For the longest time, Nintendo would talk of themselves as a family-oriented company. Controversial games would get censored before release on Nintendo systems, and anything that could be taken as a sensitive subject was excluded. No religion, no sex, no blood, and no offensive language. Though Nintendo has somewhat mellowed out since the Gamecube era, they still try to instill most of their games with an “all-ages” mystique. Their games can be played by kids, but there is still plenty of material which can be enjoyed by more mature gamers.
For such a clean-cut company, Nintendo has certainly created some unpalatable characters over the years. Through their words or their actions, these characters have shown less than exemplary behaviour, often acting in ways that are downright reprehensible by most societies’ standards. A lot of these jerks can be excused, as they are supposed to be the main villain of their respective games. However, some of them are supposed to be allies, and still, they find themselves on this list of characters of ill repute.
This isn’t a simple roll call of annoying characters. To be on this list, one must commit acts so despicable that it would get anyone shunned by their peers. These characters are irritating, loathsome and detestable. For lack of a better word, these 15 Nintendo characters are scumbags.
Bowser’s main claim to fame is that he has an unhealthy obsession with Peach, who he tries to kidnap every once in a while. His main goal is usually to force Peach into marrying him, with annoying Mario simply being a fun side effect of his modus operandi. While he has never succeeded in marrying Peach (except this one time by accident), there’s nothing to indicate that he’s going to stop trying anytime soon. Nintendo tried to make a running joke of his kidnapping ways, but when you stop to think about it, it’s a messed-up personality quirk to have for someone who they have tried to turn into an antihero in recent years.
Among other despicable things he has done, we also can include that time he convinced his son that Peach was his mother, thus letting his kid do all the dirty work for him.
14 Tom Nook
In Animal Crossing, you move into an idyllic little village to live a quiet life with your animal neighbours. The game is a true escape from the real world, as your character lives his or her life care-free, fishing and digging for fossils just for the fun of it.
Except that Tom Nook, that stupid raccoon, will never let you forget that life sucks and that you must spend it working so that you can pay the bank. As soon as you arrive at the village, Tom Nook sets you up with a house, on the condition that you work for him. And if you want a bigger house? That’ll cost more bells than you can afford, so you better start finding ways to make some money because Tom Nook will never let you forget that he owns you.
Louie is the worst kind of friend, the one that constantly gets himself into dangerous situations and must be bailed out. The events of Pikmin 2 are put in motion when the Hocotate Freight Company is sent into near bankruptcy after a shipment of pikpik carrots are stolen by a “ravenous space bunny.” However, a secret cutscene reveals that the shipment of carrots was selfishly eaten by Louie, thus making him the root of everyone’s problem.
In Pikmin 3, Louie once again lets his gluttony get the best of him, stealing the player’s supply of food and running away with it. When he is found again, he has to be restrained to stop him from stealing the food stash again. When we learn that he has been left behind on the planet at the end of the game, it’s hard to feel bad for the guy.
While Tingle is a ridiculous man who dresses head to toe in spandex, that doesn’t make him a scumbag. It just makes him an eccentric. The part that makes him a scumbag is the servitude to which him and his brothers have reduced David Jr., who just happens to be some random sailor. He set out to sea one night and fainted from seasickness. When he awoke, he had crashed on Tingle’s Island, and he was dressed in the family’s traditional uniform. Since then, he has been forced to work at Tingle Tower, spinning it endlessly day and night.
If you feel like keeping people captive against their will is not enough, how about the fact that he charges exorbitant amounts of money to decipher the Triforce charts? The Triforce to which they lead is supposed to save the world, yet he uses it as a business opportunity. THAT is why he’s a scumbag.
11 The Yiga Clan
In Breath of the Wild, Link could be simply taking a walk in Hyrule Field, and a ninja disguised as a traveler will suddenly attack out of nowhere. Those creeps are members of the Yiga Clan, rogue Sheikahs who swore allegiance to Ganon. That would be enough to put anyone on a list of scumbags, but they are also well-known thieves, notably stealing the Thunder Helm from Gerudo Town.
The pinnacle of their jerkitude came when they murdered the wife of one of their ex-members, Kakariko Village’s Dorian, just because he wanted out of the gang. They then blackmailed the poor Sheikah guard into spying on Impa, Link, and all of Kakariko Village by threatening to kill his two adorable kids, Koko and Cottla. I can hardly think of anything more reprehensible than that.
10 Pigma Dengar
This pig is a liar and a traitor of the worst kind. As a member of the original Star Fox team, he served with Peppy Hare and James McCloud (Fox’s dad). While investigating Andross’ activities on Venom, the team got caught in a trap from which only Peppy escaped. It was later revealed the trap was set up by Pigma himself, who had double-crossed his friend in the name of money.
A few years later, he joined the team of Star Wolf, a team hired by Andross in order to kill the members of Star Fox. However, Pigma Dengar is such a greedy and distrustful guy that even the bad guys thought they couldn’t work with him. How much of a creep do you have to be, not only to be considered too devious for the villains, but also to get a “shoot on sight” order levied against you by those same guys?
9 Duck Hunt Dog
A dog is supposed to be a man’s best friend, loving its human companion unconditionally. That doesn’t quite ring true with the Duck Hunt Dog, who will laugh at each and every mistake the player makes over the course of the game. You could shoot 100 ducks in a row, but should you miss only one round, the dog will be there with his stupid grin, snickering at your failure.
A friend is supposed to be honest with you, yes, but it’s also supposed to support you in times of need, and to help you work through life’s mistakes. Instead, the Duck Hunt Dog rubs your face in your own misery. As a game, Duck Hunt is low on enemies, but with a friend like that, there’s no need for enemies.
