Gaming’s Mega Stars have been out there stomping on goombas, collecting rings and clearing up the messes from resonance cascades for many years now.
We have guided each of these heroes to beat the bad guys many times over, but a hero is only as good as their villain. The greatest heroes defined by the quality of their archenemy. Batman verses the Joker, Luke Skywalker verses Darth Vader, Harry Potter verses Voldemort.
Without a good villain to cause conflict, there wouldn’t be any motivation for heroes to go off and have the adventures we control them through. The spotlight is always on the goodie, so now it’s time to look at the nemeses of our favorite heroes from Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2020 and see what they have achieved from their dastardly ways. Because without them, we wouldn’t have the games.
Bowser is the undisputed king of villainy. He holds the record for being the most ubiquitous videogame villain, starring in 132 different games. Best known for instigating many of the Super Mario games by kidnapping Princess Peach, causing Mario to come to her aid. Though he’s also just as likely to be seen driving in Super Mario Kart, returning a serve in Mario Tennis or throwing his weight around in Super Smash Bros.
The fact that Mario could be hurling Bowser into lava one day and returning one of his serves the next, can lead us to question their relationship. Like they’re actually friends, where one just can’t help themselves but cause trouble and the other who just can’t help but forgive them just so they can play a set together at the weekend.
Frustrated by being considered only the second-best robotic genius compared to his old school friend Dr. Light, Dr. Wily decided to steal and reprogram his creations and turn their function towards world domination.
One of Dr. Light’s robots – which Wily saw no potential in – asked to be changed into a combat robot to stop Wily’s evil scheme, and Dr. Light transformed him into the super robot Mega Man. Dr. Wily appears as the main antagonist in all main series Mega Man games, from 1 to 11, and every time begs for mercy when he’s defeated. Dr. Light always hopes to reconcile with his old friend, but at the end of Mega Man 11 he solemnly admits “perhaps our gears will never mesh together”.
Dr Robotnik or Eggman
Whether you know Sonic the Hedgehog’s archrival as Dr Robotnik or Eggman depends on where you played the original game. The English instruction manual calls him “Doctor Ivo Robotnik”, while the Japanese version’s instruction manual for the same game called him “Doctor Eggman”.
His character design based on that of an egg so that he would be easier for fans to draw. With an IQ of 300 and a knack for robotics has led him to an obsession to cover the natural world with machines in order to create his ultimate “utopia”, the Eggman Empire (aka; the Robotnik Empire, Eggmanland, Robotnikland, or Robotropolis).
Thankfully Sonic is always ready to thwart him, a fact that begrudgingly leads Robitnik to harbor a secret respect for him. Dr Robotnik did get his own game in the form of Puyo Puyo puzzler Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. But even in that he’s not the hero and acts as the final boss.
Dr Neo Cortex
A mad scientist who creates a deadly ray – a classic villain combination. Except Cortex’s Evolvo-Ray – which was meant to turn a simple bandicoot into a super intelligent leader for his armies.
Instead it created Crash, the slightly doolally hero that has been a thorn in his side ever since. Cortex embodies many of the classic traits of villainhood; being short-tempered, reckless, having no apparent conscience, stubbornness and an inability to plan or learn from his mistakes.
He often relies on his minion Tiny Tiger to eliminate Crash by himself, despite the fact that Tiny is too incompetent to do so alone.
Cortex is a classic villain you love to hate, especially because the self-stylized genius keeps getting bested by a silly bandicoot with a penchant for dancing.
The mysterious G-Man from Half Life could be a villain or could be the architect of humanities salvation. No one has any idea. He offers Gordon Freeman a job at the end of Half-Life, puts him into stasis and then wakes him up many years later in a world ruled by an invading alien force.
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma – who the G-Man is and what he’s up to is anyone’s guess.
Unfortunately, because the likelihood of Half Life 3 ever getting made dwindles year on year, it’s unlikely we’ll ever find out.