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Top 10 Villains in Gaming
In a continuation of my Top 10 series, today I bring you my favorite villains and bad guys in gaming. I have no doubt that just like my first list, you’ll some names that shouldn’t be on here or names you don’t see that should. Either way, gaming has a funny way of having way too many characters to have a definitive top 10 list. Let’s check mine out.
Game: Metal Gear Solid
Why: So he wasn’t the main villain of the game but this guy was so mind blowing back in the day. Psycho Mantis was pure genius on Kojima’s part. He’s a psychic and tries to prove it by reading your memory card. Any games on it that Konami programmed into the game, Psycho Mantis would tell you what you’re telling. MIND. BLOWN. Oh, and during the fight, he would scream “blackout” and all of a sudden it looked like your screen went blank. It would say “Hideo 2” on the top right kinda like “Video 2” for TVs. Hmmm… okay, now what? PLUG YOUR CONTROLLER INTO PORT 2! Say what?! I change my controller port and Mantis can’t read my mind for a little while. This… is… awesome. No only was the fight all about dodging and making sure Meryl didn’t die, but you actually had to interact in the real world to beat him. He was controlling your mind, Meryl’s mind, and you damn PS1! Also have to mention that his fight has the coolest music track in the Twin Snakes remake. One of the most memorable fights in gaming history.
Game: Mortal Kombat series
Why: This guy is a jerk. Pure jerk. Oh, and a damn cheater! Put away that stupid hammer that take 50% of my life away!! A-hem. Shao Kahn is the emperor of Outworld in Mortal Kombat. Evil guy. He wants to merge Outworld with Earth and overall topple the Elder Council. He didn’t become emperor by mistake, either. This guy is tough. In every game he is in, Shao Kahn virtually kicks your ass and makes you want to break the controller. He deliberately breaks the rules of Mortal Kombat to invade Earth and begin the merging process. Not only does this piss off the people of Earth and the god of thunder but also the Elder Council. They won’t punish him, though. Why not? Because he’s too powerful. Someone has to beat him. In the new reboot of the franchise, no one can do this. Shao Kahn kills them all except Raiden who goes through way too much trouble to beat him. Shao Kahn is a badass. He defies gods and just generally doesn’t give a crap. Try and say no to him. Go ahead and try.
Game: The Legend of Zelda series
Why: I almost bumped Ganon off the list due to the fact that his story is the same every time: capture Zelda and/or some important item in order to get the Triforce. The thing is, Ganon is the essence of pure evil in Hyrule. Nothing is worse than him. Wherever he goes, black clouds and… well, death, are right behind him. He conquers and destroys and will do anything to get his way. In every game he’s been featured in (nearly 99% of Zelda games), he’s the guy that makes Link get off his ass and work. His actions are felt across time which makes Link go through the past, present, and future just to stop him. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer, winter, the beginning of time, of the end Ganon will do whatever it takes to win.
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Why: He won. That’s all the reason he needs to be on this list. Through all the trouble you went to in Final Fantasy VI, Kefka still manages to destroy the planet and win. At that point, he doesn’t even really care about fighting you. So what? He got what he wanted.”Life… dreams… hope… Where do they come from? And where do they go? Such meaningless things… I’ll destroy them all!” Yeah. Not only does he cause the Apocalypse, but after you kill him he also destroys magic entirely. He was the god of magic. You managed to avenge the World of Balance only to go back to the stone age. Kefka laughs at you from where he is. Game. Over.
Game: Portal series
Why: I won’t be like some of the recent lists and put Wheatley or GlaDOS at the top. They don’t deserve to be at the top. GlaDOS is awesome, though. Throughout Portal, you constantly think to yourself “why am I here?” “how did I get here?” “where is here?”. GlaDOS knows this and taunts you at every turn as you complete tests for her research. As you successfully complete test after test, GlaDOS begins to slowly get more and more aggravated with you. This gets to the point where she tries to kill you in multiple ways and even tries to get you to fall in love with an object just to incinerate it in front of you. GlaDOS is a maniacal bitch who wants it her way or she’ll just delete you from the world. Her quips, antics, and hatred towards you make Portal that much more enjoyable. No one knew that we’d get a lovable character out of such a small and simple package.
