What are your favorite character archetypes? Which characters stuck with you the most? Why are they so appealing to you?
Characters and their stories are a big part of why many of us love this medium. Share your love here.
I've decided to separate mine by franchise. The trends that are most likely to come up in my list are "spoony bards," romantics, rogues, deadpan snarkers, scholars, and those who are anti-establishment (especially anti-religion).Fire Emblem
My favorite franchise overall. Nintendo's ambitious strategy RPG franchise has seen over 700 characters between its playable heroes, villains, NPCs, etc. Here's some of my favorites.Trails
The Glorious Count Bastian Fayre
A minor character in Path of Radiance. Bastian is a mage who is mediocre as a unit but chews all of the scenery in the world in his short time on screen. He's the brains behind the Crimean throne, and he loves the sound of his own voice. His every word is poetry. He complements and flirts with pretty much everyone, but he has eyes only for his childhood friend, Lucia.
The raven king doesn't cross the line between anti-hero and villain. He plays dance, dance revolution on it. As the king of a poor island nation, he does everything in his power to increase its wealth and influence, from piracy to mercenary work. Spoilers be ahead, matey, yarr. He sells his own best friend with the intention of rescuing him back. But his actions are also slowly redeemed, from the rescue of a trapped heron princess to fighting alongside the heroes in the end. And fittingly, all of his side-swapping ends with him being a perfect diplomat.
One of the new DLC characters in Three Houses. Hapi is basically a gypsy, and her harsh life experiences have led to a casually pessimistic attitude and anarchist sympathies. She nicknames the rest of the cast (even affectionately calling the silent protagonist "Chatterbox"), and speaks to everyone casually and sincerely. She's also one hell of a unit to boot, with one of the best offensive and supportive magic spell lists.
Edelgard is the heart and soul of Fire Emblem Three Houses, so describing her without heavy spoilers is pretty much impossible. You've been warned.
Despite being one of the game's traditional lord characters, Edelgard is the primary antagonist of the game. She was tortured and manipulated into developing an extreme anti-Church outlook, and she raises her empire's armies to overthrow the church and end of the system of nobility and crest-worship that caused her so much pain.
Olivier immediately steals the show and chews all of the scenery in the entire universe at all times. A hedonistic, flirtacious traveling bard who immediately shows signs of underlying intelligence. His relationship with the gypsy-like Bracer and former circus performer, Scherazard is adorable, and he brings constant levity to the games. But he is clearly playing his own game and his motivations are kept ambiguous for some time. He's a real case of crouching moron, hidden badass.
In a rather conservative, oft-times generic franchise, Yuri is a breath of fresh air. A street-wise, rogue of a protagonist who is more moral than his actions and behavior have others perceive. There's a reason why he's so popular that Tales popularity polls tend to remove him, just to give others a chance.
Geralt of Rivia
Geralt is basically everything I want in a protagonist. A badass with an awesome aesthetic, a disdain for the authority figures he's forced to tolerate, and an ever present deadpan sense of humor that plays on his alleged lack of emotion.
Devil May Cry
Thought I'd say Dante, huh? Nero is everything I like about Dante - rogueish, smarmy, sarcastic, and over the top, and so much more on top of that.
The way he deals with his trauma and abandonment by latching on to his surrogate family is relatable. The way he unites his dysfunctional real family is admirable. His personal growth from DMC4 to DMC5 is impressive.
And in DMC5, a game in which 2/3 of the soundtrack is abysmal, Nero owns all of the best songs.