Question of the Month: Oct 2017 Edition


For those of you who don’t know, the talented folks over at Later Levels host an event called Question of the Month. As the name implies, a question is asked each month and a group of great bloggers submit answers. These answers are then compiled into a poll for everyone to vote on, and a winner is chosen based on the results. Sounds like a fun and friendly competition, eh? It sure does!

After my debut last month, Kim’s letting me stay around (thanks!) so I get to answer this month’s question:

If you needed a mercenary, which video game character would you hire?

Honestly, and unsurprisingly, I really wanted to say Lightning, but I’m going to try really hard to talk about other characters for a change. Plus Lightning does whatever the hell she wants, whenever she feels like it – not a very good mercenary quality. After my shero, my mind immediately went to a Grand Theft Auto place – a guilty pleasure of mine since high school. So yes, I chose a cute elephant genie last month, and this month I’m choosing a violent criminal: Niko Bellic (or Нико Белиж in his native Serbian language) from Grand Theft Auto IV.

qotm oct17 1
Explosions, mindless carnage, stealing shiny things… all things I love about GTA!

GTA IV isn’t my favourite in the series, but Niko is definitely my favourite protagonist! Grand Theft Auto San Andreas will likely always be my #1 crime spree playground, but IV brought some interesting mechanics to the table. It had its own parody version of the internet, introduced a cell phone for the protagonist, and the ability to get drunk with Niko’s friends. I’ll never forget Niko screaming “Yellow car!!” at the taxi cabs near the end of his glorious nights out. That’s right! Even in violent video games, I refuse to allow drinking and driving.

qotm oct17 2
Poor Roman! All he wants is to go bowling with his cousin.

Niko is probably the “nicest” thug in the series too. He’s an immigrant with a very troubled past and just wants to live the American dream. Unfortunately, he gets caught up in shady goings on, and gets blackmailed into doing some pretty awful things. One of the things I love most about his character is the hilarious interactions with his cousin, Roman. There was this one mission where Niko is pinned down by gunfire and suddenly his phone rings. It’s cousin Roman, and he wants to go bowling… Niko’s grouchy reactions to his needy cousin’s incessant need to hang out always made me chuckle.

So why would I hire him as a mercenary? Let me try to explain my answer in 100 short words!

Born into an abusive family, turned into a ruthless teenage solider during the harsh Bosnian Wars… Niko never had a chance to be a “good” person. He’s full of anger, sorrow, and remorse, but handles any mission with coldblooded precision, unleashing his boiling emotions in the form of bullets. He detaches himself from the morality of any situation, only focusing on doing the job. He’ll work for corrupt government agencies, drug gangs, the Russian Mafia, human smugglers… Niko just doesn’t care about his own life anymore; it’s all about supporting his cousin. Defeated and capable of anything – the perfect mercenary.

niko bellic

Check out Later Levels at 06:00 BST on Oct 16th to see the official post, and also the poll you can vote on.

⚡Thanks for reading!⚡

31 thoughts on “Question of the Month: Oct 2017 Edition

  1. Man I loved the setting of GTAIV but ultimately was let down by the characters and story development.
    That is not to say Nico didn’t leave an impression and even the phone calls from his cousin, who for some reason always had a nag for calling at the worst possible time with every call. It was still memorable.
    A good choice with this guy, sometimes when needing a mercenary, you want someone who can detatch themselves from their humanity when going on a mission.

    Competition do get stronger with every contendant Lightning. I’m afraid you will win one over me once again this month 😁

    Stay Cozy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really liked Niko because he wanted to be a good guy, I think, he just never had the opportunity to be one. The calls from cousin Roman were the best part, haha.

      Thank you! I doubt I’ll ever win one of these, but it’s fun playing.

      You stay cozy there too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To this day GTA V is the only title in the series I’ve managed to see through to the end. The temptation to wander off and blow stuff up was always too great. I really must go back and give GTA IV another go!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Didn’t they patch it in the last year or so?

        I think I tried at least 3 times to finish it but always stopped at the same part.

        Major technical issues also made it difficult to play at the time, I have a much better PC now though. Thanks to Steam sales I’ve got all the DLC for GTA IV as well. Is that extra stuff any good, in your opinion?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Not sure about the patches, honestly.

          I never ran into major technical issues. I was playing the Xbox 360 version. IV’s DLC is very cool actually. It’s two separate adventures with two different protagonists (Lost and Damned and Ballad of Gay Tony). But they all tie together (I won’t spoil it by saying how). I really enjoyed it.


  3. A lot of people like San Andreas the most though I prefer Vice City. I know that in terms of gameplay, SA have lots more to offer but I had more fun playing Vice City (and now, I’m not sure even why).

    As for GTA IV, I had to add some mods to make it more playable. Though as you pointed out, the main character’s excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I somehow haven’t played GTAV yet but I agree with you that GTAIV and its characters get an unfair bad rap. I really liked this game and while the story has some shortcomings, I still really enjoyed it. Niko is a very strong protagonist, especially for this kind of game where the hero is usually some kind of anti-hero.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed the single player for GTA V, the ability (later on) to swap between three protagonists worked very well.

      One of them is a complete maniac so it fits in with the times you just want to blow everything up. Speaking of which, I love the way they handled explosions in the game, very satisfying and a great stress reliever 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think I would hire the main character of Skyrim, because that character will take on literally any job for a bit of coin. Make them find my keys after I lost them, pick up my groceries, slay my sworn enemy of the week, then pay them with pocket change and a worthless family heirloom that they’ll stick in their drawer and never use again. Very economic.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m finding I have the same problem of picking the Great General especially reading what you said about Niko, since there are some pointed similarities, and my favorite fanfic Tim actually has him as a (forced) assassin plus Cloud might actually be a merc (or he started off as one), but Sephiroth is better lol. Actually both are military so it’s not a far stretch.

    There are so many good potential merc characters! Shepherd, Ezio from Assassin’s Creed (since assassins are pretty much mercenaries anyway), Samus, whose a bounty hunter so already in the same camp.

    I’m going to be outlandish and say Kirby! He can just swallow your problems. Yoshi, too 😆 Proving ANYONE (or anything) can be a mercenary!

    Liked by 1 person

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