One of the most common relationships in video games is between a mentor and a student. When you hear those terms, your thoughts may turn to a wise ancient martial artist teaching their craft to a bright-eyed apprentice.
However, these relationships do not have to be so structured. Sometimes the mentorship arises organically, and it can even be between two people of the same age. The only requirement for this kind of band is that one character learns another – at least that’s how it starts. Here are some of the most notable examples of this in gaming history.
Metal Gear Solid 3 lets you see the future Big Boss in action before he was a legendary soldier. Instead, he looks up to the most iconic soldier of his time, The Boss. Most of the mentorship part of their relationship takes place before the match, but you get to hear all about it.
As it turns out, The Boss Snake has learned pretty much everything he knows about combat, survival, and espionage. Unfortunately, they are on different sides in MGS3 – although it’s a little more complicated than that. Snake is even ordered to kill the woman he respects more than anyone else. And much of the main character’s arc revolves around whether he has the desire and ability to defeat his former mentor.
6 Commander Shepard and Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series)
While Shepard is growing in prominence as the Mass Effect series progresses, they’ve actually been a big deal from the get-go. The same can’t be said of Garrus Vakarian, a c-sec officer still trying to find his way. The Turian eventually gets on the right track when he joins the Normandy crew and teams up with Shepard.
During their adventures together, the two become good friends and maybe even lovers. Still, there is also a mentor and student aspect to their relationship, as Garrus is always looking to his commander for guidance, especially in the first game. As a 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 acts as the charismatic leader of the Van Der Linde gang. Most of his crew resemble his children, whom he has mentored from an early age. The most notable is the main character Arthur Morgan.
In addition to Hosea, Dutch Arthur learned how to be and live like an outlaw. He also showed him how to read and write. And he was certainly a better father figure than Arthur’s real father. This is why Morgan is so loyal to the man during RDR2. However, during the game, Dutch starts to change and become a worse version of itself. Arthur must then 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 during the zombie outbreak. But after a while, he realizes that he won’t be able to protect her forever. Therefore, he starts teaching her various tips and tricks that she can use to survive.
Though he still defends her throughout the first season, she proves to be more capable as time goes on. In the following seasons, Clementine grows up and becomes the protagonist. However, she never forgets what Lee taught her.
3 Victor Sullivan and Nathan Drake (Uncharted series)
Sully and Nate are among the best duos in gaming history. The two treasure hunters embody the phrase “thick as thieves” as they stick together throughout the series. A flashback in Uncharted 3 provides more insight into their relationship.
Sullivan discovered Nate in Colombia when the latter was just a teenage thief. At the time, Sully helped the child and took him under his wing. Under the guidance of the veteran criminal, Drake became the excellent explorer and warrior that he is in the games. He even surpasses his mentor, who 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 ‘takes’ cars back for the rogue dealer-owner Simeon, but he strives for more. He gets the chance to advance his position in the criminal world when he meets Michael De Santa, a retired robbery man.
At first, Michael is hesitant to help Franklin. But when he needs to make some money, he comes out of retirement and takes Franklin for the ride. For the rest of the game, the two, along with the unpredictable Trevor Phillips, go on various odd jobs together. Under Michael’s leadership, Franklin becomes a master murderer and thief himself. 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. However, her brilliant sword skills come from her Witcher training. This happened before the events of Witcher 3, as she spent much of her childhood with Kaer Morhen, learning from various Witchers.
Geralt was one of her most notable teachers. The two already shared a strong bond because the gray protagonist was her adoptive father. Their relationship is a little different in Witcher 3, as she no longer has to learn how to swing a sword. But he’s still her guide, as your choices as Geralt affect how she sees herself and ultimately affects the ending of her story.
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