Selecting the right Christmas gift can be a tricky business - especially if the person you're buying for is a video games character. Just in case you're shopping for Mario, Drake, Kratos or co, here's our guide.
Mario - A GPS tracker
The DNT GPS Tracker 2.0 (£116.72 at Play.com) is marketed at people who are worried about losing children or old people. Given that The Mushroom Kingdom appears to have a worse kidnap rate than the darkest, meanest corners of South America, we reckon that Mario would appreciate an easy way to locate Peach when she invariably goes missing. It'd put an end to that "the princess is in another castle" bullshit, too.
Kratos - A luxury wig
"Hair are your aerials," explains Danny the Dealer, in Bruce Robinson's booze comedy Withnail and I."They pick up signals from the cosmos and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight."
If Danny is right - and despite being a fictional character in a 25-year-old film, he might be - baldness could explain Kratos' notorious temper problem. A luxury wig might help the homicidal slaphead to calm down for a bit. Still, we wouldn't advise being in the room when he opens the box; he'll almost certainly kill you, regardless of whether he likes the gift or not.
Link - A guide to public speaking
He may be a dab hand when it comes to sword-fighting, archery, and other heroic activities, but Link has always struggled to make himself heard. With the help of this book, perhaps he can finally find his voice. And if he can keep the book in good condition, he can give it to Gordon Freeman next Christmas.
Alternative gift idea: Cuff links, membership to a links golf course, and a can of Lynx.
Master Chief - The MasterChef Cookbook
Alright, so this idea may have partly stemmed (read: entirely stemmed) from the fact that "MasterChef" sounds a bit like "MasterChief", but surely we're not alone in thinking that John-117 would make an excellent cook? His dual-wielding capabilities will allow him to handle two pans at a time, he's good with knives (well, Plasma Swords), and if he happens to screw up and get burnt, his health will regenerate in seconds. Speciality dishes to include: Corn on the Covenant, Spartana Bran, and Assault Trifle.
Captain Price - A box of Montecristo cigars
We all know that Modern Warfare's Captain Price loves a good cigar, so this box of Montecristo cigars should go down a treat. With any luck they'll keep him so occupied that he won't randomly stab anyone at Christmas Dinner. Because when all is said and done, we all know that Price is only truly happy when he's killing someone.
Alternative present: Soap.
Solid Snake - A Multimedia Entertainment System
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Snake's an outdoors type, so why would he want the world's biggest multimedia entertainment system?" And you're right, he wouldn't - but you and I would. So here's the plan: buy the gadgets, unpack them and give Snake the oversized cardboard box it came in. He'll be happy with that, and you get to keep the gigawatt goodness. Result!
Lara Croft - A Bengal Tiger
An easy one, this. Lara's done enough damage to the endangered species of this world, so for Chrimbo she can bloody well have something that gives back to the furries of this world. A Bengal Tiger costs a few quid a month from the WWF site, and Lara gets a little cuddly toy. Although she'll probably shoot that too.
Nathan Drake - A big box of grooming products
Nathan Drake is a modern man, and as such he's not ashamed to be labelled as metrosexual/homopolitan/whatever we're calling it this week. Drake's adventures take him to the most inhospitable corners of the globe, but his skin never shows any sign of wear and tear. Why? Because he exfoliates and moisturises every gawddamn day. Expensive grooming products like these will help to clear his skin of grease, dirt, and the little chunks of lead that get left behind when he's shot at with an AK47.
Marcus Fenix - A Hedge Trimmer
Now that Gears of War 3 has been and gone, it's high time that Mr Fenix settles down a bit. He's spent three games blowing the crap out of everyone and everything in his immediate vicinity, so let's encourage him to nurture some plant life. A hedge trimmer is a beefy enough present that his oh-so-precious masculinity won't be threatened, and if The Locust ever come back, he can use it to cut the buggers in half.
Sackboy - A set of genitals
Because a child is the only thing he can't make for himself.