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Top 10 Video Game Villains
When it comes to villains in video games there’s a whole lot to talk about. Villains come in every shape, attitude, and form. Everyone has their own personal favorites, so the rules for this list are pretty simple: any genre, any series, no repetition. Also as a fair warning, it is hard to talk about villains without spoiling some aspect of the game they are from, although I’ve tried to limit this. With that, let’s move on to the top 10 villains:
10: The FIB, Grand Theft Auto: V
To start this list off strong we have the infamous, corrupt, evil, government paid and power hungry FIB of Grand Theft Auto: V. In almost every aspect The FIB is a villain at its finest. The group of corrupt officers slowly manipulate the main group of characters while avoiding detection from other members of their own agency, who are unaware of their “extra activities”.
9: The Master Hand, Super Smash Bros.
The almighty hand that controls it all: the Master Hand. For something that only seems to make grunting/explosion noises it sure seems evil. Everything about it, from his methodical movement of his fingers to his flashy rocket punch, just makes your heart beat. Fighting and beating Master Hand is no small feat: he hits hard and he hits even faster. Did I mention he shoots laser beams? Whether or not you think the Master Hand battles are a metaphor for dissent and revolution or you just think he’s one hell of a hand, Master Hand has earned his spot on this list. Oh yeah, did I mention he shoots lasers?
8: Your Rival, Pokemon Series
Pokemon was a gigantic part of my childhood. I played countless hours of Pokemon Red and Pokemon Emerald. My parents couldn’t have been any happier when we went on road trips and not a word was said by me the whole ride. Only countless grunts and “really?!”s after having a Pokemon KO d because of a critical hit. One thing that I will never forget is the absolute hatred I had built for my rival. Be it Red, Wally, or Butt Face (my personal favorite as a kid), I hated them all and dreaded battles with them even more. Not only does your rival seem to always be a step ahead of you no matter what you do, he also goes ahead and chooses the perfect Pokemon to counter your starter. This terrified me for many years: the dream of coming out of a gym and a text box appearing saying, “Hey Ben! Wait up!” Sends shivers straight down my spine every time.
7: Frank Fontaine (Atlas), Bioshock
This has to be one of the most shocking twists in gaming history, a real psychological mind killer. Throughout the whole game of Bioshock, Atlas seems to be helping you to survive: locating weapons and ammo, even helping lead you to Andrew Ryan. Three words are what concreted Fontaine his spot on our list: Would, you, and kindly. The big reveal of Atlas into Frank Fontaine is dwarfed by the reveal that he has basically been brain washing you all along in order to manipulate you to do what he couldn’t achieve alone. Confusion and terror doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions this scene incited into me the first time I played it, and the series has won my heart with its charming and creative villains since that day.
6:Moneybags, Spyro series
This probably wasn’t what you were expecting in the number 6 spot. In fact I’m almost certain most people will be confused by this, so allow me to explain why I think Moneybags is a reincarnation of Beelzebub himself and all else that’s evil. Moneybags is basically the unknown villain: the one a lot of people don’t sit down and think about. He is a one-man corrupt business. He charges you ridiculous amounts of gems for things that should either be free to you or not as exorbitantly priced as they are. Every once in a while my close friends and I will go on a rant about how we went back and revisited the Spyro games, just to have our hype dismantled by this jerk who is charging us 200 gems to cross a bridge. The bridge was already build, mind you, and he was simply standing in front of. Let me just say: SPYRO IS A DRAGON. He could fly over the chasm where the bridge stood! But alas, the developers have ingeniously placed an invisible wall that does not allow that, as if they are endorsing this elitist gem muncher. The Spyro games are incredible. Especially the earlier ones. Moneybags is not incredible. Screw him.
