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.


  • GamesRadarBrettElston - April 14, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    I am the first to say i love this
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - April 14, 2009 10:59 p.m.

    I am the first to say I love Paul Ryan.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - April 14, 2009 11:04 p.m.

    I am the first to say Paul Ryan loves round things. The first except for Paul Ryan.
  • jamminontha1n2 - April 14, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    i guess i am the first to stop this pattern of stating what they are first at
  • blankpixelsCG - April 14, 2009 11:08 p.m.

    I am the first to say I love round things.
  • jamminontha1n2 - April 14, 2009 11:19 p.m.

    @blankpixelsCG I know that i wasn't the first one to stop the pattern. It was a joke. And also geometry facts for captions ftw.
  • jballboy88 - April 14, 2009 11:27 p.m.

    what about the flying drone dudes in resistance 2? or that big rolling ball thing in indiana jones? wasnt that in the lego indiana jones game?
  • Hurricrane - April 15, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    hahahaha, magnificent article Mr. Ryan
  • Greed - April 15, 2009 12:21 a.m.

    I love how most of the jokes in this site probably go over the head of most of the readers. Wait, no, that's actually pretty sad :(
  • Mittenz - April 15, 2009 12:38 a.m.

    I am the first with a kittys name to post
  • sbghost64 - April 15, 2009 1:19 a.m.

    i'm the first to say that i'm shocked the very round race of creatures from the Legend of Zelda was not included
  • Mavarious - April 15, 2009 1:37 a.m.

    geometry wars ftw
  • Nickroll - April 15, 2009 2:04 a.m.

    Damn you, Internet! I go to see watchmen and this is how you repay me?
  • ssj4raditz - April 15, 2009 2:30 a.m.

    The whole time I was reading this, I could just hear Paul's deadpan voice reciting all those geometry facts.
  • reyalejandro13 - April 15, 2009 3:13 a.m.

    What, no Waddle Dee? or Waddle Doo? or Meta Knight? or DeDeDe? or...Insert Kirby Enemy here, they're all pretty Circular...
  • Romination - April 15, 2009 3:33 a.m.

    Now when does Paulie come out with his Bullets article!? I really was hoping for Top Ten Circlejerks, though. Get to work on that.
  • MattYg1 - April 15, 2009 4:49 a.m.

  • gmilf71 - April 15, 2009 4:59 a.m.

    Lol but what about the last bosses int okami? those things were pretty round
  • cookanator - April 15, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    good post not sure if its an enemy or not but maybe voltorb or anything like that from pokemon
  • TripleAD - April 15, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    I'm the first (I think) to say Portal FTW and Cake FTW P.S. I apologise

Showing 1-20 of 77 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000


Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.