Gaming’s most annoying couple

As part of last month’s Getting to know you post, I asked everyone to share the video game characters that most annoy them. I kind of feel sorry for Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends now as they appeared several times in the comments. I can’t say I disagree though.

My own pick was one I can imagine a lot of gamers disagreeing with and is surprising considering I’m a fan of the adventure genre. But there’s something about George Stobbart and Nicole ‘Nico’ Collard from the Broken Sword series that grinds my gears. Don’t get me wrong, The Shadow of the Templars is a classic and everybody should experience it; but I’ve ended up coming away hating this annoying couple just that little bit more after working through each instalment.

Since starring in their 1996 debut, the American lawyer and French journalist have appeared in all four sequels and even hold a world record for being the longest-running graphic adventure protagonists. They met when George was a tourist visiting Paris and an explosion at a café pulled him into a conspiracy being investigated by Nico; and although initially uninterested in his attempts to woo her, the dangers they faced around the world pulled them together as a couple.

But they’re bloody annoying more than they’re love’s young dream. George is a bumbling idiot who views himself as a crusading superhero with a mission to root out evil. Rather than going for a sensible fix for each problem, he’ll unhelpfully explain how he can’t do that and will instead opt for the most awkward solution available. And it’s almost as if he believes his his laid-back outlook on life entitles him to tell an unfunny five-line joke about a golf-club, when all you wanted was a description of an object.

As for Nico, she’s snarky to the point of being rude – plus incredibly lazy. Need to investigate the scene of a crime in Paris and track down a terrorist clown? Get George to do it for you. Have to travel to Ireland to find a gem depicted in an ancient manuscript? Just send George on your behalf. Not looking forward to that trip to a village in Syria? George to the rescue! It could be that Nico doesn’t like flying and would rather her partner handle the planes, or it could be that she’d just prefer to sit on her butt.

Which is absolutely ridiculous, because there’s no way I’d put the fate of the world in the hands of such an idiot. George is the sort of guy who believes it’s ok to leave his work colleague to deal with the henchmen banging down their office door while he disappears into the backroom to escape without him – and then thinks locking the entrance is going to stop his pursuers. The fact that he has managed to make it through all five Broken Sword games is both a miracle and a curse.

Broken Sword 4, The Angel of Death, man, woman, George, Nico, love, hug

The thing about this couple that annoys me the most is their on-off status. Most of the entries in the series start with them temporarily apart but they’re usually back together by the end of each game. This is clearly an unhealthy relationship: Nico ‘innocently’ arranges for George and her ex-boyfriend Andre to work together and wind each other up. And George leaves Paris after the end of The Shadow of the Templars due to the death of his father – without telling Nico. What kind of people do that to one another?

Guys: take a good, hard look in The Smoking Mirror and book yourselves a relationship counselling session immediately. Or better still, just call it quits. Let each other go for once and for all, live your own lives and have separate adventures; because maybe then you’ll stop frustrating the hell out of each other as well as annoying the rest of us with your idiocy.

There, I said it. It was good to get all that off my chest. Feel free to use the space in the comments below if you need to vent about your own most irritating video game characters!

7 thoughts on “Gaming’s most annoying couple

  1. Pingback: Nice Job Badges for July 13 + Hyrule Collab Follow-up – Normal Happenings

  2. Ah, you’re breaking my heart with the Nico/George thing, especially since it’s one of my favorite adventure series, but I see your valid points ;-). And interesting that I never looked at them this way.
    Just curious: Didn’t you kinda think the “Life is Strange” main character was annoying that you didn’t enjoy the game? Just crossed my mind…

    Well, I guess the most irritating adventure game character for me is Rufus from the “Deponia” series. I absolutely hate his rude comments and behavior. I mean usually I’m all up for sarcasm and anti-heroes, but this guy… I know lots of people love the games BECAUSE of him, but I simply don’t get him. Give me Rincewind or Simon the Sorcerer any day and throw this guy back to the trash planet where he belongs :-).


    • You have a good memory! I found it difficult to warm to Max from Life is Strange, partly because she reminds me of all the angst, uncertainty and insecurity that went along with being a teenage girl. It was kind of a little too close to home… if you ignore all the time-travelling stuff ha ha!

      Oh dear: Rufus is another character who annoys me. It’s like they took Guybrush and tried to make him ‘even more Guybrush’ – and just ended up creating a protagonist who comes across as rude and whiny. I don’t particularly enjoy Daedalic games but it’s primarily him who makes Deponia so hard to finish!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Couldn’t agree more ;-). Maybe I just liked Max because she reminded me of all the teenage angst music I listen to and the movies I watched. But I also thing this whole theme has been exhausted for quite some time. However, I’m looking forward to play the new games :-).

        It’s nice to know that not everyone likes Daedalic titles. There’s a thing here in Germany, or maybe it was because the company moved away from the classic adventure games, that every single release received such high score, and “Deponia” was the bestselling game ever here. And the designer/writer, Poki, he’s like a indie pop icon. But as I don’t want to ruin my PR relationship, I won’t say anything more ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

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