Male Protagonists

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Brilliantly written. I have to wonder under which category Yahtzee would file Master Chief.

Flying Dagger:
I think the route of the problem is bad writing.
It doesn't mean we just get lackluster stories for the characters to exist in, we also get lackluster characters to inhabit the lackluster worlds.

That's 'root'. /grammarnazi

Yahtzee Croshaw:
The nearest thing the macho man gets to physical intimacy is having communal showers with his equally oversized buddies in between armed conflicts. While no sexual horseplay will occur at the time, he will probably be thinking about it later when he jerks off. Really angrily.

And the Funny of the Day Award goes to...

I kinda agree and disagree about Niko from GTAIV. For the first half of the game, he is a likable guy, trying to get by in the crazy world of Liberty City. It was that quality that made me interested in the game to begin with. But towards the end, he becomes another schlock "dude with gun." And after he finally finds the guy he was looking for, I couldn't care less about it. By that time, all I wanted to do was spawn a helicopter, take him into the air as high as possible and drop him like a rock. Reload, rinse and repeat.

Honestly, I can't really remember any male protagonist which I could sympathize with. Manly or Macho or whatever... I mean, look at some of the backstories of the protagonist: Marcus Fenix - abandoning his post to save his father or whatever (sensitive guy?), yet an utter moron without a hint of any human feel. And his partner who CONSTANTLY whines about his family between shotgun shots. Nico Belic? I almost crapped myself when we cried about the death of that Kate or whoever, because I totally tried to avoid her at all costs (fortunately I saw the other ending first, which kinda made sense). And at least he could show some character while walking down the city or ramming into people.

Well, now that I think about it, the only male protagonists who looked real to me are from IO games: Hitman 2 and Kane And Lynch. Funny how that works.

Actually Kane feels like a REAL person.

Well done Yahtzee, you perfectly nailed it.

Prince of Persia: SoT was a manly character. I absolutly loved him, his conflicting desires and himself questioning. It added so much immersion and character to the entire game that I fell in love with the trilogy. A work well done.

Ezio, he is just fucking amazing, excuse me for my vulgar language, but that guy is everything I hold dear. A man of conflict, childish glee and elegant behaviour around people. A womanizer but certainly with a respecting attidude. Crushing injustice and enjoying the company of others. I kinda regret selling that game for a profit.

Marcus Fenix..C'mon, that game has no emotional drama at all. Except Dom & his wife sequence. That was something emotional. I hope Gears 3 pulls something better.

Either way, very interested read and keep them coming, we love to see you fleshing out your opinions and thoughts!

Okay, you've explained the differences, cool.

Now, where's the rest of the article?

You know, the bit with the point?

Yer man o'er yonder:

Seneschal:

Anyway, nice to hear FSG:TG is progressing. Piloting a faulty ship and making it part of the gameplay sounds like a good way to introduce a sense of urgency. Only, the freezing thing isn't believable without some further elaboration - space isn't really cold (despite what The Phantom Menace tells you). If the ship had a faulty cooling system, with the coolant unable to stop circulating, you would have to run the engine to avoid it being frozen. But, if it's actually more intuitive for the average player to have space be an Antarctica-like environment where ships get hypothermia, it's a valid choice.

On the contrary, space is quite cold. Otherwise comets would't form being big balls of ice and such.
Anyway it is nice to hear about FSG:TG again.

Only in terms of a background temperature, but in fact, losing heat in space is much harder than in an atmosphere. There's nothing for heat to transfer to, so it must radiate, which is slower. Now, a human on Antarctica and a human in deep space would both freeze... eventually. And a human in direct sunlight in space would do quite the opposite.

But here, we're not talking about an unprotected human but a spacecraft. The problem would be keeping it cool, since, again, it has nothing to transfer the heat to and no surrounding medium to absorb it, so it must radiate. That's why space shuttles always keep their cargo bay open in space - those are radiator panels. If space somehow flash-froze everything that leaves the atmosphere, we wouldn't have this problem.

Anyway, I think questionable thermodynamics are a-okay in videogames, I don't mind. But I kinda liked how Mass Effect had futuristic-looking, yet actually explainable technology. I may have been a little spoiled by it.

EDIT:

Straying Bullet:

Ezio, he is just fucking amazing, excuse me for my vulgar language, but that guy is everything I hold dear. A man of conflict, childish glee and elegant behaviour around people. A womanizer but certainly with a respecting attidude. Crushing injustice and enjoying the company of others. I kinda regret selling that game for a profit.

Oh, I was also surprised that he named Ezio as a good character. He didn't even mention much about him in the review, but I guess he has to grow on you first. I really thought the character was well-written and believable, which was actually undermined by his ridiculous body-count. It's like the person in the cutscenes is Ezio, but the hooded figure you play is a random psycho. Maybe it was just me.

