Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

The plot of the upcoming Detroit: Become Human will tell us about the hard life of robots in the American metropolis of the future. In anticipation of the release of new items from Quantic Dream, I propose to recall the most interesting androids from video games. Humanoid robots are a common sight in pop culture, as they appear as enemies in Mass Effect and Remember Me. But today I want to talk to you exclusively about android protagonists and significant NPCs.What Androids dream about - the most memorable humanoid robots in games

Concept art of androids from Remember Me.

Girl Power

This article will focus mainly on robot girls. An android with a markedly feminine appearance has its own name – a gynoid. The term was coined by the writer Gwyneth Jones, who did not like to call such creatures androids, because in ancient Greek andr means “man”.

One of the most iconic gynoids is the pink-haired Alisa Bosconovitch from the Tekken fighting game series. The girl was created by the Russian – according to the “lore” of the game – the scientist Dzhepetto Boskonovich, who, after the death of his only daughter, came to grips with assembling androids and cloning – so he made several modifications to the robot named Jack and created biological weapons: Roger the kangaroo and Alex the dinosaur.

But the main goal of Boskonovich was the revival of his dead daughter. It was thanks to this very desire that Alice the robot appeared – a copy of the girl endowed with combat skills. A similar story has already occurred in the manga and anime Astro Boy, where Dr. Tenma created an android boy to replace his son who died in a car accident.

Speaking of Alice and her creator, one cannot help but draw a parallel with the Italian fairy tale Pinocchio. The name of the Russian scientist is Geppetto, just like the carpenter from the wooden boy story. Puppet Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real child – so Alice is trying to become fully human.

Alice, unusually, has emotions, and her actions are similar to those of a living girl. She is kind and empathetic and always communicates with others in a pointedly polite manner. Despite her kindness, Alice does not hesitate to break the first law of robotics: the gynoid can release jet wings and fly during combat, use its own head as a bomb, and transform slender girlish hands into chainsaws.

What Androids dream about - the most memorable humanoid robots in games

Katsuhiro Harada – the creator and main producer of the Tekken series – once admitted that this ability of Alice was partly inspired by the image of Ash Williams from the Evil Dead.

Another android girl I would like to mention also has pink hair. Her name is Shinatama, and she is the assistant and friend of Konoko, the main character of the game Oni.

This gynoid is a character with a tragic fate. She was kidnapped during an attack on the TCTF headquarters, blown up in an atmospheric complex, and her own, and reassembled, then to be killed again. At first, nothing foreshadowed trouble: Shinatama looked like a carefree and happy child, considered herself the sister of Konoko, a novice TCTF agent, gave advice on combat missions, monitored her condition and falsified reports in order to shield the girl from her superiors.

It is important to note that Shinatama is not completely a robot. She is an autonomous biological life form, SLD (Simulated Life Doll). Shinatama breathes, eats, and can feel pain. Her brain is not artificially created, but biologically grown, and there is a suspicion that it is a kind of backup copy of the consciousness of the main character. The girls grew up together, and Officer Konoko became a senior comrade for her signalman. While Konoko, as befits a military man, was brought up in strictness, Shinatama retained her naivety, which led her to a tragic end.

Another gynoid in our selection is Tio, one of the characters in the Japanese role-playing game Grandia II. Thousands of years before the events of the game, the girl was programmed to fight on the side of the dark god Valmar. When the squad of Ryudo, the game’s protagonist, meets Tio for the first time, she attacks him, but after being defeated in battle, she joins the heroes. At first glance, Tio is an emotionless creature, created only to follow orders, but as the game progresses, she discovers more and more emotions.

What Androids dream about - the most memorable humanoid robots in games

Tio’s weapons are two chakramas, and she also has two antennas on her head.

