Video game characters who have been flanderized

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The flanderization trope it’s when a character with a wide range of traits sees one of those traits become exaggerated to the point that it becomes their whole character. He is named after Ned Flanders of The simpsonswho first appeared as a gentle Christian neighbor to the family, and is now portrayed as an obsessively religious evangelist.


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Video games aren’t immune to the trope, as there are multiple characters across all genres that have come to be defined by a single obvious trait, especially in long-running franchises. That’s not always a bad thing, however, as some of these examples show, but sometimes it can be disappointing to see a complex character become much less complex.

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8/8 Dante (Devil May Cry)

In the original version the devil may cryDante was definitely an arrogant character who didn’t take things too seriously, but there was also a dark and serious side due to his conflicting feelings about his heritage, and that mix of silly and serious made him an interesting character.

More recent games have decided to limit him to the class clown role, however, with The devil may cry 5 even going to the extreme of giving him a cowboy hat “weapon” which he reveals with a full dance routine, and seemingly unable to take anything particularly serious. It’s still fun, and arguably more enjoyable than its original incarnation at times.

7/8 Chris Redfield (Resident Evil)

resident EvilChris Redfield is strong. Trained in the Air Force before joining the Raccoon City Police Department as a member of the STARS Special Unit. He is known as a skilled marksman and exactly the kind of man you want by your side in a fight. Over the years, however, Capcom has become more and more determined to show off its strength in increasingly bizarre ways.

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His appearance in Resident Evil: Code Veronica features him climbing a steep cliff without any equipment, but the peak of that has happened resident evil 5. Not only has he significantly increased his muscle mass, but the climax of the game sees him knocking a massive boulder out of his way. Somehow, even with all the retcons in the resident Evil series, which remains canon according to Resident Evil Village.

In the metal gear series, Solid Snake is a complex character with a difficult past. He is a man revered by the public for his military accomplishments, while feeling guilty for being so good at killing. His character is meant to critique the military and the effects it has on those who serve, based on the notable anti-war political views of Hideo Kojima.

As the metal gear The series continued, however, some more bizarre aspects of Snake’s personality seemed to take over. The most ridiculous of these quirks is his love of cardboard boxes. While a fun stealth item in the original Solid metal gearover the course of the series, Snake has acquired an almost obsessive relationship with them, his identity being revealed in Solid Metal Gear 2 because he saw him move in one, to a deep and meaningful talk about how safes make him feel in Game 3. Weird.

5/8 Luigi (Super Mario)

The Super Mario the franchise isn’t known for complex characters at the best of times, so this is an unusual case of a character gaining a single defining trait when he simply didn’t have one before . Luigi was originally introduced as a Mario paddle swap for the Mario Bros arcade game, a role he would continue for many mainline games thereafter, usually as the second player’s sprite.

When the Gamecube was launched, Luigi acquired his own game and, with it, his own unique personality. However, this personality was mostly cowardice, with his ride through haunted mansions showing him as a reluctant hero who would rather go home. It’s come to define who Luigi is in the entire franchise ever since.

4/8 sonic the hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog was always meant to be a mascot with an attitude, designed to make Sega stand out alongside Nintendo and Mario. However, there were always other aspects of her character that led to a devoted fan base that persists today. Deep down, he’s a laid-back character who cares about his friends and wants to do the right thing, even if he’s not afraid to throw sarcastic remarks here and there.

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As the series has progressed, Sonic’s snark has been amplified to such a degree that it’s nearly impossible to find a line in Sonic colors it’s not a sarcastic joke, as if expecting a studio audience to react at some point. Sometimes it’s fun, but other times it can be shocking, and it all comes at the expense of Sonic’s other traits.

3/8 Cloud (Final Fantasy 7)

Cloud Strife is an interesting character. He spends a lot of time Final Fantasy VII being a gruff, stoic mercenary, emotionally distant from those around him and only interested in his grumbling work. Except that’s not entirely true, as history repeatedly shows it to be a front hiding someone much more precarious, traumatized by events from his past. Cloud’s story is one that sees him grow beyond this tragedy and learn to be himself and not hide behind an emotionally distant facade.

Not that you know from seeing him in spin-offs like Dissidia Where Kingdom Heartsor the rest of the movie Advent children, where Cloud is often reduced to being moody and selfless with a few redeeming traits to balance that out. It’s a bizarre choice that undermines his entire character arc and makes it much less interesting.

2/8 Kratos (god of war)

The first one God of the war game is a Greek tragedy in video game form. It features Kratos, a Spartan soldier who becomes involved in a Faustian pact with Ares, the god of war, to give him the strength to lead the troops to victory in war. This leads to him being forced to kill his own family, and the grief and betrayal it inflicts on him leads him to violently seek revenge against Ares.

Sequels and spinoffs continued this violent rampage, as Kratos devastated much of the Greek pantheon, but this time he appears less like a tragic Greek mythical figure and more like a ball of pure rage for which the player could feel less sympathetic. He gets a rare example of reverse Flanders in 2018 God of the warhowever, where he is again a complex and interesting character, which is great for everyone.

1/8 Captain Qwark (Ratchet & Clank)

Captain Qwark is introduced as the great hero of the galaxy in the first Ratchet & Clank, to be revealed as a selfish celebrity willing to sell his image to anyone willing to buy, including the bad guys. It represented the concept of never meeting your heroes because they might not be as nice as you would like.

Starting with the third game, however, Qwark underwent a massive change. Insomniac began to take his vanity and cowardice and exaggerated them to the point where his more sinister side disappeared. In newer Ratchet & Clank games, you’re more likely to see Qwark as little more than a vain, clumsy coward than a stealthy villain.

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