By Bryan Smith on March 29, 2015 at 3:35pm
Everyone wants to be badass, whether they’d admit it or not. No one wants to be complimented for doing something mundane. You got to take out the trash? Instead of taking it to the curb, you say, “fuck it,” and throw it to towards the dump personally. You have to build a tent? Instead of taking it out of the bag, you suplex the bag, and use brute force the project. You need to sign a check? Instead of signing it, you stare at the check, and it writes your name because it knows better than to slam face-first into your bad side.
Today we’re looking at the top ten badass characters in video games. They get crap done, and nothing stands in their way.
Rules for this list: one character per series or one entry per franchise, although some characters are eerily similar in their own franchises I may put the two together. Also, characters have to be naturally badass. Being thrown into a circumstance that’d kill any regular person and them surviving miraculously doesn’t count, which means I’m not including Nathan Drake from the “Uncharted” series. Sorry, but he doesn’t boast confidence in badassery if he himself isn’t confident in what he does. Characters have to be from video games originally, meaning Batman won’t be showing up to this party. Lastly, no mute and emotionless characters (e.g., Commander Shepard from the “Mass Effect” series). On with the list!
Also, spoilers for certain games. Just be forewarned.
10. Strider Hiryu from the "Strider" Series
What’s better than ninjas? How about we get an assassin in here who can climb walls/ceilings, attack lightning fast, and command a legion of robotic panthers and eagles with the group of them titled Legion? Strider Hiryu’s design is just the epitome of awesome designs for characters It also helps that he is badass to make his weapon even sharper (disclaimer: his badassery does not actually make Strider’s Cypher any sharper - it is already deadly enough on its own).
The fact that Strider is so stoic and unflinching towards threats is staggering. Most characters that may be thought of “tough” and “too cool for their shirts” I’ve seen would comment, “This is going to suck,” “Oh crap,” and “Whoa.” Not Strider. He’ll just jump to the occasion and kick enemy ass. What’s that? A giant robotic dragon? Let’s jump on its back, run and climb it, and bash on its head until it dies!
9. Frank West from the "Dead Rising" series
A reporter? How can a reporter be badass? Simple: Frank, who has only (vaguely) covered wars, disembowels zombies, crazy-religious-suicidal guys, and corrupt soldiers with his bare hands. For a guy who is rather disgusted at what he has to do, such as kill psychopaths that would kill innocent victims, he has some of the most killer ways (pun very much intended) to deal with the threats.
Disemboweling is just one of the many skills Frank can utilize in “Dead Rising.” He can also swing zombies round and round by their feet, lift an entire zombie (the weight would most likely be that of an average human) and throw them like a soccer ball back into the field, suplex a zombie into other zombies, and a whole bunch of martial arts stunts. Remember, this is the guy who has gone on record to say, “I’ve never fired at a person,” during the beginning of “Dead Rising.” The fact that he finds more “interesting” ways to deal with zombies and psychopaths than just shooting them speaks volumes.
8. Lara Croft from the "Tomb Raider" series
We're talking about the first few series entries here, I don’t think the reboot Lara Croft from 2013 counts in this case. So we have a human, one of the few regular humans on this list, mind you. She can get impaled, crushed, shot, eaten, launched off a cliff, and die very easily by high heights. I will remind everyone that she is very human in this series. With that in mind, however, Lara doesn’t take any crap from anyone. Not even godlike entities. Lara Croft will fight against gods with only standard firearms, and she will win.
Lara is also very cunning and levelheaded (again, not the rebooted one… yet). If her guns don’t flat out kill an advisory, she’ll make sure to have/use whatever ancient device or artifact that can kill or seal away said advisory. Set, the Egyptian god of chaos and darkness, was defeated by a mere mortal who can break their spine by a misplaced swan dive at the pool. There aren’t a lot of video game protagonists, who are mortal and stay very much mortal, who can nonchalantly say they faced gods, dragons, and other monsters on a regular basis and survived with only their wit and guns.
7. Duke Nukem from the "Duke Nukem" series
Duke Nukem… one of the most iconic badasses in video games of all time. Shame “Duke Nukem Forever” somewhat destroyed that image. I think that Duke is the one character that can easily speak for himself. He’s ripped, can carry as many guns as he pleases (though not in “Forever"), fight an entire alien army unprotected in just his red tank top and jeans, and is known to rip entire heads off of alien monsters with his bare hands. When he says, “I’ll rip your head off and shit down your neck,” he is absolutely serious about that. He can and will.
