Destructoid draws: Game franchises that touched our hearts

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[The Destructoid community is home to some impressive artists. And what better way to share that skill than in a blog using a sexually suggestive subheader? ~Strider]

We all know the classic saying “Different strokes for different folks.” Well, it got me thinking. What about brush strokes? And not the male brush you pervo, paint brushes. What if I asked a bunch of Destructoid users to tell me about a game series that are special to their heart, and ask them to draw a character from that series?

The response was, in all honesty, overwhelming. So many people wanted to join in and share a little bit of love. And I can transfer this love to you, dear reader, by compiling all the replies I received in one handy place. So strap yourself in and don’t forget to buy the museum’s audio guide, because some serious art is going to happen right in front of your eyeballs.


Vivi representing Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy games in general have a special place in my heart, but FFIX in particular was my first foray into the series. It is also my favorite game of all time. The world is amazing. Gaia is a place I would love to visit. And the characters are some of my favorite ever written, in a game or anywhere else. I believe Vivi is one of the best characters ever created personally. That’s saying a lot, but I can’t think of another video game toon who is more beloved and relatable than the Little Black Mage That Could. He’s sort of the embodiment of friendship and pure goodness hiding a badass spirit underneath it all. He is both someone you’d want to have your back and someone you would want to be at the same time.”


Kat representing Gravity Rush 

“It’s hard to describe exactly why Gravity Rush and its sequel clicked so much with me. They have a sort of rough charm, and the collectathon aspect brings me back to an era when that genre was more popular thanks to games like Mario Sunshine and Banjo-Kazooie.

I think what really drew me in at first is the art design. The team, under the terrific direction of Keiichiro Toyama (also director of Silent Hill and Siren), tried to make a game that would combine European and Japanese sensibilities. Sure, the written language doesn’t use any spaces, like Japanese script, but the symbols themselves use characters that look vaguely Latin. The use of heavy color filters, how objects at a distance are reduced to outlines, and the crazy landscapes remind me of French comics, which I read a ton of when I was young. When that art design is combined with a delightful soundtrack that’s soothing without being bland and derivative, the end result is a game that ticks off a lot of nostalgia boxes despite being a relatively new series, at least for me! 

Also Kat kicks butt, her cheery personality is so great.” 


Kirby representing… Kirby!

Kirby’s Adventure was the first game I ever beat (and the only one on the NES I beat.) While I haven’t played every game in the franchise, I do turn to it from time to time for a game that I can have a fun time with without worrying too much about the difficulty, often as a pick me up.”


Nameless Gunner representing Etrian Odyssey

Etrian Odyssey just celebrated its 10-year anniversary. I still remember seeing the advertisements in Nintendo Power and thinking it looked like a boring generic budget anime RPG. I was completely wrong. In a sea of first-person anime-styled dungeon crawlers, Etrian Odyssey really does stand out as highly polished.

The only game in the series I never particularly liked was 3. Which is odd because that one is a fan favorite. Maybe an “Etrian Odyssey: Untold 3” would fix that. ‘Till then, I’ll be waiting on Etrian Odyssey 5 to be localized.

Atlus? It has been out six months in Japan… I know Persona 5 isn’t out yet… but… please could we get confirmation that it will be coming out here? Maybe a bit before the 10-year anniversary of the NA launch? :D”

Inquisitive Ravenclaw

Roll representing Mega Man

“I have an interesting history with the Mega Man series. I…have never played a mainline game (don’t kill me!). Instead, I’ve played a variety of spinoff games starring the characters over the years. Fighting games, Megaman Battle Network, Misadventures of Tron Bonne, etc. In fact, I first played as Roll in one of the earlier Marvel vs. Capcom games at a friend’s house. One of us would always pick Roll to hear her theme playing in the background. It was very catchy, although I don’t remember anything about the gameplay itself (I always button- mashed anyway).

Some time later I ran into her Battle Network counterpart. While Roll.EXE is the one I’m most familiar with, she isn’t really given much to do storywise so you don’t see her often. However, she’s the source of a helpful series of attacking/healing battle chips that I always kept on hand throughout the game. It’s a shame she didn’t get much of a chance to shine otherwise.

