The reason behind this is simple. Link embodies the true hero in every sense. He represents loyalty, self-sacrifice, determination, courage, and power. He starts the game in humble beginnings, living in a small village, leading a simple life, when things go horribly wrong seemingly overnight. In spite of this, Link always rises to the challenge and sets of on an adventure that would make even the most daring thrill-seekers tremble with fear. Even though he knows nothing of what is going on, he always defies the odds and sets out to restore order to the world. As time goes by he gains in strength and gathers better equipment to bring down increasingly powerful enemies leading to the climax, where he brings down the monster that has been the cause of the upheaval of peace in the land.
To me, Link is the ultimate hero. He does whatever he can to help others and he never falters, even when things seem as though they could not be worse. Even after all these years, I will always continue to buy new Zelda games and replay the old ones. To me, Link is the greatest character of all time.
Philip Hanan, Freelance Writer
A character that has been in my mind for years is Granstream Saga's Eon. He was the main part of the reason that the Granstream Saga is my favorite video game. He starts out as a typical video game hero, but blessed with a special bracelet that gives him incredible powers at an early age. Eon was a hesitant hero who battled evil in order to save others' lives, but it's interesting how he views life once he learns the secret about this bracelet. He realizes that he's probably killing the same amount of people that would die anyway if he hadn't fought for anyone. He questions whether it is best to kill or just let people die. Eon decides to preserve good in the world he lives in and begins to accept the deaths of his enemies.
He struggles with his relationships with two women and whom to side with. He tries to keep both close to him, even though he knows that he cannot be with both. When he learns of his occupation in his former life, he is shocked. He can't believe that he brought so much death and destruction before, but he realizes he has the power to do so. It is learned that he brought destruction to the world because he stopped believing in the power of love.
He wants to show the world love, but realizes he must focus on the path of carnage in order to preserve the goodness in the world. At the end of the game, when he faces the new destroyer, he must choose to sacrifice a soul of one of the women he cares for. I found this to be an impossible choice, but I chose the gentle one because I believed she had the power to save the world. It turns out that if you sacrifice the pirate's soul, you can return the world to its former self, therefore, giving you a chance to change the past.
I was always inspired by how he dealt with problems and how the game dealt with choices between love and hatred. I've never found a game character to be so deep before I played this game. I find him to be more human than most game heroes who are very typical and act only in one mannerism. Gamers shouldn't be turned off by the bad voice acting and lack of detail. The story and main character are the best elements of an RPG I've ever seen.
Amanda Kondolojy, Freelance Writer
If I had to pick a character that has stayed with me, it would really be a no-brainer. Ever since I first met this character nearly ten years ago on my PSone, I have been utterly infatuated, if not obsessed with this character. Who might this amazing wonderful character be? It's the one and only Sephiroth, who first made his first appearance nearly a decade ago in Final Fantasy VII.
So what about Sephiroth draws me in? To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure. There could be several explanations as to why his face dominates my computer screen, and why a 13 inch Sephiroth plushie sits atop my bookshelf. Maybe it's because he has this air of nonchalance that makes him deliciously irresistible. Maybe it's watching his transformation into the one-winged angel. Maybe it's the theme music. Who knows?
One thing I do know is that I'm not alone in my undying devotion to Sephiroth. Many people are genuinely obsessed with this guy, and there are several fan clubs out there that meet on a regular basis to talk about how cool this guy is. And although we all talk about our individual reasons for thinking that this guy is the ultimate in videogame personalities, there is one thing we all agree on about why Sephiroth is so great to so many people. He's got the best character development and progression in the entire Final Fantasy universe. Of course, saying this might upset some people, but stay with me here. Why else has he graced so many other games with his presence, if mass amounts of people hadn't bonded with this guy already? Even tykes who only know him as the badass from Kingdom Hearts like the guy. And it's because he is tragically flawed. Let's take an example from the book (not the musical) The Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom is a self-proclaimed bad guy, and he appeals to you. Sure the phantom is a mass-murderer who kidnaps a soprano less than half his age, but on some base level, you identify with his struggle, and his character endears itself to you. Now look at Sephiroth. Sure he plans on bringing death and destruction to everything in sight, but he wasn't always that way, and you understand how he feels. Something so out of his world happened to him (I won't go any farther for spoiler reasons) and his way of coping with it was…well…a little different. But who can blame the guy? It's his flaws and missteps that make this guy so memorable. We don't like anyone who's perfect.
I guess that's my hypothesis as to why this guy's so popular and resonates with people around the world. As for me though, I'm still undecided. Maybe it's just that long grey hair…
Pete Richards, Freelance Writer
In a world ridden with evil and absolutely horrid creatures, it is extremely relieving to find someone with enough honor, enough bravery to defend Earth against all the wickedness of Outworld. Hopping through dimensions and taking part in tournaments in some of the darkest, most terrifying settings imaginable, there has always been one person we as humans could confide in to defend our realm: the fearless Liu Kang.
In no game series has there been such a hero that I am proud to have on my side. To face such evils as Scorpion and the massive four-armed Goro in the debut Mortal Kombat game in 1992, Liu Kang sacrificed everything he had in the name of protecting Earthrealm, which made him in instant hero to children and any Mortal Kombat players. Kang's swift moves and Chinese Shaolin fighting style made him the ultimate human warrior. After becoming champion in the debut Mortal Kombat game, he soon turned into the face of the series and one of the biggest and most well-known heroes in gaming at the time.
In the game, his moves were memorable and effective. His high and low fireballs plus his signature bicycle kick, which has become one of the most popular moves of any fighting game in history, made him one of the deadliest weapons in the Mortal Kombat series. I remember playing my Genesis versions of MK2 and MK3 and getting stuck on a certain enemy, and always being able to rely on Liu Kang to defeat him. Don't get me wrong, I loved playing as Stryker or Jax, or the evil Baraka or Scorpion, but as I rose up the game's totem pole of enemies, sometimes I just couldn't get the job done with them. Liu Kang was a character whose moves were always automatic and easy to pull off, and his quick style allowed to you lay back and counter the mistakes made by your opponent.
In a world of monsters and evil men, his character was extremely relatable as he ventured to the Outworld to seek vengeance for the pillage of his Shaolin homes and the slaughter of his fellow brothers. His Bruce Lee-like stature gave him the instant appearance of a hero and his red pants and matching bandana with his shaggy black hair has made him an instantly recognizable icon. As terrifying as Mortal Kombat always was to play, for some reason I felt safe using Liu Kang.
The gore and death featured in Mortal Kombat was unheard of before the series came out, and for a human to enter such horrifying worlds to defend humankind makes Liu Kang one of the most honorable characters in any game. As a youngster playing my Genesis version of MK, and even now playing games like Armageddon, the haunting music and human skulls scattered about in the Mortal Kombat levels are pretty nerve racking even from the comfort of your own couch. Entering these realms to compete in a to-the-death tournament is unimaginable - but Liu Kang did it. Using him in the game was comforting. He was and still continues to be a fellow human with honor and a heart I could only aspire to have. Liu Kang turned out to not only be a great video game character, but also a role model.
As a kid, I may not have realized all this but looking back I can see why he has so much appeal to children and why I still like the character today. Even now, after being killed in MK:Deadly Alliance, I love Liu Kang as a zombie. His gruesome look and chains hanging from his wrists look awesome, and the option to revert to his classic costume is great. As Midway continues to release awesome Mortal Kombat games, Liu Kang has probably been my favorite game character for nearly 15 years.