8 Eggplant Wizard
Kid Icarus is one of the NES’s most difficult game, particularly the mazes that appear at the end of each world. These mazes are littered with powerful enemies, but they also contain the infamous Eggplant Wizard.
The wizard does not deal a whole lot of damage with his attacks. However, should you get hit by one of his projectiles, Pit will be turned into a silly-looking eggplant with legs, unable to shoot arrows or retaliate in any way. The only remedy to this situation is to backtrack through the maze, using the very obtuse map, and find the infirmary which will turn Pit back into his original form. Those eggplant projectiles are notoriously tough to dodge, and turning into one makes the players lose precious minutes every time. He doesn’t even want to destroy Pit, he just wants to make his life harder. That’s just bad sportsmanship.
Oddjob the movie character is a jerk in his own right. But in the Nintendo 64 classic Goldeneye 007, he doesn’t do anything particularly reprehensible. In fact, he is only ever seen in the game’s multiplayer mode. The only thing noteworthy about his appearance is that it looks like the development team has never seen Oddjob before, as he is depicted as being extremely short.
Oddjob suddenly being a dwarf means that he constantly shoots people in the kneecaps, and that the game’s auto-aim feature, which is essential because of the N64’s controls, fires right above his head. A player thus has to use the manual aiming to have any chance to hit him, giving players using Oddjob an unfair advantage. Most groups of gamers in the 90s had a “no Oddjob” rule when playing Goldeneye. Oddjob himself is an OK guy. It’s the players who break this unwritten rule who are the true scumbags.
6 Soda Popinski
Soda Popinski is definitely smug and disrespectful, with his constant flexing and laughing at his overmatched opponent. It is a behaviour similar to 1997 Hulk Hogan, and everyone knows that he was a major douchebag. But Popinski’s main crime is one which he has tried to hide over the years.
As long-time gamers know, Soda Popinski was originally called Vodka Drunkenski, and it was made very clear what was in that bottle he sips from in between rounds. The truth is Popinski/Drunkenski is probably drunk during his fights, endangering not only himself, but also his opponents. In a sport which is already extremely dangerous, Popinski is in violation of the code of every major sports commission. Had Punch-Out!! not originated in the 80s, Soda Popinski would be just like any other disgraced boxer or mixed martial artist caught using controlled substances.
5 King K. Rool
Compared to all the other heinous acts on this list, stealing bananas is still kinda rubbish, but it’s not all that bad. What makes K. Rool a scumbag is the length to which he is willing to go just to fit his fancy. After being defeated in Donkey Kong Country, King K. Rool decided to become Kaptain K. Rool and change his entire operation to fit a new pirate theme. That included a new costume for himself, but also for his underlings.
That would be inoffensive enough, but if you take a look at this picture, you can see that some baddies who had fully functioning limbs in the original DKC now have lost arms and legs so that they could have hooks for hands and peg legs. What kind of a raving lunatic asks his followers to cut off healthy limbs just to look like pirates?
If you heard about someone who’s entire life revolves around kidnapping babies, what would you say? “What a scumbag!” Or something to that effect. Well, that’s just what Kamek does.
Kamek is the Magikoopa who is in charge of Baby Bowser in every game of the Yoshi’s Island series. Because he knows, somehow, that the Mario brothers will be a pain in his kid’s behind in the future, he kidnaps them so that something can be done about it. What does he want to do with the babies after the kidnapping? Thankfully, we never find out because he never gets that far. Instead, his plan always fails when he decides to hide behind the other baby, the one which he is supposed to take care of. Somehow, he hasn’t figured out that a toddler, no matter how sinister it might be, is no match for a dinosaur who lays projectile eggs at will.
3 Pokey/Porky Minch
The small but devoted Earthbound community knows how much of a jerk Porky really is. He starts the game begging for Ness to help him find his brother, only to later stab him in the back when the aliens show up. He then commits a wide array of deplorable acts, such as attempting human sacrifice or, I don’t know, betraying the entire world by strengthening the Giygas’ power and actively working for them against the human race.
He resurfaces in Mother 3, a bigger scumbag than before (if that’s even possible). This time, he is plotting for the destruction of everyone who doesn’t like him, which might as well include the entire planet by that point. The series’ creator has stated that he is supposed to be a tragic character, one who acts that way simply because he is looking for a friend. My opinion is that betraying THE WHOLE WORLD should be enough to shun someone.
Veterans of Tetris know that not all blocks are created equal. The straight line is the greatest block of them all, while the square and the L-Block aren’t too shabby either. But there is one shape which deserves everyone’s contempt, and that’s the S-Block along with its mirror version the Z-Block.
These shapes don’t really fit anywhere, and they have the bad habit of coming in bunches of three or four in a row. You have to pile them up like garbage in a corner of your screen lest they ruin your entire game, and then wait until the real, useful blocks come in to clear some space. They are essential to put some difficulty in this game, but there’s nothing more frustrating than having a perfect set-up for a Tetris be ruined by those two scumbags.
1 Team Rocket
Just being the main villain of an entire franchise should be enough to classify one as contemptible, but Team Rocket sure like to back up that epithet with their actions. Even if we disregard the anime, Team Rocket has been responsible for the death of the Marowak ghost haunting Lavender Town, while also trying to steal Cubones so they could sell their skull on the black market.
One might mistake Team Rocket for a bunch of low-life poachers, but let’s not forget their other unpalatable qualities. They take pleasure in tormenting children, they dabble in illegal cloning, and they also run a gambling den in Celadon City, which is most probably a cover for money laundering. Finally, let’s not forget that time they took all those people hostage at Silph Co. just so they could get their hands on a Master Ball.