Ever make a joke and regret it almost immediately? Not for the first time, my smart mouth has gotten me into trouble. When our illustrious editor Jason put out the call for comedy-oriented listicle ideas for the site, I oh-so cleverly suggested I write a list of the best Daves in all of video games. Jason, in his infinite wisdom, recognised the stupidity of my statement and called my bluff. As such, here we are. Let it never be said that I cannot back up my own nonsense. In no particular order, here we go!
Might as well start this list with a proper entry! The eponymous Snake of the Metal Gear franchise, you know who I’m talking about. He sneaks about, he saves the world, he does questionable things in lockers. Calling on my encyclopedic knowledge of the MGS universe (yes I’m serious, try me), I can tell you that in his younger years Solid Snake went by the name David. Mononymously, it would seem, as no last name is given for the legendary soldier. Probably due to his clone origin, no family name to take. Still, just one of the many things Solid Snake has in common with Cher. (No, Jason, I am not writing that list next.)
The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed there are only nine entries on this top ten list. Well, it’s very simple. Allow me to introduce Captain David Anderson, of Mass Effect fame! Ol’ Cap’n Dave here is a special entry, not only because this is roughly where the credibility of this list goes out the window, but also because he is voiced by the legendary Keith David. That’s right, two Davids! Double Dave! So yeah, I’m counting this as two. Hell, I might just take every character he’s voiced! Arbiter? Welcome, you’re now a Dave. Spawn? Please. Forget Al Simmons; there’s been a bunch of Spawns throughout history. Surely ONE of them was called Dave? Claiming it.
David: Rise of a King
Do you want to know why the name David is so powerful? It’s all about the origin. See, some names are just better than others. Many are fine, perfectly serviceable names. Some are pretty lame. Like, oh I don’t know, people named after the heroes of old dumb Greek stories about sailing around looking for some old tattered blanket. However, if you’re looking for a name with some weight to it, a bit of gravitas, you’ve got to go to the source. The big B, the holy book itself, and who better than the dude who was like, the super king of the whole deal? David. BOOM.
No seriously though, these dudes called the Tornado Twins kickstarted a series of games based on the Bible, and David: Rise of a King is supposed to be their first one. Go check it out; the hubris is blinding.
When I was quite young, my uncle had this game called Dangerous Dave. For those unfamiliar, Dangerous Dave was an early game of John Romero’s, and while it didn’t exactly light the world on fire, it would prove to be fairly influential on gaming in the 90s. DD was released for the PC in 1988, and as I remember it was a fairly rudimentary platformer. You had to guide Dave through a vertical maze, dodge hazards and get to the checkpoint at the end. I definitely remember a jetpack being involved, and I remember being pretty jazzed about that as a kid.
Probably goes without saying that I latched on to this game as a young child entirely because I saw my name on it. It was pretty special to me, may have been the first time I connected to a video game in any way.
Useless Dave is my spirit animal. He appears in Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, one of my favourite games of all time. In it, your character joins a rag-tag group of skaters upon moving to Los Angeles. One of whom is Useless Dave, a man with a head full of useless knowledge. He knows everything there is to know about skateboarding and skateboarding games. Moreover, he is all too enthusiastic about sharing his wealth of knowledge on such topics and very excited to bring his video games knowledge into the challenges he presents you.
Dave is an easy-going, excitable ball of skating energy. He’s a sweetheart who wants nothing more than to eat, sleep and breathe skating. All in all, Dave’s just a good dude. Useless though he may be.
Dave, Republic of
Powerful. Virile. A leader of men. What can I say about the great and mighty President Dave that hasn’t been said before? Within the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3 lies the Republic of Dave, one of the greatest places in history. This wonderous micro-nation was established when the mad king Tom was overthrown, and his kingdom turned into a progressive, forward-thinking democratic republic. From there, President Dave has led his people into a time of peace and prosperity that has lasted for years.
Of course, as a democratic society, the people of the Republic of Dave are more than welcome to elect whichever leader they choose. Cleverly, they have chosen to re-elect Dave every year, and with humility and grace, Dave has continued to lead his country, alongside his two first ladies. Oh yes, he has two wives. Well, you see he needs two wives because he’s so important, repopulation and all that. So that’s the Republic of Dave, a perfect little society. Definitely don’t go mess around with it, I’m warning you.
Okay look, I don’t want to hear words like “desperate” or “a stretch”. There are plenty of great and wonderful Dave’s all throughout the world of gaming, I don’t NEED to include WWE and Hollywood star Dave Bautista, but I want to, and it’s my list so piss off.
Big Dave! The Animal himself, one of the most powerful Dave’s to walk the earth. Before he was Draxx the Destroyer and quite frankly, shockingly decent at the whole acting thing, Batista was one hell of a pro wrestler. His WWE career is hall of fame worthy, and as you could imagine he has appeared in numerous WWE games. On top of that, he has recently appeared as a playable character in Gears of War 5. Batista has long campaigned to play Marcus Fenix in a film adaptation of the Gears franchise, and honestly who would be better? He’s basically a mountain range made of beef.
….What? Prove me wrong.
Okay, I have two criteria for entries on this list. First, the name. Second, be a fictional character who appears in a video game. Yes, I have broken both criteria several times already, but this one is more on track than you might think! Firstly, David Bowie is technically a fictional character. It’s a stage name, a character if you will. Okay that is a stretch, but the history of David Bowie in video games is too interesting to leave off this list.
Back in the 90s, Quantic Dream were working on Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Omikron was an ambitious game, a sci-fi adventure of dimension-hopping, body snatching and demon hunting. There’s a crazy story behind how this came to be, but yes, somehow, David Bowie got on board with the creation of this game. Bowie is one of the most indisputably forward-thinking creative geniuses of our time, so the new frontier of video games must have caught his eye. He agreed to write music, and wound up playing two characters, the lead singer of the in-game band, and Boz, a rather powerful entity in the game.
The very notion of a David Bowie-influenced video game is an exciting prospect, and such a game really exists. Bowie spent two weeks in Paris writing ten songs for the project, and considered it a success. His low-poly face is in the game. Honestly, I can’t think of a single better David in all of gaming than that.
Editors Note: The term “indie” is being stretched a little here, but it’s worth it in the name of Dave.