Bring out your flags, put some hotdogs on the grill and light up a few sparklers! In honor of the 4th of July and in celebration of all things ‘Merican this week, we bring you a list of the Top 10 most patriotic video game characters.
10. Duke Nukem
His latest adventure, Duke Nukem Forever, begins with ole Duke standing in front of an American flag. That alone deserves an honorable mention, but he also saved the world from aliens and all sorts of troubles multiple times. Just look at him and listen to his quotes. He’s an amalgamation of many iconic American action heroes: John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis and Bruce Campbell. He sounds like Dirty Harry to boot. Love him or hate him, Duke’s definitely a poster boy for the stereotypical American badass image.
9. Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer & Lance “Scorpion” Bean (Contra series)
Many of us older games spent plenty of time with these two Americans, armed with rifles and unlimited ammo. The original Japanese version had the two taking on a terrorist cell, but when it arrived at our shores it was changed to an evil alien entity known as Red Falcon. Mad Dog and Scorpion blasted their way through 10 areas of side-scrolling and 3D mazes on both the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and in arcades.
It was one of the few games at the time to feature cooperative gameplay. And what could be more American than taking gaming and putting it into the hands of the many instead of a single (dictator of a) player?
8. Mike Haggar (Final Fight series)
This guy has such an impressive resume: professional wrestler, mayor of a major metropolitan U.S. city, and most famously, a freedom fighter. When his city was overrun by the evil criminal gang/organization Mad Gear, he took to the streets with Guy and Cody to take his city back.
So let’s see, he’s done his civic duty as a public servant, fought street crime AND maintains an impressive moustache? Sounds like a Grade A American to me. Plus, this quote proves even his moustache is a patriot: “My ‘stache quivers for justice!”
7. Bill Taylor (Call of Duty 2)
While lacking in backstory and personality, Call of Duty 2‘s Bill Taylor is a one-man WWII army thanks to the skills game players everywhere. As a Corporal in the 2nd Ranger Battalion Bill helps storm the shores of Normandy on D-Day, helps in the assault of Pointe du Hoc, Hill 400 and crosses the Rhine River into enemy Germany. This guy is Real American Hero material. If Bill Taylor were real, the number of medals he’d be wearing would be enough to make a rapper jealous of his bling.
6. Guile (Street Fighter series)
Aside from the guys in Contra, Guile of Street Fighter fame is one of my first memories of a patriot and proud American in gaming. He’s a U.S. special forces operative and his fighting stage was on a U.S. airbase. Since 1991 he’s fought warriors the world over, all in the name of justice and vengeance.
Oh, and just look at his arms…American flag tattoos on each!
The villain of the series, M. Bison killed his best friend and fellow soldier Charlie Nash. In his honor, Guile wears his dog tags alongside his own. In a fairly emotional scene, Guile’s ending in Street Fighter II shows his family dissuading him from killing M. Bison. American soldier, loyal friend and family man, Guile is an inspiration (as long as we forget about his portrayal by JCVD).
This concludes the bottom half of our Top 10! Check back later in the week as we count down the 5 most patriotic characters in video games. Agree/Disagree with our list so far? Who do you think will make the Top 5? Let us know in the comments!