Playable characters and non-playable characters of games have various prominent qualities that allow them to be treasured amongst players. Most of the elements that developers tend to work on are fashion, accessories, and personality. However, what truly solidifies the greatest characters from the failures is something far more ingenious, mainly a character’s mustache.

5. Mario – Super Mario Bros.

Mario probably has one of the most iconic mustaches, not just in games, but pop culture in general. Mario has a conventional Italian(ish) mustache that actually had a unique backstory. Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, indicated that it was a design decision based on the technical limitations of game consoles and arcade machines of the time. By giving Mario a giant nose and mustache, Miyamoto did not have to draw a mouth thus eliminating the need for animated facial expressions, which can be very difficult on small sprites.

As the years have expanded and Nintendo makes the nine trillionth Mario game, his Iconic mustache has evolved but remained with the character. It is interesting to realize how Mario’s mustache is a remarkable branding feature of the character, possibly more than his overall’s or hat that has also survived the evolution of the series of Mario games.

4. Dr. Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Dr. Robotnik is the main antagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Robotnik is an evil scientist intent on taking over the world by turning animals into robots for his military. For those of us who have played the numerous Sonic games over the years, all know his plan always ends in failure. Unfortunately, Robotnik always escapes attempting his evil plan another day.

Dr. Robotnik sports a bushy mahogany mustache which can best be described as wholly epic. Despite having one of the coolest looking mustaches in modern pop culture, Sonic and friends can always foil his dastardly plans. While Dr. Robotnik may go down in history as a horrendous scientist that cannot beat a blue spiky hedgehog, let us hope his mustache is remembered in a better light.

3. Dorian Pavus – Dragon Age Inquistion

Dorian Pavus is the greatest character in the Dragon Age universe and his prominence is only augmented by his magnificent mustache. Dorian Pavus is a mage and the next in line to take the Archon of Tevinter. Dorian can either become a well-respected member of the inquisition or a loner destined for insignificance, all dependent on player choices and interactions.

Dorian’s design, especially his mustache, was to give the impression of being exotic yet foreboding. Dorian is also the most entertaining character in Dragon Age Inquisition, rivaling Isabela from Dragon Age II. Scenes with Dorian have an unsuspected charisma that other characters in the game don’t offer.

2. Revolver Ocelot – Metal Gear Solid

Revolver Ocelot is by far one of the greatest villains in video games to date. Ocelot is a cunning operative and an expert marksman, especially when firing with a revolver, hence the name. Revolver Ocelot was notorious for his aptitude on the battlefield and his cunning nature of allies and enemies alike. Fans of the series will also recognize him as the endless thorn in Solid Snakes side.

Revolver Ocelot sports a stereotypical grandpa style mustache. His mustache is probably why people tend to underestimate him, allowing Ocelot to gain the upper hand in most situations. His mustache is also a reason that fans of the series could never hate Ocelot even with the constant attempts of assassinating and torturing the player.

1. Sander Cohen – Bioshock

Sander Cohen is considered the greatest poet, composer, sculptor, and playwright in his domain of Fort Frolic in the city of Rapture. Rapture erupted into chaos after the 1959 New Year’s bombing. During this chaotic time, Sander Cohen gradually descended into madness and became callously unrevealing to the deaths and distress of others.

Sander Cohen is both a stereotypical psychopath but also a unique villain in the way he ‘expresses’ his art. Sander’s character would not be complete without his thin vile mustache. Cohen would not be as menacing without his facial accessory, as it leads to him being much more terrifying and unpredictable when players are forced to partake in his art show.

Conclusion

Overall mustaches on characters have been an important but often overlooked feature of character design. Quite a few lovable and memorable characters have sported fantastic mustaches that not only added to the nostalgia for players but recognizable characteristics for some of the best characters. Hopefully developers will realize what a great element mustaches are for character design and players will soon be inundated with endless mustache customization for all games going forward.

About The Author

Christopher T
Staff Writer

I'm an old timer that started in 1988 with Tempest at the Disney arcade; in 1989 I was given an NES with Contra and Super Contra, thus sealing my fate forever. I moved onto the Genesis, followed by the original PlayStation, PC (mainly just for DOOM) and the N64. I got a launch day PS2 settling for the PlayStation family of consoles until 2015 when I renewed my interest in the PC world. Outside of gaming, custom PC water cooling and car parts are life.