This right here is one of my favourite commercials of all time. Partially because it’s named after me, but mostly because of the idea it represents. In case it’s unclear what’s going on, you have a bunch of famous video game characters in an old pub, talking about their experiences and honouring Michael, the player. It’s kind of a neat idea, don’t you think?

Between video games, books, TV shows, comics, and movies, I’ve taken in a fair bit of fiction over the years. And in that fair bit of fiction, I’ve met a great number of characters. If you’re anything like me, you probably have too.

Some characters are forgettable. They’re out of your mind the moment you close the book or the credits roll.

Others stay with you, hanging around in the back of your head. They don’t necessarily have any impact on your life, but every once in a while you’ll think back to that book, or movie, or game, and you’ll remember that character with fondness as you’d remember an old friend.

I like to imagine that somewhere in the back of my mind there’s a pub for fictional characters to go and have a pint. And I like to imagine that I can go into that pub from time to time to meet up with my old friends to catch up and see where how things are going.

The big question: if such a pub existed, who would you put in it? Sub-question: What drinks would you share?

This is very much along the lines of the old “If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead” question, and I think it’s every bit as valid – I’m just as likely to meet up with Pac-Man for a pint as I am Elvis, aren’t I?

For me, I think I’d start with Wallace Wells from the Scott Pilgrim universe. Perhaps Ramona or Scott himself would have been more obvious choices, but I think that me and Wallace would hit it off better, what with the dry, sardonic humour. Drink of choice would be ciders. Wallace might be the only one I’d bring along from comics, as neither Calvin nor Jeremy from Zits are of legal drinking age. Sorry guys.

I don’t watch a ton of TV shows, but in terms of current shows, Mike Ross from Suits would probably be my first pick. Harvey Spectre and Derek Morgan will no doubt feel slighted, but I think I’d be too intimidated by the former to have any real conversation, and as cool as the latter is, I think I’d get on better with Mike. A measure of scotch for us. Of course, admission isn’t limited here, so Harvey and Derek would be there too – the former also drinking scotch, the latter going sampling various bar shots. Looking at older shows, Cory and Shawn from Boy Meets World are obvious choices. Can’t have one without the other, after all. I don’t think the three of us would be able to agree on a drink, so I’d probably have something girly with Cory whilst Shawn would have a beer.

And if we’re talking about animated TV shows, without a doubt Dr. Doofenschmirtz from the critically acclaimed and yet mystifyingly underappreciated Phineas and Ferb – by far the best show Disney’s produced in the last decade. The pub needs a good villain, and me and Dr. D would no doubt get along famously with our shared love of a good show tune. We’d drink something tropical – pina coladas, I think.

I have a harder time thinking about characters from books for the simple reason that if you run down the list of my favourite characters, you find that most of them are too young to drink. But I’ve got three for you regardless: The Giver, from the eponymous Lois Lowry novel. Charlie, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird. The Giver was one of the first books I read which had a significant emotional impact on me. The titular character is the saddest and most intelligent man in the world, and no doubt he’d teach me many lessons over a gin and tonic. I’m cheating a little bit with Charlie since he’s not old enough to drink, but he does it in his book. Besides that, Mike’s Pub doesn’t check IDs. He’d want to stick with beer, but I’d convince him to go with a raspberry margarita. And Atticus Finch because he’s the man we all wish we were brave enough to be. Whiskey on the rocks.

Movies are an interesting realm because most of my favourites characters are non-humans. But fuck it, it’s my pub, and I’m certainly not about to prohibit entry based on species. Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc has to be in there for all the obvious reasons. We’d keep it simple with screwdrivers. And of course, I’ve got to have Hades in my pub. Hades is one of the very few Disney characters who we actually see drinking, so we know for certain that he likes his martinis. Can’t quite tell exactly what’s in that drink. Perhaps it’s a splash of cranberry and blue curacao to give it that hue. Hard to say. I’ll take mine sans worm though.

And lastly you’ve got the realm of video games. I think it’s much easier to develop an affinity with a video game character than any other type of character because the player-character connection is so much stronger than anywhere else. As a result, I could probably rattle off 30 names off the top of my head. But I’m going to limit myself to games I’ve played since September, which leaves me with just a few. First off, let me remedy the sausage fest I’ve got going here by bringing in Syrenne, the Mancunian protagonist who actually lives in a tavern in her respective game. She’d literally be right at home. Tequila shots for us. Second, Rucks from Bastion, a game I just finished this past week. He serves as the narrator for your adventure, and holy hell does he have a sexy voice. Just listen to a few lines of this. Makes you want rip your clothes off and get on your back, doesn’t it? If bourbon had a voice, that would be its voice, and so that’s what we’d drink. And rounding out the group I’d have Ike and Lucina from both Smash Bros. and Fire Emblem fame. Anyone who’s ever had the privilege of losing to me in Smash Bros. knows of my love affair with Ike, but Lucina is a more complex character with a richer personality. The three of us would share a pitcher of cocktail. Purple rain, perhaps.

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. After all, I haven’t even touched upon shows like Scrubs or games like Golden Sun and Chrono Trigger or movies like The Emperor’s New Groove, all of which feature characters who hang out in this pub of mine. Nevertheless, I have to cut it off somewhere, and I’m arbitrarily choosing this point here.

That’s Mike’s Pub. What’s yours?