Well, after imagining young Disney Channel characters as grown-up parents, and then Disney villains as loving and fuzzy paternal figures, where do you go next? Why not snap the spotlight over to the enticing rogue's gallery of great video game villains from all nooks of time, and see how’d they would do as actual sweet-natured mums or dads?
Certainly, just taking a look at chilling figures in real-life, weirdly enough, they weren’t always bad parents, even if the rest of their actions are clearly made by a vile person; why wouldn’t this be different for video game baddies?
With that said, a lot of these fan-art pieces are more leaning around the premise of ‘what if?’ from the path that wasn’t taken. For example, what if M. Bison had a bevvy of lovable kids at a pivotal stage of his life? It might've have made him into a benevolent leader of Shadaloo instead of the ruthless dictator that he evolved into within the Street Fighter series.
With such a vast roster of great villains to choose from, and for the tendency for gamers to eventually grow to love some of these evil figures, you'd be surprised by how much material on the subject is sitting around. This mass compilation of fan-art depicting those otherwise sinister figures as alternatively loveable (and kind of misunderstood) is both hilarious yet also kind of heartwarming.
So let’s take a look at some of the best examples of that from the talented artists from across the internet…
20 The Doctor And His Daughter
So, regardless of being your a-typical mad scientist who’s been relentlessly trying to take over the world and send everyone’s favorite cyborg-kid, Mega Man, into the afterlife, Dr. Wily can’t be all bad, right?
Certainly, a man who prides himself on his advanced brainpower would be more than determined to continue it via his legacy and be an attentive and loving father. We can assume his daughter—drawn here by ronnieraccoon—must’ve been nurtured by way of education, attention and the keys to the evil kingdom on the day he'll pass away.
At the very least, Wily would sure be one heck of an asset when it comes to giving aid to his kid’s science project at the school fair. Add to that, his (and most likely her) competitive spirit that would have the two of them in relentless pursuit of winning the top spot—a great opportunity for some evil bonding, basically.
We can tell she totally inherited his short-fused temper as well, most likely due to his villainous nature rubbing off on her, or even more likely; he spoils the heck out of her. From his non-stop building of elemental robots, we can assume Wily’s got some untold riches stashed aside to afford it all. His daughter most likely gets anything she wants, whenever she wants; or face the risk of her going into full-blown meltdown, are high. Way to make your nefarious father proud, right?
19 Just A Koopa And His Kid
That big old fiery dragon/dinosaur/turtle-thing called Bowser has been a major thorn in Mario’s backside since the Italian plumber moved on from jumping over barrels thrown by a giant monkey, and turned his priorities towards saving princesses from an endless series of castles.
Yet, Bowser holds a massive family lineage that’s ever-expanding with every Mario instalment. His ‘Koopalings’ hold such colourful names such as Lemmy, Iggy, and Ludwig Von (it seems he really has a thing for musicians). They all seem adamantly proud and loyal to Bowser's royal hierarchy too, with them blindly fighting that happy-go-lucky Mario at Bowser's beckoning call.
Even if it usually ends up with them dropping into lava, they'll loyally do the whole thing over again!
So, whilst Bowser makes for an ever intimidating final Boss for players, he seems to be a pretty good Daddy to his little ones. Also considering we’ve never seen any Matriarch involved in keeping that reptilian Kindergarten in check—we can assume he's pretty responsible one too, then.
On the exterior, he’s a massive villain, but behind-the-scenes he’s one heck of a family man. With this adorable piece by TheMexicanDragon, we can stop assuming and blatantly put our money on him being a "number 1 Dad."
18 The Illusive Dad
When it comes to sinister deeds on a Galactic scale, Mass Effect’s the Illusive Man is definitely your guy. Leading the mysterious organization Cerberus in a relentless pursuit to control the reapers for the greater good, the conniving character is coldly merciless in achieving his quest no matter what.
Miranda Lawson was at one point his second-in-command, with the two enjoying an evil mentor-protege style relationship. Well, then Commander Shepard had to come along and melt her ice-queen exterior and get her on the side of the good guys. Kind of a bum deal for Mr. Illusive? Now he was robbed out of a twisted father and daughter match-up.
