With wannabe reformed videogame bad guy Wreck-It Ralph about to hit UK cinemas this Friday, we look at some other digital evil-doers who may or may not want some redemption…
By Stephen Kelly
SUPER MARIO BROS (1985)
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then perpetual princess thief Bowser is the craziest villain of them all. Still, Mario’s giant turtle-like nemesis – also known as King Koopa – is a videogame classic.
TRIVIA Bowser was originally meant to be an ox. This is probably why, despite being Turtle-like, he has horns and a defined muzzle.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Yes! He’s a prominent figure of the Bad-Anon support group.
The four main ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, all have individual attributes but are united in their unrelenting 2D mission: stop Pac-Man chomping pills. It’s for his own good, really.
TRIVIA The Pac-Man animated TV show suggests that they are not actually ghosts but creatures made of flesh; something that makes power pellet Pac-Man – who can swallow ghosts whole – a tad disturbing.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Yep; Blinky (the red one) takes charge of the Bad-Anon support group.
METAL GEAR SOLID (1998)
Out of the Metal Gear series’ roster of villains spews forth Psycho Mantis: a disturbed, misanthropic psychic. He may have looked like just a skinny dude in a gas mask, but where Mantis hit you was psychologically – taking control of love interest Meryl, making your screen glitch into a nightmare and smashing the fourth wall by forcing you to change controllers.
TRIVIA Psycho Mantis could read your memory card, taunting you about how many times you’d saved the game.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? No; although MGS’s red exclam is.
RESIDENT EVIL (1996)
Despite looking like a Poundland Jamie Lannister, the former STARS team member who betrayed his comrades for cash is as soulless as the zombies he helped create. Cheesy, amoral and fuelled by greed, he’s about as theatrically villainous as you can get.
TRIVIA Wesker has the most appearances throughout the Resident Evil series, appearing in seven games in total.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Nope. No sign of Resident Evil’s resident evil in the realm of Ralph.
FINAL FANTASY VII (1997)
With his shiny silver hair and sword that never ends, Sephiroth is the Final Fantasy series’ essential icon. Twisted by the revelations of his origin, he sought to drain the lifeforce of the planet in a bid to, eventually, rule the universe. To fans, however, that’s nothing compared to what he does to poor Aeris...
TRIVIA His sword, Masumune, is between 6-8 feet long – which must make it a nightmare to take on the Tube.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? No, but his handiwork lives on with some sly “Aeris lives” graffiti.
STREET FIGHTER II (1991)
Leader of terrorist cell, murderer of friends and family, wearer of terrible hats; M Bison is the ultimate beat ’em up baddie. First introduced as the brutal end boss of Street Fighter II, he went on to become a series favourite as well as the unfortunate swansong for Raul Julia’s acting career.
TRIVIA In Japan, M Bison is known as Vega. A very distant relation of Tarantino’s Vega Brothers, perchance?
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Like some others on this list, he features at the Bad-Anon meeting.
Andrew Ryan is the self-deluded, megalomanical industrialist who founded Rapture, the underwater city in BioShock. Infused with a refreshing level of intellectual depth, the arc of Ryan – revealed via a series of audio diaries – is one of a hypocrite all too willing to follow a philosophy until it doesn’t suit him.
TRIVIA BioShock director Ken Levine based Ryan’s character on a combination of historical figures such as Howard Hughes and Ayn Rand.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? No freaking way.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA (1986)
The Zelda universe may change with each era but certain things remain constant: the heroism of Link, the salvation of Zelda and the evil of Ganondorf. An ugly, terrifying tyrant, his blackest moment comes when he finally seizes the beautiful world of Hyrule during Ocarina Of Time – only to turn most of it into ashes.
TRIVIA Creator Satoru Takizawa originally based the model of Ganondorf on actor Christopher Lambert.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Sadly not. Link does make a hard-to-spot background cameo, though.
Initially your guiding light through the Aperture Science research facility, the AI’s soothing womanly tones soon start to turn into something far more sinister – and hilarious. For as well as being corrupted to the point of malice, GlaDOS also happens to be one of the most likeable, witty and funny videogame villains ever.
TRIVIA Early designs for GlaDOS included a floating brain and a hideous spider-like monstrosity.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Nope; but if she was, she’d surely be the funniest thing in it.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (1991)
A rotund mad scientist with an IQ of 300, Robotnik (also called Dr Eggman) plans to conquer the world in order to build the Eggman Empire: a robotic utopia ruled with a mechanic fist. But he’s thwarted time and again by a bloody hedgehog.
TRIVIA Robotnik was originally designed as a caricature of American president Theodore Roosevelt.
IN WRECK-IT RALPH? Indeed; he’s one of the attendees of Bad-Anon. He’s mute, though.
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