Let’s just take a second here so we can all comprehend the full extent of Pikachu’s ruthless badass status. He (it’s totally a dude, right?) is nothing but a glorified yellow rodent, yet somehow, it can take down this big bastard…
Above: That’ll be Gyarados to you Mr. ‘I’m so superior
‘cause I don’t speak Pokémon’
Horrendously upbeat attitude and worryingly tender relationship with trainer Ash Ketchum aside, we’ve got to give old rosy-cheeked rat face some serious badass kudos.
The wimpy version
Several thousand volts of electricity running through his cute cartoon veins or not, Pokémon’s premier mascot should be a pathetic, weedy bystander. Not only a fraction of the size of most of the creatures he’s unethically forced to scrap against (remember kids, Poké battles are the closest thing you’ll ever see to cock fighting on your DS), his battle cry also sounds like a prolonged sneeze. And let’s not forget everyone’s favourite electric type is clearly unwell. After all, those iris-burningly bright red cheeks simply can’t be healthy.
Above: We’d say Pikachu has got weeks to live judging by this
Being a surprising badass in: Shenmue
A devoted, and almost entirely psychotic, disciple of Lan Di, Chai really isn’t much to look at. Scrawny, dishevelled and rocking that malnourished Gollum look; the geriatric martial arts master looks like a strong breeze would floor him, let alone a roundhouse kick. But despite his meagre frame, he’s still damn near unbeatable when Ryo first fights him in an arcade. Displaying an array of graceful, beguiling fighting moves that would shame Mister Miyagi, Chai is simply not to be messed with.
The wimpy version
Before Chai could even consider entering into a fight with a well-trained warrior several decades younger than him, he’d need years worth of good meals force fed to him retrospectively. But even if he had been given a rigorous bulk-building scheme, there’s no way his tired old frame could withstand the bone-shattering moves he pulls off. No, the wimpy version that should grace Sega’s masterpiece would be holed up in a nursing home, watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, while reminiscing about the good old days when he still had his original hip.
Being a surprising badass in: Ecco the Dolphin
If wildlife docs, Simpsons Halloween episodes and Flipper have taught us anything, it’s that dolphins are the clowns of the sea. They’ll come to the aid of poor swimmers, tickle our funny muscles with their zany antics at Sea World and generally entertain the entire undersea community. But not Ecco. Oh no, in between saving the world from pollution and aliens, he regularly takes on and bests sharks. Including a specimen that makes Jaws look like a tadpole. Proving without a shadow of doubt that Ecco is one badass marine mammal and unquestionably harder than any of Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss or Roy Scheider.
The wimpy version
Screw saving the planet and shark-scrapping heroics committed in the name of environmentalism. Sega’s green-thinking star should be delighting elderly bathers with his disarming gentleness or possibly getting stuck in a net on the way to becoming a particularly tasty, if morally reprehensible soup. If Ecco were to really fight a 30 foot Great White the results would earn both his game a mature rating and see his eco adventures end after ten minutes.
Above: You just can't beat a bit of 16-bit dolphin broth
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