Listmas 2020: Top 5 Characters with Bad First Impressions

They say that “first impressions are everything”.  And in the real world, that can often be the case.  Because who wants to hang out with someone who acted like a huge creep the first time you met them?  Well, video games are a bit different because you may be forced to see a character you either didn’t care for or even outright hated throughout the entirety of the game.  And who knows, sometimes your opinion might change for the better….  For our “free” week of Listmas, I’m going to be writing about these characters that I grew to like, but which were not my cup of tea at first, in no particular order.

1: Swaine from Ni no Kuni – I used to hate Swaine.  When we first meet him, he steals from the player.  Then stalks Oliver and Esther to Al Mamoon (who are young children, by the way).  Then when they return to Castaway Cove, he steals their letter of passage and proceeds to demand the captain of the boat take him along even when no one believes the letter is his.  He’s not only a criminal, but he’s a rude jerk, and I just couldn’t believe he was going to join our team!  Fortunately, as the game progresses, we see Swaine’s not really such a bad guy and is actually one of the funnier characters in the game!

2: Papyrus from Undertale – When I first met Papyrus, I really didn’t like him.  When we leave the Ruins, Sans warns us to watch out for his brother, who wishes to capture any human passing through the Underground.  On our way to Snowden, we encounter Papyrus multiple times as he attempts to stop you, not through…you know, actually capturing you, but rather, terrible puzzles that are very easy to solve.  Not only is Papyrus an idiot, but he’s very arrogant, as well, with a hugely exaggerated sense of self-worth.  Over time, however, my opinion began to change as I learned how friendly and kind Papyrus really is.  By the end of the Snowden, Papyrus had firmly become my favorite character in the game because of how sweet and funny he is.  Sure, he thinks he’s way more amazing than he has any right to.  But he also thinks you’re pretty great, as well.

3: Murray from Sly Cooper – This one is a bit different because I didn’t actually dislike Murray at first.  But during the very first game in the series, Murray was kind of pointless.  He usually just hung out in the van, eating snacks, and occasionally appeared in missions where you defeat enemies from afar while keeping Murray safe or in the racing levels.  It wasn’t until the second game that Murray finally got more of a personality and actually became an active member of the team.

4: Ratchet from Ratchet & Clank – In the very first Ratchet & Clank game, Ratchet was a huge jerk.  While my initial experience with the series was the second game, Going Commando, I hadn’t played in years and wasn’t really into the series by the time I tried the first game.  With that said, I was ill-prepared for what a selfish creep he would be, and I especially got angry at him when he started mistreating Clank for simply having poor judgement concerning a certain character.  At this point, Ratchet’s grossness level really ramped up, and he would pick on Clank every chance he got.  Fortunately, by the end of the game, he finally bonded with Clank, and an unlikely friendship bloomed despite their earlier quarreling.  Aside from a few hiccups in Tools of Destruction where he started to revert back to his old ways, Ratchet has generally been a very likable character ever since.

5: Daxter from Jak and Daxter – On a similar note, I didn’t really like Daxter in the first Jak and Daxter game.  Most of the time, he was just loud and obnoxious.  And let’s not forget that Daxter would sometimes make callous comments when you died.  Surely meant to be funny, this only made me hate Daxter even more because he seemed completely uncaring when it came to his best friend’s demise.  While Daxter never really experienced any character growth that made him less of a loudmouthed windbag (unlike Ratchet, who did genuinely become a better person), he is actually much more entertaining in later games in the series and actually became a genuinely funny character by the time Jak 2 was released.

It’s your turn to share your thoughts, dear readers.  The comments section is awaiting your input: what video game characters did you initially dislike that eventually became more likable later on?

Screenshot by Flickr User: PlayStation.Blog