Adventure Map | The Characters That Define Us

This. Is. Big.
Like really big. 

The Characters That Define Us is a monolithic collaborative project involving more than 50 accomplished bloggers across the internet.

I couldn’t be more proud to call these fine writers my blogging family. Thank you all for helping make this epic writing project across the timeline of video game characters a reality.

By coming here, you’ve chosen to embark on an ambitious journey, serving as a conduit for deep introspective analysis. We have got a truly mammoth all-star cast of bloggers here, and there is no doubt in my mind that we’ve creating something awesome!

This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video game characters exist as companions on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the individual who we feel most defines us.

This is a complete audiovisual experience, filled with graphics, music, and plenty of nostalgia. Please enjoy each piece, and let us know via comments or social media how these characters make an impact on your life.

This adventure map will serve as a guide through each day’s pieces – a table of contents, if you will. We recommend reading each post in order, as they are arranged by style and publication date. However, feel free to dive right in to your favorite games. With these incredible bloggers, you simply cannot go wrong no matter where you start. And with that, let us begin The Characters That Define Us!

Yuna | A Geeky Gal

We grew. We learned and overcame our circumstances. We managed to keep being true to ourselves while becoming stronger and putting ourselves first for the first time ever.

Mar 29

Roger Wilco | Musings of a Nitpicking Girl

Thank goodness for heatwaves.

Mar 30

Master Chief | Hear Dave Write

Or: How Mike died (repeatedly) from dysentery.

Apr 27

Peter Parker | The Reel Anna

Having access to the news and the internet is often a great benefit, but it can be overwhelming when we see how many people are hurting and in need of help all across the world.

Apr 28

Claire “Lightning” Farron | Livid Lightning

Regardless of what’s happening around you, the battle for a better tomorrow is always fought inside of your own soul. Thanks to Lightning Farron, I’ll never be hopelessly alone with my battle again.

Apr 29

Player One | Mr Backlog

In 1983, video game characters tended to have one, very important thing in common – there weren’t any. You see, the hero was you.

Apr 30

Barbarian “Barbie” Link | Wintendo 64

Barbarian Link defines me by serving as a reminder that my best is enough. Even if I’ve done better before or could do better in the future.

Alternate Shauna | HideNGoShauna

Upon reflection, I discovered that even the fictional narratives that I’ve taken up in an alternate form of self in video games has contributed to my personal narratives in positive ways.

Ratchet | Shooting for the Stars

I didn’t realise Ratchet is the embodiment of my personality and my mannerisms and I didn’t know how much he made an impact on my life until I write about him. Thanks to the Ratchet & Clank series, it taught me what it means to be a friend.

Leia Organa | Nerd Side of Life

We need characters like Leia to look up to because she shows you that you can be more.

Barsen’thor | Krysanthe

I am the warden of my own order. I call it my family. Everyday I make choices that affect their lives.

Luigi | Rachel from Double Jump

Luigi has always been there when I was afraid or lonely.

Mae Boroski | A Geek Girl’s Guide

I saw so much of myself in Mae, with what she was experiencing and feeling, and it was enlightening to see that in a video game.

Miles Edgeworth | Kris from Double Jump

The path may be twistier than you originally pictured it would be, but you’ll get there.

Stanley | Michael Merlino

This is the story of a man named Michael.

Herobrine | Alex Sigsworth

Who is Herobrine? Well, it’s complicated. You see, there is no such character as Herobrine. He was never in the game.

Sylvanas Windrunner | Ruubin from My Life as a Quest

Which characteristic is more important to you: loyalty or honesty?

Jaina Proudmoore | Heather from Just Geeking By

What could I possibly have in common with the blue-eyed perfect blonde mage? As it turned out, quite a lot.

Lara Croft | NekoJonez

Without Lara Croft, there wouldn’t be a NekoJonez today. The Tomb Raider franchise has been quite important in my life.

Tifa Lockhart | Mystic Nerd

Oh yeah, she’s definitely a pure badass with some of the strongest attacks and power-ups in the game. But unlike other female fighters in games, she has a beautiful heart.

Aloy | The Gaming Diaries

Having the courage, confidence and self-belief to go out into the world, and into the sacred land, and do whatever needs done even if it is terrifying is inspiring.

Nahyuta Sahdmadhi | Ian from Adventure Rules

To let go without moving on is to give up – to move on without letting go is to live in resignation and disappointment.

Ryo Hazuki | Murr from Geek. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat

Thanks, Ryo, for making my first serious proper job be as fun as you’d made me believe it was in Shenmue.

Nepgear | Pete from MoeGamer

When times get tough and the very way my brain works threatens to overwhelm me, I think of Nepgear.

