Gaming's 21 Greatest Old People
(Contributors: Ryan Kuo, Gus Mastrapa, Jason McMaster, Evan Narcisse and John Teti)
Old people are hilarious and sad and wise all at the same time. Their many abilities include involuntary farting, breaking their hips, yelling at televisions, making your father drink heavily at Christmas, and gaming.
Yes, gaming. Gamers are getting older. Here's proof:
As we age, an increasing number of videogames are reflecting our impending dotage. In the past decade alone, we've seen a remarkable uptick in the number of videogame characters who aren't exactly young bucks (or does) anymore.
If you're old already, congratulations: You're old. Treat yourself to an 11 a.m. nap and some Artie Shaw records. And if you're not old yet, you will be soon. So gloat while you can, you little pecker. Without further adieu, here's CG's list of our 21 favorite gaming elderly of all time. [Editor's note: Since most character ages are unavailable, many of the ages listed below are dubious approximations.]
21. Bill (Left 4 Dead; Valve)
Notes: Bill is the older, wiser, slower-moving backbone of the Left 4 Dead quartet. With his weathered, I-was-in-The-Shit beret, his creepy way of leering at Zoey's backside, and his Pall Mall perpetually wedged between his yellowed teeth, he looks as if he just climbed off a stool in the VFW bar. And no one says "Pills here!" the way that Bill says it. No one.
20. Hoy Quarlow (Super Punch-Out!!; Nintendo)
Notes: With a record of 62 wins and 13 losses, and wielding an evil kung-fu orthopedic walking stick, Hoy Quarlow is one of the most challenging opponents in this awesome boxing game. CG Trivia Nugget: If you spell his name backwards, his reversed moniker in Chinese means, "It is acceptable to stop playing this very difficult and very frustrating game now."
19. Helen Parker (Hotel Dusk: Room 215; Nintendo)
Notes: Helen is one of those old people who enjoys talking so much that she doesn't really give a damn whether or not you want to listen to her. She worked in her younger years as a stage magician. She settled down and made a family, but Helen missed her old show-business life, and zzzz... Whoops. Must have dozed off there, Helen. Please continue. [Ryan Kuo adds: "She makes you solve a maddening coin puzzle, then gifts you with her life story."]
18. Shun Di (Virtua Fighter series; Sega)
Notes: Shun Di is an herbal doctor from China whose style of fighting is drunken kung-fu. He's so loaded that he even hiccups during his fights. He sometimes takes a few swigs of booze mid-bout. His way of fighting makes him look like he's lying down on the sofa to watch one of his old-man movies (preferably something with the very ah-oooga-worthy Carole Lombard in it), when he suddenly jumps to his feet and kicks you in the stomach.
17. The Vizier (Prince of Persia: Sands of Time; Ubisoft)
Notes: The Vizier is such a coward, he hides behind a set of lacey parlor curtains during your fight with him and summons his clones do his dirty work. Defeat his clones, and you'll finally get the chance to wring his wrinkled neck. When he's wounded, he doubles over and hacks and wheezes and tries to show you his Medic Alert bracelet. Keep a close eye on his whirling, orthopedic walking stick -- yes, he has one too -- and you'll show him how the young people do it these days.
16. Dr. Russell Barnaby (Dead Rising; Capcom)
Notes: Dr. Barnaby isn't happy to see the youthful, virile Frank West when the two finally meet through a shopping mall gate. Dr. Barnaby does what you'd expect him to do: He shouts, makes very little sense, and dramatically jabs his cane in Frank's general direction.
Bonus Clip: Dead Rising
15. Heihachi Mishima (Tekken series; Namco)
Notes: For an older gentleman, Heihachi certainly has style. That hairstyle says: "I'm old, but I still enjoy combing what's left of my hair." That hairstyle says: "Ladies, look out. I'm not afraid of mousse." That hairstyle says: "Manther on the prowl." Trivia: As difficult as this might be for Tekken fans to accept, Heihachi is one of the unlockable characters in Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis.
14. Cranky Kong (Donkey Kong Country series; Nintendo)
Notes: There's a rumor that Cranky Kong is actually the original Kong from the '80s arcade game. He's old and bitter now, because that stupid Steve Wiebe keeps knocking him off his perch and taking back his beloved Pauline. Cranky has a Moses beard. His special ability: complaining.
13. Strago Magus (Final Fantasy VI; Square)
Notes: According to our Final Fantasy notebook (don't pretend you didn't keep one, you hypocrite), Strago is an elderly mage who hails from the village of Thamasa. He's your party's certified grumpy old man. He's even referred to by a fellow party member as "Gramps" at one point. (Got to love those hip writers at Square.) His special skill is "Lore," which allows him to learn special attacks from enemies and to instinctively know when it's 10-percent Senior Citizen Discount Day at Pathmark.
