Earth Day: Gaming’s Greenest Characters
As you may or may not know, today is Earth Day, the day which we honor the great sacrifices of the Na’vi, who protected us from the metal mechwarriors that came after our hard-to-come-by-rillium. Wait, I think I got confused somewhere in the first sentence.
Joking aside, Earth Day is a day that exists to instill awareness about conservation and appreciation of the Earth’s environment. So I figured, what better way to celebrate this as gamers than to put together a list of the most eco-friendly videogame dudes. These characters range from martyrs to environmental protectors, and cover a broad spectrum of genres to boot.
So, who are gaming’s greenest characters? Find out below.
The Prince, Katamari Damacy
The great Prince of the Cosmos, son of King of the Cosmos. Apparently, he is constantly being tasked with collecting great big balls of junk in order to please his father. Sounds like real life, huh? Anyway, the Prince makes the list because the objective in any area is to remove the junk and turn it into something awesome, like a star. Granted, it’s not very scientific, but it’s a cool thought that 1,213 bottlecaps and 421 erasers can turn into a giant ball of hell-hot plasma.
To be fair, as green as Prince can be (not literally speaking, of course), he does also tend to roll up people and animals and entire planets eventually. I suppose mass murder and planeticide means he goes to the bottom of the list. But come on, if you could roll up everyone you know in a giant ball, you’d do it in about 20 seconds.
Mario, Super Mario Sunshine
Oh, Mario. You have seen dozens of iterations across multiple platforms. While you’ve had your less green days, such as the many miles you’ve logged on the Rainbow Road or in the Mushroom Circuit, you’ve also had a few titles where you gave way to your eco-friendly side. Take Super Mario Sunshine for instance.
While sometimes lampooned by the video game community, Super Mario Sunshine actually had its moments, but its main focus was on Mario cleaning up Isle Delfino in order to collect Shine Sprites. He did this by spraying black gunk off of everything with his handy FLUDD water proton pack thing, and sometimes riding the back of a friendly dinosaur. It gets a little confusing in there, but there’s also a subplot that involves a Maury Povich like “you are not the mother” moment with Peach and Bowser’s kid. Anyway, the point is that Mario cleans things up and then gets to sleep with a princess. And that’s all every man really wants, deep down.
Night Elves, Warcraft Series
When talking about nature buffs and eco-friendly video game characters, nothing nails that idea more than the Night Elves from the Warcraft series. Before the Navi were more than just a blue blur in James Cameron’s ego-bation cortex, the Night Elves were filling our home PCs with their battles, their hot Night Elf chicks, and their natural ways.
Really, to call them green is an understatement. These guys view it as their duty to protect the natural world in the land of Azeroth, and make use of magic, woods and creatures to do their bidding and lay waste to their enemies. Honestly, when you’ve got mountain giants, bear-forms and other woodland creatures kicking ass in the name of all things environmentally conscious, you’re going to convert some of us to your side. I mean, their bases are giant trees for crying out loud. I suppose we could have also mentioned the Zerg here, since they don’t use much Vespene gas and their bases are bio-degradable, but they are icky and also bugs.
Aeris, Final Fantasy VII
If you are a treehugger that also happens to be an avid gamer, then Final Fantasy VII’s love triangle held no interest for you. No, more than “Tig Ols” Tifa, you wanted Aeris, the girl from the flower shop, the girl of the Ancients, maiden of the Lifestream. From the moment you laid eyes on her in the chapel in the slums of Midgar, you knew this girl would do what it takes to save the planet.
The thing that makes Aeris rank so highly on the list is that unlike others here, she didn’t just roll, spray, jump on or kill stuff to save the planet, she actually died for it. Oops. Was I supposed to drop a spoiler alert? Anyway, she takes Sephiroth’s impossibly long blade to the gut for the planet’s sake, and then becomes part of the Lifestream itself to dish out some planet healing goodness. If only she could have healed Advent Children while she was at it. *Shudder*
Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog Series
Even though his latest games could be considered crimes against humanity, Sonic’s earlier endeavors were primarily focused on a hero protecting the environment. The blue hedgehog struggled time and time again against the evil Dr. Robotnik, who had found some kind of formula or contraption that turned furry forest creatures into weird propeller powered machinations that stole your rings and tried to stab you. Reminds me of an ex-girlfriend.
Anyway, there was nothing more satisfying in the good old days of gaming that finishing a new act of Sonic the Hedgehog and getting to release the army of animals trapped inside one of those huge machines with the conveniently placed button on top. Good job, Sonic. We congratulate you for being green, despite the color of your fur.
And there you have it. Happy Earth Day, fools. Discuss your thoughts below. Oh, and lest we forget, here’s our honorable mention.
Honorable Mention: Blanca, Street Fighter
Come on. We had to do it.