While retirement is romanticized in the fandom world, it’s not as common as childhood or college AUs. It’s strange though because don’t our favorite video game characters deserve a nice retirement? They work so hard and eventually deserve a break.
Retirement is just not about reaching old age. Some make it big enough to retire early and still young. If any characters could retire early, it’s our gaming heroes. Saving lives and sometimes even the world tends to count as making it big.
On the other hand, there is something satisfying about seeing your favorite characters relax after reaching old age. They are in the sunset years with so much to look back on while they enjoy a day on the beach or just sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons.
It’s a little more common to see video game characters age than in the past. Kratos from God of War 4 is a huge and successful example, but we know the poor god-ender is not retiring anytime soon. There are other characters we are seeing grow up like Clementine from Telltales Walking Dead and Ellie from The Last of Us. We probably won’t see them as old ladies in a retirement home though.
Speaking of apocalypse genre games, there are a lot of characters who greet the reaper instead of retirement. Not going to spoil anything, but that’s a more common sight than a character getting an ending where they do not have to work anymore in video games.
So let’s enjoy some retirement AUs!
30 Red From Pokémon
Retired Pokémon trainers can easily warm the heart. While they age, their Pokémon begin to take care of them.
This fanart of Red from the games shows a bit of a more grizzled picture though.
“Veteran” is the right word for his look. He looks like the last person you would ever want to mess with. He looks like the old man who doesn’t take apprentices because he’s too mysterious and stoic for any youth to touch.
Artist is unknown.
The question has been asked before: why doesn’t Nintendo make an old Link? They sort of did that in Twilight Princess with the Hero’s Shade. But we are talking less skeleton ghost and more flesh and beard.
Playing an old Link would mean he’s not retired though. Or maybe he is and he just comes out of retirement for one last quest. With how many Links there are, they need to get more creative, don’t they? This should come after a female Link.
Artist is unknown.
28 Harry, Ron, And Hermione
Ever play the Harry Potter video games? The first couple of them are a total hoot with Harry Potter as a silent protagonist of all things.
Believe it or not, they actually had some elements from the books that were not in the movies, such as Peeves.
This fanart makes it look like the retired friends could be on a camping trip. They look so serious though, so maybe something more is going on? How did Hermione get hurt?
Artist is unknown.
27 Five Nights At Freddy’s
The artist wrote, “A game within a game. I just drew toy Freddy chillin with Helpy and Carl with, of course, toy Bonnie checking up on them. . . .”
There is a charm to seeing horror characters retire into a casual life. We get to see them in a relatable way that makes them less freaky. The Five Nights at Freddy’s fandom see the animatronics more as characters with personalities than unfeeling monsters. That fact is certainly shown in this fanart.
Art was made by cyborghost.
26 Mario And Luigi
“Old guy Mario Bros would totally just be chillin' on a park bench somewhere,” wrote the artist.
They are easily recognizable from the iconic clothes and it’s cute that Yoshi is like an old dog. The style they are drawn in makes it look almost like a sweet newspaper comic strip, which adds a little to that cute retired look. They are probably the sweetest old guys you can find at the park. They love mushroom soup and talking about their many adventures to any who will listen.
Art was made by batterychicken.
“Sonic getting too old,” wrote the artist. “But he can be sure about a good future of high-speed platformers.”
For those not familiar with Freedom Planet, it’s like the Sonic games, a high-speed platformer.
The characters are designed like Sonic too; in fact, this fanart is featuring some of them like Sash Lilac and Carol Tea. According to this fanart, Sonic can enjoy the legacy he has created. Freedom Planet is also definitely worth a look if you have never heard of the game.
In this adorable illustration, Old Pac-man rants: "In my day we don't have any fancy graphics. You couldn't just pause the game. And if a ghost got you, you were dead!"
To be fair, some games still lack a pause button at certain moments. This is usually the case in combat or in cutscenes. Or, heaven forbid, you try to pause but end up skipping the cutscene instead.
It’s the same with saving the game too. How many of us wanted to finish a Pokémon battle and couldn’t save and our parents yelled at us that it was time to stop but we yelled, “Wait! I need to get to a save point!”
Angry bird probably doesn't have the heart to argue with the old man though.
Art was made by Cedric Hohnstadt.
23 Hawke And Fenris
If any characters deserve an early retirement, it’s Fenris and Hawke. Going from slave, to super slave, to escaped slave has put Fenris through more than many can say. Hawke is not so different either. Depending on how you play him or her, their entire family could be gone. Most of them are gone no matter what you decide.
These two should settle somewhere remote and quiet where nothing can bother them (because you know someone will try!)
Artist is unknown.
22 Joker And Batman
The little details you can discover in this picture only make the image funnier. Joker is stealing an Olive Garden coupon. The back of Batman’s cart slightly resembles the Batmobile. Joker has some flags that just spell out, “Ha” for laughter.
