Feature: The 47 Most Diabolical Video-Game Villains of All Time (Page 5 of 7)
12. SHODAN (System Shock series)
SHODAN (System Shock series)
SHODAN, or Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network, is yet another artificial intelligence gone rogue, but play System Shock and you'll realize that this devious devil is far more crafty than Skynet or the machines of the Matrix, simply because she's omnipresent and constantly taunting. Simply put: you'll want to kill SHODAN more than you've ever wanted to kill any videogame enemy. Ever.
11. Dracula (Castlevania series)
In the Castlevania games, Dracula's spirits has infected the town of Transylvania, and your hero-usually a member of the vampire hunter Belmont clan or one of Dracula's own offspring-must infiltrate his dark, twisted and very haunted castle to confront him. Although the series' quality is wildly uneven, Dracula himself is an age-old evil that has transcended every medium, and always presents a nasty virtual challenge.
10. Phoenix (Phoenix)
Sure, Phoenix looked a lot like its black and white predecessor, Space Invaders, and didn't seem to stand apart very much from its more widely-known peer, Galaxian. But then Round 5 came along and your starship faced off against just one lone opponent-the mothership. Not only was that encounter a quarter-munching exercise in tension, it was also the first time a player ever encountered a video game boss!
9. Bowser (Super Mario Bros. series)
Bowser (Super Mario Bros. series)
You'd probably expect Bowser to be higher in this list, but the truth of the matter is that he's like Keanu Reeves-an uncharismatic lump who lucked into major roles in a number of very important titles. This giant turtle, who employs mushrooms and turtles in his quest to kidnap Princess Peach, bungles things so often that he admires the batting average of Dr. Claw.
8. Kerrigan and the Zerg Overmind (StarCraft)
Kerrigan and the Zerg Overmind (StarCraft)
As spiritual successors to the cinema's Aliens and predecessors to Halo's The Flood, the Zerg were videogames' perfect representation of a sudden, relentless and tactless rush of force. In fact, their importance in video game history has been firmly established by the community itself, since the early rush strategy has been dubbed "zerging" in almost every applicable genre.
Like the Borg, the Zerg simply infect their enemies as they consume them whole. In a fantastic plot twist, Kerrigan, one of the beloved heros of the human forces, is infected by the Zerg and serves as their strategist and spokesman in their battle against humanity and the technologically superior Protoss. In one of the most grueling grand finales in videogame history, the Protoss and Humans must join forces to assault the brutally relentless Zerg. Now that is an enemy.
And...oh...my...God... break out the Kleenex, baby, they just said StarCraft II!
7. Darth Vader (Eleven Thousand Star Wars Games)
Who's this guy?
The Dark Lord of the Sith, probably the most fearsome villain in pop culture history (at least, before he became a Stewie-wannabe in the prequels), has dominated our video gaming hearts from almost the very beginning of the medium. Old school gamers first faced the mouthbreather in his TIE Advanced starfighter (before you even knew that was its proper name) in the vector graphics Star Wars Arcade game in 1983.
Darth Vader became the go-to villain in a zillion Star Wars titles, and you could even play as the big guy in titles like Masters of Teras Kasi and Battlefront II, or in unlockable missions in the Rogue Leader games. The best representation of what it's like to fight the Dark Lord, however, is probably 1993's Super Empire Strikes Back for SNES, a side-scroller where you control Luke Skywalker in a ferocious recreation of Empire's climactic lightsaber duel.
6. Mother Brain (Metroid series)
Mother Brain (Metroid series)
Mother Brain, the final boss of the sprawling, epic Metroid (not to mention several of its sequels), offers an exhausting battle at the conclusion of one of the most notorious and epic final assaults in any video game. She's the brains ('natch) behind the evil Space Pirate, and apparently the head honcho Metroid.
By the time you even reach Mother Brain, you'll have battled your way through a huge laboratory with cobra-quick Metroids and other various bad guys attacking from all angles, while desperately conserving life and missiles because literally every last bit counts in this final confrontation. And then even your victory can't be enjoyed, because it leads to a breakneck race back through the entire game.