Game: Diablo series
Why: The Lord of Terror. As one of the three Prime Evils of Hell, Diablo constantly tries to escape and rule surface. He wants it basically as a forward base against Heaven. Adventurers are beckoned to the town of Tristram (has any other town in gaming seen as much hardship as Tristram?) and tasked with stopping Diablo. Problem is, you can’t kill an Evil without using a Soulstone to imprison its soul. The first man who was able to best the Lord of Terror was corrupted and had his soul taken over by Diablo himself. Then you have to follow him across the world as the Prime Evil seeks out his two brothers in a quest to destroy the Worldstone and bring the war between Heaven and Hell directly on the planet. Diablo isn’t alone nor does he know when to quit. He’s been “killed” twice and that won’t stop him.
Game: Mass Effect series
Why: Martin Sheen brought this character to life. Introduced in Mass Effect 2 as the leader of a pro-Human activist group called Cerberus, he spends a metric crap ton of money to basically revive Commander Shepard from death. Why resurrect the hero? To use him, of course. The Illusive Man is a bastard. He cares deeply for humanity but in a very selfish and undermining way. He does whatever he possible can to gain the upper hand and even when the galaxy is on the brink of destruction he doesn’t pull his punches. Let’s add secretive to that resume. No one knows what he is up to except him. The only people who even know where he is at are top level executives and hand chosen soldiers who don’t leave. All Shepard sees of him (until the last leg of his journey) is holovids and the brightness of a giant sun in the background. He only reveals himself at the most crucial of times and only to those who he deems are worth his time. The Reapers may be invading but who is more dangerous? The weapon or the man who can control it?
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Why: Just like Cloud, Sephiroth is the poster boy for Final Fantasy villains. Kefka may have been the only one to succeed but he doesn’t own the fame that Sephiroth does. This cold and calculating soldier is the epitome of the mission first, no bull attitude. Sephiroth doesn’t stop for anybody nor does he hesitate. This is shown many times in the game and normally in dramatic fashion. Sephiroth’s rage is unlimited and for good reason. Shinra created him using genes from an alien called Jenova. Sephiroth is the only success of that project. So, naturally, Sephy goes crazy when he hears the truth and starts to wreck havoc all over the place. He disappears only to return years later in search of his mother. He brings back Jenova’s consciousness and together they plan to summon a meteor large enough to destroy the planet and take them across the universe. Sounds crazy but Sephiroth wasn’t complete driven this way. Even before he turned, Sephiroth didn’t care about anything other than the mission. He was fully dedicated only to find out that the company he spent his life trying to help had betrayed him and his trust. Wouldn’t you want to summon a meteor, too?
Game: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Why: The story of Revan and Malak is my favorite in the entire Star Wars universe. Their fight against not only the Mandalorians but the Jedi Council and the eventually twisting to the dark side is an incredible story. Malak was Revan’s apprentice and closest friend. In the Jedi Order, they were powerful Jedi Knights who fought against the enemies of the Republic. In the Sith Empire, however, Malak served under Revan. He didn’t for long, though. Malak turned against his master and left him for dead. After assuming the mantle of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Malak took his forces and decimated the galaxy. He destroyed the Dantooine enclave, turned Taris into a wasteland, stole the mythical Star Forge weapon, and corrupted Revan’s love interest and made her become his new apprentice. Although he was ultimately defeated, the fight itself is extremely tough which just goes to show you how powerful Malak got throughout the Old Republic’s history. Even in the new MMO, The Old Republic, Malak’s destructive path is felt as you journey through what is left of Taris.
Game: Metal Gear Solid series
Why: In the first game, Ocelot was a peon or so we thought. Ocelot survived the Shadow Moses crisis and eventually came into command of renegade Russian troops under the head of Sergei Gurlukovich. Using them, Ocelot managed to steal the new Metal Gear prototype and escape. Bringing its destructive capabilities together with the terrorist group Dead Cell, they storm Manhattan with an even worse weapon called Arsenal Gear. Oh, I hope you’re following because this is only the beginning. Years later, Ocelot is now in control of the worlds private military groups and is planning a direct attack on the world’s economy and governments. Traveling the world, Ocelot brings together a large army to attack the Patriots, a political shadow group who first controlled the private military groups. This is all before an epic conclusion that I dare not spoil in case someone is reading who hasn’t finished the Metal Gear Solid series. If you didn’t understand a single thing in this paragraph, play the series. It can be a bit confusing but that just goes to show you how much work Kojima put into this story. As the main target for Solid Snake, Revolver Ocelot rounds out one of the most beloved and amazing game series ever.
There you have it. My favorite villains in gaming history. A couple glaring omissions (oh my gosh he didn’t mention Bowser!) but overall a solid group that brings together the best of entertainment, story, gameplay, and success. Join me tomorrow as I finish my Top 10 series with the best supporting characters in gaming.