20 Iconic Objects and Characters That Define Your Favorite Video Game

lots of video game related things put together

I was gathering inspiration for writing an article which was different from my usual lore articles, when while scrolling through lists of video game franchises, I noticed how I stopped reading the names altogether.  
Was it my attention span of a goldfish starting to fail me? Perhaps, but not only. Those lists were accompanied by images, and I could recognize entire franchises by that one single thing… so I stopped everything and screamed “Eureka!” Like I was an inventor (and yes, it was a cringy moment).

Every video game franchise has that “one thing” that reminds you of it immediately and can really be anything: from a weapon to a meme. Mind you: I decided to avoid main characters because this would get boring very quickly. 
Here I compiled a list of 20 video games with their special “thing” according to yours truly. 

Triforce – Legend of Zelda 

Power, wisdom, courage. The Triforce is the source of ultimate power in the Legend of Zelda Franchise. I need just a glimpse of it to picture Link, Ganon, weird sea people, masks that scared the Bejesus out of me, and ocarinas. Unfortunately, I also picture lamps, terrible tattoos, and memes. It is one of the most marketed things in video game history. 

Chocobo – Final Fantasy

You know it, I know it, my uncle knows it. Chocobos are Final Fantasy’s take on ostriches, but that can be ridden like a war horse. Practically my dream. The choice between them and the Moguri (flying humanoid pigs with a pom-pom in their head) was difficult, but chocobos have a more consistent design throughout the series, which makes them more recognizable in my opinion. 

N7 Helmet – Mass Effect 

This helmet is well known for being used as advertising material for the Mass Effect Franchise, which makes it even more recognizable. When playing the game, we get to know that N7 is the most elite rank in Human military, of which our Commander Shepard is part of.  
I was almost there to put “weird Commander Shepard dance” as the most recognizable thing, but that’s just me being biased. 

Poke Ball – Pokémon 

You don’t even need to play video games to know what a Poke Ball is. The level of fame that this object has is among the most well-known even outside the geek community. If you are reading this article and don’t know what a Poke ball is, the short answer is: you throw it at pokémons and catch them with it. 
Pikachu came close, but the poke ball is the winner. The anime boosted Pikachu’s popularity, but the poke ball is ALWAYS present. 

Portals – Portal 

Portals were my second choice here. I written “portal gun” in my notes, but then I switched because portals are much easier to recognize even if you did not play the game!  
Is it cheating? The game is called Portal… was it too obvious? You know what, I don’t care. This article is a lie. 

Super Mushroom – Super Mario 

Let’s take this out of context: what can possibly be the most iconic object for a video game about an Italian plumber that has to save a princess from a dragon and its army of turtles? A mushroom, of course.  
I was tempted to go for the block with a question mark but let’s be honest: everybody and their dog can recognize a Super Mushroom. 

Gold Ring – Sonic 

Only the mere sight of a Gold Ring throws me back in the ‘90s in front of my now defunct Sega Mega Drive. These rings (and the sound of losing them) are what I can instantly associate with that spiky hedgehog.  

Blades of Chaos – God of War 

The Blades of Chaos are so cheesy… and I love cheesy. Not only do they represent Kratos, but the spirit of the old God of War trilogy.  
Don’t get me wrong, I love the new games and I get the “leave the chaotic and relentless past behind you” narrative, but I miss the cheesy over-the-top kind of atmosphere. 

Plasma Cutter – Dead Space 

Remember: The Plasma Cutter is not a weapon. It is a tool. I love how this completely reflects Isaac Clarke nature (being an engineer), and how it is used and customized throughout the different installments. Another great object representing the franchise would be Isaac’s Helmet, but while iconic, it’s just not as famous. 

I am getting some MacGyver vibes… what happened to that tv show anyway? 

Pyramid Head – Silent Hill 

Masahiro Ito, please forgive me for being cliché, but I can’t go against the current here. I had many other ideas for Silent Hill (including the map from Silent Hill 1 and the Halo of the Sun), but Konami put Pyramid Head everywhere because it was cool, so that even people who never played the game associate that dude to the franchise.