12. The Hobo (Bully; Rockstar Games)
Notes: The Hobo doesn't wear a shirt. He's a Korean War veteran who lost most of his unit in a friendly-fire incident. He enjoys listening to his transistor radio. And a note on the bulletin board in the boys' dorm suggests that he might have rabies. Last seen: sitting next to Bill at the VFW bar.
11. Gouken (Street Fighter IV; Capcom)
Notes: Gouken is a feisty buzzard who originally trained Ryu and Ken. He and Akuma had an epic battle in which Gouken was defeated. But Gouken didn't die at the end, as suspected. He was only rendered unconscious... You know, f*** this. I don't care what his stupid backstory is. It's a stupid f***ing Capcom fighting game. Point is, Gouken is a very attractive older gentleman. Dear Gouken: My grandmother is single and has only had one hip surgery. Would you mind taking her out on Friday night and dancing the Charleston with her? She needs to be aired out a bit.
10. Dr. Wily (Mega Man series; Capcom)
Notes: One day Dr. Wily grabbed his scissors and cut a picture of Heihachi out of a videogame magazine. He brought it with him to his barber. He said to his barber, "Please cut my hair like this." The barber did as he was told. Dr. Wily paid the barber. But when Dr. Wily got home, he looked into the mirror and did not like the results. So Dr. Wily vowed, once again, to destroy Mega Man.
9. Admiral Tolwyn (Wing Commander series; Electronic Arts)
Notes: Tolwyn was originally merely a cartoon of an old guy. But in the later, full-motion-video iterations of the game, decorated thespian Malcolm McDowell stepped into the role to lend gravitas to lines like, "Mankind was at his zenith when fighting the Kilrathi."
8. Cervantes (SoulCalibur series; Namco)
Notes: Ye olde scurvy-riddled pirate forgoes his usual plundering/pillaging/hijacking duties and attempts instead to defeat a bunch of other costumed people in SoulCalibur. With his dual blades, awesome facial hair and Red Lobster-caliber pirate hat, Cervantes makes getting old beautiful.
7. Orca (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker; Nintendo)
Notes: And so we meet the second shirtless old person on the list. (Note: The first was the Hobo from Bully.) As a general rule, older people should keep their clothes on. One, because they tend to get chilly very easily. And two, because no one wants to see their old bodies. Orca is the old man in the village who gives Link his penis and teaches him how to use it. Did I say penis? Crap. I meant "sword." Crap!
6. Dr. Muto (Dr. Muto; Midway)
Notes: Ah, Midway. It's junk like Dr. Muto that made you into who you are today. This game featured an annoying mad scientist who was able to change into a mouse, a squirrel, a gorilla, a fish and a spider, in the name of solving puzzles and battling enemies. One thing that Dr. Muto was unable turn into: fun.
5. Old Snake (Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots; Konami)
Notes: Hideo Kojima: You have blown our minds YET AGAIN. Meet Old Snake, the second eye patch-wearing elderly person (see Helen "No. 19" Parker for more eye-patch action) on our list. Old Snake proves, once and for all, that yes, old people can pull off bandanas.
4. Dr. Gilbert Zan (Streets of Rage 3; Sega)
Notes: Dr. Zan not only makes bald beautiful, but he also has a pair of bionic arms that allow him to perform an attack called "Electric Body." [Ryan Kuo adds: "Dr. Zan's cybernetic implants imbue him with the strength of the mighty Terminator, but his whiskers indicate that he is also full of sage wisdom."]
3. Agatha (Fallout 3; Bethesda)
Notes: Oh, Agatha. We can smell your old-lady perfume halfway across the Wasteland. Agatha is a talented violinist who wants you to find her great-great-grandmother's violin, which she believes is in Vault 92. If you have the Lady Killer perk, you can use your wily charms to seduce this lovely older woman.
2. Frogfucius (Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars; Nintendo)
Notes: This wise old bullfrog lives in Tadpole Pond. He's Mallow's adoptive grandfather. He has a beard that is fortunately long enough to cover up his genitals. He says things like, "Yes, 'old, wise people' can often give good advice." True that, Frogfucius.
1. Old Grandma Hardcore (aka Barbara St. Hilaire)
Notes: Gaming's resident grande dame, Old Grandma Hardcore -- OGH for short -- is an actual living, breathing person. Yes, she's old. Yes, the Grim Reaper has been casing her house lately. (See: her blog, which is updated by her grandson, who's actually a very good writer.) And yes, she loves videogames more than you do. She's really an inspiration to gamers everywhere. Keep on gaming, OGH. Keep on gaming...