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It’s about time we got another Top Five List up! This Memorial Day weekend, like all others, we remember the soldiers that have lived and served, fought and died, for the freedoms that we have, use and enjoy. Everything from the Freedom of the Press that lets you read this blog, to protecting us from those who would do us harm, we owe a lot of debt to those heroes who don’t get to come home again. This entry is dedicated to every soldier, whether friend, family or unknown. Thank you for your service and preserving my rights to do what I love.
Even in entertainment, soldiers represent some of the best humanity has to offer. We find great heroes of men with admirable character traits. From CPT Miller in Saving Private Ryan to SSG Eversmann in Black Hawk Down, we learn that rank does not decide character, only the person can. With the growth of video games as a medium of expression, we have come to see soldiers that reflect the best qualities of mankind on the battlefield. This is Stay-At-Home Gaming’s Top Five Soldiers in Video Games!
5.) Sergeant Avery Johnson (Halo Series)
Only Samuel L. Jackson could have done better
This is a monster of a beginning. Sure, he was based on Sergeant Apone from James Cameron’s Aliens, and sure he’s not cybernetically enhanced like a certain Spartan in the series, but how does that make him less of a badass? From the beginning, he was a hard-talking, hard-fighting drill sergeant of a soldier. After the first Halo Installation is destroyed, he managed to find a way off of it, saving the lives of several soldiers on his way back. He even joins forces with the Arbiter, a former enemy, to keep the fight against the Flood alive. Johnson dies in the line of duty trying to save the universe from the threat of extinction and he will be sorely missed as the series goes on, but we will always remember him for being the most hardcore marine in the series.
4.) Samus Aran (Metroid Series)
Like Mega Man, but with more style… and a bigger arm cannon
Believe it or not, bounty hunter Samus Aran was a soldier first. Trained as a warrior by the ancient Chozo race after being orphaned by the Space Pirates, she was given the iconic power suit we tend to see her in. In a sense, she was the last soldier the Chozo ever trained. When she leaves the bird-like people, she enlists in the Galactic Federation Police to serve the entirety of humanity, though she leaves shortly after disagreements with her CO. She begins to serve in her own way, picking up bounties the Galactic Federation can’t handle itself. The skills she learned as a soldier, however, were the ones that let her commit to long missions like in the Prime series, or complete those missions in incredibly short times in the numerous speed runs on the Youtubes.
3.) Captain Price (Modern Warfare Series)
So terrifying, no one told him about the “No Smoking” rule
Many men by the name of Price have served in the British Call of Duty military, but none with the distinction and skill of the Modern Warfare incarnation. An SAS-trained operative, Price took on the Four Horsemen and won. His heart stopped at the conclusion of that battle, and he survived. He was thrown into a Russian gulag and stayed for years, and survived. He singlehandedly halted the advance of an invading army, avenged a betrayal by an unethical general and was branded a traitor. And survived. At the conclusion of MW3, he avenged every death along the way by taking out the terrorist responsible, and what does he do? He sits down and lights a cigar. Oh, and he massacres every enemy who has the unfortunate task of taking him out. His beard in military communities must be synonymous with “Death has arrived.”
2.) Commander Shepard (Mass Effect Series)
Doesn’t even take fear into account… She can take it
We assume Shepard was female, mostly because she was in our first playthrough and the voice actor was better (and coincidentally also voice Samus in Prime). Shepard can have many backgrounds, character classes and attitudes, but a few facts are universal: Shepard is an exceptional soldier. She combats an ancient threat when the Counsel doesn’t believe her and wins against superior experience and power. She is killed in a Collector attack and is valued enough to be expensively ressurected and destroys them too. And when the Reapers arrive in galaxy-destroying numbers, she manages to gather enough forces through combat and diplomacy that she can take the fight to them. More importantly, she’s always at the forefront of every advance. There are few soldiers who can boast such results, except when you compare them to…
1.) Solid Snake (Metal Gear Series)
The Legendary Soldier of Soldiers
Solid Snake is the best of the best. Born of genes from the powerful Big Boss, Snake was a former Green Beret who was inducted into FOXHOUND, the most elite American military unit. He has stopped numerous Metal Gears, former FOXHOUND allies and defeated Big Boss on two separate occasions. After his retirement, he was forced back into service to stop a nuclear threat, became an active Anti-Metal Gear activist, and exposed the Patriots. After his Werner Syndrome-like symptoms aged him into an old man before his time, you would think his retirement would stick. Not for this guy. He suffered through it to finish the job of taking out Ocelot, and after five acts and hours and hours of cutscenes, the curmudgeon actually completed his mission, wrinkles and all. The most important aspect? He hates war. He hates killing. He doesn’t view himself as a hero, and he always rebukes anyone who wants to follow his footsteps. That’s what makes him a real hero. That, and sticking with a very funny/dirty code name all these years…
And thus ends this Top Five list. Stay-At-Home Gaming would like to thank all soldiers for keeping us free, and if you know any soldiers, thank them today for their service.
Anybody not make the list that should have? Let us know in the comment section below!