Character design is difficult because you can’t really afford to make a character look absolutely real. That doesn’t mean inherently hyper-realistic either, rather they may not look like the average person you would see on the street. They need to dazzle in a way that catches the eye, but also doesn’t stand out from the world around them.
That goes twice for games. Many aspects make a character great, and it must be really good if you spend days and days with them. A nice touch can always be something simple, like scarves. They suit all weather, incorporate some wonderful designs and are fluently in a deeply satisfying way.
10/10 Mega Man – Proto Man
Aside from the fact that most of the characters in the series are simply called Something Man, there’s an interesting set of stories that spill over the myriad of Mega Man games. For example, Proto Man is actually the first Robot Master created by Dr. Light was built before Mega Man himself.
Story aside, however, Proto Man has a striking appearance. He has the characteristic massive legs with a flaming red and a matching helmet. To make him look even cooler, his eyes are covered with a jet black visor. Most notable, of course, is his flowing yellow scarf, which has been a mainstay of the character since his first appearance.
Keeping track of exactly which Snake you’re playing at any given moment in Metal Gear can be a bit of a confusing task. This is all the more difficult in MGSV, where the exact snake you are is a central part of the mystery of the narrative. All in all, we’ll call them the Big Boss for the sake of simplicity.
In MGSV, Big Boss can choose from a variety of outfits when going on a mission, mainly a variety of different camos. However, her standard outfit always comes with a scarf. More specifically, a shemagh, a type of shawl from the Middle East. It’s a unique look not often seen in games.
8/10 Promise Joe – Promise Joe
Director Hideki Kamiya is obsessed with older superhero stories and arcade exploits. There’s the upcoming Project GG, The Wonderful 101, and the game that started his self-proclaimed “superhero trilogy,” Viewtiful Joe.
Played as a sidescroller, Viewtiful Joe puts you in the shoes of the titular superhero and his much-touted special moves. In many ways he looks exactly like you would expect – a bright red skin tight suit with visor and helmet. But for this particularly stylish flourish, he has a seductive scarf that follows his every move.
7/10 Journey – The Traveler
Journey is a special little gem from ThatGameCompany (great name, btw). In it, you embark on a journey to a distant mountain as an unnamed little character known simply as the Traveler. However, you are not the only nomad on this journey as you will meet other real players throughout the game.
At Journey, scarves are more than just a design choice. The further you get in, the longer your scarf will be, allowing you to fly longer. In addition, there are various pieces of fabric scattered around the world, likely remnants of others’ scarves charging your own. It’s a beautiful feature that’s strong both visually and mechanically.
6/10 Ninja Gaiden – Ryu Hayabusa
Ninja Gaiden started way back in 1988 but only became the popular character action game series it is now until its 2004 revival with Ryu Hayabusa as the new protagonist. The games act as a prequel to the original series and are much more action-packed.
Ryu is, of course, an incredibly memorable protagonist who has appeared in many other works since, with his helmet usually being his most notable feature. However, the black scarf around his neck is just as iconic, diving and diving into your death spiral in battle.
5/10 F Zero – Captain Falcon
For many, the mere mention of F-Zero can be soul-wracking. The franchise is popular but has been dormant since 2004. Unlike Mario Kart’s simple gameplay and chaotic party fun, F-Zero was more of a high-speed arcade racing game where mistakes were severely punished.
Unlike many other racers, F-Zero actually had a deeper history, with Captain Falcon being one of the most iconic aspects of it. He’s the face of the franchise, and with good reason. He has that typical hero look, a tight blue suit, with some strappy boots. His helmet is more reminiscent of that of an aviator, and the bubbling scarf matches it.
4/10 Gravity Rush – Cat
Despite the studio behind it being summarily shut down by Sony and the series never getting the support it deserved, Gravity Rush was loved by the fans it achieved. Directed by the original Silent Hill’s Keiichiro Toyama, Gravity Rush had a dazzling style in terms of looks and gameplay.
It also introduced players to Kat, his beloved protagonist. She is selfless, always wanting to help and ending conflicts with words before violence. She was also a wonderfully unique design with clothes so different from most things in reality. And in a game about movement and defying gravity, a scarf feels like the perfect companion to show it all off.
3/10 Pokemon – Greninja
At this point almost everything you can think of is a Pokemon. Food, trees, world monuments and even literal trash. If you can guess it, it probably exists. It is necessary considering that there are over 900 of them at this time.
Usually, starters are the Pokemon that catch the eye first and become the most iconic. X and Y suffered from some weak end developments against their starters, except in Greninja. You really are something special. You are a big blue ninja-style frog and have the scarf that is so conspicuous on other shinobi characters. However, it is not a normal scarf as it is Greninja’s own tongue.
2/10 Bayonet – Luke
Whenever Platinum makes a game, you can guarantee that it will contain some references to their previous games. Heck, Bayonetta is a walking nod to Devil May Cry, from directly quoting the games to recreating scenes. But they even refer to their own games.
Luke for example. He was featured in Bayonetta and has appeared in every game in some fashion wearing his blue and red scarf. Luka also appears in the Wonderful 101 as a child, wearing the same scarf. And it all comes back to the scarf that Viewtiful Joe wears.
1/10 Devil May Cry 5 – Dante
If character action games achieve one thing, it’s absolutely outstanding protagonists. Just think for a second how badly games like Devil May Cry sell, but how well known their characters are by comparison. Almost everyone has heard of the funny pizza man demon slayer Dante.
Now you might be thinking, of all the aspects of Dante that are iconic, he doesn’t even have a scarf. That’s true just by looking at his outfit. But his guns? well dr Faust is a gamer’s dream and comes with a hat and scarf duo. In fact, the shawl grows with your wealth, making its ethereal sheen all the more magnificent.
NEXT: Game characters looking sharp in a suit