Remember middle school? Remember going to a dance where all the boys stood on one side of the gym and all the girls stood on the other, and then when you did finally dance with someone, there was...um, some "awkwardness", and both of you sort of prayed for that song to end so you could part ways and never speak of that moment again?
Yeah, some video game characters are a little bit like that.
Conker in Conker's Bad Fur Day. Conker's Bad Fur Day is a delightfully weird, inappropriate gem that would never stand a chance of hitting shelves in this day and age. It might look like a kids' game, but it actually reached its cult classic status by prominently featuring violence, sexuality, and, perhaps most famously, scat humor. But among all the awesomely wrong stuff going on here, one moment sticks out that elevates Conker to sexually awkward status: I give you "the pollination scene."
What makes Conker the most awkward part of this clip is his reaction to the off-screen goings-on. He goes from horrified to...grinning, transfixed by the sight of two relative strangers loudly "getting to know each other." I can't be the only person that finds that reaction awfully strange and a little disturbing. Who does that?
Leon Scott Kennedy in Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 is a near-perfect game. It hits the difficulty-level sweet spot, it's terrifying, and it has some truly memorable characters. Though Ashley is memorable for all the wrong reasons, Leon is a perfectly compelling guy and a unique kind of hero. He might be a former cop, but at the core, he's your average, slightly sarcastic dude, not some hulking tough guy, and that adds to the fear you feel as you find yourself in worse and worse predicaments. (And, okay, he's a little bit awkward, but aren't we all?)
But Capcom manages to create a cringe-worthy ending to an amazing game by adding a love interest aspect. After escaping an exploding island by jet ski, Ashley decides to see if she can get her rescuer interested in “a little overtime” at her place (the White House; no big deal). Despite the fact that this whole scenario is more than a little strange, Leon makes it worse by shooting the poor girl down -- and then, what I'm assuming is minutes later and possibly while Ashley is right there, asking his Secret Service contact Ingrid Hunnigan on a date. His pick-up line? “You know, you're kinda cute without those glasses. Gimme your number when I get back?” Just kind of? Smooth. Fortunately, Ingrid reminds Leon that he's still on duty.
Plus, Easter egg: You can look up Ashley's skirt. Oh, don't worry -- she notices.
Meryl and Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. There aren't many characters in the Metal Gear series that don't run a bit on the socially inept side, but the two characters involved in one of the series' most uncomfortable incidents are Meryl and Psycho Mantis.
In this particular scene, villain Psycho Mantis has possessed Meryl, so it would simply be unfair to pin the brunt of the blame on either of them for the abomination of a seduction scene that occurs. Mantis seems to have gotten the idea that the best way to do away with Solid Snake is to get his pants off, but apparently not every dude is into dazed ladies hanging all over them asking “Do you like me?” and begging for love. Snake's deadpan reactions to Meryl's desperate panting and groping make the whole situation extra uncomfortable. Few things feel worse than second-hand embarrassment.
And speaking of Metal Gear...
Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid. "There's nothing like the feeling of slamming a long silver bullet into a well-greased chamber." Enough said.
Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes. Being awkward is the entire point of Travis Touchdown. This entire game is based off the premise that an otaku won a beam katana (totally not a lightsaber) in an online auction and became an assassin, partially in the pursuit of some action with a mysterious hottie. Whether he's rubbing lotion on his busty, blond love interest's body or stripping down (off camera) for his battle instructor, being straddled by a very Bad Girl or finally getting what he was after this whole time, Travis is sure to be doing something that will raise an eyebrow. And honestly, that list doesn't even scratch the surface. This is one of those games that you have to play to appreciate how weird things get -- and that's the beauty of it, honestly.
But things really reach a whole new level of awkward in a single, unforgettable moment in No More Heroes 2. Ever wonder what it would be like to wake up to see your brother on the couch "watching" anime in plain view of your bed? Now you know.
What other totally awkward video game characters and moments would you add to this list?
Welcome to TNGG’s third annual Sex Week! Check back to TNGG Boston all week for more stories about sex, love, relationships, and dating in Boston, and visit our main site for more material from the rest of our community.
'Gaming for N00bs' is TNGG Boston's bi-weekly Sunday gaming column, written by Vanessa Formato.
About Vanessa -- Vanessa Formato is a 22-year-old Clark University graduate, freelance journalist, vegan cupcake enthusiast and video game aficionado. She blogs about body image and tweets about puppies. So awesome, even John Stamos is impressed.
The author is solely responsible for the content.