If Video Game Characters Had To Find Real Jobs

When you’re in the middle of a job, it seems like it’s going to last forever. This is doubly true if the job in question is your chosen career, like lawyer or ‘not starving person’. But when the job ends, whether by project completion, puzzle solving or the final destruction of your hated enemies, you might find yourself in the position of having worked yourself quite literally out of a job.

In the real world, this is when we start collecting unemployment and praying. But then again, we have a legal work history and parents to leech off. Our friends in the world of Video Games aren’t so lucky. So what happens when one of them finds themselves without gainful employment? They’re forced to reenter the legitimate workforce, and the results aren’t always pretty.

Here’s what happens if video game characters had to find real jobs.

5) Commander Shephard (Mass Effect) – Citadel Market District Security

After the Reaper menace’s crushing defeat, Commander Shephard finds himself in an unscheduled career transition. Being a Spectre is pretty awesome but it doesn’t actually pay anything, and his failure to advance beyond the rank of ‘Commander’ dooms his postwar military career. Unceremoniously drummed out of the Alliance with an honorable discharge and a tiny pension, he needs to find a new job to fund his Spectre duties.

Fortunately, what he lacks in cash flow he makes up for in name recognition and the gratitude of the Citadel chamber of commerce, whose members saw a 500% rise in profits after Shephard offered endorsements to their shops during the events of Mass Effect 2. They hire Shep without even an interview or resume, and from now on, the ultimate space soldier moonlights as the ultimate Mall cop. Whenever duty calls, he nobly announces “I should go,” and races to defend the Citadel markets from shoplifters.

4) Pac-Man – Addiction Counselor

Pac-Man spent over 30 years eating pellets, super pellets, fruits and ghosts. It was all for a noble cause of course, namely defending his maze-like realm from invasion. But the high-octane, high consumption lifestyle took its toll and when he finally retired, he was forced to admit he’d developed a serious food addiction. After seeking knowledgable and caring treatment, he reentered a society with a new purpose: help other people who, like him, found the pressures of their jobs led to self destructive addictions. Now he counsels ex stock brokers, politicians, rock stars and even teachers, helping them find a way out of the cycle of addition. He doesn’t have a cell phone but if you ever need to talk he’s just a quarter away.

3) Nathan Drake (Uncharted) – Pawn Shop Owner

Poor Nathan Drake. Despite his constant attempts to pretend otherwise, Sully is right: he ain’t gettin’ any younger. Sooner than he thought, his joints locked up, he couldn’t recover from multiple gunshot wounds just by hiding behind a wall, and Elena is dropping hints all over the house about how he ought to maybe get his retirement in order. Finally accepting that he had gotten too old for this, er, stuff, Nate finally retired from the treasure hunter/bad guy murderer field.

But what does a man without any legal employment history or non-treasure stealing/bad guy killing skills do with the rest of his life? Exactly what David O’ Russell would have done in the now aborted movie: Nate opens his own pawn shop. Now lowlifes from all walks of life can try pawning off their valuables for drug money. Best of all? It’s the perfect way to launder the illegally-gained money Nathan earned over the years. So long as any old enemies don’t come looking to get 5 bucks for a gold pocketwatch.

2) Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin’s Creed)- Window Washer

Ezio’s story seemingly ends when he reaches old age in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. But au contraire al contrario il mio amico! The essence of Ezio survives in the body and mind of boring series protagonist Desmond Miles. Aware of Desmond’s lack of charisma or any interesting qualities, Ezio takes over his body in the present… and finds himself in a world vastly beyond his comprehension. The national security state means he no longer has a prayer of living as a thief. He is revered by the Assassins as a honored ancestor but his pop culture references are 500 years out of date and he creeps out modern women with his leering and silly pick up lines. Thus, he vows to retire into obscurity.

Luckily, the Assassin’s aren’t wholly heartless. They give him a job where he can still do the one thing he’s actually good at: climbing stuff. Now tasked with washing the Assassin’s headquarters’ windows, he’s able to once again enjoy the thrill of inexplicably climbing despite having access to perfectly walkable streets. The only problem? He doesn’t realize that 21st century cities don’t have random piles of hay lying around, and his career is cut short when he leaps recklessly into a pile of cardboard boxes.

1) Mario – Animal Control Officer

After more than two decades, Mario finally liberated the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser’s Tyranny once and for all. Coincidentally, Princess Peach suddenly lost interest in her mustachioed companion, and their relationship, such as it was, ended. Mario subsequently decides to leave the Kingdom and return to his Native New York City in order to start over. The only problem is that his plumbing license expired in 1986 and he’s long since lost touch with advances in that profession.

That’s when Mario sees an ad in the New York Post: Animal Control Officer; Must have minimum 3 years of experience with dangerous animals; Degree in animal control or equivalent work experience required; Mustaches and monograms welcome. Dazzled by Mario’s experience taking out giant Gorillas, carnivorous plants and numerous species of killer turtles, he’s hired on the spot. And speaking of turtles, for his first job, he’s asked to combine the skills learned in his first career with his new job. So off he goes into the New York City sewer system to put a stop to another turtle infestation

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3 Comments on If Video Game Characters Had To Find Real Jobs


On September 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm

It seems like a lot of characters could go back to whatever it was they were doing before the amazing, magnificent event that changed their path forever happened to them. Like Ratchet could go back to the chopshop he was working at. Or building custom hovercycles or whatever. Or with their amazing dexterity, most video game characters could always pick up work as sign twirlers.


On September 14, 2011 at 10:56 pm

And Metal Gear’s Raiden can run an open mic poetry slam.


On September 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Sonic could work at Sonic! Or is that wrong? crap.