A friend of mine started the Saints Row [official site] series with the fourth one. She loved having superpowers and trashing a virtual city, but she did wonder what the deal was with Johnny Gat. Even though he’s not in half the game – spoilers for the third and fourth Saints Rows, but Johnny Gat dies and then comes back to life – his absence is felt. Characters talk about how his loss changed them. The dude with the sunglasses and neck tattoos who seems like a generic video game badass is treated like he matters.
Gat’s a mascot for Saints Row, whether cameoing in games outside the series or within them. You start Saints Row: The Third with every member of the gang wearing an oversized Gat mask during a bank robbery – even Gat himself has one, pointless as that makes the disguise. Everybody wants to be Johnny Gat. To understand why he has that reputation, why fans love him while outsiders roll their eyes, we have to go back to Saints Row 2.