5: Evil Otto, Berzerk
Fear. That is probably the best way to describe Evil Otto. Absolute fear, inn a game that otherwise doesn’t induce this particular emotion. If you have never played Berzerk, it’s an old arcade game in which you go through a maze shooting robots. Sounds simple. However f you take too much time on a single level, Evil Otto appears. Here’s the thing about this villain: if he touches you, you die. If there are still robots left he moves slower than normal, and when they are all gone he moves much faster, but either way you will die. He was apparently created to increase the pace of the game, however, the affect he had on me personally (and I’m sure many others) is that of terror. He charges after you bouncing and waltzing, even skipping through walls, smiling the whole way. There’s really no better and purer form of trepidation in older video games than Evil Otto. His ability to scare the heck out of the player and his indestructibility are what lands him a smiley spot at number 5.
4: Slenderman, Slender
I am a super sucker for Slender. I love the lore of the games and Slenderman’s origins in Marble Hornets. All of it rings a really good evil vibe for me. Slenderman is one of the worst villains I can think of from the top of my head. He lures young kids into going with him into the forest to never be seen again. This on top of the fact that if you come into contact with him or the area he’s roaming he will hunt you down. Every day. Until the day you die, preferably by his hand… er, tentacle. He not only teleports, but he also manipulates electronics and even minds. What really sealed his spot on this list for me is the feeling of curiosity and intrigue in learning about him. The more I hear about him the more well crafted I fell he is as a villain. Perhaps young minds aren’t the only ones hes able to draw in…
3: Ganondorf, Legend of Zelda Series
Ganondorf is basically the classic evil king. His moves are slow, his hits incredibly powerful and his motive is pure power and control. He’s pretty much the embodiment of evil. It’s my belief that he is an astounding villain. He corrupts entire worlds and destroys entire kingdoms, as well as messing with space-time and attempting ascension into godhood. I really enjoy creative and outside thinking bad guys, and Ganon is definitely everything you should expect to see from a video game villain.
2: Glados, Portal 1 and 2
I love Glados. God do I love Glados. She’s deceitful, cunning, funny, sadistic, murderous, careless, and purely evil. She’s the perfect killing machine to a villain lover like me. Throughout the first Portal game you can almost immediately tell that something is amiss with her. Some of her sentences are cut short by static and she says some rather… distasteful things about death and burning. You can tell that this isn’t just some TI-82 with a voice. This is a legitimate sentient being with the body and voice of a super computer. As the game goes on things become more and more unsettling. You find secret lairs with messages strewn across the wall, accompanied by photos that humanize something called a “companion cube”. Everything points towards one thing: the cake. Glados promises you cake for finishing all your trials. However, as you reach the end of the game you know that the cake is indeed a lie and she had no intention of ever allowing you to live or feeding you delicious baked goods. This is an upright outrage! Villains have done some evil things to our minds before, but to promise us cake and attempt to kill us? That’s hands down the most heinous crime against humanity I can think of. Glados lands at number 2 for her lies. Filthy dirty lies.
1: Bearer of the Curse, Dark Souls series
This was a hard one. Bearer of the Curse was either going to be off the list or on top of it for me, although I imagine there may be some controversy over this choice. In Dark Souls 1 and 2 you play as the bearer of the curse, this is told to you by numerous people, almost constantly. So here’s why I think the Bearer is the best and most thought-out villain in video games to date. You start the games weak and fragile, you died and became whats known as a “hollow”. You go through your journey fighting a whole slew of baddies, from other hollows to black knights to dragons and demons. Wait a second, other hollows I hear you ask? Yes you kill feral hollows, and here’s where the villain part comes into play. Dark Souls has a much darker undertone than most people think. The kingdom is cursed in a continuous cycle: ever since the first cycle, a kingdom will fall and burn to ashes as everyone becomes hollow and restart. Over and over. From Lordran to Drangleic. The reason why is simple: no one can fix the curse. Ever. And at the end of Dark souls 2 you assume the throne and rule over the doomed kingdom. You go through this entire game being lead to believe you are a hero, here to cure the curse, and I believe this isn’t true. You are actually an usurper who mercilessly slaughters his way through lost souls and the occasional demon just to acquire power over all others. Granted it’s just a theory of mine, but that’s why the Bearer of the Curse secures our top spot for being, ruthless, wordless, power-mongering and unstoppable.
There we have it, our top 10 villains. Granted your opinion will probably be completely different to mine, so don’t be afraid to tell me what you think or who your top villains are in the comments below.