Follow TV Tropes

Following

Perpetual Frowner / Video Games

Go To

  • First Encounter Assault Recon: Besides her creepy little smiles directed towards Becket, Alma is always frowning.
  • Akuma/Gouki from the Street Fighter series is a famous and extreme example, as he never smiles at all.
    • When he becomes Shin Akuma in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium, he does smile... a Slasher Smile.
    • He did have one in Street Fighter Alpha 2 in Ryu's ending.
    • Series mainstay M. Bison was originally a Perpetual Frowner, but now he's better known for his Slasher Smile. From what can be seen, those are the only two facial expressions he's capable of.
      • Well, these two, plus his Oh, Crap! expression during the endings of Alpha 3.
    • Advertisement:
    • Sagat and Guile are also constantly frowning, though Guile occasionally smiles in the presence of his family. Main character Ryu is halfway there, though it's more of an impassive look that leans toward frowning than a proper Perpetual Frown.
    • Guy from Final Fight has a trademark scowl that matches his aloof and serious personality. The only instance in which Guy smiles is in an official art depicting Ryu, Ken, and Guy in casual clothes (Hell, in Cody's ending in SFA 3, his face is scowling, even though the dialogue implies he is glad Cody is back on his side)
    • As of Super Street Fighter IV, Makoto was not seen showing so much as a smirk in any official art (her ending in Super Street Fighter IV being an exception). She makes up for it with plenty of yelling.
    • Remy from Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. You wouldn't expect someone whose win quote translates to "I hate everything that I see!" to smile much, would you?
  • There are several examples from the Fire Emblem series.
      Advertisement:
    • Soren from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
    • Sothe displays this trait in Radiant Dawn as well, which is remarked upon by Naesala in the following exchange:
      Naesala: Where's that stone-faced sidekick of yours?
      Micaiah: He's just hesitant to show his emotions.
    • Ike is definitely this. He even scares Sothe when they first meet in Path of Radiance. Sanaki also lampshades this in Radiant Dawn:
      Ike: I'm here. What do you want?
      Sanaki: Hmph. Don't look so sour.
      Ike: I always look like this, Apostle Sanaki.
      Sanaki: Ah, yes. That's true. Well, I didn't summon you to talk about your grumpy expressions.
    • Raven from Blazing Sword also qualifies. As noted by a comrade in arms, Wil, during one of their hilarious support conversations:
      Wil: Fine, fine. If it'll get you to stop scowling, I'll talk normal.
      Raven: What scowl?
      Wil: That! What you're doing right now!
      Raven: ...This is my normal face.
    • Advertisement:
    • Lon'qu (of the serious variant), Tharja, Gerome (of the serious variant), Severa (of the angry variant), Noire (of the sad mopey variant), and to a lesser extent, Lucina (of the serious variant), from Awakening. In Noire's case, it was due to living in fear of Tharja's (her mother) curses, as she was used as a guinea pig for them.
    • Azura, Hinoka, Xander (of the serious variant), Beruka, and Nyx from Fire Emblem Fates.
  • The Tales Series has a few.
    • Kratos from Tales of Symphonia, as befits his role as The Stoic. Same goes for Regal, who wears an even larger frown than Kratos (especially in his official art), but is slightly more likely to lighten up. Presea also rarely smiles due to being magically emotionally repressed for years (16, in fact,) which makes the few instances where she does smile utterly adorable.
    • Leon from Tales of Destiny.
    • Veigue from Tales of Rebirth, who smiles once in the entire game, near the end.
    • Keele from Tales of Eternia — his expression is generally either "angry", "disdainful" or "sullen", whereas his "smile" is more of an arrogant smirk.
    • Asch from Tales of the Abyss, whose grumpiness is commented on and made fun of by the other characters; Luke tells him at one point that if he keeps frowning, his face will get stuck that way. Again, his "smile" is usually more like a smirk.
      Jade: What's the matter, [Asch?] You look as if you've swallowed a bug. Oh wait, you always look like that.
