The Top 7… Evil clones

2. Liquid and Solidus Snake

From: Metal Gear Solid

As evil clones go, the ones that threaten the world with thermonuclear war and eradication rank as some of the worst. Don’t let the confusing minutiae of which organization sent Who to kill Whom distract you. Dig deep into the squirming, pulsing, fluid-spouting, piping-hot core of Metal Gear Solid, and you’ll find a simple narrative thread: your twin brothers got into Dad’s drawer, found his loaded .45, and they’re waving it around the house with the safety turned off.

Forget the Batman villains. Forget the Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Di-Do. Forget the unsubtle references to colonoscopy and Titanic. Just focus on how awful Liquid and Solidus are. Liquid (and his apparent crony Ocelot) gave you carpal tunnel from jamming on the Circle button long before you ever got near a desk job. Solidus is the core participant in a video game trolling that still has yet to be surpassed after a decade.

And if you’re British, we hope you can appreciate that while you had to deal with yet another “we’re the villians” trope in MGS, having your elected leader be the jerk who tries to destroy your homeland is arguably worse. Especially after you’ve had to give a giant tank a proctology exam. These are horrible, horrible people, and they came from the same petri dish as Snake.

1. Dark Link

From: The Legend of Zelda series

First appearing as the final boss in Zelda II, Dark Link (or Shadow Link, as he was originally introduced) is the quintessential dark clone distilled to its purist form. We tend to take for granted that Link has the ability to eventually subdue the ever reappearing evildoer Ganon – the hero always wins, after all – but Dark Link is a different kind of enemy. He's undeniably Link's true equal, perfectly matched and mirrored in every way. 

Even with a ridiculously exploitable weakness in Zelda II (he's totally vulnerable whilst jumping), Dark Link has gone on to appear multiple times within the Zelda series and has become a huge fan-favorite as a recurring enemy. Most famously, his appearance as miniboss in the Water Temple of Ocarina of Time is memorable as a particularly tough fight within a notoriously difficult dungeon.

As the genesis for the dark counterpart archetype in gaming, Dark Link also inspired NegaScott from the Scott Pilgrim series, which highlights the psychological aspect of confronting your evil self. Indeed, Dark Link serves as a reminder not just to Scott Pilgrim but to all videogame lovers that  even the most noble and courageous among us still has a shadow lurking somewhere within.


  • alex-odell - January 15, 2012 1:13 a.m.

    As soon as I saw this article I was thinking that Dark Link would be in here and I was right
  • Darkwun - January 11, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    Weird thing \bout when i faced Dark Link a second time was, i did th dungeons out of synch. I got what i needed from half completed dungeons to open the next one and just went and completed it in whatever order i liked. By time I faced Dark link all i did was literally thrustattack every single time and he ran into my sword! i have no idea if the two incidents are causal or correlative, but was a pretty anticlimactic fight either way! I struggled with him like hell thefirst time I played, it was the only time I struggled in a fight in the game!
  • Darkwun - January 11, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    I gotta add my retro throwback addition of Evil Adam from Body Harvest. The guy was a constant pain in the ass, and I only ever completed that game and defeated the bastard because of a glitch where I could shoot his mutated form from safety where he wouldn't attack me!
  • archnite - January 10, 2012 7:06 p.m.

    This is one of those lists that's kinda obvious going in but it was still pretty fun. And if Vader had an EViL clone the whole time why did he make a good one? LA Le Lu Le Lol.
  • rob619 - January 10, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    Metal Gear solid series, the home of tuff ass clones!
  • rocco-lawson-angelastro - January 10, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    wtf wheres kitana and mileena from mortal kombat
  • Asloveszuko - January 10, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    Maybe it's just me, but I didn't really care for the Dark Prince. He was annoyingly snarky. BUT I think the reason I really didn't like him was the fact that he slowly drained your life bar so you only had so much time to get to water, and if your health bar wasn't full or if you got hit by an enemy, you were screwed. Very annoying. His moves were awesome, and I loved swinging around with the chain, but you couldn't enjoy it becuase you had to worry about the stupid time limit!
  • deedob - January 10, 2012 4:45 a.m.

    Evil Lara came from the very first Tomb Raider (where she was also mute)... which is one of the reasons why they took the time to release Anniversary before doing Underworld, the direct sequel of Legends, which ended in a cliffhanger. Anniversary having been released just a year before Underworld, you'd think they didn't need a reason to explain for the third time where the clone came from...
  • deedob - January 10, 2012 4:41 a.m.

    Evil Lara clone is unexplained? The entire thing comes from the very first Tomb Raider. She comes from an Atlantean device in the last few levels where the clone merely acted as a puzzle. They revived the idea of the clone that was left over from that adventure, along with the villain from the same adventure: Natla. Ever wonder why they took the time to rerelease the original game (anniversay) instead of going straight to the sequel of Legends which ended in a cliffhanger? In case it's not obvious: it was to reintroduce Natla AND the clone technology.
  • thatgurl - January 10, 2012 1:35 a.m.

    " Most famously, his appearance as miniboss in the Water Temple of Ocarina of Time is memorable as a particularly tough fight within a notoriously difficult dungeon." Am I the only one who didn't the Water Temple wasn't hard, just tedious? And I'm speaking of the N64 version too.
  • pr0tostar - January 10, 2012 2:10 a.m.

    Alot of people had no idea how to get the key under the temple's central tower, and guessing from the map, would spend hours trying to find a way into a seemingly unaccessable room in the floor below it. Also supposedly there was a way to screw up the order of collecting the keys to where you couldn't progress, but it never happened to me. ....It was a hard dungeon.
  • 435 - January 10, 2012 12:44 a.m.

    Force Unleashed II gets such crap, but it is a fun and competent game. Short as hell, not worth sixty, but for twenty it's a good romp. And it's still a fxckton better than anything Lucas wrote.
  • quincytheodore - January 9, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    Liquid snake... Spoiler, for a game from fifteen years ago. Oh, I remember MGS1: Fell from Hind, got mangled in REX, fell from REX, crashed and burned, still alive. Then he got SARS or something. But that's not over, his arm got planted in Nero.. I mean Ocelot. Then... I don't know, haven't played MGS4... "runs away"
  • slimjim441 - January 9, 2012 11:35 p.m.

    Play MGS4. Now.
  • pr0tostar - January 10, 2012 2:15 a.m.

    15 years now... god I feel old. I have the original case sitting right here on my desk^^
  • Thequestion 121 - January 9, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    Great Top 7 article and I always find evil clones cool
  • clint-welding - January 9, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    awe.... no Metal Sonic?
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 9, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    Cool article; very original idea. Funny that half the list consists of Nintendo characters. Although he's not technically a clone, the scene in Max Payne in which Max fights Max (during the nightmare section) was pretty cool, and a neat twist on an already messed up portion of the game.
  • shawksta - January 9, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    Awesome list, agree with all entries! Cosmic Mario seems to be popping up, his giant self is a MAJOR pain in the ass in those levels, we probably will see it again, but then again, Metal Mario Randomly popped out of freakin nowhere in MK7 and became his own so who knows.

Showing 1-20 of 55 comments

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