A Lot Of Terrible Video Game Characters Wear Sunglasses

For today’s video, I tried to think of as many sunglasses-wearing video game characters as I could. Immediately Cool Spot, Rash from Battletoads, and Duke Nukem sprang to mind. It did not exactly go well from there: it turns out a lot of video game characters who wear sunglasses suck.

If you were born before the year 2000, there’s a chance you remember the 1990s. Back then, advertisers had an addiction to cool. And no cynical shortcut took one so briskly toward Cool City as sunglasses on a cartoon character.

In this video, I ruminate on the ramifications of slapping sunglasses on a fragment of a beverage logo. I beseech the viewer to imagine what would happen if an accountant had written Toy Story.


This entire video is improvised. I decided to step in front of the camera and speak extemporaneously for exactly 20twenty minutes. I happened to still be wearing my sunglasses when I entered our studio. I had forgotten to put my regular glasses on. I said, to the camera, that most comments are likely going to be about my wearing sunglasses.

This gave me the immediate idea to rank the best sunglasses-wearing video game characters throughout history. I set the bar low: I said I would list 10ten. I ended up listing more than 30.

It turns out I saw a lot of sunglasses on television as a teenager in the 1990s.

So if you want to hear me roast Cool Spot and Rash from Battletoads, you’re gonna have to click that link, Ninfriendo.


I have a lot more to say about sunglasses than could fit in one video. For example, did you know that gray lenses do not alter one’s perception of color? That’s why jet pilots wear them. Did you know that blocking blue light really does make your vision sharper? I’ve been wearing gray-tinted sunglasses at my computer for the past six months, and the benefits feel astronomical. Before that I was wearing green-tinted sunglasses, which were not nearly as effective.

I could go into a massive amount of detail on ophthalmological phenomena regarding my personal decision to wear sunglasses indoors. I could shout enough science to sell you a pair of sunglasses better than Gunnar Optiks could.


Though at the heart of this is a simple excuse: I’ve been wearing sunglasses indoors for about a year because I have been experiencing what my neurologist tells me is a chronic migraine. I’ve had one unending headache for 18 months. I wake up with it. I go to bed with it. It’s brutal. The sunglasses help a lot.

So, if you’re one of those people who sees a guy wearing sunglasses indoors and immediately thinks that guy’s probably a jerk—well, I was going to say “You might be wrong.” Though maybe having a chronic migraine alone doesn’t qualify me for not being a jerk. Oops!


When I started improvising this list video I had hoped to redeem the character of dudes who, like myself, perpetually shade their eyes. Instead, I found a pack of posers, containing dismally few role models.

As I say in this video, “I’m living proof that you don’t have to be cool to wear sunglasses indoors.” As a would-be role model for future Shade Mavens, I’m going to keep on living my proof over here.


By the way! Nothing would inspire me to make a future video in which I break down an avalanche of video-game-relevant ophthalmological phenomena more than you personally liking, commenting, and subscribing over on our YouTube channel. I promise you might love it.

There’s even a playlist of all my other videos. Wow!

And just now, immediately after I finish typing all of this, I realize I did not mention Travis Touchdown, the sunglasses-wearing main character of two video games I literally spent multiple years of my life working on.

I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!

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Say what you want about his sunglasses, but Earl of Toe Jam and Earl fame is too cool for your opinions which would be invalid on planet Funkatron.

Plus they rebooted the game recently and he is way cooler now.