      • What's weird is that his status picture in the menu represents him with a full-on happy face...maybe because we'd never get to see him smile in-game.
      • This is even referenced in Tales of Vesperia. There's a note scratched into a signboard identifying all the main characters in Tales Of The Abyss. Asch's entry is just "always looks angry."
    • Kunzite of Tales of Hearts rarely smiles, his only "happy" portrait is but a tiny turning of the lips, and the first time a character gets him to smile, he seems to frighten everyone by the mere act. Mysterious Waif Lycia says straight out that she can't smile as long as she's atoning for the plot of the game, but is eventually persuaded to (along with Kunzite, properly this time) when the final dungeon rolls around.
    • Gaius from Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2. He doesn't smile at all in the first game, but manages a smirk on a few occasions in the second.
    • Eizen from Tales of Berseria. The most he ever tends to show is a slight smirk, though he does display a hilariously devious smile in a skit on one occasion after subtly trolling Magilou during one of her comedy routines (Perhaps he's secretly the one his sister got the habit from...).
  • Elite Beat Agents Derek and Chieftain almost never smile.
    • Arguably, Mona from the "I Was Born To Love You" stage. The entire goal for that stage is to help Leo to get her to smile, so he can paint her portrait. And no, taking her to a concert, taking her for a flight in a flying machine, and saving her from a stampede of bulls isn't quite enough to do it. The "special tunnel" does the trick, though.
    • Jake, who only starts smiling if you fail his stage and he turns into a giggling zombie.
  • Mega Man in Mega Man 7.
    • Zero from the Mega Man X series deserves a special mention, seeing how he applies to this trope in more ways than one:
      • After Iris dies, he not only stops smiling, practically at all, but loses essentially all of his Badass Boasting personality and becomes The Stoic. For example, he no longer throws a thumbs up at the player after beating a boss, but just turns away before he leaves the stage.
      • Even his theme music has noticeable changes. Where his theme is X4 may have been the peak of giving the feeling that Zero is about to cut down everyone in the level, in X5 and onward, Zero's music becomes a lot more calm and serious sounding.
      • By the Mega Man Zero series, not only does he never smile once, but his dialogue portrait seems to get angrier with every passing game.
    • Then there's Geo Stelar of Mega Man Star Force, who spends much of the first game on a massive angst-trip and is shown frowning both in human and wave forms. He lightens up later, though.
  • There are those who doubt that Agent 47 from Hitman can even smile.
  • The title character of Max Payne, as befitting someone whose last name sounds like "pain".
  • God of War: Kratos isn't this so much as "perpetual enraged-snarler".
  • Riku in the Kingdom Hearts games.
  • Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis has Moritz of the Athanor room. Lampshaded many times during the party's first visit. First and foremost:
    Nikki: Whoah! Scary face alert!
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cloud Strife from The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII almost never smiles. He even gets a special musical cue for the one time he does smile, because Nobuo Uematsu read the cue in the script and found it so hard to imagine.
    • Though his face is always covered by a mask, we can safely assume that Shadow from Final Fantasy VI doesn't even know HOW to smile. He rarely speaks and his only friend is his dog. According to Shadow himself, he's learned to kill his emotions, and Edgar knows of his reputation as a cold-blooded assassin who would "kill his best friend for the right price."
    • Steiner and Amarant from Final Fantasy IX certainly qualify. ESPECIALLY Steiner, a cantankerous grouch of a knight whose only two emotions are angry and dead serious. The number of times he's seen without his signature grouchy frown can be counted on one hand with fingers remaining.
    • Many characters in Final Fantasy XIII, due to the Dysfunction Junction nature of the party. Lightning is the cold and brooding Distaff Counterpart to Cloud, Hope is constantly angsting about his dead mother and his desire to have his revenge on Snow, Sazh is mopey because of his lost son, while Cid Raines is a Perpetual Frowner due to being forcefully made a puppet to the fal'cie.
