Top 10 Best Video Games Dads

Video games are chock-full of fathers, and when they aren’t killed off in the opening cinematics, they tend to be primary motivators for some of our favorite characters. Some are biological parents, some adoptive, and some blur the lines a bit when it comes to traditional fatherhood, but they all have quality where it counts.

So whether they’re goofy, strong, smart, or literal gods, here’s our list of the 10 best dads in video games.

Eli Vance — Half-Life 2

(Half-Life Wiki/Klow)

Not only is Eli impressive because he’s one of the few scientists to have survived the Black Mesa incident, but he’s also a pretty emotionally competent dad. Eli remained steadfast in keeping his daughter, Alyx, safe throughout his life (and by that, I obviously mean he built a giant robot dog to protect her).

Despite his role as leader of the Resistance against the evil Combine, designing the Gravity Gun for Gordon Freeman, and losing a frickin’ leg in the process, Eli is still more loving and devoted than most fathers you’ll find.

Bowser — Super Mario Bros.

(Mario Wiki/Shokora)

You might bristle at the thought of King Koopa being on this list, but hear me out. Not only is he a single father to eight… EIGHT kids, but he’s always finding fun and innovative new ways to involve them in the family business. Hell, in Super Mario World, he gave each of the older koopalings their own castles.

“But he’s a bad guy,” I hear you saying, “and he’s turning all of his kids into baddies, too.” Look, we’re talking about a family of fire-breathing turtle dinosaurs here. Their career prospects were a bit limited, to begin with.

Kratos — God of War (PS4)

(God of War Wiki/Tomtheman99)

One of the more recent good dads of video gaming, Kratos takes a while to warm up to his role as a single father, which can easily be seen in his general unwillingness to use his son’s name (instead, calling Atreus “boy” throughout the majority of their journey). As their bond grows over the course of their battles, though, it’s impossible to miss how the god’s icy heart begins to melt.

God of War explores the ups and downs of parenthood in a way few other games have, and despite his tough exterior, Kratos is a loving father who is constantly balancing his desires to both keep his son safe and to raise him into a proper warrior (and person, in general). Plus, it’s hard not to love Atreus when he’s one of the few AI-controlled partners in video games who doesn’t completely suck ass.

Harry Mason — Silent Hill

(Silent Hill Wiki/AlexShepherd)

Harry is a bit of a snooze-fest personality-wise when compared to some of the other dads on this list. He’s clumsy, awkward, and writes boring non-fiction books for Pete’s sake, but he ‘s also a devoted father who truly loves his adoptive daughter, Cheryl—hell, he must if he’s willing to brave the nightmarish city of Silent Hill after she goes missing.

After facing true horrors and battling literal monsters, Harry finally rescues Cheryl and promptly changes her name to Heather in an attempt to keep her safe. Considering the several Silent Hill sequels, I’ll let you guess how well that plan worked.

King Rhoam — Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

(Zelda Wiki)

In most Zelda games, King Hyrule is a pretty lazy parent. Sure, he has a kingdom to run or whatever but when his daughter eventually goes missing, he kind of does the bare minimum before tasking a little green-clad kid to take care of things for him.

Breath of the Wild’s King Rhoam is another character completely. Not only does he sacrifice himself trying and protect Zelda when Ganon attacks, but he waits around for a century as a ghost outside of the resurrection temple waiting for Link to reawaken. He knows that, without proper guidance, Link won’t know what’s happening or where to go and Zelda’s mission to defeat Ganon would be lost.

King Rhoam might not be the hands-on dad that we all like to see, but he’s doing whatever he can to help his daughter, even after he’s frickin’ dead.

Big Daddy — Bioshock

(Bioshock Wiki/XZippy)

Sure, he’s not a literal ‘daddy,’ but Mister Bubbles is a valiant protector to all of the little sisters in the city of Rapture… that’s pretty fatherly. Plus, he has a kickass drill arm.

Oh, shut up. My list, my rules.

