It’s pretty clear by now that UTM has daddy issues. Some of us have spent the last few weeks hiding away dating the dreamiest dads and, if you’ve listened to our podcast, you’ll know that our editor is more like a collectively shared dad. To celebrate our fondness for dads, we put together a list of the greatest dads from video games, who killed it at looking after their children (Kratos, you’re a terrible dad).
Sojiro Sakura from Persona 5
While not technically being a biological Dad, Sojiro from Persona 5 is probably the ‘Dad’ that goes the furthest for his ‘children’.
After taking in the protagonist and initially showing him cold-hearted contempt, the coffee shop owner warms to the protagonist, seeing a lot of himself in the leader of the Phantom Thieves. The bond they develop eventually leads to Sojiro doing the greatest thing a dad can do for their child – helping to fake their death so they can take down the leader of a crazy conspiracy designed to control the hearts of all Japan’s citizens.
My dad didn’t even pay child support. And he definitely didn’t dress as good as Sojiro.
Soldier: 76 from Overwatch
Whilst Overwatch’s ever-expanding lore has yet to write Soldier: 76’s dad attribute into the canon, the team at Blizzard sure do love feeding into the raging fan consensus that the rugged veteran is the game’s one true father figure. His latest skin comes loaded with all the hallmarks of society’s perception of the typical dad – Hawaiian shirt, grilling apron, a dad pun, sport sunglasses, socks and sandals – and he’s prone to quoting rap classics from over twenty years ago like they’re the latest Migos joint. His animated short sees the dutiful daddy – real name Jack Morrison, which is also totally a dad name – put his life on the line to rescue a young girl caught up in gang warfare by shielding her from a grenade blast, just like any responsible parent with genetic enhancements and a big ass rifle would do for their kid. He might feverently deny his pops status, but let’s just say anybody that has to come out and explicitly say “I’m not your father” probably isn’t the most qualified to debate their candidacy for the role of dad – or DADidacy, if you will.
Ethan Mars from Heavy Rain
Ah yes, the infamous ‘Press X to Jason’ QTE from Heavy Rain. While it is still great fun to shout “JASON!” over and over again in a weirdly monotonous tone (you’d think there would be a bit more panic in Ethan’s voice), it does mask the fact that Ethan is actually a great dad.
Ethan is an extremely ordinary dad put in an extraordinary situation. Having already lost one son in a car accident, his other son gets kidnapped by a serial killer known as the ‘Origami Killer’ who forces Ethan to undertake several sadistic Saw-like trials to save his son.
Ethan has no superpowers, no tactical training in the art of guerrilla warfare; he’s literally just a dad, doing the most fucked up shit, purely persevering out of love. I mean, he literally crawls through broken glass to save his son.
My dad wouldn’t even clean up his own broken glass when he ran out of rum.
Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell
Sam Fisher is pretty badass, but he naturally flips his shit in Splinter Cell: Conviction when he learns that his daughter is not dead as he believed, but rather his boss and friend Lambert faked her death to make Sam do his job. (Maybe offering a better retirement plan would’ve worked?)
The scene is probably one of the most intense moments in gaming history, as Fisher runs out of an exploding building, popping off headshots on his warpath to save his daughter, who is now in immediate danger. Fisher’s unstoppable dedication to prevent his daughter from coming to harm is what we all want our dads to be like.
My dad once kicked a football in my sister’s face. And he laughed at her while her nose bled.
Norman from Pokmon Ruby/Sapphire
Pokémon is a franchise of shitty dads given that nearly every protagonist is missing a father, however, Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire switched this up by introducing a super encouraging dad.
Norman acts as a guide in the early part of the game, given that his Gym is a few Zigzagoons away from his house (+10 dad points for working near home). Racking up four badges lead you back to Norman, who dishes out one of the toughest fights in the game, as you come up against his duo of Slaking, itself the Pokémon version of a lazy hangover dad.
Once you finally overcome his Gym, he sends you on your way, content with his child’s performance and promising to avenge his loss. He also gives you access to Surf, which is probably the Hoenn version of teaching you to ride a bike (too much water haha)