Regardless of the medium, stories follow an identical concept: a character wants something but is struggling to obtain it. While this is customarily the most apparent in the protagonist, the villain usually is driven by a similar motive. Bowser wants to marry Peach, alas, Mario keeps getting in the way. In order to amplify the perceived conflict and tension, many stories revolve around characters who are lacking any substantial familial ties. Whether reeling from a personal tragedy or searching for that special someone, fictional figures seem destined to fly solo. At best, a hero may be rewarded with a family as a happy ending, but they rarely start with any such connections.
Loneliness can be a potent driving force, but fans are seldom allowed to spend any time with a character's better half. Once happily ever after is attained, there is little incentive in sticking around. Interested in seeing Mario and Peach as an officially married couple? Well, dreams are made to be broken! Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft strive to maintain the status quo, but we live in a glorious age when the click of a button unlocks the door to countless alternative realities! It has never been easier to find like-minded individuals, and there is a community for pretty much everything! Do you back an especially strange relationship? There is bound to be pages of fan art and literature dedicated to this singular romance.
Parenthood is an incredible and relatable journey, one that tends to be ignored by the industry. Here are 30 gaming heroes and villains reimagined as parents!
30 Who Needs Chaos Emeralds?
Drawn by Cloud-Kitsune and colored by the-Gitz, Dr. Robotnik is in the running for dad of the year! Any parent who is willing to entertain their child by revisiting their greatest failures cannot be all that bad. Even if picking up a SNES would have been akin to treason, Sega's consoles hardly lacked for fun games. Unfortunately, Sonic the Hedgehog sits head and shoulders about the competition, forcing Eggman to conjure up memories that are better left forgotten. At the very least, they are not playing 2006's Sonic the Hedgehog, as even parents have their limits!
29 Catching The Right One
Pokémon's colossal reach should not be understated. This is a franchise that conquered two vastly different mediums; frankly, this figure can be expanded to three if the films are taken into account. Whether someone prefers the games or the anime, there is no doubt that Pikachu and Ash are generation defining. The seemingly immortal trainer has worked his way through countless female partners, but Billiam-X presents a strong case for one in particular. Appearing in Pokémon the Series: Black & White and the season's corresponding games, Iris completes Ash.
28 A Worthy Fantasy
As seen in the On the Way to a Smile OVA, Tifa and Cloud start a family with Barret's daughter serving as the child. Obviously, Hikaru135's portrait is not based on this particular turn of events, but the couple looks far happier in the author's version of reality. Despite Tifa's best efforts, Cloud struggles to truly let go of his past, so their relationship seems to be based more on friendship than romance. If there are two characters who earned a happy ending, Final Fantasy VII's duo would definitely be them.
27 Every Night Is Family Night
Now, that is one creepy family! Also, the animatronics are pretty scary too. Stripped right out of our worst nightmares, Edgar-Games picked three of Five Nights At Freddy's worst offenders and presented them as a unit. As robots cannot exactly repopulate, none of these characters are actually related, but the resemblance is still rather uncanny! Simply known as Toy Freddy, the family's baby comfortably passes for Freddy's child, while Circus Baby is among the only female animatronics in the series. This is one family get together that we recommend skipping out on.
26 The Parental Link
Displaying the beauty of birth can be downright impossible, but Adella's portrait manages to fly pretty close to the sun. After more than a dozen grueling adventures, there should be little doubt in anyone's mind that Link is willing to go to the ends of the Earth to protect Princess Zelda. Obviously, this emotion would only be amplified further with the addition of a child. Depending on whether Ganon feels like causing a bit of mischief, Hyrule can be the perfect or worst place to start a family.
Nintendo's colorful roster of characters transcend the medium, but PAC-MAN is the true king of gaming. Starting out as an arcade game before being ported to nearly every console under the sun, the yellow gobbler launched the industry into the mainstream. Gaming needed a recognizable face and PAC-MAN delivered on that promise. Ms. Pac-Man soon followed, and the rest is history. Rather than turn this into a battle of the genders, Atariboy2600 realized there is nothing stronger than a familial bond. We pity any ghosts who happen to reside in their neighborhood!