Mike Haggar — Final Fight

(Capcom Wiki/icysugarspike)

Gruff and tough Mike Haggar can do it all. He’s a former champion wrestler who decided to hang up his colorful spandex to become mayor of crime-ridden Metro City, but above all, he’s always been a father first to his daughter, Jessica. Maybe the resident criminal gangs should have thought of that before kidnapping Jessica to use as a bargaining chip against the newly sworn-in Mayor Haggar.

Sure, Haggar could have informed the local authorities of the situation, but instead, he does what he does best: rips off his shirt and beats the hell out of an army of street thugs. The only thing stronger than Haggar’s shredded bod is his heart of gold… oh, and his lead pipe (not a euphemism).

Joel — The Last Of Us

(The Last of Us Wiki/Snivystorm)

Joel’s entire story arc in The Last Of Us is defined by his role as a father. From the prologue of the game, where he tries his best and ultimately fails to protect his daughter, Sarah, from a trigger-happy soldier, to the meat of the game where he does his best to redeem himself by escorting a new daughter-figure, Ellie, across the zombie-infested country, Joel exemplifies the sacrifice, courage, and love that it takes to be a good dad.

When Joel ultimately finds out that he delivered Ellie into the hands of people who would sacrifice her in order to save humanity, he goes on a rage-fueled dad rampage, killing scientists and former allies alike just to save the life of one person whom he considers a daughter.

All in all, Joel is great at being a dad. But terrible at saving humanity.

Dr. Light — Mega Man

(Mega Man Wiki/Deepak Raj)

The best dads aren’t always biologically related to their kids, which is definitely the case with Dr. Light. As much as we’d like to think the good doctor was getting freaky in his off time, his greatest creation and surrogate son, Mega Man, was instead formed out of his own ingenuity.

Sure, most dads don’t have children for the sole purpose of fighting against the robotic forces of evil, but at least Dr. Light built his little blue son in a way that he can modify his hardware with the remains of his fallen enemies. I bet you hadn’t even considered teaching your kids that.

John Marston — Red Dead Redemption

(Red Dead Wiki/Kamikatsu)

Just because you’re a badass cowboy doesn’t mean you can’t be a good dad, but when John Marston decided to turn his back on his life of crime to pursue the family man gig, the U.S. government had other plans. The newly-formed FBI “motivates” John into helping them track down members of his former gang by kidnapping his wife and son as ransom.

The good news: John does the government’s bidding and gets his family back, finally showing players a softer side to the leather-clad outlaw.

The bad news: The G-men ultimately decide to tie up their final loose end. John is brutally gunned down in a blaze of glory, sacrificing himself so his family can escape and survive.

Thanks a lot, Federal Government.

4-Yr-Old Celebrates Being Cancer Free by Ringing Bell on Dad’s Fire Truck

Boy Rings Dad Firetruck Bell
(YouTube/13NewsNow)

Having a child diagnosed with cancer is one of the most gutting things a parent can experience. It’s one of life’s most vicious and senseless cruelties to see your kid suffer fighting a deadly disease. This is why every parent can relate to the joy and happiness when a child overcomes the disease. The story of a 4-year-old boy in Virginia was making the rounds recently for his unique celebration marking the end of his cancer battle. After he was in remission, he got to ring the bell on his firefighter dad’s fire truck.

Nolan Turner celebrated being cancer-free by donning a fire helmet and ringing the large silver bell on the fire truck outside the Children’s Hospital. He was surrounded by his parents, extended family and friends, and hospital staffers.

His teary-eyed dad told a local news station that ‘crossing the finish line is a great feeling’, he said. “It’s just so amazing watching him overcome this adversity with a smile on his face.”

Dad called his son a “true fighter”, and said Nolan wants to grow up to be a firefighter too. His dad’s firefighter buddies have been part of the support network the family was especially grateful for, and they even made several trips to his hospital while he was undergoing treatment. The boy wasn’t allowed to have any visitors outside of his parents, so the fire trucks raised ladders with signs of support for Nolan to raise his spirits.

Just a powerful and cathartic moment to see their son triumphantly ring that bell, and it’s the sort of thing that causes the allergies of any dad to act up (if you prefer a cutting onions reference, feel free to swap that in).

