10. Vamp – Metal Gear Solid Series
LGBT characters rarely get the chance to be badass. Stereotypical representation often relegates them to sidekick or useless party member roles more suited for running away from action than straight into a gunfight. But not every limp wrist is afraid to shed a bit of blood (and then maybe lap it up). Vamp, from the Metal Gear Solid series, shows how LGBT characters can be ruthless mercenaries, just like everyone else. Yay equality!
Vamp hails from a quaint village in Romaina where his parents were killed in a church bombing, burying him in the rubble, leaving only his family’s blood as a food source while he waited for rescue. Yes, the incident resulted in both his taste for blood and fear of crucifixes, but that’s not why his Dead Cell teammates call him “Vamp.”
No, that’s because he’s bisexual, being the former lover of Scott Dolph, a marine and father of Fortune, another member of Dead Cell. The vampire-like qualities are just a funny coincidence. But his sexuality apparently matters little to his teammates, even to Fortune, who formed a deep friendship with her father’s former lover that borders on more than just friends. Awkward.
Most gamers, though, will remember Vamp for his more…irritating characteristic – he cannot be killed. Over the course of Metal Gear Soild 2 and 4, players will witness Vamp’s supposed death seven times, usually at the hands of Raiden. Thanks to sophisticated nanomachines accelerating his cell’s natural regeneration processes, even a bullet directly to the brain fails to put him down.
So he comes back to make trouble for players again, and again, and again. Hounding the player’s progress throughout Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4, his final death (thanks to nanomachine suppressors) makes for one of the most satisfying moments in MGS4’s monstrous plethora of emotional cutscenes.
So let’s recap. Vamp is a knife wielding monster of a villain that P.S. can also walk on water thanks to special boots. He constantly provides a challenge to players, alters the story in drastic ways, and becomes Raiden’s main rival. And his bisexuality sits in the background of all of this, just another facet of a fully fleshed out character portraying a realistic, albeit exaggerated, character, exactly like sexuality should be used in storytelling.
Oh, and did we mention that Vamp was an openly bisexual Navy SEAL during the time of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? There’s also that.