In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, The Nerd Stash staff is here to give you our picks for the “Luckiest Video Game Characters of All-Time”. There’s a lot we need to get through so let’s just get right into the list:
Donkey Kong began his days as a villain. He committed kidnapping and attempted murder by barrel. But did the world turn its back on him? No! Society gave Donkey Kong—a murderous giant ape—a second chance. We gave him a second chance so hard that he’s now allowed to drive armed vehicles near his former victims.
Additionally, Donkey Kong is surrounded by a loving, close-knit group of family and friends. Though not everyone with the name “Kong” is related by blood, they all support one another in their endeavors. The one exception to the rule is the Manky Kongs. But you can’t win ‘em all.
Finally, even when Donkey Kong is tasked with a challenging adventure, the stakes are never really that high. Usually, he’s just trying to get his bananas back. To be fair, D.K. rules an island kingdom with a banana-based economy. But bananas are hella perishable, so those missions can only really be a matter of principle.
So Donkey Kong was given a second chance (and a kingdom) by society, is surrounded by a loving support group, and experiences almost no existential peril. If that’s not true luck, I don’t know what is. – Billy Whitehouse
Hear me out. I know what you’re thinking. Bowser’s the no good villain of the game series who wants nothing more than to steal Mario’s girl and take over the kingdom and that’s kind of my point. He’s kidnapped people many, many times. He routinely tries to murder Mario and he even gets his kids to do the dirty work.
Kidnap, attempted murder and forced child labor are all pretty nasty things and he keeps getting away with it. Sure, his schemes fail but there’s no real consequence for his actions. Not really. You’d think that Mario, being able to get the best of him every time, would try to do something a bit more permanent. Not allow him to keep coming back (Editor’s Note: I think Steve just suggested that Mario should kill Bowser so… yeah. There’s that). Maybe Mario enjoys the fight a little too much. He’s not so innocent himself.
Also, if you disagree with me I’ll leave you with two words. Mario Kart. – Steve Bennett
Steve and Billy were both on the right track. A big-time Nintendo character should be at the top of this list. But it isn’t Donkey Kong or Bowser.
Mario is the luckiest video game character of all-time. He has a countless amount of lives just in case he runs into a Goomba or any other creature that can’t protect their head. Mario has saved the world many times despite being grossly out of his field (isn’t he supposed to be a plumber?). And to top it all off, Mario eats random mushrooms all the time. Who knows what kind of effects this could have on his health?
With games like Super Mario Odyssey and Super Mario Sunshine (my personal favorite btw), Mario was trapped with no hopes of coming out on top. Almost immediately, he finds a sentient hat (Odyssey) and a talking pressure washer (Sunshine) to aid him in his quest. He isn’t overshadowed by anyone in his family as his brother is just…well…he’s Luigi and Toad certainly isn’t cut out to be an action hero.
No matter if he’s going against a smug billionaire or a dark shadow corporation, Nathan Drake always seems to come out on top. Now not of all of this makes him a lucky person. What I feel makes him lucky is based on the number of situations that he has himself into. Think of the times you have seen him running away from explosions, captured by enemies, and fighting off Nazi zombies. He gets out of situations where any normal human would have been killed, almost immediately. While we can say it’s because he’s the main character of a video game franchise, that’s not fun at all. Let’s just say that this has come from his time with Sully getting by on the streets, gaining a great number of skills. That combined with the luck he’s had over the years makes him one of the luckiest characters in gaming history.
Also, he literally has a “luck meter” in place of his health. – George Barber
Think about it. Little Mac is a tiny dude. Of all the people you think should be a boxer, Little Mac is certainly not one of them. The thing is, he eventually gets to face off with Iron Mike and if you play your cards right, he actually wins. He doesn’t win because he’s the best, or because he’s the strongest. Hell no! Little Mac wins due to pure unadulterated luck.
Let me break this down for you. The only reason Little Mac makes it to Mike is because every single one of his opponents has a “tell.” Each fighter has some kind of tic, movement, or auditory clue that allows Mac to determine when to juke, jive, punch, and cover. Without these signals, Little Mac would be pummeled into little globs of goo. By all accounts, Mac should have gone the way of Apollo Creed in Rocky 4, but instead, he’s riding high and living the dream. Pure luck, no matter how you look at it. – Jordan Zolan
Lara Croft is an adventurer who often finds herself in hazardous situations and yet somehow, she survives. Whether she’s climbing unstable cliff faces, getting into firefights, awakening evil creatures from hell, etc, Lara survives due to her survival skills and pure luck. And in the case of the most recent video game reboot, it’s lucky that she has because some of her possible deaths are just gruesome.
Hopefully, Croft’s luck hasn’t run out yet and we’ll see more amazing games featuring Lara and her never-ending ability to cheat death. – Dylan Haas
Your Pokémon Trainer
Imagine that on your tenth birthday, instead of getting a cake and a couple of presents, you get your choice of a colorful creature companion, a backpack, and a swift boot out of your house to start an adventure. Being a minor, the sudden eviction might seem like a bummer, but the adventure that awaits could go one of two ways – you crash and burn and live under Cycling Road; or you take your friendly creature and have them help you catch other creatures and become the best creature-catcher in the entire world – which as the lead character of a video game, the latter is obviously the direction your adventure will go; but the insanely good fortune of the player character extends even farther than this.
Every single game in the series has events that happen similarly, but taking a look at just the events of Pokémon Red and Blue, your Pokémon Trainer finds a fossil of an extinct Pokémon and brings it back from the dead; meets the creator of the Pokémon Storage System and saves him from an untimely fate; receives a ticket for an exclusive, expensive cruise ship and makes friends with the captain, curing his seasickness and receiving an exclusive and rare item not found anywhere else; meets the leader of the official Pokémon Fan Club, who gives him a ticket for a bike that costs a million PokeDollars; stumbles across an old man’s teeth in the Safari Zone and receives an incredibly rare item in return; stops a criminal element that was trying to take over a Pokémon technology company and receives a one-of-a-kind item that allows you to see ghosts; catches not one but FOUR one-of-a-kind legendary Pokémon, which includes a Pokémon that was created in a lab; and becomes literally the best Pokémon trainer in the world by taking out the Elite Four as well as his childhood rival.
There’s serendipity, and then there’s your Pokémon trainer’s journey. The number of things that basically fall into your lap is beyond comprehension; and while things like becoming the best Pokémon trainer are due to your natural ability to train those Pokémon (which is another facet of being incredibly lucky) your adventure would have come grinding to a halt multiple times if your trainer wasn’t so incredibly lucky. A reminder though, that while this only covers the events of Pokémon Red and Blue, every other game in the series has a protagonist that’s just as lucky, and the latest entry – Pokémon Sword and Shield – which launches in late 2019, will have a trainer whose fate shines just as brightly. – Cody C.
What did you think of our list? Who is your pick for the “Luckiest Video Game Character of All-Time”? Stay safe out there this weekend and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.