So, wouldn’t he be more inclined to the real deal? If he was bound to the concept of a female protégé why not take his actual kin? Mr Illusive is all about preserving the human race (or that’s at least what he tells himself), what better way to enact that than to train your own daughter as your second in command?
RMTG’s epic looking art captures this premise. Maybe Christmas dinner at the Illusive household might be a near-silent affair, yet she looks ready to commit sinister atrocities in name of her daddy dearest. That's what you call loyalty.
17 He's Had Enough
Running an entire evil mystical realm isn’t as non-stop fun as it might seem. Shao Khan holds the honour of being Emperor of Outworld yet rules the place with an iron fist due to constant rebellions and that pesky Mortal Kombat tournament that keeps begging for his involvement as final Boss.
But he can’t be all that bad, considering the great importance he places on his family and its legacy. Sadly, this created a headache as his pesky stepdaughter Kitana—at first a loyal and compliant heir to the throne—soon betrayed him and joined the side of the Mortals in overthrowing him. Kind of breaks your heart, doesn’t it?
Well, what’s an evil Emperor to do?
The only thing he can; clone Kitana, mix it with the DNA of the Tarkatans, and presto: you have Mileena, a loyal and compliant mini-assassin that's also daddy’s little girl. With this picture by zetsumeininja, we can see how Mileena's sinister mentality completely synch’s up with her father’s outlook; maybe even more so.
Plus she’s eager to please his strict demands, including attempting to off her treacherous sister/clone. Khan certainly is a not the best person to get on the bad side of, but there’s no denying he sure has a soft spot for his little girl, regardless of her psychopathic tendencies.
16 A Sweet Family Moment
Back in the early noughts, you couldn’t throw a stick without coming across a movie starring a creepy ghost girl, and Monolith Software took that concept to task with their action/horror shooter game F.E.A.R. with your antagonists a—you guessed it—creepy ghost girl named Alma Wade.
The conclusion led to her actual grown body being unleashed from a preserving chamber, with her being in full-force now as a grown-up, fully unclothed, creepy ghost woman.
In the F.E.A.R. sequel, Alma’s grown form constantly torments and attempts to disturbingly ‘get busy’ with our protagonist, Michael Beckett. It all leads to an epic crazy sort of conclusion as now her true motivations are revealed; all the reanimated female really wanted was just to get knocked up. So, regardless of the causalities that lie in the wake of her violent plan, she just wanted to play mommy really badly. Isn't that kind of endearing actually?
The ickiness of this concept is reimagined in a hilarious way by artist AlmaHot, featuring Beckett, Alma, and Alma Jr as one proud and happy family. Or is that genuine worry plastered across Beckett’s face? One thing’s for sure: if that baby is packing the same telekinetic homicidal tendencies as her mum, that poor guy is in for a heck of a family unit.
15 A Different Side Of Jack
The Borderlands franchise truly found a colourful, entertaining and consistently hilarious main villain with Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2. He was gleefully cruel, hopelessly arrogant, and plenty sinister, yet somehow you just couldn’t help but look forward to the old psycho to pop back into the plot with more choice soundbites. Despite being offed, his character was back by popular demand with more ample opportunities for comedy gold in later appearances in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Tales From The Borderlands.
But with his completely selfish and sociopathic outlook on life, how would he fair as a dad?
Web artist antisorum put this concept to the grindstone with this endearing piece of art. In what appears to be a ‘take your child to work’ day at the old Hyperion Corporation office, his active daughter attempts to snatch away the phone as Jack explains to his wife that everything is fine.
Of course, it’s difficult to take the man at his word, he’s known to be pathological liar throughout the game series, yet he seems to be genuinely happy with his current scenario. Maybe that’s all this heartless menaced needed was an adorable daughter, to restore some much-needed humanity to his black soul. One can hope...
