Gaming's naughtiest holy men

Those of you following the non-pixellated news lately may be aware that the Catholic Church has had better times. While we're not looking to become your one-stop papacy-in-peril news source (interested parties are better off looking elsewhere for a quick primer), it got us to thinking: how do gaming's most malfeasant ministers stack up next to those besmirchers of the real-life Church's good name? In a medium with a long tradition of religious-themed plots, how many turncoat clerics have you personally sent to their maker in your lifetime as a gamer? Being suckers for a quick dash of sacrilege, we figured it was about time for a run-down of the least-blessed souls ever to don the cloth.

Shaft (Castlevania)

Holy-roller credentials: Commands a loyal flock of dedicated followers amongst the villagers of Transylvania during the era of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night. Obviously does his job fairly well, because said flock sticks with him even after...

Notable transgressions:...he kidnaps half the area's virgins for use in dark rituals that resurrect the Dark Lord Dracula. Not only that, the bastard does it twice. And possesses vampire hunter Richter Belmont, AND comes back from the dead to just keep on bothering you when all you want to do is kill Dracula and go home. There's a good reason they say that cat Shaft, he's a baaaad mother–

Above: We can dig it 

Punishment: The problem with Faustian immortality-bargains is that people get to kill you over and over again. If that weren't ignoble enough, nobody even thinks to give him a single one of the craptabulous lines that pepper his games.

Above: Arguably the best cutscene ever written (“Arguably” means “not”)

Bishop Mandible (Loom)

Holy-roller credentials: Well, for one thing, he's Transultimate Apostle of the Antisecular Conclave of Clerics, which is the sort of title that you don't get without doing an awful lot of something. Though Loom was released in 1990, when we were also calling garbagemen “supervisory and participatory sanitation technicians,” so maybe this is just resume-padding.

Notable transgressions: Jealous of all the weavers and glassmakers and blacksmiths and so on who actually have useful jobs, Mandible sets about branding good honest tradespeople as heretics. This turns out to be a front for his grander scheme, which involves harnessing the secrets of the weavers to raise an army of zombies and blanket the world in chaos.

Punishment: In what passed for dramatic irony in early-‘90s adventure games, he was bloodily vaporized by Chaos itself. There wasn't even anything left for the zombies, which must have been disappointing: blanketing the world in chaos is hungry work.

Mankar Camoran (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)

Holy-roller credentials: Leader of the Mythic Dawn. While our own world's Mythic Dawn makes terrible electro-emo unsuitable for anyone with ears, Oblivion's Mythic Dawn is an extremist religious sect composed of necromancers, thieves and assassins. Which is almost as bad.

Above: They may be hacking you to bits, but at least they don't have a MySpace 

Notable transgressions: While Mankar Camoran's Mythic Dawn earn big points for not having written or performed “The Real You,” their plot to escape to an otherworldly paradise by sacrificing their friends and neighbors to H-E-double-hockey-sticks is hardly the sort of thing that gets you onto many Christmas card lists.

Punishment: Mankar Camoran and his family are all killed unceremoniously by the player and Sean Bean. That might seem harsh, but they should have known no good would come of rallying around a patriarch played by Terence Stamp.

Above: Not a face to inspire do-goodery 

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  • american101 - April 12, 2010 8:08 p.m.

    ... awesome Tom!
  • drunkenfish - April 11, 2010 11:40 p.m.

    sleepingdragon dont feel bad I was about to post the same thing
  • jonlias - April 11, 2010 6:50 p.m.

  • DriveShaft - April 11, 2010 4:12 p.m.

    Now I can hear the 'Pastor Richard's Salvation Statue'speech In my head -_-
  • oryandymackie - April 11, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    'Leon responds by blowing him up with a rocket launcher and riding a bitchin' helicopter into the sunset with the President's daughter.' I'm pretty sure the helicopter was actually a jet-ski, but whatever. 'Cliches rule!' Yeah, they do.
  • PantherModern - April 10, 2010 10:11 p.m.

    Congrats, Cwf2008, you watched the news once or twice. You can keep the cookie. You DESERVE it.
  • mattersnotnow - April 10, 2010 5:16 a.m.

    I was ready to hate, but then I saw Stone and all was well. Ethos was a bunch of assholes... and Billy. There's also the Patriarch from Xenosaga, but he's not as bad as Stone. MegaTen games also have lots of religious jerks(sacrifice-happy folks, Hitler revival clutists, etc).
  • noune - April 10, 2010 4:18 a.m.

    @GR warrior Yah you are sorta right there but that game is religious and everyone you kill is religious. sometimes you hear the guards say "God is on my side"
  • SilentGiant - April 9, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    Good article. Wish I knew who half of those guys were...
  • FilthyKillz - April 9, 2010 1:38 a.m.

    Priests in WoW can show pedo-tendencies at times... Just saying.
  • Gameguy94 - April 8, 2010 11:25 p.m.

    "Asshole, you must be silenced." - The Arbiter I lol'd hard when I saw that in Halo 3.
  • SailorCallie - April 8, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    What about Mayster Seymor(sp) from Final Fantasy X? Ra fyc ajem yht ra teth'd synno Oihy vun muja.
  • Z-Dog - April 8, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    wtf how could you not include anything from the BoF series?
  • Skywalker007 - April 8, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    Eh... where is that Bishop in Grandia2?
  • mdiaz033 - April 8, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    the Rodrigo Borgia section is hilarious. should the unitology people from Dead Space be in this article? gee, there are a lot of evil "holy" men in video games.
  • philipshaw - April 8, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    I hope that you are right about that DLC for AC2
  • darkraven1414 - April 8, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    Oh thank god you put Rodrigo Borgia in there other wise i would have fliped out
  • TheBoz - April 8, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    The baddest of the lot was John Paul II in the Spitting Image game on the C64. His role was to defeat the other world leaders for supreme control of Earth. A true reflection of the Pope me thinks lol.
  • jmcgrotty - April 8, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    Your article screwed up in the very first sentence: " may be aware that the Catholic Church has had better times" Bullcrap. This is the BEST time that the church has had in a long time. They are being seen as the sick and evil fuckers they really are, and the truth is always a good thing.
  • Samael - April 8, 2010 5:45 a.m.

    Arguably the best cutscene ever writte(“Arguably” means “absolutely”) Fixed. You guys gotta watch for these typos, people could get the wrong idea. They might think you're making fun of one of the greatest, hammiest, cheesiest and yet still most incredibly epic cutscenes in video game history. Also, guys really despise the Halo storyline, don't you? Lol, ya never pass up a chance to bash it. Oh well, your loss. All in all, good article.

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