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The Best Male RPG Characters


The Emerging Leader Winner: Zidane Tribal
Final Fantasy IX (2000)
Final Fantasy's leading roles typically trend towards the brooding loner. Squall's internal monologues declaring everyone and everything "stupid" don't exactly scream charisma, nor does Lightning's repeated insistence on yelling at and punching everyone and everything around her. Yet somehow, we got Zidane. Right from the get-go, Zidane is kidnapping princesses, running around in theater troupes, and befriending everyone in his path. But he's not above a little fun, either – fans of Final Fantasy IX can hardly forget his gropetastic "Ooh, soft" moment.

Throughout the course of his journey, Zidane grows. He learns a lot from the people around him. Zidane comes to respect Rusty's staunch dedication to his princess. He comforts his friends in times of their greatest need, he even lends a sympathetic hand to his greatest enemy in the eleventh hour. A man who was once a carefree thief grows into a true leader, and we see every step of that evolution. We as players watch Zidane and his friends during their lighthearted romps through towns full of pickles and sham weddings between floppy hatted children and walking mouth monsters. This makes the moments of darkness all the more dramatic and gripping. And when the hero finally has a moment of weakness, the people that he has helped build up throughout his journey are there to return the favor and help him back up.

The Emerging Leader Runner-up: Chaz Ashley
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (1995)
Chaz Ashley was a street orphan and a petty thief before famed Hunter Alys Brangwin took him under her wing and mentored him. So important was Alys in Chaz's life that her tragic death under the hands of Zio left him despondent and doubtful of his direction and purpose in life. Enter Rika, a young numan girl still learning about the world around her. Her words and presence during Chaz's lowest moment made him realize not only that he has a direction and purpose in his life, but that people depend on him to pick up where Alys left off. He then steps up and does his best to become the man that Alys always thought he could be. After facing trial after trial on an epic world-spanning journey, he also won the hearts of the people around him, including Rune, a cocky, bristly, and often rude sorcerer who basically can't stand anyone. By the time the heroes reach the final dungeon, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Chaz has grown into a leader who they will unquestioningly follow into the depths of Hell to save the world.





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Our Favorite Features: Part Three ~ An RPGFan 20th Anniversary Feature

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