George Orwell’s 1984 Is Getting a TV Adaptation

1984 TV Series

Thanks to our political climate, people often turn to pop culture to make sense of what’s going on in the world. Things aren’t exactly peachy these days, and thus various dystopian movies, TV shows, and books are being referenced in relation to the pandemic and our political circumstances.

As social media continues to assert its dominance, both in driving conversations and shutting down particular voices, one particular work has been getting more and more play, and that’s George Orwell’s classic tale of totalitarianism, conformity, and disinformation: 1984.

It’s a great book, in which many parallels can be found with today’s climate, regardless of your own political persuasion, but unlike other dystopian works like Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451, it hasn’t gotten a pop culture makeover in quite a while (unless you’re a theatergoer). Until now.

1984 is getting a TV adaptation, but instead of adapting straight from the novel, the planned five-part miniseries will work off of the 2013 stage play from Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.

“As the world grapples with democracy and government in our divided age of surveillance, ‘fake news’ and truth decay, the urgency of Orwell’s masterpiece is undeniable,” the pair said in a statement (via Deadline) “The small screen feels like a natural home for his portrait of a society in which people trust their screens more than the world outside their windows.”

Apparently, that 2013 staged version has a bit of a reputation for its intense and bloody torture sequences (the book employed a very literal ‘rat in a cage,’ shouts to Billy Corgan), which caused some audience members to recoil – and made actress Jennifer Lawrence throw up during her visit to see Olivia Wilde in the Broadway production.

Whether the TV show will adhere to those levels of intensity is yet to be seen, but there’s no denying the show’s modern-day relevance, even if most of the people claiming we’re currently living under Big Brother’s watch haven’t actually read it.

Is HBO Max is Developing a Live-Action Harry Potter Series?

Harry Potter
(Warner Bros)

It was a big day for wizardry, as The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that HBO Max is developing a live-action Harry Potter series. The beloved book franchise has spawned 10 blockbuster movies appeared headed for the streaming world for a series set in the Harry Potter world.

We’re in a full-fledged era of streaming wars, as each service tries to one-up the competition and dethrone Netflix. NBC moved The Office to Peacock, Disney+ is releasing a million Marvel and Star Wars shows, and HBO Max is getting all Warner Bros movies the same day they are released in theaters. And now, HBO Max is working to add some magic to their offerings.

Rumors say the project is in the very early stages and that executives are deep in conversations with several different writers exploring TV possibilities, as the project is a high priority item for HBO Max. Yet, when The Wrap contacted HBO and Warner they got this response:

“There are no ‘Harry Potter’ series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform.”

But that may be because they haven’t committed to one of the pitches they’ve been soliciting.

Or maybe it’s all a bunch of Hogwarts hogwash!

There would still be plenty of speed bumps for a future series, including a complicated rights deal with NBC that doesn’t expire for several years. Another wrinkle is the involvement of author J.K. Rowling, who still has a say in any spin-off productions. Still, with the highly popular IP, and the clear efforts from the streamer to find an angle to return the Harry Potter world, it looks like only a matter of time before wizards will become cool again.

Coca-Cola With Coffee Is Here to Power You Through the Day

Coca-Cola Coffee
(Coca-Cola)

If you’ve been looking for a magic button to help you get through the day, the Coca-Cola company has heard your call and delivered a first of its kind: a coffee cola. Coca-Cola With Coffee is already in cans and available now, it’s set to change the beverage game. Why? Not just because it’s a first, but because it’s good…like, really good, according to reports.

Announced last summer, the product has officially hit grocery stores throughout North America after being tested in dozens of international markets. Here are the important details: it’s 100% Brazilian coffee mixed with the Coca-Cola you know and love, not just some bizarro coffee-flavored pop (are we going with soda or with pop these days?). There are three flavors; dark blend, vanilla, and caramel. There’s also a zero sugar, calorie-free option.

Supposedly it “sips like a Coke, finishes like a coffee” according to a spokesman. The true key here, it’s got a LOT more caffeine than your regular Coke. But still not quite as much as a 12-ounce cup of coffee (the 69 milligrams of caffeine is around half of the 12-ounce coffee), so it hits that perfect middle ground.

