The Top 7… Unlikeliest badasses in gaming

2. Pyramid Head

From: Silent Hill 2

Why he shouldn't be a badass: Toblerone Head. That's what I've heard him called before, and it's true. He walks around with a gigantic pointy beak for a face, and it really is quite silly. On paper, the idea of being approached by a red triangle in a butcher's smock isn't scary at all. The very concept of Pyramid Head, and even the fact that he's called Pyramid Head, is a big joke. It's also stunningly impractical. One strong gust of wind ought to knock that top-heavy abomination right on his ass, and there's no way he's fitting through any reasonably sized door. What an idiot.

Why he IS a badass: Silliness can be disarmingly effective as a horror tool. One movie I adore is Jacob's Ladder, because it demonstrates this principal perfectly. The monstrous creatures seen in that movie are, when you truly look at them, a bit stupid. Twitching, buck-toothed cartoons that gibber in a way that ought not be even faintly alarming. And yet the silliness is so inhuman, so alien to our eyes, that it somehow crosses the joke border and comes back as something utterly abhorrent. This principal is in effect with Pyramid Head. Certainly, it's a silly thing to glance at, but it's also very weird on a level that we cannot relate to, and that's how it crosses the line from funny to disturbing.

Of course, it helps that Pyramid Head also carries a butcher's knife that's as big as a human man, and is such a boss that it sexually abuses other monsters. Yeah, that stuff definitely helps.

1. Travis Touchdown

From: No More Heroes

Why he shouldn't be a badass: Travis Touchdown was designed, ostensibly, to be like us. He's an otaku, a gamer, a sex-starved nerd. He's the geek in all of us, and he looks like the kind of douchebag you'd see in a non-mainstream coffee shop, typing really loudly on his Macbook so everybody knows that he's typing on a Macbook. His attempts to talk to women are pathetic, and he's a maladjusted little pervert. We should all hate him.

Why he IS a badass: We should hate him, but we can't. He might be a pitiful nerd, but he's also a psychotic, death-dealing assassin who kills people just to get laid. He fights with a beam katana that he shamelessly masturbates in order to energize, and he can turn people into streaming jets of blood with a flick of the wrist. His detestable attitude comes with an endearing amount of shamelessness, which makes him almost impossible to truly dislike. Besides which, we all wish we could carve up our opponents with electrified swords, but we never do because we're cowards.

Travis is living our dream, nutting up for all the shut-ins who wish they could be tough sumbitches, but never will be. He is us, but better, and that's why he is an amazing unlikely badass.

Oct 3, 2011

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Top 7


  • BertTheTurtle - October 10, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    Honestly, I thought Pyramid Head sounded kind of silly...until I saw him. Now I actually think he looks scary/intimidating.
  • Mezolitik - October 10, 2011 3 p.m.

    Jacob's Ladder! You're officially person three on my list of people who have seen that film. What about...Cidolfus Orlandeau? Old guy in a cloak. I didn't expect much from him in FF Tactics. Then he destroyed everything. Ever.
  • nyef - October 9, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    "Travis is living our dream, nutting up for all the shut-ins who wish they could be tough sumbitches, but never will be." ... my name is Travis :D best. article. ever
  • psycho ninja 4 - October 4, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    Wait, your saying Travis DOESN'T look like a badass.
  • codystovall - October 5, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    Hes a bit much.
  • Yeager1122 - October 4, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    Ganondorf will always be badass no matter what.
  • fadedlinevigil - October 4, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    Maijin Boo - the epitome.
  • taterboob - October 4, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Death Adder actually used to scare me back when Golden Axe was fairly new in the arcades. To be fair, I'm still a little scared of Right Said Fred.
  • Fuzunga - October 4, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    wtf is Jim doing here?
  • CitizenWolfie - October 4, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    I had never noticed that Right Said Fred could kick everyone's ass until I read this article *shivers* Ganondorf will always be badass. Even the skinny dude in the rubbish costume who played him in "There Will be Brawl" was made over 9000 times more badass by the sheer fact he was playing him.
  • CitizenWolfie - October 4, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    By the way, looking on a bigger monitor at work, Death Adder looks like he is wearing a golden breast plate armour as opposed to being bare chested...
  • Asloveszuko - October 4, 2011 6:22 a.m.

    I think Meta Knight's battleship should be added to Cundy's "Things in games that look a bit like penises" folder. Or maybe I'm the only one that sees a penis with bat wings.
  • ranzatsu - October 3, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    Steiner was always in my party. Sync him with Vivi and you get the best combo in the game. I mean...I didn't even need the new characters (excpet Freya and Quina). With Steiner around, I'm fine.
  • TheOracle8191 - October 3, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    It's Death=Adder guys.
  • rballa2 - October 3, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    Where is TalkRadar?
  • shawksta - October 3, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    It looks like you just chose a random thing about Ganon to think he's not badass, that was REALLY Weak, the only thing that should be talked about Ganon for not being one is ONLY his Pig form, especially the original. He is, and has been a badass. Everyone else, I agree, Metaknight was random but somehow became badass.
  • shawksta - October 3, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    *I meant Ganondorf, Ganon is monster, Ganondorf is human form
  • IceBlueKirby - October 3, 2011 7 p.m.

    I always thought Meta Knight was a badass because he always gave Kirby a sword and refused to fight until Kirby picked it up. So he was an honorable badass, basically, and it made me think he was totally awesome. Until I got good enough at Kirby's Adventure (back when I was young and still sucked at games for the most part) that I could kick his ass without taking a hit. Then Kirby became the badass.
  • n00b - October 3, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    metaknight is so badass that he was banned from ssbb
  • killorabbit - October 3, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    How about Gordon Freeman? He's a theoretical physicist whose fellow employees talk to him like a child. They also force him into an unstable test chamber while the equipment is 'going critical'. To top it off, he can be found overheating their lunches and running away. He then crowbars his way through an alien invasion, military cleanup operations, a zombie outbreak and a police state.

Showing 1-20 of 38 comments

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