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When I was young, I wasn't allowed to have the expensive video games everyone else did. I didn't get Super Mario. Hell, I didn't get Sonic the Hedgehog until I was 14 and the game was over 10 years old.
No, when I was a kid, my dad would hand me down his games after he was done with them. So, I got King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender.
I used to hate the fact that my parents gave me bookish, hand-me-down video games with no fighting and characters no one cared about. After playing them for the first 15 years of my life, these oddball games became a dear part of my life.
If anyone remembers the forgotten video game heroes and computer game characters, it'd be me. And let me tell you, there are a lot of video game characters that deserve way more love than they initially got.
Here are some you might have forgotten.
Power Pete was the kind of lovable children's game character that you probably wish kids' games had these days. This was a toy soldier whose goal it was to save bunnies from evil toys in the game, Power Pete.
He'd shoot toy guns, take egg-shaped powerups, and also make cute quips while saving the day. At the end of Power Pete, if you were victorious, he'd give you good advice about eating your veggies and listening to your parents.
How wholesome is that?
You might have remembered Banjo-Kazooie, but do you remember the X-rated version of the game? It starred a cute, fluffy squirrel named Conker. The game, Conker's Bad Fur Day, was filled with sex, toilet humor, and gruesome violence.
Conker was the total opposite of Power Pete. He was foul-mouthed. He was bitchy. And he was a raving psycho that players loved to watch.
Do you remember Abe? Abe was basically the Alf of video games. Then, much like Alf, he became one of those retro, once-loved and now forgotten video game heroes that definitely should have gotten their adoration.
This grey-skinned, bug-eyed alien was the hero of Oddworld: Abe's Oddyssey and Oddworld: Abe's Exodus. He belonged to an enslaved alien race fighting for freedom—and if that wasn't admirable enough, just wait until you see his lines in the game.
Believe it or not, Abe is seeing a little resurgence. He's getting a remake on the PS4!
Oh, now we're really going into the old school side of things. This skeletal figure is called Manny Calavera, and he was the star of Grim Fandango. Charmer, isn't he?
He was one of the most famous noir adventure game stars to ever be made, and though he now ranks among forgotten video game heroes today, we owe a lot to him. The entire noir genre can be traced back to his game. 'Nuff said.
King Graham of Daventry (And His Family)
Oh god. I can't believe I'm writing about King Graham as one of the forgotten video game heroes today. Graham and his family were the stars of one of the most successful adventure game franchises in history.
The entire long-running franchise spanned 33 years, with King's Quest: Epilogue being the final run in the series. The Daventry family had just about every element of good heroes—romance, quick wit, and yes, fighting abilities too.
These games were wildly successful. They were a cornerstone of my childhood. The legacy of King's Quest has a huge impact on modern gaming. The game series ended in 2016, for crying out loud! WHY DOES NO ONE REMEMBER THEM!?
Earthworm Jim was a surrealist game that had seriously humorous moments, awesome gameplay, and a plot that could easily trap you in its awesomeness. Jim himself, though he was a worm, was a really likable character.
Legitimately funny quips, awesome talents, and somehow showing his human side made him a game hero that was really worth a damn. It was his popularity that got him his own Saturday morning cartoon.
After multiple sequels, Jim just dropped off the face of the earth. That being said, we're kind of shocked he didn't make it to Mario status and become a pop culture icon.
Gex was the OG Geico Gecko...sort of. He was a chill, wisecracking gecko with a cool visage, awesome sunglasses, and a video game named after him. So, for the 1990s, that was pretty much as awesome as lizards could get.
Gex's whole mission was to navigate through TV, get home, and watch TV. Somehow, he made it seem rad. We miss seeing a more badass gecko around our block, you know? It's one of those retro games that need a remake. That British accent and insurance sales pitch gets old. Bring back Gex!
Bubsy was a bright orange cat that really resembled a more athletic version of Garfield—and that's kind of what made him awesome. He was in a bunch of adventure video games like Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind and similarly pun-filled titles.
I don't know why Bubsy never caught on. I loved playing Claws Encounters when my babysitter would allow me to borrow her game. He was plucky, spunky, and just fun to watch as he raced across the screen, even if his games were some of the more difficult retro games out there.
"Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate!"
If you were a 90s computer game nerd, or a modern-day retrogamer, you recognize that line anywhere. Guybrush Threepwood was one of the most popular LucasArts game characters ever made, and it was easy to see why, too.
Guybrush was a geek. A geeky, lanky, nerdy dude. And, somehow, he got his way into ridiculous situations, could hold his breath underwater for five minutes, and also piss off a zombie skeleton. Gotta love that guy.
Does anyone remember Dink Smallwood at all? Or, is he one of those hyper-obscure, forgotten video game heroes that only a select few ever even heard about?
He was witty, quippy, and a generally good guy who ended up trying his hand at adventure. When he wasn't breaking the Cult of the Dead Dragon Carcass up, he was cleaning up puke. And we loved it.