If video games generally create unique and fantastic universes, they also sometimes draw on reality to create scenarios, sets or even characters. Obviously there are several examples of video games that have made motion capture even in the faces of the actors who interpreted the characters and we are not going to talk about it here, but there are also a lot of examples of famous characters inspired by real personalities. which are more of a tribute than anything else.
1. Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid) – Kurt Russel
It’s even more an inspiration but a real tribute, the character of Snake is very directly inspired by the character of Snake Plissken played by Kurt Russel in New York 1997, it has the same name in addition. Besides in Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake is undercover with the name Pliskin… It’s still classy to have inspired such a character. According to Hideo Kojima the character was also based on Jean-Claude Vandamme’s physique and Christopher Walken’s face, but hey, it’s more blatant on Russel.
2. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil 3 Remake) – Sasha Zotova
By making the remake of Resident Evil 3 the creators needed to give a completely pixelated character from another era a new face. That’s why they were loosely inspired by a Russian model named Sasha Zotova who loved the tribute and posed several times for pictures of herself dressed as the character. A very beautiful story.
3. Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite) – Anna Moleva
The story is funny: when Irrationnal Games had swung the first visuals of the game, the character of Elizabeth was still only in sketches, but a cosplayer named Anna Moleva posted several photos of her in costume of the character and the creators liked it so much that they decided (with his agreement) to model the face of the final character on his.
4. Lady Dimitrescu (Resident Evil 8) – Anjelica Huston
Like Snake with Kurt Russel, the character of Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil 8 is more of a tribute than anything else. This is actress Anjelica Huston, famous for her role as the mother in The Adams family who physically inspired the character who traumatizes you by running into a super creepy but also super well decorated castle.
5. Sonic – Michael Jackson
Yeah you’re right to tell yourself that I’m talking nonsense, but the creation of Sonic went through several stages: the color was chosen to echo the blue of Sega (the character’s parent company), his features were drawn in a basic way so that children could draw him easily and his shoes (his only accessory) were inspired by those of Michael Jackson in the album Bad and those of Santa Claus . There are also several references to the singer in the Sonic games, such as certain lyrics found in one of the game’s themes or a moonwalk scene.
6. Kratos (God of war) – Edward Norton
Surprisingly enough the first drafts of Kratos in the very first God of War game were based on the scene of Edward Norton’s arrest in American History X, the film in which he plays a clean-shaven, muscular neo-Nazi. Don’t worry, we’re just talking about the physical aspect of the character, nothing more, but it’s still amazing.
7. Zelda (The Legend of Zelda) – Zelda Fitzgerald
The creator of Princess Zelda that all noobs confuse with Link was modeled and named after the writer and painter Zelda Fitzgerald, also wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Indeed Miyamoto never hid his love for the artist whom he found “as beautiful as talented”.
8. Balrog (Street Fighter 2) – Mike Tyson
The tribute is quite clear in the photo, we can see that even the outfit has been respected on the character of the naughty boxer Balrog in the best fighting game in history (or one of them at least ). And at the same time at the time of the release of the game which active boxer was more emblematic than Mike Tyson.
9. Nathan Drake (Uncharted) – Johnny Knoxville
On some early designs, Nathan Drake’s face had clearly been copied from that of the Jackass actor, then the studio decided to change the face a bit, but also the treatment of the character, which became a bit more serious. In the meantime we can see more than a small resemblance on the first two or three games, his face having evolved a lot in the fourth opus thanks to the graphics.
10. Squall Leonhart (FF 8) – River Pheonix
One of the most iconic heroes of the Final Fantasy saga was inspired by one of the most iconic actors of his generation, the late River Phoenix, brother of Joaquin Phoenix. At least the tribute took because Squall remained in the hearts of gamers just like the actor who marked Hollywood with his incredible acting. Rip the artist.