The jester has left its mark on many aspects of modern art and entertainment, including a wide variety of gaming platforms.
Video Games with Jesters
In a range of fantasy and role-playing games, the jester provides sometimes much needed levity and humour. Due to their unpredictable nature and defying conventional norms, their characters are always memorable.
For some video games that include jesters or the popular archetype of the trickster, here are a few examples:
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood | Ubisoft
The “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” action-adventure game
is set in Renaissance Italy and allows players to take on the role of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. This character portrays the jester archetype and the game also includes a range of characters that demonstrate the jester’s trickster behaviour. There is also a jester named “The Harlequin” that appears throughout the game.
Darkest Dungeon | Red Hook Studios
The RPG (role-playing game) “Darkest Dungeon”
is a challenging, turn-based strategy game where players manage a team of adventurers. The Jester is a playable character class best known for his agility, musical abilities, and ability to inspire allies or inflict debuffs on enemies.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt | CD Projekt Red
The open-world RPG “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”
is a game that allows players to encounter various characters, including jesters, in their journey as Geralt of Rivia. Jestering performers can be found entertaining crowds and adding a lively atmosphere to the game’s cities and events.
HOMM 3 | Dotemu
The fantasy strategy game “Heroes of Might and Magic III”
includes a jester as one of the playable heroes. The jester is skilled at distracting enemies and can provide boosts to their allies during battles.
Jester’s Quest | Cybernautics
The puzzle-solving game “Jester’s Quest”
allows players to control a jester on a quest to rescue a kidnapped princess. The game incorporates humour, clever challenges, and a whimsical art style, staying true to the nature of the jester.
Jester Characters in Games
Jesters often serve as a contrast to the more serious and stoic characters or situations in games. Their playful and mischievous nature adds a dynamic balance, injecting fun and lightness into the game world. They provide a counterpoint to the overarching themes and help maintain a varied and engaging atmosphere.
Some of the most notable jester characters in games can include:
Final Fantasy VI | Square Enix
Kefka Palazzo from “Final Fantasy VI”
this main antagonist embodies the jester archetype with his maniacal laughter, unpredictable actions, and dark sense of humour. His sadistic nature and chaotic presence make him a memorable and iconic jester-like character.
Super Paper Mario | Nintendo
Dimentio from “Super Paper Mario”
combines the elements of a jester and a magician. With his enigmatic personality, playful demeanour, and trickster nature, Dimentio adds an extra layer of mystery and amusement to the game’s whimsical universe.
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion | Bethesda
Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness
appears in various instalments of “The Elder Scrolls” series, including “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” As a whimsical and eccentric character, Sheogorath embodies the jester archetype, with his nonsensical riddles, witty remarks, and unpredictable behaviour.
Batman: Arkham Asylum | Rocksteady
Joker from the “Batman: Arkham”
series is an iconic supervillain and adversary of Batman, often assumes the role of a jester in the “Batman: Arkham” games. With his dark humour, unpredictability, and twisted wit, Joker adds a touch of madness and amusement to the game’s intense and dramatic storyline.
Batman: Arkham City | Rocksteady
Harley Quinn from the “Batman: Arkham”
series is Joker’s accomplice and love interest who also embraces the jester archetype. With her playful yet dangerous nature, mischievous behaviour, and sarcastic remarks, Harley Quinn brings a mix of humour and chaos to the gaming experience.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | Bethesda
Cicero from “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”
is a member of the Dark Brotherhood, and embodies the jester archetype with his eccentric and over-the-top personality. With his colourful and theatrical dialogue, coupled with his penchant for chaos and mayhem, Cicero stands out as a memorable jester-like character in the game.
Jesters make appearances across many game platforms, including tabletop games. In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), the jester class is not a standard or official class option. However, players can create a jester-like character by utilising existing classes and incorporating appropriate role-playing elements. Typically, bards or rogues are popular choices for players who wish to portray a jester-like character in D&D.