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The act of being a video game character is a bit of an odd one. You spend all day killing things, all night healing from wounds that should have killed you, and there's a better than eighty percent chance that your tomboy female friend is a lost princess. But what's a guy to do, eh?
Playable character types:
A fat character who can maneuver like a gymnast, sprint like an Olympic runner, or kick your ass like Chuck Norris, despite being... you know... fat.
- Adventure Duo
A serious main character coupled with a weird or quirky partner.
- An Adventurer Is You
A description of the class-based systems common to many Role Playing Games.
- Amnesiac Hero
Where the main character has no recollection of who they are.
- Bare-Fisted Monk
A character who excels in melee attacks without wielding weapons.
- The Beast Master
A type of character who uses the assistance of an animal, force of nature, or just some sort of not-highly-sentient creature to help them fight.
- Black Mage
Magic-user who specializes in offensive magic.
- Bratty Half-Pint
Snarky self-important kid (usually a boy) who's usually the youngest in the party.
- Child Mage
The main magic user is the youngest in the group.
- Cipher Scything
Blank slate characters always get the short end of the stick in adapted works.
- Combat Medic
Although he's the main healer and buffer, he can also dish out damage.
- Combat and Support
The two roles video-game characters often divide each other into when in groups.
- Competitive Balance
The various character types in competitive games need to be balanced so no one character is automatically better.
- Confusion Fu
A character whose main advantage is their unpredictability.
- Crutch Character
Early game playable character who starts out powerful, but whose usefulness declines.
- Cute Bruiser
A young girl who has Super Strength.
- The Engineer
A character who specializes in the use and application of machines and technology. Usually a support unit, but many times quite capable of combat.
- Elite Tweak
A character or class that can be very effective, but needs a lot of work or strategy to reach its potential.
- Fantasy Character Classes
The most common character classes in a medieval fantasy setting.
- Featureless Protagonist
An Ageless, Faceless, Gender-Neutral, Culturally Ambiguous Adventure Person is you!
- Non-Entity General
The player is a general or commander in a strategy game who may not actually even exist.
- Non-Entity General
- Fighter, Mage, Thief
The three most common character classes for Western RPGs.
- Forest Ranger
A character typically using bows and tapping the forest he or she protects.
- Fragile Speedster
A character who's very fast, but can't hit very hard and has low defense.
- Glacier Waif
A character of thin build who's nevertheless extremely strong and slow.
- Glass Cannon
A character who is strong but can't take a lot of damage.
- A God Is You
Games that star a protagonist who's actually a god or who has godlike powers.
- Gradual Grinder
A character type that deals damage over time, wearing the enemy down.
- Guest Star Party Member
Someone who joins your party temporarily as a "guest".
- Healing Hands
A character who has the ability to heal others.
- Heroic Mime
A main character who never speaks.
- Hero Unit
A unit, usually in a Real Time Strategy game, that represents the player, or a major character in the game's story, on the battlefield.
- Item Caddy
A character whose skills revolve around using items.
- Jack of All Stats
A character who has good strength, speed, and defense, but is not great in any category.
- Job System
Eastern RPG system whereby classes have distinct equipment and abilities but can be changed at any time.
- Joke Character
Characters, often in the form of Easter Eggs, deliberately unbalanced in the negative sense.
- Kid Hero
Slaying dragons and beating down goblins, but he still has a teddy bear when he goes to sleep.
- Lady of War
A female fighter who retains an air of grace and reserve not usually associated with violence.
- Lightning Bruiser
A character who has very good strength, speed, and defense.
- Magic Knight
A wizard who can also swordfight.
- Mascot with Attitude
A snarky Funny Animal with kickin' powers and improbable jumping abilities.
- Master of Unlocking
Opening doors is an art, don'tcha know.
- Mighty Glacier
He's got great strength and defense, and moves about as fast as mould.
- The Minion Master
Summon Mooks to do the job for you!
- Modern Day Sci Fi RPG Class Equivalents
A collection of character-classes or equivalents of such for non-fantasy RPG-settings.
- Monster Allies
Where monsters fight alongside the humans in RPGs.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members
Several party members who, for whatever reason, cannot all be in the same party at the same time.
- Mystical Waif
A young girl with a mysterious past who the villains are trying to exploit and the heroes are trying to protect.
- One-Man Army
You're the video game hero. It's perfectly normal for you to go around killing thousands of Mooks.
- Optional Party Member
Someone who may not join your party, if you don't fulfil the requirements to get them.
- Overrated and Underleveled
A character introduced as being really powerful ends up, statistics-wise, as being weaker than the main character.
- Platforming Pocket Pal
An adventuring companion in an Action Game who, for whatever reason, is not hindered by the action segments.
- Player Character
A character controlled by you, the player.
