The Top 7... Outrageously Camp Bad Guys

One of the most stereotypically camp bad guys on this list, it's hard not to feel something close to sympathy for Sander Cohen. Okay, he was clearly madder than a dancing cheese plant, but as a tortured artist hopped up on plasmids, the brutal post-fall Rapture can't have been a fun place to live.

Not that that excuses his murderous actions, however fabulously flamboyant they may have been. Even before Rapture went the way of Arkham he was involved in a long and bitchy artistic rivaly with fellow performer Anna Culpepper, which was eventually resolved by her being found dead in a bloody bath tub. Take That and East 17 could have sorted things out in the same way.

Above: Mmmm, tasteful. Michelangelo clearly wasted his life.

And then there was his "masterpiece"; a photographic murder spree forced upon Bioshock's hero Jack in order to exact revenge on those who questioned Cohen's artistic relevance and importance to Rapture. As if that modus operandi wasn't camp enough, he then celebrated with a spotlit, bunny-mask-wearing explosion of confetti and ticker tape, even alluding to messianic status by quoting Jesus' last words from John 19:30. "It is accomplished" indeed Sander, you crazy old bastard. Top marks for having the finest-crafted moustache in videogames too, Captain Price excepted.

Notable also-ran

Effeminate to the point of borderline transvestitism with a penchant for needlessly theatrical speech, Final Fantasy IX's Kuja was a villain in the same flouncing renaissance-man mould as Cohen. Couple in the fact that the revelation of his own mortality caused him to throw a hissy fit which destroyed a whole world and spurred an attempt to wipe out all of life in general, and the two could have done a great deal of 'misunderstood' bitching together if they'd ever met.

As Brit comedy legend Eddie Izzard once taught us, there's only so far you can go into being cool before you start looking like a dickhead. And similarly, if a bad guy goes far enough in an effort to be threatening, he can only become ludicrously, hilariously, savagely camp.

Above: It's so damn funny we had to show you all of it.

Such is the case with the last boss in Wolfenstein 3D. Adolf Hitler is undoubtedly one of the most evil men in human history, but the sight of him floating around in a spectral fashion, letting out a laugh Vincent Price would have been proud of when shot, made for one of the most nonsensically funny boss encounters in gaming. Doubly so when he turned up in a goddamn mech. And when the chaingunning Fuhrer finally croaked, uttering a mournful "Eva! Auf weidersein..." with a level of camp that only the German accent seems capable of evoking, it was almost too hilarious to bear. Deeply, offensively insensitive maybe, but hilarious all the same.

Notable also-ran

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a gloriously well-judged celebration of b-movie camp, but nowhere did it pull off the beautiful madness of '50s genre cinema better than the "Titanic Toddler" level. A forty-foot baby. A killer bottle of milk. A doom-laden nursery rhyme soundtrack littered with off-kilter creepiness and those classic "Uh-oh" samples. It was as ridiculous as can be and therefore without doubt one of the best bits of the entire game.


Top 7


  • 2cute2Bcruel - September 11, 2010 10:17 a.m.

    Did that guy from No More Heroes have a laser coming out of his crotch?
  • linkganon - March 20, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    by the way, when i entered that kefka link, my pc detected at least one computer threat in it.
  • linkganon - March 20, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    With that kifka laughing link, you could use it on fail topics.
  • crumbdunky - November 3, 2009 7:26 p.m.

    It's all very well going for the obvious cam baddies like this-but there's far more that slip under the , erm, radar. Ones that you might never see the effeminacy over the buff and bravado. F'rinstance Radec in KZ2 is really big old fat Visaris talented gimp boy-hell the preoccupation with Nazi and Gestapo chic make the Helghast ALL a little suspect in that respect. It doesn't stop there. Even the Chimera in Resistance without a hairstyle between them have the camp gene running through their overheating veins!ow do we know this? A big penchant for skin tight leather effect knee length space pants! I put it to you that evil begets camp begets evil. END OF. I could go on and on but won't.
  • noofer7 - November 22, 2008 10:12 p.m.

    the RE4 video was disturbing and cool at the same time.
  • coda_ - November 21, 2008 6:36 p.m.

    panty and boob flashes galore in Street Fighter 2...
  • octagons - November 21, 2008 2:27 a.m.

    where is Adam McIntyre?
  • gatornation1254 - November 19, 2008 12:14 a.m.

    Sander Cohen was great. I didn't know Hitler was killed while prancing around in a giant mechsuit.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - November 18, 2008 6:51 p.m.

    Ravenbom: Fear not, Kefka's marvelous lunacy is timeless, regardless of number of bits.
  • ELpork - November 18, 2008 5:33 p.m.

    Ha, I like Sander, He was a great mad man.
  • Jimmyjammy - November 18, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    As a fan of the original Metal Gear Solid, the stupid flippy crap in the cutscenes from the Twin Snakes makes me want to kill things. What the shit was Snake doing trying to jump at Metal gear rex!?! ARRGH!
  • Sash - November 18, 2008 8:29 a.m.

    I didnt know females could be camp?! I just females were female.
  • DravenX23 - November 18, 2008 7:27 a.m.

    Yes Kefka was my 1st thought too. Kind of surprised none of the Punch-Out guys made it. But I guess most of them were made to be camp.
  • bamit11 - November 18, 2008 2:08 a.m.

    i thought slazar wasgoing to be in it but then i changed my mind and im like well looks like he was
  • Samael - November 17, 2008 11:54 p.m.

    Yay Kefka! I'm also going to go play FFVI again!
  • piccolodevilking - November 17, 2008 11:24 p.m.

  • Corsair89 - November 17, 2008 8:17 p.m.

    As soon as I saw the title, I thought of Kefka. I have never seen a charactor that was so effeminate and freaking awesome at the same time. In fact, I'm off to replay FFVI for the millionth time.
  • ssj4raditz - November 17, 2008 7:11 p.m.

    Gigantic pulsating crotch laser of doom!
  • Hunter2458 - November 17, 2008 6:35 p.m.

    As any good raving fanboy I must correct your Liquid Snake part. Liquid had all the Dominant genes, Solid had all of Liquid's genetics cast-offs. Also, 'Enfants Terrible' If you're translating from the french les'enfants terrible, should just be The Terrible Infants. /end ramble Otherwise, great article as usual :3
  • chrisat928 - November 17, 2008 5:36 p.m.

    How did I know Kefka would be number one? Awesome article.

Showing 1-20 of 39 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000