He is a robot

Do not confuse androids with cyborgs. If androids are artificially created robots, then cyborgs are biological organisms containing mechanical components, or, more simply, human-machine hybrids. Interestingly, unlike androids, cyborgs in games are mostly men. So, in the Mortal Kombat series, there is a whole clan of Lin Kuei cyborg ninjas, which includes Cyrax and Sektor. Don’t forget the samurai cyborg Genji from Overwatch and the cyberninja Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

But back to humanoid robots. Megaman from the video game series of the same name is probably the most “ancient” android from our selection, because the first game with him was released already in 1987. However, the rust has not yet had time to cover his sides, and the hero himself is quite young and full of strength. Mega Man became the mascot of Capcom and continues to be one of the most recognizable video game characters. Platformers with him appeared and continue to appear on a variety of consoles and have a huge audience.

Mega Man battles the crazy Dr. Wily and his army of mechs to stop them from taking over Earth. The weapons that the android receives after defeating the “bosses” help him pass the levels. Mega Man’s ultimate goal is to someday achieve world peace.

Unlike other machines, this hero has a unique ability to turn off – Akira Kitamura, the character creator and director of the first two games in the series, spoke about this. It is both a special honor and a heavy burden at the same time. While other androids perform specific tasks and are controlled from above, Mega Man can exercise his personal will, and this ability, according to Kitamura, fills the character with sadness. It is clear that philosophical problems in the spirit of “do androids have consciousness?” more characteristic of fiction and films than games, but some of their echoes are still reflected in the series.

What Androids dream about - the most memorable humanoid robots in games

Mega Man and his enemies are also robots.

Automatic Satisfiers

Speaking of androids in video games, one cannot fail to mention the humanoid robots from NieR: Automata. The elite YoRHa androids (one Yoko Taro – Yoko Taro – knows how it stands for) were made to free the Earth from machines created by aliens. According to the “lore” of the game, the main instinct of the android is to serve and protect people. Members of YoRHa do not use names and refer to each other by their serial number. The rules forbid them to express emotions, but each model still has individual traits. Yes, no. 2 Type B, the protagonist of route A, i.e. the first playthrough, is cold, calm and collected.

The girl masterfully wields a sword, and is also equipped with a Pod support system for long-range attacks. The android’s eyes are covered by a military visor, which she barely takes off. Being a combat android, 2B does not like idle talk and is generally reserved. Nevertheless, sarcastic notes sometimes slip into the girl’s speech, and over time she becomes more and more sociable and open.

Another android, No. 9 Type S, or simply 9S, specializes in exploratory missions and intelligence gathering. This robot is the protagonist of routes B and D. The boy is programmed with an emotional and kind personality. He is polite and very formal with 2B and calls his commanding officer “ma’am”. Purposeful 9S is very useful for a girl – he always pays the most attention to her support, even if at the expense of his own safety.

What Androids dream about - the most memorable humanoid robots in games

The main character of NieR: Automata is made, of course, with an emphasis on fan service.

“There are many things in the world, friend Horatio”

Some androids tend to ask existential questions as well. Horatio the Unknown, the protagonist of the game Primordia, professes humanism – above all, he honors the Man who created androids in his own image and likeness, and believes that, like all robots, he was created by Man to maintain the order of things established by Him.

However, in the city of Metropol, where the second half of the game takes place, humanists are discriminated against and forced to renounce their beliefs. Progressives – adherents of the local dominant religion – believe that the purpose of the existence of a civilization of robots is the endless improvement of technology, and humanity, in their opinion, is nothing more than an obsolete intermediate product of evolution (similar views can be traced back to androids in the Russian game The Uncertain). There are no more people in the world of Primordia: every single one of them died during the War of the Four Cities as a result of the use of biological weapons.

What Androids dream about - the most memorable humanoid robots in games

Next to Horatio is his creation, Crispin Horatio assembled. Unlike the cold and cynical partner, the flying robot is uninhibited and always tries to joke. While Horatio longs to find peace (and take away his source of energy from the robber), Crispin dreams of arms that he still can’t attach. And about a pretty gynoid.


As you can see, anthropomorphic robots often appear in games. Despite their artificial origin, many androids are endowed with the ability to empathize with people, and in the storylines of such characters, the theme of gaining and developing feelings and emotions is often traced. I’m sure David Cage will not bypass this idea either. We will find out what other problems the French studio Quantic Dream will address in its game on May 25th. In the meantime, tell us in the comments which Android do you like the most!

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