My dad could beat up your dad: Father's Day video game battle royale

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We've already looked at the best and worst video game dads -- and there's plenty to pick from in the latter category. And of course, daddy issues are at the heart of more than a few quests to save (or destroy) the world. In short, there's a disturbing number of fathers in the gamingverse who have genetically created monstrosities and made the world an (un)safer place.

With all these hero dads trying to save their kids and villain dads who let their offspring die horrible deaths, the question has to be asked: Which dad would win in a fight?

Every eight year old out there thinks his or her dad can beat up YOUR dad, and today, we're going to unleash our inner adolescence to pit all the gaming papas against one another in a battle to the death!

WARNING: There are some spoilers throughout (some of these dads aren't revealed as such until the end of their respective games), and we assume you know how each of these games concluded. Proceed at your own risk!

Bowser (Super Mario) Vs. Dr. Light (Mega Man)

It was never really clear to me if Bowser was the progenitor of all the koopas and goombas or just the biggest, baddest one around.

But for our purposes, we're going to assume he's somehow sired the whole lot of 'em (probably with that big tease Princess Peach, who keeps getting "kidnapped" and showing up in Bowser's castle all the time to be "rescued" by a clueless Mario).

So with that out of the way, which would win: an army of koopa troopas or an army of robots? Dr. Light never seems to make as devastatingly powerful robots as his nemesis, Dr. Wily, but Mega Man and his cohorts always manage to upgrade themselves with screen-clearing weaponry because of a little help from dad (or dad's digital ghost, as the case may occasionally be).

On the other hand, it seems like koopa troopas and goombas can pretty much only die if you jump right on their heads (or you run at them at full speed after having recently eaten some magic mushrooms), so that superior fire power might not be helpful.

This one's a tough call, but I think with his endless minions piloting airships and massive, maze-like castles the robotic crew would have to fight through, eventually, Bowser would come out on top and tear Dr. Light to shreds. 

Now I have visions in my head of Dr. Wily and Dr. Robotnik teaming up with Bowser to create an army of robotic koopa troopas... 

Michael De Santa (Grand Theft Auto V) Vs. Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain)

It's the bad dad world cup up in here!

Michael De Santa is the definition of the uncaring white trash dad (oh, woe is me, I'm rich and bored in suburbia and I hate my kids!) while Ethan's life has gone down the toilet since his son Jason died because of his inattentiveness. 

Despite that early-game apathy, both go to extreme, absurd lengths to protect their kids.

Michael assaults a whole boat filled to the brim with pimps and drug dealers to keep his daughter from being in an impromptu porno shoot, while Ethan goes through some serious Saw levels of torture to find his other missing son, Shaun.

Michael's got the street smarts and gun-fu on his side, of that there's no doubt, but Ethan is the bumbling guy who just won't die, no matter how hard you try to kill him. 

Without Michael's full GTA 5 crew to back him up, I'm going to call this one a draw -- they'd end up killing each other or getting themselves thrown in the clink via misadventure.

Joel (The Last Of Us) Vs. Lee (The Walking Dead)

Good lord, look at the sad eyes both of these post-apocalyptic survivors have! They'd do just about anything to protect their surrogate daughters, and its the pain of the past that drives them forward.

My first instinct is to say "Joel wins, sorry Lee" and move on -- Joel is a stealthy killing machine in The Last Of Us!

But first, let's consider a few things. Lee's a big guy, and while he's reluctant to engage in violence, he's been known to do so to devastating effect. He's not afraid to teach a little girl to kill, and even the impending doom of becoming a zombie won't stop him!

I think we're going to have to boil this one down to which choices you made in Telltale's Walking Dead. Hard-as-nails Lee who makes Clementine put him down would probably come out the victor. Sappy Lee who decides to go zombie rather than teach a tough lesson definitely loses to Joel.

Hojo (Final Fantasy 7) Vs. Henry Lawson (Mass Effect)

Both of these sci-fi mad scientists spawned some high quality genetic experiments who managed to break free and make their own mark on the universe. Neither is much of a fighter on their own or without any injected upgrades; Hojo is your typical lab coat and Henry's an intergalactic business man.

Instead, the question becomes: "Could they get their offspring to help them, or would their kids try to help the other to kill their own evil parent? In both franchises, these kids end up turning on their fathers.

You can't discount the Sephiroth effect here – just how effective would he be against Commander Shepherd's team? That sword made short work of the Midgar Zolom, but would he fall against laser fire and psychic powers?

Seriously though... Miranda Lawson's form-fitting outfit. I think that's a major KO right there, no matter who the enemy ends up being. Sorry Sephiroth, but you can use all the earth-destroying black materia that you want, and I still think Lawson and the crew of the Normady are going to come out on top.

In the end, I see both of these dads ending up six feet under courtesy of their own children.

James (Fallout 3) Vs. The Sole Survivor (Fallout 4)

These are both some seriously lazy dads with a "Meh when I get to it" approach to parenting. Apparently, the post-nuclear war U.S. wasteland does not spawn good fathers.

Liam Neeson might have a special set of skills for finding wayward children, but James sure didn't. Meanwhile, the Sole Survivor keeps having to go on just one more fetch quest before he can really start looking for Shawn...

