20 MOST BADASS VIDEO GAME STUDS
BY TARA BABCOCK
It goes without saying that any
beautiful woman can supplement a video game plot with ease, but we mustn't
forget the men that strive for dominance and exert every ounce of energy they
have to pillage, ravage and declare this 2D world theirs! I need my game men to
possess immense physical power, be visually bulging and brawny, and rationally
intelligent; men who can awe a woman, desecrate an enemy and take what they
desire, all in one afternoon with plenty of bloodshed. That is my
definition of badass! So, without further ado, I present to you the digital men
who make me go "ooh, aah”! Here’s my Top 20 Most Badass Video Game Studs!
Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble
To start off my list of badassery,
I wanted to remind you all of a classic pair that so obviously belongs on my
list, simply because they can manage being adorable and continue to maintain
their deadly reputation. Dragons that can destroy you with a barrage of bubbles
are definitely no laughing matter, people!
Bub and Bob, often called Bubblin
and Bobblin (and many other forms of Bubby and Bobby), were created in the 1986
Bubble Bobble; a platformer arcade game that has since been released on nearly
all gaming devices worldwide. These maniacal "Bubble Dragons" roam level after
level shooting bubbles out of their mouths, trapping their enemies, then popping
them and killing them instantly! Pretty scary, no? After playing one of the
Bubble Bobble titles you will never view bubbles in the same light again!
Has anyone, like I once have, ever
wondered why a copy of Bubble Bobble will usually be accompanied by the Rainbow
Islands game? Get this: the little boys who throw rainbows to dissect anyone in
their path (even huge jumping spiders, eek!) are actually Bub and Bob in their
human forms! What's more, the version of Rainbow Islands you're surely most
familiar with is actually entitled, "Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble
2", with the full name often omitted in mass production. Pretty ironic how the
installation that is supposed to reveal the most about Bub and Bob's story
doesn't even officially mention that you're playing the devastating duo!
Interested in games featuring vast
weapons and artillery, massacre, warfare and... worms? These adorable (usually
British) worms fight each other in small teams using a plethora of different
weapons including, but certainly not limited to, grenades, bazookas, machine
guns and many other tactical items like girders and parachutes. Nothing is off
limits in the all-out battle for worm dominance! The terrain is deformable,
meaning each weapon fire will ruin bits and pieces of the crazy scenery while
destroying as many of the opposing team's worm buddies as possible. Not only are
worms cold-blooded military assassins, they will also taunt you, albeit
squeakily, when you fail. I can just hear it now... "Steeewpid!"
Worms was first released in 1995
for the Commodore-Amiga computer and was later ported to, where I played it
endlessly, PlayStation and many other consoles. More 2D versions have been
released almost yearly and a total of three 3D titles have graced the franchise.
Spin offs and tributes are rampant for the Worms series as well, making it one
of the most beloved kick-ass games to date. What could be more macabre than a
bunch of earthworm ruffians blowing each other to bits in the middle of a
littered carnival floor or in the depths of fiery hell? Nothing, I say!
It was hard to
eliminate Lemmings from my list! Walking into certain death without a care in
the world is pretty ballsy, and I've always loved the series!
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog definitely isn't
your average, every day, small, pokey mammal! Not only does he travel at the
speed of light (or faster!) on a whim, he's also a trash-talking,
buddy-protecting, Robotnik-slaying machine!
Sonic the Hedgehog is the
supersonic protagonist of his self-titled franchise which premiered in 1991, but
this spiny lightning bolt didn't start off with his own game, he actually had a
small cameo appearance prior to the Sonic the Hedgehog title in the arcades! Rad
Mobile featured Sonic as, I'm sure you didn't guess it this time, an air
freshener. Since then, Sonic has headed over thirty game titles collecting
coins, vanquishing baddies and running way, way too fast.
On top of all of Sonic's ultra-badassity,
one thing many of you may not have known is that he was also created by Sega as
a mascot to rival Mario, Nintendo's super powered plumber. I think he did pretty
well considering his opposition!
