It’s another Monday, and how I wish I could just continue to submerge myself in video game worlds, like Breath of the Wild. There are so many characters to meet there, from all the named NPCs to those who have a more direct role in the story. Yet, even with how unique everyone seems, there still seems to be those who fall into tropes and cliched formulas…
On our journey throughout Hyrule in Breath of the Wild, we recently reached Zora’s Domain, learning a bit more of the Divine Beasts and the Zoras role in trying to fight against Calamity Ganon 100 years in the past. The adorable Zora that we saw in the trailers was Princess Mipha, one of the Champions who had controlled one of the Divine Beasts to aid Princess Zelda and Link. From the Zora elders, we’ve learned that Mipha had been a kind, gentle healer.
While Mipha looks adorable and I’m sure I’ll love her character whenever we fully meet her in the game, I was a little exasperated at her following the typical healer trope in video games. Healers are, generally, small, female, and cute. Their main personality trait is either shy or cheerful.
The past few Fire Emblem games followed the same formula with the younger sisters of the main character — Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn has Mist, Awakening has Lissa, and the Fates trio have Sakura and Elise. While I thought their characters were fine and I liked them, I feel as if the healer characters following these tropes aren’t very memorable.
I preferred the healers who could not only heal but also pack a punch, who may have had a gentle bedside manner when treating wounds but also weren’t shy in calling their teammates idiots for taking unnecessary risks.
Like Mirabelle and Brady from Awakening, ones who had sass with their class and a few different facets to their personalities. Jakob from Fates was another I liked, one who was loyal to the main character but didn’t take any lip from any other character. Princess Peach (rather, Princess Toadstool as she was known back when) as the healer in Super Mario RPG was fantastic as well — she heard about the trouble in the kingdom, wouldn’t take no as an answer in joining the party, and kept everyone healed while also tossing bombs at their opponents.
The trope works in most cases, of course, otherwise it still wouldn’t be around today. But I would much rather have a healer who breaks the tropes, a healer who uses most of his/her powers healing his/her own wounds, a healer whose staff breaks not from using healing spells but from walloping enemies on the head.
Are there any overused character tropes in video games you think could use some switching up? Any favorite tropes that you want to see more of in games?