Some favorite video game baddies.
Greetings Retrojunkers. Not long ago I let my mind wander, and I didn't come back. During that time, I played through some old games and got to thinking about the villains in games that stood out to me. So I dug out some old notes from way back when..anyone else ever take notes on how to beat a game boss?..and recalled a few of the bad guys that gave me hell during my gaming youth.
These are in no particular order, by the way.
King Koopa (Super Mario Bros.)
Classic. The first pixelated evil I ever knew. Bowser, king of the Koopas made it a habit of kidnapping Princess Toadstool on a regular basis. Of course you had to go through several different castles because our princess was in another one! Even after you dropped Koopa into the red water! Arghh.
Gotta love a villain who is so often bested by a human plumber.
This guy just won't stay dead. Be it someone named Belmont or not, the Lord of Darkness continues to rise and bring terror to the world. Only to eventually be thwarted by someone with the mystic whip. The ultimate boss in Konami's timeless Castlevania series, Dracula in all his forms remains a true force to be reckoned with.
Ridley (Metroid Fusion)
Sticking with guys that won't stay dead... Ridley is probably the signature foe in the Metroid series. In Metroid Fusion, he returns by the miracle of cloning. He can already be a tough fight in this game, but his screaming like a woman during said fight adds extra fun. Don't believe me? Play the game and see for yourself. Whether it's by his own healing, cloning or robotics, Ridley always returns to give Samus hell.
Dr. Wily (Mega Man)
He never quits. I guess that does give Wily a certain charm: he's persistent. Even in in the later NES Mega Man games, they tried to make us think Wily wasn't the big baddie anymore...but of course he always was.
Mister X? C'mon dude, even I can tell that's Wily. But whatever. Wily of course was once a colleague of Dr. Light, but then went nuts, stole some bots and tried to take over the world! OMG.
Enter Mega Man who promptly kicks Wily's butt over countless games. By Mega Man V, when of course Wily is revealed to be behind the whole Protoman plot, I wondered why the blue bomber didn't just blow the guy away and be done with him. He certainly had the power. Or maybe Mega Man is programmed not to kill people. I dunno. However sneaky he tried to be, Dr. Wily continued to come back for more defeats time and again.
Magus (Chrono Trigger)
The lord of the Mystics remains a popular character even to this day.
Magus is one villain who is constantly foreshadowed in Chrono Trigger (my favorite game ever), as townspeople refer to him on several occasions, and so do numerous people in Guardia Castle. The way they talked about him, his aides Ozzie, Slash and Flea, his great power..it got me really pumped about facing him at some point. Of course I eventually do, and at the time, he was one of the hardest foes I'd ever seen. He constantly changes his magic attack, and thusly you have to respond with an attack of that same element! Then he throws Dark Matter at you..oh no.
Even when I beat him, and we're all sucked into a new time portal, I was saddened to think that was it for such a hyped up enemy. But nope, the game wasn't done with him yet! I won't go into more here, but simply put; the buildup, the fight, and the later encounters make Magus one of my top game villains.
Dr. Robotnik (Sonic The Hedgehog)
One of video game history's most storied villains, Dr. Ivo Robotnik was introduced to me at the tender age of 10. I started out being intrigued by the fast paced graphics of Sonic games, but then realizing what a madman the Doc was, made them all the better. His appearance has changed over the years...
..but his madness remains the same: roboticize everyone! Some time after Sonic Adventure, his name became Dr. Eggman. Evidently that was his name in Japan, and is now permanent in all lands. The heck with that; I still call him Robotnik. That's who he is!
Jason Voorhees (Friday The 13th)
Me and my friends are dead. That's about as far as I ever got in this LJN classic. Not only did he make you and your friends dead, he's also hailed as having one of the worst endings in NES history. Let's take a look, shall we?
So avoiding being killed by Jason is as easy as leaning to the left? I guess he just has bad depth perception. Too bad all the sex crazed teens in the movies didn't know that.
Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
He is oft-described as being the most evil of all video game baddies. Filled with a cold hatred, Sephiroth is one of the most treacherous, cunning and insane characters I've ever seen. As the story deepens, you see his destructive rampage, standing in flames among dying people among other things...he just oozes evil like no one else can. Just when you think he can't get any colder, he commits the most shocking murder in gamer history. Yeah, he's bad.
Mother Brain (Super Metroid)
This became one of my favorite boss battles in games. She starts off simple enough, as Samus you just blast her with missiles and charged ice beam. But then, she levels you with a powerful eye-beams. It hurts. Said eye-beams also drain any missiles Samus has remaining, so you're in deep trouble. My first thought was "This game is deliberately going to kill me! Jerks!"
But then a giant Metroid from earlier arrives, sucks the life out of Mother Brain, restores Samus, grants her the Hyper Beam, and you're able to dispatch the hideous boss with ease.
Definitely one of my top faves.
Psycrow (Earthworm Jim)
The interesting thing about Psycrow, is he's only a side boss in the first Earthworm Jim game, and you don't even really fight him in the sequel. I guess for me, it's the great voice work by Jim Cummings on the EWJ cartoon that makes him stick out. Particularly using such phrases "A fate worse than debt", "Maximum suckage" and "Whatnot".
He even had a "commercial" advertising Psycrow's School of Nefarious Space Villainy. Some may say Queen Slug-for-a-Butt is Jim's signature enemy, but Psycrow is my personal pick.
Silver Sonic (Sonic The Hedgehog 2)
This was one of the first boss fights I actually had to make notes to help me beat it. Like many boss fights, Silver Sonic followed a specific pattern..and I had to make notes on it.
Said notes and a lot of patience helped me prevail, and because so much study and memorization went into this level, Sonic's robotic doppelganger remains significant.
Queen Zeal (Chrono Trigger)
Zeal is one scary, demented woman. Ruler of the kingdom of Zeal in 12,000 BC, she is obsessed with absorbing the power of Lavos in order to become immortal, and allow her kingdom to rule forever.
Statements by her subjects and the Gurus suggest that Zeal hasn't always been so inhumane and power hungry, but eventually the power of Lavos corrupted her deeply. Even to the point of caring nothing about her own children, or the people of her realm. Only her daughter, Schala, remained important because of her great magical powers, and was thus forced by the queen to aid in the harnessing of Lavos' energy.
Not only do her actions make her scary, Zeal is also one of the most fiercely powerful foes Crono and company face in the game. As I say, she is really screwed up beyond crazy, which I guess is why she stands out to me. Forsaking her own children in the pursuit of power, willing to sacrifice anyone that stands in her way..she is a true evil favorite.
Well, there you have it...some of the video game villains that have stuck with me through the years. And please, share with me the bad guys that mean the most to you. Thanks for reading!
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