Have you ever played games where even though we are supposed to feel threatened by the main antagonist, you just know that all threats given have nothing backing them up? It can evoke all sorts of emotions. You can either feel let down that your big bad is nothing to sneeze at. Or you give yourself over to the comedy that is your villain who wants to take you down.
But for whatever reason, you cannot take them seriously. Here are the top five antagonists I can’t take seriously. As always, if you disagree, let us know who you’d put down below.
5. Blue – Pokémon Red and Blue
Everyone can admit that the Pokémon franchise is not the most difficult franchise in the world. In fact, the first generation, nowadays, is touted as one of the easiest generations. Still, the rival from the original Pokémon games is the definition of all bark and no bite.
Blue never actually goes through much of a character arc. He starts out a jerk, bragging about how he could wipe the floor with you. He stays that way the whole game.
But take that personality and stick with it the whole game. Then add the fact that you, as the main character, can always beat him. The problem with Blue is that all his victories happen off screen. It all adds up to an antagonist that you can’t respect as a rival.
4. Gilgamesh – Final Fantasy Franchise
While the rival from Pokémon could not become respected for his abilities, Gilgamesh has the skill to back up his talk. You can often fight against him in extra (sometimes DLC) battles in the Final Fantasy franchise. And battles against him are tough! You can fight Gilgamesh in 5, 12, 13-3, 14, and 15.
His lack of seriousness begins when he opens his mouth. In his first appearance in Final Fantasy 5, Gilgamesh cracks jokes before you fight him. One of his most famous lines regards a female party member who regards herself as a pirate captain.
Gilgamesh retorts, “Let’s settle this like men…And women…Women who dress like men! For Gilgamesh, it’s morphing time!” His humor extends to Final Fantasy 14 and even the second Dissidia game. Despite his swordsmanship, this many-armed bandit will always leave you smiling.
3. Dr. Eggman/Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog Franchise
Dr. Eggman falls into the category of ‘antagonist known as the bumbling antagonist’. Dr. Eggman remains smart enough to create gizmos and machines that capture emeralds. But he also remains dumb enough to screw up his plans every single time.
After every failed attempt and every supernatural force becoming too much for him to control, the player just can’t respect the mad genius anymore. Eggman is one doctor that you just feel sorry for sometimes.
2. K. Rool – Donkey Kong Country Franchise
I know that the Nintendo Direct that revealed this scaly monarch showed K. Rool to have a ferocious and even scary side to him. But go back to the original Donkey Kong Country series and you find an antagonist that reveals himself as having no control over his crew. I’m sorry… I mean “krew.” His underlings all try to escape from him in Donkey Kong 64.
You find him playing dress up. One game he’s a king, and in the next, he’s a pirate captain. After that, he’s a mad scientist. And even after that, he’s a failed boxer who can’t win one round. Just when you think he’d get some respect from his giant doom laser, it runs out of batteries. No. Just no.
1. Bowser – Super Mario Bros
There are a number of things that point to Bowser as the number one antagonist. Just like Dr. Eggman, he fails at what he tries to do a lot. Just like K. Rool, he changes professions a lot. Sometimes he’s a race car driver. Sometimes he’s a tennis player. And the list could go on forever.
That’s the thing that separates him from every other antagonist. The sheer quantity of times he’s failed and the sheer quantity of times he’s stopped doing villainous things. Even teaming up with his family isn’t enough. It’s enough to make Bowser, the king of antagonists We can’t take seriously.
What antagonist do you just not take seriously? Let us know in the comments below!
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.