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

Mick and Mac/Ronald McDonald

M.C. Kids/McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure | NES/Mega Drive | 1992/1993

Do we need to explain these three? All three were friendly, cartoony, corporate mascots for a world-devouring purveyor of greasy edible fat-delivery systems, masquerading as heroes within the very kid-targeted video games their company puppet-masters would eventually scapegoat for childhood obesity. Treasure Land Adventure even featured a boss fight in which Ronald battled an apple. We hope that was satire on the part of the developers.

The cholesterol clown has always been first against the wall come the revolution, but thankfully the kids are probably old enough to be tried as adults by now too. One day. One day soon…

Bonus Treasureland Adventure fact: Ronald’s game was actually a very early project and borderline namesake for famed and respected Japanese developer Treasure. Treasure is notorious for infusing its games with references to its love of greasy fast food, having also created Lardian Heroes and Radiant Silverbun.


Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure | Mega Drive/SNES | 1994/1995

There’s edgy, and then there’s just plain cretinous. And Boogerman was not edgy.

Completely mistaking attitude for general unpleasantness, Interplay produced one of the most patronising and insulting video game heroes of the decade. Hey, all the kids really want is snot and poop, right, so why not make a game based around flicking boogers and farting at enemies?

Because it’s a shit idea, that’s why.

Released around the same time as Earthworm Jim, Boogerman was like the worm's embarrassing idiot brother, inheriting his conceits of smooth, expressive cartoon animation and cool, quirky soundtrack, but wasting them on utter stupidity in place of Jim’s genuinely witty abstract comedy. Unsurpringly, Interplay later went on to acquire the rights to the actual, genuine Earthworm Jim and buggered things up entirely with Earthworm Jim 3D.

Bonus booger fact: Contrary to this game’s lies, the impact of a flicked booger is not lethal. Hence the general lack of eight-year-old boys within the world’s prison systems.


The Gex trilogy | Multi | 1995 - 1999

There’s a fine line between having issues and being a self-indulgent prick. Gex tripped straight over that line and broke every bone in his stupid face. Then probably whined self-indulgently about it.

Spending his life in a self-induced media-coma in front of the TV after the death of his father, Gex was so obstinate in his self-pitying televisual addiction that he greeted his mother’s attempts at weaning him off the screen by running away from home. Yes. To spite his mother’s help, he chose homelessness. And homeless people don’t even have TVs!

And did we mention that he only reinitiated contact with her after she told him that they’d inherited a life-changing amount of money? And that he used his share to buy a mansion and a huge TV to veg out in front of once again? And that he only helped out in the sequel in exchange for another big pile of money?

But hey, you know, it’s okay. He was 'cool'. He had a pair of sunglasses, and a sneery grin and a load of one-liners. He was just like Jack Nicholson if Jack Nicholson was a lizard and crap.

Bonus Gex fact: The only thing that redeemed Gex was being voiced by veteran British actor and much-loved cad Leslie Phillips in the Euro edition of his second game. Although none of the Gex games were strictly awful, a game based around playing Leslie Phillips himself would have been far better. Doubly so if an unlockable Terry Thomas had been included.

Cool Spot

Spot: The Video Game!/Cool Spot/Spot Goes to Hollywood | Multi | 1990/1993/1995

Although its continued reverence is inexplicable, Cool Spot’s eponymous SNES and Mega Drive platformer was certainly far from a bad game. What was bad though, was Spot’s inherent lack of personality. Slick animation, laid-back demeanour and acrobatic platform skills are all well and good, but sadly all of these assets were directed towards nothing more than a nebulous sense of non-specific ‘90s cool. And with his personality amounting to little more than the fact that he wore sunglasses, genuinely cool Spot could never be.

Also, he exists only to sell fizzy sugar water to children.

Bonus Cool Spot fact: Spot’s first two games were designed by now-respected big name talent. His 1990 NES puzzler was coded by Graeme Devine, of Quake III, Doom 3 and Halo Wars fame, while Cool Spot was coded by Dave Perry and had a soundtrack by Tommy Tallarico, meaning that two thirds of the Earthworm Jim design trilogy of awesome were involved. Sadly, without the inspired madness of EWJ creator Doug TenNapel, Cool Spot was only good, rather than amazing.

Next: It's pirates vs. ninjas, and both lose


  • 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

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