Nintendo characters are pretty much the most iconic characters to be found in the gaming world. Not just because they’re from Nintendo, the nostalgia company of the gaming industry, but because they’re just fun characters. Whether it be playing them in the game, or creating fan art, there’s no shortage of love for the colorful characters. That, and for a certain percent of the fandom, it’s pretty fun to mess around with them.
We’ve got a treasure trove of characters to choose from. More than making them look even more fabulous, there are those who like to make different versions of characters. We all have our favorite good guy, from classics like Link and Misty to the newer favorites like Prince Sidon. The thing is, though, when it comes to good characters, we can’t help but wonder: how would they be as bad guys?
What if the most cheerful of characters had a dark side? What would happen if a hero were to snap? There’s always that corner of the fandom that likes to find the darker side of characters and their stories. It’s pretty twisted, but can you really say that you’ve never wondered at least once what would happen if the hero turned into a villain?
Oh sure, some games have already touched on that, but here are some artists who dug just a little deeper and came out with some intimidating versions of different characters who have turned bad.
24 An Elite Team
Okay, fine, this is the least imaginative villain image out of everyone here. You’ve got to admit it, though, it’s an interesting idea. These are an especially strong group of trainers who’s got a solid set of skills between them.
They’d be the most formidable Team Rocket group, for sure.
You can just see them executing simple but elaborate plans and becoming top agents of the organization. And so, to keep the authorities off their back, they would take the image of innocent trainers. They could pull it off for sure.
23 He's Seen Things
Luke makes for a rather adorable character, doesn’t he? When it comes to his dark version, well, a large portion of reimaginings are rather simple. With pieces like this one by Poi-Frontier, it presents a possibly deeper story. Given his general character, you would never the sensible child to be a villain, but with his intelligence and story, there is a chance. This is the look of someone who went through a deep change, and with that veil and cloak, he may as well be a phantom villain, laying out puzzles for his opponents and vanishing like the wind when chased.
22 Never Trust Those Smiles
It’s been pointed out before, but Animal Crossing can be really dark if you think about it. For one thing, your character is by far the only human among a town of anthropomorphic animals, that alone could carry a lot of dark possibilities. Really, this poster may have just a touch of truth to it. If the animals really were the villains of the game, then having them look like creepy glowy eyed puppets works far too well for the idea. Honestly, why must cute games have debatable dark sides to them?
21 Fallen Angel
To be honest, Palutena is a character who isn’t given enough attention, but has some pretty lovely art of her. Seeing as she is the goddess of light, what better way to reimagine her than to have her as a figure of darkness like MauLegend98 did? There isn’t a lot of dark art to be found of this character. So to see this is pretty much a rare gem. We can play around all we want on the whole dark name, but we all know there is one name to fit this image.
20 No More Miss Nice Girl
Amy Rose is that one character whose art doesn’t hold as much variation, but has a real impact, such as with animegodness’ piece right here. From the hair to the ax, everything about this is the perfect opposite to her general character. Given her image here, she would be an emotionless fighter, and with that ax, a rather efficient one as well. Everything about her here has her shining as this cold hunter, or a mercenary at the very least. Characters like Amy, who hold both physical strength and deep kindness, tend to make the most intimidating villain, after all.
19 Sly Fox
When it comes to finding dark art of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters, there’s no shortage of them. On Tails’ part, dark art of him mainly turns his fur dark or, in a few cases, have him as some sort twisted robot. SilverAlchemist09, however, presents a solid reimagination for the gentle soul. They’ve presented a new image for the Dark Tails idea. The smirk, the fur, the EYES... Tails has pretty locked down the suave villain look. Really, more than looking like he could manipulate an army, Tails here is showing some real style with those gloves and boots.
18 A Hero Turned Rogue
Mega Man is pretty much a hero through and through. To imagine him as a villain is to imagine him as some sort of hero gone rogue. EdgarGomezArt may not have intended it, but their art pretty much captured the idea, with their realistic design and explosive background. Just the way he’s glaring here makes you think he’s just waiting for an excuse to shoot you. So, yeah… does anyone else sense that a tragic backstory would back this a little too well?
