Tattoos are cool right? Regardless of what your parents might have said to you growing up or what that random old couple in the street said about them, tats can be really sick. Sure, some people go out and have some really odd things inked on to them… In a character design it can make or break how they look. Since I’m here now thinking about adding another piece of under skin artwork to my body, I thought I would have a look at a few of my favourite characters with ink and list them out! Rules of the list are simple, only tattoos count, no brands so you won’t see Corvo Attano on Dishonored here even though I adore that Outsider Mark, and I won’t be including someone like Agent 47 and his iconic Barcode tattoo as that’s a marker of his clone heritage and not a chosen design with any meaning to him as a character!
Baldur – God of War (2018)
The big bad of the newest instalment of Kratos’ adventures, Baldur is the Norse god of light and reflects this by having a great swath of tattoos that light up when he uses his abilities. These tats are inspiration for a few of my own! As a huge fan of Norse culture, Baldur’s ink is a lesson in Viking artwork and all look pretty damn impressive is not a little all over the place. I have a particular love of the huge mural of runes around his mid-section, if I wasn’t so sure my parents would disown me…you can be sure id be all over that design myself!
Jason Brody – Far Cry 3
Probably a design burned into many peoples memories, and a hell of a way to track your characters evolution, The tatau is an iconic image in gaming. During Jason’s ruined gap year adventures, He is issued the first bit of his new ink and as you unlock skills the design grows and slowly takes over his entire left forearm. With sharks, herons and spiders worked into the piece based on the 3 skills trees in game. I know more than a few people who would love to have Brody’s arm art, although so far iI have yet to meet anyone who has committed to it…
Kazuma Kiryu – Yakuza
Let’s face it, Japanese tattoos are rad. Though still hit hard by stigma across japan, their popularity is growing as they are no longer reserved just for criminals. However, now I’m going to talk about a Japanese criminal with tattoos… Kiryu is the leading man of the Yakuza series, fronting pretty much every game in the series. A few times during these wild games the stoic hero rips off his shirt and reveals his giant back piece, with a dragon holding a pearl, this design is supposed to convey power, wisdom, protection, and balance in Japanese culture. All things appropriate for Kiryu and his personality!
Edward Kenway – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Pretty much synonymous with tattoos, are sailors. We’ve all seen the standard look of seaman (heh) with an anchor tat on their bicep. So of course, pirate captain and overall bastard, Edward Kenway has a few standard designs of krakens and ships wheels! Normally only visible when you go out and decide to spear fish a whale or large shark, The tats make Edwards character look less blonder surfer dude and more actual pirate, which is good…in this game full of pirates.
Gladiolus Amicitia – Final Fantasy XV
Much like Captain Kenway, this is another tattoo that doesn’t get seen in all it’s glory unless you go out of your way to view it with the character shirtless look… and to be fair why would you ever make Gladio wear a shirt? I mean look at him. The shield of the king is a title dripping with honour and to mark his position, Gladio’s back is dripping with ink. The Amicitia family have the falcon like design applied when they become the bodyguard to a royal just so everyone knows not to fuck with them! To be fair it would work on me, it be much more interest in befriending the person with this design than fighting them!