  • Throughout the Legacy of Kain series, Kain very rarely smiles. In the event that he does, it's usually a good indication that his enemies have found themselves on the receiving end of his plan or he's about to do something horrible to somebody.
  • Sten of Dragon Age: Origins. Nonetheless he's occasionally shown that he's got a Gentle Giant side going on, and he smiles broadly if you return his sword.
    • Hawke is show doing nothing but scowling in any Dragon Age II promotional material, though thankfully, this is averted in the game itself. In-game, however, the expression is associated with Fenris, to the point where Merrill comments that she's worried that if Fenris was to smile his face would break.
  • Curt Schilling in Backyard Baseball.
  • Huang Lee of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Comes from being a Deadpan Snarker Only Sane Man.
  • Kazuma Kiryuu of the Yakuza games has a forbidding scowl permanently etched onto his face. He does smile a few times, usually when he's around Haruka, and it's adorable.
  • The Boss/The Joy from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Meanwhile, The Sorrow never frowns.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Goemon started out like this.
  • Pokémon:
    • Red in his remake design. He's always shown frowning, except for his victory animations in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and once when he gives a haughty smirk in said game. Ironic since his original design is nearly always drawn happy and smiling.
    • Subway Master Ingo, twin brother of Emmet .
    • Shroomish, the Mushroom Pokémon.
    • Crobat's face is contorted into a permanent scowl, despite the fact that it can only become a Crobat by reaching maximum happiness with its trainer.
    • In X and Y's Pokemon Amie feature, while most Pokemon will lighten up and give you a proper smile under the right circumstances, there are a few like Umbreon, Terrakion, and Zekrom who simply won't smile, no matter how hard you try to get them to.
  • Marcus Fenix from Gears of War never smiles. Dom is this as well, especially after Maria's death.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Trauma Center has Victor Niguel. His only two sprites are his normal one (frowning) and really pissed off. You know that it's gone From Bad to Worse when he's really pissed.
    • Also CR-S01, whose reason for his Perpetual Frowner-ness is revealed in his bonus scene. He also smiled later on in the game, prompting a lot of squeeing from fans.
  • Mitsunari from Sengoku Basara has an unflinching Death Glare, replaced by a slight smile only once; in his best friend's imagination.
    • Honda Tadakatsu from the same series always has an unchanging expression of vague disapproval, falling somewhere between Batman and Robocop.
  • Koei's Samurai Warriors also has Honda Tadakatsu, whose angry eyebrows and slightly downturned mouth give him a stern and humorless look. He also sometimes crosses over into 'angry and shouting' but never quite seems to make it to 'happy.'
  • Koei's other major hack and slash franchise, Dynasty Warriors, has the infamous Lu Bu, whose designs regularly feature Big Ol' Eyebrows, Hot Blooded Sideburns, and a constant look of disappointed contempt for everything around him. Even when he's being kind to someone like Diaochan, he rarely actually smiles—instead, he just shouts a bit less than usual.
  • Proof that Koei seems to like this sort of thing for their biggest and most violent badasses—Warriors: Legends Of Troy has the vicious and chronically surly Achilles, who could probably crack mirrors with how often he's scowling at everything.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • This is Shadow the Hedgehog's default expression. He'll smirk on rare occasions. About the only time he genuinely smiles is in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, where he'll sometimes smile if he does well at an event.
    • Knuckles is also subject to this in games after Sonic 3 & Knuckles where he is portrayed as the deadly-serious loner who, unlike Sonic, doesn't chuckle. Later on his hot-headed attitude grew more characteristic. Most of the current artwork has him either frowning or clenching his teeth.
    • It is unusual to see Silver crack a smile when he first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), but this has to do him taking his duty in protecting the future very seriously. He does show a smile in some games like Sonic Generations where he shows excitement in facing Sonic in a rematch.
