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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