Moving up my list is Donkey Kong,
who is certainly not without his badass moments. Aside from his King Kong-esque
appearance and abilities, and his leader of the pack status, he also began his
video game front man career as Mario's archenemy. The 1981 Donkey Kong game
focused on DK abducting Mario's current princess, then throwing barrels to
prevent Mario from doing his thing. This nature for DK persisted until he
dropped his menacing antagonist role with the release of the Donkey Kong Country
series. DK Country brought the king of monkeys a new persona; he became a
baddie-killer and a family man sporting a tie, instead of the babe-stealing
Donkey Kong may have begun to leave
Mario alone and show his heroic side, but that did not take away from his
aggressive, leader of the pack mentality one bit. DK is still the biggest and
baddest in the Super Smash Bros. titles, where he battles it out against fellow
video game characters, and he has no issue disciplining Diddy Kong harshly for
being a troublesome teenager! I bet a good batch of bananas could still tame the
giant, hairy gorilla, though... not that I would dare get near enough to try!
Agent 47 from Hitman
Now we're getting somewhere! Where
do I start? Agent 47, or sometimes simply 47, is genetically engineered from the
DNA of the absolute top criminal minds. He's fast, intelligent, emotionless, and
can blend into any circumstance until he finds the perfect time to strike and
take his target's life... instantly. You'd never know if this black suit of
badassery was right around the corner waiting to eliminate you. Wow!
47 originates from the Hitman
series where he is a master assassin-for-hire with a flawless kill record. Each
game has a unique set of hits from the rich and elite clientele that this
exciting, stoic executioner must complete flawlessly.
Agent 47 has a barcode on his neck,
with no real name, and is infused with the blood of many different ethnicities,
which makes him mysterious and ever more useful in his line of work,
simultaneously. 47 will choke you with a wire, make a small fortune, get any
girl he decides to and still be home by five o'clock... now that's what I call
badass. I just wish they could've casted someone that, um, compares for the big
screen portrayal. Man, I can't wait for Hitman: Absolution!
Bowser (King Koopa) from Super Mario Bros
The King Koopa and Princess
Peach-caper himself, Bowser! Though his studded metal armor and enormous spiked
shell and horns may make him appear threatening, the real reason he made my list
is his ever-evil demeanor!
Bowser broke (or, rather,
annihilated) onto the gaming scene in 1985 with the release of Super Mario Bros.
as the main, and extremely long-running, nemesis of Mario. Why is Mario so
worried about Bowser? Is it his precious princess again? Well... yes, but not
only does this giant Koopa lord steal beautiful blondes, he also commands a
large, corrupt army of Koopa Troops and has nearly succeeded at taking control
of the entire Mushroom Kingdom on numerous occasions.
Lord Koopa is strong, big, angry,
and knows what he wants. That's everything I look for in a man! Being the
paramount threat to an entire world doesn't make him unappealing either. Whether
Bowser is desecrating opponents in Super Smash Bros. or concocting a brilliant,
yet botched strategy to unravel the Mushroom universe, he'll always be a part of
my registry of badass studs!
#14. Dante from Devil May Cry
In 2001 the world was introduced to
the mysterious, yet sharp-tongued, silver haired superstar of the demon-slaying
world with the release of Devil May Cry. Dante is not only a contract demon
vanquisher mercenary; he also runs his own business in that exact industry with
two smoking hot babes at his disposal. It's not uncommon to see Dante slaying
various monsters, revving his motorcycle-like blade and maintaining a slice of
pizza all at once.
Dante is half human, half demon
himself, which gives him the super strength, agility and badassness that makes
him who he is. A twin brother (yes, Virgil looks almost identical to Dante, woot!)
and son of Sparda, Dante is always making snide remarks and adding personal
style. Plus, that red duster and his Ebony and Ivory guns are beyond rad, thus
setting him apart from the rest of the studs on my list thus far.
Unfortunately, the newest Devil May
Cry title, simply DmC, sports Dante's new, and quite disenamoring, look. I've
never desired males to embrace the whole super skinny "emo" thing and I'm not a
fan of the short, dark hairstyle. Capcom had better bring something
awe-inspiring with this new persona to keep me hooked!
What were they
thinking!? Dante was perfect!
