If the 90s taught us anything, it’s that sunglasses have always been a universal shorthand for “cool.” For better or worse, it’s easy to lose sight of the number of game characters who have tried to impress us with a pair of cool shades.
Sometimes that works and can really help the character feel like a badass. Other times, an unnecessary set of frames will derail any attempt at freshness. Whether it’s a lame 90s gaming mascot trying his best to be pissed off or a mid-2010s shooter protagonist who refuses to take off his sunglasses even indoors , here are our favorite gaming characters who wear sunglasses.
ten Duke Nukem – Duke Nukem
The king of boomer shooters might have one of the most iconic pairs of sunglasses in video gaming. The thick-rimmed glasses exemplify the machismo and nerdyness that made Duke Nukem one of the most beloved protagonists of early shooters.
Unfortunately, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Duke and his square glasses. His last match was a complete disaster and no new titles were announced. Fortunately, he made a welcome return as a playable DLC character in 2011’s Bulletstorm.
Big Boss’ trusty right-hand man is rarely seen without his signature aviator sunglasses. Miller is the second-in-command of the Militaires Sans Frontières in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the Diamond Dogs in Metal Gear Solid V.
Miller is unceremoniously murdered just before the start of Metal Gear Solid. He is impersonated by Liquid Snake on comms to provide false intelligence to Solid Snake about his mission. Let’s hope Snake had a chance to try one of Miller’s famous burgers before he was murdered.
8 Albert Wesker – Resident Evil
The recurring Resident Evil villain rarely shows his eyes, instead opting for sunglasses – even though most of his evil business is done in dark labs. In many ways, Wesker is the malevolent face of Umbrella’s shady operations, so hiding his eyes behind dark frames makes sense.
When we see Wesker’s eyes, it’s normally in service of revealing his true mutated nature. Wesker is one of the few classic villains who doesn’t immediately look awkward in impractical sunglasses.
seven Funky Kong-Donkey Kong
If the ripped denim shorts, tank top, bandana, and sunglasses didn’t make it obvious, Funky Kong got its start in the beloved ’90s platformer Donkey Kong Country. According to Donkey Kong lore, Funky Kong is not a member of the Kong family, but actually just a close friend.
Funky Kong has been a staple in Mario and Donkey Kong games since its debut. The character is a particular favorite within the Mario Kart Wii community for his high speed stat.
6 Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik – Sonic
Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik has been Sonic’s villainous foil since his first appearance in the original Sonic The Hedgehog released in 1991. With a legion of robots at his side, Robotnik has been a constant nuisance to Sonic and his friends.
Whether they come in the form of eyeglasses or a pair of circular sunglasses a la Ozzy Osbourne, it would be nothing without his trademark eyewear. Recent iterations of Robotnik have seen the Mad Doctor swap out the goggles for empty, gray eye sockets… which is a little weird. Thankfully, the glasses have been revived for the character’s big screen debut in 2020.
5 Travis Touchdown – More Heroes
The punk attitude of the video game-loving assassin was sorely missed in the 11-year window between No More Heroes 2 and 3. Fortunately, the third game in the series was a triumphant return for the anti-hero.
No More Heroes’ frenetic combat wouldn’t be complete without Travis’ cool swagger. No More Heroes 3 saw Travis come out of retirement to defend Earth from an alien invasion, so it’ll be interesting to see how developer Grasshopper Manufacture steps up his adventures next.
4 Mordecai – Borderlands
More akin to goggles than a proper pair of sunglasses, Mordecai’s goggles still fulfill the role of making the Borderlands sniper cool and calculating. It’s a look that makes sense for his style of play, as Mordecai was the resident marksman of the original quartet of vault hunters. In battle, Mordecai is accompanied by Bloodwing, a vicious alien hawk that attacks unsuspecting foes.
Even when Mordecai took on the role of NPC and quest giver in later games, his wise and laid-back personality was always a welcome break from the game’s often unrelenting style of humor.
3 Barret Wallace – Final Fantasy VII
Wallace doesn’t always wear sunglasses, but between the cocked arm and the sleeveless jacket, it’s safe to say his cool factor is far from diminished. Shades of the cyborg are a more common sight in the 2020 game remake, ironically appearing when Wallace finds himself in the game’s darker areas. The remake in general does a great job of modernizing the game’s characters without sacrificing their unique qualities. .
While the expanse of the world of Final Fantasy 7 allows for some truly unique character designs, Wallace is proof that sometimes there’s nothing cooler than wearing sunglasses.
2 Cassie Cage – Deadly Cage
Fully adopting the wisecracking attitude and penchant for sunglasses of her father, Mortal Kombat legend Johnny Cage, Cassie Cage is one of the most memorable fighters introduced in Mortal Kombat X. Although she retains many quirks and fighting moves from her dad and mom Sonya Blade, another MK stalwart, Cassie is still forging her own path, as evidenced by her choice of aviator chic instead of her 90s chunky-rimmed sunglasses. dad.
Cassie also has some of the most memorable deaths in the new Mortal Kombat games, with a particularly notable seeing Cage taking a selfie with a recently maimed enemy.
1 Adam Jensen – Deus Ex
Taking inspiration from the original Deus Ex protagonist, JC Denton, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Adam Jensen sports a pair of sunglasses in most of his games. The only difference is that Jensen’s sunglasses are surgically attached cyborg augmentations, which arguably makes him the most committed to wearing them out of everyone on this list.
Why not simply surgically modify your eyes to make it easier to see in the dark? Let’s just assume that Jensen is too busy looking cool to think about it.
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