If you follow the Midnight Resistance team on Twitter, you may already be aware that we are now halfway through Husktober. As a symbolic act of solidarity for Andi and his soul-grinding day job, people have been pledging to give up shaving for a month and grow a wild breakdown beard, and as part of the celebrations we'd like to highlight some of our favourite emotional implosions in videogames.
5) The Postman From The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Easily my favourite character in the game, Clock Town's Postman wants to save himself from being crushed to death by the falling moon, but is so devoted to his role as a public servant that he can't bring himself to leave the post office. Majora's Mask is full of traumatic moments, and ranking high amongst them is the bit where the player discovers the Postman's letter to himself, pleading with himself - unsuccessfully - to leave town before the coming apocalypse. Many of Clock Town's residents develop understandable mental disorders when faced with certain doom, but the Postman's splintering personality has got to be one of the most tragic.
4) The Cast of Phoenix Wright
The Phoenix Wright games frame themselves as one fearless man's campaign for truth and justice, which is interesting because his methods usually involve bullying witnesses until they go into a complete meltdown. The battle of wits between Phoenix and his arch-rival Edgeworth play out like psychological ping-pong across the courtroom, with the witness's fragile mind being used in place of the ball; just as the player slams down their final piece of evidence and brings the trial to its climax, they are rewarded with a money shot of their chief witness screaming, fuming, and writhing in agony. Usually because they've just been proven guilty of committing the murder they claimed to have witnessed - whoops!
3) James Sunderland From Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is a game in which your man gets sucked into a nightmare realm constructed from his own repressed guilt and self-loathing. Faceless demonic nurses in sexy outfits reflect his objectified view of women, armless figures that ejaculate showers of acid mock his sexual frustrations, and an seemingly-invincible stalker known as Pyramid Head embodies his guilt at cheating on a high school maths test. Unlike any of the other characters on this list, James actually works through his problems and (depending on how you play) comes out the other side feeling much better. Considering his feelings are trying to physically tear him to pieces, that's quite an achievement.
2) Lyle From
In an idyllic rural paradise where money grows on trees and people are free to do what they want each day, Lyle the weasel has still somehow found a position as one of life's great losers. Trapped in a dead-end job as an insurance salesman, his sales pitches often decompose into rambling stories about his former success, and begging pleas for the player to take pity on him by taking out a policy. His cold, dead eyes and breakdown whiskers are telltale signs of textbook depression, but somehow this hollowed-out husk of a weasel manages to drag himself back to your doorstep every weekend, papers in hand.
1) The Guy From Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special
Without question, the most astonishing breakdown in games is that of the main character from Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special. His friends are murdered, he's rejected by the woman he loves, but he keeps coming back to the ring and powering through until he takes home the championship belt. Only then does he realise that his wrestling career has been a sort of coping mechanism for his depression, and with no opponents left to fight he summarily shoots himself. It's a surprisingly brutal twist ending for a wrestling game, but considering it was directed by Suda 51 you might suppose that he got off lightly.
Mental health is a serious issue and Mind are a very worthwhile charity you should consider donating some time and/or money to.