Gaming’s least hard hard-men

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: The pinnacle of 64 bit hard asses

Nintendo might class him as the King of the Koopas, but he’s closer to a T-Rex than a turtle in our eyes. With Razor-sharp claws and teeth that could turn Toad into mushroom stroganoff, he should be more than a match for any plumber. He’s also the king of kidnapping and would easily top the FBI’s most wanted list for the number of times he’s snatched Peach from her home.

Why he’s not hard at all

He can never get the job done. Over the last two decades he’s had Peach in his scaly mitts dozens of times and to what end? At least take her for a reason. Have your wicked way with her, get her working in one of the Koopa enforced labour camps or make her caddy for you while you’re trying to lower your handicap before the next Mario Golf. And he’d have had time for all of these things if he wasn’t continually bested by a fat, middle-aged Italian toilet jockey.

Above: Beaten by the Bob

Seriously, how weak do you have to be to get beaten by a five foot tradesman when you’re a towering monster? Bowser’s been beaten by Mazza everywhere; in the Mushroom Kingdom, in space and even in a giant floating bath tub. Bowser, you’re as hard as a soggy origami swan.

Not as hard as… Kamek

Now this guy is one vicious bastard. Not only does Kamek have access to all sorts of black magic, but he’s a ruthless decision maker. He kidnaps Mario and Luigi when they’re still in nappies because he foresees the trouble they’ll cause in the future. And anyone willing to kidnap tiny children for the good of evil is definitely hard.

Above: Giving the Bob a beating

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: So hard, he could melt your face off. Apparently

The greatest hero the galaxy has ever seen, Copernicus Leslie Qwark is more heroic than Luke Skywalker, more daring than Evil Knievel, with granite-like unshakable toughness. Self-described ‘abs of iron’, a jaw line as solid as the pyramids and supposedly unmatched strength; cartoon alien evil stands no chance against this intergalactic hard case.

Why he’s not hard at all

In reality, Qwark is nothing but a shameless self-promoter whose tales of heroism and bravery are fake like a Killzone teaser trailer. During times of galactic crisis the captain has frequently found himself in the service – aka the servant – of diminutive evil doers, like Emperor Tachyon and Chairman Drek.

Above: Qwark's nothing but evil's glorified butler

An inept coward whose only allegiance is to fame and wealth, he shows his true colours when real danger rears its head. His cowardice is only trumped by his patheticness and no one who gets constantly rescued by a space marsupial and tiny tin man could ever be considered hard.

Not as hard as… Clank

Who knew a vertically-challenged, well-spoken metal man could be such a tough hombre. Clank’s saved the galaxy several times, killed more aliens than Master Chief and somehow always has time for a colourful and witty quip. When you’ve, literally, got guts of steel, size can’t stop you from being hard defined.

Above: Now that's a real man

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  • sofaku - January 8, 2010 5:56 p.m.

    surprised i didn't see lord Lucien. u know when u fight him at the end of fable and he acts all baddass but all you have to do is shoot him before he finishes his little speech.
  • Heyexclamationpoint - January 6, 2010 2:35 p.m.

    Qwark reminds me of Zapp Brannigan from Futurama
  • m1bayluv41510 - November 11, 2009 3:28 a.m.

    make a t-shirt showing a stoogie chomping, machine gun rocking robot like that image of clank G.R. so i can buy the shit outta them!
  • Romination - January 29, 2009 3:41 a.m.

    I think Destroyman needed a mention. After all...he was really a postman. wtf is that all about!? You could even put Silvia as harder than he was
  • masenjo - January 28, 2009 1:47 p.m.

    Never fuck with Florian
  • Hurricrane - January 28, 2009 1:22 p.m.

    rofl great article, I love me some Issun
  • AA95mp - January 28, 2009 1 p.m.

    i'm not surprised captain Q is on here but i don't think he qualifys as looking hard at all
  • FierceDeity - January 28, 2009 2:38 a.m.

    oh fine fine, you put warning - contains spoilers right at the top in tiny writing. but still goddammit
  • Kirbykiller4 - January 28, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    Geez,that mirrors edge screenshot looked terrible for some reason.
  • game-thugsta - January 27, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    Zero's hard? The nerd who was hoisted up in his closet by his underpants? Besides Sweet smoked tons of fools and singled handedly brought Grove back (CJ was planning to leave it.) Oh and Master Chief has smoked wayyy more aliens than clank.
  • RebornKusabi - January 27, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    You know, I never thought about this until I read this article but Bernie is kinda built up to be a badass! Considering Him, Niko and Darko (I think that's all, if not then add whomever I missed) were the only ones that "survived", he has to have SOME battle skills...
  • schmeidenkamp - January 27, 2009 6:26 p.m.

    14 john wayne films back to back. lol
  • RonnyLive19881 - January 27, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    Hmm I think they missed someone...
  • skyguy343 - January 27, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    that bastard kamek always used his magic powers to catch pop flies in mario superstar baseball. what an asshole
  • UnreaK745 - January 27, 2009 4:31 p.m.

    i just can't stop... i have to.... FIRST!!!!!! there u go I said it... awesome article btw u rock!!
  • dougle - February 25, 2009 8:08 a.m.

    captain Qwark IS the greatest super hero the galaxy has ever known!
  • oreopizza47 - February 1, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    i agree that Brucie isn't hard in the slightest, but it's not the jewelery that kills his look. obviously, no one here knows Mr. T. Mr. T pities all you fools.
  • deathrebellion - January 29, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    Lolz ISSUN yup he's the definition of Hardass Hard man
  • Jason.Darksavior - January 28, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    Nice Article.
  • MoChilla - January 28, 2009 3:59 a.m.

    Also, bowser gets swung by his tail in 64. tsk, tsk, not gangsta.

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