November 22nd marks Love Your Freckles Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with some of our favourite freckle-faced characters from the world of video games? We love these characters, freckles and all, and so should you! And if any of our dear readers happen to have freckles themselves, take this as a reminder to be proud of them for their distinctiveness — and feel confident in showing them off for all their beauty and charm!
As a warning, please proceed with the knowledge that there are some mild spoilers for Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ahead, plus a mention of suicide in missed messages.
Ashe from Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Starting off with Ashe is a perfect way to determine why so many of these characters may have been designed with freckles. It almost always comes back to a means of reinforcing the youthfulness of the character in question. This tends to go hand-in-hand with an expectation that the character will be innocent — an easy assumption if they’re young — and Ashe perpetuates the best traits of this character archetype.
He’s empathetic, he’s loyal, he tries his best with what life throws at him at every turn, and is more mindful of everyone else’s feelings and happiness than his own. Ashe’s personality can effectively be summed up as “a cinnamon roll who is worth protecting”.
His entire belief that people should pursue their own dreams explains his own desire to become a noble knight. He has a childlike sense of wonder about the world around him despite all the war, bloodshed and tragedy, and amid all this he manages to hold on to an idealistic, pure drive to succeed.
His abundance of positivity, mindfulness and consideration for others is especially notable once his past is revealed through the game’s support conversations — in his younger days, he had taken to stealing food for his siblings after their biological parents passed away.
Having been adopted by Lord Lonato, Ashe only ever become more humble over time and learned to not take anything for granted. And despite being a minor character, his plot relevancy concerning Lord Lonato makes for a surprisingly emotional and well-executed journey for him personally, as seen in some support conversations and battle dialogue.
See for yourself when you recruit Ashe into your house (but play through Azure Moon first!) on the Nintendo Switch.
Clover Field from Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Zero Escape series)
When it comes to a character on the list who ticks off every box as a freckled fictional character, Clover may be the one with the highest mark. Initially, it’s easy to assume that Clover is little more than a child, considering her small frame, energetic personality, and very noticeable freckles on her adorable face. But Clover is actually a teenager whose unpredictable mood swings never fail to remind us of this fact.
One minute she may be talkative, encouraging and helpful during the many escape room segments of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors — or she can be seen wielding an axe and killing four of the main characters in a certain bad ending.
At the same time, Clover also embodies a number of traits of what most of us assume a fictional freckled character will be like: bratty, plucky, and acting as the title’s most obvious “tagalong” character within the group. But as expected of a character created by the one and only Kotaro Uchikoshi, we are barely scratching the surface of Clover here — her optimism and bravery slips in the face of certain events to reveal true vulnerability and a character who is much more than just a cute face.
So how about a slight hint to further entice you? As the character designed to reflect the “Loyalist” type within the Enneagram of Personality which the first game used as reference for its main characters’ personality templates, Clover continuously needs and seeks guidance and support from those around her as she learns what trust, hope and courage really are.
Luka from BUSTAFELLOWS
Here’s to yet another case of covering BUSTAFELLOWS as many times I can possibly squeeze it in! In BUSTAFELLOWS, Luka acts as the common otome trope of the main character’s best friend. She’s Teuta’s childhood friend, and doubtless Teuta would be doomed without her.
Luka works as a capable and reliable police officer, and she pops up now and again in the majority of routes, effortlessly establishing her never-ending concern for Teuta’s wellbeing and safety. We all know that we can depend on her.
Yet as a clear tomboy who would rather not have to do any clothes shopping alongside Teuta and her other gal pals, the juxtaposition of her edgy design with freckles helps emphasise how she is an older sister figure towards Teuta. Luka is always willing to lend Teuta a hand and support her decisions throughout the game, and what makes her even more notable and deserving of praise is her ability to sideline her own issues for the sake of Teuta. It makes for a deeply concerning and sad revelation in its true route, but also highlights Luka’s sheer mental strength and unrivalled affection for her beloved best friend.
Honourable mention to BUSTAFELLOWS’ other delightfully freckled youngster Ivy McCord, found exclusively within Mozu’s route. She is yet another one who needs protecting – both figuratively and literally!
May from missed messages.
missed messages. is a game we have previously covered — and one which will never leave my headspace for the themes it manages to cover within a mere half hour.
missed messages. is about the timid and kind May, the roommate and best friend of the main character. From May’s brief introduction, we see a well-intentioned, sweet and compassionate young girl, further aided by Angela He’s soft and whimsical art-style and character design — equipped with a few sprinkles of freckles, of course. She’s immediately captivating and warm, and her first appearance is an image that will never leave me — which meant May was the first character who came to mind when writing for Love Your Freckles Day!
The game’s singular day has the main character choosing work or making time for May — but the game never tells you this explicitly. The ending players will more than likely stumble on for their first run is due to this hidden narrative thread, which almost always leads to May’s suicide.
While the game makes a point that the main character feels guilt over her inactiveness in the initial playthrough, missed messages. acts as a safe reminder that while involving ourselves too heavily in a situation like this is not always the best answer, seeing the red flags, acknowledging them, and checking up on those important to you in the real world is something we should all make a point of doing.
The game reminds us about making small-talk, going out of our way to make comfortable silences in conversations a welcoming part of communication, and striking up either mundane or deep topics to show that we do listen and care no matter the context. And while we most definitely want to support and do our best for May without a doubt, it should be infinitely more important to take the game’s teachings to heart: notice and act on your own feelings, worries and doubts with your real freckled and non-freckled buddies and family members.
Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu from Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Perpetuating the trait of youthfulness, we’re closing out the list with the baby-face of Danganronpa. Fuyuhiko is yet another example of juxtaposing expected traits of his design with his background and personality — or more specifically, the fact that he is the Ultimate Yakuza.
Fuyuhiko puts up a front of being loud, tough, assertive and aggressive with a potty mouth due to having been handed the title of the Ultimate Yakuza — a title which was better suited to his sister. He is considerably weaker in comparison to her, as he is frequently reminded by his clan. Due to his stern upbringing based on selfish expectations, Fuyuhiko seems to have never stopped masquerading as the Ultimate Yakuza his family had always encouraged him to behave as.
Not only this, but Fuyuhiko delivers multiple important narrative threads throughout the game, initially playing as a fake-out villain, then being dealt one of the most memorable and well-executed character arcs within the franchise. He learns to treat the other survivors better — as seen when he comforts Akane after having lost Nekomaru — and is willing to sacrifice himself for Peko to such a degree that he loses an eye in the attempt. He becomes more helpful and vocal in trials from thereon, too; it reveals his true self along with a genuine and caring core that opens up throughout the game, resulting in character development that means Peko’s demise is not completely in vain.
Got any favourite freckle-faces of your own? Why not share ’em with us down in the comments? Or pen us a lengthy letter about your love for them for this week’s Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
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