6. The Ending to "Resident Evil 5"
It’s one thing to have a badass character. It’s another when the whole ending to a game encompasses the whole idea tied to a badass character. I’m cheating with this entry because… just take a look at how “Resident Evil 5” ends. (Original note: Albert Wesker was intended to be on the list. “RE5’s” ending proved to be more fitting.)
WARNING: Spoilers for “Resident Evil 5.” Look away now.
Chris Redfield, Sheva Alomar, and Wesker crash a stealth bomber into a volcano. Considering the world of “Resident Evil” dictates that humans are vulnerable squishy meat-bags, Chris and Sheva, at the least, should be crispy with a side of dead. So not only are Chris and Sheva trying to avoid falling into active lava, Wesker, now an ultra human who is extremely pissed off, is also trying to kill them with an arm infused with Ouroboros and metal blades out of the stealth bomber. Then comes the most badass scene to be associated with Chris Redfield. In order to save Sheva from falling into the lava, Chris gets into a fistfight with a boulder that’s in the way- a boulder that is easily thrice the size of him. You want to know the best part? Chris wins.
He just doesn’t push it in. Chris decides that the only way through is to teach that boulder who the boss is and punch it until it begs mercy. I’m not even mad that this is in a “Resident Evil” game. “Resident Evil 5” was already going down the action path. Why not put in the most badass thing ever in there as well? Oh, and Chris and Sheva stab Wesker in the heart repeatedly, get saved by a helicopter, and blow Wesker up who was just taking a lava bath. Nothing in “Resident Evil” tops that boulder punching though.
5. Mike Haggar from the "Final Fight" series
Talk about looks matching the badassery. I wouldn’t want to mess around with a mayor, let alone a mayor who is a retired wrestler and who could bench press the entire boardroom’s weight. Once street violence gets out of hand, Haggar doesn’t let the cops take care of it. He deals with it himself and pummels thugs with his bare fists. Most normal men, once seeing this ripped mayor storming down the street, would run the other way. Then again, these thugs have the equivalent of André the Giant on their side.
Justly, though, he gets involved once his daughter, Jessica, gets kidnapped, he gets involved (not the first “Final Fight,” but those after anyways). Once you see he’s breaking through walls and barriers, you know you’re in trouble. Also, he pile-drives sharks. Let that imagery settle in.
4. Tifa Lockhart from "Final Fantasy VII" & Sabin Rene Figaro from "Final Fantasy VIII"
I’m lumping two characters together because they are very similar. You know that some characters look at a monster, standing twenty to forty feet, would probably stay very far away and think of a decent strategy. Tifa and Sabin? Nope, they just run up to the behemoth and punch it until it dies. In some cases, these monsters, godlike dragons and the infamous Weapons from “FFVII,” are the most destructive beings in their world. Tifa just shrugs it off and charges in to punch it. She may even get a dolphin to attack it too!
The best demonstration, however, of badassery would be Sabin as he suplexes a TRAIN. He picks up a phantom train, a train that is chasing and attacking, and pile-drives it into the ground. The only reason Tifa probably isn’t able to do the same was probably because the developers thought that suplexing a train was ridiculous and didn’t want Tifa, or anyone else following, to do the same. Shame really because I could see her doing it if given the chance. I would love to see Tifa suplex Sephiroth.
3. Dante from the "Devil May Cry" series & Bayonetta from the "Bayonetta" series
(Credit for the image goes to DeviantART artist Candra)
I just couldn’t separate the two from each other, just like I couldn’t separate Tifa from Sabin. They are SO similar it hurts. Dante and Bayonetta are the king and queen of action hack and slash games, and they are badasses at that too. The old, white-haired Dante, not “Twilight Fanfiction Dante.” That picture of Old Dante versus “Twilight Fanfiction Dante” was a good representation of the "differences."
