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Missing Mom / Video Games

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  • Ashley's mom in Another Code disappeared ten years prior to the game's start and it's only until 2/3s of the way into the game that she finds out what happened to her. She wound up getting murdered.
  • Both played straight and inverted in Chrono Trigger: Marle's mom died when she was young. But Crono has a missing dad and nothing is mentioned of him. Both of Lucca's parents are alive.
  • Almost all main characters in the Fire Emblem series have mothers dead or unmentioned but fathers extant - e.g. Roy, Eirika and Ephraim, Ike, and so forth. (To be fair, their fathers don't languish long, either.)
    • Several cases happen in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776.
      • Genealogy of the Holy War Gen 1: The wives of the bad guys aren't seen, and a good part of Lord Arvis's backstory is centered around his mother Cigyun, who left him after his dad Viktor was Spurned into Suicide...and succumbed to Death by Childbirth while giving birth to her daughter with Prince Kurth, Deirdre. And to make things worse, Deirdre becomes a Missing Mom to Seliph when she's Brainwashed and Crazy into marrying Arvis himself; Ethlyn is killed in the Yied Massacre alongside her husband Quan; and Ares's mother Grahnye dies in the brutal occupation of Lester.
      • Genealogy of the Holy War Gen 2: If the girls from Gen 1 got married and had kids, almost all of them except for Edain become Missing Moms. Ayra disappears after Belhalla and it's not clear if she still lives or not, though the Oosawa manga says she did kick the bucket; Erinys is crowned as the Queen of Silesse since Lewyn is gone and his mother Rahna is dead, but dies of illness shortly before Gen 2 kicks off; Tailtiu is pretty much taken hostage by her family alongside Tine and so abused by her sister-in-law that she falls victim to Death by Despair (and if she isn't married, her sister Ethnia follows the same role to her kids); Silvia leaves her kids in an orphanage and disappears; Lachesis is at first by Nanna's side, but later she disappears in the Yied Desert when trying to visit her son Diarmuid, though she's implied to be still alive; and finally Brigid is rendered amnesiac and lost after Belhalla, reappearing in Thracia as the still amnesiac Eyvel. As a corollary, Deirdre is revealed to have been killed...by her own son Julius, possessed by the god Loptous.
      • Thracia 776: Aside from Leif and Nanna's mothers, there's Mareeta's mother, who fell to Death by Childbirth; Misha's mom Deet'var, who was an enemy slain by Sigurd's troops; Sara's mother, who died of grief some time after Sara's birth since Manfroy killed her husband in front of her; Saias's mother Liza, once a Magic Knight at the service of Saias's father aka the aforementioned Arvis, who died protecting him from the Loptyr sect; and, ultimately, Karin's conversation with Ced alludes to Queen Ferry's recent death.
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    • In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, the absence of the mothers of Roy and Lilina gets around having to decide upon a canon pairing for either Roy's father Eliwood or Lilina's father Hector in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (Lyn for both of them, Ninian or Fiora for Roy, and Florina or Farina for Lilina).
    • Eliwood from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has the distinction of being the first Fire Emblem lord whose mother, Eleanora, is alive, well, and visible. But in exchange, it's his father who dies. Still a better deal than most lords get.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the death of Joshua's mother is an important plot point in Eirika's path. She is Ismaire, the Queen of Jehanna, who is murdered by General Caellach when she tries to keep him from shattering the Stone of Jehanna.
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Ike and Mist's mother Elena actually has plot significance, including her death. She died while trying to recover Lehran's Medallion from her husband Greil, as the relic turned him into a mindless berserker that slaughtered everything that crossed his path. Elena was one of the few persons able to wield said Medallion without going nuts, but when she tried to get it from Greil, she died. By the time he learns of this, his father was already dead as well.
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    • In Awakening, all the first generation female characters who had children become missing mothers in the Bad Future (except Lissa, who is mentioned to still be around in Owain's paralogue). And there is also the Avatar's own mother, who ran away with him/her to protect her child from the Grimleal sect, but what happened to her afterwards isn't clear.
