I have a very loud laugh. Some people say it is infectious, but I have been paranoid about it my entire life. When I am sitting in a movie theater, sometimes I laugh so hard that people think something is wrong with me. I even had an old lady move to a new seat in March of the Penguins because, I can only assume, she was annoyed by my loud guffawing. What? The baby penguins were hilarious! I’M SORRY FOR BEING TICKLED BY THE WONDERS OF NATURE, OLD LADY!
But a person’s laugh is a part of who they are, so I guess I have to embrace it.
Lucky for me, my laugh is not nearly as extreme as some of the videogame characters on this list. Their laughs range from the ridiculous to the confounding to the just plain terrifying.
I find some comfort in knowing that my laugh is at least not terrifying.
[Header image credit: Aled Lewis]
The videogame laugh that started it all.
In classic NES shooter Duck Hunt, if a player lets the on-screen ducks fly away without shooting them, the supposedly helpful hunting dog pops up from behind the grass and just laughs. Right in the player’s disappointed face. Just laughs and laughs and laughs ...
What’s so funny, dog?! Those ducks were our dinner! Without that food, our family will starve. Including you!
Not so funny now, huh?
This one is just strange.
At one point in the first half of Final Fantasy X, Tidus is depressed about ... something. (Honestly, he’s a male lead protagonist in a later Final Fantasy game. All their dramatic problems blur in my mind.) To help cheer him up, Yuna recommends he laugh out loud. Sounds sweet and helpful, right? As good as her intentions were, I don’t think Yuna was expecting the creepy robotic cackle that comes out of Tidus’s mouth.
And even crazier: SHE JOINS IN THE MADNESS! The whole scene is just amazingly insane.
Skip ahead to 8:30 in the above video.
When buying something from the old, lazy librarian in classic PlayStation game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, he will give a quick chuckle and offer a friendly “thank you.” This would not be that memorable if it didn’t happen over and over and over again.
If you keep buying items, the “laugh and thanks” combo will not stop. It just keeps playing until, honestly, you almost don’t want to buy anything anymore. Maybe that’s the merchant’s tactic to avoid running out of items. Almost out of cloaks? No problem! HEHEHE THANK YOU! HEHEHE THANK YOU! HEHEHE THANK YOU!
Boo’s devious giggle, featured in many Mario games, may be short and sweet, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. It makes me smile every time I hear it.
Yes, Boo would probably hate this -- he would want his laugh to instill fear and make me run away in terror -- but how can anyone run away from something so cute? If I ever met Boo at a party, I would tell him a joke (a Goomba, a Koopa, and a P-Switch walk into a bar ... ), wait for him to laugh, and then give him a huge hug. Which might be impossible, since I would have to turn towards him to do it.
There are many great laughs in Punch-Out!!, but none as memorable as Bald Bull’s.
I will never forget that laugh. In the (maybe literally) millions of times I played Punch-Out!! on my NES as a child, I heard that laugh more times than I can count. It would drive me crazy.
And it wasn’t just the laugh that got me. It was that mocking, rhythmic head movement that accompanied it. I always wanted Little Mac to get back up from the mat and punch Bald Bull in his smug mug every time he laughed at me for losing.
Sure, it wouldn’t be very sportsmanlike, but referee Mario and I had an understanding. He would have looked the other way.
Before watching the above video, I bet you could have mimicked not only Bowser’s laugh from Super Mario 64, but the music cue that comes right before it. They are both so iconic!
Every time Bowser sends Mario a message in the revolutionary Nintendo 64 game, it is accompanied by the same music and deep, guttural laugh. In the real world, this added laugh would be the equivalent to including a frowny face emoticon in all your e-mails. The message you already have may be intimidating and grumpy enough, but that frowny face just makes your point perfectly clear: You are not happy about saying what you have to say.
Come to think about it, the next time I want to add a frowny face to an e-mail, I am going to attach Bowser’s laugh instead. That’ll teach Netflix to ship me the wrong disc for Breaking Bad – Season 4!
This is, by far, the cutest laugh on this list. Clank’s laugh is the very definition of infectious. Whenever the adorable robot sidekick giggles, it just makes me so ridiculously happy. Listen to the tone of his perfect little laugh. It’s so cute and joy inducing! BLARGH I JUST WANT TO SNUGGLE WITH A PUPPY RIGHT NOW!
Zelda II for the NES is hard. Actually, it’s more than hard. It’s brutal.
Nothing is more fun than making your way through a long, challenging dungeon, only to be accidentally knocked back into a pool of lava, killing you instantly and forcing you to start back at the beginning of the level.
Oh, wait, I know what is more fun than that: Hearing Ganon laugh at you after all this happens.
Ugh. This laugh.
When I used to play Kung Fu on the original NES -- and I played it a lot -- I used to hate hearing this laugh. It plays whenever a boss defeats you, and the bosses defeated me all the time in this ridiculously tough game.
In a weird way, though, this laugh only motivated me to keep playing. After hearing it, I was determined to beat the game and put an end to that frustrating sound once and for all.
Ah, I can still hear it ringing through my ears. Now I have to go play Kung Fu again. It’s like a Pavlovian response. I also really feel the need to tight roll my jeans.
As great as all the laughs are on this list, nothing can top Kefka’s laugh from Final Fantasy VI.
Kefka is evil, pure and simple. And his in-game laugh reflects this. Even though it is coming from a 16-bit game, the sound of his laugh somehow perfectly captures the combination of sheer madness and lunacy that Kefka possesses.
The laugh is used at all the most tragic of times. After poisoning an entire kingdom full of women and children, Kefka laughs. After killing a once loyal ally, Kefka laughs. Even after mocking the main characters for attempting to do something good, Kefka laughs.
He just laughs and laughs throughout the entire game, shaking his head and swinging his arms with a demented glee after something truly horrible has happened.
Damn, Kefka is a bastard. And his laugh is sure to haunt your dreams.
Since there have been a lot of great videogame laughs over the years, here is a list of runners-up. These laughs are all very memorable, but just missed the final cut.
Calisto Yew (Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)
What do you think? Do you agree with my picks for the best videogame laughs of all time? What other laughs do you love (or love to hate)?
TO THE COMMENTS!
Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is out today, and it kicks the crap out of All the Bravest
10:30 AM on 03.26.2015