Today we look at ten of our favourite fictional characters from Motherland Africa who have made their appearance in video games, whether it be mainstream or indie titles. These characters were born in Africa, hence the reason why black characters born outside of the African continent such as African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Brazilians and so forth won't be featured despite being of African descent.
"we look at ten of our favourite fictional characters from Motherland Africa who have made their appearance in video games"
If you were to take a look back at video game's history you would never realize that Africa is the world's second largest continent. There's a massive hole in the video game industry when looking for games which are themed around African mythology, characters and art. Which have us shaking our heads as Africa has so much depth with it's rich history, citizens, spoken language, traditions, myths, architecture and so forth.
When you look back at gaming history there hasn't been a lot of characters from Africa either, normally black characters are depicted as either American or Brazilian, which isn't necessary a bad thing, but despite this fact we have managed to scope down and find at least ten characters who were born in Africa and have managed to leave a lasting impression on us.
10. Zazie Muhaba
(Fighter's History Dynamite 1994)
The Neo-Geo fighting game Fighter's History Dynamite, also called Karnov's Revenge, which was released in 1994 was one of the first and only fighting games to include an African martial arts practitioner. This character didn't box, dance or play sports which is indeed a rare instance for a fighting game.
Zazie's love of nature is unparalleled and this is further empathized in his back story and ending. Zazie created the African Nature Protection Society to defend animals from poachers in Kenya, his birthplace. He entered the fighting tournament to raise funding for his organization. Zazie's ending unveiled that he identifies greatly with pacifism.
(Soul Calibur Series 2005-2009)
Zasalmel made his debut in the Soul series of fighting games since Soul Calibur 3, returning for two other sequels before ultimately being cut from the most recent instalment with no explanation as to why. In the game it's actually never revealed where he was born but as written in his profile, he comes from an old civilisation that was originally chosen as protectors of Soul Calibur, the sacred weapon.
Many people believe this ancient nation was in Africa due to Zasalamel's physical appearance and facial features, hence the reason he made this list. He has no allegiances to anyone but himself and it's believed that his actions may be seen as immoral. It's worth mentioning that Zasalamel has been the only black character in the series to date, outside of guest character Spawn.
8. Crying Wolf
(Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots 2008)
There's been quite a few African characters in the Metal Gear Solid series to date but one of our favourite female characters in the series, who also happens to be African is none other than Crying wolf. Crying Wolf was the sniper and sentry of the Beauty and the Beast Unit, a group of female soldiers who were affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The intense psychic trauma she endured in her early life sent the poor girl over the edge. Crying Wolf's psychopathy manifested itself in her perpetually crying, weeping loudly even in the heat of battle.
(Mortal Kombat Series 1995-Present)
Despite his cyborg appearance, Cyrax was originally an African man from Botswana who was turned into a cyborg. Making his Debut in Mortal Kombat 3 it wasn't until Mortal Kombat Gold that players got to see the face behind the cybernetic armour, an alternate costume which revealed Cyrax's human identity.
In Mortal Kombat Alliance his alternate outfit shows him to be just about human with several cybernetic parts, while his alt costume in Mortal Kombat 9 goes the extra mile and gives Cyrax a complete human body.
6. The Mbele Squad
(Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 2015)
Metal Gear Solid TPP's African child soldiers where just some of the things that never left our minds when we think of Kojima's final MGS game. The Mbele Squad were a crew of kid soldiers that Venom Snake met in 1984. Shabani was originally the leader of the Child Solider unit until his untimely dead in the same year. The other children note that Shabani was the one who looked out for them and took care of their needs.
(Street Fighter Series 1997-Present)
Elena first appeared in Street Fighter III as the first black female character. She is a princess of an African state in Kenya who have a cultural custom of fighting. Typically Elena doesn't look like your average Kenyan person due to her straight white hair and bright blue eyes, but we always welcome her addition to the Street Fighter roster with each new iteration in the series.
(Resident Evil 5 2009)
Since her conception in 2009 Sheva Alomar and the game which she came from has been a controversial issue and for all the right reasons too, but overall despite the controversy surrounding Capcom's RE5 we can't deny that Sheva has become one of our favourite female characters in video game history. Her character design and voice really left a lasting on us and we'd love to see more of her.
Sheva was a new and refreshing character for the series, a BSSAA operative of South Africa who acted as a guide for the tired Chris Redfield, who was possessed over the occurrence of his partner Jill Valentine.Without characters like herself and even Josh Stone, you really can't say that the developers are even trying anything new with their characters or series.
(Assassin's Creed III: Liberation 2012)
Enslaved from a early age, Agaté met a man who taught him the ways of the Assassins. After his mentor's death in 1758, Agaté journeyed to Loisiana, a wanted man, and hid in the bayou. Agate later on founded the local Assassin guild, enlisting Aveline de Grandpré (the main character) and another man whom he trained to be his agents in New Orleans.
When you are first introduced to Agaté at the beginning of the game you can probably already see that he's a no nonsense character whose character development is without a doubt very strong, Ubisoft certainly did their homework. Agaté moves like a true African warrior and was the very person to teach Aveline her deadly and swift assassin moves.
(Marvel Video game Series 2006-Present)
While originally a comic book character, the African superhero has gradually made his transition to video games, appearing in several Marvel video games including Marvel: Ultimate Alliance where he is a playable character. Whilst he has appeared in Marvel games, the character has never had a video game to call his own. Since Black Panther has a movie coming out in 2018, we wouldn't mind seeing a Black Panther video game as long as it's made by a reputable game developer.
1. Enzo Kori-Odan
(Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan 2016)
Seldom do you see playable African warriors in video games let alone games based around African Mythology but that's all changed with the release of Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan. An action RPG developed by African developers developer kiro'o Games. Enzo Kori-Odan, the prince of Zama is a refreshing change to the accustomed protagonists which game developers usually come up with.
Enzo is unlike the other generic looking heroes which have become the norm in mainstream gaming, which is what we especially love about the character. Enzo is betrayed by his relative-in-law on the day of his marriage with Erine Evou. The royal couple are then banished from their kingdom and decide to travel the world in search of assistance.
Unlike all the other characters featured on this list Enzo was created by an African game developer and you can really see the difference in comparison to character design and overall presentation. Finally we can say there's a video game hero for Africa.
(So there you have it, here's ten of our favorite African video game characters, did your favourite chracter make the cut or did we miss them? Let us know.)