17 The Dark Side Takes Mario
Of course the most iconic Nintendo character would find there way onto this list. While there’s no shortage of dark and twisted Mario art, a Sith Mario is a pretty creative image, done by KendrickTu. Especially when it’s combined with the idea of him having turned into some sort of anti-hero who’s become desperate to save Princess Peach.
A punch-happy hero able to use the force? Definite chaos.
Just think: he would be the dark plumber who traveled the lands in search of his princess. As shown with this image, he’d clearly do away with anyone who would stand in his way. And with anger fueling him? That makes him all the more dangerous.
16 Yoshi Turns Wild
If there was any character on this list who had a solid reason for snapping and turning bad, it would be this little guy. We’re talking about a character who has been described as either a type of dinosaur or dragon. Danilo Fiocco basically showed the feral version of Yoshi.
Those additional teeth and claws may as well be what Yoshi has been hiding away in his boots.
Really, the idea of facing against a character who could turn you into their weapon, and has fire breath, does not paint a pretty end for the opponent.
15 Kirby Turned Creepy, Cute And Chaotic
You’ve got to hand it to Tohad; they’ve got a skill for skating the fine line between scary and epic. Or in some cases like this, scary, epic, and cute. The idea of Kirby eating random things to the point where he ends up like this? It seems like the perfect monster transformation story for the character. He definitely wouldn’t be the typical villain, no, but he would make for the chaotic type of villain. With the way that he looks here, you can see him sludging through an area and unintentionally causing destruction to everything he touches.
14 Dipping Into The Shadows
Cloud Strife has made himself known as an icon of the Final Fantasy series. There are very little who don’t know the broad sword-wielding mercenary. Seeing how dark abilities are are a thing in the game though... really, DarkLitria, did you have to make a Dark Cloud so darn attractive? He looks like he would fit right in with Sephiroth and his crew. For sure he would be a stealthy fighter, blending in the darkness and surprising his opponents like this.
13 A Different Transformation
We all know the dark version of this famous hero. The amount of art of this version of the hero could pretty much fill a book. A corrupted Link, though? Now that’s a different story. Honestly, there’s so much on the former that this is surprisingly a refreshing look for the hero. EternaLegend pretty much transformed him into some sort of monster with claws and all. Technically, this is an idea of what would happen if Link touched the Fused Shadows/Mirror Shards without any aid. Still, he looks like he would make for an intimidating boss monster.
12 There's A Lot Of Possibilities To Think Of
Though this piece was meant to be Dark Samus concept by PhazonZim, it does make for an intriguing villain idea for the character, doesn’t it? Like, what if at one point, the Chozo’s protection in Samus’ DNA wasn’t enough? For a moment, imagine the iconic female hero somehow ending up turned into this. A being that could clearly destroy someone in seconds. Basically, the idea of a hero being corrupted ain’t all that new, but the image certainly presents an interesting hunter type of villain.
11 When Her Smile Is Gone, Be Spooked
The cheerful ones always come off the scariest when turned dark, don’t they? Seriously, Aerith, one of the most upbeat people of the game, as a Black Lantern. It’s so twisted that it works. Kudos to DaigotheBeast, you managed to make one of the sweetest characters of the game look absolutely terrifying. Granted, a lot of sweet characters turned dark look scary, but this is basically a magically strong character getting a dark upgrade; just look at those eyes. We’d be doomed if Aerith were a villain.
10 All Hail A New Queen
There are all kinds of images for a dark Link, but not much for Zelda. After Twilight Princess came out, though, more than a few artists brought out some interesting possessed Zelda photos. With ARTdesk’s piece, however, this is more than a photo of Zelda being possessed.
This is the photo of a new and seductive queen.
You were thinking it too, weren’t you? More than that though she looks like she’d make for a fitting honey trap villain. The type of villain that would lure you in with sweet words and a coy smile before doing away with you.
9 No More Miss Damsel
Princess Peach is pretty much the most iconic damsel in distress to be dished out by Nintendo, but what else is there? We know she can be athletic and has powers. So how would this pink princess look if she took a step on the other side of the tracks? What if she turns into Jay-Phenrix’s piece here?