Manly: Will not explode if he inadvertently comes into contact with a JRPG androgyne.
Macho: Will.

worst extra punctuation
where's the interesting bit and where's the point?

No. You're wrong. The newest Prince of Persia is the best, with the 2 originals.

Straying Bullet:

Ezio, he is just fucking amazing, excuse me for my vulgar language, but that guy is everything I hold dear. A man of conflict, childish glee and elegant behaviour around people. A womanizer but certainly with a respecting attidude. Crushing injustice and enjoying the company of others. I kinda regret selling that game for a profit.

Oh, I was also surprised that he named Ezio as a good character. He didn't even mention much about him in the review, but I guess he has to grow on you first. I really thought the character was well-written and believable, which was actually undermined by his ridiculous body-count. It's like the person in the cutscenes is Ezio, but the hooded figure you play is a random psycho. Maybe it was just me.[/quote]

Well that's a cut-scene that is pre-made and we're just using up doing whatever we want. I wish AC2 were a bit more of an RPG as well - more stuff, maybe some dialogue on our own, but that is just impossible in games.

Best male heroes = Max Payne (-'-) ; Torque (The Suffering); Daniel Garner (Painkiller);
From some of the best games ever.

So, where does Gordon Freeman come in this?

Small question here Yahtzee:are you gay?This article was almost like if a girl was describing the man of her dreams:"the manly man this,the manly man that"
Ok,i'm kidding.I get what you're saying,macho men in videogames are more like neanderthals than human sapiens,but since you pointed out the Prince as an example of both a manly and macho character,what about the 2008's prince?Does he belong to a third,different categorie(douchebag)?

Wow spot on. I couldn't quite put my finger on why I hated the "bro" shooters so much and this really nailed it. Everything about the characters from looks to their speech screamed asshole. But also forced co-op games suck butt anyway.

You made a list of macho characters without ONCE mentioning Duke Nukem.

It depends on what you define 'manly' as.

Having a muscular build - manly
Having a female companion - manly
Having a deep voice - manly
Having a closet full of skinny jeans - not manly
Having a love of skincare - not manly
Being good at Pokémon - not manly

I think I'm bang in the centre.

I've said it a hundred times before, read the chronciles of the black company by Glen Cook and you will see the true meaning of character and story telling. Even the side people have more character than the entire cast of gears of war, except for carmine who is actually a person.

THANK. YOU. Thank you. Yes..thank you so very much. For writing this. Well said, very succinct, effective, appropriate...true.
Yes...
Thank you.
*bow*

Rect Pola:
You already talked about female characters before, but what is the terminology for female variants of manly and macho?

Sorry, the topic here is on dominantly male characters. maybe next time.

Nothing wrong with the occassional Macho Man, especially if it fits a story. Maybe even a story of growth?...

The sad thing is I know real world macho men who don't understand the difference. And would tell you to re-attach your balls if you tried to explain it to them.

Ugh. I found this article lacking somewhat. At points I wasn't sure whether the comparison of 'manly' and 'macho' had stayed firmly within videogame world. Perhaps a greater use of videogame examples would have given me and better idea of the difference he was trying to point out. I understand he was likely commenting on these character types appearing in all fictional media and not just videogames, but I still feel the article didn't really do it for me.

However, I love to scrutinise whenever masculinity gets discussed, so perhaps I'm taking this too seriously and/or thinking about it too much.

cauby:
Small question here Yahtzee:are you gay?

He's not. From what I can deduce, and because I vaguely remember him mentioning having a lady friend at some point.

Hawkeye16:
You made a list of macho characters without ONCE mentioning Duke Nukem.

I think the difference is that Duke Nukem was an intentionally comical character while the likes of Marcus Fenix are intended to be taken seriously.

ultimateownage:
So, where does Gordon Freeman come in this?

I dunno, the "Chuck Norris" category?

"He has the greatest respect for scholars and technical experts who have mastered necessary skills that he himself lacks. He is patient with children, and respectful of the opposite sex. The manly man romances women he finds particularly intriguing, and given the appropriate mutual consents, will do her tenderly and satisfyingly right up the Edith Piaf. And she will love it."

I'm not sure how you played Nico Belic, but this is not how I played Nico.

Also Alex Mercer from prototype. In the cut scenes he comes across as a nice but damaged person, "I only kill what's necessary" Then they give us back control and I become a massive jerk, who takes women up skyscrapers to thrown them at helicopters.

ultimateownage:
So, where does Gordon Freeman come in this?