    • In Fates, many characters have missing moms. To be specific, the Avatar's mother Mikoto was seen as the ruling Queen of Hoshido but died protecting him/her as early as Chapter 5, causing his/her draconic powers to awaken. It's later revealed that the rest of the Hoshido siblings are born from the previous Queen, making the Avatar Mikoto's only child, though she was their Parental Substitute and mother figure. In the case of the Nohr siblings, they each have separate mothers who died fighting over Garon (save for Xander's mother Queen Katerina, who died when he was a little boy), making them half-siblings. Azura's own mother, Lady Arete, became Garon's second Queen but died defending the kingdom and was resurrected to serve Anankos in the third route.
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  • Star Fox: While Fox McCloud's father James figures heavily in the backstory of the games, there's never any mention of Fox's mother. However, she appears in the early '90s Nintendo Power comics published to promote the first game. In these comics, her name is Vixy. Andross had a Villainous Crush on her, only to accidentally kill her with a car bomb intended for James.
  • In Advance Wars, Sonja's mother is implied to have died before the events of the first game, and none of the other COs (save Sasha and Colin) mention their parents. Also, Sonja and her father Kanbei are the only COs with a parent/child relationship.
  • In the Half-Life series, Alyx Vance's mother, Azian, died during the Black Mesa Incident, and she was raised by her father, Eli. Eli was clearly devastated by his wife's death, and has a picture of her in whatever space is currently serving as his office. Alyx was very young when Azian died, but she still gets indignant when Big Bad Dr. Breen mentions her.
  • Sonia from Mega Man Star Force lost her mom due to a disease and becomes a famous celebrity to cope with her mom's death.
  • Final Fantasy X has this one is spades.
    • Rikku's mother is never mentioned outside of one unlockable scene, where it is revealed that she was killed years ago by a rampaging machina.
    • Seymour Guado, the game's Dragon (or at least The Dragon's Dragon), is parentless, and not entirely by accident. The death of his mother serves as his Freudian Excuse.
    • Tidus, lost both his parents in one swoop. When he was a child, his father became one of the disappeared variety, which caused his mother to die of grief. For years afterward he never forgave his father for it.
    • Yuna's situation is similar, if reversed. Her mother was killed by the Big Bad's monster suit, which prompted her father to go on a suicidal mission to destroy it, and thus make the world a better place for his daughter. This greatly influences Yuna, who follows in his footsteps.
  • Like X, Final Fantasy XIII is flooded with this; almost every single main character, as well as the entire villainous force, has some kind of issue with their mother.
  • Tifa of Final Fantasy VII also has this issue. Her mother died when she was very young. So depressed she was that Tifa went on a dangerous trek to Mt. Nibel (with Cloud accompanying her) in the hopes that she would see her mother again. It didn't work.
    • Additionally, Aerith and her mother Ifalna were experimented on for years, and Ifalna was so physically weakened that when the two managed to escape, Ifalna collapsed and barely managed to entrust her to Elmyra before dying.
  • It's never stated what happened to Sarah's mom in The Last of Us but Joel begins the game as a Struggling Single Father. All he tells Ellie is that he and Sarah's mom weren't married for long and implies that Sarah was the product of a Teenage Pregnancy.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Princess Zelda fits the trope, as she is never seen as having a mother. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time gave her a father, and she usually has a mother figure in the form of her nursemaid/protector Impa, but never a mother.
    • Link is almost never shown as having any parents at all (though he occasionally has other relatives). While Link's parents are never shown, the Great Deku Tree mentions in Ocarina of Time that Link was left in Kokiri forest by his mother as she tried to escape a war that ended before the game's beginning. She promptly dies after leaving Link in the GDT's care. Link also has a younger sister in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Unless she is biologically unrelated, this would imply that WW Link must have known his parents for a short while in his childhood, despite their later absence.
    • Zelda's (or rather, Tetra's) deceased mother is seen as a portrait in Wind Waker (but you can only access the room containing this portrait once, so most people miss it). She looks similar to the Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, except for donning a very short hair-cut and even darker hair.
