No bad games this week, peeps! Just some serious mom love. Not like that either you, deviants. I am far from being the only person that has realized that mothers are pretty underrepresented as far as video game characters are concerned. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Let me explain:
In an industry that, until pretty recently, has been overwhelmingly dominated by males, its not very shocking that programmers and writers are not out there writing about maternal badasses. It’s probably less a “stick-to-what-you-know” situation as it is a “write-for-who-you-think-is-playing” situation.
As we all know by now, non -male gamers have always been out there but historically have been treated as a silent – if not completely forgotten – minority. That’s not to say just because you are a woman and a gamer you don’t totally love a badass male protagonist or antagonist. But diversity is the spice of life!
So in honor of Mother’s Day weekend, here is a completely silly and random tribute to video games moms throughout the years. As diverse as all of our real mothers – these badasses prove that blood doesn’t always make family – in fact you don’t even have to be a human to be a good mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
THE BOSS (METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER
Alright alright – a few things right off the bat. For those of you who have been reading this site’s posts from the beginning I just want to say, “thank you.” Secondly, if you are one of those readers and are asking yourself, “can this guy just do a damn list without mentioning a Hideo Kojima game?” The answer is a hard no.
I can’t because it is nearly impossible for me to talk about my love for gaming without pointing towards something he has done. I’m a fan boy. You know this, I know this, once he finally accepts my love letters, written in my own, even he’ll know this.
The Boss is not winning any “mom of the year” awards and is a far cry from your typical soccer mom. A hardened soldier, a World War Two veteran and Naked Snake’s mentor, their relationship is very, very complicated.
Every confrontation the two have throughout the game she teaches Snake another harsh reality, not only about the battlefield but about human nature. Basically, whooping his ass repeatedly until he stops making the same mistakes. (And I thought having an Irish mom was hard). Their final battle is haunting.
And even after all that, Snake isn’t even her son. Her relationship with her real son, Revolver Ocelot is just as complicated in an entirely different way. What is certain however, is The Boss’ legacy as a complicated badass was cemented in the hearts, minds and conscious of Metal Gear fans the world over.
Wrinkly Kong (Donkey Kong Series)
Alright so I have to admit that up until today I thought Wrinkly Kong was Donkey Kong’s mom. I was wrong. Turns out, Wrinkly is actually Donkey Kong’s Grandmother. Whom regardless still seemed to raise “DK the third” as her own with her husband, Cranky Kong. And anyways, Grandmas are still moms and grandparents still make great parents. So here we are with the not dangerous but unbelievably cute, intellectual and spry, Wrinkly Kong.
Making her first appearance in the unbelievably fun and still totally killer, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Quest she runs her own Kong College, educating her little Kong grandchildren about the game’s items and tossing them hints. She also offers her place as a safe respite and a save point for the little ones so seeing her cute little face on the map always accompanied a sense of relief.
By the third DK Country she had retired from her career as an educator but still offers game tips and a save spot for Dixie and Kiddy Kong.
Sadly by Donkey Kong 64, Wrinkly appears as a ghost. We learn that she passed away due to her accelerated age yet she still finds a way to make herself valuable to her family with hidden doors, hints and bananas. Proving that lessons and guidance outlive the greatest of teachers.
SONYA BLADE (MORTAL KOMBAT SERIES)
Sonya has had a rough go. Following everyone’s favorite trash bag Aussie, Kano into some sort of hellish underworld. Her and her military partner Jax are split up, captured, freed, captured again, ignored by the US Government and eventually she gets cut in half.
BUT luckily (sort of) Ms. Blade or should I say, Mrs. Cage was granted new life with the “current MK timeline”. Eventually marrying Johnny Cage and giving birth to their daughter, Cassie Cage. They eventually divorce and The Cage family is constantly being pulled in and out of the Netherrelm and yet time and time again she always sets a good example for her daughter and never thinks twice about sacrificing herself for her family no matter what hellish obstacle stands in her way.
KARA (DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN)
“ I know you think we’re just machines… but since I met Alice, I know I can feel things… I care for her, I fear for her, I can’t be happy if she’s not… This probably doesn’t make any sense to you but… I know she changed me somehow”
Created by CyberLife as a common household maid android, Kara lives with and serves Todd Williams. She also takes care of his daughter, Alice. During her assembly she is tested by operators on her physical and cognitive functions where she begins to realize she isn’t a human. Learning she is to be reset and sold, Kara panics claiming, “She thought she was alive.” As a gesture of mercy after Kara pleads with the operator they don’t reset her and she is shipped off to a store to be sold with her sentience intact.
It is there where she is purchased and brought to the William’s home. Without a mother figure, Kara fills the void for Alice, Todd’s daughter and in response to Todd Williams abusive personality, Kara takes Alice and runs away with her. Showing that true love can break any cycle, no matter how impossible or deeply programmed it may seem.
LULU LULU (FINAL FANTASY X)
Ah, Lulu. Technically not a biological mother yet in Final Fantasy X – she might as well be. Guardian to Yuna on her pilgrimage, she has not only sworn an oath to protect her but guides her emotionally as well. Also a prime example of a protective mother-like figure in battle, Lulu’s dark magic and fury overdrive is devastating when used correctly.
Seemingly stiff and stoic to protagonist Tidus at first, as the story progresses you get a true glimpse into the grieving process of a woman trying to hold it all together not only for herself but for her friends and family as well.
One of the darker more moody characters that develops beautifully throughout FFX, Lulu has been a fan favorite since the release of the game and for good reason. Free thinking (one of the only Yevonites to question the religion) powerful and beautiful – Lu is the epitome of badass video game women – as compassionate as she is deadly.
I’m sure I missed a bunch and I’m excited to hear who. Let me know in the comments who you think are the best video game moms/ mother like figures in gaming. Thank you for reading and happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there!
Also Happy Mother’s Day out there to all readers and reader’s mothers and a special happy Mother’s Day to my own Mom and my wife, Hope. The best mother and teacher I have ever known.