Douches smoke, and by that I mean I smoke, Jude Law, Robert Pattinson, Cameron Diaz and Simon Cowell, all douches, and they all smoke. However unlike me and my celebrity cohorts there are some that actually make smoking look cool. I’ve been smoking for 10 years now, I’ve never mastered the cool look, when I smoke I sometimes hold my cigarette like a 1950’s American wife at another boring cocktail party, sometimes I hold it like I’m tramp trying to hold in that heat from the cherry and sometimes, just sometimes, I smoke like I’m the uncool kid at school trying to get noticed by the metal heads. The long and short is that society think smokers are generally uncool and smelly, smokers don’t help the situation by being uncool and smelly, but here for all you long time chimneys, we at PixelBedlam have produced a list of five video game characters that smoke, and ones that look badass whilst doing it.
1. Solid Snake – Metal Gear Solid
Konami did everything in their power to make smoking uncool in the Metal Gear Series. But, the cigarette was in Snake’s mouth, so not even frequent warnings or your health actively dropping can stop the air of cool that can only be replicated by 1980’s action stars like Van Damme or Chuck Norris. Smoking in the Metal Gear series has been around since before there were androgynous lady boys, vampires, big robots and memes. Story wise they’re used as a constant in Snake’s life, he ends up carrying them in later games “Just for good luck” but in games like the first Metal Gear Solid you can actually use the smoke to show where IR Lasers are, so you know, smoking also has a practical use. Oh Snake also makes diazepam look cool too but it’s hard to make a list out of that.
2. Manny, And Everyone Else – Grim Fandango
The one good thing about being dead is that you’re dead, nothing more can be done to you, there isn’t much further you can fall, as such the poster children for smoking are the cast of Grim Fandango. With their constant puffing you really get the noir feel that the game is going for, this may be due to the 1940’s “what’s cancer?” vibe that riddles the game. The whole game is a constant homage to Casablanca, Día de Muertos (the Mexican holiday to honour the dead) and finally Art Nouveau architecture. None of these things would be complete without a bit of tobacco sprinkled lovingly on the top. Manny is a cool character, someone that’s trying to fight the man (or a death corporation in his case), save a beautiful woman/skeleton and just survive, add smoking into the fray and all the others a just heightened awesomeness. A character that is 1930’s and all “Damn the man, save the empire” whilst sparking up? that’s just great.
3. Sean Devlin – Saboteur
Stereotypes are a great thing, especially when mixed in with bad voice acting. With that thought we come to our next proposal for Top 5 Game Video Game Characters That Make Smoking Cool, Sean Devlin from Saboteur. As my name suggests (See Author Box below), I have some Irish blood in me, though I follow none of the stereotypes or racial cliché, actually I am quite into potatoes. My point is that I can live vicariously through Sean Devlin our Saboteur as he bombs it around Paris causing trouble, drinking, swearing, visiting ‘ladies of the night’, smoking and killing; actually I already do a couple of those, but I’ll never tell which. As suggested with my Grim Fandango spiel, I’m quite a fan of the 1920’s-1940’s era of the world, it’s just a shame that, the art and style of it was ruined by a few wars and near global poverty and death. Smoking is actually quite a big part of Saboteur, when you’ve stood still for 10 seconds you pull out a smoke and start puffing away, quite reminiscent to the early top down GTA games, that’s right kids, GTA used to be a top down game! If you made Sean Devlin get lung cancer or smoke 100 cigarettes, whichever came first, then you would be greeted with the bleep bloop of an achievement, GZ you now have 3rd stage melanoma!
4. Spy – Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 portrays itself as this easy to get into and fun game, actually it’s like any other online team based shooter where everyone shouts at you for messing up. Because I wasn’t very good at it the few times I tried it I decided to go down the route of Spy, a character that doesn’t necasserily need to have a high kill count, as such I would just use their ability to make myself look like the enemy and skulk around their base. A lot of this list is about smokers who don’t make a big deal about it, they’re not like 16 year olds smoking for the first time and making sure the cool kids see them, these guys are going about their business and just showing their vice of choice (though killing is something else they all have in common). The Spy is putting his nuts on the line, sneaking about the enemy base, causing chaos and mischief all the while rocking a straight in the corner of his mouth, that’s dedication to the cause, that’s something I can get behind.
5. The Cast of – Yakuza 4
Smoking in Japan is a “generally” accepted thing. There are a few chain stores like Starbucks that have put in an outright ban, and a few prefectures here and there that has no smoking areas, but in a country where 1 in 4 people smoke and the majority of those are young to middle-aged men it’s no surprise that a game about the Japanese underworld, Yakuza 4, features the death stick so prevalently. I started playing Yakuza 4 a short while ago, late to the party I appreciate, and I’ve been having a blast with it, the fighting, the world and the writing is all great fun. I’ve started playing a game within the game, meta is my middle name, whenever a character like Akiyama sparks up in a cut-scene I try to match him. This has led to me having a quite bad cough, as it turns out Shun Akiyama is capable of knocking back a couple of smokes in the space of a 4 minute cut scene. With they’re annoyingly cool dress sense, the awesome hair and the bonus points for being Yakuza, or “slightly dodgy”, the cast of a Yakuza are a great advert for smoking, and caving someone’s skull in with a bicycle.