25 Dragon King
As the hype surrounding the Spyro Reignited Trilogy launches into overdrive, there has never been a better time to show some love for Insomniac Games' purple dragon. A platforming great, Spyro's battles with Ripto and Gnasty Gnorc are the stuff of legend. While the gaming world prepares for the ultimate trip down memory lane, Draco-Digi prefers to gaze towards the future. What could be in store for the heroic reptile? As long as it is not a glorified cameo in Skylanders, nearly anything would be welcome. How about a God of War type reboot starring Spyro and his son? Think about it...
24 Who Needs Pikachu?
Jessie, James, and Meowth are Pokémon's true superstars. Appearing in nearly every episode, Team Rocket's existence is defined by failure. Even though they live in a world littered with free pokémon, the antagonists refuse to focus on anyone besides Ash's Pikachu. Why not try to catch a wild version? It is not like the rat is unusually rare! Hopefully, Jessie and James find a way to fill that Pikachu-shaped void left in their souls, although children should not be birthed simply to serve as a replacement for a pokémon. Putting aside the adorable rugrats in Shaami's creation, the truly surprising addition is Mew! How did that happen?!?
23 The Second Family
Luigi and Princess Daisy exist in the shadow of Nintendo's central couple. The former is literally the default player two, while Daisy has been all but forgotten with the introduction of Rosalina. If anyone could understand the heartache of playing second fiddle, it would be this pair. Andry-Shango's released an entire series of these backward family portraits, but the author's take on Luigi and Daisy truly hit the mark. When it comes to these two, there is something fitting about only being shown their backs. Mario is pretty cool, but Luigi is far more relatable.
22 Resident Raider
Hopefully, WolfShadow14081990's photo takes place in Lara Croft's universe, as Raccoon City is hardly an ideal environment to set up roots. Either way, this baby should have inherited some fantastic genes, and they could end up being the "chosen one." Opting to take a temporary break from saving the world, Lara and Chris Redfield managed to find time to start a family. As the former does not seem like the stay at home type, Chris might have to accept the bulk of the household chores. Changing diapers must be a vast improvement over fighting hordes of zombies!
21 Portrait Time!
If Mario plans to join the royal family, the Mushroom Kingdom's hero should consider updating his wardrobe. Dude, you are not even a plumber anymore! TheBourgyman's family portrait depicts Nintendo's legendary mascot as having less maturity than his own two children, while a somewhat embarrassed Peach tries to resist the urge to blow a gasket. Besides the fantastic character designs that perfectly capture the look of the cast, the picture's coloring is especially strong! As these two are finally a couple, Bowser should consider turning his sights to newer pastures.
20 The King's Pride
Besides possessing the most absurdly long title in gaming history, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! includes a throwaway line that implies King K Rool may be married. Whether this was meant as a joke is tough to decipher, since Nintendo has largely preferred to not divulge too much information regarding Donkey Kong's powerful villain. Seriously, why the obsession with bananas? When it comes to fruit, everyone knows that strawberries and apples are untouchable! If the antagonist devoted a sliver more time to his family, R2ninjaturtle's drawing could be a reality.
19 A Bandicoot Portrait
Crash and Coco serve as the franchise's poster children, but the Bandicoot line is a long and prosperous one! In lieu of a family tree, Lurking-Leanne opted to stage a get-together and sneak a picture. Right at the center and hogging the limelight, Crunch towers over the rest of the roster, although the Bandicoot's wife is not too far behind. Picturing Crash with his own family feels almost wrong, but this suspension of disbelief is marginally more manageable with Crunch as the focus.
18 All Grown Up
Iris got her moment to shine, but Pokémon devotees tend to ship one romance above all else. As Ash's original partner, Misty left a massive impression on viewers. Just to be clear, that is not meant as a slight against Dawn or May, but every other Pokémon girl exists in a post-Misty universe. While Brock has yet to meet a woman who is not waifu material, Ash is slightly too young to show interest in the opposite gender. Time stops for no man, and the same will eventually apply to Pokémon's protagonist. Out of all potential outcomes, maimai97's route is the safest bet.
