The Top 7... evil corporations

Shinra Electric Power Company %26ndash; Final Fantasy VII

A brief history of the company:

Once a small weapons manufacturer, Shinra was launched into the status of Mega Corp. after the discovery of mako energy – a glowing green power harvested from the lifestream, a river of souls flowing through veins under the crust of the planet Gaia. Needless to say, harvesting mako energy is not an eco-friendly process.

Shinra’s mako power generation was so profitable the company grew into an interim government, in place of any actual government, which didn’t seem to show any signs of ever having existed. They also branched out from small weapons manufacturing – though never far from their core values of violence – and began exploring the fields of city-mounted cannons, bio-engineered super-soldiers and public safety through fear and strict regulation.

Why it’s eviler than your company:

A big guy named President Shinra was the first head of the Shinra Company, but was succeeded by his son, Rufus Shinra, who – probably because the story was already confusing enough – is never referred to as President Shinra.

The first president used mostly puppies, unlimited snacks, free t-shirts and other rewards for good behavior to keep the public happy and complacent under his authoritarian pseudo-government. But when Rufus took over, he decided to cut down on monthly overhead by using a secret police force, an actual police force and, of course, robots to keep the everyone under his control.

Their private security force combined with their policy of sucking out the lifeforce of the planet to harvest and sell to the general public makes Shinra one of the worst companies to work for. We’re also reasonably sure they only paid their soldiers minimum wage.

Black Mesa Research Facility %26ndash; Half-Life and Half-Life 2

A brief history of the company:

The main Black Mesa facility was built into a decommissioned missile silo in New Mexico, though it was expanded approximately twenty-billion percent because doing science takes more space than storing missiles. The subterranean labyrinth’s rent gets paid by the US government, which funds the research facility (with possible help from trans-dimensional creatures).

Transit around the subterranean facility was available via its own tram system and power was provided by its own hydraulic dam power plant, before the facility was destroyed by aliens. Interoffice railways and off-the-grid power mark Black Mesa as one of the more secretive government science facilities – they make it so nobody ever has to leave. What we’re trying to get at is that Black Mesa is too mysterious for us to know where it came from.

Why it’s eviler than your company:

Like modern day witches, Black Mesa research went into areas mortal man has no business being (except with science, not magic). There’s been evidence of their dabbling in experimental weapons, anti-gravity devices, teleportation, inter-dimensional travel and no evidence of their consorting with the devil, black cat breeding program or stem-cell research, but we’re sure they did those too.

Their meddling in affairs best left to God was all going well, until one day, during a run-of-the-mill “tossing anomalous material into the anti-mass spectrometer to see what happens” experiment, Black Mesa researchers crossed our dimension with Xen, a world existing in a dimension bordering ours. If Xen had been filled with hundred-dollar bills and marshmallows it would have landed them in our Top 7… Awesomest Companies, but it wasn’t. The dimension mix-up allowed a group of alien overlords known as the Combine to enslave mankind, which is a pretty lame thing to do.