Guess Joker was right in that he and Batman are destined to be rivals forever. He could have stolen something worse than a coupon, like Batman’s teeth, his medicine, or even his cart. Stealing a coupon is the small stuff.
Art was made by whysoawesome.
“Having served into his late fifties, Reinhardt was faced with mandatory retirement from combat operations,” says his bio. “Despondent about being removed from active duty, Reinhardt feared that his days of purpose and glory had ended.
"As times grew darker and Overwatch came under suspicion of corruption and sedition, Reinhardt could only watch as the cause he had dedicated his life to defending surrendered in [shame].”
The artist wrote, “He’s the hero with the biggest heart and they broke it.”
Art was made by enderfowl.
20 The Justice League
From left to right we have Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Superman, Batman, Shayera Hol, and the Green Lantern. You can tell Wonder Woman still wants to be independent by yelling at the Flash who is touching her wheelchair. Or maybe it’s that she doesn’t want to go that fast.
Then there is Batman, who is just snoozing away while standing.
The Justice League inspired many video games such as Young Justice: Legacy, Justice League Heroes, and Justice League: Chronicles. These characters deserve an end-break.
Art was made by GabiFrench.
19 Old Brothers
This piece is part of a retirement series the artist made of various Nintendo characters.
Why do Mario and Luigi stare at the viewer in a threatening manner? Is that just me? Maybe now that they are retired, they give others the stink eye because they don’t want to do favors or quests anymore. That’s a pity since Bowser probably will not retire for another couple hundred years. He doesn’t age like humans, does he? Hopefully, he stops bothering Peach so she can enjoy retirement too.
Art was made by blind-dancer.
18 Retired Mabari
“Hawke’s mabari is OLD and RETIRED, her name is Penelope and she’s beautiful,” wrote the artist.
Besides dragons and nugs, mabaris are one of the most popular creatures of the Dragon Age franchise. They are enormous dogs that are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and strength. If you get DLC, Hawke can have his or her own mabari. It has way less of a role than the one in Origins, but you can still summon the creature in combat.
Art was made by pheberoni.
17 Maria And Eggman
This is one of those pieces that imagine a world where things ended differently. Spoilers ahead, Maria never gets to grow up. She is Dr. Eggman’s cousin though, so if she survived, we might have seen them together a lot.
If she got to grow up, she would probably make her own inventions.
Or maybe due to her frail and sickly nature, her cousin takes care of her. Dr. Eggman could retire and they could just enjoy life together.
Art was made by cheroy.
Witchers don’t really get to retire, do they? Sure there's an ending you can get at the end of Geralt’s story, but is that really retiring? There will always be monsters and plenty of foolish travelers. There is no doubt he’d still do work even if they say he’s “retired.” Look at that face, perfect for the hiring!
According to the artist, the monster in this picture is a nekker trophy. Those monsters are pretty weak but tough in packs.
Art was made by Tibor Sulyok.
This retired Yoshi does not look happy. It’s like, “Oh god, another egg,” as it stares emotionally into the abyss. The babies are cute in a gremlin sort of way though. The roundness of their bodies makes them adorable. The blue one certainly has a playful personality while the orange one is trying to eat a piece of bacon its own size. The green one takes after its parent and also has a skill for staring into the abyss. Quick question, are Yoshis born wearing shoes?
Art was made by blind-dancer.
14 Joker And EDI
These lovebirds have a special connection that makes it so Joker’s age does not matter. He can age while EDI remains the same and they’ll still love each other.
As Joker ages, his brittle bone disease may worsen so the cane is a nice extra touch by the artist.
Joker would be that old man full of stories. Of course, most of them would be about Shepard but he probably witnessed a whole lot more post-Mass Effect 3.
Artist is unknown.
13 King Sonic
“I tried to make an Old Sonic,” wrote the artist. “Its difficult to make a character old that will always be young in body and spirit. The other one is King Sonic from Sonic the comic (STCO) I don't know too much from this King Sonic, apparently, he is [sinister]. . . .”
In the comics, Sonic becomes King because he marries a princess. Also, there is an alternate reality that can connect to this one where Sonic and his friends are all dastardly.
Art was made by drawloverlala.
12 Older Ansem The Wise
This man is at the heart of what makes the story of Kingdom Hearts so complicated. He also is known as DiZ and wrapped himself up like a mummy, so that was confusing. To simplify everything, fans typically agree that most issues are this man’s fault.
He’s not to be confused with the Heartless Ansem. That’s a totally different person.
He doesn’t get retirement and to be frank, he probably doesn’t deserve one since everything is kind of his fault.
Artist is unknown.
The style and colors in this art give off a sense of peace. The artist for this picture wrote a little dialogue story as well.