By the way, Pyramid Head should’ve been ONLY in Silent Hill 2. But I’ll keep this take for a possible future article

The Hidden Blade – Assassin’s Creed 

Show me a picture of somebody’s arm with anything resembling a hidden blade, and I will automatically say “like in Assassin’s Creed!”. The Hidden Blade is a staple of the franchise, with a very close second place being the Assassin’s hood. 

Iron Helmet – The Elder Scrolls

I still remember the first Skyrim’s trailer, where the main character was wearing this horned helmet and was fighting a dragon, with epic music and all. The Iron Helmet is easily the most recognizable object in and out of the game.
I know, I know: the arrow to the knee meme was also incredibly popular but got old fast.

Yeah, you see how I am talking only about Skyrim and not others like Oblivion or Morrowind? Skyrim is just that famous.

Diamond Pickaxe – Minecraft 

Look, I barely tried the game and never passed the 15 minutes mark before uninstalling. What can I say, maybe I am just too old.  
But I’ll tell you one thing, I see a pixelated green pickaxe, I say Minecraft.  
I swear, I really want to like the game. Probably I’ll give it another shot after writing this. 

The Umbrella Corporation Logo – Resident Evil 

Again, the Umbrella logo was not my first choice: I got “Green Herb” in my notes. Although the herb is iconic, it can be possible to not associate quickly the franchise from a picture out of context alone, while the Umbrella Corporation logo is instantaneous.  
Not only is Umbrella Corporation the most iconic thing in Resident Evil, but it is my first choice when thinking about the term “Evil Corporation” in general. 

The Codec – Metal Gear  

I swear that I rewrote this paragraph four times. I wanted to put “NANOMACHINES, SON!” As the most recognizable object so bad, but I must face reality: The Codec (and its sound) throws us instantly into the Metal Gear Universe.  
Still, there are many other contenders like the Metal Gear Rex, the Cardboard Box, the Ninja Exoskeleton, and even Psycho Mantis Gas Mask. Oh, you want to know more about Psycho Mantis? Read this article instead.  

Sans – Undertale 

This one was, by far, the easiest one to write. Not only Sans is one of the most cherished characters for those who played the game (and also, what a killer boss fight in genocide run!), but probably you would know him nonetheless because of the memes that flooded the internet a while back. He and his soundtrack “Megalovania” are definitely the most recognizable thing in this masterpiece of a game.  

Megalovania made it to my list of video game banger soundtrack list, by the way. 

You Died – Dark Souls 

After playing the game, the “You died” death screen in Dark Souls is probably the two-word sentence we read the most in our life. It caused memes, rage-quits, broken controllers, and lots of screaming in every corner of the globe. But hey, the moment you got good and defeated the boss, damn it felt great. 
As a second place I would put the bonfire, but again, the “You Died” screen got famous even outside the Dark Souls community thanks to memes and social media. A bit like “MORTIS” from another great game, FAITH

Crowbar – Half Life

Gordon Freeman’s iconic melee weapon. Even when I see a crowbar in real life (which well, does not happen a lot I admit) I think automatically of smashing Headcrabs and boxes in Half Life 2. 
And if you have a VR headset, please, please, please play Half Life Alyx. That is such a great experience.  

The Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts 

You can like Disney or not, but you do not need context to recognize a Keyblade and automatically associate it to Kingdom Hearts. 
I still did not play the third main game and I honestly do not want to, because honestly f**k Square and their bullshit way of publishing this franchise. Do you remember? You had to own 20 different consoles to play with all that trash. Now that I am not a teen anymore, they publish their stupid-ass remixes on pc. IT’S BEEN 19 YEARS. 
I will die on this hill. I will keep giving them money for every Final Fantasy they will shove down my throat, also. Dammit. 

Plumbob – The Sims 

Yeah, I didn’t know the green crystal name either. I did know the crystal itself, though. If you, like me, spent hundreds of hours creating a better life than the one you currently have, you know this object as well.
In the PSP spin-off, it is revealed that the Plumbob is in fact a mind-controlling device… but then the PSP game was weird as f**k. The great thing about The Sims is that there is no canonicity, which would destroy the final purpose of the game! 


Again, there are so many other video games franchises and object that deserve to be covered, but it is good to put a stop somewhere. I hope that you, dear reader, managed to finish this article and to have a bit of fun in the process. 

As always, I wish you a great day, and I’ll see you in the next article!  

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