Disclaimer: Minor spoilers about Shadow of the Colossus, Silent Hill 2 and Prince of Persia - Sands of Time. Also I one time got sidetracked and made a reference to Melinda Gebbie and Alan Moore's "Lost Girls" to talk about Prince of Persia.
(for which I am very proud but feel nerdy as fuck - if somebody wrote about the bathtub scene and the catacomb talking scene of sands of time as if it was a scene from Lost Girls that would have totally knocked the socks of the monthly musings thing, even though the message was simply make love not war)
Humans are flawed, that is a commonly known fact. If we all were flawless and perfect there would be no "‹bermensch"idea and Jerry Siegel would never have given Alan Moore the opportunity to write a clever story about Superman (for those caring it's called "For the man who has everything" and yes it's been made into a Justic League episode).
But flaws in themself can be wonderful little things to challange and overcome and help us become
better people. Statements about the human behaviour can be as objective as they please but when we react to a mistake we made our reaction tends to be ... well subjective.
So let's start with the most messed up guy on the list.
James Sunderland has been called to Silent Hill to find redemption and salvation.
Contrary to the game's first minutes he has been called not to find his late wife, but to accept her death and deal with the circumstances surrounding her death.
No spoiler regarding what James did or didn't but the plot twists are better than in Shutter Island.
Second hero of the day would be the Prince of Persia, who starts out like a jocky douche destined to find honor and fame on a battlefield (must repress urge to talk Metal Gear Solid games) and ends up destroying an entire kingdom and turning his loved ones into mindless monsters.
However he makes a desperate atempt, hopeing to undo this shit by trying to wind time back with the help of one of the women his father enslaved.
Wanderer actually reveals almost nothing about his backstory and leaves much up to observation.
He does not show any sign of courage (the kind of courage you would need to accept and deal with a terrible loss), but mere desperation, by stealing a sword and traveling into the forbidden land in order to revive a girl even less is revealed about.
Not only is he a thief, he also says that the consequences of his actions do not matter to him so long as Mono lives again. With that said he travels out to slaughter 16 innocent colossi that bear the spirits of Satan (Dormin -> dormer -> sleeper -> guy who holds the power over the sleeping aka the dead -> come on, he has horns on the head, how could you not think of the devil) in order to give him back his power.
Now the thing is, Wanderer gets more and more taken over and filled by the dead colossi and NEVER EVER questions that; nor does he appear to show some sign of regret for killing them, but then again maybe his regret is a more subtle one.
Still, I wonder, what would happen if somebody asks Wanderer:
"What the fuck are you going to do about that satanic demon thingy you unleashed you prick?"
He has become so desperate about reviving Mono that he sacrifices not only the colossi, but also himself.
What does that tell us about his relationship with Mono?
This is the kind of sacrifice you would make in a comepletely altruistic, unselfish and giving love.
Either that or the guy seems to feel responsible for Mono's death; but still, the important endresult remains of him not being able to cope with a mistake/death and refusal to accept it without a fight.
Even if it means to fuck everything up even more.
Now there is at least one common factor those 3 dudes all share and no, it is not the fact that they all share some sort of relationship with a girl (Mary, Mono and Farah), it's the fact that they all want to correct something in their life they regret and end up developing over the course of the game and grow as persons.
James wants his wife back but ends up accepting her death and depending on the endings faces redemption by either being given a second chance with a new relationship or killing himself.
The Prince wants to return his loved ones back to normal but develops a reluctance to war itself when he enters the catacombs and the bath house.
War is something that happens when we say no to our imagination and use fighting as a last resort.
The prince now understands that and ends up loving and having sex with Farah, which is the obvious opossite to war and the maximum of (sexual) imagination (again, make love not war - sorry for the Lost Girls reference there).
Not only does he find love, but within the 3rd game he accepts his father's death and becomes more mature to face the reality of taking responsibility for his actions instead of traveling back in time for like the 10th time.
Wander however gets fucked the most.
He simply wants to make everything right but forgets and ignores the consequences of his actions.
Reviving Mono means pretty much destroying the world, which is similar to a key scene from the new inane Prince of Persia game only executed without having a nagging bitch around.
Also, Mono has less syllables than Elika, therefore she is obviously less of a twat.
But the great thing comes through the end where Wanderer shrinks back to a little infant and Mono wakes up and starts taking care of him.
At first he just wants to take care of Mono and shows his desperate act of self sacrifice but then HE becomes the one depending on Mono's ability to take care of him.
If you were asked for a definition of altruism just write Shadow of the motherfucking Colossus under it.
So anyhow, I just felt like writing something regarding 3 of my favorite video game characters regarding regret, desperation, sacrifice, hope, love, compassion and lots and lots of other gay shit and how they
- even though the games are all linear and don't serve to let the player tell their own little story and express themselves - make for wonderful rounded and truly human characters thanks to their flaws, desires and overall characteristics.
You know, the kind you would hang around with, get drunk and smoke some pot with.
Because even though I never had to deal with my wife's death, unleashed the Sands of Time or revived a girl by to avoid dealing with letting go of the dead, I think everybody can relate to what it feels like to try and make one step into the right direction and then make 2 steps to the right into a rusty nail.
Or maybe I was just fucking bored of Just Cause 2
Now enjoy the best song of the SOTC soundtrack.