Jin Kazama | Triform Trinity

That while we all have our demons within, it is possible to fight to overcome them.

Sephiroth | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

Even though I’ve grown more nihilistic in my old age, I don’t let my cynicism become a silencing factor to the idealism of youth.

Cait Sith | The Well-Red Mage

No wonder I’m a cat person.

Reyn | Shoot the Rookie

He is resolutely and unashamedly himself at all times, and that is how I want to be.

Shulk & Rex | Lodestar_Valor

If Shulk were an IRL friend of mine, he wouldn’t stop short of getting between me and my problem, and not getting out of the way until I learn to move on.

Lilith | Midnight Mountain

Everything I was told my whole life seemed to crash down before my feet. I, on a much smaller scale, was like Lilith in that moment.

Dixie Kong | Max, The Wandering Mage

She introduced me to a world that broke what I thought were the rules. We did not have to be the damsels in distress. Peach could save Mario. Zelda could fight back against Ganon. I could save myself and others.

Coco Bandicoot | Melody from Ficcaholic

When I was working out the differences between boys and girls, Coco came along and proved that girls could be good with computers.

Samantha Traynor | AmbiGaming

She was like a breath of fresh air, not only reflecting my own traits back at me, but also reflecting back traits that I aspire to have, or to develop further.

Vivi | Hungrygoriya

His story is sweet and sad, and completely relatable for someone like me that that feels the throbbing void that mortality leaves in its wake on a daily basis.

Geralt of Rivia | Winst0lf

He’s an absolute unit, and that is why he is definitely the best video game protagonist of all time, even better than that silent scientist bloke or even the dude that glides about firing magical arrows at octopus-ish spider robots

Murray | Later Levels

Everyone has it in them to be a powerful evil force and a harbinger of doom, regardless of who and what they are.

Commander Shepard | Geek. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat

I’m the one who controls what he says, who he treats badly and who he helps. As a result he becomes a character that is almost unique to everyone that plays the game.

Skull Kid | Meghan Plays Games

Skull Kid brings to life things that only exist in nebulous thought. And it all started with a mischievous, nameless little imp.

Kratos | Daniel from Epic Drop

Maybe it is defending Kratos that drew me closer to him, maybe it is the anger we both had trouble controlling, or maybe it was the fact that both of us are bald.

Hanzo Shimada | DL McGowan from Lost in Reverie

Hanzo is the epitome of self-loathing, falling into a dark mental space following all the ugliness with his brother and family. Despite that, though, he never stops trying to find redemption and overcome himself.

Red | Andrew Turnwall

Maybe this essay isn’t all about Red. It’s about the world he helped create. About the safe harbor he helped me find.

Magikarp & Gyarados | Brink of Gaming

To me, Gyarados is a model of perseverance and determination: something I’ve had to work at regularly in my own life, as well.

Olgierd von Everec | Alex from McWritestuff

Is he the villain of the story or a tragic anti-hero? Olgierd is nothing more than the janitor of our own hearts. Our hearts of stone.

James/Dad | Phil from Later Levels

Who wouldn’t want him for a dad?

Knuckles | Justin from TWOTALL4UFOOL

Would I be my own man/person or would I just follow the crowd? My mom never wanted me to be a follower.

Tails | Matt from 3PStart

Would I be my own man/person or would I just follow the crowd? My mom never wanted me to be a follower.

Sonic | Ryan from Games With Coffee

I’m gonna find my own way, and take a chance on today.

Edgar Roni Figaro | J.R. from Kith & Kin

Much like Edgar’s world, mine changed as well, but not for the worse. This facilitated a change in me, one that is still going on to this day.

Regina | Pixie Poison

While her discipline and composure is stronger than most, she is still unabashedly normal.

Kreia | DeiSphia

As a mentor Kreia often challenges the players actions, positing alternative solutions to the ones the player has chosen.

Sora | Nana Marfo

Sora sticks out as one of the most positive characters in video game history, and this magic makes special to many.

Roxas | Chris Durston

I’m not gonna be defined by Roxas, or by anyone other than me.

MJ | Nikki (Normal Happenings)

If I would’ve had this version of MJ as a kid, I would have wanted to be her instead of Spider-Man, and that is why she is such an important character to me.

One more remains…

  1. Thank you for all the work you’ve put into this! No words to describe all the nice feelz, haha.

    And thanks for including my past self’s piece after I disappeared! It really shows me the intense level of personal growth I’ve gone through in the past year. Unreal. I’m not the same person who wrote that, but I’ll always love Lightning Farron ⚡

    Liked by 2 people

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