13 greatest enemies that are also round

There are enemies that are circular, and there are enemies that aren’t circular. These are the ones that are circular.

Euclidian geometry defines circles as the points on a plane which are the same distance from another point called the center, got it? That’s awesome. There is no geometric definition for enemies, but if there was it would define them as the guys that kill you. Now that we’ve defined our terms, take a look at the visual aid to clarify misconceptions and squelch doubts about the value of anthologizing circular game enemies.


What is it?

Not to be confused with their less sentient and slightly more spherical counterparts, actual bombs, the Bob-omb first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 2 and has been the trademark wind-up suicide bomber of the Mario series ever since.


But could it be rounder?

The explosive bodies of Bob-ombs are perfect spheres, but designers reckoned they needed more than perfectly rollable torsos to traverse the platforming Mario landsacapes. Bob-ombs circularity was thus tainted by their system of locomotion, the brass key sticking out of their backs and their feet – creating a classic and effective logistical system, but at the same time, a non-traditional and low-quality circle.

Those two blemishes paired with the fuse sticking suggestively out of the top of its head (a temporary flaw), are all that’s keeping the Bob-omb from earning a perfect four-out-of-four Pacmen roundness rating.

Above: Its center is equidistant from most of its surface area

Runner-up: Boo

Since they’re specters and lack a physical body, Boos cannot be the roundest enemies.


What is it?

Like the moon, it’s a moon – astronomy masters need read no further. Unlike the moon, its grimacing face is about to smash into the town of Termina in just three days and it’s alive and looking at us.

But could it be rounder?

Along with de-roundification from sunken eyes, teeth and its upturned moon nose, the graphical limits of N64 keep Majora’s Mask’s moon from realizing its circular potential. A close inspection reveals corners, which real moons (and real circles) don’t have. The image below illustrates the difference between round moons, like the kind you might find in the sky, and moons on your Nintendo 64:

Above: The circle is the shape with the largest area for a given length of perimeter


What is it?

Sometimes thought of as merely the roundest kind of zombie, we think the Boomer could be the next step in evolution as the human race continues to evolve towards a more perfect form.

But could it be rounder?

Don’t get us wrong, Boomers are rounder than the rest of us, but they aren’t going to be butchering the entire human race without taking their revolting mutations full-circle – right now we’d say they’re oblong and lumpy more than fully ball-shaped. That means losing those obtrusive arms, legs and heads – what’s a zombie need their own brains for anyway? Boomers should be focusing on expanding the area they’re already excelling in and then maybe working on a few secondary parts.

Above: A circle has reflection symmetry and it has rotational symmetry around the center for every angle

Runner-up: Louis

Louis’s head is very round, but unfortunately, still attached to his person-shaped body.


What is it?

The origin of the term Granfaloon comes from Kurt Vonnegut’s book Cat’s Cradle, where he made it up (“Granfalloon,” with two L’s) and defined it as “a proud and meaningless association of human beings.” Ordinarily that would have nothing to do with being round. Then Castlevania: Symphony of the Night came along and gave the name to one of their most circular bosses. In subsequent Castlevania games, the name was changed to Legion, but we don’t care, it’s still round.

But could it be rounder?

As far as snaked together balls of human bodies held together by an eight-limbed parasite, Granfalloon is pretty round, but yes, it could be rounder. There are always bound to be cracks and air pockets when you try to patch together a ball using anything other than rubber bands.

Given an apparently unlimited supply of zombie corpses Granfaloon uses to protect its parasitic body, why not use some rounder people? The added weight would create a smoother surface area, and when shedding zombies to attack Alucard, their extra body weight might increase their durability. Minions with a bit more defense wouldn’t hurt; While Granfaloon is technically a boss, his power level isn’t in the same ballpark as Death, Dracula or even a Beezelebub, but in terms of roundness, Granfaloon is highest tiered Castlevania boss there is.

Above: A sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in three-dimensional space

Runner-up: Weird vortex

The spinning vortex behind Dracula is gigantic and made of concentric circles, but we just don’t know what to call it, exactly.


  • Hendetta - June 8, 2010 5:29 a.m.

    No Ozma from FFIX? He was perfectly round and extremely difficult!
  • oreopizza47 - July 2, 2009 11:32 p.m.

    i squinted and turned myself upside-down, and i'm sorry to say the puff of blood is not round. i'm also sorry for that display of rhyming skills. recaptcha: navarro skeined someone wanna get a dictionary and tell me what in god's name that means?
  • camo510 - April 19, 2009 2:15 a.m.

    wth?!?! wheres Voltorb and his evolvation thing?
  • Dead - April 18, 2009 4:01 a.m.

    Paul Ryan NEEDS to start writing outside of journalism.
  • Spybreak8 - April 16, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    Circles are a design of pure design always looking aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They have point, line, form and shape. Look up the golden ratio for architecture and it will blow your mind.^^ My contribution is kirby should have been here for sure!
  • Bronzus - April 16, 2009 2:30 p.m.

    Congressman Stubbs. THAT IS ALL.
  • jakery22 - April 16, 2009 11:42 a.m.

    awesome article i love circles :D especially teh attack drones sheild from resistance 2 thats pretty round recaptcha: Bile Industry :S
  • BodyDamage - April 15, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    dammit paul ryan, this is hilarious.
  • assassinS17 - April 15, 2009 6:38 p.m.

    I think we should all agree that the boomer isn't a specific shape, but as a "cult" of shapes
  • Ramijiman - April 15, 2009 5 p.m.

    I love this article so much =) Btw i love round thigs too
  • LionheartAce - April 15, 2009 4:13 p.m.

    Bob-omb ftw!
  • Awesomeitude1523 - April 15, 2009 3:33 p.m.

    I am the first guy to suggest that you guys do an article like this, but with squares or triangles. This was just so funny. Great article Also, i am likely the first bum to say I love circles. recaptcha' 1963's midget. okay........
  • TanookiMan - April 15, 2009 3 p.m.

    hehe, jbailboy88 got QED-ed
  • Hobojedi - April 15, 2009 2:19 p.m.

    Hahah, Louis was the runner-up in L4D. Grrrrrrrreat article.
  • solidocelot - April 15, 2009 1:15 p.m.

    i am the first to say goldenme stopped the pattern and it will never be the same
  • Xplosive59 - April 15, 2009 12:41 p.m.

    Is it possible to divide these creatures by PI?
  • pimlicosound - April 15, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    What about Halo? The titular object is both round and very big (bonus points, surely). What about the Milky Way in Mass Effect? Probably the biggest circle in gaming, and it's composed of billions of smaller circles.
  • iKOemos - April 15, 2009 8:51 a.m.

    @jacob816: C-C-C-Combo Breaker!!! You broke the first streak!
  • PopePhred - April 15, 2009 8:36 a.m.

    What about Evil Otto from Bezerk?
  • C-C-C-C-ComboCro - April 15, 2009 7:38 a.m.

    Paul Ryan, you are simply to big a genius for these interwebz. please show us the way to achieving our perfectly circular evolution!

Showing 1-20 of 77 comments

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