    • Blaze is also one due to her being a cold, detached loner (much like Knuckles) in the Sonic Rush Series, and this is even after she comes out of her shell. However, she was honestly surprised when Cream pointed out that she was smiling. In the Mario and Sonic series, she is portrayed as much more jovial and enthusiastic, frequently displaying a large wide open smile, suggesting she maybe has more a Serious Business treatment of her duties rather than negative in personality.
    • Espio of The Chaotix. Considering that he's serious, he doesn't smile that much. It also doesn't help the fact he's surrounded by his teammates in the loudmouth Vector and the scatterbrained Charmy.
    • Robotnik was one for a while in the U.S.
    • When raising Chao in the Sonic Adventure series, it's possible for them to be this, since every chao has a 'default' face determined by how its egg hatches.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
  • Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time very rarely changes his expression from a frown, and when he does, it's usually in shock from whatever horrible monstrosity he's just encountered. Mido in the same game is always in a foul mood and never changes his expression, even in the ending where everyone is happy after Ganondorf is defeated.
  • Miles Edgeworth in the Ace Attorney series is never seen smiling at all. He'll sometimes make a small smirk when he is smug, but that is as far as he will go to cracking a smile. Edgeworth is always serious with his work as a prosecutor and many people notice how he doesn't seem to let loose.
    • Worth mentioning he doesn't even have a properly smiling sprite until his reappearing in the second game, where he gets a new one. What he had before was his ironic aside-smile and his cocky smirks in court, which don't really count. His death glares are legendary, on the other hand.
  • Hawke from Advance Wars. He's the only character in the game to not smile or cheer when his unit's win an attack (He doesn't even have a smiling mugshot'').
  • Aban from 1001 Spikes is always irritated with a face to match. Until the very last part of the Golden Ending cutscene, that is.
  • Yasha from Asura's Wrath.
  • The Mad Bomber from Activision's Atari 2600 game Kaboom. He only smiles when you miss one of his bombs.
  • Ragna the Bloodedge of Blazblue. Scowling is his default expression in all his character portraits, and given his life, it's easy to see why. With the exception of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, absolutely none of his official artworks in any games has him smiling. This runs contrast to his Spiritual Predecessor, Sol Badguy, who is often shown smirking.
  • Papa Louie Arcade has Kahuna and Gremmie doing this as their usual expressions in their debut. They soon start smiling in later games.
  • The Lodger from Knock-knock sports one throughout the entire game.
  • Sasha in Harvest Moon 64 is constantly frowning. She is depressed due to the fact that the vineyard is dying, her daughter Karen is a hairs length away from running off, and her family always argues. Her mood improves if you either save the vineyard or get Karen to stay (by marriage or friendship). It's noticeable in the Alternate Universe Harvest Moon: Back to Nature that Sasha smiles on default. In that game, and all future games, she isn't married to Gotz and doesn't even own a vineyard.
  • Bill in Left 4 Dead hardly smiles at all. He can smile like the rest of the survivors in game if you have him use a positive reply, but most official media and the tie-in comic will always have Bill showing his serious face. It is justified since Bill's a Vietnam War veteran and going through a second "war" with the zombies wouldn't exactly brighten anyone's day. Bill's in-game model has him look like he's constantly frowning for his neutral face due to having a cigarette in his mouth.
  • Drachma in Skies of Arcadia smiles once in the whole game, during his Obi-Wan Moment. The rest of the time his face is contorted into a cynical scowl.
  • Octavian the Eagle in The Secret World never smiles at any point in the game, a habit made all the more obvious by his wide and permanently-downturned mouth.; even when he's finally given a reason to care again, he still can't manage a smile. Of course, given all the scars on his face, it's not clear if he's physically capable of doing so anymore.
  • Reaper of Overwatch has a constant scowl if the player equips a skin that shows his face (and doesn't spam his laughing or shrugging emotes).
  • Plumeria in Pokémon Sun and Moon. She never smiles during any of her onscreen appearances, not counting the epic Slasher Smile she gives you in the demo. Though she does finally crack one during the ending Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, after Guzma disbands Team Skull.
Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback