The Top 7… Bestest frenemies

5. Captain Qwark

Frenemies with: Ratchet and Clank

Qwark is a huge, selfish coward, but the big lummox means well – or at least, he seems to. Lately. Enough so that Ratchet and Clank keep letting him hang around, even after his deliberate attempts to kill them and his annoying tendency to switch sides whenever the chips are down. Not that it’s much better when he toughs it out and stands by the heroes; in those cases, his contributions to the team mainly involve either needing to be rescued, or drafting elaborate plans that seem to have no purpose other than to get Ratchet killed.

Starting out as a galactic superhero, Qwark was revealed to be a fraudulent dirtbag in the first Ratchet & Clank, relentlessly self-promoting in an attempt to win a cushy spokesman/henchman job. In the sequel, Going Commando, he went so far as to impersonate a corporate CEO, attempting to create a menace that he could defeat (thereby restoring his tarnished hero status) and trying to murder Ratchet and Clank along the way.

Above: Qwark in an increasingly less-than-rare moment of not attempting to murder Ratchet

By the time the third game rolled around, however, a brief stint as a feral tree-monster brought about a change of heart for Qwark, prompting him to actually lend Ratchet and Clank a hand. Since then, he’s been a more or less constant fixture in the duo’s lives, in spite of an innate selfishness that drives him to muck up their plans, temporarily distract them from their goals and/or take credit for their accomplishments in order to become president.

4. Ada Wong

Frenemies with: Leon S. Kennedy, Albert Wesker, Jack Krauser, and probably several more

Ever the double agent, Ada Wong is a frenemy to just about everyone in Resident Evil, routinely double-crossing her would-be allies regardless of their place in the good/evil spectrum. Whether she’s getting Leon Kennedy shot in Resident Evil 2 or betraying her bosses to keep him alive in RE4, she’s always operating under her own agenda, and it’s never entirely clear where her allegiances really lie.

More often than not, she’s dedicated to her mission, whatever that might be – and if that involves betraying her friends at gunpoint, leaving them incapacitated or blinding them with a flashbang, then so be it. She’s about as trustworthy as a cobra, and yet Leon keeps falling for her act, over and over again, as she routinely uses him to get at whatever horrible bioweapon she’s trying to get her hands on.

Maybe it’s because Leon knows that, in the end, Ada almost always comes through. She’s never actually tried to kill him (although she’s threatened to, more than once), and not even her own apparent death can keep her from tossing Leon a rocket launcher just when it matters most. She’s the Catwoman to his Batman, always working at cross purposes with him, yet never really meaning to harm him. Not permanently, anyway.

3. Bowser

Frenemies with: Mario, Peach and to a lesser extent Luigi

In the “main” Super Mario Bros. games, Bowser is always a straight-up villain, kidnapping Princess Peach and daring Mario to come after her. There’s seemingly no “friend” aspect there. Even in those games, though, there’s a weird dynamic that’s developed between Mario, Peach and Bowser, like they all expect this to happen. Kidnapping Peach is just something Bowser does, for no other reason than… well, because it’s something he does.

Above: A rather transparent attempt to stay relevant by raising the stakes

It’s like a game they play, with Bowser always acting as Bluto to Mario’s Popeye. Bowser sets up a vast obstacle course and steals the girl, Mario destroys it all and steals her back, and then they all get together again and do the same thing a week later. Life must be awfully boring in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Speaking of games, the three seem to get together to play them on more or less friendly terms more often than not. In fact, the volume of games in which Mario and Bowser are friendly competitors now outweighs the ones in which they’re archenemies by a pretty hefty margin, with the various Mario Kart, Party and sports games easily outnumbering the 11 or so “main” Mario titles.

Of course, you don’t need to like someone to play sports against them. But Bowser’s actually partnered with Mario and Luigi more than a few times, declaring one hasty cease-fire after another in nearly every Mario RPG. As soon as it looks like some common enemy might jeopardize their regular kidnap-and-rescue habits, Bowser immediately turns to his “worst enemies,” Mario and Luigi, for help. You can shrug it off as an attempt to take advantage of the heroes’ basic goodness, but we like to think that when the chips are down, Bowser grudgingly admits – to himself, if nobody else – that all the fighting’s just for show, and that it’s time to give his oldest friends a hand.


Top 7


  • 510BrotherPanda - September 19, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    Keep up the great work, Mikel; your Top 7's for the past couple of weeks have been pretty stellar. Which on was the one that got Brett's input, like you mentioned on TR?
  • UsernameLoser - September 19, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    No First, good.
  • 510BrotherPanda - September 19, 2011 8:58 p.m.

    I'm not that kind of GR user...besides, Mikel's articles are what attracted me to this site, and subsequently, TalkRadar.
  • Corsair89 - September 19, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    The Ace Attorney series was always really good at giving they're characters personality and Edgeworth is far and away the best. So Capcom, for the love of God, LOCALIZE ACE ATTORNEY INVESTIGATIONS 2!!!!!!
  • garnsr - September 19, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    It's 6:00 here in Hawaii, meaning it's way too late to be posting Top 7's in California. I was pretty sure Carmelita Fox would be here. She might lean more into the outright enemy category, but she does work with Sly every game, I believe, and she certainly feels like a frenemy.
  • Asloveszuko - September 20, 2011 5:33 a.m.

    Very true, I didn't even think about her, shes a great frenemy!
  • festerblatz82 - September 19, 2011 9:29 p.m.

    Splendidly written.
  • LiaraLoveSlave - September 19, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    Excellent work as usual Mr. Reparaz, can't wait to listen to the breakdown on the official podcast of the internets. Also, using Hurly Gloves for a classic Mario-toss attack FTW!
  • GameManiac - September 19, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    Well, now I see why the Metal Gear franchise is M-rated... As well as a better understanding of Wolf and Edgeworth.
  • AuthorityFigure - September 20, 2011 12:22 a.m.

    Gay Fox enjoys Solid Snakes.
  • taokaka - September 20, 2011 12:42 a.m.

    I can think of a couple of people that deserve honourable mentions but great list and Edgeworth was a total dick at the start of ace attorney and by the end he was a lovable dick.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - September 20, 2011 12:43 a.m.

    What about your rival in pokemon, I know you can choose his name but that wouldn't stop him being be my number one pick. Great list as always Mikel
  • tareq - September 20, 2011 1:24 a.m.

    F-cking Ninja in Peace Walker was a b-tch. Especially cause I decided I had to do the entire game without killing anyone Still it remains among my favorite MGS games
  • tareq - September 20, 2011 1:25 a.m.

    Woops meant Portable Ops
  • CombatCat120 - September 20, 2011 11 p.m.

    Gray Fox from Portable Ops wasn't that hard. I managed to tranquilise him by studying his patterns.
  • tareq - September 21, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    That motherf-cker just dodged everything I fired at him
  • PanaMusica - September 20, 2011 1:59 a.m.

    spudnut shop FTW #offtopic
  • Mezolitik - September 20, 2011 4:39 a.m.

    Frenemies are always more interesting than heroes. I love Catwoman in her comic book appearances, and she looks awesome in Arkham City. Ada Wong tops the list for me though. She was just incredible. I always felt bad for Krauser though. It always felt like he was being 'played' by the bad guys.
  • shawksta - September 20, 2011 5:20 a.m.

    Another awesome Top 7 article by Mikel, reallt detailed. Heavily agree on all this, Edgeworth was a douche dick, now he's lovable, but still a dick. Beside the spin offs of Mario and Bowser being together, the real games really capture his awesomeness in both villain and helper. Mario RPG, Bowsers inside story and Super PM has him helping but also points out that its because, "I am the only villain here, MEEEEE!" He even says something in Galaxy 2 about you being his best rival, actually complimenting you, and that ending where he just gives up and falls is freakin epic.
  • Asloveszuko - September 20, 2011 5:34 a.m.

    Great Top 7!

Showing 1-20 of 41 comments

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


Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.