    • This trope runs rampant in the N64 games especially. In Ocarina of Time, besides Link and Zelda, Malon and Ruto both have fathers but no mothers. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask continues the "present father absent mother" trend with the Deku princess, the baby Goron, and Pamela (from the Music Box House). This tendency's inverted with Anju: she lives and works with her mother and grandmother, but her father disappeared years before. Cremia and Romani are orphans who have to fend for themselves.
      • The baby Goron may be justified as the Gorons seem to be a One-Gender Race.
      • If you have Link talk to Talon while wearing the Gerudo mask, he'll comment that the mask resembles Malon's mother. Given that a Gossip stone says that the Gerudo warriors go elsewhere to find boyfriends (presumably for getting pregnant to carry on their civilization), fans hold the idea that Malon's mother was a Gerudo. Though if that's the case, it does raise the question of why Malon was left with her dad, instead of taken to the Gerudo Valley.
    • This plays into the plot, albeit in a very minor way, in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In Zelda's journal in Hyrule Castle, one of the entries talks about her mother, who suddenly passed away when she was a very young girl. This deprived Zelda of not only her parent, but her teacher, as the queen was able to use the royal blood's divine power and was to instruct Zelda how to awaken it. In a way, her death is one of the biggest reasons that Zelda failed to awaken it in time and it lead to the destruction of the world.
  • Kingdom Hearts is big on Invisible Parents / Parental Abandonment in general. Sora's mother gets a line from offscreen in the first game, and Riku mentions his to confirm that he'll risk never seeing them again if it means finding other worlds. Kairi is a true orphan, given that her home world was ruined and she ended up living with the mayor of Destiny Islands. It's quite likely The Heartless, Maleficent or Xehanort killed her parents (and grandmother) when they attacked Radiant Garden.
  • World of Mana 2, the hero has a Missing Mom and a Disappeared Dad. She become a tree and die short after meeting the hero and his dad was dead already.
  • Aside from the eponymous protagonist of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, whose past has no details (probably on purpose), Kaya Daidouji, the game's Damsel in Distress has an established (though offscreen and dying) father and an uncle, but no mention of her mother is ever made.
  • Lloyd Irving of Tales of Symphonia's mother was turned into a monster and died long ago, killed by Kratos, who turns out to be Lloyd's birth father. It was because of the aforementioned "turned into a monster" thing, a mercy killing/protecting Lloyd from the rampaging monster.
  • In Thimbleweed Park, Delores's mother is never seen or mentioned, and Chuck brings this up at one point. It's later revealed that she in fact has no mother, and the fact that no one thinks about this is evidence that their world is actually a computer simulation.
  • In MOTHER 3, Hinawa, Lucas's mother, is found dead midway through the first chapter with a Drago fang through her heart. The rest of the game following this point chronicles Lucas's adolescence as he tries to come to terms with the loss of his Mother and move on from his grief over her death.
  • Amelia Croft in the Tomb Raider: Legend arc. At the end of Underworld, Lara finds that her mom is now a zombie. And her dad was disappeared/killed by the Big Bad.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Throughout Super Mario Sunshine, Bowser Jr. went after Mario under the belief that Princess Peach is his mother. At the end of the game, Bowser tries to tell his son something about Princess Peach, but Junior beats him to the punch: "I know, she's not really my mama." He then drops the issue and focuses on his desire to fight Mario again.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy we find out that Rosalina's mother is dead in Chapter 7 of the storybook.
  • Both of the heroes in Dark Chronicle have missing moms. Max has a major subplot about finding his mother. Monica's is simply never mentioned. Max does eventually find his mom, but since she came from another time period, she cannot stay with him and her husband Gerald.
  • Apparently, if you're going to be a mom in the Jak and Daxter series, you will at some point in your child's youth drop completely out of their life, probably through death, and will only be mentioned once in a while.
  • In Overlord II, Rose left the Witch-boy in Nordburg in order to help Florian Greenheart establish his Empire from behind the scenes, believing that the latter will at least bring some semblance order to the world. She attempted to drive her son away from evil initially from behind the scenes, but by the end accepts him as Necessarily Evil. Overall she doesn't show much love to her son, but she does have one motherly act near the end: After defeating Florian and exploding him into ooze all over, she orders him to clean it all up himself.
