The most tattooed video game characters


Many video game characters get one or more tattoos as a form of self-expression, for aesthetic reasons, for cultural reasons, or because they wake up from a dream one day to find that they are marked with a cursed tattoo. Some more than others end up wearing heavy tattoos, largely covering their flesh with elegant designs and ominous symbols.

It’s not uncommon for these tattoos to be relevant to the corresponding gameplay narrative in some way, whether because they mean something deep or revealing to the characters, or to other complex reasons. In some cases, however, these items may end up being unimportant to the game, or just very minor aspects.

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The Last Guardian’s Boy

the boy the last guardian tattoo

The unnamed boy The Last Guardian is the main character of the game, and his body is covered in tattoos that behave similarly to runes, glowing when swallowed by his beast companion Trico. It’s unclear where her tattoos come from, and they seem to constantly change throughout the game, engulfing her skin even more over time. According to some fans, the tattoos change shape, get darker and cover the boy’s skin more, the more missteps the players play while playing.

Jack from Mass Effect

Mass Effect Jack Mad

Mass Effect‘s Jack is the best example of a character having a lot of tattoos for different reasons. Some tell his story, others are purely aesthetic, others specific are used as a warning to his enemies, and several of them represent significant killings. Jack’s body is almost completely covered in ink, and some of her tattoos are there to remind her of what she lost and why it matters to her. Her tattoos are so intricate that they were explained in the Mass Effect art book.

Ronan O’Connor from Murdered: Soul Suspect

Ronan O’Connor has several tattoos, and just like Jack, they tell of major events in his life. They range from the crimes he committed in his youth, to the life he built with his late wife and his detective work, which gets him killed at first. He returns as a ghost, investigating his murder and the murders of young women, and notably one of his tattoos reads “Cheated Dead”.

Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza


YakuzaKazuma Kiryu has a tattoo that covers his entire back, and it differs from others in that it is deeply connected to Japanese culture, its roots and of course Yakuza. Its design is that of an ascending dragon gripping a pearl, symbolizing wisdom and power. Kazuma’s tattoo isn’t the only significant one in the series, and they become a major narrative aspect of the games.

Overwatch Hanzo


Overwatch‘s Hanzo has a large tattoo covering his arm, shoulder and part of his chest. Similar to Kazuma Kiryu’s, Hanzo’s tattoo also features a dragon, with the difference that this one does not hold a pearl, but rather flies through storm clouds. Hanzo’s ink art comes from an ancient story that tells about his family two dragon brothers, and of course, Hanzo’s ultimate in-game ability summons two dragons.

Tai Kaliso from Gears of War

First introduced in the series in Gears War 2, Tai Kaliso is a tribal warrior from planet Sera. His menacing aspect is juxtaposed with his serene temperament, and his marks are the heritage of the culture of his people. The islanders of Irohma are fearless fighters, whose honor is often represented through their “Bakuaia”.

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Rei Kurosawa from Fatal Frame 3

Fatal Frame III promotional art

One of the most infamous in video game history, Rei Kurosawa’s tattoo in Fatal frame 3 is not the one she chose. Its marks represent a serpent and a holly, and they are called the “tattooed curse” due to their parasitic nature, originating from a vengeful spirit. This tattoo feeds on the grief of lost loved ones, and such is the unfortunate case of Rei.

Judy Alvarez from Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 Judy Alvarez

Judy Alvarez is one of the most beloved NPCs in Cyberpunk 2077, but the meaning of her tattoos is often not fully explained. Some of them refer to song lyrics, like “There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt,” which is from Radiohead’s Pyramid Song. The 13th on his arm is a date, May 13th, when the Moxes were established. Sea creatures are references to her zodiac sign, Pisces, as one of her side quests points out. The fire truck dates from when she fixed one as a teenager, only to be charged with theft.

Kratos from God Of War

How tall is Kratos - Kratos physics facts

Kratos’ tattoos remind him to never falter again, and they are inspired by the birthmarks of his late brother, Deimos. Deimos was born with unusual markings, which made Ares and Athena suspect that he was “the marked warrior” of the Oracle’s prophecy, the one who would destroy the Olympians. They took Deimos to the Domain of Death to endure years of torment.

Jonah Maiava from Tomb Raider

tomb raider lara croft jonah maiava tattoo

Jonah Maiava is Lara Croft’s closest companion throughout the new tomb Raider games, and it becomes his moral compass. He is New Zealand, as evidenced by the Maori tribal tattoos he wears on both the side of his neck, right arm, and left leg, suggesting Polynesian origins. Her tattoos change over time and Jonah keeps adding to her arm to the point that it becomes a long sleeve tattoo.

Grand Theft Auto 5 gamer character

gta 5 playing character tattoos

GTA 5 offers gamers the ability to customize their playable characters at will, and tat enthusiasts have taken this opportunity to tattoo them heavily. There are a plethora of options to choose from for players keen to ink their characters a lot or with unique designs, which has quickly become a big draw for many.

Days Gone Deacon St. John

days gone, deacon st.  John

Days Faded away‘s Deacon St. John has many ink marks on his body, including the word “RIDE” on his right hand, the word “HARD” on his left hand, some army tattoos, and more again. Among the most notable is a tattoo dedicated to his late wife, Sarah, which Deacon sports on the right side of his neck, and Grim Reaper on his right forearm, which is then partly burnt by the Rippers during the match.

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