Animals are awesome, aren’t they? Fluffy, scaled, terrifying, gigantic, wonderful creatures of all makes and models are around us every day. So it would only seem natural to imbibe these creatures with features that would make them good video game characters. Sometimes, the characters come out with great personalities and powers. But most of the time you get characters that are just plain terrible; figures who disgrace the animals they’re modeled after.
Bobcat vs. Bubsy:
Bobcat traits: Brown coat, black-tuffed ears, hunts by ambushing animals and pouncing, collects small rodents, birds, and insects to eat.
Bubsy traits: Exclamation point t-shirt, giant fucking eyes, hunts by “pouncing” on enemies’ heads (a la every platformer EVER), collects red, blue, and yellow balls of yarn because HE’S A CAT LOL.
Bubsy: Bubsy, Bubsy, Bubsy. He’s the reason I created this list in the first place; there isn’t a worst animal-based character in gaming. Period. Not only has Bubsy’s name been attached to some of the worst platformers ever, he’s basically a snapshot of 90s advertising; edgy, cool, wise-cracking, and a cat. It’s a shame that he’s labeled a bobcat, since these majestic killing tools of nature deserve to have a more awesome character representing them.
Hedgehog vs. Amy
Hedgehog traits: takes part in the Internet’s cutest pictures
Amy traits: takes part in the Internet’s most disturbing pictures
Hedgehogs have an interesting place in pop culture. A tiny, adorable, not-really-good-for-much rodent became synonymous with a video game company in the 90s, when Sonic blast-processed onto the scene for Sega. It was a strange decision to choose a hedgehog. But at least the little guys aren’t ANNOYING AS HELL. That’s where Amy comes in. Originally Sega’s answer to Princess Peach, Amy changed clothes, hairstyles, and attitude, and became Navi to Sonic’s Link: constantly following him around, being bothersome, and spewing the most grating dialogue of anyone in the Sonicverse. Sonic made hedgehogs cool; Amy ruined their reputation forever. And seriously, have you ever seen Amy hentai? Highly disturbing…
Killer Whale vs. Duff McWhalen
Killer Whale traits: largest animal in the dolphin family, lifespan of 40-60 years, isn’t named Duff McWhalen
Duff McWhalen traits: is named Duff McWhalen
Ok, this might seem a little backwards: a robot whale is LESS awesome than a regular old flesh-and-blubber killer whale? Yep. The majestic orca should seem like a perfect candidate for robot modification; it’s fast and powerful, and can live a pretty long time. But when that robot mod is Duff McWhalen, you might want the old killer whale back. First of all, Duff isn’t in Free Willy
which automatically costs him points. Secondly, Duff stared as one of the Mavericks in one of the more disjointed and complicated Mega Man games, X5. Thirdly, HIS. NAME. IS. DUFF. MCWHALEN. I’m sorry, but that is inexcusable; that is one of the stupidest character names in gaming history. Who in their right mind thinks to name a character after a Guns N’ Roses bassist and a big fish? Also, he attacks with a weapon called the Goo Shaver. Seriously.
Toad vs. Slippy Toad
Toad traits: brown, leathery skin (good for camo), croaking-like mating call
Slippy Toad traits: cannot hide self well, whiny, annoying voice, constant death
Ok, sure, I’ve talked about some annoying characters in this list. But, let’s be honest, they’re nothing, NOTHING, compared to the biggest slimy green pest to ever pilot an Arwing. This poor excuse for a frog is supposed to be the engineer/inventor of the Star Fox team (even coming up with the designs for the Blue Marine and Landmaster vehicles), and it shows on the battlefield. Slippy is the worst support character in the game (or any game, for that matter), and on top of constantly whining about being attacked, the bastard dies practically every second in the field. Such a shame for a creature who, in real life, is a mighty amphibian. Native to every continent other than the cold, bullshit ones, toads are known for their tenacity in different conditions, toxicity, and sex-changing abilities. And, while they may croak a lot, none of them bitch on and on and on and on about being chased by enemy aircraft.