Haters, they're gonna
Let's partake in a thought experiment: I want you to picture a video game character you hate. Not like, a boss that's hard to beat--that's for another day--I mean a character you just can't stand. Got that character in your head? The one that's a blemish on your favorite game, or the returning flaw in the franchise you love? The super annoying one. Great. Now, what if I was to tell you that you're wrong for hating that character. How would that make you feel?
Well, good news: unless you were picturing one of the seven in this article, I'm not going to be bursting any bubbles. If, by chance, you were thinking about one of the characters I listed, well, then yeah. I'm going to be telling you that you're wrong. Sorry. Look on the bright side--if all goes well, I'll be illuminating an opinion you might not have heard, and that's fun, right?
7. Tom Nook (Animal Crossing series)
When you arrive in Buttsville you've not a bell to your name, but by the time you're ready to turn in for the night there's a warm bed with your name on it. Who do you have to thank for that? Tom Nook, of course--Animal Crossing's resident entrepreneurial raccoon. And once you're able to pay him back for the home (which he doesn't charge interest, on, mind you), he offers to upgrade your house. And yet, despite that kindness, people have the audacity to call him a villain (including the people who write for GamesRadar, who put him on the 100 best villains of all time list).
At what point did an honest, hard-working small businessman become the enemy? What did he ever do to you? Tom Nook doesn't send his cronies to shoot your kneecaps with a slingshot if you fail to pay him back; he doesn't send you to live with the horse mackerel ("Holy mackerel!") if you skip out on the bill. Instead, he continues to sell you wallpaper and buy your fruit, because he's a good person. Err, raccoon. Whatever. He's good.
6. Dante (DmC: Devil May Cry)
When you first saw Dante's redesign in DmC: Devil May Cry, you hated him. He wasn't suave. He wasn't sexy. He looked more like one of Ramona Flowers' evil exes than a badass nephilim superstar. But then when you played the demo for DmC you still hated him. But! If you played the first few hours of the game alright, you'd still hate him. He wasn't very likable at first blush. He was rude. He was dumb. He was the stereotypical apathetic emo hipster.
So you might have stopped playing right then and there, but that'd have been a mistake. Thing is, all that apathy is build up for--wait for it--character development. In a video game. I know, I was surprised too. By the end of DmC, Dante's a likable character that grows and learns from his mistakes. He's actually well-developed and interesting, all because he started off as a foul-mouthed little jerk.
5. Baby Mario (Yoshi's Island/Story)
I read a lot of "most annoying video game characters" lists before writing this article, and I was shocked to see how many included Baby Mario. Basically an anthropomorphic health bar, Baby Mario rides atop Yoshi throughout all of the Yoshi's Island/Story games, and does so without making a peep. Ever meet a baby? They're fussy as hell, always grabbing your keys and slobbering all over the place. Baby Mario? A saint, in comparison. Well, except when he cries.
That's actually the reason he's on most lists--because he cries. Because a baby, who is being dragged around a scary world by a dinosaur, has the audacity to cry when he's BEING KIDNAPPED. Seriously, that's the only time he even makes a whimper, when monsters are in the process of stealing him. Listen, all I'm saying is that if I were a baby, I'd cry if Kamek was trying to kidnap me. I don't know what this creepy Magikoopa wants with me. I'm a fucking baby. I'm gonna cry.
4. Ashley Graham (Resident Evil 4)
I can't imagine that Ashley Graham expected to be kidnapped by cultists and brought to a strange, village full of zombies mumbling in Spanish. I mean, no one expects that to happen, but when you're the president's daughter you kind of think you're going to be protected from that sort of thing. But she wasn't--so she was whisked away and held captive until Leon Kennedy came to take part in one of gaming's longest escort quests.
And that's why she's hated: because you need to drag her around. But think back to your time with the game, did you really? I mean, she'd sometimes get attacked by a Los Plagas, but she usually gave you plenty of time to spin-kick the assailant before being dragged away. Plus, you could always tell her to hide in a box or a trashcan, and she always did so without a fight. That's a true friend. Plus, consider this: She's scared shitless and doesn't have a gun. Leon at least seems experienced in this sort of thing AND is good with a firearm. I'd say she handled everything quite well.
3. Waluigi (Mario Spin-offs)
Hate him all you want, he doesn't care. He gets it all the time. Such is the life of Waluigi, a character who was only invented because Wario needed a doubles partner in Mario Tennis. Everyone seems to have decided that Luigi's unfortunate-looking rival is worth despising. They laugh at his dumb name, his dumb face, and point out that Nintendo hasn't even bothered to give him his own game. Hell, they haven't even allowed him to star in a non spin-off. He's that friend you call when you need a +1, but never just to hang out.
But whenever he is in a game, he's actually pretty badass. He's one of the best characters in most Mario Sports games thanks to his lankiness, and he's usually assigned some weird term like "tricky" to describe his play style. Whenever he has a Mario Kart stage it's fantastic--seriously, Waluigi Pinball is an absolute delight. Maybe Nintendo hasn't put him in his own game because they're afraid he'll overshadow Mario--ever think of that?
2. Miles "Tails" Prower (Sonic the Hedgehog series)
Google "Tails is annoying" and you'll find a lot of really weird Sonic fanart--it's weird. But you'll also find countless forum posts wherein Sonic fans lambast Miles Prower, AKA "Tails." Why? Because he has an annoying voice. Because Sega has made him "too serious." Because he's the first in a long line of side characters that eventually bogged down and overcomplicated the Sonic franchise. First... he's named "Tails?" The fact that he has two tails instead of one is basically a birth defect. Calling him Tails is like calling someone born with one leg "Hops." Anyway, yeah, he might have been a harbinger of doom for the Sonic franchise, but that's not entirely his fault. The only reason Sega continued to pile additional creatures (including the scandalously sexy Rogue) was because everyone liked Tails. So back off, alright? It's our fault, not his.
1. Navi (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Yeah--wai--no I know. "Hey, listen! Hey, listen! Hey listen!" I get it. I played Ocarina of Time, too. Navi said that a few times and if you ignored it, she'd say it a bunch more. But when you take a step back and appreciate the whole story, you realize that Navi's actually getting the short end of the stick in that relationship. She might have said that thing that people got annoyed by a few too many times, but it was all in the interest of trying to guide a lazy, mute idiot to save the world.
Link is basically worthless without Navi in Ocarina of Time. When she arrives at his home she finds a slovenly sack who can't be bothered to roll out of bed, even when the TREE THAT SATIATES THE LIFE OF HIS VILLAGE IS DYING. Yeah, know what? I'd say that's worth a "Hey, listen!" And the fact that he doesn't know how to do basic tasks like, I don't know, look up at someone sitting on a balcony? That's "Hey, listen!"-worthy. Shit, I might say it's worth two.
And if you're looking for more grievances, check out 9 crazy overpowered RPG bosses that (almost) made us rage quit and 8 tired boss fight tropes that need to die.