Dante in Devil May Cry
lifting up off of the sword that impaled him, Alastor, going through the handle.
No big deal, you know how it is.
Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy
Yummy! Vincent Valentine! This
vampiric hottie has always been my favorite male Final Fantasy character, ever.
Every girl loves a nice guy with a tormented past, and Vincent fully encompasses
the deep, mysterious and lonely warrior.
Shamefully, Vincent was originally
not set to appear at all in the storyline of Final Fantasy VII, but ultimately
appeared as an optional playable character. Square made up for this mistake,
though, by making him the protagonist in Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII.
He was also available in a few more prequel and sequel expansions of the
original story. In FFVII, main hero Cloud discovers Vincent snoozing in a
coffin. Vincent was once a Turk agent, but mad scientist Hojo got ahold of his
body for experimentation and turned him into the Vincent we know and love today.
On top of all of the craziness that
is Mr. Valentine, he also gears up in the coolest high-collared cloak and golden
gauntlet that sends shivers down my spine. Vengeful, strong, youthful and shy...
what more is there to want? Did I mention he's a total MILF chaser? We'll leave
the Lucrecia story for a later date!
Protagonist from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
I know what you all are thinking.
Who the hell is this skinny creeper and why would he be on Tara's badass stud
list? Well, if you haven't played Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne yet, you must
go grab a copy, if you manage to find one! This mysterious, sexy game guy
doesn't speak a word throughout the whole title, nor does he have a name. He is
simply referred to as "Protagonist", unless you choose otherwise. Shin Megami
fans would often call him Demon-fiend. How many friends do you have who call
you that? Yeah, that's right, none.
Nocturne is essentially a
turn-based RPG, and an extremely disturbing one, actually. Demon-Fiend (but
we'll call him DF to give it a pop-star feel) was just an average high school
kid and video game dork with slight affiliation in the occult. He, relatively
randomly, found himself in the middle of the Conception, which is essentially
post-apocalyptic Tokyo experiencing an acid trip. He controls a number of
demonic companions along the way and spends much of his time in what appears to
be someone's squishy red arteries when he is summoned by an old man with a hot
wife who keeps giving him more and more demon abilities.
The allure of DF is that he's
incredibly mysterious, becomes innumerably powerful, controlling many terrifying
demons on a whim, and he seems to be uncharacteristically calm during a
narrative so eerie I actually cannot bear to play it in the dark. Awesomely
enough, Dante is an unlockable demon you can control. Yes, DF is even badass
enough to control Dante from Devil May Cry himself!
Duke's your stereotypical cocky,
self-absorbed "tough guy", but you’ve gotta admit... he is kind of justified,
isn't he? This wise-cracking, gun-slinging badass macho man can't seem to stop
winning. He was employed by the CIA to kick-butt and he did so for over ten
installments. Duke not only kills monsters and enemies with ease, he also gets
all of the busty babes who just happen to fall in his, uh, lap, making it worth
the mature game rating. He's also super muscular, which gives automatic "Tara
points" on sight... or inspection.
Our first experience with Duke's
antics was on the MS-DOS in 1991. Since then Duke has been featured in many
asininely-titled sequels like Bikini Project and Land of Babes. Duke is actually
supposed to be loosely based on the comical mish-mashed ideal of the Hollywood
male badass, but does anyone else simply think of a more successful Johnny Bravo
when they look at muscle-bound and blonde Nukem? In any case, Duke is back after
a zillion-year hiatus with Duke Nukem Forever, and even though I love Duke, the
game developers obviously left us wanting. Apparently they think so much of
their star hunk that they lacked in other aspects, even after making us wait for
an updated version on a current platform for so freaking long!
#10. Solid Snake from Metal Gear
Before my over-aware readers here
at Impulse Gamer send me hate mail for being a poser, I want to assure that I am
aware the image above is likely Big Boss from MGS3: Snake Eater and not, in
actuality, Solid Snake. I am in love with the aesthetics of the younger Snake
from the very first game, but alas, there are no high-quality FMV captures or
works of art of anything younger than forty-something MGS4 Snake... so his
clone-father Big Boss will have to do. Same model, functionally the same guy!