Eventually I got the well-beloved (and in dire need of a sequel!) Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. While I’ll forever remember it as my introduction to the awesomeness that is Zero, I also spent some time with Roll again. It was fun playing with her various sweeping/bucket attacks. The fact that a child-sized android could decimate a giant fighting lighter-shaped robot was just hilarious to me! And she had a remix of her awesome theme music from way back when, as well as a cute minigame when you finish the Arcade mode as her.

With the advent of Marvel vs. Capcom 4, I’m hoping the little helper ‘bot that could will make a return to the fighting scene. I’m sure she could use the break from cleaning all day. Roll kicks butt, and looks cute while doing so!”


Mother Harlot representing Shin Megami Tensei

“Mother Harlot perfectly encompasses why I adore SMT creature design. Unique, sharp, with just a little bit of nonsense. I have never actually approached or used her in any of the SMT/Persona games I’ve played, but I’ve always loved her art/design.

Also, let it be known that I gave this shit my ALL.”


Watts representing the Mana series

Legend of Mana is not only my favorite game of all time, but the standard in which I hold all RPGs to. While it’s sort of a black sheep in the Mana series of games, due to it breaking the mold set forth by the previous entries in the series, and its story being more of a spin offthand an addition to the series. Legend of Mana introduced a non linear story progression and a 2D brawler fighting style. Which some may not like, but for me these are the some best parts of the game. Well, besides the characters. The Mana games were full of a charming. interesting and humorous cast. Whether you’re talking about Secret of Mana‘s Neko(meowster of cat puns), or Legend of Mana‘s Inspector Boyd(Blast it!) the cast is full of lovable characters.

One of my favorite characters in the series is Watts. Watts is a blacksmith, his personality is that of a grumpy old man, despite the fact he’s actually not that old, and is depicted as very young looking. His age isn’t revealed, though, and he’s also he’s a dwarf. He’s always blaming others for his problems, but deep down he’s a cool dude. Maybe I like Watts so much because I am also young but act like a grumpy old man…”


Valimar representing Trails of Cold Steel

Trails of Cold Steel is probably the most positive surprise in my whole gaming experience. I picked it up with little expectations and found myself utterly blown away by the carefully crafted world, the great characters, and the very well-executed gameplay. What endears me the most to the game though is the world building. While the pace of the narrative is not necessarily for everyone, by taking it slow and fleshing out the main characters and also the NPCs over a long period of time, you have a world you really feel like a part of and feel invested in once the bigger events start unfolding. Due to all this it has made its way onto my favourite games of all times list for sure and I can’t wait for part three.”


Shantae representing Shantae

“Shantae, Shantae, Shantae. Great games. You should play them and here’s why. I had the privilege to play the first Shantae on GBC when I was a kid. I had read about the game in an issue of Nintendo Power and asked for it as a gift during the holidays. The game was by no means perfect and was quite hard, but the characters, the designs, the world and everything in between was quite captivating. While I don’t recall finishing the game, I certainly did play it a lot and enjoyed it for what it was. Years went by and no followup came out. And then Risky’s Revenge happened. And then another in the form of Pirate’s Curse. And then Half-Genie Hero was Kickstarted. It’s not just that I grew up with this franchise, it’s that I have watched it grow alongside me. I’ve seen the characters say and do new things and seen the designs evolve over the years. And of course the very classic Metroidvania meets Mega Man gameplay remains an exciting and yet ever evolving treat to this day. Shantae is a wonderful series that will always remain one of my top favorites and I can only hope you will find the same joy I do when I play these awesome games.”


Tails representing Sonic the Hedgehog

“One of the first video games I played was Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The beautiful colors of Emerald Hill, the great music, the intriguing motion of Sonic’s spin dash all instantly grabbed my attention. Having Sonic’s best friend, Tails, by his side (who could fly!) was so cool to me.

As a child, my friends would nickname me Tails because of my personality and the character’s sweetness and desire to better himself always stuck with me. Tails being my favorite color at the time, orange, also helped make him easy to love. Now orange and blue are my favorite colors so the Sonic/Tails pairing is perfect.”


