Gaming's baldest space marines

Given the near-limitless canvas of possibility that modern games offer developers, it’s a little surprising – or at least disappointing – that they tend to keep falling back on the same well-worn design tropes and clichés. And few of those clichés are quite as widespread as the Bald Space Marine. There are plenty of good reasons for them to exist, of course; the lack of a hairstyle removes an obvious piece of their individuality, making them blanker slates for players to project themselves onto. Bald heads are also easier to render, apparently, especially with the current generation of consoles, although Bald Space Marines are hardly a recent phenomenon.

Above: Not quite bald, but close enough 

Even taking all that into account, however, you don’t need us to tell you that Bald Space Marines typify boring, generic design. They’re stoic and dull almost by definition, and they’re everywhere. Some, however, stand out more than others. Some almost perfectly define the Bald Space Marine archetype. And most of those, coincidentally, are among the baldest we’ve ever seen.

Thomas Kelly

From: Doom 3

Because it was Doom that kicked off the glowering-space-marine-as-protagonist trend, it’s only fitting we start off with its comparatively glossy, scare-filled 2004 reboot. Unfortunately, the hero this time around actually had a full head of hair, so we’re instead forced to focus on his dickish commander, one Master Sergeant Thomas Kelly.

Barking orders at you throughout much of the game, Kelly’s everything you’d expect from the kind of space marine who strives to make his hair invisible – he’s gruff, testy and apparently wears his armor at all times. Except, of course, when turning into a horrific biomechanical monstrosity, at which point nudity and a freewheeling attitude seem to be more his bag.

Above: Oh, like you didn’t see this coming


From: Halo: Reach

Noble Team’s sniper isn’t just a quiet, enigmatic presence throughout Halo: Reach’s campaign – he also carries his hatred of hair further than any other member of his squad.

Above: That’s him, second from left

Sadly, we don’t get to appreciate the potential shininess of his dome all that often, seeing as he usually covers it with his helmet. But we know it’s there, replete with its badass tattoo, as he spends most of the game sneaking around somewhere off-screen.

Above: Actually, we’re kind of surprised the rest of the Spartans don’t look exactly like this, for some reason


From: Too Human

Seeing as Baldur’s a Norse god, the case could be made that lumping him together with space marines belittles his status in Too Human as an avenging cyberpunk berserker-knight. He is also, we admit, not quite bald enough to be up to the demanding standards of this article.

Above: For shame!

However! To dismiss him from consideration would be a mistake, for two reasons. First, the humans who tag along with him are indistinguishable from space marines, apart from the fact that some of them don’t really wear shirts. And Baldur leads them into battle, which indicates he’s part of the same organization. Hence, space marine.

Also, his name is the word “bald” with two letters added. We figure that’s enough to excuse the fact that it’s clearly been a few days since he last dragged a razor across his skull.

Above: Also? Guns and space armor. Case closed

Darius Mason

From: Red Faction Armageddon

At first, we were going to use this space to single out Alec Mason, the building-smashing protagonist of Red Faction: Guerrilla. However, not only does he not quite fit the profile of a space marine (being more of a scrappy unlikely-hero type than a military badass), but he’s downright hirsute by the standards of this list.

So instead, we’ll give the nod to his grandson Darius, who in the early stages of Red Faction: Armageddon explored bold new baldness frontiers undreamt of during the razor-challenged era in which Guerrilla took place.

Not only that, but if the game’s opening is anything to go by, a perfectly shaven head has pretty much become the fashion standard in the ranks of the now-well-organized Red Faction.

Above: In situations like these, welding goggles are very important for simulating a hairline 

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  • cybertron713 - July 31, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Honestly, where is Frank O'Connor!?!?!? >:0
  • fatguy19 - July 29, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    @DreamWeaverPL Thats what I was thinking. Marines genrally are bold or have short hair becuase of the physichal excursions thay have to go through on a daily basis. Having long hair would make them sweat more and would lower there endurance. Also long hair may get caught in the helmet strap. Thats what annoyed me about the mass effect article. There no way a real female soldier would have hair like that because in a battle situation she would boil. Aside from all that, great article keep up the good work
  • Dondada - July 29, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    Look how fucking pimp Superfly Johnson is.
  • DreamWeaverPL - July 29, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    You know why all those space marines are bald or jarheaded? BECAUSE THAY ARE FRIGGIN SOLDIERS. I've thought it was obvious. Did you ever see a frontline footsoldier looking like Dante from Devil May Cry? NO. They are meant to be uniform, look-alike. The only thing that distinguishes them on the battlefield is their physical prowess and their personality. Haven't you saw any war movies, kids? Oh, and Doom didn't invent bald space marines. DUH.
  • ashleymenvielle - July 29, 2011 4:45 a.m.

    I saw the title of this article and just had to read it asap! Spess Mareens!!!
  • Arturustheking - July 28, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    Was it writed by a bald person? I catches the feelings of non-hair people with a lot of soul and style only reachable by bald gods of balding.
  • RedHarlow - July 28, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    To be fair, Warhammer 40k kind of started the archetypical Space Marine.
  • Darkhawk - July 28, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    (Guess I'll do it first): Superfly Johnson is about to make you his bitch!
  • NightCrawler_358 - July 28, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    Awesome article! And there are so many white, bald heroes who aren't space marines in games, but I'm surprised you found so many specific space marines. Also, the guy who plays Sgt. Cortez also does the voice of Rico in Killzone and Kratos. (all who are bald.)
  • AntistasMetroid - July 28, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Oh Wiki... you always manage to capture my laughter at the end. Superfly Johnsons slow zoom entry was epic. Great feature as always great bearded one...
  • H311DUCk - July 28, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    Great article Mikel.
  • philipshaw - July 28, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    Great list,you are always spot on with this stuff Mikel
  • tareq - July 28, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    I would've asked for Sam Gideon from Vanquish but he has hair >_>
  • Ironclad - July 28, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    Woohoo... 2 timesplitters references in 2 weeks!! Great article.
  • quincytheodore - July 28, 2011 6:34 a.m.

    Yup, even big budget titles don't create very realistic hair.. the best hair I've seen in this gen is FF XIII... but we, gamers, are cynical bunch. XIII has unrealistic silky barbie doll hair, I like it, but I'll admit it. So here's hoping for Lara in new Tomb Raider. Hey, do weird / spiky hair hero, GR. Put on Bayo and guys from JRPG and you're set. I'm being serious here. :)
  • ObliqueZombie - July 28, 2011 6:04 a.m.

    Hmm. I couldn't tell if this was complimenting or making fun of baldness or both. I think I'll go with potatoes. Great article, as always! I laughed bunches. SPESS MAREENS!
  • wintergnut - July 28, 2011 5:42 a.m.

    @CH3BURASHKA Well, the new Max Payne isn't out yet, so for all we know they could scrap the bald version entirely. I can't leave this article without my buddy Superfly...
  • KippDynamite - July 28, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    In the defense of the bald Helghast, they all basically have cancer. You soulless critic.
  • screwball08247 - July 28, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    Fantastic article, Mr. Reparaz! Hilarious reads like this are why I keep coming back to GamesRadar.
  • NanoElite666 - July 28, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    Yes, glad this finally showed up.