You only have to check out the latest releases to see that video games have produced an amazingly bizarre variety of memorable characters. It all started with Pac-Man and his better half Ms. Pac-man. The latter famously got girl gaming into full gear back in the early 1980s. Besides the heroes and heroines, we have seen some very peculiar individuals. So let’s take a look at some of the most extreme pixel personalities, challenging for the title of the strangest ever.
Manuel “Manny” Calavera in Grim Fandango
This classic adventure game from 1998 draws from Mexican culture of the dead, but in a good way. The main character is basically a walking skull, but a skull that packs personality. A soul mate is found in the role-playing game Planescape: Torment (1999) where a floating skull “Morte” follows the main character, and pretty much steals the show with wise-cracking comments.
Tingle in the Zelda game series
This guy certainly tingles some nerves with his ambigous disposition, and outspoken love of fairies. He debuted in the highly touted, epic Zelda game Majora’s Mask (2000) and has since graced – or haunted – many a Zelda sequel with his tingling personality.
Voldo in Soul Calibur
Martial arts game series, such as Street Fighter and Tekken both march forth a motley crew of characters, but most of them are pretty ordinary when compared to the weirdness called Voldo in Soul Calibur. Voldo is downright creepy, both in how he looks and moves. His signature posture has inspired players to perform a number of choreographies and post them to YouTube.
Super Meat Boy, from Super Meat Boy
A recent indie game success story about a boy without a skin, desperately chasing his beloved Bandage Girl. Super Meat Boy the character is weird in an endearing way, which is totally opposite what the Super Meat Boy the game is. Here we have a super hard, old school platforming title, where fractions of seconds decide your faith between success and failure. Yet parts of Super Meat Boy’s success and memorability can be attributed to the quirky and weird set of pixel personalities who occupy its cut-throat world. Oh, did I forget to mention Dr. Fetus?
King of All Cosmos in Katamari Damacy
The Katamari series is by definition weird. There’s nothing really out of the ordinary when the background story states that the main character’s father is a King. However, when it dawns to you that the King went on a drinking spree, and as a result, all the stars and other celestial bodies were wiped out from the sky, you start to get an idea. Naturally the consequence is that you, the Prince, have to collect everything to restore order, buy rolling around an adhesive ball that picks up stuff along the way. ‘King of All Cosmos’ steals the show in the interludes to the Prince’s menial world-restoring chores. Along the way, the King bestows the player with wisdoms such as “If a heart attacks, we better be careful. Even worse, all the other organs could attack us. We better be prepared.”
Weird, eh? But singling out five out of the thousands of characters is bound to do injustice to some of the bizarre ones out there. So, please let us know which crazy characters you think warrant a place in the video game Hall of Strange.
Image credit: Patrick Hoesly