A Good Dingus
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of “dingus” is “a dim-witted, silly, or foolish person —often used in a joking or friendly way.” A good dingus is sweet, yet spacey. Loveable but crazy. Sincere, yet clueless. Often they are some of the most memorable characters players encounter in RPGs, and for this feature, the staff wanted to share some of their favourite “goodest of good boys and girls.”
The Disgaea series has its fair share of lovable idiots. Characters like Flonne, Desco, and Valvatorez come to mind right away, but there can only be one that can indeed be called a dingus: the Dark Hero himself, Axel. Introduced in Disgaea 2 as a washed-up television personality who yearns back to the golden days of his career, Axel just wants to be adored. Reduced to a mere travel program presenter, in his own mind, he is still the Dark Hero. His fantasy of grandeur shines in his conversations with all the other characters, even though he does not grasp the fact that he is no longer popular and mostly forgotten by everyone.
Nothing goes right for this fool. Even in his own ‘Axel mode’ in Disgaea 2 he is the butt of every joke. A mainstay recurring joke for most of the Disgaea series, you can’t help but sigh and smile when you hear him proclaiming “I came for an audition!” in the middle of a war between angels and demons. That is why Dark Hero Dingus Axel is on this list — Erik van Asselt
Super Mario RPG
Bowser, the king of the Koopas, has been Mario‘s primary antagonist across the decades, but you would never say he had much personality. He was always just something you jumped over and dumped into some lava. When Super Mario RPG released, it gave us a whole new take on the big baddy. In the first fight against Bowser, Mario knocks down the chandelier he’s standing on. Rather than falling alone, the koopa manages to also knock down Mario’s chandelier. As they fall together, you get the first glimpse of Bowser’s comedic and iconic crying. He quickly regains his composure, but the cat was out of the bag. He’s a goof.
There are a few scenes where Bowser commands his meager military. The second of these shows you his bruised ego and that he’s not nearly as purely bad as you would think from his previous Mario appearances. At Booster’s tower, Bowser is again doing his iconic cry when the party shows up to save the princess. Bowser decides to join forces with Mario and co. to get his keep back. To save his reputation, however, he conscripts the heroes into the Koopa Troop. Sure, Bowser, sure. — Robert Sinclair
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Cynthia from Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of Lucina’s companions, the future daughter of the pegasus knight Sumia. A pegasus knight herself, Cynthia is an aspiring hero who loves to strike poses, make grand entrances into battle, and give epic one-liners. Many of her supports center around her practicing heroics, trying to get her family and friends to join in, or discussing what it means to be a hero. Her flourishes during battle sometimes get the better of her as she has a habit of charging ahead. In her support conversations with male Robin, she dashes off to intercept a possible group of enemies without a second thought and ends up stuck in a swamp along with some soldiers who followed her. She also tries to get her father to make a dramatic entrance in battle using a flurry of flower petals, only to nearly bury him. It doesn’t help that she is nearly as clumsy as her mother. It’s a small wonder her grandstanding hasn’t got her into more trouble in battle. Cynthia can be a bit dense at times too. Before being recruited, she followed a bandit who tricked her into believing he was Prince Chrom. This can be especially egregious if Chrom is her father since the bandit and Chrom look nothing alike. She also obliviously blurts out “I love you” a few times to Gerome in their support conversations, making the boy flustered.