- Player Mooks
Nameless, personality-less characters that make up your team.
- Powerup Mount
An animal (usually adorable) that the main character can ride on and is beneficial in some way.
- Promoted to Unlockable
A former Boss or NPC becomes playable.
- Protagonist Without a Past
You just sort of popped into being in the first village.
- Rebellious Princess
She's had enough of being pampered and wants to get down and dirty with the monster fighting!
- The Red Mage
A magician capable of casting spells from two different or even mutually exclusive schools of magic.
- Required Party Member
Someone who you have to have in your group, usually due to plot reasons.
- Schrodinger's Player Character
The game offers multiple characters to choose from with various backstories, but only the character you choose as your PC ever appears in the game.
- Secret Character
A bonus character that the casual player may never see.
- Skill Gate Characters
Fighting Game characters that are a challenge to newcomers, but those with experience will easily mop the floor with them.
- Solo Class
Classes capable of going alone where others are forced to team up.
- Space Marine
Standard FPS hero: A military man (often in bulky armour), who wields lots of big guns and kills lots of aliens.
- Squishy Wizard
Phenomenal cosmic power, but teeeeny weeeeny little life bar.
- Stone Wall
A character with extremely high defense but lame offensive capabilities.
- Support Party Member
A party member whose' primary abilities are mostly non-offensive.
- Sword and Sorcerer
When a physical fighter and magic user team up.
- Team Pet
The default mascot of the party and usually the most outlandish of the bunch.
- Third Person Seductress
An implausibly curvy, twenty-something woman in a Stripperiffic outfit, who obeys the commands of the fellow behind the controller.
- The Turret Master
A character with the ability to summon a stationary turret that attacks enemies or an object that fulfills a similar role.
- Tomboy Princess
A princess that breaks the mold by not being The Chick.
- White Mage
Magic-user who specializes in healing and support magic.
- Wild Man
A usually shaggy, muscle-bound and under-dressed character who looks like he just came out of the jungle.
Fighting Game characters (may or may not be playable):
- Assist Character
A non-playable character which asissts somehow a playable one.
- Ditto Fighter
A character who copies the moveset of the other characters, sometimes with the added catch that the moveset is chosen randomly.
- Guest Fighter
A character who shows up in a Fighting Game who has no reason whatsoever to be there and is totally out of place.
- Husky Russkie
Is bik, stronk, and dreenks wodka.
- Perfect Play AI
An AI which continually walks forward, dodges or blocks all attacks, and attacks flawlessly once it reaches its target.
- Ryu and Ken
Two characters are given equal or similar abilities/appearances, and often wind up as being the main characters for the series.
Stock Fighting Game character whose skillset includes a fireball and uppercut and often wear a karate gi.
- Apathetic Citizens
Big bad guy is destroying the world? You take care of it.
- Arms Dealer
Some dude that sells weaponry, often to the highest bidder.
- City Guards
The local authorities, generally swaggering, superior-sounding grunts.
- Easily Angered Shopkeeper
If you steal something from a shop, you'll be attacked or zapped instantly.
- Exposition Fairy
A recurring or sidekick character whose purpose is to fill you in on elements of the interface and your abilities.
- Invulnerable Civilians
Whenever an NPC shows up in a monster-infested dungeon, they will always leave him alone.
- Precursor Heroes
A hero or group of heroes (often oddly similar to your own Player Party) that arose in the hour of need and sealed the Ultimate Evil in its can 1,000 years ago.
- Quest Giver
An NPC designated somehow as someone who will give you a sidequest.
- Recurring Traveller
A character who just keeps showing up throughout the game, usually thoroughly lost.
- Redundant Researcher
A researcher who's trying to figure out all those ancient ruins and is invariably pre-empted by the hero.
- Skill Point Reset
A trainer who can reset a Player Character's skill and ability scores, allowing you to redistribute them.
- Voice with an Internet Connection
The helpful person at the other end of the main character's earpiece.
Enemy character types (excluding Boss Battles):
- Actually Four Mooks
An enemy appears as a single sprite, but turns out to be a whole party of baddies.
- Airborne Mook
Dammit! These things can fly? I can't even hit them half the time!!!
- Asteroids Monster
A creature of significant size that, when killed, splits into several miniature versions of itself.
- Bandit Mook
An enemy that employs Video Game Stealing.
- Border Patrol
A monster or other hazard introduced specifically to prevent the player from wandering too far without resorting to the immersion-breaking Invisible Wall.
- Boss in Mook Clothing
A "normal battle" with an enemy that, as it turns out, can wipe the floor with you.
- Chest Monster
an enemy or hazard that has disguised itself to look like something positive, like a chest.
- Clairvoyant Security Force
Manages to always appear the second you try to steal something.
