From: Oddworld series
Why he shouldn't be a badass: He's a goggle-eyed fish freak that sounds like a mutant duck and laughs at farts. He couldn't be less daunting if he wore a pink leotard and demanded everybody call him Shirley Vaginahair. This stitch-mouthed, loincloth-adorned, sausage-fingered beast should be taken seriously by nobody, ever.
Why he IS a badass: He looks like that, has very limited fighting prowess and no real weaponry to speak of ... yet he still went toe-to-toe with an all-powerful, militarized corporation on more than one occasion and came out on top. He's faced machinegun-toting Sligs, outsmarted a range of vicious predatory animals, and harnessed the power of ancient spirits, all though luck and dedication to his cause.
They say that to act brave while feeling afraid is the mark of true courage. If so, there are few more courageous than Abe.
From: Golden Axe
Why he shouldn't be a badass: Oh, where to start, where to start? Perhaps it's the salmon-pink armor that does it? Maybe it's his "Golden" axe looking more like a caramel novelty item than a serious weapon of war? Oh wait, I think I'll go for the clincher -- he's a huge naked dude in thigh-high boots and did I mention how naked he is? What little armor he does wear is so spiky, shiny and suggestively placed that it serves only to enhance his nudity, rather than obscure it. He's a greased, musclebound, fetishistic nightmare on legs, and if Clive Barker had sex with a corporeal amalgamation of every gay stereotype on the planet, Death Adder would be the resulting product of their forbidden union.
Why he IS a badass: Death Adder is a beneficiary of what I call "The Right Said Fred Factor." For those who don't know, Right Said Fred composed the hit song, "I'm Too Sexy," and they look like this:
Now, here's the thing with Right Said Fred: they are unequivocally camp and silly, yet I would not ever, ever want to get into a fight with them, because they look like they could kick my ass without breaking a sweat. To look so outrageously, flamboyantly "gay," yet also appear so intimidating that nobody would DARE utter a homophobic sentiment in your presence, is the essence of true badassery. This is Death Adder's talent, also. Yes, he has a thing for shiny pink pauldrons and shaves his exquisitely toned chest so that we can see every glistening pore, but he's also quite capable of ripping your head off and shitting down your neck with such triumphant force that his shit will tear through your own anus and you'll be forced to defecate somebody else's shit almost as fast as it's being fed to you. He definitely does that!
From: Kirby series
Why he shouldn't be a badass: He's a little blue ball with stubby cartoon feet. That's not exactly frightening, is it? Meta Knight has a pretty impressive mask, but under that mask is a pair of little yellow dot-eyes, because he’s basically just a recolored Kirby. He's an adorable little blue puffball, and he actually looks cuter when he's trying to be all moody and grumpy. I want to just cuddle him forever. That is, until I remember what he's like under all the cutesie-pooness...
Why he IS a badass: Anybody who can make you FORGET that he's an adorable little blue puffball is somebody worth taking seriously, and Meta Knight does exactly that. Thanks to his brooding, serious attitude and his lavish taste in imposing capes, Meta Knight has created a beautiful illusion of something incredibly threatening, despite being a spherical bundle of delight.
Above: Also, he flies around in a giant battleship built to look like HIS FACE
When Meta Knight appears on the scene, you know it's about to get serious, and he encourages this through sheer force of charisma while working with what little he has to look as dignified as possible. Never before has being round and adorable been so damn awe-inspiring.