17 A Link To Happiness
Dating back to the original The Legend of Zelda, Link and Nintendo's princess have been through quite a few dangerous adventures. Due to the warrior's silent nature, their relationship tends to feel somewhat one-sided, as Zelda orders Link to clean any mess that happens to taint Hyrule. Such a power difference would test any romance, but our adorable heroes might be able to find a way. If their marriage proves to be unstable, then introducing children is always a recipe for success! BeagleTsuin's The Legend of Zelda tribute captures the essence of Nintendo's family-friendly image.
16 A Solid Partnership
SweetSnake3 may be on to something! Besides presenting beloved icons in brand new digs, crossovers are an integral part of the unlicensed art experience. Super Smash Bros. is practically an official franchise based on fanservice, but Nintendo can only place these legendary characters in close vicinity. At the end of the day, it is up to the fans to push things to the next level. Metroid's Samus Aran and Metal Gear Solid's Snake have both been through quite a lot of mindbending hardship, so the battle-worn veterans might find solace in each other.
15 A Clear Heart
Kingdom Hearts' storyline features multiple worlds, clones, and more protagonists than a Quentin Tarantino movie; in other words, things have gotten rather complicated. Would it really be that big of a surprise if Cloud and Zack end up being Xion and Roxas' parents? Sure, the initial shock would be rather substantial, but this revelation would not be completely out of place in Square Enix's universe. Kingdom Hearts III is bound to shake things up in a variety of ways, although raveeoftitans' alternative reality may remain merely a dream.
14 Family Portal
Haku-Ellie's homage to Valve's Portal 2 presents a somewhat puzzling partnership. While they start off as mortal enemies, Chell and GLaDOS gradually learn to tolerate one another and even become allies, but their relationship always seemed built on stubbornness rather than downright emotion. Obviously, GLaDOS was not the only artificial intelligence to be produced, but she does give off somewhat of a parental vibe, especially when compared to robots like ATLAS and P-body. Hopefully, GLaDOS' younglings learn from their parent's mistakes and become worthy allies to Chell.
13 Lightning Strikes Twice
Is it possible to capture lightning in a bottle? Well, Pokémon has been repeating its basic formula for the best part of two decades and refuses to miss a beat. As long as the foundation is solid, we will happily purchase new titles that only divert slightly from the franchise's standard fare. Despite never saying a word, Pikachu is a bonafide celebrity! An electrifying rat with a penchant for ruining Team Rocket's day, Ash's main squeeze was put on this planet to sell more merchandise than anyone could imagine. While a cute drawing, UnkillableCockroach's Pokémon love is far from a unique creation.
12 A Tiny Wesker
With Lara Croft and Chris Redfield out of the way, WolfShadow14081990 returned to Resident Evil's universe to see whether there was another couple laying in wait. Acting as the main antagonist for Capcom's horror-themed franchise, Albert Wesker is driven solely by power and world domination. Employed as an Umbrella Corporation researcher, Wesker has yet to find a friend who is above betraying, and Jill Valentine will never be an exception. Could a child change all of that? For some odd reason, we doubt Wesker would alter his stripes simply because of a family.
Published in close proximity to The Legend of Zelda, Kid Icarus struggled to establish a stronghold on its target audience. Nintendo could only push a number of franchises to the moon and back. Unfortunately for the angel, Kid Icarus was deemed a B-tier license. The action platformer may play second fiddle to Link and company, but Pit amassed a cult following over the years. Depicting multiple generations of the (almost) iconic character, brawlingwolf's tribute serves up a healthy dose of nostalgia.
10 Light In The Dark
Sora spends the greatest chunk of Kingdom Hearts searching for Kari and Riku. Battling a neverending stream of heartless and multiple Disney villains, the young hero earned the right to be happy. Okay, that is not an achievement which needs to be unlocked, but Sora has overcome more than his fair share of hardship over the nine games. ZOE-Productions' picture is worth a thousand words, and the couple's smile is infectious. Light cannot exist without darkness, but the rays of sunshine emitted by this entry are blinding!
