There's something about misguided attempts to amuse children that bring with them a unique streak of terror, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the noble clown. Intended to be a harmless jester with a painted face and a slapstick approach to life, the image of the clown has instead become associated with creeping dread and paranoid mistrust.
Videogame developers have tapped into this instinctive fear of clowns, and that's why the realm of interactive entertainment is chock full of nightmarish harlequins that haunt our dreams and ravage our days. You’ve probably been sleeping far too well lately, so why not keep yourself awake with thoughts of some of gaming's scariest clowns? Go on, they won't bite... except for the biting ones.
Kefka Palazzo – Final Fantasy VI
Where can we start but with arguably the most famous clown in videogame history? Final Fantasy VI's Kefka is irrefutable evidence of what would happen if a clown ever wielded supreme political power: oppression, genocide, and wanton destruction. That is what all clowns want from life, and Final Fantasy VI proves it.
His list of crimes include not just a string of murders, but the poisoning of an entire city, marking out Kefka as one of the most famously barbaric and irredeemable villains of all time. His cruelty earned him a place in history, and a throne in the kingdom of our blackest dreams.
Sweet Tooth – Twisted Metal series
Perhaps the only other whiteface to rival Kefka in terms of fame, the rampaging maniac of Twisted Metal has become the franchise's principal icon. Needles "Sweet Tooth" Kane is a serial killer who drives an ice cream truck and promises to "hide under your bed, in your closet, in your mind." Shudder.
You only have to look at this decayed, grimy, sleazy monstrosity to get chills. One would rather have John Wayne Gacy entertaining the kids.
Jester – Devil May Cry 3
Winning an award for "most functional name in clowning history," the rather imaginatively titled Jester was a companion and hindrance to Dante in Devil May Cry 3. A distinctly unpleasant looking beast, Jester bears all resemblance to a malingering pervert, the kind of clown who has "secret tickle time" with the children he's attempting to amuse and owns a stack of highly illegal magazines featuring toads going down on fat old women.
It makes us wonder what he does with that giant nose of his.