A Peach who’s just about had enough of being the damsel.
Just look at her face, that’s a face that’s seen a battle. The ripped outfit, the wounds, the sphere... this is one ideal image for a princess gone rogue.
8 When Stars Go Dark
Princess Rosalina may as well be known as the space mom of Nintendo given her general background. As a wise and calm character, it’s not often that we see photo giving her a dark side. The thing is, though, she’s basically a psychic that can create force fields. If she were a villain, that means one thing: dark energy. Space is a world of possibilities; who knows what other space-based abilities this princess could gain as a villain? From the looks of how Felielle styled her, black holes definitely come to mind.
7 From Fighter To Mercenary
The devoted officer of the law as an agent of Cobra from G.I. Joe… it’s a pretty unbelievable idea by EryckWebbGraphics, but they made it work. The dual weapon, the spikes, the overall black theme... Chun Li’s pretty much rocking the mercenary look here, ain’t she? Given her general personality outside of the whole love for justice, she’d make for the silent but strong type of agent. And with her skill, she’d also be a top agent who surprises her opponents with her strength and dual weapons.
6 Taking On New Roles
Splatoon is the kind of game that you can play to have good competitive fun. One of the more prominent characters of the game would be the squid sisters Callie and Marie. We mainly know them as idols. Now, what would it be like if the two of them were villains? Well, someone clearly thought they would look good as dictator type soldiers, and they weren’t wrong. What’s scarier is that they could pull this off. They’re performers, they’d have the skill to take on the role of villains. For sure, they’d make for a fearsome duo.
5 The Great Villain We Expected
“Your princess is in another castle,” we all know this infamous line from the older Mario games. For years there have been conspiracy theories and funny things that have stemmed from this infamous line. If Toad really did become a villain of the game, then he’d be the unexpected one we’d all expect.
He’d be the grand mastermind.
The one who was pulling all the strings, from Mario running around to Peach being stolen. That happy childish attitude? It might just be a font while he gathers power in the shadows. The most cunning villains have the brightest masks.
4 A Fitting Role
With the way that Waluigi looks, it easy to see why some would assume he’s a villain. Given how sharp his features are, he could fit all kinds of villain roles. A mad scientist, an evil magician, heck, even a delinquent. Out of all the villain roles though, LadyNyaruInfinity's image of him as a king seems to fit him the best. Being as temperamental as he is, it’s easy to see him getting into fights just to prove himself, despite being on top of it all. Just seeing him on the throne makes the idea all that more realistic.
3 A Deceptive Hunter
We all know Professor Layton as the world-famous puzzle solver. He’s pretty much the perfect gentleman. If one were to imagine him as a villain, there’s no way that he would be the typical rule the world type. Him as a vampire though? There’s an idea.
He’d be the most unsuspecting villain.
Taking on the image of a charming gentleman, he would lure his victims into a trap before doing away with them. Either that or he would be a silent hunter of the night. Just look at zillabean’s photo, doesn’t it just send chills down your spine?
2 When The Hero Snaps
So, anybody recognize from which game this character is from? Super Smash Bros. doesn’t count as a guess, people. Heck, does anyone even remember this character’s name? Right, for those who don’t know, this is Ness, and he’s from the 1995 game Earthbound. For those who do remember the game, first, kudos to you, second, do you remember Moonside? This is basically buntoo’s image of how Ness would look like if Moonside had affected him more than it did in the game. A mad, blade-wielding Ness? Nope. No Thank You. The boy’s looking WAY too natural with that thing.
1 An Unquestionable Predator
Prince Sidon pretty much exploded with popularity when he made his debut in Breath of the Wild. The cheerful prince has charmed more than a few people with his enthusiasm to help. The thing with the Zora prince, however, while he may be a sweet Fishman, those teeth may not just be for show.
As a villain, he’s basically a shark man.
Just look at this piece by Prince-Petrichor; the black skin, the way his gold eyes are popping, and the traces of prey he’s clearly just had. Out of everyone on this list, Sidon is probably the most dangerous.