The Best Old Bastards in Gaming
In honour of Joshua Hauta's everpresent mortality (and increasingly present dad bod), we're going to talk about some of the best old dudes in video games. To keep this list from being obnoxiously long and filled with guys that are all old mentors, I'm making a rule that they have to be playable in some capacity, or at least join the main characters for the journey, within their games to qualify for this list. So let's get this list started and finished before the early bird special!
Bo' Rai Cho - Mortal Kombat
Let's honour Joshua Hauta by putting in his video game equivalent, Bo' Rai Cho. Bo' Rai Cho is an obese alcoholic who literally has a move in which he drunkenly vomits on his opponents. If that doesn't just scream Joshua Hauta, I don't know what does! Like his name translates directly from the Spanish word for drunk, borracho. Now I am not the biggest fan of Mortal Kombat's insane lore (Kingdom Hearts and Megami Tensei give me enough of that shit) so I'm not the most knowledgeable, but I do know that Big Bo over here is one of the few inhabitants of the Outworld that is not technically evil. Instead, Bo' Rai Cho is a classic old dude that imparts wisdom, and sometimes vomit, onto anyone willing to study under him as he works to avenge his murdered pupil. Or something like that, I don't know read the wiki if you really care about the lore.
Cranky Kong - Donkey Kong
Do I even need to introduce this auspicious ape? This magnificent mammal is basically just Abe Simpson but furry, and if I made this list before 2014 he would have been pushed off to the side without a chance of receiving the honour of being on a Parker List™. Lo and behold Retro Studios would come in in 2014 and give him the playable debut he deserved (Wait he was playable in Barrel Blast? Shut up that doesn't count). Not only did Retro create one of the greatest 2D platformers of all time, they basically turned Cranky into Scrooge McDuck, WooHoo, with his amazing pogo ability from the classic Duck Tales game form days gone. Beyond that, Ape Simpson here is always ready and willing to have a massive go at Donkey and his pals for being absolute idiots like any good old dude should. Sometimes his wife, Wrinkly, will also join in for the fun. Yeah, that also means that Cranky fucks... Plus he has a beard as long as his entire torso that could put Santa Claus to shame. When I grow up, I want to be like Cranky Kong.
The Judge - Ace Attorney
Okay so technically Judge isn't playable. But given that the Ace Attorney games are visual novels, technically no one is playable as you just kind of select the Wright dialogue choices and watch the drama unfold. This judge is the pinnacle portrayal of a well-meaning idiot. He is easily swayed, often manipulated by any lawyer that tries, and distracted by the mere mention of food, but he Always arrives at the correct verdict and truly just wants to see justice delivered unto those that deserve it. He's also often dumbfounded by technology and hard of hearing because we gotta have the token old guy in here. So why is Judge on this list? Because he perfectly embodies the beautiful insanity that is the Ace Attorney series. His dialogue and facial expressions are pure gold, his animations and mannerisms are over the top, and he's just one of those characters you smile every single time he comes on screen. His brother, who is never seen, is confirmed to be Canadian so he also gains points for having a connection to my home and native land. He also has a rad beard like Cranky.
Mordin Solus - Mass Effect
Good old Mordin Solus, the genius of the salarian race. So we don't actually know Mordin's true age, but we do know that he's nearing the end of the salarian lifespan. That just means he's old as dinosaur shit. Mordin is just a big ole goofy nerd, like me but lovable. Mordin is your typical no-nonsense scientist with no filter, which affords him the chance to be the source of some of the most entertaining moments in the Mass Effect series. These are only heightened by his slightly imperfect English and dry delivery of lines, like when he makes a quip that a virus may be very intelligent and just toying with him to make him think it's not as deadly as it actually is (too real?). But go to any article or video covering the Mass Effect series, and it'll definitely mention how great Mordin is. Mordin is basically an old Sheldon Cooper but genuinely hilarious and infinitely likable. No beard though, unfortunately.
Joel - The Last of Us
Before The Last of Us Part 2 launched and caused a ton of stupid controversy, Joel and his game stood as legendary icons in modern gaming. Joel is just a dad who wants to be right by daughter. Only his daughter was brutally murdered and died in his arms as an apocalypse broke out and he is now looking after another young lady decades later. Joel is doing everything he can to get Ellie, his second chance at having a daughter, across the country as she is the potential saviour to the whole world given that she is immune to the outbreak. Joel is a man full of all the things that make a graet father: he tells dumb jokes, he teaches Ellie how to ride horses and play guitar, and he'll snap your fucking neck or stab your in the chest with his insane Old Man Strength. Joel is literally a man just trying to do his best for Ellie, and literally no one will stand in his way. Just don't ask him to go golfing, he doesn't do well with golf clubs.