“How’s retirement treating ya?”
“Not much-a different actually… adventures every day. I haven’t done-a real plumber job in a long while.”
“Same here. The uniform sticks, though. Never understand why, really.”
According to the artist, this picture was inspired by the fact that Mario is now officially no longer a plumber in Super Mario Odyssey. “Ex-blue collar workers in red,” they wrote.
Art was made by bakanohealthy.
“This whole picture is just one big tub of unholy fun,” wrote the artist who colored this piece. They certainly are right, this is a fun picture. From the Kremzeek slippers down to Starscream’s head, the entire premise is very funny.
Even Ravage gets to enjoy retirement by sleeping like a cat.
Transformers may not originally be a video game, but they have tons of them. Most of them are from the Gameboy Color to the Playstation 2 days.
Art was made by shaztalion and color was done by ha-heeprime.
9 Mcree And Genji
In this fanart, Mcree and Genji from Overwatch are a couple and they retire to farm life. They are not the most popular ship in the Overwatch fandom, as Mcree usually is paired with Hanzo.
This less popular ship is known as “McGenji.”
They are attractive in the “opposites attract” sort of way because they are opposites. A lot of fans think that Mcree would side with Genji if he were to meet Hanzo, so that’s a certain take.
Art was made by terren yvon.
8 Old Man Link
This revisits the idea of getting a Legend of Zelda game where Link is an old man. The producers had a good chance when it came to the plot of Breath of the Wild. What if instead of the King of Hyrule as an old spirit, it was Link? That would have been so awesome.
It would also show Link’s character in a new and fresh light. He could be more cynical and salty to the world but also show so much more wisdom and different emotion to the world around him.
Art was made by jakeandersonstudio.
7 Cassandra Pentaghast
Dragon Age Inquisition has some of the best written female characters in video games, Cassandra being one of those characters. What becomes of her is totally up to the players’ in-game choices so her retirement is all completely determinant. She could appear in future games as well.
Let's be honest, Cassandra will never want to retire.
If anything, she’s a woman of action. She hates sitting down. She hates being just a witness. Even at an old age, she’d be the first to try and make changes.
Art was made by aliceazzo.
6 Bloodborne Hunter
The Bloodborne protagonist deserves a lot better than what they deal with in their game. They basically endure the darkest, most saddening journey you can think up, where everything tries to end you.
Since you can make your own character, it’s a bit of original work. Everyone’s protagonist is different unless they go with the default appearance. Since they are a silent protagonist as well, you are left with a lot to decide what they probably think and feel about their situation.
Art was made by malakialagatta.
5 Asgore And Sans
“King-sized dad and travel-sized backup dad walk child home from school,” wrote the artist.
“I always liked the idea that Sans and Asgore have no beef with each other and actually get along pretty well, in spite of whatever their relationships to Toriel may be.
"No jealousy, no animosity. They both love Frisk, and Frisk loves both of them, and that's all there is to it. If Toriel is definitively Mom, then these two are unofficially Step Dad EX and Step Dad NEO.”
Art was made by simonsoys.
Oh, poor Mordin was taken from us too soon. Of course the moment he mentioned retiring on a beach to collect and study seashells, he had to pass away. Some players immediately hit their keyboards to see if Mordin’s demise was determinant or not. Unfortunately, there is no changing his fate. His was only one of many passings in the franchise, but was particularly well remembered since it was at one of the more climactic moments in the series.
Artist is unknown.
3 Ezio And Sofia
Ezio gets to enjoy his sunset years a little better than his ancestor, Altiar. Not much is left to the imagination, as we see his character from the moment he is born to the moment he passes.
While Altiar was the original to the series, fans usually first think of Ezio when Assassin’s Creed is mentioned.
We can’t blame them either since he’s the character who makes an appearance or is the protagonist in most games in this ever-expanding series.
Artist is unknown.
2 Garrus And Shepard
“Are we gonna find out what a human-turian baby looks like after all?!” wrote the artist.
This was discussed in Mass Effect 3, but one dialogue option points out that biology may not be in their favor.
For those who beat the game, this fanart is an unlikely outcome no matter what you choose.
If you have done enough and choose the destruction ended, there is a scene that hints that your Shepard does survive. That’s it though, there is no more information about what becomes of him or her.
Art was done by savbakker.
1 Retirement Home
Well, this is a hilarious nightmare. Old Lara Croft and Altiar are adorable. I love how Lara just has her bow hanging around her like she’s an unfeeling coat-hanger as she knits.
Did Altiar become a Pokémon master?
He has the Pokéballs. Did he release these Pokémon to end the other retirement home people? They both don’t care as the Pokémon eat everyone. They are so old and have seen so much demise and destruction that this is nothing to them.
Art was made by bobmeatbag.