Thursday, 25 April 2013

V - Vicious Villains! My Top 10 Video Game Antagonists

Bad guys have all the fun don't they? Well, not when they are on the receiving end of a butt-kicking that has concluded many a video game. They come in all forms, man or machine, or a mixture of both, but what makes a truly evil, memorable and strong villain? I have battled many a so-called boss, and some really do make a mockery of the word 'Nemesis', providing little challenge or personality. These guys however are the reverse of that, my top 10 video game villains. Not merely based of the fight they give you, but a general judgement of their persona, legacy and impact on popular culture derived from gaming. Prepare to see the guest list for today's meeting at Insane Anonymous...

Metal bike saddles make perfect stand-in shoulder pads.
#10 M Bison - Many of the characters from the Street Fighter games are well remembered, and second in the fame game only to primary protagonist Ryu is the evil warlord M Bison. As the final opponent to beat, he was damn hard to get the better of. Like all top bad guys he's got powers beyond your's; his infamous Psycho-Crusher move put many people to death, and a powerful throw move which can't be blocked. Bison appears in nearly all Street Fighter games, is a key part of many of the characters storylines and is relentless in his quest to control the world. A demonic figure of evil which the game feeds off.

#9 Ruby & Emerald Weapon - So, who knows where and what these guys are? Well, these two behemoths are optional bosses in Final Fantasy VII, far harder to vanquish then even the end game boss (I'll speak about him later), but beating them is enormously satisfying. On first play however, encountering Emerald under the sea by accident was common,  who then proceeds to batter you and your party in a split second. Ruby on the other hand is like a shot in the dark. Hit that tiny red spot in the desert, and he will either ruin you instantly like Emerald, or will take hit after hit, not really doing much before dealing a single fatal blow. Both these guys require you to be at near maximum ability to even stand a chance, to have lady luck on your side and be equipped with certain items, otherwise it will be game over. They are also friggin' mahoosive beasts too!

#8 Dobkeratops - One of the most used gaming images of the early nineties, this is like the Alien xenomorph's deformed loony relation. He greets you with a cheery grin and a whipping tail at the end of R-Type's first level, and although he's not that difficult to kill, the Bydo keep giving him re-birth in all the R-Type games, becoming an emblem of the series. His image has also been copied and altered from other games too, so despite being a first level boss, he has massive longevity and fear factor.

#7 Thanatos - The main antagonist in Secret of Mana, this guy is an elusive, dangerous and arrogant little tyke. He likes to miss-direct you, possess your friends and foes alike, create zombie-like followers and claim he is the bringer of order to the planet; by trying to destroy it. He's also a dab hand at deceptive appearances. Wearing a skull mask for the entire game, casting spells and what not, he seems very weak physically. Only in the final showdown you see his true form, and by jingo it's scary and very tough. Not only that, but once you have beaten him you have to then fight another battle without chance of recovery. Git!

#6 Albert Wesker - This is a man who likes to dip all ten of his fingers and thumbs deep into the dirt, and has a list of wrongdoings as long as the Resident Evil franchise itself. He appears in all RE's up til the fifth installment whereas he finally meets his doom. But before this he manages to be a double agent, a scientist, a superhuman and able to twist many a fool around his dirty fingers. Cunning and deceitful, a rather nasty piece of work.

#5 Dr Ivo 'Eggman' Robotnik - With a staying power that rival's only the king of the Koopa's, Dr Eggman has shown up to take over the world in all of Sonic the Hedgehogs adventures to date. Self-delusional about his own intelligence, obsessed with machinery and forever trying to change the world into his own person heaven. Sonic has always put him in his place, but he's still comes back for more with ever more manic and sinister schemes. However, I can still never take him seriously sporting Gio Compario's moustache! 

Even Trinny and Susannah would struggle here
#4 Kefka Palazzo - Think of Batman. You know The Joker yeah? Right, take The Joker, mix him with another psycho, say... Steven King's It. Add a load of paint, harlequin trinkets and pomp, and the result is the utterly mental, conniving and provocative nonsense talking jester that is Kefka Palazzo. Appearing in Final Fantasy VI and several FF spin-off titles, this man makes The Joker look positively sane and reasonable. When he's not laughing like a hyena on acid, he's producing evil magic and generally causing as much mayhem as possible. Creepy mo-fo!

#3 Revolver Ocelot - One of the most recurring villains in the Metal Gear Solid series, Ocelot does not just simper off oh no. With a backstory more complicated than the trigonometric's of space, let's not dwell on that. But his highlights included infiltrating the group FOXHOUND, specialising in torture and intimidation, having connections to the US president and receiving his former bosses' hand to replace him own which he lost. (which, in due course he gets possessed by said bosses hand. As you do.) This is a man with a ton of baggage, but ol' Shalashashka still pulls off a cool, witty and menacing gait. And he use's a Colt 45 Peacemaker was his weapon of choice. Nice.

#2 Bowser/King Koopa - We should all know this guy, the leader of the evil tortoises, the king koopa himself, Bowser. Making appearances in almost every Mario title, he is constantly abducting princesses willy-nilly, imprisoning toadstool-like beings and generally trying to rule over every weird and wonderful land possible. He has huge tenacity, never being beaten down for long, he always gets up and goes yet again to foil our hero plumber. He has a vast range of skills; from fire breathing to flying, he makes a good case for himself as an ever present antagonist. He is however, beatable with ease a lot of the time, but you cannot knock is commitment to personal dictatorial cause.

Sephiroth was pleased with the fireproof shampoo results
#1 Sephiroth - When life deals you a pretty dodgy hand to begin with, you kind of get the feeling things are not going to turn out all fine and dandy. Infused with alien DNA in the womb as part of an experiment, the madness and  power of Sephiroth runs so deep that it's almost normal. It is to him anyway, convinced he his bound to greatness by achieving a god-like status. Mad as a box of mad  frogs, he makes clever and convincing mind-bending speeches, is a specialist in many forms of combat, has the ability to brazenly murder young women and then smile about it afterwards. A real nasty, vicious, but mesmerising bad guy. From his first appearance in Final Fantasy VII, has pops up now and then to give anybody who stands in his way a hard time, and all these mean attributes make him my number 1 choice as the best video game villain. 

So, who predicted that? Ok, well done. With a hack and a slash and a nutty giggle that ends my top 10 video game villains. Do you agree with my choices, or do you have a suggestion I may have overlooked? I'm pulling out the big guns tomorrow, literally, as W is for Weapons. The top 10 most hardcore or usual weapons in video games. Blam Blam!



  1. "SEPH-I-ROTH!" *hums appropriate music*

    Ah, what a marvellous list. Never did beat Emerald, even after managing to bag myself Underwater materia. Hehe and will never forget the 'sand on my boots' scene introducing you to deciduously bonkers Kefka :D

  2. I do love me some Sephiroth. He's rather unforgettable.

  3. Can't have a villains list without the likes of Bowers, Eggman and Wesker. Icons of evil for sure! A couple of recently memorable antagonist come to mind from quite recently, such as Vaas from Far Cry 3 (a complete loon for sure).

  4. I don't game but love your list!!!