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Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Felix Kemp
Features, Top Ten, Top Ten Tuesdays

We're an industry that is literally obsessed with muscular, grim-faced soldiers, so masculine their very pores secrete testosterone. It's true, in our time of need I'd rather follow an armor-clad super soldier than a green tunic-wearing wood elf. But in the interest of equality, we shouldn't forgot the unlikeliest of heroes, those brave souls who risked it all for love, life and little else. So, without further ado, Dealspwn presents the Top 10 Unlikely Heroes!

10. Jade (Beyond Good and Evil)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

It's not as if muscles, guns and nuclear missiles are our only defense against despotic alien forces. Jade from Beyond Good and Evil proves this. An intrepid photojournalist, Jade is bold, brave and resourceful, not to mention quite deadly with a staff. With her trusty camera and savvy wits, Jade helps to topple the DomZ regime without the need for guns and bullets.

9. Hero/Heroine (Pokemon)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

It has to be said, the parents in Pokemon games are terrible. Not only do they insist on continually uprooting their children to new countries, they also turn a blind eye to their roving adventures, with no thought for school, finances or food. However, it's not like they need much help. Despite seeming to be little more than children, the heroes and heroines in Pokemon games embark on amazing quests, often to save the world and nab a few legendary critters in the process.

8. Ness (Earthbound)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Don't let his cute appearance fool you, Ness of Earthbound fame is an Americana aficionado with a penchant for psychic tomfoolery. In fact, Ness' abilities are so powerful, he can shape the passage of time, altering future events to his whim. A pity, then, he'd probably just tinker with baseball, his favourite sport, rather than magic a new Earthbound game onto consoles.

7. Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Monkey Island's quick-witted buccaneer is dead set on becoming a pirate, but he can't help but vanquish an evil sea-faring despot or two and win the gal of his dreams. Threepwood, which, by the way, is a terrific name, is an example of hero who uses his cunning and sharp tongue to solve problems, rather than a cannon or sword, like most despicable pirates. Argh.

6. Sonic (Sonic)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Admit it, it's quite odd to pass the responsibility of halting a rampaging robotic force to an anthropomorphic hedgehog, painted blue, wearing sneakers and possessed with the speed of speeding train. Sonic might take it all in his stride, quite literally, as he rockets up and round inexplicable loops, bounces off dim-witted robots and comes face to face with his sworn enemy, Dr Robotnik, every time he ends a level. It's amazing they haven't settled their differences yet.

5. Banjo (Banjo & Kazooie)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Judging by his inability to conjure anything more coherent than a hiccup-like laugh, Banjo isn't the smartest bear in the cave. He's also surprisingly cruel to the avian species, trapping them in his bag and forcing them to take his weight as they glide vast distances. However, he's put to rest a witch or two in his time, and even revealed a love for engineering in Nuts and Bolts, which wins him a spot on our list.

4. Conker (Conker's Bad Fur Day)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

At Dealspwn, we love the foul-mouthed, literally quite nutty squirrel known as Conker. When he's not shooting the stuffing out of Teddiz or listening to a colossal, living pile of feces singing at the top of its voice, Conker is drinking, swearing and eating Anti-Matter chocolate, just as you'd expect from any squirrel forced to come to terms with its rotten life.

3. Ico (Ico)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Ico, star of Team Ico's titular classic, is a silent but no less brave hero. First, he is buried alive by his townsfolk for growing a pair of devilish horns. Upon escaping from his tomb, Ico stumbled upon Yorda, a lost princess trapped in the castle with him. Together, they battle the demented souls of former horned children doomed to rot in the castle, vanquish an evil queen intent on possessing Yorda's body.

2. Mario (Mario)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

Admit it, despite his venerable posterity, Mario isn't exactly a recognizable hero. A squat, overweight, seemingly unemployed Italian plumber, he's hardly qualified for the acts of reptilian genocide we expect of him. But, despite his odd appearance and ostensibly unsuitable skills, Mario has, time and again, rescued Princess Peach from the evil Lord Bowser. Aw.

1. Link (Legend of Zelda)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Unlikely Heroes

I'm a Zelda fanboy, I admit it. I simply adore the series. However, it can't be argued that Link is an unlikely, but otherwise exceptional hero. Plucked from obscurity, he's rescued giant talking trees afflicted with a demonic cancer, ventured into the belly of a giant sea-beast to rescue a lost princess, battled countless demonic and beastly lords and kings, intent on snatching the Triforce and conquering Hyrule. Sometimes, he does all this with little more than a stubby sword, a wooden shield and child's slingshot. Amazing.

Who do you think is the most unlikely of heroes in videogames? Do you agree with our list, or were we did we overlook a few key choices? As always, leave your comments below!

Add a comment2 comments
Cy Berman  Nov. 16, 2010 at 15:59

How about the balding, dorky, double entendre-speaking, Leisure Suit Larry?

Late  Nov. 16, 2010 at 20:09

Gordon Freeman...


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