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The Top 7... Most giving characters in gaming

Every now and then, characters come along that challenge the notion of what it means to be “giving.” Think about it: When was the last time you reached out to a stranger, put your life before someone else's, gave for the sake of generosity or really made a difference to someone less fortunate? One of the best things about games is that we can learn how to shape our own lives by sharing in the experiences of characters that are beyond noble, kindhearted, and helpful. They inspire us to hold ourselves to a greater standard.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we thought there was no better time to showcase the characters who give the most, those who truly are the essence of what the holiday is all about. Watch out, though – what these characters have given to the world just might merit a SPOILER ALERT, so beware if you haven't played these games. With that, let's give our thanks to the characters that are beyond selfless, the ones who we're betting wouldn't mind sharing some turkey with us.

7. Maxwell

From: Scribblenauts series

Maxwell is the genie in your game console, the Santa Claus for your good deeds. Maxwell isn't generous to his peers in his game, though; he's not out to solve the world's problems or make everything better.No, Maxwell's purpose is to make sure that you, the player, can have anything that your heart desires to solve puzzles... or whatever else it is you want to do.

Maxwell's so devoted to you, in fact, that there isn’t a plot in either of the Scribblenauts games. There's simply a variety of puzzles, and the power to do whatever you want. You're presented with obstacles, and Maxwell has the power to create just about anything to overcome them. No matter your desire, Maxwell is your man. Would you like a cyborg raptor? It's yours. Laser-guided rocket launcher? You got it. Want to make sure that Abraham Lincoln wasn't assassinated? Recreate him, stick him inside an armored mecha and set him against any enemy that comes his way, and he'll live to fight any foe.

Maxwell isn't generous by dint of being a hero - he's simply a giving character by his very nature. The type of turkey dinner he can give you is limited only by the number of adjectives you know.

6. Frog (aka Glenn)

From: Chrono Trigger

Glenn isn't like many of the other characters on the list; for starters, he never actually meant to be a hero. He didn’t even want to enlist as a knight, but when his friend Cyrus did, Glenn signed on as Cyrus’ squire, helping from the sidelines as Cyrus fought monsters and did heroic deeds. Unfortunately, Glenn’s reluctance to be the hero made him powerless to stop the villain Magus, who murdered Cyrus and turned Glenn into the more widely recognized Frog.

Frog fled in shame to the Cursed Woods, but his transformation was more than skin-deep. No matter how tortured he was or how much he blamed himself for Cyrus’ death, he never stopped looking out for others, seeking to redeem his act of cowardice by fighting the good fight in Cyrus’ place. Willing or not, he had the mantle of hero thrust upon him, and he didn’t shy away when it came time to step up and help his friends stand against Lavos, the parasitic horror at the end of the world. With them at his side, he was even more altruistic than normal, becoming the best person/frog-thing he could be.

Frog was a hero because, at his core, he was willing to give everything to set things right and to protect his friends. He wasn't just fighting against Magus and Lavos; he had his own demons to defeat along the way, and in overcoming them he became more noble. In the end, Frog gives everything to others, sacrificing even his own identity to keep peace, and the memory of Cyrus, alive.

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Top 7

42 comments

  • oddprophet - November 23, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    What about Tom Nook from Animal Crossing? He gave you an entire house! And all he asked for in return was your love (and your wallet)
  • Darkhawk - November 27, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    Don't get me started on that bastard. "Oh, here's a house. Now you owe me 8 million Animal-Bucks." "Oh, so you've paid off your debt, eh? Well good thing I ordered that addition for 4 million more... MWAHAHAHAHAHA~"
  • ranivus - November 23, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    Female sheperd... good choice.
  • CitizenWolfie - November 23, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    Wow, a GR article where Heavy Rain gets a POSITIVE mention? April Fool's was ages ago guys! But seriously, what about Agro from SOTC? He goes through the whole game asking nothing from Wander yet willingly takes him to the furthest reaches of the map and help you fight huge monsters. And even, EVEN after all that, (spoilers) sacrifices himself to ensure you complete your task. And even THEN, (spoilers again) manages to limp ALL the way back to the temple out of loyalty to his master. Agro is surely the most heroically selfless character in recent gaming history.
  • El Dango - November 23, 2011 7:10 a.m.

    Jade can also give people some of her stuff, so that's like a literal thing. Hurray!
  • jmcgrotty - November 23, 2011 1:36 a.m.

    I would have said the Hot Coffee girl.
  • phoenix_wings - November 22, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    :( I cried.
  • EBAX1 - November 22, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    Depending on who you play as in skyrim, you gould be the most generous person ever. My misc quest list is overflowing from people asking me to find them crap
  • KoRLumen - November 22, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    *ahem* Ramirez... do everything! No? Though, I guess he kinda has no choice, being a solider and everything.
  • shawksta - November 22, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    Great list, I never thought of whats-his-face from scribblenauts, nice one! Here's a stupid but reasonable choice: The Judge from Ace Attorney, he gives the defence too many Godamn chances, the prosecution are pretty pissed off.
  • Whoissheandwhydidshesayit - November 22, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Real thanksgiving was just over a month ago...
  • Whoissheandwhydidshesayit - November 22, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Real thanksgiving was a month ago...o
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - November 22, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    I would almost argue for John Marston being on the list. He does a dozen tasks for everyone he meets, and what does he get in the end? Exactly.
  • BladedFalcon - November 24, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    Most of those tasks he didn't really do them out of true generosity though. The man was ridden with guilt, so a lot of those acts can't really be considered selfless when what you are trying to do is to seek forgiveness for yourself. And this is because in the past, Marston had done a lot of damage to other people. His is a tragic story, and i would never deny that, but I don't believe he qualifies as selfless, much less giving. And then there's the fact that he also does tasks for a tyrant and a rapist... (Allende) so you gotta wonder how great his moral compass was even when he was trying to find redemption.
  • JoeMasturbaby - November 22, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    thought Charlie Barratt wrote this one, but then I saw Persona and Beyond Good and Evil and knew It had to be written by somebody else. I agree with #1.
  • coryhendetta - November 22, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Nice to see Persona getting some recognition.
  • revrock - November 22, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    Hamlet from Illusion of Gaia!!!!!!
  • ShowMeYourKitties - November 22, 2011 6:59 a.m.

    Kinda surprised you went with Frog instead of Robo. I love Frog, but Robo sacrificed 400 years just to plant a forest...
  • Asloveszuko - November 22, 2011 5:21 a.m.

    So glad Jade was #1 on this list, as soon as I saw the title it just whispered to me "Jade". Amazing game, one that everyone should play!

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