Anyway, moving on. Even though he
is the protagonist through a vast portion of the Metal Gear Solid series, he was
first part of the little pixelated world of Metal Gear in 1987. He's a sexy,
rugged black ops mercenary soldier who scours dozens of different harsh
sceneries, completing impossible missions without being detected at all, not
that I would know that from my playing experience. From Metal Gear Solid on the
first PlayStation all the way through the latest game in the franchise, I
continued to make it through just barely with, what I call, the "surprise them,
shoot first, freak out, repeat" technique. I could not get enough of Snake (or
David, which is his real name... what!?) and his neck slitting, silencer action!
Guys in camouflage are so awesome! Eventually you realize it's not your
run-of-the-mill military stealth game when some supernatural happenings and
talks of cloning occur, but I won't bore you with the non-sexy stuff! SS also
has an awesome sense of humor. My favorite and most memorable feature in the MGS
games is his numerous box-hiding spots. "What was that!? Oh, it's just a box!"
Snake is somewhat of a legend to
others as well. He was the first non-Nintendo guest of Super Smash Bros. (box
included) and can be seen in other great titles like LittleBigPlanet and Ape
Escape. I think the fans have also made it clear; we can't get enough of Solid
Box action! Too bad
it's not big enough for the both of us! Heh!
Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed
I know I've already hated on Ezio's
appearance publicly, prior to this article, saying he looks like the hideous
"pseudo-comedy" (Haha!) actor, Adam Sandler, but all of that is in the past. If
you want to know how a real man should act, play the optional "Cristina
Missions" in AC: Brotherhood (Mission 3 "The Best Man" specifically)!
Ezio Auditore grew up as a
Florentine noble and son of a seemingly average banker during the Italian
Renaissance. Upon his father's murder by an enemy associated with the Templar
order, Ezio is thrust into (heh...) uncovering his father's "night job" and
becoming a part of the assassin brotherhood. The once-normal, mischievous and
popular 17-year-old kid is suddenly in a world of hidden-blade killing action.
He quickly becomes a widely-feared key in the end of the Templar menace and
looks far sexier in assassin's white robes than his wide-waisted predecessor,
Altair. He's got a sexy deep voice with a distinguished accent, collected
attitude and mad massacring skills.
Traversing the whole of Italia and
beyond, Ezio grows older, wiser, eventually becomes the leader of an entire
assassin guild, earning the title of maestro. Accomplished with hundreds of
swift kills under his belt, and easily obtaining powerful and beautiful female
companionship, it's no wonder Ezio Auditore da Firenze made my top 20!
Watching the trailer for Assassin's Creed: Revelations is
completely required, Guys! The song rocks and Ezio's performance (although he's
gotta be, like, 50 by then) still gives me goose bumps! I can't wait until it's
released here in the US this fall!
Bison from Street Fighter
One look at M. Bison's bulging,
broad muscular body is enough to grant him access to dictatorship of my
country any day! This wanna-be world leader will stop at nothing until all of
his diabolical evildoings come to fruition... and I wouldn't have it any other
Bison sports a Nazi-chic ensemble
and harnesses an extremely mighty force, known as "Psycho Power", that allows
him the super strength to compete in the Street Fighter tournaments. Assisting
with world domination plots is his crime syndicate, Shadaloo, at his side,
obeying his every beck and call. Master Bison, as some have called him in
confusion regarding his mysterious M. initial, is not only the main calamity of
many Street Fighters, he's also busy creating super-soldiers and perfecting his
Interestingly, M. Bison is referred
to as "Vega" back in his origin of Japan, despite another character in the
English version who goes by that name. M. Bison is no less than my near-flawless
vision of a gaming super-villain. He's got it all, muscular frame, evil and
driven tendencies and way too much testosterone! He can make me say, "YES! YES!"
anytime! Ah... jokes. Feel free to Google that one!
Nightmare (Siegfried Schtauffen) from Soul Calibur
Siegfried Schtauffen is just an
uber-awesome German soldier with beautiful flowing blonde hair (usually) and an
impressive self-taught sword-wielding talent. Nightmare, on the other hand, is
an evil god!
