So I was thinking the other day about all the truly horrific character designs I've seen in video games throughout my life, and naturally, I thought I should share some of them with you, on the theory that you will somehow enjoy this.
(I should say before I begin that, yes, I realize this may be a horribly negative way to start off a blog, but I think you'll find that, in the end, I don't care. But it IS important to remember that there are many games I haven't played, and so I might be missing some character designs that are truly epic in their awfulness. In summary, this is all simply one guy's opinion, and if yours differs, that's what makes it wrong.)
So with that, let's start the countdown!
#10: Freya (Final Fantasy IX)
"Gee..." you might be thinking. "That's quite the, uh... triangular costume you got there..." You would be exactly right to think so.
Freya is a disappointment to me. If you said, "Hey, Chris, let's have a female dragoon named after a Norse goddess," I would have said, "Hey, that sounds like an excellent idea!" If you then said, "And let's make her an anthropomorphic rat," I would have said, "Hmm... I'm not so sure about that..." If you followed that up with, "And she should wear a misproportioned triangular pink suit with bellbottom sleeves, and we'll make all her facial features REALLY TINY so you're never quite sure what you're looking at," I would have punched you in the face.
#9: Sindel (Mortal Kombat 3)
Sindel was the point for me where Mortal Kombat went from dancing on the edge of camp to wallowing in it. To me at least, she looks like they threw some costume elements together from the Halloween aisle of CVS. The banshee screams, the living hair, the flying move that pretty much just makes you more vulnerable... the whole package is too cheesy, even for Mortal Kombat. (Although I should state for the record that I love cheese.)
#8: Cecil (Final Fantasy IV Remake)
You know, someone who's job title is "Dark Knight" should have, as an objective matter, legs at least somewhat wider than a drinking straw.
#7: Female Dwarfs (World of Warcraft)
The trouble with these characters is that clearly the designers were trying to make them somewhat conventionally attractive. This is a fool's errand. Male dwarves aren't conventionally attractive - they're comical. They're characters. For best results, the female versions should have likewise been comical characters, instead of the freakish-looking mutants we were given. Maybe something like Helga from Clay Fighter...
#6: Piantas (Super Mario Sunshine)
I realize these guys are supposed to be cute, stylized, friendly-looking characters that you want to rescue from the evil paint-thing in Super Mario Sunshine, but I just can't get over how ugly they are. I don't want to save them. I want to jump on them repeatedly.
#5: The Gremlins (Epic Mickey)
People were really annoyed by Navi, the little fairy that followed Link around in Ocarina of Time shouting "Listen!" and giving helpful advice over and over again. So I guess it seemed to the folks who designed Epic Mickey that the right thing would be to still give you a relentlessly annoying helper, but make it a tiny, floating old man with a strange bulbous head, permanent cross-eyes, and goofy proportions instead of a fairy. There! All better now!
#4: Mrs. Pac Man
Am I supposed to getting "sexy" from this? Because it's not really working... (hat tip to the awesome Meghan Plott for catching this one!) Although it seems to be working for that ghost there... he seems to be really digging those yellow, spherical ladies. Gee, that puts a whole new spin on the whole "being chased by ghosts" aspect of the game...
#3: Baby Mario (Yoshi's Island)
I know it's supposed to be Mario, and the whole point of the game is supposed to be saving this baby, but this kid's head must be at least 40% nose by weight. (And his body is 75% head by weight, so do the math...) Big noses are cute on some characters, but please Nintendo, THERE IS A LIMIT. That single tooth, the endless crying, the wacky proportions... I wouldn't have blamed any of those Yoshis had they "accidentally" left this kid floating away in a bubble once or twice...
#2: Tingle (Majora's Mask)
What on earth were they thinking with this guy? The little goatee... the shiny, skin-tight green outfit... the red, bulbous nose (as though he's just finished doing... something)... the tiny, tiny legs... even the name "Tingle"... WHY?!?!?!? And I'm supposed to find him adorable somehow, instead of truly, deeply horrifying?
#1: The Great Fairy (Ocarina of Time)
THE HIDEOUS CACKLE... THE FLAILING LIMBS... THE UNCANNY VALLEY... THE POINTY, POINTY... EVERYTHING! PLEASE, MISTRESS FAIRY, DON'T POKE MY EYES OUT WITH YOUR LOVING EMBRACE! I PROMISE TO BE GOOD! So scared... so scared...
So did I forget anything obvious? Any other truly regrettable character designs out there that I missed? Let me know!