Mother’s Day is here and I thought, “What better way to mark the occasion than by taking a moment to recognize some of the most iconic mothers in video game history!?” In no particular order, here are some digital moms that have made an impact on my life.
Meyna from “Legacy of the Wizard” (NES 1987)
Starting off with something completely obscure, Legacy of the Wizard is a “Metroidvania” type RPG that centers around using the strengths of different family members (including the pet!) to access various areas in the game. Meyna, who is simply listed as “wizard” in the credits, deserves a spot on the list because where else will you find a mom who is so willing to help with your homework (which in this case involves slaying a dragon)?
Ms. Pac-Man (Arcade 1982)
“Well, she has a bow on her head,” replied Noah Vanderhoff when Wayne from “Wayne’s World” asked what really was the difference between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man. After falling in love just a few stages ago, the stork made a special deliver during Act 3 of the classic arcade game. I guess eating cherries and being chased by ghosts all day really makes one want to settle down quickly!
Mom from “Little Nemo: Dream Master” (NES 1990)
It’s a good thing Mom’s attempts at rousing Nemo from his slumber were pretty lackluster or this game might have only lasted a few minutes. Using the power of cat naps, Nemo predates “Inception” by taking on the Nightmare King in his dreams (and in his pajamas). I only wish I had the same excuse when my mom was trying to get me out of bed in the morning.
Mom from “Earthbound” (SNES 1995)
When you’re feeling homesick, just call home! If you were one of four kids sent to save the world from a time-traveling alien, you’d probably miss your mom after awhile, too! Thankfully, your mom is just a phone call away, and she’ll even make your favorite dish when you stop by to visit!
Mario and Luigi’s adopted parents from “Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2” (SNES 1995)
We only get a glimpse of them, but they must have done a pretty great job raising the recognizable pair of plumbers. But wait… if they were raised in the Mushroom Kingdom, then why are they Italian? And are they really the same age? How did they get to New York?? This story doesn’t make any sense!!!
Mom from “Chrono Trigger” (SNES 1995)
In this game, Mom is actually able to rouse our main protagonist from his slumber. She even gives him a little cash to go to the fair that day! Little did she know that because of this, it would set in motion a series of events that would forever alter the course of history! Should have let him sleep in, Mom!!
Jenova from “Final Fantasy VII” (PSX 1997)
When I first played this game in middle school, I had a really hard time following the story about how Jenova was connected to Sephiroth. I recently read up on and it STILL confuses me. Regardless, when I think about “mothers,” she is one of the first that pops into my mind. Also, if anyone wants to explain this part of the game to me, that would be great.
Wrinkly Kong from “Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest” (SNES 1995)
When she’s not doing her workout routine or playing Super Mario 64, she can save your game! Donkey Kong’s mom is a mystery, but his grandma presumably played an important role in bringing him into existence. Perhaps the NEXT Donkey Kong game could fill in the blanks! ::nudge nudge, Nintendo::
Grandma from “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” (Gamecube 2002)
Again, we don’t see mom but we spend at least the first 45 minutes or so of this game with Grandma! I admit, I was a little teary-eyed when I first left the island and looked back to see Grandma waving. It reminded me of when I’d leave my grandparent’s house in Eau Claire and they’d always stand in the doorway waving until we were out of sight. Of course, my grandparents didn’t leave me with soup that would give me extra strength, but they did always have cookies!
Peach from “Super Mario Sunshine” (Gamecube 2002)
Bowser Jr. is convinced that Peach is his mother. First of all, how is that even possible? Second, I don’t want to think about it. Luckily, Mario fills him in by ruining his Dad’s hot tub time.
Final Fantasy Legend 2 (Gameboy 1991)
Remember that one time when the developer Square tricked us into buying a game from the SaGa series by naming it Final Fantasy? I mean, it’s kind of a genius marketing strategy. Heck, if Japan can slap Super Mario Bros characters onto a game named Doki Doki Panic, we’ll believe anything. But for real, the Final Fantasy Legend (SaGa) games on the original Gameboy were some of the finest RPG experiences we could get on a handheld device. It’s fortunate that the main character has a supportive mother that lets their child go off into the unknown so can they can search for their adventurous father that left them both years ago. I’m getting some Hunter X Hunter crossed with Fullmetal Alchemist vibes here!
Pokémon Red/Blue (Gameboy 1998)
Wait, didn’t I just post a Gameboy game where Mom is cool with their child going out into the world to do their own thing? Well, here’s another! Anyway, your main character just got done playing Super Nintendo when they decided that they’re going to become a master Pokemon trainer. Mother, under heavy influence from the media, tells you that Professor Oak is looking for…and away you go! Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll make you proud!!
Mother Brain from “Super Metroid” (SNES 1994)
Lastly, the list wouldn’t be complete without what I think is the most iconic “Mother” in gaming history: Mother Brain! In this game, Samus calls the Child Protection Agency (herself) and takes care of an abusive situation on Planet Zebes. Rule #1, parents, don’t shoot lasers at your children.