9 Mommy Dearest
EnterPraiz's Mother's Day tribute to Metroid's bounty hunter is adorable, although Samus may not be the maternal type. Ignoring the character's juvenile depiction in Metroid: Other M, Samus exists to reign judgment on any alien race stupid enough to threaten the natural order. Willing to follow commands to the letter, Aran often comes across as an irresponsible. Her characterization makes for a fascinating protagonist, but parenthood requires a different set of skills. Unless Adam Malkovich instructs Aran to act like a proper mother, we cannot picture a bright future for this alien.
8 Adorableness, Thy Name Is Yoshi
YoshiStar01 lives up to their name! Debuting in 1990's Super Mario World, Yoshi is a testament to Nintendo's marketing pedigree and the studio's incredible track record when it comes to conceiving mascots. The anthropomorphic dinosaur tends to be used as nothing more than a launching pad by the robust retired plumber, but Yoshi proved popular enough to warrant its own spin-off series. Consider as one of gaming's greatest sidekicks, Yoshi is truly the Hawkeye of the Super Mario Bros. universe. With Mario threatening to cause a mass extinction of the species, there can never be too many Yoshis!
7 Ganondorf's Day Off
Could a daughter be enough to change Ganondorf's evil ways? While a nice thought, it would take a lot more than a family to protect Hyrule from the villain's greed. Constantly seeking to rule the world with an iron fist, Ganondorf has a habit of coming across as a rather stereotypical antagonist. Link needs an enemy to fight, and Ganondorf is as good of an option as any. Assuming neoyi's scene occurs in an alternate reality, could this be one of those timelines where everything is reversed? How about a game that presents Ganondorf as the hero and Zelda as the villainess?
6 Chip Of The Old Hedgehog
Well, SonicsChilidog's romance is lightyears better than the interspecies nonsense presented in Sonic the Hedgehog. By this point, poking fun of Sega's abomination ventures on laziness, but there will never be a time when it stops being funny. It is like The Room of video games. Out of the brand's extensive roster, Amy has always been presented as Sonic's logical romantic partner, although the Speedster tends to pay little attention to their potential relationship. To be fair, Dr. Robotnik rarely gives Sonic a chance to stop and smell the roses...
5 Mega Family
With Capcom's digital hero returning to the fold later this year, we can barely suppress our excitement at the thought of a modern Mega Man experience. The wait has been far too long and frustrating, but a decent commercial showing could trigger a new golden age for Rockman. Attempting to reach unprecedented heights in preciousness, MewKwota believes that artificial intelligence is capable of experiencing the same emotions as a normal human. Mega Man has somewhat of a boyish look, so there is a certain weirdness that pervades this entire photo.
4 After The Glitter Fades
Time and space is no barrier to love. A convincing argument can be made that Final Fantasy X was the last traditional entry in the franchise's numbered series, but Square Enix went out with a bang! Prior to launching a career as an idol, Yuna set out to save Spira from a rampaging monster named Sin, who happens to have a bizarre connection to the protagonist Tidus. In spite of the story's many fantastical elements, Final Fantasy X is truly a love story. After risking everything for the sake of the world, at long last, the couple could embrace their romance. If hikariyumi92's picture is anything to go by, blitzball should prepare itself for a new star player!
2 The Royal Babies
Nintendo's legendary supervillain has spent the majority of his existence striving to wed Princess Peach. As she is the heiress to the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser's plans can be seen as merely a power play, but the villain is clearly infatuated with Mario's other half. Bowser Jr. is the Koopa king's sole successor, but the royal family might benefit from a slight expansion. If slimthrowed's tribute is anything to go by, Nintendo should consider allowing the Koopalings back into the fold. After all, every kingdom could use more than one heir!
1 Dad Of War
When it comes to children, Kratos has the worst of luck! Stepping away from the action-fest that was the earlier games, the PlayStation 4's God of War introduced Kratos' offspring in the form of Atreus. RedneckSamura1's art piece is gorgeous and would not look out of place as one of the game's official sketches. Unsurprisingly, Kratos struggles to come to grips with parenthood, but SIE Santa Monica Studio dedicates a fair amount of the campaign to strengthen the bond between the father and son.