Opinion – Most Annoying Video Game Characters of 2017
Well, another year has come and gone; filled with great games and some not so-great games. This year, like many others, gamers got the chance to explore many remarkable worlds and locations, while also interacting with the interesting and likeable characters that inhabit them. Unfortunately, not all characters are created equal.
For the most part, I’m not someone who gets myself worked up over the actions of fictional characters. I don’t hate villains for being villains, nor do I feel unnecessary animosity towards a character for betraying the hero or acting selfishly; I’m genre savvy enough to know without them there would be no conflict, and without conflict there’s no story. But there are still certain characters that just find a way to get under my skin and I can’t help but thinking about how much I despise them every second they appear on screen. Usually these characters are portrayed in a positive and are supposed to be liked, but that’s just what makes them even more annoying. These same characters end up sticking around in my thoughts much longer than the characters I do like, and without a proper forum to air my grievances, I don’t believe I would ever be able to expel them from my mind.
Fortunately, I do have somewhere to vent and it takes the form of an annual list where I name all the video game characters that annoyed me this calendar year. And this year’s list includes a deceitful wife, a nagging childhood friend, an anthropomorphic cat, two obsessive lovebirds, and a stupid Goron. If any of these descriptions matches a character you like, keep in mind, I don’t hate these characters (actually, I do) and that I’m just doing this to preserve my sanity. So, no hard feelings, alright?
Yunobo (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
Yunobo has to be without a doubt the ugliest Goron to ever Goron. Not only does he have a dumb floppy haircut, but an extremely punch-able face complete with blushing pink cheeks. You’d hope Yunobo would have a decent personality to make up for all that ugliness. He doesn’t. Yunobo is your textbook definition of a dweeb. But instead of being a humorous dweeb, he’s the cowardly, whinny type of dweeb who is incapable of doing anything for himself. Despite being in possession of Daruk’s Protection, a magical ability that provides him an impenetrable barrier anytime he has need of one, he is somehow afraid of everything. And because of this, he is the focus of one of the most tedious escort missions ever featured in the Legend of Zelda series. Also, that voice acting…*shudder*
Morgana (Persona 5)
If there ever was a cat who deserved to be tied up in a bag and thrown into the river, its Morgana. The physical embodiment of greed – not literally, of course, that would have been cool – Morgana is obsessed with treasure and is quick to praise himself for his own ingenuity and overall greatness. He’s also a perv, whom hits on and drools over teenager Ann the entire game, even though he’s anthropomorphic cat whose age is unknown and she’s not. Speaking of cats, he hates you calling him a cat just about as much as Ken from Persona 3 hates you calling him a kid – you know, despite the fact that he is a cat! I feel like this self-promotion is all an act on Morgan’s part to compensate for his obviously, miniscule self-esteem, which is evident by how much time he spends mocking fellow party member Ryuji. He believes railing on someone else will make him appear cooler and his own insecurities less noticeable. However, when this fails and he ends up getting a taste of his own medicine, this cat runs away like the total whinny baby he is and the game actually wants me to feel bad for him! Just thinking about this cat makes me physically angry. What makes me even angrier is that a lot of people like this character…
Shiori Kurashiki (Tokyo Xanadu)
Man, childhood friends are the worst. Despite usually being essential the cross between a nagging mother and adoring little sister, some reason Japanese writers love presenting these archetypes as potential love interests to the hero, and I always find it disturbing. Shiori is one of the most recent characters to come out of Japan who fits this stereotype, and she is also one of the most annoying. Unfortunately, all the characters in Tokyo Xanadu somehow fall instantly under her spell and go to great lengths to talk about how great and special she is, or to criticize the protagonist, Kou, for not spending enough time with her. What does she do that makes her worth of all this praise? Absolutely nothing. To top it all off, the central conflict of the game revolves around saving this useless caricature of a Mary Sue. What boggles the mind is that Kou has another female childhood friend with a similar haircut and a name that starts with an S, who is so much cooler to hang out with and way less clingy, so why only Shiori gets this god’s gift to the world treatment is beyond me.
Alm and Celica (Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia)
By themselves, Alm and Celica are alright characters. But what clinches them a spot on this list is their disturbing infatuation with each other. After spending a few weeks (a month at most) of their childhood in each other’s presences, they are separated and forced to live far away from each other with absolutely no contact. They proceed to spend the next seven years hopelessly lamenting the loss of each other, because, apparently, they had fallen in love. The game tries to explain this improbable love story by citing destiny, but I digress. When Alm and Celica finally do meet up again as adults, instead of letting each other know how they feel about each other, they get into a petty argument that sends them both scurrying away in opposite corners of the map. Despite this, the two of continually obsess over each other, rarely managing to hold a single conversation with another character without mentioning each other’s name. Alm even has the audacity to complain about how he fears for Celica’s safety to a fellow solider whose own lover is being held captive and due to be executed. It’s almost as if the writers were worried you wouldn’t get the memo they were in love if they didn’t constantly remind you. What makes this love story even more frustrating is that the two let their concern for each other get the better of them constantly and end up falling for several poorly disguised traps set by the villains. Now, if only these incompetent villains had succeeded in offing one of these doe-eyed lovers to put an end to their pathetic love affair.
Mia Winters (Resident Evil 7: Biohazard)
In Resident Evil 7 you only have one goal – save your wife Mia. Only problem? Mia is a total pain. Instead of giving you tangible reason to care for her, the game only shows you two brief video messages from her, which made me instantly hate her due to her personality that makes her come off as bubbly teenager than the professional grown women they try to portray her as – seriously, I’m fine with anything bad that happens to someone who says “lots of kisses”. It doesn’t help that when the first time she shows up she tries to kill you – multiple times. After Ethan goes through hell and high water to finally rescue her, it is revealed she’s been lying to him ever since they met about her occupation, and has been secretly working for the evil organization that is directly responsible for this whole debacle. Thankfully, the game gives you the option of not curing her of her demonic possession and instead helping out a much more useful character, which eventually leads to Ethan beating Mia to death with a crowbar, in self-defense, of course. If only this outcome was available for the rest of the characters on this list…