Victor Sullivan - Uncharted
Victor GODDAMN Sullivan, the highlight of the Uncharted series. Sully is just Roger Murtaugh but white and a chain-smoking manwhore. Okay so he is kind of nothing like Roger Murtaugh, but he still kicks a ton of ass and helps protagonist Nathan Drake however he can. He'll gladly join in an auction to distract a bunch of rich assholes while his buddy Nate pulls off a daring art heist, or trek through the rainforest while "sweating like a hooker in church"(yes he did bring a hooker to church once), or just sit back and have a cigar and some drinks. Sully is the kind of old dude who invites you to go for a drink, so you go and order something light for the both of you because you don't want him to die or something, only for him to just call you a wuss and slam back a massive bottle of whiskey. You know, that kind of crazy old dude. Where Joel is the kind of tough old guy who busts your skull in without a second thought, Victor is the kind of tough old guy who busts a nut in your mother. But no matter what kind of insane scheme Sully is currently pulling, he always has Nate's back and serves as a fantastic older brother/father/grandfather figure to him.
Olberic Eisenberg - Octopath Traveler
And we're back to insane cases of Old Man Strength, though this time with Big Daddy Olberic. While not my personal favourite character from Octopath (Best girl Ophilia represent), Olberic is certainly a fun one. While his backstory is kind of generic (he was betrayed by his sworn brother during his time as a knight and now searches for him to avenge his broken kingdom and ease his broken soul), Olberic stands as a perfect foil to the rest of the Octopath cast. In a similar manner to how Mordin Solus acts cold and calculated when compared to his companions, Olberic is much more stoic and serious than his cast of colourful goofs. Maybe it's something about getting old inhibits your ability to comprehend how you should act in social situations. Regardless, Olberic is a fun old dude with some rad abilities. Given that he is the big muscle of the party, Olberic can tank physical hits like a champ and dish out some serious pain, just don't ask him to soak a magic hit or he'll be dead on the outside like I am on the inside.
Mycen - Fire Emblem Gaiden/Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
We've had some pretty rad father figures on this list, but now let's make way for the real old fucks, the senior citizens. Enter Mycen from Fire Emblem Gaiden (Or its remake titled Echoes: Shadows of Valentia) to fulfill the badass grandfather role perfectly. Mycen is another old knight from a once great kingdom that lost its power, only for him to always desire revenge. Despite that, Mycen threw away his knighthood and settled down to raise his foster grandson and protagonist (who just happens to have a sad backstory and no parents) Alm. That is, until the duty called and he decided he was no longer too old for this shit and took up the blade once more. Mycen is by no means the best unit in his game, but he stands as an awesome grandfather and has a badass moustache that is basically required by old ass anime dudes. Stat wise, he stands with good stats and horrible growth rates (because he's old and don't need to improve anymore!) making hima decent choice if the player neglected the other mounted units. Oh yeah, did I mention he rides a horse? Yeah he rides a horse, it's pretty neat. Mycen would be the best grandfather figure I've seen in gaming, were it not for the last old dude I have yet to discuss.
Rowen J Ilbert - Tales of Xillia
Rowen. Fucking. J. Ilbert (I believe that is his full legal name). That absolute beast of a man is the peak of old dudes in games. Hailing from one of the most underappreciated RPG's of all time, Tales of Xillia, this dude fucking carries his game to greatness. A humble butler with a badass moustache and even badass-er ponytail, Rowen meets our party as they visit the rich family he butles for and wastes no time joining the crew when needed to help save the world. This 62 year-old behemoth is significantly older than most of the other dudes on this list, and even takes on a sort of grandfather role with the youngest members of this game's party. Maturity and growing up is a such a big theme of his game, so Rowen stands as the peak representation of growing old and embracing the added responsibilities of adulthood to our protagonist, Jude. Rowen stands as a levelheaded yet sassy as shit mentor to the party and delivers brilliantly witty quips to whoever needs them and some genuinely great advice about growing up. He is quick to deliver a joke during the most tense situations, even at his own expense, and loves roasting Jude for being young and inexperienced about adult things. Meaning he makes elegant jokes about Jude not knowing about sex. Rowen is the catalyst of the majority of Xillia's great moments. But that's just his personality, how does he fight? Rowen is one of the most fun characters to play in the entire Tales of series and has genuinely amazing and creative abilities. His entire motif is basically a mix of a fencer and a composer, so graceful stabs combined with summoning magical music to decimate all who oppose him. That role of makeshift battle-conductor is rather fitting for Rowen, given that he is often a sort of tactitian for the party, often helping plan out their next move and ensuring everyone gets through safely. Rowen will crush your enemies without breaking a sweat, laugh at his own age, and then make some delicious tea for everyone, and that is why Rowen Fucking J Ilbert is best damn old dude in all of gaming.