There’s a special treat for you today. Rather than the old video game characters you always see as parents here, you’re going to see some offerings from the other side— the villains. The beautiful fan art in these pages shows that the baddies we’re so used to hating aren’t all that bad parents at least. Seeing them playing with their kids goes a long way to humanize them. There are also some Empire Strikes Back-type surprises here. Yep, what if Ganondorf was Link’s dad? What if these baddies aren’t really all that evil, they’re just disgruntled parents with legitimated grievances against their kids?
Needless to say, the artists who've captured these villain after the adventure (and in their parent form), have gone into incredible detail to show console gamers exactly what happens after the credits roll. These villains have a whole different side once they've been defeated by the likes of Mario or Link. Of course, Nintendo characters are always fan-favorites, but they aren't the only classic video game characters being displayed here.
Here are 25 console villains as parents.
25 Bowser Goes Full Suburban Dad
Art by: Afailito20
I wasn’t going to include this one originally, but it’s too darn good not to make the cut. Seeing a bespectacled Bowser with a dad mug is just about the best thing ever. His choice of shirt definitely plays a big part too. I mean, seeing a geeky dad Bowser would be enough to melt Mario’s heart and make him forgive all those times Bowser literally took his girlfriend, the monarch of the mushroom kingdom.
24 A Gerudo And A Hylian
Link! Listen! It’s more Ganondorf and Link fanart. Here we see Link as a wee babe being taken by papa Ganondorf to parts unknown. Again, super cute— unless Ganondorf is going to get rid of Link early and spare himself a lot of grief down the road. It certainly makes one wonder whether the Zelda titles we play are only from the universes with happy endings, whereas there might be a ton of other universes where Link’s journey ends prematurely in, like, the first temple.
23 Harley Quinn Is Crazy About Parenting
Art by: chrischaos369
Harley Quinn from Injustice 2 is spending some time with her daughter. I know this is supposed to be a happy image, but there’s an underlying sadness for me here. Maybe it’s that Harley Quinn is certifiable, meaning she probably won’t be around to spend much time with her daughter — even if she loves her daughter to pieces. The way her daughter brightens up tells us seeing her mom isn’t a common occurrence. See? I just made the happy image. So scratch that — just enjoy the lovely picture!
22 It's In The Genes
Art by: crumblygumbly
Oh boy. It’s everybody’s favorite insensitive villain, Giovanni. What if—shocker— Giovanni turned out to be Ash’s dad? Before you say I’m reading too much into this image, it’s officially titled “Larceny is in the Genes.” To quote from the artist’s page: “Ash meets his estranged father, who tries to induct him into the family business. Much to his own surprise, and Pikachu's dismay, his father's offer of apprenticeship is too tempting to ignore."
21 Dr. Robotnik And Junior
Art by: General-radix
This is Dr. Robotnik and his son, whose name is apparently Boom? Just going off the artist’s page. This art is superb, but we’re not going to spend this entry talking about that. Instead, we’re going to discuss the recent announcement that Jim Carrie is going to play Dr. Robotnik in the Sonic movie. I know, riiiiight? Can it come out now, please? To quote a friend of mine: “If they don’t cast Michael Cera as Sonic, they’re cowards.”
20 Mario Meets Maury
Art by: Kevinbolk
Oh, snap. Maybe Peach was only pretending to not like getting taken all those times. Perhaps there was something else going on. Either way, Bowser is gonna be a dad. And he’s not the only one surprised, judging by the Mario Bros’ expressions.
Super Maury Povich says: Bowser, you are the father!
Apparently, this was inspired by the artist’s frustration with his friends asking where Bower’s kids came from all the time.
19 Happy Mother’s Day From Metroid
Art by: junkpuyo.tumblr
In the Metroid series, Mother Brain is one of the recurring antagonists. Here Samus is putting aside her enmity with Mother Brain so they can enjoy mother’s day together.
Mother Brain has typical bad guy motivations. She thought she could reset everything to zero so the universe could find its footing again. Ah, see you guys? She’s a good guy like Thanos. Funny how all these supervillains care so much about over-population and dwindling resources that they’re ready to wipe out everything.
