Although there are many iconic biological families in gaming, foster families in gaming tend to stand out less and thus receive less attention from players. Despite this, there is still no shortage of adoptive families that are just as iconic, if not more so, than their biological counterparts.
In particular, stepmothers in gaming stand out among the rest of the family, usually taking the role of the caring mother that is prevalent in gaming. But regardless of their role, one thing remains certain: their love for their children is absolute, a trait these nine foster mothers have in common.
9 Elmyra Gainsborough (Final Fantasy 7)
After losing her husband to the Wutai War, Elmyra eventually stumbled upon a young Aerith caring for her dying mother Ifalna, who requested her to take Aerith somewhere safe. Since then, she raised Aerith as her own daughter despite her minimal understanding of Aerith’s Cetra powers.
After meeting Cloud and his entourage, Elmyra is tasked with looking after Marlene while Barret is away, even relocating to Kalm in order to keep her safe. After receiving news of Aerith’s death at the hands of Sephiroth, Elmyra was deeply saddened to the point that she requested a flower bouquet to be brought to the Forgotten City.
8 Rose Amber (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Having divorced his previous wife due to her drug addiction, James Amber eventually marries Rose, a stoic woman with an odd sense of humor. Her stone-faced personality may serve to make her look uncaring, but her love for her stepdaughter Rachel is genuine, as she admires her ambition and assists her during a school performance of The Tempest.
After Rachel is hospitalized as a result of a stabbing, Rose worries over her condition while also thanking Chloe for protecting her. She also has a friendly relationship with Chloe, as she often makes witty comebacks at many of the latter’s statements.
7 Nyx (Hades)
One of many Chthonic Gods in the game, it is Nyx who was responsible for saving Zagreus’ life at birth by tasking her daughters to resurrect him upon his death. Afterward, she took in Zagreus and raised him as her own son while keeping his true bloodline a secret.
Even after his true parentage is revealed to him, Zagreus still accepts Nyx as his true mother and she continues to be a source of wisdom and support for him during his quest. Nyx has the potential to gift Zagreus important quest items, such as the Black Shawl and the Mirror of Night.
6 Eri Minami (Persona 4)
Due to her spur-of-the-moment decision to marry Yuuta’s father, Eri is challenged with the prospect of bonding with her stepson. Despite Yuuta’s reluctance to accept his new mother, it is evident that Eri’s main focus and priority is Yuuta’s safety and welfare.
While Eri has a good heart, her impressionable nature often gets her into trouble, thus impeding her relationship with Yuuta. Upon the protagonist’s intervention, Eri and Yuuta form a true mother and son relationship, with the two of them acknowledging the other’s desire to accept one another.
5 Mikoto (Fire Emblem Fates)
The benevolent Queen of Hoshido, Mikoto is greatly cherished by her children, both biological and adoptive, as well as her people. Even when villains such as Anankos weaponize her likeness, Mikoto feels great sadness at having deceived her children despite not having done so herself.
In her spare time, Mikoto cares for her children while showing off a goofier side to her, much to the amusement of her adoptive children. On the other hand, she can be very emotional when any harm comes to her children, as shown when she became distraught over Orochi’s fate after the assault on her palace.
4 Samus Aran (Super Metroid)
Easily one of the most iconic mother-child duos in gaming history, Samus encounters a baby Metroid which deems her as its mother upon hatching. Initially wary of the hatchling, Samus ultimately forms a bond with it, as the pair are both orphans, and accepts the hatchling as her child.
Throughout Super Metroid, Samus makes it a priority to protect the baby Metroid and sets off to rescue it when she learns Ridley kidnapped it. Upon witnessing the hatchling’s sacrifice against Mother Brain, Samus angrily finishes off the Space Pirates’ leader before falling into a deep depression at the loss of her child.
3 Brigid Tenenbaum (Bioshock series)
One of the scientists behind the genetically-mutated Little Sisters, Dr. Tenenbaum came to regret her part in the project upon realizing the effects her experiments had on the little girls. This caused Tenenbaum to renounce the Little Sisters project and shelter the girls from further harm while looking for a way to undo what she had done.
Perhaps due to her guilty conscience in their creation, Tenenbaum is fiercely protective of the Little Sisters; at one point, she attacks the player for supposedly trying to harm them. Depending on whether the player chooses to save or harvest the girls, Tenenbaum will either be appreciative of their kindness or berate them for their heartlessness.
2 Misato Kusunose (1bitHeart)
The sinister Misato Kusunose is one of eight people that Nanashi can befriend in 1bitHeart’s second chapter. A ghoulish resident of Coco Alley, she spends the majority of her time taking care of her children, who consist of the numerous dolls she has in her possession.
If Nanashi chooses to interact with Misato, she will ask him to play with one of her children and will comically adopt him once he successfully befriends her. Her favorite gifts to receive from Nanashi are things her children can play with, namely the Rolly Beads and the Kitten Scrunchies.
1 Jessica Robbins (Another Code: Two Memories)
Jessica Robbins steps in to serve as Ashley’s primary caretaker after the latter supposedly lost her parents. Although Jessica is Ashley’s biological aunt, Ashley confesses that she sees her as a motherly figure, which is reflected in how Jessica consoles Ashley whenever she is sad.
When Jessica reveals to Ashley that her father is actually alive, the two of them begin to grow apart, though this is ultimately resolved upon Jessica’s abduction and subsequent rescue. Outside of taking care of Ashley, Jessica works as a chemistry teacher at her city’s college.