ATB’s Top 25 Male Characters: (14) Auron

auron-final-fantasy-x

“Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!”

We’re now into the meat and potatoes as the top 25 continues. Tomorrow, our list continues the countdown to the #1 male video game character of all-time on Aug. 31.

14) Auron (Final Fantasy X) – 5 votes/137 points

Chris: Final Fantasy X should have been about Auron. Period. End of story.

Unfortunately, one of Japan’s biggest weaknesses is that a lot of its consumers love effeminate teenage male protagonists. So we’re stuck following around Tidus, a character who certainly gets better as the game goes on. Doesn’t matter. Should have been about Auron.

The rest of the party is a bit of a dumpster fire. Yuna’s okay, but she starts off being a little too meek. Rikku was one of my first video game crushes, but she’s barely around for the first ⅓ of the game. Wakka’s a racist, Lulu offers little more than fan service, Kimahri rend you asunder. Should have been about Auron.

Auron overcomes severe personal losses and refuses to die after Yunalesca ravages him with mortal injuries. He serves as the party’s mentor even though they’re a bunch of whiny little brats. Such patient. Much help. Wow.

You know what the best attack in FFX is? Shooting Star. When Auron goes into Overdrive and decides he’s had enough of a monster’s nonsense (I’m looking at you, Marlboros!), he dashes forward, takes a mighty swing, and knocks that monster the f*** out of the battlefield. That’s not a cute description — the enemy is instantly killed and you still get experience. It’s the best.

Listen to Auron’s theme in the remastered version of the game. It’s the best.

Should have been about Auron.

Joseph: Without question, Auron was the best part of Final Fantasy X. But that’s not hard to do when you have a cast of characters that includes the childish Tidus, the annoying Wakka and the ambivalent Lulu. Kimahri didn’t say enough to have a character and Yuna and Rikku weren’t anything special. Coupled with him being a sword-wielding fiend (swords happen to be my weapon of choice) and he was easily my favorite character in that game.

But why would he rise above other FF characters to make this list? He was the grizzled war veteran who had seen it all before. He was the bridge between the past in the future. He failed his mission and it cost him, but that didn’t keep him down. Instead of crawling into a corner and sulking, Auron got back up and fought against the very system he helped perpetuate. It takes a real man to admit when he’s wrong, and that’s why Auron is on this list.

Shaun: You know how sometimes you’ll read a movie review, and the critic will explain that the movie is terrible, but the principle actor is so good that it elevates the film? Well, that’s what we have in FFX with Auron. And Joseph read my mind — by saying Auron is the best character in FFX, you’re actually shortchanging him because the other characters are annoying and that game sucks. Auron works SO damn hard though to make me care about what’s happening, and whether it’s his stoic demeanor, badass feats, or his epic twist that you discover near the end, it almost worked.

Jason: There is a reason you try to get every character in FFX to level into Auron’s tree: it’s the best. It also makes you that much more like him, which is also the best. He’s FFX’s version of Frederick from Fire Emblem Awakening, and it shows. What he lacks in dialogue he makes up for in raw personality and skill. This is the kind of character that shows, not tells. One look at him, even in Kingdom Hearts, and you know he’s a badass.

Michaela: Auron is single-handedly the only reason that I played through Final Fantasy X. He’s mysterious and interesting, and his role in the story is integral. He always carves his own path and provides advice whenever it’s needed. Where the rest of the cast is either boring or obnoxious, Auron is the middle ground of the party, not to mention his character design is neat. If anything, I was wishing that I could play as him instead, because he’s a better character compared to his allies.

Cary: I also think Auron was really the only reason I made it through FFX. Not that it was a bad game or anything, but there’s nothing quite like a mysterious warrior monk with a facial scar to spice things up! Plus, he had one of the best weapons, the Masamune. That thing was beautiful and deadly.

Shaun: I like how the consensus here is that “We all played through FF X just for Auron.”

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Honorable Mention

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