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There are some undeniable badasses in the world, kicking butt in the baddest and assest of ways. Take Final Fantasy X's Auron, for example: a smooth-talking, shades-wearing, longcoat-rocking snarker who can wield a huge sword with his one good arm. He is a badass, and nobody can deny it. With that perfect storm of cool, he has nothing to worry about.
Above: Nobody questions this man's badass credentials, ever
Some characters aren't quite so fortunate. They might not have the stylish clothes, the husky voice or tough, asskicking grit of a badass, lacking even the basic swagger found in an Auron, a Master Chief or even a Kratos. With poor dress sense, bad attitudes and physical imperfections, these characters are doomed to a life without badassery ... or are they?
Perhaps not. There are some characters who struggle through their myriad flaws to become something more, something better. Something truly badass. They don't look like they should be, but they most certainly are.
From: Legend of Zelda series
Why he shouldn't be a badass: Ganondorf is the kind of guy who would get picked on in high school -- if you ignored the fact that he's almost invincible and wields tremendous sorcerous power. He's cursed with a massive nose and ginger hair, two physical afflictions that remain prime prickings for schoolyard bullies. It doesn't help that the aforementioned hair also seems to be receding, and growing that beard in Wind Waker did NOT deflect that fact.
Then, of course, we have the hideous complexion. Badasses don't have green skin. Only witches have green skin, and his giant snorter compounds the stereotype. One can only assume that years of being called Ginger Witchy Poo in school is what set him on his dark path of conquest.
Why he IS a badass: As stated a moment ago, one can only assume he was bullied if one does not factor in that he's a near-unstoppable force of magical devastation. Not to mention Ganondorf has never let his looks affect his self-esteem. Throughout his appearances in the Zelda series, he’s always been a confident, smooth talking, self-assured kind of guy, and having the right attitude is nine tenths of the law. Ganondorf is so powerful, and so secure about it, that it doesn't matter whether he looks like Carrot Top with food poisoning.
He's a smooth operator and a surprisingly charming character to boot. His looks actually cement his badassery, because anybody who looks like that and still has the balls to go up against an entire kingdom on his lonesome is undoubtedly The Man.
From: Final Fantasy IX
Why he shouldn't be a badass: From the outset, Steiner is portrayed in Final Fantasy IX as an oblivious idiot. His gullibility and unflinching loyalty to a monarch who has clearly gone bad sets him up as a foil to protagonist Zidane and consistent comic relief. He also looks like Eddie Izzard in a tin can. Then we have the fact that he wears armored shorts and a feathered metal farmer's hat. It's like a kid's fancy dress costume as opposed to an actual suit of full plate armor. What a chump.
Why he IS a badass: Steiner might be an imbecile, and he might dress like a ninny, but when it comes to bravery and dependability, there's nobody better. Steiner is a badass because, even if he accidentally picks the wrong side, his determination and sheer, unfettered grit just has to be respected. He doesn't let little things like slavering monsters, overwhelming odds or blatant facts deter him from his mission.
Oh, and when it comes to using him in the game, he's the hardest damn hitter of the lot and can take as much as he dishes out. He's an invaluable soldier, a courageous fighter, and that is why he's a guy to look up to, no matter how ludicrous he is.
Also, DAT EYELINER!