13 greatest enemies that are also round

What is it?

The supercomputer in control of the Aperture Science corporation and your primary frenemy throughout the game. When you finally encounter Glados, it doesn’t seem to be circular until you get up close. It’s actually composed of three spheres and makes one of the strongest arguments for the widely accepted but ultimately not provable spheres to awesomeness correlation hypothesis.

But could it be rounder?

No, it’s pretty round. Oh, except for those bars sticking out of the back of the spheres. Who the heck thought that would be a good idea? Here’s a picture:

Above: Through any three points, not all on the same line, there lies a unique circle

Runner-up: Companion Cube

Err… so close.


What is it?

It’s like a real barrel, but it’s a barrel in Donkey Kong. Don’t be get tricked by imposters.

But could it be rounder?

These barrels appear to be almost perfectly spherical when rolling down ramps, but if you’ve studied even rudimentary cooperage, you’ll know that their profile can frequently be misleading. A trained eye will notice the barrels are actually cylindrical.

Take a look at Donkey Kong’s stockpile at the top of the structure (exhibit A) and as each barrel falls to the next level down (exhibit B). They get points for being circular from a side view, but ultimately, these receptacles could be rounder.

Above: Circles are simple closed curves which divide the plane into two regions

Runner-up: Oil drum

Presumably, the flaming oil barrel is round on top.


What is it?

They’re the most feared of all red spherical demons, with horns and one green eye in the center of their grinning faces. They can spit lightning, have teeth the size of fists and bite pretty hard. They have 400 HP.

Above: The contours and plane sections of the sphere are circles

But could it be rounder?

Horns and intimidating molars may be helpful when trying to destroy unnamed space marines, but they won’t win you any sphere contests. However, after doing some experimental game design, we can see why the ancient nerds who made Doom decided to include facial features.

Runner-up: Blood explosion

This puff of blood is pretty round if you squint your eyes and kinda turn your head to the side a little.


  • 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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