Ahh the moustache. To some, it’s a facial feature fashion faux pas, while to others it’s a signature staple of masculinity and strength – the mighty mo divides opinion just as effectively as it divides the nose from the lips. Much like my desire to be able to grow a half decent lip rug of my own, the stache presence felt in video games is strong. For decades now we have seen video game characters donning facial fur, but not all are created equal. Since a large number of good folk are growing their own cookie dusters for Movember, I thought it would be fitting to take a look at some of the greatest gentlemen to have sported a brilliant tea strainer over the years. So grab your tiny combs and get your fingers ready to pinch and twirl as we walk through gaming’s moustache hall of fame.
(From the Mario series)
Ok, let’s not beat around the bush (pun very much intended) and just get straight down to business with not only one of gaming’s most iconic mascots, but also one of the most recognisable and beloved bristle batons in history. This Italian plumber is the undisputed king of facial hair accessorising. Looking back to his first ever appearance in 1981 in Donkey Kong when he was still known only as Jumpman, the soon to be icon of the industry wore a mo made up of pixels that you could count using just one hand. Almost 40 years later and Mario’s bushy, brown caterpillar has hardly changed because when you find a style that works, why change it right? At this stage Mario is like that one uncle that everyone has that you have only ever seen with facial hair – it would be unsettling at best and mentally scaring at worst to see him without it, as it is just as synonymous with him as his M emblazoned hat or his wahoo yelling when he jumps.
(From the TimeSplitters series)
Now here is a man that is suave, smooth and sleazy all in one blue suit cladded package. Harry Tipper is my boy, and whether he is working vice on the streets of New York busting crooks or gunning down anthropomorphic hands in a nightclub (yeah TimeSplitters is weird), Harry is always packing two things – his signature shades and his lethally thick handlebars. Straight out of the 70s, this top-lip tycoon is an absolute force to be reckoned with. Screaming charisma and sex appeal, Harry’s hairy hood ornament lets his opponents know what they are in for either a disco-centric good time or a bullet between the eyes. Tipper is not alone when it comes to having an outstanding moustache in the TimeSplitters franchise. Mr. Underwood, Captain Ash and Gregor Lenko all have a serious claim to the throne, but there can be only one king, and good old Harry Tipper sits upon it with style. Sidenote: Harry is one of the few characters to appear in all three TimeSplitters games and I’m not saying it’s because of the facial hair, but I’m not saying it isn’t either.
Captain Price (New and Old)
(From the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Series)
It’s widely accepted that respect is earned, but it can also be exuded from someone who has a certain presence. This English-born badarse is one of the few characters in the Call of Duty franchise to have an abundance of personality. Of course he is charismatic, but much of this personality can be attributed to his exceptional and unique style of stache. Though he fills out the whole beard on occasion, he is truly at full force with the part mo, part sideburn combo that he is most well known for. Not only does he get points for creativity, but he gets extra points for being in a position of authority that gives his subordinates a shining example of what a true crumb-catcher should look like. Price has had two interpretations so far – one in the original Modern Warfare series from 2007 and another from the soft reboot that released this year. Both have a far more impressive mo then I could ever dream of growing, but the edge has to go to new Price for being an all-around smoother operator. New voice actor, same wonderful face fuzz.
Sidenote: Price and Sir Hammerlock from Borderlands must go to the same barber, who would have guessed?
(From The Order: 1886)
I tell you what, it isn’t easy to pull off a look as bold as Victorian-esque steampunk. In fact, aside from The Order: 1886’s protagonist Sir Galahad I struggle to think of anyone else who has even attempted it. Nevertheless he does pull it off and with ease. I mean sure the intricate, multilayered clothing, retro yet futuristic weapons and stoic demeanour help the situation, but the glue that holds the entire visage together is clearly that impressive face fitting. Hunting down Lycans is an arduous task that no doubt leaves you with a precious amount of down time, so props goes to this knight for the flawless grooming that he somehow manages to fit into his stacked schedule. Furthermore, he takes the risky move of giving his well-trimmed whiskers a friend, a flavour saving friend that would render Shannon Noll runner up once again. Luckily for Galahad it doesn’t detract from the splendour, rather it completes the package. Top marks for going with a dicey decision and owning it, nice work Sir.
(From the Tekken Series)
Rounding out proceedings we have a man of experience that has a good few years under his belt. He may be older than the others seen here (I know Galahad in his 400s but he is suspended in a younger body), but this silver-haired savage is hardly a senior citizen. When you think of Heihachi there are a few things that come to mind – arse kicker, sandal wearer and master of hair styling. I mean the one, two punch of severe, spiked hair on the side of an otherwise bald head and a thick, grey Tom Selleck-like mo, damn. From initial looks alone, Mr Michima is telling you that he could hand you your own arse in a matter of seconds regardless of the fact that he is in his 70s. What about in his younger years I hear you ask? The madman matched his moustache to his even pointier and more pronounced hairstyle. What a beast. You don’t have to look far to see where Heihachi gets his beard-spiration either as the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His father, Jinpachi, is the king of insane beards, rocking a do that stands tall, far past his own head. What I wouldn’t give to inherit some of the Michima family’s hair growing gifts, but I might skip on the devil gene thanks.
Unfortunately I can’t go on forever, so some folks just weren’t able to make the cut, but they do at least get an honourable mention:
- The King of all Cosmos (pencil with an accompanying anchor beard…also has a finger trap for a head)
- Eggman/Robotnik (unkept, yet impressive)
- King Bob-omb (massive, classic, the bomb)
- Alakazam (wide, same colour as his body, hypnotic)
I think it’s safe to say that the moustache is very well represented in video games with these lads leading the charge. Of course this is all a bit of fun (as moustaches often are), but the inspiration for this article is of course Movember. The time of the year where guys around the world let the grass grin grow in order to raise money and awareness for men’s health. It is a wonderful cause with a brilliant concept that is more than a little deserving of some love. All of us here at WellPlayed tip our hats to everyone who is taking part in Movember. If anyone would like to make a donation, we have a few friends of the site that are partaking this year. Max Connell is currently growing out the mo for the cause, so swing by his Mo Space here and throw him some dollars if you can, as well as Simon Blackburn, who is also involved in a fund raising effort, you can find his MO Space here.
What character has the best mo in your opinion? Are you taking part in Movember this year? Let us know.