare-fisted, in the middle of a minefield.
Even before that (chronologically, at least), he attacked Big Boss in Portable Ops, this time under the guise of Null. How someone this obviously damaged ever managed to become anyone’s trusted friend is a mystery, but for all the numerous times we’ve fought Frank, he somehow always manages to come out a good guy in the end.
1. Miles Edgeworth
Frenemies with: Phoenix Wright
Miles Edgeworth is an asshole. However, he’s the kind of asshole we can get behind: as a criminal prosecutor, he wants to do the best job he possibly can, putting absolute faith in the police and the guilt of the suspects they bring before him. Sure, he might come off as a snide prick, but his heart’s in the right place – and over the course of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, he loosens up considerably, becoming one of the series’ most beloved characters in the process.
Before that happens, though, he’s hell-bent on defeating his childhood friend Wright in court, and isn’t afraid to use underhanded means to stack the deck against him – which, of course, makes it especially fun to see Edgeworth explode with frustration when he loses. In Ace Attorney’s early chapters, we lived to wipe that smug grin off Edgeworth’s face. Nothing gave us more pleasure than to deliver staggering combos of evidence and objections, making him lose his composure in the process. Of course, Edgeworth was a worthy opponent – and just when we thought we had him on the ropes, he’d come back swinging with some underhanded new gambit that all but set Wright’s defense back to square one.
Eventually, of course, Edgeworth came around, although it took Wright defending him against a false murder accusation for that to happen. By the end of the game, he’d almost come full circle, going so far as to undermine his own case when he suspected that Wright’s client was being set up. Since then, he’s even helped out directly on one of Wright’s cases, and has become popular enough to get his own series (of which only one game, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, has been translated into English).
Considering how much we loved to hate Edgeworth’s pompous ass at the start, his transformation into one of the series’ most sympathetic and likable characters was more than a little surprising – but we embraced it anyway, because there are few things more compelling than a villain who’s seen the error of his ways.
Sep 19, 2011
The Top 7... Badass beheadings
Who says Valentine's Day has to be about love?