James has a whole lot of scientific equipment at his disposal, not to mention the security guards from Rivet City. But then again, the Sole Survivor is decked out in full power armor and probably has a legendary minigun with the wounding property or a 16 mini nuke MIRV launcher, so I'm gonna give the win to Fallout 4's awful dad.

To be totally honest, I feel like rather than fighting, they'd both team up to go do a bunch of random quests instead before devoting their monthly 5 minutes to searching for their children.

Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite) Vs. Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)  

Oh, boy (or in this case, oh, girl), you really don't want either of these guys to be your dad! Both did some pretty heinous stuff to their respective daughters, and neither can really claim the moral high ground in any way.

Handsome Jack really only imprisoned and sacrificed his daughter the one time, though, while Booker DeWitt just keeps. on. doing. it. in. every. single. reality. Elizabeth gets him back though, killing him off in universe after universe.

In a knock down, drag out fight, who would come out ahead? It's a tough one -- Booker can swap between realities to get the upper hand and find a universe where he has the advantage. But Handsome Jack does have a whole lot of firepower on his side, from the entirety of Hyperion Corporation to potentially controlling the world-destroying Warrior after opening the vault.

If Jack gets his pet Warrior, the win goes to him (unless Songbird constantly shows up to thwart the Warrior), otherwise I see the grim-faced DeWitt coming out the victor and then probably learning some other devastating truth about his past to make him even more hard boiled than before.

Kratos 1 (God Of War) Vs. Kratos 2 (Tales Of Symphonia)

Who deserves the name more -- a spiky-haired anime dude with a sword, or the bulging muscled, rage-filled man who kills gods left and right?

Both have a shameful past and try protecting their families to varying degrees of success. Kratos 1 has the upper hand in the pure strength department, but Kratos 2 is a couple of thousand years old, and he's learned some tricks along the way in all that time.

We also have to consider this: Are we talking sleek, height-of-his-power Kratos 1 from earlier in the series or is this hipster neckbeard Kratos shackled with a little kid the whole game (where they are totally NOT copying The Last Of Us)?

Eh, you know what, either way, I feel that while Kratos 2 is rooting around in his menu screen trying to select Demon Fang, Kratos 1 would have probably already torn him apart with the Blades of Chaos and then completed a couple of threesome sex mini-games.

King Of All Cosmos (Katamari Damamcy) Vs. Octodad (Octodad: Dadliest Catch)

You'd think the King Of All Cosmos would win this one without working up much of a sweat -- being the ultimate god of all creation and maker of everything and all that -- but that's not how it would actually go down.

We know the King has some curious behaviors and dislikes. I'm picturing Ocotdad's loving tentacle suckers wrapping around the King and he'd immediately yield while screaming something like, "icky, icky, icky!". He'd then blame his loss on his son.

But how would Octodad get through the gauntlet of the universe to even start the fight? He can't even walk through the kitchen without destroying everything in his path or getting stuck to every single object!

Octodad would have a terrible time just getting across the road to fight the King Of All Cosmos, but something tells me his horribly treated son, the prince, and all those nephews and cousins would probably roll up everything to help out the secret octopus dad.

You reap what you sow Mr. Cosmos, and you've sown some serious ill will with your family...

Harry Mason (Silent Hill 2) vs. Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy 7)

Here we've got two dads trying to keep their daughters safe in a world gone mad.

We've also got some serious "firsts" with both characters. Silent Hill 2 was probably the first time we saw an on-screen rape in a PlayStation game, while Barret was among the first foul-mouthed characters to throw out those four letter words in a major U.S. RPG release.

Barret's gun arm and access to materia seems like an insta-win, but don't discount Mason just yet! He battled the supernatural forces of Silent Hill and came out the victor (at least for a while anyway; never mind what happened in the beginning of the next game).

Plus, he's Sean Bean in the movie, so... oh wait, never mind, Bean dies in literally everything. Barret Wallace for the win.

James McCloud (Star Fox) vs. Splinter (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

So, these are maybe the two coolest dads a kid could ever dream of having, and picking one is sort of impossible for anyone who grew up in the late 80s or early 90s.

Anthropomorphic rat ninja dad who dispenses wisdom and lets you eat inordinate amounts of pizza while playing with dangerous weapons, or anthropomorphic fox and sunglasses-wearing space pilot with a gun dad who lets his kids blow things up in glorious 3D?

How this battle would go depends on the arena: one one one, or does James have his ship? Even while piloting a spacecraft, I get the feeling Splinter has the edge here, with his mystical ninjitsu alerting him to the presence of enemies and his ability to bite through solid metal.

Since James was previously taken down by a pig-man, we know he doesn't fare well against other anthropomorphic animals as well... I think in this case Splinter wins, although that probably starts a war between Fox McCloud's crew and the ninja turtles, which I now want to see in some sort of comic book form.

Now that the dust has settled and the match ups are finished, we want to wish all the gaming dads an amazing Father's Day this year!

What did you think of our dad vs dad picks, and what other video game Father's Day grudge matches would you like to see go down?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Published May. 29th 2017

Featured Contributor

Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.

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