Top 5 Hispanic Characters In Video Games
Hispanic characters aren’t always represented well in video games. They are there, but they don’t always get the treatment that other groups tend to get. When asked, most people can’t even name a few Hispanic characters, let alone think of any prevalent ones in gaming culture.
However, when they are recognized, even a little bit, it can be seen as a beautiful thing, reminding us that representation is important in video games. Here are the top 5 Hispanic characters in video games.
5. King — Tekken
King has always been a subject of discussion among players, with his Jaguar Luchador mask being the most striking part of him. Unlike other Luchadors in fighting games, King has a very interesting backstory, and most of the time is fighting in the tournament for the right reasons.
His need to build an Orphanage for the orphans is awfully endearing for a man who looks so intimidating, and his storyline is heartbreaking at times throughout the series. King even died at one point, and one of his precious orphans took up the mantle to become the new King. For a fighting game character, King has a very good cycle of character development, and it is nice to see a game focus on a male character who is doing something for children rather than normal “Video Game Protagonist” motivations.
4. Vega — Street Fighter
Ever since Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vega has been a force to be reckoned with when it came to fighters. He’s been an assassin for quite some time, and despite his slightly tragic backstory of his mother dying, Vega is not someone you love as much as he’s someone you’d fear.
He takes great pleasure in murdering those whom he considers ugly, and will not stop until they are permanently taken out of commission. Out of all the villains in the series, next to Bison, he’s the one that has the most notoriety due to his effeminate appearance and sadistic personality. He’s a deadly assassin that will stop at nothing until he gets his way. Vega is one Spanish lover that you should never turn your back on, especially at the risk of being torn asunder by his massive claws.
3. Isabela Keyes — Dead Rising
The only female character on this list, Isabela Keyes is probably one of the best-developed characters in the Dead Rising franchise. A villain at first and an ally later on, Isabela was one of the more well-rounded characters. Out of all the characters on this list, her storyline is probably the most interesting - she’s just not given enough time to explore it fully.
Her progression overall is very well done and unlike some other female characters that are Hispanic, she actually wasn’t just used as a plot device for the male character to get motivated. Even if we don’t always know where her allegiances lie, Isabela is a great representation of a morally ambiguous Hispanic woman in a zombie Apocalypse.
2. Dominic Santiago — Gears of War
Dom is one of those characters that just pulls at your heartstrings the entire time you play with him. For being such an absolute beast of a character, Dominic comes off a lot more like a big squishy teddy bear compared to the other characters in Gears Of War. He has the best development out of all the characters in my opinion. When Dominic hurts, you really feel him hurting.
The guy has been through a lot with all the events throughout the Gears series, and just when we think he’s going to get a break, he doesn’t. Dominic added such a great emotional aspect to a game that could have just been about burley men shooting guns. It’s nice to see a male character have such an emotional range, especially in a game pumped full of testosterone as much as Gears of War is.
1. Rico Rodriguez — Just Cause
The Just Cause franchise might just be known as one of the most chaotic sandbox game series ever created, but it wouldn’t be near as fun if it wasn’t for Rico. His development over the course of two games was interesting, and it was fun to hear how his humor changed throughout the series.
The comments he makes always end up funny in some way. It’s just that sort of dry sardonic wit that only works for certain characters do it, and it rolls off Rico’s tongue, giving him such a great demeanor. He comments on so many things, you’d think he’s Let’s Playing his own game. Rico is a great protagonist to such a fun series, and that’s why he’s number one on this list.
Hispanic characters still aren’t as well represented as they should be in games. When they're mostly represented by Luchadors, it’s easy to see what issue there may be. Nothing is wrong with Luchadors of course, but it does get annoying that they seem to be in the majority of an already small population of characters.
It makes matters worse when some people consider characters from adaptations such as Puss and Boots and Bane viable for these sorts of lists. Hopefully, in the future, we will gain more notable Hispanic characters so those characters won’t even come to mind when a Hispanic character is mentioned.
tobar1pJuly 20, 2015, 6:40 amI've seen a number of these lists but for some reason they never mention THE #1 Hispanic protagonist in video game history: Manny Calavera. Can't recommend Grim Fandango enough.
Angelina BonillaJuly 20, 2015, 5:14 pmFeatured CorrespondentSee, I would have put Dear Old Manny on the list if he wasn't...dead. That was actually the only reason I didn't put him on the list because I was planning on doing a list of undead characters at the time of this and was planning on putting Manny at the very top.
Jerome PhifferAugust 19, 2014, 8:07 amVery good article. I think as games get more diverse, everyone wins. It is hard to get immersed in a story without the dynamics of diversity present. Also helps when diversity is present to not throw them into some cliche awkward role.
Angelina BonillaAugust 19, 2014, 8:36 amFeatured CorrespondentThank you very much! I agree with you entirely, this list was difficult because I had such hard time finding characters that were well rounded, developed Hispanic characters. It was really quite startling for me.
surferboydukeAugust 18, 2014, 8:33 amI'd read a Luchador list if you made it. Are there really that many?
Angelina BonillaAugust 19, 2014, 8:12 amFeatured CorrespondentYou'd be surprised of just how many Luchadors there are in video games.
Eric SwansonAugust 18, 2014, 12:08 am#1 is the perfect pick!
A good overall list. I think the main character in Guacamelee was a good silent protagonist. I think his name is Juan in a classic save the woman story, but the amount of Mexican folk lore and art deserves a nod. It really makes you feel like a luchador as you fling baddies around the land of the undead and save the villagers.
Angelina BonillaAugust 18, 2014, 7:08 amFeatured CorrespondentI really thought about putting Juan on the list and like with Salvador, if the list was longer I would have put him on there. It him or King and I decided to put feline headed Luchador on this instead. That and there is an excessive amount of Luchadors in Video games to the point were I'm tempted to do the top 10 Luchadors in gaming. If you want to see that list let me know because I've been really thinking about writing it.
jeremy browningAugust 17, 2014, 11:57 pmno slavador, or mordecai from the borderlands series?
Angelina BonillaAugust 18, 2014, 7:04 amFeatured CorrespondentIf the list was the top ten I would have put Salvador on here. Also I'm not as familiar with Borderlands as I am the other games mentioned on this list so I felt that if I put him in this "Top 5" I wouldn't have described him as well as the others. I always attempt to do characters justice when I put them on lists like this. I'll probably do a follow up to this so stay tuned here if you want to see who makes the list this time.