Game characters who can’t swim

Games that let you go underwater have been around since, at least, 1977’s Depth Charge. However, most people probably first encountered the dreaded level of water in the first Super Mario Bros. . Unfortunately, not all video game characters can swim as Mario, and some can’t swim at all despite having enhanced abilities in other areas.

RELATED: The Best Water Levels We Definitely Don’t Hate

While most video game characters these days can swim a little, there are plenty that can’t either for mechanical reasons, lore, or something else entirely.


seven Klonoa – Klonoa Series

Although it is not known exactly what Klonoa from the Klonoa series is, it has been suggested that he belongs to a feline species despite having rabbit ears.

Technically, Klonoa might not be a cat, but he hates water the same way many cats do, and according to several games, Klonoa also can’t swim. In Dream Champ Tournament and Klonoa Heroes, Klonoa is given a handy mechanical diving suit to circumvent this.

6 John Marston – Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption protagonist John Marston is a terrible swimmer. So much so that he will instantly drown if he even tries. In Red Dead Redemption 2, John can swim a little better (which is odd considering Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the first game), his stamina will instantly deplete and cause him to drown. A reason is also given for his inability, as he claims he never learned to swim.

RELATED: Rockstar Games Characters Who Need Their Own Spin-Offs

While John’s son Jack Marston can’t swim very well either, John’s friend Arthur Morgan, the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption 2, can swim much better. Of course, he too will drown after losing all his stamina.

5 Jackie Estacado – The Darkness

Jackie Estacado is the player character and protagonist of The Darkness and The Darkness II, based on the comic book series by Marc Silvestri. Jackie is a mob boss with access to demonic powers, which grant him various supernatural abilities.

Jackie can’t swim, but luckily most people aren’t aware of this weakness. You’d think someone would have gotten their hands on this useful information by now, but we may never know. With many mobsters hunting his blood, knowing that they might just drown him or leave him stuck in a large body of water would be dangerous information to release.

4 Guillaume – Nioh

William, the main character of Nioh, is another character who can’t swim, but that’s not because he doesn’t know how. William can swim, even when equipped with heavy armor, as shown in a cutscene; it’s just that in gameplay it sinks immediately after falling in the water.

RELATED: The Best Games Set in Feudal Japan

There doesn’t seem to be a reason given why William can’t swim whenever you control him, either because of his gear or an invisible water yokai, so it’s odd that there’s such a thing. difference. Of course, maybe that’s just because the developers didn’t want to include any swimming mechanics, and the cutscene is a mere oversight.

3 Edelgard – Fire Emblem Three Houses

Edelgard, a key character in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Fire Emblem: Three Hopes, also cannot swim. In fact, this normally serious character has a great fear of the ocean due to his incapacitation.

Because this, and other information revealed throughout the game, contrasts with how she usually acts, her inability to swim has become a bit of a meme among fans. As shown in certain situations, she can be relatively callous, so one would hope that someone using knowledge of this weakness against her would change her ways.

2 Kao – Kao the kangaroo

Kao from the Kao the Kangaroo series particularly struggles in deep puddles that will cause him to drown instantly. However, if the water is shallow enough, Kao will stretch his neck to keep his head above water. Kao has crossed water this way since his first game, and still does in the 2022 reboot.

Like some other video game characters based on real animals, Kao’s inability to swim is not shared by his real life counterparts, as kangaroos are relatively adept at swimming due to their powerful hind legs, and relatively strong arms. weaker are not as effective. detrimental as one might suppose.

1 Sonic – Sonic the Hedgehog

Despite his other enhanced athletic abilities, such as his signature super speed which makes him the “fastest thing in the world”, Sonic The Hedgehog cannot swim. The music that plays every time the blue blur runs out of air is anxiety-inducing and nails the despair it’s no doubt meant to exude.

The funniest part is that Sonic’s inability to swim is based on co-creator Yuji Naka’s false assumption that real-life hedgehogs can’t swim. While false assumptions have given video game animals their abilities before, this is a special case that instead gives a weakness. It was also used as an important plot point in the second live-action Sonic The Hedgehog movie.

NEXT: The most alarming health warnings in games