Here’s How Old Microsoft’s #HowOldRobot Thinks Your Favorite Game Characters Are

Microsoft released an online robot that guesses age based on pictures. See how well the #HowOldRobot does as we test it out with pictures of our favorite game characters.

Microsoft's machine-learning team has been working on a website that takes any photo you upload and tries to guess the age of the person (or creature) in the picture, with varying success. 

Most of the time, when you put in video game pictures, the results are hilariously wrong. When I put in a picture of Link, the #HowOldRobot decided that a) Link is 45 and b) Link is a woman. There has been a lot of debate over why Link can't be a girl, but I didn't think Nintendo had made that switch...yet. 

For Zelda, the #HowOldRobot at least manages to get her gender right. Still, I think Zelda has technically never been this old. Zelda fans - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. 

If we're going by game age rather than character age, then the bot shaved several years off Zelda. SHE CAN STAY UNDER 30 FOREVER!

We all know that Snake's getting old but is that really what 53 is supposed to look like? I feel like he's mid-40's tops in this picture. It's gotta be the scars and the eyepatch throwing the bot off. Or else I'm a woman in her late-twenties that finds fifty-year-men attractive. 

Lara Croft's original birthdate was February 14, 1968, which would technically make her 40 years old when Tomb Raider Underworld was released in 2008. That said, clearly Lara is in her mid-twenties, early thirties in this photo. The first game character that the robot has pegged properly!

According to the Uncharted wiki, Nathan Drake was born January 11, 1980 putting him at exactly 35 years old today, and 27 years old at the beginning of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The gross miscalculation of Nathan's age by the Microsoft bot only supports my belief that male characters squint too much in video games. 

This is the face of the woman who would go on the star on Mass Effect 3 box art. Since FemShep begins her awe-inspiring journey at the ripe age of 29, by all accounts she should be around 33 for this picture. My FemShep doesn't look this young. 

The male version of Commander Shephard reads much older than FemShep. The #HowOldRobot pegs him at the ripe old age of 39. Due to the rough ending of Mass Effect 3, I think it's fair to say that neither Commander Shephard got to live that long. 

 This does bring up an interesting point though. Thus far the bot has tended to over-estimate the age of male characters and under-estimate the age of female characters. Maybe we'll learn why once the bot gets more practice. 

In Crisis Core, Aerith meets Zack for the first time at age 16. Later, at the beginning of Final Fantasy VII Aerith meets Cloud for the first time at the age of 22. Overall I have to say the bot at least made it into the proper decade this time. 

Barret Wallace is the 35 year old leader of Avalanche from Final Fantasy VII. Since this picture is taken from Final Fantasy: Advent Children technically he should be even older. It's not like Barret would care though, he's got important things to do with his gun-arm. 

I know that Cortana is not a human and that she's only technically existed ten years or so by the end of the Halo series, so there's not really a good way to gauge how old Cortana should look like. That said, Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortana, is currently 42 years old. This goes to show that a computer can't guess age by pictures, and I can't guess age by voices. 

If you enjoyed these, head on over to and do some for yourself! I look forward to seeing your experiences in the comments or share them with us on Twitter!