Easter Special: Christ Metaphors in Gaming

Here we are, internet, another holiday and thus another holiday special. I wracked my brain to think up a suitable topic for today’s Easter post. Would I showcase eggs in video games, or rabbits? Maybe chocolate? Well, I took the easy way out and today we are going to be looking at some Christ metaphors. For those of you who don’t know, a Christ metaphor involves someone sacrificing themselves for the greater good, and then being resurrected. It is probably the most common literary device outside of the Barbara Streisand metaphor, and that carries over to video games as well. I want to warn you that this list is by no means exhaustive, as I don’t want to spend the next three months compiling the many, many Christ metaphors in gaming. Note that there will be spoilers for these games. So without further ado, let’s look at our number 1.

Issac really wanted that egg

1.) Crono – Chrono Trigger

Lo, and he was smote by the intergalactic space insect, and on the seventh day, he returned to us on top of the scary mountain of the insect’s spawn.
– Book of Janus

Come on! He even puts himself in a crucified pose!

This one isn’t the heaviest Christ metaphor, but it’s there. After discovering that Magus is a false prophet, Crono and the gang confront Lavos, which is pretty much the ultimate evil (Or parasite just trying to live, whatever). After discovering they cannot win Crono sacrifices himself so Schala can save the party and they can go on to protect the world. Well, that wasn’t the end of Crono. The party can revive him using the eponymous Chrono Trigger and bring him back to the world. Instead of ascending to heaven, however, Crono joins your team again in order to vanquish Lavos and save the world. If biblical Jesus was able to use Luminaire against the Devil, I’m sure the bible would be a far more entertaining read.

2.) The Lone Wanderer – Fallout 3

And he did give up his body so that the waters of life could flow through the Capitol, instead of listening to the disembodied pleadings of the President and creating havoc and death throughout the wasteland.
– Scrolls of the Brotherhood

Jesus had a dog right? I’m pretty sure he had a dog.

Fallout 3 was full of Biblical references. Hell that one damn Revelations verse you heard at the beginning pretty much spoils the entire plot. As it stands, the main game had not one, but two sacrifices for humanity. One by the character’s father, or Liam Neeson as I call him, and another by the player himself in the same way about an hour later. So you are following in the footsteps of your father. The Christ metaphor is heavy. Even though one of your companions, a super mutant named Fawkes, would be able to survive the endeavour, he forces you to do it, as “it is your path to take”. However, there is no revival… until Bethesda changed the ending with DLC. After Broken Steel was released, the Lone Wanderer wakes up surrounded by his Brotherhood friends and continues to wake an unholy war against the Enclave.

3.) Cole – InFamous 2

It was the electric man, who thwarted the stories tall devil and, denying temptation, brought an end to the demons running rampant through the land.
-Book of Zeke

Look at how sad Zeke is. He had to give up his favourite blanket for his corpse friend.

This is about as overt a Christ metaphor as there can possibly be in video games. Cole spends the entire game, preparing for the Beast, who not only takes the name of what people call the Devil, but looks and dresses like the Devil as well. Throughout the game, Cole can turn to the evil path through temptation and then take the Beast’s mission in the end. However, if Cole denies temptation, he sacrifices himself (And countless others, but who cares about them) in order to save humanity. The last shot of the game has Cole’s body on a boat being struck by a lightning bolt, which is pop-culture for revival (Thanks a lot, Frankenstein). He is never shown alive, but the revival is left to the imagination of fans, who will bicker over it incessantly.

4.) The Grey Warden – Dragon Age: Origins

And she did smite the unholiest of unholy by using her own flesh, leaving behind only her disciples and a land cleansed of evil, or she knocked up that swamp witch, I don’t care.
-Memoirs of King Alistair

The Archdemon is a dragon, because it is the most generic fantasy creature anyone could think of.

Alright, I’ll admit this one doesn’t really count, but hear me out. Your character is given the option to sacrifice themselves to kill the final boss and save everyone. If they don’t then another party member, Alistair or Logain, have to sacrifice themselves, or you have to give Morrigan a demon baby. The sacrifice is pretty standard save the world generic fantasy garbage, and there is no official revival. However, the expansion to Origins, Dragon Age: Awakening, allows you to port in your character from Dragon Age: Origins or start up as a new Grey Warden. The game does not recognize your character as having been killed, so in a way Bioware’s retconning led to your character being resurrected.

This comes up in a google search for Christ metaphors. I don’t know why, but I thought you’d want to know.

 That’s all I’m going to be throwing out for Christ metaphors today. Sorry, I have to be short, but it is a holiday, and I do have to be somewhere. As I said earlier, there are many, many more examples of Christ metaphors in video games from NES to Xbox 360, but I simply don’t have the time to stare at my video game collection and think up more. So, I leave the work to you, loyal readers, what are some of the Christ metaphors you have noticed in video games, and how ham-fisted were they? Leave your response in the comments and I guarantee that there will be more chocolate eggs available to you this weekend.

– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer


4 thoughts on “Easter Special: Christ Metaphors in Gaming

  1. Haha, yeah there is a good one. Disgaea usually lampoons tropes such as this, and Axel constantly "sacrificing himself for the good" would sure as hell count as a parody of Christ metaphors.

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