The Dadcade is (at it’s core) about a bunch of dads who grew up with video games, that love video games and love their kids. As video games get defined more and more as a true artistic medium, it’s great to see characters representing our core beliefs and in some cases even help shape our views as fathers. So here is our list of twelve of the greatest father figures in video games, in no particular order.
Lee Everett (Telltale’s The Walking Dead)
You know, for a man who is first introduced to us while in the back of a cop car, convicted of murdering his wife, Lee is a pretty swell guy. He meets Clementine shortly after things go sideways, a girl whose parents are out of town when the zombie plague hits and who is soon left alone when her babysitter gets a craving for brains as well. Without fully understanding what is happening Lee takes it upon himself to help Clem survive and find her parents. Over the course of five episodes, you see the two bound and even be mistaken for father and daughter. Lee goes to great lengths to protect Clem and you can see and feel the genuine concern for her up until the very emotional end.
Joel (The Last of Us)
This is one pick that really means a lot to me personally to the extent of it being one of the earlier posts on the site. When The Last of Us came out I was a new dad to a daughter still trying to find my parental voice. The opening shook me and I really began to sympathize with Joel. He may or may not be the villain of the story depending on how you see his later actions, but to me everything he did was justified.
Big Daddy (Bioshock)
As Fathers we are often thought of as the vigilant protectors, never wishing to see any sort of harm befall our kids, whether it be a skinned knee on the playground or the heartache of a first love ending. Dads will seemingly do just about anything to make sure our kids are safe and that their ADAM is intact, even if it means subjecting yourself to genetic modification and grafting yourself into a giant deep sea diving suit to do so. Yes when you saw a little Sister, you could rest easy knowing they were safe from any stray Splicer.
Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain)
Jaaaaa-sssonnnnn….JASON….Jaaaaason…What does it say about ourselves when there seems to be a reoccurring theme of tragic father figures on this list. Ethan, still dealing with the loss of one son, must put himself in harms way to prevent losing another one or deal with the guilt of failing.
Octodad (Octodad Dadliest Catch)
What Father doesn’t feel like they are living a lie from time to time. Doing everything they can just to keep up with being seen as a great dad and loving husband.
Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher)
It really shows how deep you care about someone when, even after having most of your emotions stripped away from mutagens, that you embark on an epic quest against a dark and evil force to save your estranged adoptive daughter. Only stopping to play some Gwent and gather elixirs. Honorable mention: The Bloody Baron.
Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
Nathan Drake may be a psychopathic mass murderer that only cares about collecting antiques throughout the world, but we do know he loves his family too. He went through hell and back for his brother in the most recent Uncharted and fans who stuck around until the end learned that he eventually had a kid. He brought his kid up with a love of adventure (hopefully not mass murder) and as the sun sets on the Drake family, we see that they ended up alright and love each other a ton.
Mike Haggar (Final Fight)
Mike Haggar is the dad most of us aspire to. He was a pro wrestler who gave up the industry to become a civil servant as mayor of Metro City. When things go south and his daughter is kidnapped by an angry gang, he doesn’t call the police. He takes off his shirt and hits the streets to kick ass and pile drive jerks into the ground. Mike Haggar would do anything for his kid – even take on an angry gang of hoodlums one stage at a time.
Dr Light (Mega Man)
Dr Light may not be Megaman’s biological father, but he did create him and raise him as his own. Initially, Mega Man was supposed to be just a robotic assistant, but with Dr. Wily on the loose, Mega Man’s status was upgraded. We can look past the fact that he is putting his son in danger because he offers upgrades and tips from time to time. That balances out, right?
Sole Survivor (Fallout 4)
Having a baby is tough. Having a baby and then surviving a nuclear apocalypse thanks to a Fallout shelter only to have your baby stolen and your wife killed while you are put back into cryogenic sleep is a lot tougher. That’s what happens to Fallout 4 guy and upon waking, his first inclination is to find his son, Shaun. Depending on how you play Fallout 4, you’re either the best dad in the world or the quite possibly the worst, but in our eyes, Fallout 4 guy will always be a great dad, especially when you can make him look like another great dad.
Bowser (Mario Series)
Bowser started out as the sole bad guy in the Mario series and each time he failed to keep control of Princess Peach. It wasn’t until the third Mario when the Bowser kids were introduced. This nefarious band of misfits help their father by trying to thwart Mario’s attempts at rescuing the princess, just like any good son or daughter would do. They didn’t learn those sweet moves on their own though, they had training and it’s safe to assume that Bowser’s tutelage (and anger) played a part. Good on you, dad.
Eli Vance (Half Life Series)
Ah, good ol’ Eli. He played a role in the first Half Life game and an even bigger role in the second. He was the father of Alyx (and creator of Dog) and played a pivotal role in helping Gordan complete his mission in the second and it’s subsequent episodes. His love of Alex is shown throughout as he constantly worries about her safety. Plus, he raised a pretty well balanced child in a weird world with alien overlords, that’s no small feat. No father wants to outlive his children, and thanks to an Advisor in Episode 2, Eli didn’t.