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The 13 most hateful video game mascot characters of the '90s

Most gamers of a certain age have gleefully nostalgic memories of the 2D heyday of the 1990s, the era when Sonic and Mario reigned supreme and the noble platformer was still in rude health.

What most of us forget though, is that for every classy jump-fest hero, there were a whole lot more crappy wannabe pretenders to the throne. Whether their games were good or bad, these bandwagon riders themselves were frequently trite, characterless or just plain annoying. Truly, the crap platformer mascot was the bald-headed space marine of the '90s. So grit your teeth and join us on a tour of the most vile.


Awesome Possum

Awesome Possum kicks Dr. Machino's butt | Mega Drive | 1993

It’s difficult to criticise an environmentally-conscious game character without sounding like the kind of jerks who get their kicks from sacrificing pandas on top of flaming piles of tyres. (We'd never do that of course. Polystyrene goes up much faster) But criticise we’re going to, because Awesome Possum was loathsome.

His game was crap, he looked like a scrawny, cross-eyed stimulant abuser and, to top it all off, his title screen appearance saw him weakly exclaim "I'm awesome!" like a skinny, slow kid yelps "Mummy says I'm special" after being punched in the face for his lunch money again. As if the the word “Awesome” floating directly above him in letters as big as his own face wasn’t over-compensation enough.

Actually, what really topped it all off was the very idea of selling an environmental message to kids at £40 a pop, via the medium of a badly made game distributed on expensive, presumably hard-to-recycle plastic and silicon cartridges. Most of which are probably polluting a landfill somewhere right this very second.

Bonus possum fact: The common brushtail possum was artificially introduced to New Zealand by European settlers, making it an invasive species. Destructive to indigenous plants and wildlife and having no natural predators, the New Zealand possum is a bully, an environmental pest, and additionally carries tuberculosis. Not awesome.


Rocky Rodent

Rocky Rodent | SNES | 1993

Irem’s Rocky Rodent was nearly the most reprehensible of all mid-‘90s Sonic knock-offs. In a misguided attempt to attain the elusive holy grail of edgy attitude, he was designed to look like a slavering street corner crackhead. He used his obligatory running speed for the noble purpose of escaping from restaurants without paying, and he only agreed to save the damsel in exchange for a free feed (so actually, he very probably was a slavering street-corner crackhead).

And once he’d rescued her, he spent the entire end sequence staring, tongue out, at her arse or crotch (see below for the horrible evidence). Oh, and his entire power-up system revolved around the use of increasingly ‘rad’ hairstyles. Dick.

Bonus rodent fact: Rodents are characterised by having two continually growing sharp incisors in the upper jaw. If Rocky was a real rodent and kept his tongue lolling out as he does, the chances are he would have bitten it off long ago. Which would have been hilarious to watch.


Chester Cheetah

Too Cool to Fool/Wild Wild Quest | Mega Drive/SNES | 1992

The long-time marketing mascot of Cheetos, Chester’s cynical advergames portrayed him as a tearfully boring "hip cat" cliché who only ever spoke in rhyme, despite sounding like an insufferable ponce.

This, coupled with his perpetual wearing of shades, even underground, clearly made him the kind of pseudo-counter-culture beatnik wannabe who turns up at open mic poetry nights at the local student pub wearing a black rollneck and smoking needle-thin hand-rolled cigarettes. Sporadic attempts to schmooze naïve drunken fresher girls with his ersatz linguistic pretensions are probably also not below him.

Also, he exists only to sell fried corn to children.

Bonus Cheetos fact: In 1996, Chester’s promotional catchphrase changed from “The cheese that goes crunch” to “Dangerously cheesy”. This proves that although a dick, he is at least vaguely self-aware.


Mohawk

Mohawk and Headphone Jack | SNES | 1995

In 1995, the SNES was facing stiff next-gen opposition. But Black Pearl Software had a plan. After years of Mario and Final Fantasy, the grey box of joy needed something even more special to enable it to stand its ground against the growing PlayStation menace. It needed a muscular, naked, gelatinous yellow man with big sunglasses and a haircut that hadn’t been cool since the late ‘70s.

Even better, give him a vague, gooey yellow cock bulge only partially obscured by the cable from his CD player headphones. Yeah, a ‘roided up jellybaby with a slightly rapey aura. That’s what the SNES had been waiting for all along. PlayStation? Pah! It wouldn’t last five minutes.

Bonus Mohawk fact: If you see a man who looks like Mohawk walking towards you in the street, you should run away quickly.