King of the Cosmos representing Katamari Damacy

“Few characters get me like The King of the Cosmos. The King is as vain as he is insecure, as majestic as he is clumsy, and as kind as he is cruel. He dresses like Bowie and acts like Bean, and has a crotch bulge the size of Topeka, KS. In another life, The King could have been my very own father.

The entire Katamari series is based around The King doing something ridiculous and breaking the natural order of the universe. One day he slips on a banana peel, and the Milky Way is out of whack. Another, he bonks his head on the sun, and the galaxy must be redone. And instead of just fixing things, what does he do? He tasks his son with rolling up random objects – and eventually the stars themselves – into a giant ball to set things right. It doesn’t make sense, and you know what? It doesn’t need to. When you have a character as affably adorable as The King, you don’t need 4K-quality and motion capturing. All you need to is the rainbow-flavored gibberish that only The King of the Cosmos can provide.

The massive bulge helps, too.”

Sr. Churros

Tingle representing The Legend of Zelda

“So, my first contact with The Legend of Zelda was around the last years of elementary school. There was a dude that was my best bro (and one of my very few friends back then), and I loved to go to his how to play N64.

Sometimes we would go to the rental store to get some games to play. And after some weeks of he insisting we got the game which I felt like it had the least attractive cover art ever: Ocarina of Time.

That cartridge had a save file just before the Ganondorf fight, and we spent the whole afternoon trying to beat it, until I managed to beat him and escape the crumbling castle, only to be brutally killed by Ganon over and over. After that I became a huge fan and ended up playing most of the main games.”

Ein on Shrooms

Fie representing Trails of Cold Steel

“A few years ago I played Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky and it completely nailed what the ideal handheld RPG should be. I kept following the franchise and once the Trails of Cold Steel games came out I was hooked even more. A lot of improvements visually and gameplay-wise.

The character Fie stuck out to me because she had a quiet yet badass persona. That and the fact that she had small breasts and used dagger guns…I don’t know, it just stayed with me. The game seemed to want to force you to be with Alisa and while she nor any of the other waifu prospects are bad, Fie is the one who I kept spending bonding points consistently on.

Fie IS best girl.”

Hypno Coffin

Isaac representing The Binding of Isaac

“Tyrone my save got noided three times you motherfucker, and each time I grabbed the game by the balls and recompleted my lost progress. You made me complete everything with The Lost twice and I’ll never forgive you for it. But I guess the game is pretty good and I’ve put over 600 hours into it. This is a love/hate relationship.”


Garrus representing Mass Effect

“Space science fiction is a genre closer to my heart, and something that is criminally underused in video games outside of flight sims or 3X games. Rarely is it used in something that captures what I love about sci-fi novels and movies: a compelling narrative, a fascinating universe, and a sense of wonder.

Mass Effect did a great job at establishing a universe and filling it with wonderful creatures and characters. I’ve longed for a game with non-human non-anthropomorphized animal protagonists, and Mass Effect came really close. I wish I could’ve played as an alien race (similar to Elder Scroll‘s beast races), but I also understand why I couldn’t.

Anyways, the alien design in this game is ace. I love it. My favorite aesthetically (sexy blue ladies aside) were the Vakarians, which lead to me taking a shining towards Garrus. It helps that the character was one I could appreciate and respect, and the voice actor was pretty great. Really my playthrough was the Shepard and Garrus Adventure Hour, I liked him so much. He needs a gaiden prequel. I would eat that up.”

Rico “Le Best” Penguin

Peco representing Breath of Fire

Breath of Fire 3 to this day captures me. The intro music sends chills down my spine. As a kid I used to rent it every week for 99 cents, for years. My parents weren’t the best with saving money I suppose. The characters, the story, the world, all of it, I loved every bit of it.

 If you have never done so, listen to the OST. It’s a good’un. It might not be the perfect game for other people, but BOF3 is my all-time favorite game. I play it every year.”

And that’s a wrap! If you also want to share with us some of your favorite video game franchises, feel free to share drawings and stories in the comment section below.

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