Evil schemes? He's heard a few...
Bad guys in video games are right up there with the cream of the evilest evildoers in all of fiction. But that's actually becoming a problem. Everyone's so evil, there's not much left to do that can truly shock. So schemes become grander and grander, until they're so elaborate, they're stretching the boundaries of our willing suspension of disbelief.
And that's where these guys come in. Their evil schemes are so grandiose and intricately threaded, we're frankly baffled by them. For any youngsters planning a career in cat-stroking and scheme building, then you'd do well to learn from the masters. Here we go...
Resident Evil 4
Ah, the humble mind-controlling parasite. Who doesnt love a cheeky cerebral cortex-altering slug? In Resi 4, Spanish cult Los Illuminados want to use its T-virus Las Plagas to brainwash the Presidents daughter, Ashley Graham. Once Leons useless companion character has been successfully brain-jacked and is safely tucked up in her bed at the White House, the group will have direct access to the prezs delicious brain. Cue a hypnotised Leader of the Free World who will carry out their evil bidding just as soon as he has a bug nestled in his noggin.
Instead of encouraging Leon to come and rescue Ms. Graham, thereby ruining their entire scheme, couldnt they have just knocked the lass out, covertly slipped a slug in her head and bought her a train ticket back to Washington? Hell, why not even round up those thousands of near indestructible acolytes, giant trolls and chainsaw-loving doctors they have and take the West Wing by force? Were backing a giant salamander over a battalion of Navy Seals anytime. But no, letting the worlds deadliest zombie-basher get involved in your needlessly complicated kidnapping is definitely a safer bet.
Parkour is quite the skill. Being able to hop small railings without breaking your collar bone is to be admired. Still, we cant help think the evil totalitarian police force in DICEs speed runner has too much respect for Faith and her Runner pals. Essentially acting as glorified, gymnastic postmen, the roof sprinters ferry illegal information in a censorship-heavy society.
This leads the dastardly government to cook up the Project Icarus scheme; a program designed to train the police in the art of parkour so they can catch and take down the Runners. Heres the thing, though. You know whats quicker and more deadly than a newly agile cop? Bullets. If the evil forces in Mirrors Edge had really wanted to be more efficient with their nefarious plans, they could have just informed the cops to shoot all Runners on sight. We hear these new fangled sniper rifle contraptions are hella accurate.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Never trust a character voiced by Lance Henriksen. Doubly so if said dude is rocking a soup strainer. CoDs General Shepherd sure loves a needlessly complicated, morally-conflicted scheme. Desiring vengeance for the 30k-slaughtering nuke explosion in the original Modern Warfare, while also wanting to restore Americas strength among the global community, Shep decides to subvert military resources and intelligence to instigate World War III.
With the full brunt of the US military behind him, the General believes he has succeeded in solidifying his countrys place as the globes dominant superpower. But honestly, what an exhausting amount of pointless effort. Why go to all the trouble of killing Ghost and Roach in order to personally take credit for the future killing of terrorist no-gooder Makarov? Couldnt the moustached military man simply have used the horrendous No Russian airport attack as leverage to request more troops? And was getting the personal glory for Makarovs potential capture really worth government-wide cover ups? Were sure the US would have pinned some sort of shiny medal on him regardless.
Why oh why must villains toy with the hero of the piece? Plumping for a fine line in evil Hans Gruber retorts and dragged-out manipulation is just never as efficient as good old fashioned murder. Kor in Naughty Dogs PS2 sandbox is a classic case. Rather than kill Jak when he teleports to Haven City, the baddie encourages him to join a citywide resistance that could ultimately reveal his true identity as a huge alien bug and kibosh his plans to steal the Precursor Stone. As the secret leader of the Metal Heads, Kor disguises himself as a frail pensioner, all the while looking after what turns out to be a child version of Jak. And it just so happens that adolescent elf-boy is the only one who can gain access to the stone.