Once a hero, Siegried got ahold of
a legendary weapon, Soul Edge, which consumed him, thus inevitably creating an
incredibly terrifying alter ego. Nightmare started off as an identity of the
German cutie, but eventually became a complete entity, remaining one of the most
horrifying malefactors of the Soul series.
Appearing in every game in some
form or another, Sieg-mare is among the longest running characters of the
series. Siegfried hailed from the very first arcade-bound Soul Edge in 1996,
while evildoer, Nightmare, erupted onto the scene in Soul Calibur 1998. Although
Nightmare's violent and ruthless tendencies already put him high up in the
countdown of killers, it's not that which intrigued me most, but rather his
appearance. Nightmare wields a seemingly alive gigantic blade with an eye,
firstly. He also appears as a shadowy blue knight with a fleshy right claw-arm.
I've never seen anything nearly as freakish (or as cool!) as Nightmare, the
Avatar of Darkness.
...And sometimes he has
a crazy set of teeth instead of an abdomen! No big deal.
Tychus Findlay from StarCraft
Tychus Findlay is hands-down my
favorite StarCraft character. He's rough, loyal, and a brutal killing machine on
top of having an extremely masculine, large, muscle-encased frame.
Tychus appeared in his share of
StarCraft literature, but his most notable video game presence was in StarCraft
II: Wings of Liberty. Part of an elite group of Confederate Marines once upon a
time, Tychus was a "legend" due to over-exaggerations of his already pretty
fascinating military conquests. He ended his career as an outlaw and was
eventually taken to prison, then released, but forced to wear special armor
soldered to his flesh, making him a full-time, super charged Marine warrior.
There is a catch though, should he try to escape, the suit will self-destruct,
becoming his tomb.
Whether it's Zerg monstrosities or
opposing soldiers, Tychus is sure to desecrate the competition. His reputation
may be shaky and muddled, but this big, burly mass-murdering soldier always
seems to come through for those in his circle... that's true badassery right
there. Wings of Liberty's ending reminds me of the good old saying, "What
happens on Planet Char... makes Tara really, really angry at Blizzard!"
Arthas (The Lich King) Menethil from Warcraft
Who other than Arthas Menethil to
hold the title of "Top 5 Most Badass Video Game Studs"? Arthas has been
the king of two whole kingdoms, and has slain innumerous combatants on both
sides of the scale, light and dark. He's the most badass character in Warcraft
history and the bane of Azeroth since he obtained Frostmourne and fully-consumed
the Lich King title.
Arthas was once a handsome, mighty
knight and the crown prince of Lordaeron. He led his people with honor and
nobility and was a mighty Paladin. The soon-to-be king also rides two awesome
skeletal mounts, risen from the dead, (as well as Jaina Proudmoore, but that's
another story) an undead horse, Invincible, and a slain dragon named Sindragosa.
He succumbs to his sword, goes insane, and becomes a Death Knight and leader of
the scourge in Azeroth.
I've been playing Warcraft my whole
life, both non-MMO titles like Warcraft II and III, as well as World of
Warcraft, and Arthas cannot be beat in my eyes. Even though the Wrath of the
Lich King expansion is a thing of the past in WoW, Arthas will always be my main
War from Darksiders
War from Darksiders is just
ridiculously badass in every way! View the picture above and try to fathom him
riding up to you on his horse, gigantic muscles bouncing and heavy, detailed
steel armor clashing; then tell me you would not piss your pants!
War spawns in the 2010 Darksiders
video game where he is depicted as the initial of the Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse. Contrary to his bloodcurdling appearance, War is not entirely
evil... nor entirely heavenly, for that matter. His entire purpose is to await
summons to Earth to help protect the order and balance between the two worlds,
heaven and hell, during the battle of Armageddon.
Monstrous, chivalrous and enduring
are all spot-on adjectives you would use to describe War and his strict code of
honor. He's the stuff that legends are made of, and his persona took a generally
unheard-of game development company and put it on the map! I'm cheering for War
and hoping (most likely in vain) for a sequel!