18 Beach Bowser
Art by: Glamdoodle
Aw. Poor Bowser. He looks just like every suburban dad who gets tuckered out being dragged by his kid everywhere on vacation. Kids, you need to be very careful with dads. Make sure they’re drinking enough fluids and have enough snacks. Don’t exhaust them with too many activities all at once. You have to watch them or they’re buying all the most terrible Hawaiian t-shirts imaginable from those sales clerks that rip off tourists.
17 A Bond Deeper Than The Ocean
Art by: Steven-donegani
This image is called “A Bond Deeper Than The Ocean” and I think we’d have to agree. We’d be remiss not to include a Big Daddy in this comprehensive list about the big daddies in video game villaindom. What makes the Big Daddy of BioShock so fascinating— and terrifying— is that he is all powerful and will go to any length to save his little girl. Since he’s got a rotating screw for a hand, it’s best if you would kindly leave daddy’s little girl alone.
16 Dessert With Dad
Art by: setzeri.tumblr
Aww, it’s another image of Bowser being a good dad. He’s out having a sundae with his favorite son (he makes them all compete for his affection). This month’s winner gets to enjoy a dessert and some quality time with pa. In the background, Mario is chilling with Peach while a ghost cruises around the room. It really breaks the illusion all these people hate each other. Maybe Peach is only hanging out with Bowser and Mario is grossly overreacting.
15 You’re Not The Big Boss Of Me
Art by: afistfulofchaff
Siblings are always at each other’s throats. Yelling. Scratching. Stealing each other’s stuff. Trying to destroy one another with bipedal tanks. No two siblings may hate each other more than Liquid and Solid Snake. They have a good reason. Both of them are clones of Big Boss, an elite super-soldier from the James Bond ‘60s. I don’t know how the government messed up so bad to let Liquid go off and become a super-villain, but that one’s on them.
14 Koopa Kid
Art by: themexicandragon
Adorable. Here we witness Bowser in a rare and tender father and son moment. It begs the question: are these moments rare or do we simply not see Bowser’s good side?
To be fair, Bowser’s enemies don’t even mind him all that much if they keep inviting him go-karting.
He must be well-liked if his kids are making t-shirts for him that brand him as the #1 dad. That’s #1, folks. There’s only one t-shirt like that in existence.
Art by: rose-moth.tumblr
Here is some more Ganondorf and Link father/son fanart. Perhaps Ganondorf isn’t Link's true daddy considering they’re two separate races, but who’s to say how Gerudo biology works anyway?
This is the cutest… unless he’s going to get rid of Link.
Totally possible this is Link’s true parentage, in one of the timelines anyway. Enjoy this rare glimpse at a tender Ganondorf carrying his son home. He says, “Game over again?” and that’s just the cleverest.
12 Horde Of Little Ones
Art by: lowlyowly
This has to be one of the best World of Warcraft images I’ve ever seen— and that’s saying something for a game that has inspired such incredible art and fan art. Seeing one of the big bad Horde soldiers here just being a good dad. It’s terrific because it humanizes the horde, which can so easily be demonized by the Alliance. With the new World of Warcraft expansion hitting shelves soon, there’s no better time for a return to Azeroth. And don't PM me, I know WOW isn't on consoles — but it's cool isn't it!?
11 GLaDOS Nurses Baby Chell
Art by: theredspy
GLaDOS and Chell from the Portal games have an infamously abusive relationship. The tart-mouthed AI can roll out the passive aggressiveness along with the best of them. Chell’s reactions have to be left to the imagination, considering she’s a silent protagonist. Still, we can’t imagine that the comments do much for her self-esteem. Unfortunately, that might hit a little too close to home for some unhealthy mother-daughter relationships. At least GLaDOS is humanized here.
10 Jack’s Handsome Parenting Skills
Art by: Miss-geo
Ever play Borderlands? What about Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands? They’re some of the best-written games in recent memory, or at least some of the funniest games. The villain is Handsome Jack, presented here with his daughter as she plays a game. Handsome Jack’s face is stapled, and so he’s got a lot to be a villain about. Fortunately, he finds the time for some father and daughter bonding time. See? He’s not all bad.