“In preliminary consumer testing, more than 80 percent of consumers who tried it said they would buy it,” a spokesman said in a press release. “Our customers would take a sip and immediately ask, “When can we have this?” The answer is NOW. It’s in stores everywhere and will be integrated into the daily routine for parents who need a lift in no time. Unless you’re one of those saints who has successfully given up soda (raises hand smugly) but is still addicted to drinking too much coffee anyway (raises hand shamefully).

For the rest of us, it could be just the ticket we need to power us through those afternoon lulls and gets us to the finish line that much sweeter.

“Dexter” Revival Takes Michael C. Hall Out of the Woods (and Miami)

Dexter
(Showtime)

It was one of the best series on TV and then…it wasn’t. Few shows saw an unraveling after a series finale (and last few seasons, if we’re being totally honest) quite like “Dexter” on Showtime, but now, the gang is getting back together to fix those mistakes.

Here’s what we know, and it’s the most important thing: the 10-episode revival is not picking up where the story left off (thank god), which means Dexter is NOT A LUMBERJACK anymore. The controversial series finale had the vigilante faking his own death and starting a new life on the west coast as a lumberjack, which was deeply unsatisfying to many fans. So, like, just forget that, because the revival is picking up years later

The revival WON’T be going back to Miami either, as it’s set to take place in a fictional upstate New York town. Clancy Brown (Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption, Starship Troopers) is signed on to play the antagonist, and only a handful of other characters are known at this time. Of course, the main one, series star Michael C. Hall is back, obvs, and he too was frustrated by the finale.

“Let’s be real, people found the way that show left things pretty unsatisfying, and there’s always been a hope that a story would emerge that would be worth telling,” Hall told reporters. “I include myself in the group of people that wondered what the hell happened to that guy, so I’m excited to step back into it.”

It’s also clear it isn’t being rushed, as Hall said he and the show’s creators have bantered around ideas for years, but Hall never thought it was the right time. This time, they found an idea they really liked, and one Hall thought was a better fit for the character.

Hall said “I think in this case, the story that’s being told is worth telling in a way others weren’t, and I think enough time has passed where it’s become intriguing in a way that wasn’t before.”

The show is in production now and will air in the fall. It sounds really promising and will give fans of the original series (you know, before it fell apart) hope for a much more satisfying close.

Could Rick Moranis Appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Winston Didn’t Say No

Ernie Hudson on Rick Moranis' Return
(Columbia)

In the midst of the nightmare that was 2020, there were a handful of bright spots. A bunch of movies landed on streaming services to help us survive, Taylor Swift graced us with two new albums, and Rick Moranis re-emerged into the spotlight after having taken years off to raise his kids.

The one-time megastar who started on SCTV starred in Strange Brew, headlined the Honey I Shrunk the Kids trilogy, and co-starred in Ghostbusters and Spaceballs, pulled back from Hollywood after his wife passed from cancer. Now that his kids are grown, he’s making a return to the industry, most notably in the forthcoming legacy-quel to Honey I Shrunk the Kids on Disney+.

Despite the imminent arrival of a new Ghostbusters film that exists in the same universe as the original movies and will feature cameos from some of the original cast, Moranis is not supposed to appear. Or is he?

Ernie Hudson, who suited up alongside Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, and Harold Ramis, was recently asked if Moranis makes an appearance in the new movie, and he didn’t exactly say no…

During a chat with Living Life Fearless, he was asked point black, and he dodged the question. “I think the studios probably want to hold that one,” Hudson said. “I love Rick. But yeah, I’ll let them share that.”

Moranis hasn’t spilled the beans, but he has expressed a willingness to dive back into work – but that the female-led Ghostbusters movie didn’t pique his interest.

“I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role, and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I’ll probably do it,” Moranis told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “[But Ghostbusters 2016] didn’t appeal to me.”

If Hudson is playing coy and Moranis is returning, it’s a pretty well-kept secret. Bill Murray himself even denied it when he guested on Ellen, saying, “”We’re missing Rick Moranis and we’re missing Harold Ramis,” Murray said. “And they’re greatly missed for so many reasons. They were so much a part of the creation of it and the fun of it. But Harold is featured in the story of the movie, so it’s going to be very interesting.”

