The old class trainers in WoW are a relic of a bygone age. In times past, you would visit them in order to learn new spells upon levelled up. This was changed in Mists of Pandaria, when learning new spells became automatic, but you can still find them offering to reset talent points in a bid to stave off unemployment. Not that this has altered their attitude, particularly if you’re not the class they cater for. Oh, I don’t possess the mental acuity to learn the secrets of the arcane do I? Well screw you nerd, I don’t need no education!
Despite being more of a motherly figure, Undertale’s Toriel is arguably the logical conclusion of many video game mentors. After first encountering her early in the game, she proceeds to coddle you throughout much of the tutorial, often literally solving puzzles for you before warmly seeing you off. Or, if you’re on a genocide run, you can add her to your growing list of victims which I initially did before realising my mistake and save scumming like the responsible adult I’m not. Not that Undertale forgets such transgressions so remember kids, think twice before you go brutalising friendly goat people.
Rome: Total War’s Marcus isn’t really a character so much as a presence, providing advice in the heat of battle like a heavily armoured Navi, with his input often just as useful (no Marcus, I don’t think my terrified peasant soldiers I recruited on the cheap are a match for that fast approaching unit of elite cavalry). What irks me most however is his accent. I’m no expert on the Ancient Romans but I didn’t envisage them sounding so…Australian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I struggle to imagine Caesar crossing the Rubicon saying “the die is cast, mate”.
In lieu of the recent nostalgia around Banjo-Kazooie, it’d be remiss of me not to mention Bottles, the bespectacled mole who helps Banjo and Kazooie through their home invading adventure. Like pretty much all the characters in Banjo-Kazooie, Bottles is surprisingly talkative for someone who only communicates in bizarre looped mumbles. I used to wonder how he could be an affective teacher communicating like this but as a Politics student I think I understand now. Given contemporary events I sometimes feel the lecturers are only a few policy announcements away from teaching their modules via manic, pained screaming.
To round the list off I thought it only fair I include a character with some academic acumen, so without further ado meet Deckard Cain, last of the Horadric order and Sanctuary’s resident busybody. Though he appears in the first game, Deckard establishes something of a routine in Diablos’ 2 and 3 where, after rescuing from whatever demonic entity he’s pissed off, he thanks you by lecturing you about the game’s lore with a teaching style akin to a supply teacher by way of Abraham Simpson before sending you on life threatening errands. Bet he doesn’t use ReCap either.