Double, double, toil and trouble
What would Halloween be without witches? They're some of the most iconic figures of All Hallows' Eve, all dressed in black, cackling, and accompanied by some kind of black moggy. They capture the imagination with their wicked ways, so it's no surprise that they've spirited their way into a wide variety of video games. For no other reason than 'Halloween' I've gathered some of the most iconic game witches to face judgment Remember kids, if they sink to the bottom they're innocent. If they float, they're a witch, and must be burned at the stake. Or is that Pokemon? I forget now.
Admittedly, this whole feature is kinda the set-up for a slightly underwhelming joke in the last slide, but I figure I can probably get away with it.
Gruntilda (Banjo Kazooie)
Let's start out strong, shall we? Witches don't get much witchier than Gruntilda Winkybunion (or Grunty, for short), the main antagonist in the Banjo Kazooie series. She zips around on a broomstick, she has a wide array of spells, she has a green face. Tick, tick, tick. In the original game, her motives are pretty witchy too: drain Tooty's youth and beauty to become young and beautiful herself. Still, do we really want to condemn her for trying to live up to the expectations of our image-obsessed society? Yeah, fuck it, let's burn her in the village square.
How witchy? She was the February cover star of Which Witch magazine, so she gets 4.5 facial warts out of a possible 5.
The Witch (Left 4 Dead)
It feels like the Left 4 Dead survivors kind of phoned it in on this one, because there isn't much about the Witch that feels especially witchy. She spends far more time crying in the corner than she does eating children, and her lack of black magic skill leaves something to be desired. But she does have the hideous hag look going on (even if the rest of her looks young, her face says otherwise) and is appropriately weak against fire, so might as well burn her while the coals are hot.
How Witchy? She's really more of a witch-wannabe, but her willingness to destroy anyone who upsets her means the Witch gets points for effort. 2.5/5 facial warts.
Because the internet loves to categorise things, Bayonetta is listed as a 'Hot Witch' by sites like TV Tropes. And that makes her something of a wildcard. Doesn't have a hideous green face, doesn't ride a broom (she prefers to rodeo giant clocks. CLOCKS. With an 'L'. Grow up.), and doesn't really cackle with glee. Still, she's handy with magic, and does manage to rock a Halloweeny vibe with all that tight-leather, and those high-heels. A modern witch, for all your teenage, modern-witch fantasies. Still, we should probably burn her to be on the safe-side.
How witchy? Depends what you want from your witch. If you're a traditionalist, Bayonetta falls flat, but modern witch-fanciers will find something to enjoy here: 2.5 / 5 facial warts.
Jessica (Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King)
In internet parlance, Jessica is a 'Cute Witch'. I'm assured this is purely based on character design, and that most people are uncomfortable about sexualising a 17-year-old cartoon witch. Publicly, anyway. She's a dab-hand with offensive spells, loves to use a whip, and has 'visions of the future'. All very witchy. Technically, she's never listed as a witch in the game, but--mark my words--if she was in a Hammer horror film, the non-speaking extras would be toasting marshmallows on her terrifyingly-ample bosom within minutes.
How Witchy? Loses points for never being technically referred to as a witch, but scores good marks for spellcraft. 3 / 5 facial warts.
Top tip: Never, EVER, Google 'Jessica from Dragon Quest'. Unless you're a fan of horrifying, mind-bending fan-art, and questionable Cosplay.
Ultimecia (Final Fantasy 8)
The main villain in Final Fantasy 8, Ultimecia actually refers to herself as a sorceress. Ooh, posh. Big on magic and evil laughs, not-so-big on wearing loads of clothes, Ultimecia aspires to become a living god and enslave the world. Admirable. I wanted to be an archeologist when I was younger, mainly because I wasn't clear on the career path for 'living god'. Plus, I hear you need crazy grades for that kind of job. Anyway, out of jealousy, I've already gathered an angry hate mob to ensure Ultimecia gets thoroughly burned.
How Witchy? Not a trad-witch by any means, but her motives are pure evil and she's a dab-hand with the dark arts. 3 / 5 facial warts.
Metallia (The Witch and the Hundred Knight)
Metallia straddles the line between Cute Witch and Hot Witch, proving she just wants to watch the world burn. Or not burn, specifically, but wallow in a disgusting mire, since her plan is turn all of creation into a nasty swamp. That seems pretty dang witchy, and she complements her evil intent with cauldrons full of magic goop, intricate spellcrafting, minions of darkness that do her bidding, and that on-point hat. You'd almost think she's compensating for something, trying that hard. But still, better fire up the kindling.
How Witchy? She's not a witch straight out of a children's book (not nearly enough clothes or facial quirks), but maybe an imaginative Young Adult novel. 4/5 facial warts.
Mizrabel (Castle of Illusion)
A witch ripped straight out of the Disney mould (because this is a Disney game, folks), Mizrabel is the sour-faced hag who gives Mickey Mouse a rough ride in Castle of Illusion on Mega Drive / Genesis. And again in Epic Mickey. In Illusion, she kidnaps Minnie for no real reason, and forces Mickey to bum-jump his way through her fantastical castle to reunite with his lady. In Epic Mickey, she kidnaps several Disney characters to help her escape the wasteland (where she is banished for being a forgotten character in Castle of Illusion). Confused? Me too. Angry? Why not. Burn her!
How witchy? Damn witchy, for sure, but I'm going to deduct a point for the fact she's seen as a 'forgotten character'. 4/5 facial warts.
Baba Yaga (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow)
In Slavic lore, Baba Yaga is a witch known for eating children and living in a house built on chicken legs. So, if anything, we get a toned-down version of her in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Let's assess her witchyness. Lives in a place called Woes Moor? Check. Is small and warty? Check. Fills her house with hippy crap like dream-catchers and the bones of dead rodents? Check. Shrinks Gabriel to the size of a pea and pops him inside a magic music box? That's some creative witchcraft right there. Fetch the ducking stool, chaps!
How witchy? Pretty sure that if Shakespeare was still alive, he'd use Baba Yaga as the inspiration for Macbeth 2: McDuff's Rage. 4.5 / 5 facial warts.
Alicia (Bullet Witch)
Obvious symbolism ahoy! Alicia is the protagonist in the painfully average Bullet Witch, released on Xbox 360 back in 2006. She's another 'Hot Witch', and actually appeared before the more iconic Bayonetta. Anyway, here's the symbolism bit. She uses a weapon called 'Gunrod', which she rides like a broomstick after using it to blow away legions of earth-bothering demons. Um... Anyway, with all her feminine wiles, she'll have every man in the village under her spell in days. Burn her!
How Witchy? Not very witchy at all, despite being this game's titular 'Bullet Witch'. She's more like a moody goth with a phallic accessory. 1.5 / 5 facial warts.