Bring it in
I admit it; I’m a hugger. Don’t make this weird. Keep it office appropriate, but bring it in. Maybe after the pandemic has ended.
Just like any hugger, I spend a lot of time thinking about hugging other people, dogs, crustaceans, and fictional characters. More than once have I been playing a game and thought, “I bet that character gives great hugs.” By “more than once,” I mean, like, constantly. When a new monster reveals itself from the depths, my mind immediately puts it on a scale for huggability. Great Grey Wolf Sif: Very huggable. Gaping Dragon: No.
So allow me to share my expertise with all the other huggers out there and bring your attention to some of my picks for ten of the best video game huggers out there. I know some of you are already searching your folders of Shin Megami Tensei games to find the most phallic creation that you want to pull into your embrace, but this is serious business. You can’t just go through life making light of the important subject of hugs. Focus!
Can you truly look me in the eye and tell me you never wanted to hug Mike Haggar from Final Fight? Look at him, he walks like he’s inviting everyone on the street into his arms. It helps that the beat-’em-up genre is the huggingest variety of games on the market. Most of the time, when a brawler gets close to another character, they immediately take them into their arms before driving their faces into the concrete.
There are quite a few characters that would fit in place of Haggar, including newcomer hugger, Estel from Streets of Rage 4, but Haggar has been hugging longer than most. Plus, he’s willing to hug a city full of thugs to save his city and get his daughter back. That’s a man dedicated to hugging.
Jump, wait, hop, wait, wait, jump, wait, wait, jump (clear two), wait, wait, wait, jump, wait, wait, wait, hop, wait, and hug. Look at Mega Man’s Yellow Devil, he’s huge. Maybe squishy. His stance implies that he wants a hug, but is too shy to commit to it. Those are hugging hands, ready for a soft embrace. Just don’t get too attached. Yellow Devil is a heartbreaker. If you take your time and pause for effect, you might just crack that squishy exterior.
Damn! Talk about tree-hugging! While his bark-covered exterior may not make for the most comfortable embrace, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Hestu’s round shape is pleasing to the arms. He also really knows how to shake it, so if you’re the type to go out dancing, Hestu will shake it with you. I’m not the dancing type, but I respect his hobbies.
The first thought a lot of people probably had when they saw the four-armed Goro in the first Mortal Kombat was, “Damn, I want a hug from that guy.” The problem is, like so many fighting game bosses, the dude’s a cheater. He’s fast and does stupid amounts of damage. Sheeva is a much better option.
First appearing in Mortal Kombat 3 as the first playable Shokan on the regular roster, Sheeva’s skimpy outfit and impressive musculature confused me as a pre-pubescent child. She has beckoning arms, unlike Goro’s “I’m going to crush you” physique.
I can’t really imagine a scenario where Doom’s DoomGuy would be looking for a hug. He’s pretty fixated on demon killing, but he did take time out for his pet rabbit, Daisy, so maybe there is a comforting embrace in him somewhere. All I know is he’s a passionate individual, and if he could somehow swap his demon-killing hands for hugging hands, it would be a hug for the ages. Just look at those arms! They’re as big as my waist.
Dracula’s half-human spawn is something of the dramatic type. Alucard from the Castlevania series presents himself as equal parts sullen and stoic, he’s like the ideal persona of a shoegazing band frontman. More than anyone on this list, however, the guy needs a hug. He misses his mom and has severe daddy issues. It might be difficult to get him to throw open his cloak, but if you can somehow convince him to take you into his dhampir arms, he’d probably have trouble letting go.
Andre (Blacksmith from Dark Souls)
There were few truly friendly faces in Dark Souls. One wrong move and someone you thought was your friend would be at your throat. Not Andre, though. Guy just sits in the basement of a church, blacksmithing all day. He wishes you well with a cheerful demeanor, a welcome change from the morose or plainly insane. Plus, those calloused hammering hands are primed for hugging, and an embrace from Andre would definitely make the world of Dark Souls a lot less bleak.
Shoutout to Stockpile Thomas from Demons Souls. He’s got a heart of gold that could probably benefit from a hug, but he loses points because he’d probably start crying down your back.
The Yakuza series’ mainstay protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, reminds me a lot of my dad. Hyper-competent, good-hearted, and endearingly out of touch. Do you know who gives great hugs? My dad. And while my dad has arms honed from working in a lumberyard for most of his life, he doesn’t quite have Kiryu’s chiseled physique.
Plus, despite his expressionless exterior, he is a bit of a soft touch. He takes care of orphans (while absolutely sloshed if you play Yakuza like I do) and even loves animals. He’s not so manly he can’t take time to play with toy cars, so you can bet a hug from him will be slightly awkward but palpably comforting.
If given the choice, I probably wouldn’t have even started Undertale. I would have just accepted Toriel’s offer of motherly love and butterscotch pie. I hate butterscotch. It was pretty mean of Undertale to start the game by forcing you to break the heart of a kindly woman. I fought it, but it leaves you no choice. Thankfully, if you play your cards right, you might get another chance at that matriarchal embrace.
However, if you chose to kill Toriel, we can’t be friends anymore.