In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve decided that I would also like to honor the best of the fictional videogame mothers. There are many of them out there, but only a few truly stand out as icons of motherhood, some for the better, and some for the worse. Regardless, when we think of videogame mothers, these are the characters that repeatedly crop up. We’ll start with a mother who loves nothing more than to teach.
I genuinely don’t care what anyone says; Cooking Mama is a great mother. She cares for her child so much that she is willing to spend her life giving them cooking lessons. I have to say, I kind of wish my mother had done the same. I might now be able to whip up an amazing meal in as little as two minutes, depending on whether or not I can peel the hot potatoes fast enough. When I moved out, my repertoire consisted of toast, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and variations thereof. I can’t help but think of the opportunities missed.
I’ll be the first to admit it: Big Mama was not the best mother. She was hugely absent in her sons’ lives. She was basically just a conduit to make two of the greatest soldiers this world has ever seen. The reason she makes the list is solely because she is a.) a mother, and b.) a complete and utter bad-ass. There’s really no nice way to say it. In MGS3, the young EVA is more than capable of keeping up with Naked Snake, and that’s no easy task. In MGS4, she’s still just as amazing. While Big Mama will never win a parenting award, she is easily one of the most awesome mothers.
Ness’ Mother from Earthbound
Ness’ Mother could very easily fall into the “negligent” category. While her child is roaming about on adventures, putting himself in horrible danger at every turn, she just hangs out at home, repeatedly cooking his favorite food (Mine was ribs…it’s always ribs.) She’s apparently a pretty good mother, though, because if Ness doesn’t call her regularly, he gets homesick. If she was some evil witch, I don’t think this would be the case. And she keeps me supplied with ribs. That’s really all that matters. Ribs.
Now, the main antagonist of many Metroid games is not an actual mother. She’s actually just an artificial intelligence. But she’s named Mother, so she’s fodder for this list. And really, the only reason she made it is because of Super Metroid, one of the greatest games ever made. The end boss fight with her is one of my favorites of all time. The beautiful story-telling, the amazing graphics, the challenge; it’s all there, and it’s all thanks to Mother Brain. I love you, Mother Brain.
The Boss is *SPOILER* Revolver Ocelot’s mother, but that’s not what makes her so incredible. In fact, she was on a battlefield nine months into her pregnancy. She gave birth on D-Day. Any mother worth her salt would probably have sat that one out. But what makes her such a great mother is her relationship with Big Boss. While theirs was a (at least, implied) physical relationship, at the end of the day, she was a mother to him. She taught him everything that made him great. Big Boss would never have existed without The Boss. She basically raised him as a soldier, which is all that Big Boss would ever truly know. If that’s not a decent mother, I don’t know what is.
Lara from Chrono Trigger
Lucca’s mother does not play a major role in Chrono Trigger at all. She is Lucca’s loving mother, who has been mangled in a lab accident years before. What makes her memorable is the pure emotion of one scene in the game. Lucca happens upon a gate that takes her back to the day that Lara is crippled, and it is actually possible to save her. The frantic emotion of the segment is amazing; a character that has rarely been seen in the game is able to evoke such deep feelings, and that’s what amazing writing can do. If you do save her, you later get to see her dancing with her husband to the point of exhaustion. And if that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, I’m not really sure if you’re human.