When the birth of my daughter was imminent my wife told me to attempt growing a full beard during my time off work with the baby. I have had some sort of facial hair since I graduated High School, but it was usually groomed in such a manner that it wasn't the bushy beard one associates with fathers. This grand tradition was taken on in earnest and I am pretty happy with the results so far. But, I can't help but compare it against some of the great beards within video game lore. Here are my top 5 beards of gaming which I look to for inspiration.
1. Zangief (Street Fighter) - His beard is legend, and often it appears to more closely resemble an anvil than a human beard. I can't imagine the character without it, and if you are close enough to admire it you are close enough to be piledriven into the earth.
2. Snake/Big Boss (Metal Gear) - Our favorite snake has become a grizzled hero and the beard shows as much about his character as his eye patch and scars. When he is troubled the beard will be a little unkempt, and when it is tight and crisp you better watch out.
3. Zachary Comstock (Bioshock Infinite) - He clearly rose to power with is mighty beard, look how they portray it on statues. It is as epic as the classic Kansas record cover. I couldn't even beat Bioshock Infinite because they wanted me to believe he was the bad guy. I just wanted to talk about that beard game.
4. Barret (Final Fantasy VII) - As if having a sweet gun arm wasn't enough. Barret sported a pretty sweet beard.. He was the first black playable character in Final Fantasy and was incredibly awesome to fight alongside.
5. Dr. Light (Mega Man) - Mega Man's father of sorts has a beard that some might consider Santaesque. When he is around you know wisdom and support are forthcoming, all things you would want from a fatherly beard.
Honorable Mentions - Joel (Last of Us), Bitores Mendez (Resident Evil). Arthur (Ghouls N Ghosts)