A baker's dozen of gaming's hungriest bastards

Food: It’s delicious. Even virtual food that’s broiled, braised, or baked in the polygonal pots of our favorite virtual worlds can be immensely satisfying, particularly if you’re a tiny being made out of code. And just as in the real world, some characters view food as a necessary distraction and others pursue it with a zealous passion that inevitably grows to define them. So let them eat cake (or jelly beans, or fried chicken, or… ghosts … it’s time we gave back to our favorite pixelated gluttons.

Slimer (Ghostbusters: The Video Game)

Most ghosts are all about scaring humans. Slimer’s more interested in stealing their lunches. As an ectoplasmic blob with no legs and a John Goodman level of additional chins, Slimer (like countless zombies before him) proves that even death isn’t a functional fad diet. Slimer will swallow damn near anything he can get between his slavering green jaws, and usually does. A bottle of fine Aubert 2005 Lauren Chardonnay? Absolutely. Crumpled license plate? Delicious. While a proton pack might be enough to wrangle most ghosts, the only way to slow down Slimer’s insatiable desire to gorge is that dark, hideous nemesis of all good gluttons: broccoli, his “worst enemy”.

Above: Don’t give me that accusing look, table: you’re next

Kirby (Kirby%26rsquo;s Dream Land, more)

Not all our videogame icons are so secure with their gluttony, however. The world’s cutest bulimic, Kirby has a penchant for inhaling enemies, processing them in the mysterious furnace of his belly, and then regurgitating them as stars, setting a wonderful example for children who are self-conscious about their weight and want to decorate their rooms. Following the logic that video-games encourage violence, shouldn’t children everywhere be devouring bullies whole and vomiting their remains onto other bullies?

Above: Hi Kirby! My name is Jack ThompsoooooouugghhhohGodNoooo…

Blobert (A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia)

Quite the opposite of Kirby’s pro-bulimic adventures, Blob teaches us that stuffing ourselves with sweets can be a useful, and fun adventure! Proving that fatty, shapeless masses can still be absolutely adorable, blob fires down jelly beans to transform itself into helpful tools like a ladder or a hummingbird - just like in real life, kids! The message gets a little confused at the end of Trouble on Blobolonia, when the player has to defeat the Emperor with vitamins (apparently the Emperor’s sweet tooth has become so overpowering that vitamins are poisonous to him). We’ll give the developers the benefit of the doubt, and assume they’re implying that sweets are only good in moderation and… evil people… die from eating vitamins… so… be good?

Whatever. Blob is adorable.

Above: Fat-capable since 1989

Wart (Super Mario Bros 2)

A hippie’s worst nightmare, Wart is a vegetable-hating, trippy looking frog king that kidnaps children and haunts the land of dreams. Though his allergy to health food is legendary, Wart’s impressive physique proves that he’s not above eating anything (or anyone) else, potentially even children’s bubble mix.

Above: Proving that being fat takes intense concentration

Yoshi (Super Mario World, more)

Now we’re talking. A glutton with no remorse, Yoshi is happy to gobble up fruit, sentient mushrooms, or even giant fucking cannon shells without a hint of regret. Just as happily, he’ll churn them up in his cute little green belly, add whatever hellish solution is abrew in there, and spit them back out as hot fire to annihilate the foes of the chubby plumber who repeatedly frees and mounts him. Occasionally if he’s deprived of that sweet release, he has no qualms against blasting out some earth-rumbling gas and getting right back aboard the feasting train.

Above: Also handy on those long, cold Mushroom Kingdom nights

Fat Carl Johnson from San Andreas (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

Carjacking. Murdering. Enjoying some “hot coffee”. There are almost infinite ways to work up a monster appetite in San Andreas, but our fat Carl Johnson didn’t need any of them. Food was its own inspiration. Sure, he could go to the gym, bang some weights, bicycle around like a fool. But, hell, a couple extra layers of fat are just nature’s flak jacket, right? Why rely on bulky equipment to catch the 5-0’s bullets when nature provides a solution by way of good old, American belly rolls? A quick stop (or fifty) at the local Burger Shot or Cluckin’ Bell and you’ll never have to worry about all that heavy Kevlar again.

Above: We don’t mind the extra pounds, Carl. There’s more of you to love

Alan Bradley

Alan Bradley was once a Hardware Writer for GamesRadar and PC Gamer, specialising in PC hardware. But, Alan is now a freelance journalist. He has bylines at Rolling Stone, Gamasutra, Variety, and more.