Ever since the dawn of time, aka Pong, companies in the video game industry have been trying to revolutionize video games to try to keep them fresh and interesting, and to make a bigger profit. Arguably the most important part of a video game is its roster of characters. August 29th, 2006 gave birth to one of the greatest video game characters (in my opinion) that has ever been created…Johnny Gat.
Living in the fictional city of Stilwater (and it’s with one ‘L’) Johnny Gat is a brash, sarcastic, hot-headed, self righteous, trigger-happy man. Realizing that his city was being torn apart by gang wars, he volunteered to join the 3rd Street Saints, a gang formed to end these wars. Gat’s head on strategies typically involve massive amounts of bloodshed and extensive property damage. Most of the spotlight wasn’t on Johnny in the first game, however it is worth mentioning he has a girlfriend, Aisha, who is a hit singer.
October 14th, 2008 saw the release of Saints Row 2, and it brought with it a large time jump taking place years after the events of the original Saints Row. The first time we see Johnny Gat, he is in court for “over 300 murders” which Johnny quickly informs the judge that with the statute of limitations it should be “closer to 250.” After you, the main character, break Johnny out of court he invites you to lay low at him and Aisha’s place. We see that in the time passed since Saints Row 1, Johnny and Aisha’s relationship was able to flourish. You then decide after hearing of the Saints disbanding, decide you will step in as the Boss and rebuild the Saints with Johnny as your right hand man.
Johnny helps in taking down the Ronin, a new gang that has taken over Stilwater. Jyunichi, the top lieutenant of the Ronin, learns of Johnny’s house and captures Aisha. Some time later, you and Gat are heading back home and Gat notices something wrong as the door is open. The Ronin prepare to ambush them, but Aisha shouts a warning to Johnny. In turn, Jyunichi decapitates her, making Gat furious. Gat gets wounded in the insinuating battle. After recovering, you and Gat hold a funeral for Aisha which is interrupted by the Ronin leader Shogo Akuji, who attempts to kill them in revenge for humiliating him and decimating his gang. Gat survives and blaming Shogo for ordering Aisha’s death, brutally beats him and buries him alive.
Saints Row: The Third (Saints Row 3) was released November 15th, 2011 and we saw a Johnny Gat who finally dropped the frosted tips for hair gel… lots of hair gel. Johnny was clear about his stance of what the Saints had become. In the time since Saints Row 2, The Saints had become national celebrities worldwide. Johnny was displeased about the fact that they were sellouts, but he would still die for the Saints. During a routine bank heist, you, Johnny and the rest of your group were met with significant surprising pushback.
Turns out, the Saints were stealing from the Morning Star, a new gang that had taken over. The Saints were ambushed by the police and were thrown in jail. The Morning Star’s leader, Phillipe Loren had requested the Saints be brought to him, as he wanted a business deal. After the Saints reject the deal, a fight ensues and Johnny tells you and another Saint, Shaundi, to bail out the back while he flies the plane back to Stilwater. Before you and Shaundi are about to jump out of the plane, they attempt to contact Gat on the intercom. He says “Right on, I’ll see you in Stil-“, before being cut off by the sound of gunfire. Once you and Shaundi land in Steelport, Phillipe contacts them, informing them that Gat’s death will be used as a symbol of fear by the Syndicate. After the Saints kill Phillipe and retrieve Gat’s body, The Protagonist and Shaundi go back to Stilwater to bury Gat in his home city.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL FOLKS!…
Saints Row 4 was released on August 20th, 2013 and saw Johnny Gat come back from the dead! Err… not necessarily. What I’m about to tell you is 100% a retcon so don’t try to think there are plot holes or something because there totally are. It turns out that during the plane encounter Johnny was actually captured by aliens and abducted years before they would take over the earth during Saints Row 4, as the alien leader Zinyak saw Johnny as the only person on earth who could stop him. Johnny Gat then helped you and the rest of the Saints take down Zinyak.
Now the canonicity of this next one can be debated but I feel it’s worth mentioning…
Divekick is a 2D fighting game released on August 20th, 2013 (the same day as SR4) and has Johnny Gat as a playable DLC character. The reason I’m including this in “The Life of Johnny Gat” is because there is a story to his appearance. Johnny was walking around the simulated version of earth the aliens created in SR4 and saw this homeless man who seemed intriguing, so after investigating it turns out the homeless man was basically a door into another simulation… Divekick. So Johnny then proceeds to kick some 2D butt.
January 20th, 2015 saw the release of Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell which highlighted Johnny Gat as he was the main character of the entire game. The Saints were having a birthday party for the Boss and decided to use an Ouija Board. It turns out the board they were using was found in Zinyak’s artifact room and was a literal connection to Hell. The Boss got captured by Satan and is your job (playing as Johnny for the first time ever in the main Saints Row series) to go into Hell with Kinzie Kensington, another member of the Saints and save the Boss.
Upon arriving in Hell, he learns Satan captured the Boss to make him marry his daughter, Jezebel. After a rousing musical number (yes Johnny sang because f— you it’s canon) Johnny teams up with Jezebel, as it turns out she actually doesn’t want to marry the Boss. After taking over Hell, the wedding day finally arrives. Johnny bursts into the ceremony and does what anyone else would do… SHOOT SATAN IN THE FACE WITH A PISTOL. Although that beautiful plan doesn’t work out, Johnny and Kinzie end up being able to overpower Satan and Johnny is able to make Satan surrender.
Kinzie, the Boss, and Jezebel are safely transported home to the Saints spaceship. Johnny is detained by God, who offers to repay Johnny for stopping Satan’s planned invasion of Heaven with The Protagonist commanding his army in one of five ways. Johnny can either:
- Visit Aisha in Heaven
- Become the new king of Hell
- Locate a new planet to rebuild the remains of Humanity
- Discover the secrets of the universe
- Recreate Earth resetting the entire universe of Saints Row in the process
Although any of these can be “cannon” seeing as it’s the player’s way to decide how they want their story to end, Volition has something new coming your way you might just want to check out if you’re a fan of Johnny Gat…
Agents of Mayhem is a new game from Volition coming out August 15th, 2017 (it might not even be out yet depending on when you read this!) and as you can see Johnny Gat is in this game… but how? You may be asking…probably not, well this game is a result of one of the choices you can make at the end of Gat out of Hell! Agents of Mayhem is the result of God rebooting the earth. He’s a pre order exclusive as of right now, but don’t worry… Volition has confirmed its only a timed exclusive and all players will have access to Johnny Gat eventually.
So, one year before the main events of Agents of Mayhem, the evil group known as LEGION took over during “Devil’s Night.” Johnny was a member of the Seoul Korea Police Department and as such was caught in the crossfire. The result was Johnny being put into a coma, only to wake up during the events of Agents of Mayhem (assuming you buy the DLC) and being displeased by the fact the entire police department was replaced by robots. Johnny then joined MAYHEM, the “good” guys. He fights alongside the rest of the Agents of Mayhem in order to stop the villainous LEGION from taking over the world.
The life of Johnny Gat was an important story to tell as I felt he transcends not only Saint’s Row, but all of video games entirely. So this has been Comic Fade’s spotlight of Johnny Gat, who is one of the greatest Video Game characters ever. I cannot wait to see what Volition does with this incredible character next.