Helping Jak network with some of the most motivated, deadly freedom fighters in the city doesnt exactly seem like the best way to assassinate your arch nemesis. Given that Kor has no need of older-Jaks services, , why not just swallow the pixy-eared one whole? These dastardly insects and their stupidly protracted plans. Theyll never learn.
Yes, we get it, Mr Shelby: youve got daddy issues. But just because your totally-not-Parisian Americeen pappa let le petit brother drown, thats no reason to concoct ludicrously convoluted serial killer shenanigans. Now, we admire a skin suit-weaving, moth-rearing mass murderer in our games as much as the next unhinged individual. Yet Scotts insistence on making fathers such as Ethan Mars jump through Saw-style hoops to save their sons is simply a case of wasted resources.
Trying to separate the parental wheat from the chaff to find a worthy father whos willing to slice off his thumb to save his kid just seems like overly hard work. Not to mention it requires an intimate, Nostradamus-esque foresight regarding the Earths atmospheric processes. Or in other words, if the weather forecast changes even a teensy bit, the big-boned killer wont have enough of those hefty rain drops to drown poor Shaun within his strict schedule. Couldnt Shelby just have dropped a piano on Ethans head as punishment for being a detached daddy?
Conker's Bad Fur Day
If you ever seen a noir-tinted big cat down your local DIY emporium, run for the hills. As Conkers Panther King proves, sizeable kitties dont know squat about handywork. After the royal kittys favourite table loses a leg, he instructs his evil scientist sidekick to find him a replacement wooden prop in the form of a red squirrel.
Clearly carpenters are thin on the ground in Conkers kingdom. Rather than phone a professional to knock him up a spare leg, the Panther King would rather concoct an elaborate, Matrix-riffing fake bank heist to capture our alcoholic mammal. Not only does the cat have to enlist the help of the Weasel Mafia to assist in his evil plans, but the entire scheme proves fruitless when a Xenomorph bursts open from kitty-cats chest for no apparent reason. Wheres a chrome-domed Sigourney Weaver when you need one?
Metal Gear Solid 2
Trying to keep up with the plot of Sons of Liberty is akin to eating 14lbs of ice cream. Although the subsequent brain freeze wouldnt be nearly as painful as the strain Kojimas complicated, convoluted yarn places on your cranium. Simply trying to write the cliff notes for The Patriots evil scheme is exhausting. In essence, the globe-controlling group of A.I.s want to manipulate all of society through the control of digital information. They also want to create the perfect Solid Snake clone via the S3 plan; a convoluted scheme that involves yanking on the entire casts strings like gullible puppets.
Over the course of their Machiavellian scheming, the evil computers trick Raiden into becoming a Snake wannabe as he tries to rescue the president on an oil rig, while terrorist group Dead Cell are merely there to play the part of a poor mans FoxHound unit from MGS1. Rather than con every major character over the course of the game in an elaborate Punch & Judy sketch, couldnt the Patriots have just spent a few more bucks improving Raidens VR training? Just a thought.
Riddle us this, oh gentle readers. Whats more dangerous: a procession of slowly tumbling, easily avoidable barrels or a ten-foot gorilla with the requisite muscle mass to peel off a plumbers skin like a freshly plucked banana? We get that DK has quite the cross-species simian crush on Pauline, but why rely on tumbling drums of wood to vanquish Mario when you could just pull his arms off?
Honestly, the amount of overly elaborate, needless effort that goes into this Mazza-crushing scheme is absurd. First you need access to a seemingly unending array of vertically stacked platforming structures. And then you need to get your ape mitts on a gargantuan supply of barrels, in the vain hope that one of them topples the iconic toilet jockey. If Kong had any concept of efficient time management, hed have yanked off Marios legs during the first level and freed up his time for some sweet, sweet monkey lovin.
Care to elaborate?
Can you think of an even more elaborate evil scheme from video gaming that we've missed? Feel free to stroke the cat up there while you monologue about it in the comments, giving us time to escape from your wicked and unnecessarily slow-moving death-bringing device. Mwahahahaha!