Father’s Day is almost upon us – a time for showing appreciation for our dads through the gifting of socks and underwear. But not everybody is lucky enough to have a legendary father figure. In fact, the video games landscape is littered with a plethora of daddy issues. We thought we’d do things a little different this year by taking the time to put the spotlight on some of the worst fathers in video games.
James (Fallout 3)
I’m a fan of clean water initiatives as much as the next person, but that doesn’t change the fact that he abandoned his teenage child. With zero explanation he leaves you at the mercy of the Vault 101 Overseer – a small time dictator-type who doesn’t let anyone leave. Upon escape you spend the entirety of the game untangling your dad’s web of lies.
James also manages to get trapped in the body of a simulated dog in Vault 112 and has the audacity to be disappointed if you blow up Megaton. Tenpenny may have been a ghoul hating bigot, but at least he was there for me, dad!
Big Boss (Metal Gear Solid)
Fatherhood and a penchant for world domination are never a good mix. Not only are Big Boss’s sons genetic clones of himself, he has a bad habit of trying to kill them. When one of your offspring creates a terrorist group named Sons of Big Boss (where all members have received emulating gene therapy), you need to look at your life choices.
William Birkin (Resident Evil)
A virologist at Umbrella Corporation, not only was William crazy enough to infect himself with the G-Virus, he also implanted a G-Embryo into his unconscious daughter after she fell through a ceiling. It’s also rather difficult to be an active father once you’ve mutated into a blob.
Henry Lawson (Mass Effect)
Lawson decided that the best way for him to make his mark on the world was by creating a genetic dynasty. He used his own DNA to create the perfect daughter, Miranda, who he spoiled rotten until she failed to live up to his high standards. He had a solution though – simply use her DNA to create a more perfect genetic twin. Miranda fled with her little sister so she could have a normal childhood, but Henry eventually managed to kidnap her once she had grown up. That's certainly one way to show that you care... about your human-shaped investment.
Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite)
After the death of his baby mama in childbirth, Booker developed a penchant for alcohol and gambling. He wound up so far in debt that he actually sold his child in exchange for a clean slate. His fatherly instincts only kicked in after the transaction and he tried to save her before she was pulled in a tear… which resulted in the tip of baby Anna’s finger getting severed.
Kratos (God of War)
Kratos may have started as a loving family man (he even saved his daughter from being murdered under Spartan law) but his talent for conquest saw him transform into a power hungry war monger. After becoming an absentee father he eventually lost almost all trace of humanity and slaughtered his family. Sure, he was tricked into the deed by Ares, but perhaps if he spent more time at home than under the God of War’s influence his wife and daughter would still be alive.
Bowser (Super Mario Bros.)
Not only does Bowser send the Koopalings off to fight Mario for him, the bastard doesn’t even officially recognise them as his children anymore. They’re good enough to be bred for battle, but they can’t even call him dad. Shigeru Miyamoto even confirmed in 2012 that in the “current story” they’re not his.
Bowser doesn't even give a shit about his heir. Does he even know where Bowser Jr. is after the kid falls off the back of his gold plated midlife crisis kart?
Heihachi Mishima (Tekken)
Mishima is such a bad father that his cycle of abuse is multi generational. In addition to throwing his son, Kazuya, off and cliff and into a volcano, he also forces him to make a deal with the devil, as you do. He also exploits unwanted children by adopting a child to fight him. If that wasn’t enough, he also performs experiments on his grandson and shoots him into space. Yeah, space.
The Bloody Baron (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
In addition to being an avid Gwent player, the Bloody Baron is also a raging alcoholic who physically abused his wife after he discovered that she was having an affair. After an abuse induced miscarriage that the Baron covered up, she ran away with their daughter. In a horrific twist, the fetus appears in the quest as a Botchling – a cursed creature that is created from the improper burial of stillborn infants.
The Baron is remorseful and eventually tries to make amends with his family, but certain choices can also result in his suicide. This is particularly tragic if you didn’t win his rare Gwent card first.
Dad (Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015)
It’s a game about showering with your dad – need I say more?