Daily Lists, Video Games

The 9 Most Pathetic Fighting Game Characters

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By Michael Sullivan

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Fighting games aren’t really known for having much of a plot. Nine times out of 10, some heavily inebriated deities have invited a group of superheroic misfits to
murder each other in a tournament format, blah, blah, blah… but while the?deities?might be drunk, they’ve still spent infinite amounts of time, energy, and resources on scouting and
recruiting the greatest fighters from numerous species (and sometimes multiple
planets).?Surely they’re trying to
recoup some of this investment through ticket sales and pay-per-view buys.?These customers demand a savage display
of blood and gore, so the deities always include one guy in each tournament
who’s… well, he’s not really qualified to participate.?You know the fighter I’m talking about — he’s got either no power, no range, and in the one-player mode he’s always
the first opponent you’ll face.?

The
fighters on this list are all certified cannon fodder.?Think of them as the first level of a
role-playing game, except instead of killing green slimes and breaking open
barrels, you’ll be eviscerating skinny guys in cheap costumes and curb-stomping
their heads.?And by doing so,
you’ll keep the bloodthirsty audience content, and ensure that the gods will put
together more fighting tournaments in the future.


9) Dhalsim from Street Fighter II

Dhalsim stands out amongst the other competitors in the
original Street Fighter II: he’s the
oldest person in the tournament, and he’s so emaciated that Lindsay Lohan is
worried about his long-term health. Lil’ D spent the past several decades
unlocking “the secrets of Yoga,” which is all well and good if your goals
include stretching to avoid painful cramps, but not so useful against
competitors who can throw 25 powerful kicks in a five-second span. Dhalsim’s
primary skill is that he can extend his arms and legs several feet in front of
him as sort of a ranged attack. As you can see in the video, this only serves
to anger the opponent that you’re kicking… Zangief shakes off those Yoga Feet
like they’re raindrops before walking over to deliver multiple spinning
piledrivers. Hopefully the meditation proves just as useful during the long
healing process.

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8) Roll from the Marvel vs. Capcom Series

I apologize for quoting Wikipedia,
but they’ve perfectly captured the utter idiocy of choosing Roll: “[She]
is a female robot designed for housekeeping
instead of fighting.” You’re essentially choosing to enter combat against
Wolverine or Onslaught using a Roomba with boobs. Roll is small and has weak
attacks, so any player who uses her will find himself constantly leaping away
from the enemy. If the act of stabbing an icepick through your skull had its
own soundtrack, it would be the noise Roll makes every time she jumps. “Hai! Hai!
Hai!” I haven’t played through Mega Man 9
yet, but I’m hoping there’s a cutscene where we find Roll stuffed into the
blue guy’s refrigerator.

As a
bonus, if you pause the video around the 17-second mark, you’ll be treated to a
shot of this hellspawn. That
unholy union of science and heavy drinking is known as “Beat the Bird.”

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7) Fred Durst from Fight Club

fred durst fight club.jpg

You know how crazy Alan Moore gets when people commercialize
his graphic novels? Imagine, for a moment, if Mr. Moore had written an entire
work about his disgust with the consumerist culture, and that was turned into an excrementy-fresh videogame. `That’s the
sort of noble rage that David Fincher and Chuck Palahniuk must be feeling when
they think about this pathetic attempt at a videogame.

But it gets worse. Fight
Club
, despite the title, wasn’t really about fighting. So there weren’t
enough characters to actually build a game around. The programmers resolved
this minor issue by padding the roster with non-combatants such as Raymond K.
Hessel, the convenience store clerk. The game included two unlockable
characters. One was Abraham Lincoln, who of course is one of the most revered
political figures in American history and was actually referenced in the film
(“Skinny guys fight till they’re burger”). The other was Fred Durst, whose most
laudable ability was convincing suburban teenagers to be angry at their
fathers. He took time off from his busy schedule of driving drunk, releasing
sex tapes, and recording horrible rapcore songs to make a cameo in this quality
piece of software. Look at that photograph. Human torsos do not bend in this manner. Durst also
appeared in two wrestling games (WWF
Smackdown! Just Bring It
and WWE Raw)
and a one-note flash game called Slipknot Vs. Fred
Durst
. The lesson here is that pretty much everybody wants an
opportunity to bash Durst’s face in.

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6) Jigglypuff from
the Super Smash Bros. Series

Jigglypuff is a part of the Pokemon universe, so you know from the start that its gimmick is
going to be batshit crazy. In the anime, Jigglypuff aspires to become a famous
singer, but whenever it begins singing, everyone in the audience falls asleep. This
causes Jigglypuff to become very angry, so it whips out a black marker and
draws on the face of everyone who was just knocked out. I have two thoughts about
this. First, I’ve done the same thing to friends who have passed out drunk at
my old apartment; I wouldn’t classify this as a “power,” and it certainly isn’t
something that should make Jigglypuff eligible to take part in a fighting
tournament. Second, after Jigglypuff evolves, it becomes a new Pokemon
called Daterapist.

