Weekly Video Games Thread Prepares the Umlaut in “Doppelgänger”

Happy Monday, folks! And welcome to Monday’s Weekly Video Games Thread!

Yesterday, I started playing Kingdom Hearts II. The first section of KH2 famously ditches the previous game’s hero (Sora) in favor of a newcomer who’s mysteriously and aggressively similar to him (Roxas). It’s extremely odd and even more bold of a storytelling choice, and it’s got me thinking about doubles and twins in games. ‘Cause there’s a lot.

You’ve got your characters who are the same, just with “Dark” or “Shadow” in front of their name. You’ve got your characters who differ from a preexisting character in a way that’s thematically rich and compelling, the way that some of The Great Ace Attorney‘s best characters harken back to people from Ace Attorneys past. And then there are the ones who are literal clones of someone else, either from some scientific vat or for the purposes of reusing a great fighting game moveset. Some of these relish being copies, while others are embarrassed, claim to be the original, and then tell Sonic that he’s not even good enough to be their fake.

These characters serve many purposes for gameplay, to be sure, but narratively perhaps even more so. After all, tropes of twins and doubles are found throughout mythology and literature; they’re a vital part of many stories. And so here is the prompt: who is one of your favorite doppelgängers in a game, in what way are they a doppelgänger, and why? Or even maybe your favorite double is a game?

But alongside that there is, of course, the most evergreen of questions: how was your weekend when it came to gaming?