Dec 07 2012

Dancing Mad: The Best Depictions of Insanity in Videogames

Vaas: A complete psycho, utterly deranged, and the subject of droves of erotic fan-fiction.

Villains and heroes are so easily set into their ways, but the ideas of alignment and morality start to lose their meaning when you throw someone at them who belongs in a straitjacket. Video games are a medium where the insane can be commonplace and rather encouraged within the main populace, so it is not to anyone’s surprise that crazy characters can happen to show up in the imaginings and interactive elements in a complete whack-job of a game. Today, we will be glorifying as well as running the hell away from the three most insane villains you could hope to come across. I would grab a tranquilizer gun from the rack there, but be warned; that may just make them laugh harder. I’ll definitely think about the more eccentric heroes down the line as well, but this is a good start.

Vaas Montenegro (Farcry 3)

For a pirate, I never would have guessed that it was more lucrative for the Joker to come out and enter an island paradise to menace some young adults on vacation. You’d figure Gotham is just too much of a pain with the Bat, so all the looting and all the mayhem need a break. Vaas comes across like the Joker, but with more edged weapons and a sarcastic sense of humor; this is someone you could get a beer with if he was your friend and didn’t want to cut off your tongue to decorate his corpse piles.

So the main character has to go tribal to stop him, which makes him a bit mad too. That one bad day everyone needs to snap ala Killing Joke comes back again here. And the worst part about it is that when you finally bring your skills and hatred to bear on the man, he says you’ve already lost. He knows you’re crazy right along with him, and laughs at you. Talk about a punch to the gut. I worked hard to be crazy, you just had dudes and lots of guns! I had to go through the jungle, you entitled freak!

Dr. Albert Wily (Mega Man Series)

Common trait of mad scientists everywhere: Eyebrow Raising.

The original forefather of digital madmen had to grow with the times. How does surviving for hundreds of generations through robotic tampering to cause unending torment to your former friend’s legacy sound? When it comes to perseverance and dedication to one’s idea of revenge, Wily knows how to do it in spades and with style. How does starting a war work for you? How about fueling the fires of war with tension between robots and their own kind for his own gain twice in a row?

While he was stopped time and again, Wily is a perfect example of a purely emotional man driven to hatred and destruction through a shattered mind combined with a devilish intelligence. And yet, while he always managed to be defeated, he also used the good nature of his opponents to stay surviving throughout his legacy of terror and managed to survive. It was only his own creation and his own hubris that caused him to fall…literally from space and burn up in the atmosphere. That’s what it took to kill someone hundreds of years old.

Kefka (Final Fantasy VI)

Lord on high, the great patron of the ICP and cars far too tiny, raise and rejoice! Your Lord is on high…What? I’m not crazy.

This clown is the epitome of insanity, the very definition in terms of digital craziness. Why? Because of two simple words: He won. He became a god incarnate of magic and no one ever expected that he would be able to do it because everyone including the player underestimated him. The clown who had seen him poison a whole castle filled of innocent people and kill hundreds of a dying race, was just unthreatening enough to keep him off the player’s radar for the Emperor of the known world…until the monarch is thrown off the island to the depths below and Kefka starts screwing with reality itself. Yes, a ninja did as much damage as he did, but the ends of those actions speak volumes: He became a god among men and subjugated them to his insane rule.
So you gather a ragtag bunch of people to stop him led by his original tormentee. Who decided that the mission was so past their ability that she wanted to experience love through surrogate mothering. Several of the others were either brainwashed or tormented by the changes this world brought about, One of them even tried to commit suicide in order to escape the pain of this existence. And only hours before, this was the guy screaming and raving about sand in his boots. Kefka has earned every single rung on the ladder for insane characters in video games. It is my honor to present him with his complimentary Napoleon Hat and straitjacket, provided he does not blast me to smithereens with a giant golden beam.

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