Kratos from God of War
If you all feel I haven't spent
enough time praising the God-creation that is Kratos and his many badass moments
and trials, then you're in luck! It was difficult not to place Kratos at the
most prominent spot on my list because of how astonishing he is, but I can
assure you all that it was a very close race!
Kratos was formed as one of the
most epic, savage and incredibly sexy video game characters in 2005 with the
release of God of War. In GoW, Kratos is the protagonist and a Spartan warlord.
He makes the mistake of trading his soul to Ares, the current God of War, for
the decapitation of his even burlier combatant on the war field. After that
moment, he ends up brutally gutting his own family, chasing down and murdering
gods (as a freaking mortal, no less), becoming the God of War himself, losing
the title and climbing out of hell with the flaming blades that are permanently
seared onto his vascular forearms. Oh no, that's not all, he actually killed and
killed and kept massacring until there was nothing left of the universe or
Olympus, but ash, carnage and souls. I need not mention that he often stopped
during his conquests of vengeance to please multiple topless beauties, including
becoming Aphrodite's (yes, that one, the most beautiful woman ever created and
goddess of love) favorite fling.
After embarking on that mouthful
(jokes are too easy and too dirty, will omit... this time), he is featured in
many other games, taking on just as fearless and atrocious behaviors. I just
can't get enough of Kratos, God of Taraslistofbadassgamingstudmuffins!
Barbarian from Diablo
The Barbarians from Diablo II and
future (no one knows how far in... yet) Diablo III are the most brutal,
honorable and relentless class in any Blizzard game by far. They are so fierce
that their exuded awesomeness was so strong; they became a confirmed returning
class for Diablo III, the only class to do so between the second and third
The Barbarians take runner-up in my
crazed men list for a few obvious reasons. One is the amazing amount of immense
mass they've put on their skeletons through the hard labors, dedication and
everyday lives they must endure in order to keep their cherished Mount Arreat
safe from harm. They, additionally, are so strong that they can wield two
two-handed weapons, whereas other classes can barely muster enough raw power to
lift one. They are driven by fury and do an insane amount of damage, combined
with being able to contain and eliminate a plethora of multiple enemies at once.
No other can stand alongside the Barbarian when it comes to blood thirst, yet
they combine that with a strong noble vigil and are often prejudged as being
mindless, when they are both savage and cunning. That's full badassness there!
Barbarians are what have made me so
incredibly antsy for the D3 release, and are what have made the Blizzard Diablo
games what they are. They blow Warriors from WoW out of the water and make
StarCraft Terran Marines look like sissies!
Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat
Now, I know I may be slightly
biased, but at the very peak of my mountain of testosterone-pumping super studs
is none other than Shao Kahn, ruler of Outworld!
My animated studly husband is
multi-talented! He's a master sorcerer, has vast knowledge of black magic,
uncharacteristic intellect and strategic cunning that one wouldn't initially
expect from a man of such... brutish appearance. Shao Kahn's other, and more
obvious skill is his god-like strength and unending vigor.
1993 saw the release of Mortal
Kombat II where Kahn was already the king out Outworld, and making the
pathetically incomparable sorcerer, Shang Tsung, beg for his life. He overthrew
the colossal dragon king, Onaga, took on his own plan of ruling and combining
all realms and becoming immortal, and went with it. He stole a queen for his
bride, killed her husband, claimed their land and made use of their daughter for
years. He commands armies of large muscled four-armed Shokan warriors and he
keeps women chained up as servants to him, as he creates panic and fear in
anyone he comes in contact with.
Shao Kahn is my choice for
nomination of the award, absolute most badass male video game character of all
time. Massive, vindictive, ingenious, and aesthetically pleasing: Shao Kahn is
one imposing badass!
Meanwhile, in Tara Land...
I've got some exciting news! You
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I'd also like to apologize to all
of my readers about my lateness in publishing this article, it's been a hectic
couple of weeks shooting, traveling and working on my official website's
updates; it can be a bit overwhelming! So, with that said, I've put together a
set of 10 sexy and nerdy images from my recent shoot in Seattle with
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added 4 never-before-seen shots to the mix. Stay tuned and I'll have the full
set available on my site. I hope you all enjoy!
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