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5) Kin Corn Karn from Pro Wrestling

Sorry for the poor video on this one… there’s just
not much demand for high-resolution footage of NES wrestling games. Anyway, Kin
Corn Karn isn’t quite as hapless as a lot of the competitors on this list. He’s
the same size as the other characters, and he seems to start with the same
relative strength and stamina. The reason ol’ Kin Corn is such a weak play is
his set of moves. Every other fighter in the game has one or two “signature
moves.” These maneuvers either cause massive damage (like Fighter Hayabusa’s
“Back Brain Kick”) or can lead to an instant submission victory (like Giant
Panther’s “Iron Claw”). KCK has two such moves: the “Karate Kick” and the
“Mongolian Chop,” and they’re mapped to the A and B buttons, respectively. Wait…
A and B? Those are the buttons that every
fighter
uses for kick and punch. So in effect, KCK doesn’t have any special
moves at all — just variations on the visual representation of the weakest
moves in the entire game.

But the greater indignity was done by the team that
translated the game into Engrish. Every fighter is given a tagline, and KCK’s
is “A Living Karate Tool.” He does everything he can to live up to that
description. A winner
is you!

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4) Rain from Mortal Kombat 3

It’s not that Rain is an untalented fighter. It’s just that
you can’t help but feel like you’ve seen this guy somewhere before. Mortal Kombat broke a lot of new ground
for fighting games, but its least impressive legacy is in its constant use of
palette swaps. That refers to when two characters in a game are identical in
appearance, except that the color of one of them has been changed. Sub-Zero,
Scorpion, Reptile, Noob Saibot, Smoke, Ermac, Chameleon, and Rain all appeared
in the series, and they’re all buying
their clothes at the same TJ Maxx sale rack.

So why does Rain suck so much more than the rest of those
ninjas? Well, of the entire color palette available, Rain chose purple for his
outfit. Get it? Yes, the character is named for the Prince song “Purple Rain.” Also,
he’s a demigod with elemental control over water, so his signature special
attack involves him spritzing an opponent with a jet stream. It’s impossible to
watch without thinking of R. Kelly. In the clip above, you can watch him get
killed off in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
before even appearing in a single fight scene.

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3) Jerry Springer from MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch

Playing this game is as painful as a particularly
treacherous bowel movement, but slightly less productive. In fact, this entire list could be made up of poorly-voiced
pseudo-celebrities from this game. But while Carrot Top has taken enough
steroids that he could compete with half the Soul Calibur roster (I’m looking at you, Lizardman), and Carmen
Electra would fit in nicely with the Dead
or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
crew, Jerry Springer doesn’t bring a lot
to the table. He seems to spend most of his time in a lame defensive stance,
with one hand permanently blocking his face — like a nine-year-old trying
to play dodgeball with the eight-graders. And if you miraculously win a match
with him, he doesn’t even dirty his hands to perform a finishing move. Instead,
he calls in Potato
Khan
to pummel the opponent… you know what? It’s too stupid to explain. Let’s just move on.

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2) Chaos from Primal Rage

Far too many of us spent the early ’90s begging our parents to get this game for us. It had all the ingredients of an
awesome fighting game — dinosaurs fighting King Kong-sized apes who are
actually gods. And if you were
getting your butt kicked, you could eat your opponent’s human worshippers to
gain a small energy boost. While all this was awesome on paper, the game itself
involved crappy 2D graphics, slow monsters, and uninspired moves. But I was
particularly disturbed by the ape-beast Chaos. His set of moves included the
“Power Puke” and the “Fart of Fury.” Yes, there were videogame programmers out there who were even less
mature than than the game’s target audience.

Believe it or not, an earlier version of the game had
already been recalled due to the fury of parents across the nation. One of
Chaos’ fatalities was originally called “Golden Shower” — he lifts his leg and
emits some apparently acidic urine on his downed opponent, which promptly eats
off his flesh. For some reason, while this scene was considered too graphic for
young children, the re-release left in a different fatality where Chaos
projectile vomits, then teleports to the other side of the screen to catch the
vomit and swallow it. I have no idea how this would result in a fatality. Also:?Is there a limit on the number of allusions I can make to R. Kelly in a single article? Can I get a ruling on that??

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1) Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

The WVBA should never have licensed this buffoon to tiptoe
between the ropes. The pride of France, Joe weighs 110 pounds soaking wet and
spends less time on his feet than Paris Hilton (2004 version). He’s almost
impossible to lose to: he can be knocked out by one well-timed punch, and he
hardly even attempts offense of his own. He usually stands idle for more than
30 seconds at a time, which gives you ample opportunity to smack him in his
quivering mouth with a series of powerful combinations.?Glass Joe’s record was always credited as 1-99, which makes
you wonder… who the hell did this guy ever win against? A sleeping 4-year-old girl?