  • Psychonauts: Sasha Nein's mother died when he was still a baby. Being a psychic he thought it would be a good idea to read his father's mind to find out what his mother was like. Child-traumatizing ensued.
  • Mothers really don't fare well in Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na. Tatsuya and Feena lost their mothers before the events of the game (at around the same time, no less), and Jin and Natsuki's mother is off training somewhere during the events of the game.
  • Fallout 3 has them in spades:
    • The Player, Harden Simms, Amata, Angela Staley, Sarah Lyons, Brian Wilks, Sydney, Derek Pacion
    • The Player's situation is particularly interesting in that his/her mother suffered Death by Childbirth...and is never seen. (A nice trick that allows you to make your character look however you want even if they don't match the Caucasian dad: they take after their mother.)
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, protagonist Matthew's mother, Jenna, is nowhere to be found. Particularly notable because she was one of the protagonists of the previous game in the series.
    • She is at least said to be in a city that the player doesn't visit. Tyrell and Karis' mothers aren't even named.
      • Karis however does make references to her parents in the plural sense, so her mother is at least implied to be present in her life even if the player doesn't know who she is.
  • The absence of Fei Fong Wong's mother in Xenogears has a significant impact on his current state, especially as she was absent long before she died due to being possessed by an entity that inflicted horrifying torture on him as a boy leading him to develop multiple personality disorder. Learning of her final act - wresting control over her own body to save his life by sacrificing hers - goes some way to healing his disorder.
  • Every single Final Fantasy playable character that somehow manages to retain one parent for the whole game always, without fail, retains the father, which means that every character in the series suffers from this if they don't fall under the broader Parental Abandonment and/or Deceased Parents Are the Best. Perhaps hardest hit is Garnet of Final Fantasy IX, who turns out to be an orphan, gets adopted, and sees her adopted mother die in front of her, thus missing twice as many moms as most Final Fantasy characters.
  • The Halloween Hack: Jeff's mom is shown in Magicant and is seen leaving Prof. Andonuts in a flashback, explaining why she's not seen in Earthbound.
  • Bella Goth of The Sims franchise was revealed to have gone missing in The Sims 2 during an alien abduction shortly after the birth of her second child, Alexander.
  • Jun Kazama of Tekken, mother of Jin Kazama. She held Ogre back from assaulting his son and then vanished, causing Jin to think that Ogre murdered her. Word of God, however, say that she's gone missing instead of officially dead. In story canon, Jin's father Kazuya Mishima returned, but Jun so far has never popped herself up, unless it's hints of her appearance or mentions or non-canon games like Tag Tournament.
  • After Soul Calibur 4, Sophitia Alexandra becomes this trope for her children Patroklos and Pyrrha. Their interpretation differed as well, Patroklos thinks Sophitia is dead, while Pyrrha thinks she's just missing.
  • In a variation, Sagani, your boreal dwarf party member in Pillars of Eternity, is the Missing Mom to her three children. It's part of her people's traditions that the women are the hunters, and so those women that have had children draw straws to go looking for the reincarnations of their village elders. Sagani drew the short straw, has now been away from home on her quest for five years, and complains that her youngest probably won't even know her by the time she gets home.
  • Jeera and Zariah from Tak and the Power of Juju just only lived with their Fat Bastard of a father.
  • Edna, the main character of Edna & Harvey: The Breakout doesn’t seem to have a mother, a fact that is important to the plot but never brought up or explained.
  • Leah's mother Adria in Diablo III is mentioned to have died when Leah was very young, only for her to turn up alive in Act II hell-bent on getting her hands on the Black Soulstone and trapping the last two Lords of Hell in it. Unfortunately, the truth about Adria is much more horrible than Leah could ever imagine — she had Leah with the Dark Wanderer for the sole purpose of using her as a vessel to bring about her master Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil, which she does in by far the cruelest betrayal in the entire series.
  • Pokémon:
    • N's father is Ghetsis but his mother is never seen. It turns out he's adopted.
    • The Johto rival is the son of Giovanni but he never makes mention of his mother.
  • Aya's mother in Parasite Eve is stated to have died in a car accident when Aya was a child. Aya's mother is only used as character backstory.
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