10 VIDEO GAME Characters Based on REAL PEOPLE
Coming up with completely original characters can sometimes be quite the task, which is why some creative minds turn to real life inspirations. In this gamer's edition video from Top10Archive, we look at ten video game characters whose creators drew inspiration from real life people. Some are a little surprising, while others are clear blatant nods to the individual
Kratos – God of War
What comes to mind when you think of Spartan warriors, mythical creatures, and a gruff, muscular protagonist? If you’re not instantly thinking of Edward Norton’s portrayal of Derek Vineyard in American History X, according to God of War creator David Jaffe, you’re a little off the mark. Jaffe has been quoted saying that the sense of power and aggression Norton had on his face during the film’s very controversial and infamous curb stomp scene was exactly what he wanted to see instilled in God of War’s lead.
Andrew Ryan – BioShock
In the deep sea world of Rapture, minds are fragile and society has crumbled. At the helm of this chaos stands Rapture’s founder, Andrew Ryan. There may be a bit of familiarity behind Ryan’s characteristics and traits as the character was based off of three rather remarkable historical figures – Walt Disney, Howard Hughes, and Ayn Rand. Ryan’s eccentricities can be seen as derivatives of both Walt Disney and Howard Hughes, but his moniker is a clear tribute Ayn Rand, playing as a semi-anagram of the philosopher’s name.
Captain Price – Call of Duty Series
War hero Captain John Price has seen quite some action, having starred in five different Call of Duty titles. Though the Captain Price featured in Call of Duty and Call of Duty 2 is an ancestor of the soldier featured in the Modern Warfare series, the character is based on British SAS soldier, John McAleese. In 2003, McAleese co-hosted the television series, SAS Survival Secrets. Prior to his televised fame, though, the SAS soldier was involved in the siege of the Iranian Embassy in 1980, where Iranian gunmen took 26 people hostage inside the embassy. McAleese and his squad were responsible for rescuing 24 of the 26 captives.
Larry Laffer – Leisure Suit Larry
This suave debonair came from several inspirations, though the true identities of both of them have been kept a secret for some time. According to Larry’s creator, Al Lowe, the character was a satire of male chauvinism, modeled after a Sierra On-Line salesman that Lowe refuses to name. On returning from sales trips, Larry’s inspiration would often brag about his sexual conquests, leaving no love-loss from Lowe and his team. Larry’s name has far-less of a sordid past, having been named after Lowe’s childhood friend and injury attorney, Larry H. Parker.
King – Tekken
The masked fighter, King, is a famed and beloved part of the Tekken series, providing a fighting style unique to the roster but familiar to those controlling him. King fights as a professional wrestler, taking plenty of inspiration from professional Japanese wrestler, Satoru Sayama, despite his Mexican origin. King’s signature jaguar mask is a clear homage to Sayama’s own tiger mask, which garnered him the wrestling name Tiger Mask. Other inspiration for the Tekken fighter came from Mexican wrestler Fray Tormenta and a Catholic priest that turned to masked wrestling in order to support a local orphanage.
Heather Mason – Silent Hill
Stepping away from the fighter genre, we find ourselves looking at less subtle inspirations. Such is the case with Silent Hill 3’s lead protagonist, Heather Mason. Though the teenage Mason seems to be a pretty non-specific individual, inspiration for the character came from several different sources. Heather’s look came from two different sources, French actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Vanessa Paradis. This conceptual model of Heather came across as “too nice” for the developers, leading them to instill a little attitude into the character via inspiration from Sophie Marceau. What resulted was one of gamings most notable leading ladies.
Fei Long – Street Fighter
Dei Long is another Street Fighter’s character who’s inspiration is pretty easy to pinpoint. One look at the Chinese action movie star and martial artist will easily have you thinking Bruce Lee. From the general look to the style of fighting, it’s easy to see that the fighter’s creator had no intention of hiding his inspiration. In fact, the character is often regarded as an homage to Bruce Lee rather than just a simple clone. Long, much like Lee, also happens to be an action movie star.
Dee Jay – Street Fighter
Introduced in Super Street Fighter II, gamers were initially eager to show off Dee Jay’s original kickboxing techniques in the arena. Little did they know at the time, though, the Dee Jay’s persona wasn’t all that original. Despite his nationality, the Jamaican fighter was actually inspired by famed kick-boxer and creator of the Tae Bo exercise craze, Billy Blanks. Much like Dee Jay, Blanks is a man of many talents. On top of being a fitness guru, Blanks is a martial artist and actor; while Dee Jay breaks from kick boxing to breakdance and work as a recording artist.
Balrog – Street Fighter
Looking at the character’s appearance moniker in Japan, M. Bison, it’s pretty clear who this Street Fighter contender was modeled after. Balrog, or M. Bison (bye-son), takes many attributes from world renowned heavy weight champion, Mike Tyson – so much so that the character saw a name change to avoid legal complications when Street Fighter went worldwide. On top of the appearance of being a large, African-American male, Balrog was also given quite the catch phrase in Street Fighter Alpha 3. When his opponents were defeated, Balrog taunted that he would bite their ear off, a clever nod to the infamous 1997 fight between Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Johnny Cage – Mortal Kombat
In the video game series, Johnny Cage, whose birth name is John Carlton, is a martial arts film actor who really got into his Hollywood lifestyle, which is fitting considering he was modeled after a real life martial artist, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Truth of the matter is that Cage wasn’t modeled after Damme as an homage, but rather a parody of the actor. Cage was originally inspired by Jean-Claude Van Damme’s portrayal of Frank Dux in the movie Bloodsport. Even one of Damme’s moves from the movie, a ridiculous looking leg split, was added to Johnny Cage’s collection of signature attacks.