Imagine living in a videogame world – with all those zombie viruses wreaking havoc on your cities, all those wars breaking out, all those people seeming to want to kill you for no apparent reason, it’d be easy to fall under the influence of alcohol’s soothing touch, no? You’d end up like Gerard Butler in Gamer, except with much less control over your actions. We’ve searched the vomit-ridden backend of our gaming catalogues to find the most memorable virtual drinkers so you don’t have to…
1. Bo Rai Cho [Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance]
Maybe living in Earthrealm was enough to turn this Outworlder to drink, or maybe it was the death of his student, Liu Kang, at the hands of Quan Chi and Shang Tsung that drove him to the bottle – either way, Bo Rai Cho loves booze so much, he’s become the iconic face of the Drunken Fist style. Problem is, Bo Rai Cho can’t handle his drink all that well – his signature move is throwing up on the floor, not something we’d recommend in the middle of mortal combat. Credit to him, though; we never thought we’d see someone weaponise stomach acid like that…
2. ‘Irish’ [Red Dead Redemption]
Rockstar aren’t exactly known for their subtly or racial sensitivity, but even by its standards, ‘Irish’ is a pretty bad stereotype. Immigrating to the American West after leaving Ireland, the enigmatic transient calms his nerves and reminds himself of his homeland by remaining perpetually drunk. A bad storyteller (he can’t remember the details), a shirker of work (he never wakes up on time) and a coward to the core (he cowers at the sound of gunfire), ‘Irish’ seems to have settled into a comfortable life as a dysfunctional alcoholic – even if it does give him a bad reputation amongst his fellow pioneers.
3. Auron [Final Fantasy X]
Never explicitly mentioned in the game, but clearly visible if you’re looking for it, Auron’s alcohol dependency potentially has a horrific backstory. We know Auron died in his first Pilgrimage with Braska and Jecht, and was found at the foot of Mount Gagazet. The undertones imply that maybe, just maybe, the realisation that Jecht would take Sin’s place after his defeat drove the Bushido-abiding guardian to drink, and he drank himself to death on the wintry slopes of the Ronso’s homeland. This is, of course, pure speculation, but if true it paints Auron’s whole story in a more tragic and depressing light.
4. Booker DeWitt [BioShock Infinite]
Not a booze-hound by default, but as a player you’ve got more than enough power to make Booker a bin-sifting desperado always searching out his next snifter of brandy. It seems everyone in Infinite has a problem, though – there’s alcohol everywhere: from the shelves of ransacked shops to the bottoms of bins, the cupboards of the poor to the private bars of the rich, factory floors to baby’s cribs. If we had that kind of temptation at every turn, we’re fairly certain that we’d fall under the addictive influence of Columbia’s ales, too. Especially if the only downside was our peripheral vision getting a bit fuzzy.
5. Vincent Brooks [Catherine]
As with Booker, Vincent isn’t a frequent boozer at first, but as his life becomes increasingly more complex and his dreams increasing more stressful, you have the option to turn Vincent in a complete alcoholic. When you first arrive at the Stray Sheep bar, you’re chilling with your friends, so a drink or two is fine… but when they leave, and you choose to keep Vincent drinking alone… that’s when you know you’ve got a problem. To be fair, though, if we were having lethal night terrors and had the potential to hang around with Lucifer himself at the bar, we’d probably stick around with an extra pint or two at the end of the night as well.
6. Shun Di [Virtua Fighter 2]
Another fighting game, another fighter with a penchant for the drunken arts. Shun Di practises drunken kung-fu – it must be something about sages obsessed with fighting tournaments that makes them partial to a tipple. Like Bo Rai Cho, Shun Di travels the land teaching others how to fight, supposedly getting apocalyptically drunk with his students once their training is complete. Shun Di even heard about the World Fighting Tournament one night whilst out on the lash, deciding to enter on a whim – we wonder if the old guy would have even gotten involved with the competition if he’d been in more of a responsible frame of mind.
7. Ethan Thomas [Condemned 2: Bloodshot]
After seeing and living through some pretty intense madness in the first game, you re-join Ethan Thomas as an alcoholic living on the street, using whiskey to help in forgetting his fall from grace and, assumedly, all the people he’s killed by this point. Things only get worse for Ethan: his addiction actually comes to affect gameplay – you must constantly drink liquor to steady your hands, otherwise your aim is absolutely awful. At least there’s light at the end of the tunnel – kill the Alcohol Demon, a personal anxiety haunting Ethan, and voila; you’re cured. If only real life was that simple.
8. Pirate Leaders [The Secret Of Monkey Island]
You wouldn’t think a drink that consisted of diluted rum, flavoured with lime and sugar, would make a particularly pleasant drink. Alas, the Pirate Leaders of Monkey Island can’t get enough of the corrosive beverage, and happily sit in the Scumm Bar all day and night, knocking glass after glass of the stuff down their throats. Though they send Guybrush out on three quests in order to achieve recognised piratehood, one of the Leaders make the only observation that really matters; “To be a pirate,” he claims, “ye must be a foul-smelling, grog-swilling pig”. Words to live by, right there.
9. Conker [Conker’s Bad Fur Day]
The Nintendo 64 has long been considered a family-friendly console, right? Odd, then, that Conker wound up on there – particularly when he was having such a bad fur day. The lager-loving lout even had a tutorial stage that revolved around him getting sloshed and then relieving himself on some flaming devils, extinguishing them with recycled beer. How this got through the censors, we’ll never know. We imagine if this came out in the modern age, consumer reaction would be less forgiving than it was back in 2001, but it was Rare’s last Nintendo 64 game, so we wonder if the developer was that bothered by then.