Gaming’s least hard hard-men

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: The pinnacle of 64 bit hard asses

Nintendo might class him as the King of the Koopas, but he’s closer to a T-Rex than a turtle in our eyes. With Razor-sharp claws and teeth that could turn Toad into mushroom stroganoff, he should be more than a match for any plumber. He’s also the king of kidnapping and would easily top the FBI’s most wanted list for the number of times he’s snatched Peach from her home.

Why he’s not hard at all

Seriously, how weak do you have to be to get beaten by a five foot tradesman when you’re a towering monster? Bowser’s been beaten by Mazza everywhere; in the Mushroom Kingdom, in space and even in a giant floating bath tub. Bowser, you’re as hard as a soggy origami swan.

Not as hard as… Kamek

Now this guy is one vicious bastard. Not only does Kamek have access to all sorts of black magic, but he’s a ruthless decision maker. He kidnaps Mario and Luigi when they’re still in nappies because he foresees the trouble they’ll cause in the future. And anyone willing to kidnap tiny children for the good of evil is definitely hard.

Above: Giving the Bob a beating

Why you’d think he’s a hard man

Above: So hard, he could melt your face off. Apparently

The greatest hero the galaxy has ever seen, Copernicus Leslie Qwark is more heroic than Luke Skywalker, more daring than Evil Knievel, with granite-like unshakable toughness. Self-described ‘abs of iron’, a jaw line as solid as the pyramids and supposedly unmatched strength; cartoon alien evil stands no chance against this intergalactic hard case.

Why he’s not hard at all

An inept coward whose only allegiance is to fame and wealth, he shows his true colours when real danger rears its head. His cowardice is only trumped by his patheticness and no one who gets constantly rescued by a space marsupial and tiny tin man could ever be considered hard.

Not as hard as… Clank

Who knew a vertically-challenged, well-spoken metal man could be such a tough hombre. Clank’s saved the galaxy several times, killed more aliens than Master Chief and somehow always has time for a colourful and witty quip. When you’ve, literally, got guts of steel, size can’t stop you from being hard defined.

Above: Now that's a real man

David Meikleham
Google AMP Stories Editor

David has worked for Future under many guises, including for GamesRadar+ and the Official Xbox Magazine. He is currently the Google Stories Editor for GamesRadar and PC Gamer, which sees him making daily video Stories content for both websites. David also regularly writes features, guides, and reviews for both brands too.