A video game origin story tells a lot about the character you play. Who are you? How did you get here? What motivates you to complete your quest or mission? Were you bitten by a radioactive spider? Perhaps you are the last scion of a superpowered alien race? Maybe you are saving the world just for the hell of it?
Just like in comics, TV, and movies, the writing in video games has seen a lot of ups and downs over the years. We have some characters with amazing origin stories, and others with horrendous ones. We made a list of the absolute best and worst of them.
The Kid (Bastion)
Any character who survives the apocalypse generally has a pretty cool origin story. However, when the Kid gets his first puff of the wacky tobaccy, we learn even more about how he became who he is today. We learn that he fought through ridicule, joined the army, and, even though he had a chance to come back to civilian life, he stayed in service because it was the only place he had to go. It was only because of this that he survived the apocalypse. Then, as the game goes on, we learn that he may be time-looping back on himself. Two great origin stories for the price of one!
Chrono (Chrono Trigger)
Despite popular opinion, Chrono is not a very well-developed character. He's just another silent protagonist in a random JRPG. However, his origin story is pretty badass if you think about it. His best friend creates a teleporter—a teleporter!—in the year 1000. This teleporter interacts with a magic amulet to throw a random girl at the fair through time and space, and Chrono nuts up to jump in after her! Ballsy!
Kratos (God of War)
Kratos sells his soul to Ares, is manipulated into killing his own family, and then decides to exact his vengeance on the God of War against insurmountable odds. He literally decides to stab the God of War to death and becomes so broken he is willing to stab anything else that gets in his way. Unfortunately, further God of War games kind of ruin this origin story by making him a son of a god and involving Zeus in all this. In fact, they pretty much turn him into a petulant child. But in the original God of War, Kratos's origin story was made of pure badass.
Peacock was an orphan who liked old-style cartoons. However, when her orphanage was attacked by the Medici Mafia for not paying protection money, she was brutalized in one of the worst possible ways. Her arms and legs were chopped off and her eyeballs were poked out, leaving her a shell of her former self. That was when Dr. Avian found her and rebuilt her into a weapon to use against the forces of the Skullgirl. Her robot arms, legs, and bird companion allow her to open holes in space-time and make her thoughts into reality. She uses this power to create a posse of cartoon cronies to help her exact revenge on the Medici and the Skullgirl. Honestly, if you can't see how awesome this is, you must have had your eyes poked out too.
Samus Aran (Metroid series)
Samus Aran was born on the mining planet K-2L. When she was a child, the planet was raided by Space Pirates lead by the space dragon Ridley. Not only did they kill both of her parents, but they destroyed the entire planet as well. Samus was found by the Chozo, a birdlike ascetic race of enlightened aliens. They infused her with Chozo DNA and trained her as a warrior before giving her one of the race's most ancient artifacts, a robot power suit that is adaptable to all environments. She joined up with the Galactic Federation, but left when she had problems with her commanding officer. Instead, she decided to become the noblest bounty hunter in the universe, taking jobs that no other person ever could. It is solely because of her that the Space Pirates, Metroids, and countless other threats have been beaten back into deep space where they belong.