Maybe the movie’s delay, which was made necessary due to the pandemic, afforded a little extra time to find a way to get Moranis into the film. Or maybe the cast are just great at bluffing!

Either way, we’ll have to wait til this summer to find out, when Ghostbusters: Afterlife premieres. But you can tie yourself over with some crazy Facts About Rick Moranis.

2021’s Newest Trend Is the “Monkey Tail Beard” and TBH We’re Worried About You

Monkey Tail Beards
(Instagram/the_godriguez, bellaxbarbearia)

This has been one heck of a year. A freaking pandemic, all the political junk we never want to think about again, there’s a lot going on – and realistically, no person is fully equipped to handle it all. We’ve become accustomed to checking in on our loved ones even more than usual because it’s important to make sure the people we care about are holding it together as well as they possibly can. On a recent check-in, we were reminded that cries for help can come in a million different packages. Sometimes a questionable fad is nothing more than a questionable fad, but uh, we wanted to make sure you’re doing ok out there.

Nearly a year of quarantine has left even the biggest homebodies longing for the days of attending a party for a couple of hours before making an excuse to leave. We’ve had to come up with new and creative ways to stay busy, occasionally leading us to some pretty ridiculous situations. Or in this case, some ridiculous facial hair. The latest beard trend of 2021 is not entirely unexpected, given our deep desire for some sort of novelty during these monotonous days. Recently, photos featuring something called a “monkey tail beard” have been popping up on social media, and it’s – well, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

 

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A post shared by Angus Grant (@angusgrantart)

The bizarre facial hairdo features a single sideburn that essentially runs down the side of your face, swoops down around your chin, and circles upwards over one side of your mouth ending in some sort of long-winded moustache.

The trend first popped up in 2019 when MLB’s Mike Fiers showed up sporting the monkey tail beard, and we cannot stress this enough, he did it for laughs. Now, the monkey tail beard is making waves on social media by people who look suspiciously serious about it.

Listen, we get it. It’s a weird time, and we’re all just trying to make it through. If what you need to spread your creative wings within the confines of your own home is this thoroughly bananas look, more power to you – sometimes you really just need to monkey around and find out. All we ask is if you do decide to take the plunge, please photograph the evidence.

 

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Father Figures: My Hero

“This is my husband, Jesse, and our son, 24 hours after getting off ECMO from his heart surgery.

Our son is 5 months old and almost went into cardiac arrest two days after surgery and was placed on life support. Jesse has always pushed himself to be the best father, husband, and father figure.

He took care of me while I was battling Stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma our first year of marriage and now he is providing love and strength for our son in our third year of marriage. The obstacles that have been thrown his way have only made him love harder.

Our son is still fighting but getting stronger every day, and hearing his father’s voice, I believe, has been pushing him to get better. He is full of strength and love and deserves to be recognized for everything he has done and continues to do.

He’s my hero.

To all the good dads doing amazing things for their families, Jesse is right there with you.”

– Kirsten Boyer

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Giant Ape Finally Gets a Shot At Giant Lizard in Godzilla vs. Kong Trailer

King Kong vs Godzilla Trailer

With all of the real-world hullabaloo over the past few months, you may have forgotten that there is a Godzilla extended universe out there.

The modern-day Monsterverse started with Garth Edwards’ new Godzilla movie back in 2014, then there was Skull Island, featuring King Kong, which was a prequel that used a post-credits stinger to reveal its connection to the Godzilla movie, which got a sequel in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In that one, the big lizard fought classic enemies Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidora, but now he’s facing his most formidable foe, the giant ape himself.

The two king monsters are coming head to head in the forthcoming Godzilla vs. Kong, directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest), in which Kong looks like the child-befriending gentle giant good guy, and the quiet, angry Godzilla is having none of it. The two go head to head while the almost-incidental humans in the story (including Alexander Skarsgaard, Rebecca Hall, and Coach Taylor) seek to uncover ancient mysteries surrounding the two behemoths.

I’m not convinced the pair won’t eventually team up to fight some larger foe, but there’s no real hint of that in the trailer, which focuses on their no-holds-barred brawl.

Check it out: