The evolution of Santa Claus

A look back at the videogame career of Christmas' legendary fat man

Above: “Welp, here I am, Santa Claus! *FART* Time to ho-ho-hurt some folks!”

Above: Ugh, what’s even happening in this picture?

Above: Wow, that sort of looks like a sperm whale. Also note the lack of support for Santa’s loincloth. What’s keeping it up?

Above: Santa’s cottage-cheese baboon-ass is the stuff of nightmares. Specifically ours

Santa Claus Junior, a Europe-only Game Boy Color/Advance platformer, features the saddest, most defeated-looking Santa Claus we’ve ever seen.

He slouches in his sleigh. His expression is perpetually sleepy. And when an evil witch starts turning toys into monsters, he doesn’t even bother to deal with the problem himself. Instead, he flies over to visit some kid – who we’re guessing is his son, given the game’s title – and talks to him through the window, because apparently the terms of the divorce settlement mean that he’ll get in trouble if he’s seen contacting the kid without a court-appointed monitor.

It’s no wonder he’s under such draconian restrictions, either, considering that the first thing he does when he sees the kid is give him an oversized Santa jacket and order him out into the freezing night to fight monsters and deliver presents to other kids who are standing around in cold, hazardous environments for some reason.

Further cementing Santa’s status as a horrible parent is the way he sort of slumps back and disinterestedly rates your performance between levels.

Above: Oh, like you could do better, you fat prick

Without question, this is the most depressing, miserable excuse for a Santa to date. Even the next one is better than him, and the next one’s terrible.

While the criminally negligent Santa of Santa Claus Junior preferred to put his young son in harm’s way rather than do any actual adventuring himself, the Santa from Santa Claus Saves the Earth is a man of action. He’s also a man that looks like the kind of large, inflatable lawn ornament stupid people leave in their yards until July.

Above: See?

In the obscure, Euro-only GBA/PlayStation title Santa Claus Saves the Earth, he’s been tasked with saving… well, just himself, actually, which he does by tromping around and hitting cavemen with his sack of gifts in front of sad clown paintings.

Yeah, we don’t really get it either. Hey, check out this cartridge!



After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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