The mad scientist has been an archetypal breed of character for years. Centuries, in fact. From Doctor Moreau to Doctor Giggles, the worlds of literature, television and film have been filled with scientists and surgeons who sport a Ph.D in crazy. Naturally, videogames are no different.
In memory of some of gaming's most mental scientists and demented quacks, we present this humble list. They're all geniuses, but they're all completely over the rainbow. Read on as we take you on a tour through gaming's maddest mad doctors.
Dr. Neo Cortex
From: Crash Bandicoot
Speciality: Artificially stimulated evolution, putting pants on animals
Dr. Neo Periwinkle Cortex is the ultimate cliche. Bullied as a child, Cortex's ambition of world domination is driven by the ridicule he's suffered over the years. Boasting a massive cranium matched only by his ego, and resplendent in the obligatory white lab coat, elbow-length rubber gloves, and evil beard of villainy, Cortex is everything a mad doctor should be. He's also quite, quite mad, as evidenced by the fact that he has an army of rapidly evolved animals that he thinks will help him rule Earth. The big "N" plastered on his forehead probably isn't great evidence of emotional stability, either.
From: Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Speciality: Time travel, destruction of anything with a pulse
Nefarious is the personification of self-loathing. His hatred of all living things pushed him over the brink of madness, despite the fact that he himself was once a biological life form. Fortunately, that's no longer a problem because he is now a robot and therefore free to pursue a genocidal war against the "squishiness and foul stench" of organic beings. In short, he's a complete lunatic who wants to disintegrate anything that isn't made of metal and rule a galaxy populated entirely by machines. Pretty cuckoo, then.
From: Heavy Rain
Speciality: Extreme surgery, roofies
Adrian Baker is one of many "rent-a-villains" found in Heavy Rain, who seem to exist solely to wave their hands around and shout, "I AM QUITE SUSPICIOUS MAYBE I AM THE ORIGAMI KILLER ACTUALLY!" Also known as The Doc, Baker is one of the craziest suspects found in Quantic Dream's quasi-film, as evidenced by his love of drugging young women and performing surgery on their conscious, unaneasthetized bodies. He himself is happy to admit that he went a little peculiar after he lost the ability to perform real surgery, but that's okay. A circular saw in the basement and a city full of soft female flesh is more than enough to make up for it.
From: The Suffering
Speciality: Curing the criminally insane, being criminally insane
Dr. Killjoy is the classic lunatic running the asylum. Although he genuinely desires to fix the minds of the psychopaths on Carnate Island, his methods are said to be depraved (not to mention often fatal) and his current existence as a living memory who seeks to "cure" protagonist Torque hasn't seemed to do much for the man's sanity. Appearing throughout The Suffering as a sixteen millimeter film projection, Killjoy attempts to help the criminally insane in the only way he knows – by sending blinded freaks with swords for arms after them.
From: Guilty Gear (series)
Specialty: Lacerating opponents with a six-foot scalpel while wearing a bag over his head
Okay, stay with us on this one: Faust – who is supposedly 360cm (11 feet, 9 inches) tall – was originally named Dr Baldhead, and he was a genius of a physician. But he wasn’t infallible, and when a little girl died on his operating table, he dealt with the pain just as any medical professional would: He went batshit insane and became a serial killer. However, when the ghost of the little girl who died appeared to him and said it wasn’t his fault, he became UN-insane again (note we didn’t say “sane”), changed his name to Faust, and rededicated himself to preserving life and fostering peace. However, the fact that his peacekeeping methods involve him wearing a bag over his head and slashing away at other people with a gigantic scalpel leads us to question just how sane he’s become. We’re going with, “not quite sane enough.”