Silent protagonists are kind of their own thing. Seeing how all characterization is provided by the player... in reality it's whoever you want them to be. Link could be a gay forest fairy, a manly romantic hero, or a complete dick (EXCUUUUUSE ME PRINCESS). Gordon strikes me as a manly man, simply by how all the other characters act around him, but with quite a bit more nerd mixed in.
All we have to work with is their appearance, how other characters act around them, and how the original creators see them.

But the simple fact is that, in the end, the creators left it up to us to decide.

Examples in film:

Manly man = Bruce Willis in Die Hard (the first one)

Macho man = Arnold Schwarzbewithyou in Commando

Considering the state of modern games writing, I imagine most games writers/designers have the latter on their Top One Movies of All Time list.

@ultimateownage - Gordon Freeman?

Who gives a rat's f***ing ass?
Lamest character ever.

You do realise that Kratos, the figure you have nerdgasmed over in previous articles, comes under macho?

On a different note, good to see that the space game is coming along.

I know everybody wants to know Kratos and Gordon Freeman, but what about Solid Snake?

The man balances between the two so often, it's hard to tell.

But it was an interesting read, and I enjoyed reading the differences between the two.

On a somewhat similar note: I have yet to achieve the purchase of a 360, Wii or PS3, so I grab Solid Snake because he's the only character I happen to have played all the games for (i borrowed a friends PS3 for MGS4).

I'll get with the times eventually.

I'm sort of against the idea of the first category as a manly man. He's 'manly' in the sense that he's not a boy; that is to say, an adult. However, he's described essentially as both capable and not an emotionless twat. That makes him mature, but nothing than a woman can't or shouldn't be.

I sort of get the idea of "masculine" equalling "doing everything and helping out those in need", but I'd really emphasise the maturity aspect of that rather than its gendered perspective, because put in a stressful situation I'd damn well expect a mature woman to be able to start helping out and shit (if not necessarily, as was pointed out, start destroying everything, since odds are in our society she wouldn't be strong, or more importantly, trained enough to do anything all that effective).

I kinda like what Yahtzee described as a "macho man". Emotions are fine an dandy, but completely sociopathic destruction for the sake of destruction is very liberating.

shogunblade:
I know everybody wants to know Kratos and Gordon Freeman, but what about Solid Snake?

The man balances between the two so often, it's hard to tell.

But it was an interesting read, and I enjoyed reading the differences between the two.

On a somewhat similar note: I have yet to achieve the purchase of a 360, Wii or PS3, so I grab Solid Snake because he's the only character I happen to have played all the games for (i borrowed a friends PS3 for MGS4).

I'll get with the times eventually.

Clearly Manly.
(<<MGS fanboy)
Pretty sure he keeps going on about "love blooming on the battlefield" and even regrets killing some people :O
(Plus tranqing people makes it so much more fun!!)

If Fun Space Game: The Game turns out to be an X universe knock-off in which all ships are hopelessly dependent on jump gates to get around and can travel at sub-light speeds which, in interplanetary terms, are best summarised as 'standing still' and having capital ships that can only pathetically 'pew pew pew' each other to death then Yahtzee will have missed the point by at least a hundred light years.

Yahtzee seems to be implying that there is something wrong with angrily jacking it. I can't imagine any other way.

Sometimes you don't want a susceptible, occasionally wrong, sometimes weak lovey dovey man.
Sometimes you just want a hilariously unreal beefcake to stomp everything, case in point the most recent Universal Soldier film where, lets just say, the 2nd half of the film is one sided and awesome.

I guess my point is there's room for both, i want to scream and destroy everything, and i also want a character who has ups and downs.

Hmmm, well I think that's overly simplified.

For all Yahtzee's dislike of the stereotype, I think "Macho" protaganists have their place in games, I think they are just overdone and appear far too often.

See, a hyper macho, arrogant, dude who is as good as he says he is, is interesting when compared to other more normal characters including the "manly man" that was mentioned, the emo types, the warrior-scholor types, and others. However when everyone is doing the same schtick in nearly every game it gets old.

It's sort of like my take on Dark Heroes, in general when everyone is a dark, brooding shadowy hero type like Batman, it loses it's distinction. There needs to be the allegedly "regular" type of hero in successful operation with some frequency to have the counterpoint make sense.

That's why when Dark Heroes were fairly new, and lethality came back to comics, it was interesting, and a worthy analysis of the comics genere. However when such characters became the staple, it more or less turned into irredeemable costumed psychopaths.

I see some similarities. For example "300" with King Leonidas [SP] was cool, but the 47 hyper macho imitators that tried to catch onto that vibe "because it worked there" generally were not.

Ah well, enough rambling.

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