Next: Corporate clowns and a genuinely shitty mascot

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72 comments

  • evoxpisces - February 10, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    I'm glad to see Aero the Acrobat and Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel off this list. Those were the only non-Mario non-Sonic mascots I liked. I actually really get a kick out if how much hate Bubsy gets. I didn't think his games were THAT bad. Then again its been nearly 20years since I've played them.
  • DoctorClu - February 13, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    "Most HateFUL Video Game Mascot Characters"? I thought that was a typo at first. Always find it hilarious how everyone tries to 1-Up everyone else on how to insult Bubsy. Honestly, one shot "Mohawk and Headphone Jack", an obvious looser of a mascot gets some hate (and based on how he is drawn can even see the "rapey" aspect), but Bubsy, who was successful enough to last four unique games and a cartoon gets the over the top "Think of the worst thing that’s ever happened to you." LOL! Really? Hey sorry you suck at playing Bubsy and how that psychologically scarred you somehow. If you ever need tips on improving your gameplay, let me know.
  • Crocket - September 14, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    You guys are so far off base with Bubsy that I cannot believe it. That game for the SNES was almost as fun as DK Country. It did get frustratingly hard at times but it was great fun to play.
  • SandroTheMaster - September 12, 2009 9:35 a.m.

    "once I saw Gex...", forgot these...
  • nai1210 - September 10, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    my last post seems to have came out a bit all over the place,having probs with PC,Can't be arsed to fix the post but i'm sure you will get the general gist of it
  • nai1210 - September 10, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    I remeber looking forward to busby,then i played it.I guess they where trying to make it seem faster than Sonic by having him run so close to the right hand of the screen you couldn't see what was coming up,total unplayable shit is what it was.You can't blame developers for trying with the popularity of Mario/Sonic games around the time these games where released,but boy did they get it wrong and then some.Liked your never heard of boogerman before but it looks comparison to boogerman and earthworm jim like a failed flash game trying to be like earth worm jim,how did it get released i feel sorry for the kid's who bought that back in the day instead of earthworm jim,those kids though will have grown up and trully appreciate the value of money having spent around 50 quid on that piece of shit.
  • Styrophoamicus - September 10, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    How could you forget James Pond? Kudos for including Mohawk and Headphone Jack. I rented that once in my early, impressionable youth and the only thing I remember is that you had to collect CD's. I really don't remember anything else. Except that he was technically naked 0.o Also, watching the video for Havoc, I couldn't help but feel like sections of that stage are lifted right from Green Hill Zone. Shame, that
  • solsunforge - September 9, 2009 4:42 p.m.

    I didnt think bubsy was all to terrible. Not compared to gex but it was no earthworm jim. Bubusy 3d was unplayable but the other was worth playing at the time.
  • Selectedpayload - September 9, 2009 8:52 a.m.

    The armadillo should of been the star of the cartoon, and pushed Bubsy infront of the truck.
  • BigBossOSE - September 9, 2009 8:24 a.m.

    @Godz_Mercenary: You are an outrageous tool. You fooled no one at your attempt to get a first without saying first. You're just as bad as the rest, and had you just typed (first), you still would have been that asshole who types it and ends up with the second comment.
  • El72125 - September 9, 2009 1:25 a.m.

    I actually loveddddd Gex games, even if Gex was a pretentious little shit. Also nice niame drop with Gozer. Fried corn FTW!
  • drprofessor - September 8, 2009 8:52 p.m.

    Hey! I liked Rocky Rodent. lol not the character so much but the game was decent. Great article.
  • TrigunGunner - September 8, 2009 7:38 p.m.

    I'm glad to hear that Bubsy didn't air for a whole season. Just thinking that kids grew up watching horrors like Bubsy for their Saturday cartoon runs chills down my spine. Not to mention the fact that the kids who watched that show and enjoyed it in any way, amount, shape, or form are roaming the streets, and could be acting like Busby. the horrors.
  • d0x - September 8, 2009 7:19 p.m.

    Gex may have been an asshole but his first two games on 3DO were good. Once he went 3d things went down hill. I would love a XBLA or PSN update of the original 2 games.
  • noobeater - September 8, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    bubsy was annoying in the video but he was ok(ish) in the sega genesis version tho you hit the nail on the head about the uncontrollable...that game was damn hard
  • Zeos - September 8, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    Goddamn Bunsy was and still is a dooshbag. I thought the first game was fun when I was seven but I'm sure if I tried it now it would totally blow.
  • Makk_Mizzy - September 8, 2009 12:25 a.m.

    I will be honest with viewers and gamers! I loved BOOGERMAN I thought it was the most funnest and immaturest game I've ever played but, farting and killing baddies was so funny and even picking boogers and flicking em at ppl, LMAO! I did all of that stuff thru out school and my childhood just bkuz of that game and I must say it has made me a much better person now bkuz whenever I fart and someone engulfs the green toxic cloud and start choking, I tell them ''Throw some whip-cream on that!'' I love to laugh and if I think it will make me laugh I will do or say it! I fucking hated GEX that game was so hard and stupid I just couldn't believe a human developed it and not a lizard.
  • PrivateYmo7 - September 8, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    I don't know why, but I liked to fart and burp in the face of some enemies with Boogerman. I think it's because real people don't like it very much.
  • FinalGamer - September 7, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    I admit that I really loved Gex, but only Gex 3D because I'd never played the first one, and the third one sucked. See being European I got Leslie Phillips. This made Gex instantly likeable to me. Then in the third game Deep Cover Gecko, they changed it to a really fucking irritating black voice. Dear GOD.
  • FETALJUICE - September 7, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    That Bubsy video was horrible. lol

Showing 1-20 of 72 comments

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