Top Five Gaming Characters I Want To Punch Right In The Tooth
We’ve all been there: you’re enjoying a fantastic game, you’re loving the story, the beautiful soundtrack, the exhilarating gameplay, but there’s just that one character that seems to only exist to make your life hell, and to taint an otherwise phenomenal experience.
There are general annoying features that NPCs can have in games, such as when they walk faster than your walk speed, but slower than your run speed — seriously developers, that can get right in the bin — but I’m talking about specific characters that make you quiver with rage whenever they happen across your screen. Without further ado, let’s dive headfirst into a list of some characters that I’m sure we’ve all wanted to thump right in the pie hole.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
You love to hate him, it’s Nazeem: the condescending, pompous fellow that seems to perpetually linger around the Warmaiden’s blacksmith in Whiterun. This was an obvious pick. His persistent interactions with the player character made my attempts at early-game level boosting via the Whiterun forge a nightmare. Despite being adorned with the trappings of wealth and possessing an ego the size of Blackreach, Nazeem sleeps upstairs in The Drunken Huntsman tavern, a confusingly modest accommodation for such a big spender. Whether it’s his self-righteous attitude in regards to his station in Whiterun, or the casual flaunting of his “successful business”, everything Nazeem says can ultimately be translated to “Please punch me in the face with the force of a thousand suns.”
Animal Crossing series
God forbid you ever have a power cut, run out of battery, or accidentally unplug your console whilst playing an Animal Crossing title because you will never hear the end of it. Resetting or turning your game off without a save beforehand will incur the wrath of Mr. Resetti, the grumpy mole who pops up to lecture you about the importance of saving your game. What’s even worse is that he ramps up the severity of his chastisements, even eventually leading you to believe that he’s deleted your saved game. Whilst his cause may be noble to an extent, it doesn’t stop it being incredibly frustrating and time consuming. Thankfully, his role was toned down to more of a cameo in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is lucky for Mr. Resetti, because he might have gotten clapped if he came at me in my ends again with that beef.
Speaking of clapping, I fully understand that Claptrap is a bit of an “either love him or hate him” character, but for me he falls deeply in the “hate him” camp. Maybe I don’t appreciate the humour, or maybe he’s just painfully unfunny, becoming more of a Jar Jar Binks-esque institution in the Borderlands universe. The chippy, shrill voice combined with the subtle passive-aggressive lines make for a painful introduction to the original Borderlands game, and his unceasing presence as a franchise mascot makes every following title a chore for me to play in fear of having to hear more of him. He might not have a tooth for me to punch, but as stated in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, he feels pain in “slow-motion with great intensity”, meaning any bit of damage would fulfil my criteria for his suffering.
Zubat, the absolute bane of my childhood, made navigating many of the caves in Pokémon Red and Blue an absolute ordeal. It felt like you couldn’t go further than five steps before being thrown into another wild Pokémon encounter, and with a 79% chance spawn rate, it was going to be Zubat more often than anything else. Zubat stays persistently annoying through the series as a whole though. Possessing a decent base Speed stat that prevents you from running away from the encounter if your first Pokémon is particularly slow, as well as the confusion-inducing Supersonic attack, it seems like Zubat was intended by design to waste your time. Luckily this sucker’s got four teeth bared and ready for a punching, so long as it doesn’t first Supersonic me and make me knock myself out.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This smug cretin. This absolute degenerate wastrel disgrace of a Kokiri. This total troglodyte. Mido, the leader of the Kokiri, oozes nothing but pure jealousy of Link, envying his friendship with Saria, as well as the Great Deku Tree’s high esteem for him. On top of this is Mido’s thinly-veiled racism aimed at Link, constantly taking jabs at the fact that Link doesn’t possess a Fairy companion (until Navi comes along) and his apparent lack of Kokiri characteristics, going so far as to state that he’d never accept Link as one of the Kokiri. Despite inadvertently apologising for his behaviour when you see him as grown up Link, he’s still worthy of a clobbering. You know what they say: bad blood runs the longest. Wait, is that a saying? Probably not, but it should be.
Honorary Mention - S-Block
The S-Block — or the “reverse squiggly” as it’s apparently colloquially known — takes the Honorary Mention slot for the sake of it technically not being a character, but it doesn’t make it any less deserving of a good smack. You might be playing a fantastic game; all your pieces are falling into place in a satisfying manner, and you’re ready to score a Tetris (that’s what it’s called when you clear four lines at once). Then you see the next piece up: the cursed S-Block, meaning you have to clutter your screen with unsightly squiggles and delay your tasty Tetris. Despite being only a minor frustration in the earlier levels, the S-Block can totally break your game once you start reaching the higher speeds, with minimal opportunities usually primed to be slotted with it. I don’t even know if the S-Block can feel pain, and yet it is capable of causing untold amounts of suffering, so let me pose to you an ethical question: is it wrong to attempt to kill that which seemingly has no life, if only to see if it is alive?
Ok, I’ve calmed down now. Whew, what a set of vexing villains. What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? Are there any I missed that are in serious need of a good clobbering? Please comment below if so, and they might just make my next list!