What has Dante done? He surfed on enemies’ bodies, used billiard balls to kill a room full of enemies, rocked out with a purple electric guitar (which kills enemies too), got eaten by a giant flying whale, cut through its insides, and got out unscathed, got shot in the head and survived, jumped on a live rocket and surfed on it in the air, and lastly, he got stabbed in the chest and survived. By the way, this is all in one game - “Devil May Cry 3.” Little known fact: Dante gets stabbed in the chest in almost every main game except “Devil May Cry 2.” In fact, he gets impaled twice in the first “Devil May Cry.”
Bayonetta pretty much follows in Dante’s shoes. She, however, thought, “Hmm, I need more ways of killing angels. How about we put guns, swords, and more on my heels? That’ll do very nicely.” These two characters are also very fond of surfing on enemies and rockets. Bayonetta also has one of the most awesome ways of defeating a god- smacking the god from one end of the solar system to the center and into the sun while Bayonetta and Jeanne the pieces of the god as they fall to Earth.
2. Solid Snake/Big Boss from the "Metal Gear" series
One would never survive what the Snakes have endured throughout their lives. Naked Snake, the first Snake and Big Boss, pretty much was only human during his ordeals in “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.” He survived the harsh elements of the jungle by eating crocodiles, snakes (get it?), and other animals, surviving torture by the enemy, and fighting super powered enemies that could control bees.
I nod towards Solid Snake a bit more, though, since he does a bit more badass stunts. Though this is more due to Solid Snake being a clone of Big Boss. The two smoke (one with cigars, one with cigarettes) and have fought giant death machines called Metal Gear. Essentially, the two are one in the same. Solid Snake, however, has fist-fought on top of a Metal Gear with his twin brother and grew old in only a few years and still fought. Here’s the thing about Solid Snake- he is programmed to only live so long. He can’t live longer than most humans, as seen in him aging so fast. By the end of “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,” Solid Snake will be dead with maybe two years left (wild guessing, I know) with the other characters are still young, like Octacon and Meryl. To me, that is badass. Solid Snake will continue to fight, even with him being old and withered, with the thought that FOXDIE can and will kill him at any moment. He doesn’t let his short life bring him down; he smokes in its face.
1. Kirby from the "Kirby" series
What’s that? You didn’t expect this adorable pink marshmallow to be on this list? Oh, my good friend, you underestimate the utter force of Kirby. This pink walking glob can and will put up the fight of a lifetime without powers. If Kirby has a copy power, though, things will be wrecked. Kirby can just about do everything that all the previous badasses have done with gusto. He can suplex elephants who only have a face for a body. He can nuke the entire screen full of enemies. He can summon a double-bladed light saber (light sword as “Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards” calls it). “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” brought us a scenario that Kirby can take Solid Snake’s powers (and looks), the grenade in this case, and use it against him. He can become Solid Snake if he wanted to.
That’s not even considering Kirby’s main games with what he’s done. Any adventure Kirby went on, he never fails nor does he get defeated. There is one certainty with him- you will never win against Kirby. “Kirby Canvas Curse” has him being forced into a ball form by the villain Drawcia. He pretty much goes, “Nope,” and wipes the floor with Drawcia’s entire forces in just the ball form. He gets split into four Kirbys in “Kirby & the Amazing Mirror” and ten weaker in “Kirby Mass Attack.” That just makes Kirby want to beat you up even more. If he gets turned into yarn in “Kirby’s Epic Yarn,” he just goes along with his lack of abilities and pummels anything in his way.
Of course, there’s also “Kirby: Squeak Squad.” The plot is Kirby’s cake is stolen. So what happens after that? EVERYTHING DIES UNTIL CAKE IS RETURNED. While one would think that this would be rather silly and irrational, Kirby is willing to beat up a dark entity that is the very being of darkness just to get his cake back. He’d beaten up King Dedede and Meta Knight already. What’s some dark being to Kirby anyways? I personally love TV Trope’s entry of Roaring Rampage of Revenge for “Kirby: Squeak Squad.” “Cake is stolen? Go beat up Dedede! Dedede doesn't have the cake, but some thieves do? Go beat them up! Treasure chest does not contain cake? Beat up the thing that's in it!”
You do not win against Kirby. Kirby does whatever he wants. He really is a badass, and many people are none the wiser thanks to his cute appearance.
So those are my top ten badasses. Obviously, your badasses are going to be different from mine as you might have a different definition to it or just feel other characters are more fitting.
Leave a comment telling us what your favorite badasses in video games are!