21)Who Is The Most Incompetent Video Game Villain Of All Time?

Q) Who is the most incompetent video game villain of all time?

A) Dr. Robotnick.

Eggman pose 29.jpg

Dr. Robotnick is the main villain in the Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games.  Sonic, for those who somehow missed out on this during the halcyon days of the mid-90’s, was Sega Genesis’ answer to Mario.  The game was a sidescroller which featured a blue hedgehog running around, collecting and simultaneously absorbing rings into his body, fighting “badniks” and freeing disparate groups of small woodland creatures inexplicably placed into giant gray containers by the (allegedly) evil Dr. Robotnik.  Sonic was also supposed to be “cool” which meant he had an anti-authoritarian, devil-may-care, “what’s up, dude” attitude that was pretty common during this era.

   Pictured: the embodiment of effortless cool.

So Sonic was a pretty good character.  He was super-fast, he could turn into a ball and zip around, and he was generally a lot of fun to control.  He was essentially a playable pinball; they even had a casino level with bumpers and all that.  Here’s the catch though: for a video game, movie, film, book, or what have you to be any good, most of the time you need a sinister antagonist.  Mario had Bowser, the Ninja Turtles had Shredder, Zelda had Ganondorf, Donkey Kong had King K. Rool, hell, even Kirby had a somewhat competent villain in the form of King Dedede, a giant, mallet-wielding penguin.  But Sonic?  Sonic had a bumbling mad scientist with an orange mustache.  The man has a legion of minions, seemingly unlimited resources, and working knowledge of engineering and robotics.  Yet rather than focusing his energy on coming up with a unified plan to stop a teenage hedgehog, he would meet him at the end of every level with an array of vehicles that would make even the engineers over at G.I. Joe Headquarters go “What are you kidding me with this?”  


Example A: A car with a giant spike at the front.  Nice.  There’s no way the most athletic person in the universe is gonna beat that.  Also, not one person at Robotnik’s manufacturing facility raised any objections about making this thing a freaking convertible? 

Example B: A Mace.  Possibly the worst idea ever.  I can only imagine the pre-construction meeting before construction of this vehicle began.  The scene: Robotnik is sitting around with a group of sniveling, white-lab coat clad yes-men in a conference room.  On the wall are models and prototypes for various in-production vehicles, along with some vaguely mathematical scribblings.   

Robotnik: What was that thing knights used to carry around?  You know, it was kind of a big heavy ball attached to a stick?

Random Scientist: You mean the thing that is nearly impossible to swing due to its’ weight and usually ends up getting the guy carrying it killed?  I think it’s called a mace.

Robotnik: Yes!  Perfect!  Let’s strap it onto the eggpod, and I’ll be good to go.

Random Scientist: Just so we’re clear on this: our plan to combat a lightning-fast, super quick, agile hedgehog, is to hit it with a giant heavy ball attached to the eggpod??

Robotnik: Yeah, get going on it.


Example C: Arm Thing w/spikes.  Probably a good decision to add spikes to the top, but why not have them on the bottom too?  Also, you’d think he’d add some more heavy-duty armor to these vehicles.  They fall apart after 8 hits from a blue furball every time.

Example D: Giant Robot Suit Thing.  I’ll give Robotnik this; the giant robot suit was one of his better offerings.  One question though: why make it in the form of a human?  Why not make it a tank-like vehicle, that can shoot missiles, rather than a basically a giant man whose sole way of attacking Sonic is to just bump into him?

Here’s a YouTube video showcasing Robotnik’s incompetence.  I love Sonic; it’s a fun game and I wasted a lot of time as a 12 year old playing it.  But couldn’t they have picked a half-way decent villain?


~ by fc13 on January 24, 2011.

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