I've created this list to highlight certain video game characters that I instantly took a disliking to, but upon playing with them (or as them) for a few hours, found that they weren't so bad and in some cases grew to really quite like them. I am going to try to avoid giving away any spoilers, but will give some information about each character, why I didn't like them at first and what eventually won me over. I can only apologise in advance to anybody offended that I didn't initially like a much-loved character, take comfort in the fact that (in most cases) I've changed my mind and am now feeling the love.

For those who haven't played Final Fantasy X, Tidus is the lead character of the game. A star blitzball player (it's like dodgeball underwater) he is seemingly thrust into the future after his home is attacked by the deadly Sin. The thing about Tidus is...well...he's...really annoying! I haven't changed my mind about that, which is why he's 10. Everything about him is ...AAARRGGHH!! The way he speaks, the way he acts, just everything! I couldn't spend five minutes with him in real life, let alone go on an epic adventure with him. You might ask why is he even on the list if I still think he's annoying? Well despite all this he is a good person and the story in FFX really puts this across. Tidus eventually has to make some difficult decisions and how he deals with them really adds to his character. So he is a good guy...just annoying.

Lloyds story revolves around him wanting to protect his childhood friend (and love interest) Colette. She is the chosen one and has to embark on an epic journey to save their dying world. Lloyd takes it upon himself to defend her from the various evils that they encounter (with help from others as well). Through this journey Lloyd not only uncovers some shocking (and in one case blatantly obvious) plot twists, but also learns alot about himself. However that has little to do with my reasons for including him in my list. You see when I started this game I thought Lloyd would be an arrogant punk, in fact for the first few hours I convinced myself he was, despite the fact that hadn't really done anything to deserve this cruel judgement. Eventually I realised that I had been wrong, and so felt slightly guilty for the hours and hours that followed in the game.

What!!?? Another RPG character!!?? What can I say? There are a few in this list. Anyway Janson is the black mage of this particular RPG. He is hired by Gongora to keep an eye on the games hero Kaim and former pirate Seth, both of whom have lost their memory and both of whom are immortal. Descibed as 'a lover of wine and women' it becomes obvious straightaway what sort of person Janson is, and unless it's done right he'll just be another comic relief cliche'. It's done right in this game Janson is responsible for some of the most entertaining cutscenes I've seen in a long while (excluding one cheesy musical number). He adds a superb element to this game and the excellent voice acting doesn't hurt either. In short: could have been really bad but was really good.

I can't really put my finger on why I didn't take to Professor Layton at first. Did I think he looked smug? Did I think the game would be poor? Was it the hat? I can't say for certain. Anyway, whatever the reasons were they soon faded away when I started the game. For those who haven't played Professor Layton the story focuses on Laytonand his cockney assistant Luke as they travel to the village of the title to solve the mystery of 'the Golden Apple' in order to sort out an inheritance. The gameplay is comprised of a number of puzzles which must be solved in order to advance, it's as straightforward as that (although I'm in no way doing the game true justice in this description). It's a truly engaging game and Professor Layton acts as the perfect companion throughout, hopefully this won't be his final outing.

Heather, an ordinary girl on a trip to the shopping mall, is thrust into a nightmare world of impossible creatures and unimaginable danger. In order to make sense of this horror she must journey to the ghost town of Silent Hill. Now while I'm a fan of the Silent Hill series, it didn't look like anything was new about this game except that the main character was a girl, this was why I had doubts about Heather and the game itself. Having played the game I can now say that it isn't the best of the series (that honor goes to the second game) nor is it revolutionary. However Heather has heart and courage that other Silent Hill characters lack and the fact that she isn't put across as some sort of Lara Croft clone only increases my admiration for her. So there you have it, at first I believed that she was just a gimmick and now I truly believe that Heather is in fact the only thing that stopped this series from going stale.

Heat is a member of the Embryon, a tribe from the 'Junkyard' that is engaged in a constant war with other tribes in order to ascend to Nirvana. Everything starts to change however when a blinding light introduces a young girl named Sera and lets everyone in the Junkyard transform into demons, and also forces them to devour each other in order to survive. Peoples characteristics change as well and Heat, who was once a loyal soldier, now finds himself at odds with the tribe leader Serph, more than once. At first Heat just seemed like a total cliche' to me, I mean a member of your party that is moody and constantly questioning your decisions? Been done. However playing this game reveals hidden depths to his personality. Unfortunatly you'll have to play this and the sequel to unravel the full story. Needless to say I enjoyed learning all about this guy.

Bowser Jr. is, as you'd probably expect, Bowsers son. A chip off the block his interests include kidnapping Princess Peach and trying to kill Mario. Now I do realise that the Mario games aren't aimed for mature audience but to me this looked like a step too far towards the younger fan-base. I mean the vicious Bowser seemed to be getting replaced by a toddler. I needn't have worried, as this 'toddler' proved over several games that he is just as evil as the old man.

Polka is a young girl from a world which may or may not be a dream of Frederic Chopin on his deathbed. She possess magical powers but it comes at a terrible price. In this world only the terminally ill have such powers, and many wrongly fear that they can catch her affliction, so she is made an outcast. On the surface Polka seems like another cutesy innocent heroine and to an extent that is true. However there is something about Polka that is impossible to like. You find yourself smiling at her persistant optimism, and upset at the injustice of how others treat her, and fearing for her ultimate fate. She's just really nice.

A member of S.T.A.R.S Alpha team, Barry and the rest of the team head to Raccoon forest to search for the missing Bravo team. Through a bizarre set of circumstances he finds himself trapped in a zombie-infested mansion. Although he isn't one of main characters he does play a big part in the game. The reason I didn't like Barry and the reason I do like him now are exactly the same and that is the voice-acting. It's bad, really bad, so bad it's good. Cult status good. In my opinion the only way they could have made the Gamecube re-make of this game any better would have been to keep the original voices in it. With classics like "you, the master of unlocking doors" and "you were almost a Jill sandwich" Barrys place in gaming history is assured.

Bet this was unexpected. Well how to explain Norn.....She's young....she's a student witch....she's half cat. Now this is a differcult one, you see while with some others on this list I couldn't give a reason why I didn't like them at first, with this one I can't see why I like her. Almost everthing about her should annoy me. Her chirping annoying voice doesn't grate on me. Her immature actions throughout the game didn't get on my nerves even once. I actually enjoyed hearing victory cries of "Norn wins! Norn wins!". She was actually my strongest character in my party when I played through this game. The thing is I really don't know why. I really shouldn't like her but I do . It's this contradiction that compells me to put her in the number one spot.

Well that's it. Hope you enjoyed this list. As I said earlier I've tried to avoid spoilers which is why certain bits of information may be missing about certain characters. Also I realise a lot of entrants were from RPGs, I guess this is because when you play as a character for 40+ hours they do tend to grow on you. I must stress as well that the order these characters come in has no bearing on how good the games they're from are. So I guess that's it. Later.

List by Dr_Evnutz (10/09/2008)

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