One of the most commonly seen relationships in video games is between a mentor and a student. When you hear those terms, your mind may go to a wise, old martial artist teaching their craft to a bright-eyed pupil.
However, these relationships don’t have to be as structured as that. Sometimes the mentorship forms organically, and it can even be between two people of similar age. The only requirement for this sort of bond is that one character is teaching another – at least, it starts that way. Here are several of the most notable examples of this in gaming history.
Metal Gear Solid 3 allows you to witness the future Big Boss in action before he was a legendary soldier. Instead, he looks up to the most iconic soldier of his time, which is The Boss. Most of the mentorship part of their relationship happens before the game, but you get to hear all about it.
It turns out that The Boss taught Snake pretty much everything he knows about combat, survival, and espionage. Unfortunately, though, they’re on different sides in MGS3 – albeit, it’s a little more complicated than that. Snake is even ordered to kill the woman he respects more than anyone. And much of the protagonist’s arc revolves around whether he has the desire and skill to defeat his former mentor.
6 Commander Shepard And Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect Series)
While Shepard grows in fame as the Mass Effect series goes on, they’re actually already a big deal from the start. The same can’t be said of Garrus Vakarian, who is a c-sec officer still trying to find his way. The Turian eventually gets on the right path when he joins the Normandy crew and works with Shepard.
During their adventures together, the two become great friends and perhaps even lovers. Yet, there is also a mentor and student aspect to their relationship, as Garrus is always looking to his Commander for guidance – particularly in the first game. As the player, you even get some control over this, as your choices and interactions regarding Garrus shape his personality.
5 Dutch Van Der Linde And Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)
In Red Dead Redemption 2, Dutch serves as the charismatic leader of the Van Der Linde gang. Most members of his crew are like his children, who he has guided from a young age. The most notable is the protagonist Arthur Morgan.
Alongside Hosea, Dutch taught Arthur how to be and live as an outlaw. He also showed him how to read and write. And he certainly was a better father figure than Arthur’s actual dad. This is why Morgan is so loyal to the man during RDR2. However, during the game, Dutch begins to change and become a worse version of himself. Arthur then has to decide where his loyalties now lie.
4 Lee Everett And Clementine (The Walking Dead: Season One)
At the beginning of the first season of TellTale’s The Walking Dead, Lee Everett finds little Clementine hiding in a tree house. From there, he serves as the girl’s protector amid the zombie outbreak. After a while, though, he realizes that he won’t be able to protect her forever. Therefore, he begins teaching her several tips and tricks that she can use to survive.
While he still defends her throughout the first season, she does prove to be more capable as time goes on. In the proceeding seasons, Clementine grows up and becomes the main protagonist. She never forgets what Lee taught her, though.
3 Victor Sullivan And Nathan Drake (Uncharted Series)
Sully and Nate are among the best duos in gaming history. The two treasure hunters epitomize the phrase ‘thick as thieves’ as they stick together throughout the entire series. A flashback in Uncharted 3 gives more insight into their relationship.
Sullivan discovered Nate in Colombia when the latter was just a teenage thief. Back then, Sully helped the kid out and took him under his wing. Under the guidance of the experienced criminal, Drake became the excellent explorer and combatant that he is in the games. He even surpasses his mentor, which never seems to bother Sully.
2 Michael De Santa And Franklin Clinton (Grand Theft Auto 5)
Franklin Clinton is an ambitious criminal. At the start of GTA 5, he is ‘repossessing’ cars for the crooked dealership owner, Simeon, but he strives for more. He gets the chance to increase his standing in the criminal world when he meets a retired heist man named Michael De Santa.
Initially, Michael is hesitant to help Franklin. Yet, when he needs to make some money, he comes out of retirement and brings Franklin along for the ride. For the rest of the game, the two, along with the unpredictable Trevor Phillips, go on all sorts of jobs together. Under the guidance of Michael, Franklin becomes a master killer and thief in his own right. And it’s up to you how his relationship with his mentor ends.
1 Geralt Of Rivia And Ciri (The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt)
Ciri is naturally one of the strongest characters in RPG history due to the special Elder Blood in her veins, which gives her magical powers. Her brilliant sword skills, though, come from her Witcher training. This occurred before the events of Witcher 3 as she spent much of her childhood at Kaer Morhen, learning from several Witchers.
Geralt was among her most notable teachers. The two already shared a strong bond due to the grizzled protagonist being her adoptive father. Their relationship is a bit different in Witcher 3 since she no longer needs to learn how to swing a sword. But he is still her guide, as your choices as Geralt impact how she views herself and ultimately affects the end of her story.