The 7 best video game moms

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and no matter who you are or where you’re from, chances are pretty good you have a mom somewhere who’d like to hear from you. The holiday reminds us all that we came from somewhere, and it’s important to remember the women who brought us into the world, or those who took care of us as we grew up. Not every mom has necessarily brought a child into the world after all.

In celebration of the holiday, we wanted to take a look at some of the best moms from the world of video games. Several of these women aren’t the biological parents of the children they’re taking care of, but that doesn’t matter. There’s a difference between being a mother and being a mom, and each of these women exemplifies some of the traits which make that difference. Each of them is a loving, providing caregiver in their own way, and each has sacrificed something for their children, biological or adopted.

Rosalina (Super Mario Galaxy)

Even though she’s not their biological mother, Rosalina acts as a mom to all of the Luma (star children) in the Super Mario Galaxy games. There are hundreds of Luma in the game, so this is no small task! Over the course of Galaxy, Rosalina reads to the Luma out of a storybook that tells how she came to be the mother of stars, and how she can only return to her home planet every 100 years because of her commitment to the star children.

Luma can change their forms into celestial bodies, and it’s Rosalina’s job to make sure they stay healthy long enough to become the suns, comets, and planets they’re meant to be. She must be very kind to them, because they’re all absolutely devoted to her. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS they mirror her movements exactly and will even sacrifice themselves to protect the woman they see as their mother. There’s a reason every Luma calls Rosalina mama.

Ness’s mom (Earthbound)

It’s no coincidence that the Earthbound series is called Mother in its home country of Japan. One of the main themes behind the game is the idea of childhood nostalgia, especially having someone to take care of you when you’re too young to take care of yourself. Ness’s mom isn’t the central figure in the story, but without the support she provides to Ness and his friends, there’s no way they could save the world from Giygas and the Starmen.

Ness’s mom is always ready to drop what she’s doing to cook up a huge pile of steak for her son and his companions, and she does it with a smile on her face. She’s endlessly supportive of his activities, though it’d probably be best if she never found out he was running around hitting dogs with a baseball bat. It’s little wonder that Ness will start to get homesick if he doesn’t check in with his mom every couple of hours.

Ana Amari (Overwatch)

Portrait of Ana and baby Pharah by Mario Manzanares (based on one of Ana’s sprays in game)

Ana Amari was second-in-command when Overwatch was a legitimate peacekeeping force, and she served the team as a sniper, providing oversight and tactical information. Her role was to protect and guide her teammates, and she excelled at both tasks. Her daughter Fareeha was conceived and born while she was still working for Overwatch, but she managed to juggle a demanding career with her duties as a mother.

Ana is protective, maybe even to a fault. Even when she was shot in the eye by an opposing sniper, her first thought was, “Who will protect my family now?” As Overwatch fell, Ana was forced to go into hiding, but reappeared after Winston gave the recall order to get the band back together. She still acts in a support role, healing her teammates and taking out key targets with her rifle and sleep darts. Her daughter, who grew up around Overwatch, has also joined the squad with the codename Pharah.

It’s clear Pharah and Ana like each other, even though Ana’s exile put a strain on their relationship. They have matching Horus tattoos beneath their eyes, though they’re on opposite sides of their face. Many of Ana’s sprays show her raising Fareeha, and one of her emotes lets her hold a 3D hologram of her daughter and reminisce for a moment. Pharah’s grown into a successful person in her own right, and that’s really all a mother can ask for.

Kanghaskhan (Pokémon)

Kangaskhan is one of the original 150 creatures discovered in the Pokémon universe, and the first known to bear offspring. These creatures are based on Australian kangaroos, and each carries their child with them in a pouch on their belly. When gender was introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, we learned that Kanghaskhan are exclusively female, and the Pokédex description of these creatures make it clear that they take their duty to their young extremely seriously. In Pokémon Sun, the description goes so far as to say “Kangaskhan's maternal love is so deep that it will brave death to protect its offspring.”