- Degraded Boss
Once you beat the boss, it comes back as a normal enemy later.
- Drop in Nemesis
Where an enemy or obstacle comes out of nowhere and kills you, generally in a Cutscene.
- Elemental Embodiment
When the elements that are the basic building blocks of the universe get up and come for you.
- Enemy Summoner
An enemy who casts spells which bring additional enemies into combat, while causing some damage itself.
- Everything Trying to Kill You
You see that cutesy widdle rabbit? It wants you dead.
- Evil Chancellor
The helpful and suspiciously toadying assistant to the monarchy whose morality is usually inverse to the head of state.
- Fake Ultimate Mook
A massive monster of terrifying appearance that's no real threat.
- Flying Seafood Special
Fish that float in the air. And generally try to kill you.
- Giant Hands of Doom
A character who fights only with giant hands.
- Goddamned Bats
Enemies that don't pose much threat on their own, but can frustrate, annoy, and get in your way.
- Demonic Spiders
Enemies that frustrate you by killing you in unfair ways, which make them innately more dangerous than other normal enemies.
- Ledge Bats
Enemies that knock you back in the middle of jumps, often to your death.
- Metal Slime
A monster that appears and runs away very quickly, is hard to hit, and gives very good rewards.
- Wall Master
Monsters that lurk within the environment and never fully appear until you walk close to them, at which point they suddenly lunge out and try to grab you.
- Demonic Spiders
- The Goomba
An enemy who will always be encountered in the first level, has a simple movement pattern, and is reassuringly easy to beat.
- Halfhearted Henchman
A normal henchman who's lazy, unmotivated, or otherwise unwilling to do his job.
- Heavily Armored Mook
An ordinary mook, but with hard steel accessories.
- Incredibly Durable Enemies
When the basic mook is an unstoppable killing machine, you know you're in a difficult game.
- Invincible Minor Minion
A weak enemy who is nevertheless completely impossible to harm in any way.
- Invisible Monsters
You can't see them, but they can probably hurt you.
- Killer Rabbit
Any monster that's far more dangerous than it looks.
A slang term for the hordes of standard-issue, disposable bad guys whom the hero mows down with impunity.
- Personal Space Invader
A monster who grabs onto you and must be shaken off.
- Pinata Enemy
An enemy target or victim in a video game sought out by the player because they are (relatively) easy to kill and have a very high cash payout.
- Raising the Steaks
Dead animals coming back to life and moidering you.
- Rat Stomp
Finally you get to the adventuring part! But first, fight some rats.
- Roaming Enemy
An enemy which appears randomly under various circumstances.
- Segmented Serpent
An enemy which is made up of lots of mostly identical segments, and moves like a worm or snake.
- Shield Bearing Mook
A mook with a shield to protect against frontal attacks.
- Smash Mook
A big, strong enemy that does nothing but smash you with straight physical attacks.
- The Spiny
A Platform Game enemy that will damage you if you try to jump on it.
- Standard FPS Enemies
Those generic baddies seen in nearly every FPS you've every played.
- Stock Monsters
Those generic baddies seen in nearly EVERY RPG you've ever played.
- Teleporting Keycard Squad
Whenever you take something important, a slough of new enemies suddenly rushes in.
- Underground Monkey
Exactly the same as a regular monkey - but underground, and therefore has better stats.
- The Unfought
A major antagonist who you just never get to tussle with.
- Unique Enemy
An enemy that only shows up once in the whole game but is otherwise fairly unremarkable.
- Waddling Head
A stock monster that resembles a colored oval with eyes and feet.
- Whack a Monster
You see lots of holes in the ground: you know you're going to have to fight a bunch of monsters that pop up, attack, and pop back in.
- Character Select Forcing
The game forces you to choose different characters.
- Game Over Man
A character shown on the Game Over screen.
- Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Game
A sexy female in a game's promotional material who's not actually in the game itself.
- Live Item
A character or creature that the game treats as an item.
- The Missingno
A video game character whose existence is due to a Good Bad Bug, rather than being deliberately coded into the game.
- Pet Interface
An interface in which you are given a sidekick, usually a pet, that acts as a guide/virtual pet of sorts in the world.
- Reviving Enemy
An enemy which can only be dealt with temporarily.
- Series Mascot
A character, creature, etc which is heavily associated with a fictional universe, to the point of being the (official or unofficial) Mascot.
- Training Dummy
Some (usually) immortal character that you can return to, to practice your moves on.
- Two Guys and a Girl
The main character and his Rival Turned Evil spend most of the game fighting over the girl (who owns a mysterious amulet or something).
- With a Friend and a Stranger
The game starts off with the hero, his or her childhood friend, and another person, often a girl, from out of nowhere who needs his help.