Top 5: Medics in Gaming

James McCoull throws a lifeline to gaming’s very own NHS

James McCoull
29th November 2016
Image Credits: Smashpedia, TF2 Wiki, Overwatch

5. Dr. Mario (Mario Franchise)

Though his compassion leaves something to be desired, there’s no debating that Mario’s dual professions, as a plumber and a doctor, are certainly impressive. Mario medicates in much the same fashion as he operates in his other career as a chivalrous volunteer Princess guard: applying Occam’s razor with liberal abandon and simply ramming pills down the necks of his patients until the problem is gone. But hey, at the end of the day, medicine is just whatever works.

4. Dr. Steinman (BioShock)

If you want cosmetic surgery at the bottom of the sea, there’s really only one man to call. With his obsessive rejection of symmetry, his spectacular disregard for the Hippocratic oath, and his team of on-staff murder nurses, Bioshock’s Dr. J. S. Steinman stands proud at the peak of his field (having more or less executed the competition). Points go to the good doctor for not just his surgical precision with a submachine gun, but his melodramatic monologue upon arriving in his clinic. Steinman really puts the theatre back in ‘surgical theatre’.

3. Dr. The Courier (Fallout: New Vegas) (No relation at all to this newspaper.)

Throughout Fallout: New Vegas, the multi-talented protagonist has the opportunity to assist with a number of medical quandaries. With a high enough skill, the Courier is able to perform clean, successful operations with nothing more than a handful of lightly-irradiated scalpels and a bottle of dirty water. But perhaps the better half of the postman-turned-Punisher’s medical endeavours is the failures. A botched operation can result in amputating the complete wrong leg, or executing the leader of a barbaric dictatorship during brain surgery. Talk about a happy accident.

2. Dr. The Medic (TeamFortress2)

The only doctor on this list to both acquire and lose a medical license, Team Fortress 2’s Medic has an approach to the practice of his trade more akin to experimentation than actual healing and care. But with a stock of homicidal mercenaries more than eager to put his experiments to the test, who can blame him? In spite of his psychopathic approach to the doctor-patient relationship, no-one can deny the Medic’s genius: to his name is a gun that heals bullet wounds, burns and lacerations in mere seconds, and can even render a patient invincible to all physical harm for a short period.

1. Dr. Angela "Mercy" Ziegler (Overwatch)

Yet even better than that is a cure for death, and that’s what the ambiguously-immortal Angela Ziegler achieves in Overwatch. In addition to her Caduceus staff - capable of the same on-the-fly (ha-ha) rapid healing as the Medic – Mercy can bring up to five teammates back from the afterlife, reconstructing their bodies and equipment and getting them back to fighting condition at a moment’s notice. And best of all, she has what no-one else on this list does: genuine compassion for those in her care. Mercy looks out for her patients, and her accolades include the cybernetic ninja Genji Shimada, painstakingly brought back from the dead by the good doctor, and the ghostly Gabriel Reyes, who seems a little less grateful for his miraculous resurrection.

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