Most video game characters are associated with only a handful of careers. You have your soldiers, explorers, pilots, race car drivers, and even the occasional ninja. But some games dig a little deeper for inspiration. Some games strive harder for originality and come up with characters from seriously offbeat vocations.
Here are four video game characters with weird jobs.
1. Sissel from Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
It’s not every day you get to solve your own murder, but that’s exactly the task given to Sissel, the hero of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. At the start of the game, you wake up with no memory of who you are. It’s a classic amnesia story that might feel stale if you didn’t quickly learn that the dead body on the ground in front of you is your own body, and that you’re a ghost.
Turns out you’ve been murdered, so you decide to investigate the situation and use your new ghostly powers to save the lives of numerous people you encounter. It’s a well written game that’s a lot of fun to play, but make no mistake: Phantom detective is one of the stranger jobs you’ll find in any video game.
2. Mario and Luigi
They’re such a core part of the video game landscape that we’ve come to take it for granted that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. But if you reflect on that fact for a moment, you’ll realize how weird of a job that is for one video game hero, let alone two.
These guys fix toilets and unclog drains for a living. But when they run and jump through the colorful (and possibly drug-induced) land of the Mushroom Kingdom, we forget what these beloved characters do when they’re not off on an adventure. Maybe it’s time we got a plumbing game that puts them front and center.
3. Pokémon gym leaders
The world of Pokémon is more or less like our own, except that it’s infested with 721 different kinds of monsters that roam the land, waiting to be abducted by “trainers” who kidnap them and make them fight other kidnapped monsters.
If that’s not strange enough, the land is dotted with “gyms” run by people who seemingly exist to take on any upstart who comes along thinking he or she is better than them. And since you always play the hero of the story, it’s practically a foregone conclusion that you’ll defeat each gym leader you go up against. It’s a tough, thankless life job being a Pokémon gym leader. I hope the benefits package is generous.
4. Merchant in Resident Evil 4
Being a merchant isn’t a weird job on its own, but being a creepy teleporting salesman during the zombie apocalypse is weird enough to make your head spin.
It’s great that the merchant in Resident Evil 4 is always there for you with an array of weapons and ammo, but it’s also kind of weird. With a bulging backpack and a slew of hidden pockets, he greets you in the darkest, most zombie-infested corners of the world with his gravelly voice and his out-of-place Australian accent. Even weirder is that he keeps his face covered and continually calls you “stranger” even though you meet him many times during the course of the game.