Created By: Kayube on June 30, 2013

Player Character Parent

One of the goals of a video game is to take care of an important NPC, usually a child

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A subtrope of Video Game Caring Potential, which aims to maximize the effectiveness of the caring potential by pairing the player's character up with someone young and vulnerable (often the main character's own child) and making one of the main goals (if not the main goal) of the game be to care for this person and get them through the situation safely. A disproportionate number of examples seem to involve an adult male hero acting as father to a younger female NPC.

I leave it up to the community to provide some examples/a more detailed description, since I haven't actually played games like this, I'm just aware of the trend, so it'd be better for people who actually knew what they were talking about to help with it.
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • July 1, 2013
    A subtrope of Non Player Companion?

    • Most of Bio Shock Infinite is about Booker helping Elizabeth escape from Columbia, and she soon starts seeing him as a surrogate father figure, since her own father, the prophet Comstock, pretty much abandoned her locked up in a tower. It's eventually revealed that Elizabeth is Booker's biological daughter.
    • When playing as Ray in Call Of Juarez Bound In Blood, you occasionally have to help your younger brother Thomas (who's just as badass but still occasionally finds himself in a tight spot). Plus, whether playing as Ray or Thomas, you occasionally have to defend your third brother, the Non Action Guy William.

    Should we perhaps expand this to include games where the Player Character has to take care of in-game family members, regardless of their relation?

    • Inverted in Dragon Age II, where you, as Hawke, have to take care of and ultimately lose your aging mother Leandra after your father's death. Additionally, you have two younger siblings to take care of, Carver and Bethany, although one of them always dies in the prologue and the can die by the end of Act I.
  • July 1, 2013
    Likewise Resident Evil 4 the main plot of the game is Leon protecting Ashley from the Los Illuminados cult whose plan is to infect Ashley with the Las Plagas parasite have her return to the U.S and then infect high ranking members of the American government.
  • July 1, 2013
    • In Lemmings, you're trying to take care of a whole species.
  • July 1, 2013
    This is the main premise of the Princess Maker series.
  • July 1, 2013
    ^That would be a Raising Sim, not really this concept. (It could use a different name to distinguish it better.)

    Escort Mission is currently being used for this, but enough "Papa Wolf Games" are appearing nowadays that I think it could stand on its own. Games with just one segment probably belong in Escort Mission, this should be only for entire games structured around it.

    • In Ico, you have to guard Yorda from the shadow creatures that keep trying to steal her away. Not just out of kindness, she's the only one who can open the doors to make your way through the castle.

    EDIT: Guardian Game? (Not to be confused with Gaiden Game)
  • July 1, 2013
    Yeah, it doesn't have to be specifically a parent-child relationship, just something along those lines. So maybe the title could be made more general.