Remembering Five of Gaming’s Greatest Villains

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Behind almost every great game is a great villain. Sure, these villains almost always get ousted by the game’s protagonist – but often, it’s the villain that gets remembered long after the game gets turned off. Throughout video game history, there have been countless villains that have struck fear in the hearts of gamers. Looking back through the years, a handful truly stand out as simply unforgettable. Of these select few, five rise above the rest, destined to be remembered for their wicked deeds and dastardly plans. These five are evil, wicked, vile and just downright jerks – essentially, everything it takes to be a great villain. Take a look below at five of gaming’s most memorable villains.

5. SHODAN (System Shock series):

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Few villains have succeeded in surpassing the level of discomfort players feel just by hearing SHODAN’s hauntingly discordant voice. The rogue AI is everywhere at every time, leaving players to be tormented by her brutal taunts at every turn. Her every action is manipulative and destructive, making destroying her the only thing on gamers minds as they play through the System Shock games. Perhaps the most horrifying characteristic of SHODAN is that she is fully self-aware, every move she makes is coldly calculated and planned – and her creation and rise to power is all your fault.

4. Giygas (EarthBound):

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Giygas, also known as the Embodiment of Evil, is one of the strangest and most disturbing villains ever featured in a video game. His final form, a swirling red blob of corrupted features, horrific screeches and famous dialogue have been been burned into the minds of gamers across generations. Giygas’ evil nature is unfathomable and his reach knows virtually no bounds. The player’s encounter with Giygas during Earthbound’s climax is unforgettable and easily one of the greatest boss fights in gaming history, flipping everything that gamers expect from a final boss in favor of a brilliant, prayer-based tactic.

3. Kefka (Final Fantasy VI):

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Kefka’s maniacal laugh is enough to make anyone shudder. The twisted clown is hands down the greatest villain ever featured in the Final Fantasy series, and unquestionably one of gaming’s most disturbed bad guys. Kefka’s nihilistic nature and raw hatred for everyone and everything makes him dangerous enough, but the godlike powers he attains during the course of Final Fantasy VI and his subsequent destruction the entire world are where his insanity truly shines. The fact that Kefka succeeded in his plan is something that gamers rarely see from a villain, making him even more easy to hate. Many villains have tried to emulate the sheer insanity of Kefka, but there can only be one crazy clown-god.

2. Luca Blight (Suikoden II):

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Luca Blight was destined to be evil from a young age. While traveling during his youth, Luca and his family were attacked by bandits. Upon the start of the attact, Luca’s father fled the scene, leaving Luca and his mother behind to fend for themselves. Overpowered quickly by the bandits, Luca was forced to watch as they bandits raped his mother repeatedly – not exactly a happy childhood. These events led Luca to develop the unparalleled cruelty he displays during the course of Suikoden II, as he leads his army across the lands, slaughtering countless innocent people. Known within the game as the Mad Prince, Luca’s crowning moment of sheer evil has him razing an entire village and forcing one of the citizens to beg for her life. As the villager pleads to be spared, Luca forces her to crawl around like a pig. After demeaning the woman she asks to be spared, only causing Luca to laugh and utter his most famous words: ‘DIE PIG!!!’ as he cuts her down with maniacle joy. Sheer insanity aside, Luca Blight is a force to be reckoned with in combat. When the hero and his army finally attempt to defeat the Mad Prince, it takes a party of nine characters to defeat Luca.

1. Eric Sparrow (Tony Hawk’s Underground):

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The other four video game villains have more in common with each other than with Eric Sparrow. While most villains brandish blades and plan for destruction, Eric Sparrow’s villainy is a horse of a different color. He wields nothing more than a skateboard and the ability to be a downright dick. The best friend of the player’s character in Tony Hawk’s Underground, Eric Sparrow starts out the game normally enough. However, as the game progresses, Eric does nothing but cause trouble and plot against the main character. His biggest act of evil is one of gaming’s greatest betrayals. As the main character and Eric start climbing the skateboarding ranks, fast on the path of becoming professionals, Eric steals footage of your players greatest trick. He turns his back on his only friend and doctors the footage so that everyone thinks it was Eric who landed the amazing hotel jump. Eric effectively solidifies himself as skateboarding’s newest prodigy by stabbing his best friend in the back. Eric’s moral ineptitude has ensured that legions of gamers still to this day curse his name a decade after THUG’s release.

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