When Mega transformations were introduced in Pokémon’s sixth generation, Kanghaskhan’s joey could  join the fight for the first time. Thanks to their unique Parental Bond, mother and child work together to fight off attackers. It’s in a mother’s nature to worry, though, and Mega Kangaskhan’s thoughts are conflicted as she sees her child growing up in front of her.

Her Pokédex description in Ultra Moon says “When the mother sees the back of her Mega- Evolved child, it makes her think of the day when her child will inevitably leave her.” All moms have to deal with this eventually, but it’s got to be especially hard for a creature whose defining trait has always been the care she gives to her offspring.

We considered adding the Pokémon trainer’s mom to this list since she’s always waiting at home for you and makes sure you can rest and recuperate your creatures when you visit. But her willingness to let you travel the world unsupervised at ten years of age seems somewhat negligent. At least Ness knows his way around a bat, has some latent psychic ability and doesn’t make his pets do all his fighting for him.

The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3)

Metal Gear games are always needlessly complicated, but The Boss may just be the most motherly person on this list. Her motherhood is intrinsically tied to her career as a soldier; her child was born during the climactic Normandy battle of World War 2.

She’s known as the “Mother of Special Forces,” she’s the biological mother of Revolver Ocelot, and serves as a mentor and mother figure to Naked Snake during his missions behind Soviet lines in Metal Gear Solid 3. Their bond is unique, and their relationship changes as Snake learns more about his teacher during the “Snake Eater” operation.

She’s required to play many parts as Snake’s mission progresses, and her role as a triple agent makes it difficult for her to show where her loyalties lie. Still, she always manages to help her protégé when he needs it most, providing a means of escape when things look darkest for him.

Eventually, she’s called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice and does so, putting her country and duty ahead of her own life. In the end she seems proud that her “son” has managed to surpass her skill as a soldier. All parents want to see their children succeed, though usually not by doing what Snake must at the end of MGS3.

Your mom (Animal Crossing)

You never see your mom in an Animal Crossing game, but she’s a constant presence in your life nevertheless. Every holiday or birthday that passes you can count on a letter from your mom, and you usually receive a gift to help decorate your home. It’s always nice to get a friendly letter in the mail, and even nicer to know your mom’s been thinking of you as the seasons go by.

Your parents are your only connection to the life you left behind in Animal Crossing, even though your dad only writes to you on Father’s Day. Still, they do their best to let you know they haven’t forgotten about you, even if you can’t visit one another anymore. It’s tough to move away from your family, but knowing there are still people out there who care about you can help ease the transition.

If you’ve never heard the story about the kid who learned more about their mom by playing Animal Crossing, you can read it here. I’d recommend having a box of tissues nearby.

Toriel (Undertale)

When you arrive in the world of Undertale, you’re not sure what’s going on. You wake up in the dark, you don’t even know if you’re a boy or a girl, there’s a crazy flower talking to you about souls and trying to kill you with “friendliness pellets…” it’s a bad scene. Fortunately, Toriel appears to save you, just in the nick of time.

Toriel helps your character learn the ropes of the underworld, guiding you through the traps and puzzles meant to keep outsiders away. She gives you a room of your own, calls you “my child” and seems very appreciative if you call her “mom”. Later on you learn she’s overcompensating since she lost a child of her own to some of the underground’s darker influences.

She’s a little overprotective, but claims to want you to become independent anyway. The problem is, she’s standing in your way and won’t allow you to leave the ruins or return home. She’s seen many human children go away and die, and she doesn’t want the same fate to befall you. Even when she fights you to stop you from leaving, she truly believes it’s for your own good.

It’s not an overstatement to say that the battle with Toriel sets the entire tone for the rest of Undertale. Getting past her and leaving the ruins is a point of no return, in more ways than one. Even though she isn’t your biological mother, Toriel demonstrates in every interaction the self-sacrifice and unconditional love she’d provide to her own child. Goat mom is unquestionably one of the best mothers in gaming.

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there!

Can you think of any great moms we missed? Let us know in the comments!