Even though Cynthia is a hero-chasing dingus, she is well-liked by most people for reasons other than her amusing antics. Cynthia has a strong sense of justice and is a great source of hope and optimism to the people around her. This was especially important in the dark future the children characters came from. Gerome even describes her as being a “perpetual ray of sunshine,” one that he sometimes wishes to hide from, but still appreciates. The people of the present compliment her attempts to be heroic and she even has a group of girls that idolize her. She is also a good friend to the other future children. She even manages to befriend Severa and Nah, two characters who are initially hostile toward her. Cynthia’s support conversations with Nah are especially nice because Nah is standoffish to many characters and seems to have few friends. While Cynthia annoys Nah at first, Nah realizes that Cynthia is sincere about being her friend. Cynthia’s love of heroics may make her reckless and she’s not the sharpest spear in the armory, but she has a good heart and is loved by many. — Cassandra Ramos
Marl Kingdom Series
There is no game series more chock full of adorable idiots than the Marl Kingdom series. While there is a plethora of choices, there’s no one more spectacular than Princess Kururu. Kurusale Cherie Marl Q is the daughter of Queen Cornet and King Ferdinand, and all she wants to do is escape her royal lifestyle and go out in the world to find her Prince Charming. However, she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed; her bratty behaviour, lack of self-awareness, and ability to get caught up in situations that have nothing to do with her all contribute to how much of a dingus she is. The girl ate “special ice cream” — ’nuff said.
Despite Kururu’s flaws, she is a wonderful character with tons of growth through Rhapsody II. As she starts to gain self-awareness throughout the story, though these moments are sometimes marred by her childishness. Given she is only twelve years old in Rhapsody II, the expectation is that the young princess will be headstrong and somewhat of a ditz. Kururu’s character is zany and charming, and her antics will make anyone smile. After all, isn’t that what a good dingus is all about? — Sam Wachter
Neptune is the main protagonist in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, which revolves around the “Console Wars”. Between being lazy, a bit of a glutton, and all-around spacey, she absolutely deserves to be called a lovable idiot. Most of the events of the original game involve her being forced to work by her secretary Histoire. Otherwise, she’d stay at home eating pudding and playing video games. Even her sister Nepgear finds her to be a lost cause half the time.
Despite how much she’s a space case, Neptunia is beloved by her fans for her fourth-wall-breaking and how she’s willing to see the good in every situation. She eventually transforms into one of the world’s Goddesses, Purple Heart, the most calm and collected of the four Goddesses when push comes to shove. Neptune’s duality even spawns an in-game Cult that worships her. Despite her faults, Neptune is a very lovable character when you get to know her, but will always be a lovable idiot. — Robert Albright
A story about a strange force that kidnaps people into an alternate dimension at midnight needs something more. Something to offset the murders, strange demons, ominous midnight channel abductions, and heartfelt moments between our characters. It needs a dingus, and we got one. Introducing Teddy, a bear-like creature who lives in this alternate dimension and becomes beary good friends with our gang of mystery solvers. As you might guess from this feature, he is beary much a dingus.
Being a creature of a different world, Teddy lived by his bearsome for quite a while. Once he meets the gang, Teddy has to learn how to bearhave in an unknown world and makes some mistakes. He takes off his bear costume and becomes a real boy in the real world, but still remains a lovable idiot. He lives with Yosuke against the latter’s will and becomes a great crossdresser, all the while keeping his friends on their toes with his bear puns. Very unbearable for some. As a player, you can either bear it, or you can take it into your own bear hands and kick him out of your party. One fact remains: he will bearever be a dingus in our hearts. — Erik van Asselt
Final Fantasy X
Although some people find him annoying, Tidus is truly a lovable dingus. I find him adorkable, and pretty realistic for a famous athlete his age. He is then thrust into a new role as the protagonist in an alien, future world. He doesn’t know where he is, doesn’t know anyone, everything is trying to kill him, and there’s nothing to eat. I don’t blame him for being hangry and irritated; I would be too!
Despite him being a dingus who complains about being hungry a lot or trying to impress people and usually failing, his adorkable nature and antics leave me wanting to give him all the headpats. Tidus is a good guy at heart, and has the best intentions, but a lot of bad executions and a lot of knucklehead responses. He leaves me wanting him to succeed, unlike some Final Fantasy games I’ve played where I just play the guy because he’s cute. And who doesn’t love the infamous HAHAHAHA scene? — Sarah McGarr
We hope you enjoyed reading about some of our favourite cinnamon rolls. Please let us know in the comments some of your favourite characters!