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The 30 Best RPG Dads: Part 2

The 30 Best RPG Dads Featured Part 2

The middle part of our 30 Best RPG Dads feature runs the gamut of consoles and generations, featuring father figures from current-gen consoles, all the way back to the 16-bit days of the 1990s. Let’s blitz!

Ben Hyuga/Fox Face (Shadow Hearts)

Writeup by Peter Triezenberg

Ben Hyuga from Shadow Hearts Covenant
Image source: Creative Uncut

We don’t see much of Ben Hyuga over the course of Shadow Hearts, but what we do see of Yuri’s long-departed father leaves a strong impression. A Harmonixer like Yuri, Ben is briefly playable in game, giving players an early taste of the power of fusion. However, the specter of Ben Hyuga quite literally hangs over Yuri throughout the game in the form of the sinister Fox Face. This entity stalks Yuri as part of the Four Mask Curse, a representation of Yuri’s internal conflict that manifests in the form of his father. Many RPG protagonists suffer from daddy issues, but this might be one of the rare cases where said issues actively try to murder you.

Jecht (Final Fantasy X)

Writeup by Peter Triezenberg

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Screenshot 088

Tidus’ strained relationship with his missing father, Jecht, serves as one of the core components of Final Fantasy X‘s plot. Having vanished from Zanarkand a decade prior, Jecht left behind a despondent wife and disillusioned son, who quickly grew to resent his father. As it turns out, however, Jecht had been whisked away to the land of Spira, where he embarked on a journey that somewhat mirrors the one Tidus and Yuna would later experience. But Jecht’s journey ends in tragedy, and he is doomed to torment Spira as the living embodiment of destruction known as Sin. Tidus’ discovery of this fact, and how it impacts him, is one of the most believable character beats in Final Fantasy X. He spends the rest of the game wrestling with his father’s legacy, finding messages that Jecht left behind, and ultimately coming to forgive him in one of the FFX‘s most cathartic encounters.

Norman (Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald)

Writeup by Alana Hagues

Norman from Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire
Image source: Bulbapedia

In Pokémon, your father is usually an absent figure, not mentioned in name. Generation 3 of this monster collecting series bucks that trend by making your father, Norman, the leader of the 5th Pokémon Gym in Hoenn. Specialising in the normal type, Norman is an expert in dishing out major damage while also being a master of patience. Making your own dad a Gym Leader adds more leverage to the journey and proving that you’re a better Pokémon trainer than him makes victory all the more sweet.

Dirk (Tales of Symphonia)

Writeup by Alana Hagues

Dirk from Tales of Symphonia

As Lloyd Irving’s adoptive father, Dirk’s wisdom and skills as a master craftsman are invaluable to his son. Along with teaching him of the Dwarven Vows and basic crafting, Dirk’s stern yet protective nature adds some much-needed grounding in Lloyd’s life. Even when Lloyd leaves to go on the Journey of Regeneration, Dirk is always waiting at home for him, eventually crafting the most powerful sword in existence for his son so he can save the world. And when Lloyd’s real father is revealed, Dirk doesn’t push the man away; instead, he accepts Lloyd’s father into his life and supports his son even more. Dirk is the role model Lloyd needs in his life and a true example of an excellent adoptive dad.

Taban Ashtear (Chrono Trigger)

Writeup by Greg Delmage

Taban and Lucca from Chrono Trigger at the Millennial Fair

“The ultimate in defense for my daughter!” Taban is part of the whole shebang in Chrono Trigger. Working together with his brilliant daughter, Lucca, the two construct the Telepods which incite the entire time-travelling affair for Crono. One thing I have come to find interesting is the way the family handles Lucca’s mother’s disability at the hands of one of Taban’s machines. While one could infer a variety of things, what seems most likely given Lucca and Taban’s characters, is they have coped and come to accept what happened, choosing not to dwell in guilt. Taban could have let the accident stop everything he worked towards, but instead it inspired him (and Lucca as well) to continue working for the betterment of humanity. Furthermore, the love and respect he holds for Lucca is literally objectified in the three pieces of equipment he makes specifically for her throughout the game. Unafraid to sing her praises, this proud papa is a simple man in the complex world of Chrono Trigger that helps keep Lucca grounded.

Rost (Horizon Zero Dawn)

Writeup by Greg Delmage

Horizon Zero Dawn Screenshot 009

The opening moments of Horizon Zero Dawn are some of the most stirring as players witness the relationship between the outcast Aloy and her adoptive father, Rost. A grizzled and once-respected veteran turned outcast, Rost chooses to raise Aloy knowing she will likely never be accepted by her own tribe. However, it also becomes clear he chooses to love her as well. We see a lot of Rost’s warmth and love in the game’s opening moments with infant Aloy up until he bellows her name out for all the world to hear. “I know my duty to them — and to you.” These are powerful words that Rost lives by as he continues to stand on ritual and training, bringing consistent structure to Aloy’s life. Though he struggles to express his love through words, it’s clear acts of service are the language of his affection. He finds a common ground with Aloy through training, preparing her for the Proving (a coming of age trial), for life with the tribe, and for the struggle of surviving without him. As the game attests, Rost’s final lesson is an important one that stays with Aloy: to serve a purpose greater than one’s self.

Thane (Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3)

Writeup by Audra Bowling

Mass Effect 2 Screenshot 149

Thane is a terminally ill assassin who joins Shepard’s party in Mass Effect 2, trying to make amends for his chosen path in life by taking jobs that are “ugly,” but for noble causes. Building a relationship with Thane leads to finding out about his son, Kolyat, who he abandoned in order to avenge his wife’s death. Shepard can help the two come to an understanding. Thane explains how much he cared about his son and didn’t want him involved in that kind of life, allowing Kolyat and Thane to spend the little time Thane has left reconciling, a sentiment summed up in Thane’s words to his son: “I’ve taken many bad things out of the world. You were the only good thing I ever added to it.”

Prancet Pavel (Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together)

Writeup by Audra Bowling

Prancet Pavel Potrtait from Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

Prancet Pavel, as the biological father of Denam and the adopted father of Catiua, cares deeply for his children. In fact, his getting taken is the starting point of the entire game’s story. Though Prancet kept the truth of Catiua’s origins from her, it was only out of love for the little girl he’d come to view as his daughter; he couldn’t bear to have her become a political tool to be used by others. Prancet is depicted as a kind soul who obviously had a very profound and lasting effect on both his children.

Erich Van Houten (Xenogears)

Writeup by Audra Bowling

Erich from Xenogears
Image source: Xenosaga Wiki

Erich Van Houten is a man who arguably made many mistakes as both a husband and father, causing a large rift between himself and his daughter Elly. However, he never blamed Elly for her feelings. The player sees through his actions that he cared deeply for his family, even willingly sacrificing himself to keep Elly safe in one of Xenogears‘ many emotional scenes.

Val (Legend of Legaia)

Writeup by Audra Bowling

Val from Legend of Legaia
Image source: The Legaia Wiki

In the grand scheme of things, Val is a very minor character. However, one of the most memorable scenes in Legend of Legaia was his willingness to risk his own life in order to find and protect his young son from the dangers of the encroaching Mist. It was this action that ultimately led to Val becoming crippled, but even afterward he only ever worried about being a burden to his children Vahn and Nene. He is a caring and supportive figure to both his kids throughout the game’s story.

Alana Hagues

Alana Hagues

Alana was with RPGFan for nearly seven years and did a little bit of everything, but writing is her passion. A lover of baking and animals (especially dogs and reptiles), she apparently has a pretty cute accent. If you talk to her about Skies of Arcadia, you've made a friend for life.