We all know that there are a lot of recognisable heroes in video gaming. Characters whom we love to play as and save the day. You have company icons like Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog, or action stars such as Solid Snake and Gordon Freeman.
However, something that games companies don’t want us to remember is those characters whose antics get under your skin and irritate you no end. These are those annoying protagonists or supporting characters who wind us up more than any others.
There are just as many of these as there are heroic characters, so join us as we take you through a list of some of the most infamous ones:
10. Natalya Simonova – Goldeneye (1997)
GoldenEye sees Pierce Brosnan protecting the world from a Russian satellite that could be used as a weapon of mass destruction; aided by computer programmer Natalya. Whilst she is certainly helpful in the film, in the game she is a downright liability. As she takes part in several escort and rescue missions, where the player is charged with getting her safely to an exit point, it seems as if she has absolutely no desire to survive.
She constantly dawdles and gets stopped by every small outcrop ahead of them. Artificial Intelligence may always feel a bit annoying, but in GoldenEye it always feels like a huge chore, and if you don’t keep a stern eye on Natalya, she is bound to be shot or blown up. even worse though, is her propensity for jumping in front of your crosshairs just as you are trying to kill some enemy troops. She must have some kind of deathwish, as you will have to be on constant alert to make sure she doesn’t try to end it all.
9. Tails – Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992)
Sonic the Hedgehog with a sidekick, who gamers could even control in a two-player mode? Sounds awesome right? Two of you speeding through each level at high speeds, collecting rings and destroying enemy robots should have been a great addition to the series. We were introduced to the sidekick of Sonic before the release of the game and he may have looked like a cute fox, but we were told he could run as fast as Sonic, do all the same moves and even use his twin tails to fly! Wow, this guy sounds good.
So it was a shame when, in practice, Tails was a major pain in the butt. He is constantly unable to keep up with Sonic and the action on-screen, getting left behind and lost for large parts of each level. So in single player, you can just forget about him being there for the most part. Move into co-op mode though, and the second player is always having to struggle to keep him on-screen with Sonic. A lot of the time you will be left behind, only to hear the character death sound effect in the distance, signifying Tails’ demise; once again. The worst part of all is probably the fact that he will often stand on collapsing bridges or elevators, so they are activated before you even reach them as Sonic and this can leave you in a dead-end. Great work Tails!
8. Slippy Toad – Star Fox (1993)
Slippy suffers more or less the same affliction that we have already heard about with Natalya; a general lack of self-preservation skills. Slippy Toad is the inventor and engineer for the Starwing crew, crucially building and repairing their ships and gadgets, which is all well and good, and is a useful asset to have around. Yet he also goes into battle with the rest of the team, which is a far less successful endeavour.
Throughout the game, whenever Slippy Toad is involved in a mission he simply flies directly into enemy fire, and endangers himself recklessly. What makes it really irritating though is, as well as the lacklustre AI for Slippy, he never shuts up about the fact that he is in trouble. You will find that he is almost constantly screaming “Fox! Get this guy off me” in your general direction over and over until you either manage to save him somehow, or when somebody finally destroys his ship, thankfully silencing him. In some particular levels, to compound your agony, you are actually tasked with saving this useless amphibian. The developers really wanted to punish gamers didn’t they?
7. Baby Mario – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (1995)
If you want to create a character that really irritates players, there isn’t a much better tactic than to make them cry like a baby. Humans are psychologically programmed to find that noise disturbing, and Baby Mario will float off Yoshi’s back and start bawling at the drop of a hat. Get the slightest hit from an enemy, and Mario is propelled off the back of our helpful green dinosaur.
For once, Mario isn’t the hero in the game – Yoshi is. This time around, Mario takes on the annoying Princess Peach role of the helpless victim who must be saved over and over again, in order to complete the game. You must grab him as quickly as possible if he gets knocked off your back, otherwise you lose a life. To make things worse, half the time he floats off into an area you can’t even get to, so you have to resign yourself to the fact that you are going to die. So not only does he cry in a horrible way, but he causes you to lose the game. It might be Mario, but what an annoying baby he makes.
6. Raiden – Metal Gear Solid 2 (2001)
Now, the inclusion of Raiden isn’t a blanket one. In Metal Gear Solid 4, he is actually a bad-ass and redeems his actions from his previous appearance. It is his turn in Sons of Liberty which sees him enter this list of irritants. You see, when everyone was waiting patiently for Metal Gear Sold 2 to be released, they were all itching to step back into the shoes of Solid Snake. And when the game opens on the tanker, those dreams are fulfilled and it feels great, but then what happens? After that brief prologue, we are thrown into playing as Raiden, a complete unknown to us.
Yes, he may well have had a few new moves and be a lot more agile than Snake could have ever hoped he would be, but what Raiden lacked was the anti-hero effortless cool that Snake had in abundance. In comparison, Raiden came across as a whinging, insecure teenager, to the mature, grizzled Solid Snake. Snake had style and a certain cockiness about him, whereas Raiden comes across as awkward and unsure. He didn’t manage to drag down the whole game – as it was still an enjoyable stealth affair – but he was a major let-down in the absence of Snake, and he did a whole lot of moaning.
