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


Zool

Zool | Commodore Amiga | 1993

Vaunted Sonic-beater. *yawn* Fast-paced gameplay. *yawn* Edgy, quirky personality. *yawn* Licensing deal to sell unhealthy crap (in this case Chuppa Chups) to kids. Zzzzzzzzzz…

Oh Zool, you couldn’t even be original in your approach to unoriginality, could you? As excited as our Amiga-owning friends became when showing off their own perceived answer to Sonic and Mario, the fact is that the smiles of enthusiasm we showed were just a desperate front to hide our increasingly frantic minds’ race to find a subtle and tactful way of asking to put Alien Breed back on.

Bonus Zool fact: Zool actually made it into a fairly unsuccessful coin-op following his computer and console debuts. Street Fighter II was also a coin-op, but it was much better.


Havoc

High Seas Havoc | Mega Drive | 1993

You might look upon that title screen below and wonder why cartoon pirate Havoc is on this list. He’s not overtly offensive. He’s well designed. In fact he looks like quite a pleasant young chap. But if you look at his game in action, you’ll see the most flagrant Sonic rip-off of a decade ruled by flagrant Sonic rip-offs.

We feel sorry for Havoc, we really do. In another game, in another time, he could have been a star. But being forced into the most brazen case of daylight inspiration ever to sully the ‘90s tainted him, leaving him as nothing more than a heavily denounced also-ran (literally). It’s even sadder when you consider that his game was actually really well made for one of its type. Damn shame.

Last we heard he was living in disgrace, making his living on the streets and darkened corners of Vegas. Don’t ask how.

Bonus Havoc fact: Although fairly non-specific of character design, Havoc is apparently a seal. Contrary to this game’s conceit, seals do not need ships to navigate the sea.


Bubsy

The Bubsy series | Multi | 1993 - 1996

Think of the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. Think of the most horrible flesh-eating disease you’ve ever heard of. Think of someone clicking a pen for 16 hours straight, right next to your ear. Think of being skinned alive and dipped in vinegar. Take all of those dark, soul-wrenching thoughts, bundle them up into one ball of searing despair, sculpt that ball into the shape of a bobcat, and you’ve got something half as horrible as Bubsy.

In 1993, he was the most hyped thing since organised religion. He was going to be a Sonic beater. He was going to be a Mario beater. He was going to be more fun than your best friend and 18 times as awesome as cake. What he actually was was a loud, obnoxious, self-aggrandising wanker who thought that being a loud, obnoxious, self-aggrandising wanker equated to cool. And boy, did he like trying to be cool.

Even better, his games were unlikeable, uncontrollable and borderline unplayable, and had the horrible pilot for his horrible cartoon show made it to a whole series, it would have ushered in a new world order of darkness and decay that would have made Gozer look like an amateur.

Bonus bobcat fact: Although a wild animal, the bobcat shares certain traits with all cats, in that it is generally a solitary animal and marks its territory with faeces and urine. This explains both Bubsy’s obnoxious, attention-seeking personality and the huge piles of dump he left in game cartridges worldwide.



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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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