In the 70s, the divine afro emerged into mainstream culture as an declaration of Black African heritage and a rejection of Eurocentric standards of beauty. The popularity of this natural hairstyle sooner or later spread throughout popular culture including video games. The "look" actually had many variations. We tend to think of the general orb afro but the styles of the 1970s fros came in a dazzling variety.
"Here is a list of the most afro-liscious video game characters of today and the yesteryear."
While not initially a video game character, Afro Samurai has been the playable protagonist in two games so far, besides what list featuring fictional afro wearing characters would be complete without the granddaddy of them all? The talented swordsman isn't only complimented for his deadly samurai skills on the battlefield but also for his wavy textured afro hair.
Afro Thunder (Ready 2 Rumble)
Afro Thunder's afro is legendary within the gaming world, even to this day. When the Dreamcast originally came with a demo copy of Midway's Ready 2 Rumble in 1999, all the characters in the game had their own gimmicks but none stood out like Afro Thunder, the immensely agile and talented boxer who was mostly remembered for his huge afro and Chris Rock sounding voice.
Stretch (NBA Street)
Kate Allen (F-Zero)
Nintendo is known for giving some it's characters soulful and disco inspired afro hair but none of those hairstyles compare to the diva singer and F-Zero racer Kate Alen, who's first playable appearance was in F-Zero GX for the Nintendo Gamecube. Kate is clearly the embodiment of soul culture and this is further expressed by the mega star's lubricious orb afro.
In 1997 Namco Tekken series introduced Tiger Jackson, the disco-themed capoeira fighter who was given a roster spot in Tekken 3 as a palette swap of Afro-Brazilian martial artist Eddy Gordo, which carried over to Tekken Tag Tournament. He is most recognizable due to his large fro and 70s dress sense. In Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion art book, it was revealed that Tiger Jackson was originally an unused concept for Eddy Gordo.
Tekken 6 allowed you to somewhat customize character's outfits and hairstyles by unlocking special items with in-game currency. Among those novelty items, our personal favourite was the selective afro wig for Christie Monteiro. The character's default hair texture is straight but this afro wig dramatically changed her look from an ambiguously tanned girl to a light skinned black woman.
Appearing in Nintendo's 1984's Punch-out!! Arcade game as a low-rate boxer with impeccable speed, Kid Quick was one of the first video games to rock an afro in the 8-bit era. His appearance stood out most notoriously because of his big kinky afro but apart from his hairstyle and quickness in the four squared ring, there wasn't much else. Which is understandable since Kid Quick was only a pallete swap.
Cassandra (Mafia III)
With Mafia 3's choice of setting strutted straight out of a 70s blaxploitation movie, it's no surprise to see such a dainty and strong looking afro on one of the female main characters, who wears it with pride. Cassandra is the leader of a Haitian gang based in New Orleans around the late 60s and early 70s. Her afro is thick and kinky, just the way we we like it!
Sazh & Dajh (Final Fantasy XIII)
While all the other characters in Final Fantasy XIII has over the top spiky anime hairstyles which the Final Fantasy series is well known for, Sazh and his son Dajh kept things naturally kinky throughout the entire FFXIII trilogy with throwback afros. It's pretty refreshing to see afro textured hairstyles in a series dominated by anime art inspired designs.
Lenora (Pokemon and White)
Pokemon games are usually dominated by spiky eccentric hairstyles but when a character is drawn with bright looking afro-textured hair it's bound to make them stand out, especially a character with dark caramel skin. The former gym leader's kinky green hair stands tall and looks adorable in pixel graphics.
Cinnamon (Crazy Taxi 2)
Cinnamon might not have a large afro on her head but let's not write her off just yet. The female taxi driver who was introduced in Crazy Taxi 2 has the cutest mini afro puffs, they look endearing and really add to the overall character design. The kinky, bleached and somewhat fizzy looking mini afros on each side of her head are just beautiful. Even though it's unlikely we'd love to see her return in a future Crazy Taxi game.
Franklin (GTA 5)
Although this hairstyle wasn't originally available at the beginning of the game, several years down the line Rockstar has finally tossed it's players some more singleplayer content and given them an afro for Franklin Clinton, one of the three protagonists in the game. We must say it looks great on him too, don't you think?
Carl Johnson (GTA: San Andreas)
We couldn't mention GTA 5 without mentioning the original don dada. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was the goat game for legendary hairstyles. You just had to pop into the game's local barber and Carl Johnson could look fresh to death. One of those hairstyles was the traditional afro which looked very impressive on CJ.
Erine Evou (Aurion Legacy of the Kori-Odan)
Africa's first action RPG has finally arrived and what's more fitting then for the main characters to be wearing their own natural hair proudly? The art style for the game is beautiful and the female main character Erine Evou looks absolutely stunning with her big afro hair. We must admit it's one of the best fros we've seen on a female character, which is not surprising considering who it's developers are.
Vella (Broken Age)
We have to admit compared to the other afros, Vella's hairdo in Broken Age is such an alluring and unique looking natural hairstyle. While simple looking, it still has a certain charm which makes Vella look quite elegant. The thing about Vella is without the afro she probably wouldn't look as comely, but overall the afro completes her look.
Like Afro Samurai Bobobo is essentially an anime character but that hasn't stopped him from appearing and starring in several video game series including most recently J-Star Victory VS. Bobobo's afro is in essence one of the best fros in the game today.
Funky Student (Persona)
Funky Student's afro in Persona 4 was so near perfection, the riddle master stood out in Persona 4 not only because of his slang but also because of the afro hair on top of his head. Funky Student made sure to keep his afro neat and tidy while quizzing students who found the time to answer his questions.
Kalypso (Donkey Kong)
Kalypso's sizeable and gleaming purple afro really does let out radiance, who'd ever thought that a reptile character could wear an afro so gracefully? Making her debut in 2007's Donkey Kong's Barrel Blast for the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii, Kalypso has been described as a cool and attractive character, oh she's also the rival of Tiny Kong.
Bouffalant is a bovine Pokemon with a large, dark afro on it's head. Despite being a pokemon it's got one of the most impressive afros we've seen on a wild creature. Which leads us to believe that Bouffalant could have possibly been human in it's previous life, unless it's actually wearing a novelty wig.