Time to celebrate! Labor Day is this weekend! An American tradition since 1894, Labor Day rewards hard-working Americans with a well-deserved day off. To celebrate, many go on vacation, spend time with the family, or just relax at home and grill some burgers. While those of us in the real world get to take advantage of this national holiday, one can’t help but think of those poor characters in video games who break their backs day in and day out, and don’t get the luxury of having a Labor Day to benefit from. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of five characters out in video game land who toil endlessly and take no time off for themselves. Relax, guys; you’ve earned it.
Steve is the epitome of the idiom “having the world at your fingertips.” From the moment he shows up, he is chopping, digging, breaking, and crafting everything he needs to shape the land around him in his image. You would think after a hard day’s work, Steve could enjoy a little rest and relaxation, right? Fat chance.
After dusk, skeletons, zombies, and other creatures of the night come out to wreak havoc on poor Steve, which negates any opportunities to sit and relax next to a warm campfire. Take the day off, Steve; you’ve done enough work for one lifetime. Put your feet up and enjoy some warm Mushroom Stew. Just make sure to do it indoors. With fortified walls. And iron doors.
Resident Evil’s Albert Wesker
Wesker has been hard at work since he was a child. Literally. Having been plucked from his parents, he was placed in a group with other children by the Umbrella Corporation to become the pinnacle of human existence. Showing extremely high intellect, he then started working for the same company that kidnapped him. Fully dedicated to his work, he later became one of the head researchers at Umbrella. Apparently this wasn’t good enough, as he also felt the need to dabble in law enforcement. After his stint as the head of S.T.A.R.S, Wesker then desired to be in charge of not just a business, but the whole world. Although he was put on (seemingly) permanent leave during the events of Resident Evil 5, he returned in Marvel vs Capcom 3, working with Dr. Doom to take over the Marvel Universe as well as his own. At this point it’s pretty obvious that Wesker has earned himself some vacation time. Take advantage of the break, Albert. You can worry about complete global saturation tomorrow.
Mega Man’s Dr. Wily
Adding another Albert to the list (yes, his first name really is Albert), Dr. Wily desperately needs a three-day weekend. Look at it from his perspective: the man spent his entire life to trying to make the world a better place. Working closely with Dr. Light, he created some of the greatest machines known to man, yet received none of the notoriety. His “partner” hogged all the credit, leaving poor Dr. Wily in the shadows. So, in order to prove his worth, he turned the robots he created into weapons. Completely understandable. Hell, if everything I did was eclipsed by the guy I was working with, I’d be bitter too. All Dr. Wily does is build robot after robot to show the world that he deserves recognition as a genius, and what does Dr. Light do? He creates some schmuck with a hand cannon to destroy all of Wily’s works of labor. If you look at it that way, Light seems like the real villain here. It’s almost as if he’s trying to keep Wily out of the limelight. All Dr. Light had to say was, “Well, I appreciate the accolades, but I couldn’t have done it all by myself. Dr. Wily here deserves half of the credit,” and none of this ever would have happened. Do yourself a favor, doc – build some robot butlers, retreat to Skull Castle, and watch some reruns of Small Wonder.
God of War’s Kratos
Talk about overworked. Kratos has been an intense laborer ever since he was a kid. And unlike our aforementioned characters, he didn’t have the luxury of being his own boss! All Kratos ever got was orders: “Do this, do that,” “Slaughter scores of people in my name,” “Go get this box for me,” “Free me from the underworld,” and so on.
For his entire life (and even after his multiple deaths), Kratos has been nothing but an administrative assistant. The unfortunate guy wasn’t even allowed to quit without being forced back to the office by Athena. Granted, he was allowed a few perks after being promoted to the position of all-powerful demigod, but it’s obvious that the stress of the job was getting to him. You’re warranted an extra day off, Kratos, so savor it. Why not go on a nice, relaxing picnic with the fami-
Oh, wait. Never mind.
Animal Crossing’s Blathers
This was a difficult choice between Blathers and Tom Nook, as both are exceedingly dedicated workhorses (well, workowl and workraccoon, technically). But I have to give Blathers the edge on this one because Tom Nook does close up shop at night. Blathers devoted his life to history, and has earned several degrees in paleontology, entomology, and marine biology. Now, he not only operates a museum, but lives in the lobby! Blathers is available 24 hours a day to identify and appraise fossils, bugs, fish, and works of art. It doesn’t even matter if he’s fast asleep – he will still wake up and do his job with no qualms. You don’t find many people that devoted to their profession. Lock the doors, hang up the “closed for the holiday” sign, and have a cup of coffee. We can wait an extra day for you to tell us that we spent a ton of shells on a counterfeit painting.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day!