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Solid Snake's secretly superior genetic brother, Liquid was the ultimate evil twin. And let's face it, that's a pretty camp b-movie concept in itself. Holding the other half of the Enfants Terrible DNA, he wasn't merely bad where Snake was good; he took all of the opposing personality traits.
Where Solid was angsty and introverted, Liquid had the demeanour of Patrick Stewart on a coke bender; always riotously theatrical of delivery, extravagant of arm gesture and mugsome of face. Where Solid hid in the shadows, Liquid - particularly in the Gamecube remake - leapt around as much scenery as he chewed, posing on top of anything with even a vaguely flat surface and punctuating every other sentence with a completely gratuitous back flip or somersault, just because he could.
Where Solid was wrapped in dark, constrictive body armour, Liquid demonstrated an abject refusal to ever even wear a shirt, despite Shadow Moses' ball-miniaturising cold. A pair of black leather gloves was alright though. Style over functionality every time with him.
Above: More hammy camp than the piglet Scouts. Glorious stuff.
Liquid reveled in hamming it up like any incorrigible old thesp you could think of, ably aided by a brilliant performance from voice of a thousand geek culture icons Cam Clarke. Without his histrionic, English-accented voice-over, Liquid would have been just another scheming megalomaniac, and his lengthy, self-indulgent speeches simply bland filler in a game already packed with over-written cut-scenes. As it was though, he was one of those bad guys we never wanted to see die. Thank god for prosthetic possession.
Low-polygon dictator Sheruda Garo from Namco's original Time Crisis could easily be construed as a budget version of Liquid. Bouffant of hair, remarkably similar of voice and bizarrely sharp of suit for a man in the middle of a major terrorist coup, he was so mincingly unthreatening that he died before the last boss fight and had to hand over the reigns to his hired lackey Wild Dog. But then again, he did insist on bringing a knife to a gunfight, so it was his own fault. Using a blade may fit the elegantly camp bad guy archetype better than an uncouth firearm, but even Liquid had the sense to use a mech when the chips were down.
Number seven ranked assassin Destroyman was basically hero Travis Touchdown gone very wrong. A passive-aggressive nerd with no respectable sense of self image, No More Heroes' "Mr.Cosplay" was like that guy at an anime convention; the big fat dude in the ridiculous costume who thinks he looks great and greets all right-thinking criticism with misguidedly arrogant venom and snark.
He bitched about the people he had to deal with during his day job as a postman, and took out his frustrations in a ludicrous, self-empowering, purple superhero suit. He swung around on a theatrical winch, pretending he could fly. He feigned politeness and honour in order to score cheap hits with an electric hand buzzer, of all pieces of piss-poor weaponry. And to top it all off, he had a gigantic pulsating crotch laser of doom. A crotch laser of doom, people! And machinegun nipples! The poor, sorry bastard didn't have a clue how ludicrous he was, and that posturing lack of self-awareness only made an already camp bad guy doubly so.
Bad Girl, NMH's number two is our favourite of the whole lot. A hard drinking, bat swinging, girly-strop throwing psychopath in a frilly pink Lolita dress, she'd fake a sob-worthy injury to get a cheap and brutal instant kill and she spent all her spare time beating the hell out of gimps for fun. Combining exaggerated girliness with childish tantrums and a vicious killer instinct, she was camp, cute and badass all at the same time. She's exactly the kind of girl we'd take home to meet the family, if she wasn't likely to kill them all within half an hour.
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