This weekend on May 13, we give thanks to our mothers and moms for raising us right and proper, as well as take care of us during our childhood and even adult years.
At the same time, we also hold a moment of silence for the mothers of video games. They have it rough; they either die early, turn evil, or have their kids run off to go questing and some other world-saving nonsense.
From the best to the worst and in-between, let’s raise a glass or two for these hard-working and (mostly unloved) matriarch figures in video game history.
Brigid Tenenbaum – Bioshock
This aged woman is the mother of all the Little Sisters and Big Sisters. Her research created these little ADAM-filled tykes and the grown-up badass versions of them. Her motherly instincts kick in when she had to take care of them while in the now-dystopian Rapture. Better late than never, eh?
Jenova – Final Fantasy VII
She takes care of Sephiroth and gave him his powers, but at what cost? The cost of blowing up the entire world of Midgard for misusing the planet’s Lifestream energy. We know that the in-game corporation Shinra deserves all the hate, but why involve everyone else? That’s just mass genocide.
Queen Brahne – Final Fantasy IX
She snubs her own daughter Dagger for ultimate power. Nothing as stereotypically evil and irresponsible as putting your own needs before others, eh? Especially to your own flesh-and-blood.
The Queen – Ico
She is the woman responsible for Ico’s stoney predicament and Yorda’s quest to escort her away from the castle. You think having a wicked stepmom who boycotts you from dinner is bad? Try having a mother who turns you to stone, only to have some interloper with a club and a horned helmet help you out.
Ness’ Mom – Earthbound
She isn’t a bad mother, but she isn’t overseeing her kid Ness enough. She lets her son go out and play with his friends doing telekinesis and pyrotechnics stuff in the town they all live in. At least she’s there to talk to Ness when needed.
Matriarch Benezia – Mass Effect
While this Asari matriarch was evil -she colluded with Mass Effect’s big bad villain Saren- but she had a change of heart and did a solid for her daughter Liara T’son before she bites it. Also voiced by the sensual Marina Sirtis (of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Gargoyles fame).
Sarah and Seth – Lost Odyssey
Lost Odyssey gets huge props for having prominent mothers fighting as party members. Sarah is a bespectacled mage who happens to be the grandmother of two of the younger cast members in the game.
Seth is the pirate warrior who is the mother of an elderly pirate named Sed. They look young because of their Immortal status in this world: they don’t age but they do live long lives and they suffer memory loss. Regardless of age, both heroines have their motherly instincts on display while also
Isaac’s Mom – The Binding of Isaac
This “model” mother locks her son Isaac down in a basement to fight all manners of horrors who may be related to Isaac. Without weapons. She’s doing this because she believes that God wants her to murder him. Essentially she is sacrificing her obligations for an obvious mental delusion.
Boss – Metal Gear Solid 3
The Boss probably had no business leading the Battle of Normandy while nine months pregnant, but she did. She may be a bad mother to her son Revolver Ocelot, but The Boss is a Mother Goddess figure to half of the Metal Gear Solid cast.
Eva – Metal Gear Solid 4
Technically, she’s the mother of Liquid and Solid Snake (kinda). She kicks a lot of butt in Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4, but didn’t do much mothering.
Sophitia – SoulCalibur Series
One of the main characters in SoulCalibur, she represents the Greek pantheons to destroy the Soul Edge blade. Later on in the timeline, she spawned two kids who end up making that century hell because of their affinity towards Soul Edge. She’s making a comeback in SoulCalibur VI.
Nina Williams, Jun Kazama, Michelle Chang – Tekken Series
Props again for Tekken to feature fighting game mothers. Nina is an Irish assassin who is the biological mother of boxer Steve Fox, while Jun is the mother of Jin Kazama, the third game’s devilish protagonist. Oh, and also the wife of hero-turned-villain-turned-antihero Kazuya Mishima.
These days, you can fight Jun as a magical wolf-beast thing called Unknown. Michelle Chang is the daughter of the series’ popular nature-loving kenpo artist Julia Chang. Out of all the three, Nina has made the most appearances in a Tekken game but Michelle is the most responsible one since her kid turned out alright and taking in the family name and forest-saving profession.
Crimson Viper – Street Fighter IV
Better late than never; Capcom added in a mother who has flames coming out of her kicks and has a long-ass braided ponytail. A shame she isn’t around for her kid except during times of convenience.
Ana – Overwatch
We cap off this list with this nurturing Mother I Love as a Friend. She’s got your back, she can heal your team real well, and she’s a good mom to rocket queen Pharah. Plus she can let loose and play dress-up as a pirate once in a while. We all wish we had Pharah’s mom.