5. Navi – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Some games will throw you into the action with no instructions at all, expecting you to adapt and learn how to play the game as you go along. Other titles will hold your hand and take you through specially-designed tutorial stages, where the risk of failure is more or less nil, and you can learn the game at your own pace.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, however, gives players an irritating fairy called Navi, who follows you constantly and tells you what to do; throughout the entire game. Every time you reach a new area or come across something you haven’t discovered before, she will yell at you and explain what you should be doing. “Hey, listen!” quickly becomes the most annoying phrase you will ever hear, as she won’t leave you alone or let you explore and take things at your own pace. She wants to tell you what to do, when she wants to. Of course, she is a big help for targeting enemies you are fighting, and she is certainly useful for first-time players, but Nintendo should have scaled back her involvement as you progress through the title. As Link gets better and learns new things, Navi should appear less often. Otherwise she just becomes an irritant, who won’t leave you alone.
4. Roman Bellic – Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Unfortunately, dramatic films, television shows, and now games, often need a character like Roman Bellic. Someone who is close to the protagonist and who means well, but whose stupidity leads the main characters into dramatic situations. Roman is the only person in America willing to give you a chance, and he puts you up and helps you get on your feet, but from day one, you can tell that he will lead you into a lot of trouble throughout the title.
Roman moves from one disaster to the next, dragging Niko along with him, most of the time just to bail him out. He is the reason for most of the suffering you will go through during the game, so predictably, you will begin to wish that your idiot Cousin never existed. To make things worse, the friendship system within the game means that Roman will keep calling you up, wanting you to take him halfway across the city just to play some pool, or have a drink, and woe betide you if you don’t, as he will get all pissed off with you and not want to talk for days. Which isn’t actually an altogether bad thing…
3. Eddy Gordo / Christie Monteiro – Tekken 3 Onwards (1997)
Rather than being an incredibly irritating character himself – Tekken is a fighting game so the characters aren’t that well developed – the Capoeira fighting style employed by first Eddy Gordo and also his devotee Christie Monteiro is what makes this pair annoying. Tekken is a game based around combos, so much more so than Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, where you really need to know all of a characters special moves; Tekken is kinder on beginners.
As such, being combo-based, Tekken is also a good game for button-mashers and people who just tap and hope, and that is where Capoeira steps in. You don’t really need to know any of their actual combos, as you can just press their attack buttons randomly and their attacks blend together so quickly, and the attacks are so un-balanced, that is makes it very hard for an opponent to even pull off a move against them. Being based around dancing, the fighting style is so quick and smooth that each attack flows together before you can even blink an eye. You will be able to juggle enemies to your hearts content and irritate them no end. Play as Eddy or Christie if you are playing someone you don’t like; or if you are fighting a player who is much better than you, but you want a cheap win.
2. Goro – Mortal Kombat (1992)
Goro is a great character in terms of design. playing through Mortal Kombat, almost all of the competitors look more or less the same. All humanoid, all around the same shape and size. Then you reach the boss and “what the hell is that?” A four-armed monster of a fighter appears, and before you know it he has beaten the living snot out of you; possibly beating you with only two or three moves. He is incredibly intimidating and a very original boss character.
However, he is just so over-powered. Goro is the epitome of the lazy, cheap boss battle in a fighting game. You could be pulling off all of your special moves and battering him for the whole round, without even making a dent on his energy bar, but one throw and stomp from Goro, and your fighter will be on their last legs. Whenever you have him on the ropes, with victory in sight, he will pull off a chain of unblockable moves and smash all of your dreams of victory. Of course you can beat him, but prepare to be frustrated; a lot.
1. Mr Resetti / Tom Nook – Animal Crossing (2001)
In a toss up between the most annoying cute animals in gaming, it is really hard to separate the two characters from Animal Crossing shown above. They may look funny, and t may be hard to take them seriously, but this pair of creatures will take what should be a relaxing game and make it a long, hard slog. Why these two? What do they do that really ticks us off?
Firstly, Mr Resetti (clever name, incorporating the word RESET) is the most pointless character in the entire game. His sole purpose is to follow around any gamer who is silly enough to turn off their console, or reset the game, without first saving. He will bug you and nag you, making you suffer through pages and pages of text when you load your console back up again, before you can get back to playing the game. Sometimes, if he is feeling especially vindictive, you will have to type in an apology to him in the game, letter by letter, to say you are sorry for turning off your console. What a pedant!
And Tom Nook, what does he do that is so bad? Well for a game which is meant to be about moving to a new town and making friends at Animal Crossing, Tom Nook is the equivalent of an evil banker. Rather than just get a house when you start the game, Nook will lumber you with a huge mortgage, for which you will have to working every day catching butterflies and the like, just to pay off and survive. Forget about improving your house or buying new furniture for quite some time; you now have the chains of a mortgage to worry about. In a kids game, with talking animals and butterflies, you have a mortgage! Now if that isn’t annoying, I don’t know what is. Surely you play a game like Animal Crossing to escape the real world and its responsibilities? Not if Tom Nook has anything to say about it you don’t.
The Vault at GodisaGeek.com is the opinion of only one of our writers, and a character that one person finds horribly irritating may not be true for another player. With that being the case, please use our commenting options below to let us know who your picks for the most annoying video game characters would be, and why?