9 Link’s True Parentage
Art by: anilede
Cuties! Link and papa Ganondorf are spending some quality time together. It’s easy to tell from the cell-shaded aesthetic that this is Wind Waker inspired. Also, Link’s especially diminutive stature is a dead giveaway. Being the only male Gerudo, Ganon was something of a disappointment when he decided his passion was being evil instead of having the dream career as husband to every woman in his culture. To each his own, I guess.
8 Baby Bowser
Art by: Oxfruit
The big green dino baddie from Super Mario Bros. is a person too, okay? Kinda. I think. He’s got feelings anyway. Believe it or not, Bowser is somebody’s son. There’s a whole race of evil Koopa creatures. It stands to reason that Bowser will someday have a son or daughter of his own. What might daddy Bowser look like playing with his little one? It turns out he’s a way better dad than Mario, who is constantly absent from the household to go save Peach.
7 Vlad Being A Good Dad
For your enjoyment: a young Alucard hanging out with his dad before the blood hit the fan. For those who may not be so well-versed in the Castlevania series, Alucard was the unnatural offspring of the Lord of Darkness and Lisa.
Best couple: The Lord of Darkness and... Lisa sounds a tad underwhelming.
After things went south with Lisa, Alucard took it upon himself to fight his dad in Symphony of the Night. Check out Netflix’s Castlevania series for more awesome dad-on-son fighting.
6 The Vampire Strikes Back
Art by: Grimweaverart
There’s a longstanding theory that Vincent is Sephiroth’s daddy. The hypothesis goes that Hojo experimented on Vincent with a big machine. Vincent obviously had a crush on Lucretia, Sephiroth’s mommy, and there may have been some dating going on behind the scenes.
Son, you’re grounded for trying to destroy everyone.
It can only be implied. Since Vincent is basically a weird vampire dude, it stands to reason that he could be old enough to be Sephiroth’s dad despite not having white hair like his son.
5 Big Baddy As Nice Daddy
Art by: satoakiamatatsu
If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of, it’s adorable Castlevania father and son fan art. This drawing is called Lords of Shadow, but I sure don’t see much shadow on that blinding Christmas Tree.
Healthy father and son relationships are fan art alone to me. *Cries.*
I don’t know what impetus has led artists to make cutesy Dracula drawings, but they’re successful in my book. There’s a real joy that comes from seeing the big baddy as a nice daddy.
4 Aperture Science Daycare
Art by: oddsocket
How long has Chell been in Aperture Science laboratories really? When Portal opens, Chell is a grown woman and we’re never made aware how long she’s been a human test subject. It’s possible she’s been there since birth and they’ve been actively wiping her to continue testing. It’s not like she’s there by choice. Maybe when Chell was a little girl, she had a relationship with GLaDOS as we see here. Let’s blame Chell for becoming an angsty teen and pushing her mom to the extreme.
3 Umbrella Parenting
Albert Wesker is the bad guy lynchpin in the Resident Evil series. In a franchise devoted to staving off hordes of zombies, Wesker is the real guy you’d like to use some of your precious ammunition on. But who’s to say he’s a bad dad? He’s probably betraying Raccoon City and the entire human race for his daughter. That makes him relatable. No matter how many times he’ll stab you in the back, he’ll always make it home to read to his daughter.
2 Baby Dracula Formula
Art by: usagitoxic
Ah, Dracula. The obscure literary character finally made famous by the Castlevania games. Francis Ford Copolla’s movie is called Castlevania’s Dracula after all.
If she’s a baby vampire, does that mean she stays as a baby forever? Dracula truly is the best dad.
While Dracula gets a bad rap, you know, for sucking everyone’s blood and luring a poor unsuspecting Keanu Reeves to his castle for mischief, he’s a softie. He’s feeding his daughter blood from a bottle. He can’t be that bad of a guy, right?
1 Darth Wario
Art by: bezerrobizarro
I know. This is both terrible and amazing all at once. I had to include it. I’m not even, sorry. I’m not sure what the conceit is here, besides the Star Wario pun— but that’s probably enough to justify this abomination. Wario has assumed the role of Darth Vader and he’s informing Mario that he’s his father, a la Empire. Unfortunately, that situation is more than plausible. Their names are essentially the same, and there’s an uncanny resemblance.