A parent is someone who, by definition, raises and helps someone younger than them grow up. This can manifest in many ways. Parent figures can be blood-related, adoptive, aunts or uncles, and various other things. Raising an animal can even make someone a pet parent! Today we’re looking at some of these memorable parent figures in visual novels who have left a lasting impression on players.
Cliff Holden from Our Life: Beginnings & Always (Steam, itch.io, GOG)
Our Life: Beginnings & Always is a beautiful game with a heartwarming story about growing up and becoming the person you want to be. With fully customizable options such as character creation, choices that affect your personality, and affinity levels that can be set prior to new stages of life, the game becomes one that is truly shaped by how you decide to play it. Our Life begins with the player as a child. When the player character is walking down the street to their house, they run into a man they’ve never seen before. This seemingly strange man turns out to be their new next door neighbor, Cliff Holden. Cliff offers you twenty dollars to befriend his young son, Cove. From then on, as you grow older and experience new moments in life, you’ll get to know Cliff much better. He’s a kind, caring and compassionate parent to his son and includes you into his little family with open arms. What I love so much about this game is that you get to grow up and learn more about not only Cove, but his parents, who grow and change along with the story as well.
Pamela and Noelani from Our Life: Beginnings & Always
Continuing on with Our Life: Beginnings & Always, two parents who also bear mentioning are Pamela and Noelani, the player character’s adoptive mothers. No matter the kind of character you choose to create, Pamela and Noelani will always be your parents in the game. You’ll get to ask them if you can hang out with your friends, spend family gatherings with them, and confide in them during particularly hard moments. Pamela and Noelani are both loving and supportive parents, no matter the decisions you make (and there are a lot to make!). Their compassionate natures can be incredibly comforting for players from all walks of life. Pamela and Noelani are a wonderful representation of a lesbian couple in media, both within their relationship with each other and their relationships with their two kids. As with Cliff Holden, Pamela and Noelani grow along with your story as you age up and experience more things in life.
xyx from Blooming Panic
Blooming Panic was originally created for the 2021 Otome Game Jam but was later updated to include xyx’s route. You may be thinking, “Hey, xyx doesn’t have any kids, why is he on this list?” Fur babies most certainly count as kids! xyx’s route centers around not only his blooming relationship with the player but also his relationship with his cat. While xyx will refuse to admit his furry companion is nothing more than a stray at first, it becomes increasingly clear that this cat is a huge part of xyx’s life. He goes out of his way to care for the creature, making sure it is fed and has a warm place to sleep. As the story goes on, he’s more willing to admit his love for his cat and develops into a total cat dad. It’s this beautiful relationship between furry companion and guarded memelord that allows xyx to open up more to the player and show a different side of himself. I love this relationship dynamic, because as a cat mom myself, I feel like it’s super relatable. Plus, xyx is just adorable in general, even without the cat!
All the dads from Dream Daddy
Dream Daddy has a really unique premise. You play as a single dad who moves to a new neighborhood with your teenage daughter. When you move to Maple Bay, you quickly find out that all of the dads are single! You’re able to create your player character to your liking and shape them the way you’d like, even choosing if your daughter was adopted or is blood-related. Each of the love interests are unique in their own way. There’s Damien, a goth dad who dresses like a vampire and reads Naruto fanfiction. Joseph is a youth minister who is, interestingly enough, still married when you meet him! You can meet Brian, a very competitive man who makes himself your rival by talking about how his kid has far superior accomplishments than yours. Mat is a barista at a local coffee shop who loves music and chill vibes. There’s also Craig, an old friend of yours who’s given up his old party lifestyle to be a dad and is totally obsessed with fitness. Hugo is your daughter’s teacher who appreciates art, literature, and fine wine. Lastly, there’s the bad boy dad, Robert, who is a bit of a wild card. With seven intriguing dads to choose from, it’s hard to pick one as most memorable!
Aurora’s dad from Akash: Path of the Five
Akash: Path of the Five is a fully voiced otome visual novel developed by Truant Pixel. The game features several romance routes; however, today we are taking a look at the main character’s relationship with her father. You can name your player character, though by default she is called Aurora. The game starts with Aurora’s father singing her a lullaby to wake her up. This embarrasses the twenty-year-old slightly, but she quickly laments her father’s lame jokes with some jest. It becomes quite clear that she adores her father. It is his caring and concerned influence that helps keep Aurora grounded throughout the conflict of her story. She’s tasked with choosing a potential spouse, being eventually hailed as the most desirable woman on campus. With all of this stress, she is able to rely on her father as a calming source of support. Plus, there’s tons of dad jokes, which are always fun.
Did we leave out any memorable parent relationships? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.