Everyone has a favorite character, whether it’s one from a movie, a book, or a TV show. Lots of those characters have gotten their own video games, but there are several glaring omissions. These are iconic characters, each with their own claim to fame. Some may have had minor roles in other games, but we want more than that. Here are eight characters that need top billing in a video game, along with a description of the game we’d like to see them star in.
Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry)
Inspector Harry Callahan of the San Francisco Police Department was the main character in all five films in the Dirty Harry series. He was the first real police antihero; a man who would go to almost any length to get his man. While he tends to brush up against the boundaries of ethics and the law, Callahan always pursues what he feels is justice, whether that means killing a suspect or letting them go free. A Dirty Harry videogame would be an unapologetic action affair, filled with shootouts, car chases, and ambiguous moral decisions.
Perry Mason (Perry Mason)
Erle Stanley Gardner’s well-known trial lawyer, Perry Mason does what most defense lawyers won’t. Alongside his detective friend Paul Drake, he gets his hands dirty investigating crimes and learning the truth. Although he often finds himself in legal hot water, Mason’s quick thinking, knowledge of the law, and sharp cross-examination keep him on the right side of the law. A Perry Mason title would be a cross between the investigations of LA Noire and the courtroom drama of Phoenix Wright. You’d need to ask the right questions and gather all the evidence if you want to prove your client is innocent.
Darth Vader (Star Wars)
As the Dark Lord of the Sith and one of the most iconic characters of all time, Darth Vader needs no introduction. Originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, Anakin Skywalker turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. After losing a duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi that resulted in his organic limbs being severed, his burned and broken body is rebuilt with cybernetic limbs and his easily recognizable mask. Although Vader has appeared in a number of video games, he’s never had a title all his own. That needs to change. Imagine the first level of The Force Unleashed expanded to fill an entire game. Vader would travel the galaxy, bolstering the forces of the empire, carrying out the orders of the Emperor, and eliminating Jedi. With a mixture of lightsaber fights, Force powers, and starship combat, this could be a great action game with RPG elements.
Dr. Sam Beckett (Quantum Leap)
Dr. Sam Beckett was a child prodigy who went on to attend MIT. While there, he developed a theory of time travel that he called the “string theory.” While the theory was never expounded on in the show, the upshot was that Beckett teamed up with a friend, a naval officer named Al Calavicci, to create Project Quantum Leap. It used Beckett’s string theory to propel him into the lives of other people, where he would then set right something that went wrong. A Quantum Leap game would give developers a chance to visit points throughout history (although the show’s theory only allowed leaps within the leaper’s lifetime), with the player taking the place of historical figures or bystanders to affect the outcome of history. Action, diplomacy, branching stories, and multiple outcomes would all be a part of any accurate Quantum Leap game.
John Crichton (Farscape)
An American astronaut who accidentally flew into a wormhole near Earth, John Crichton was picked up by Moya, the living bio-mechanical spaceship that served as the setting for so much of Farscape. Throughout the show’s run, Crichton and the rest of Moya’s crew slowly bond as they all search the galaxy for a way to get to their respective homes. Instead of the action game that was released in 2002 (and didn’t focus on any character in particular), this game would focus on Crichton and his efforts to return home. Players would need to work with the other crew members to gain their loyalty, research wormholes and how they appear, and attempt to get back to Earth. All of this would take place against the backdrop of randomly occurring conflicts, both outside and inside the crew.
Severus Snape (Harry Potter)
Can anyone deny that Severus Snape is the best character from the Harry Potter series? I didn’t think so. After defecting from the Death Eaters, Snape spent years working covertly for Dumbledore, bringing him news of what Voldemort’s plans were, protecting Harry, and even following through on Dumbledore’s final request – that his death come at Snape’s hands. Maligned and hated throughout the series, only in death does the magnitude of Snape’s sacrifice become clear to Harry. The years of undercover work Snape has done would make a perfect setting for a game starring Snape. Mixing stealth, diplomacy, and action, the player would assume the role of Snape as he attempts to keep Voldemort happy without revealing his true alliance with Dumbledore.
Boba Fett (Star Wars)
Although Darth Vader is better-known, almost no Star Wars character is more intriguing than the bounty hunter named Boba Fett. An unaltered child clone raised by Jango Fett as a son, Boba Fett hunts Han Solo throughout the original movies, attempting to gain the reward for returning him to Jabba the Hutt. Subscribing to a what Star Wars Expended Universe writer Daniel Keys Moran called “incredibly unforgiving, harsh, ‘greater good’ sort of guy.” A Boba Fet-focused game would likely be remarkably similar to an Old West title. Imagine Red Dead Redemption, except in space, and with ships in place of horses.
Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files)
Few characters in fiction would fit better in a videogame that Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. As Chicago’s “only practicing wizard,” Harry handles all sorts of cases, from lost car keys to missing persons, as well as assisting the Special Investigations division of the Chicago Police Department. Rarely seen without his trademark duster, Dresden usually finds himself on the wrong end of losing odds, but finds a way to triumph through a combination of magic, firearms, help from friends, and a bit of luck. Along the way, he interacts with demons, vampires, faeries, and other beings of the supernatural world that parallels our own. Playing a Harry Dresden game would pit a player against a host of foes, from hit men to werewolves, and would let them learn new spells, new abilities, and meet new allies along the way. It’s a great recipe for a third-person adventure game.