14 Family Resemblance
Similarities between Sonic the Hedgehog's antagonist Dr ‘Eggman’ Robotnik and Dr Wily are difficult to ignore; evil scientist? Check. Vast robotic army? Check. Adamant about offing a blue late 80s mascot? Correct on both accounts. Asides from his rotund appearance and penchant for not obsessively naming all his henchmen after elemental traits, Robotnik is pretty much the same character.
So, in this aspect, could we also assume Eggman would make a pretty stellar dad as Wily was? In this drawing from cloudroute we can assess that his little tyke is the spitting image of her dad, and just as intimidating too. Daddy’s little monster sports the same ominous attitude, mechanical finesse, and even wears the exact same spectacle glass on her eyes.
With her being the spitting image of Robotnik and carrying an engineering prone mind, one can assume that his large robot lair is like a playground for her advanced mind. Could Robotnik be training her to eventually take over the family business? You know, trying to off that annoying and ridiculously fast-footed blue hedgehog. From their peas-in-a-pod demeanour, one can easily assume just that.
Robotnik may have an aversion to greenery and cuddly woodland creatures, but at the homestead, he would likely be a loving and attentive dad. Theirs always a flip-side to the coin, I suppose?
13 The Resident Father
As long-standing as a series Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise has gone, its held several different villains all across its helpings of entries and spin-offs. From the relentless Nemesis, to the punchable man-child Ramon Salazar, or even the chilling recent inclusion of the Baker family; the series has a true penchant for creating memorable and frightening antagonists. Yet, none stand as more iconic than Mr Albert Wesker.
Originally a STARS commando, over the course of the first game though, Wesker eventually admitted he was an actually a turn-coat agent for Umbrella Corporations and their nefarious agenda of personalising their own zombies. He also was also revealed to have an illegitimate son, Jake Muller, who popped up in Resident Evil 6. Jake never met his father, since Albert basically abandoned him and his mother since his conception. Not surprising coming from a conniving bad guy.
Well, to be more accurate, it wasn't his fault; Albert was never told of Jake’s existence—but what if he had?
Here artist salmon imagines that daddy Wesker had been there since day one with Jake, and the two look like one happy duo. If their timelines had connected, who’s to say Albert wouldn’t have made for an adorable parent, his genetic superiority was carried on by his son, so he would’ve carried the strength that Albert so much admired in himself.
12 A Different Motivation
Ganondorf Dragmire, a.k.a. Great King of Evil, has seen as many reiterations as there are Zelda games. Which makes lots of sense considering he’s basically reincarnated time and time again to be an epic pain in the backside of Link, Zelda, and the Tri-Force. One thing always stays the same in his incarnations appearances though; he’s always a hulking, frightening and malicious figure that makes for a worthy contrast against our innocent boy hero Link. Well, with such malevolent presence, you would assume he’d make for a pretty nightmarish father figure?
Not according to artist neoyi, who paints this sweet-natured picture of Ganny, the proud father of little princess Zelda. The wacky little girl seems to not only carry her fathers adoring gaze but plenty of bells and whistles that high-class royalty carries with it too; jewellery, security helicopters, the public's toleration for an off-kilter disposition, etc. Basically, she appears to be living the good life; not bad, considering her daddy is also known as the Emperor of the Dark Realm.
Ganondorf appears to have settled down and mellowed out in his elder years, finally getting a chance raises one of his own, instead of conjuring the willpower to be resurrected for another attempt of destroying Hyrule as we know it.
11 A Robot's Love
Portal was a low-key effort that had cult game written all over it, strangely enough, it managed to become a massive mainstream hit instead. One of the major reasons so many people embraced the stellar puzzle game was the weirdly loveable (yet frighting) villain GLaDOS, a psychotic computer system that continually attempts into manipulating you to off your mortal coil.
As definitive a case is presented that GLaDOS is not your buddy, there's a very interesting love/hate thread between her and the player's character Chell; one that grows into an odd sort of friendship in the second game.
Is there a genuine nurturing characteristic beneath GLaDOS’ manipulative, human-hating psychosis?
Here in this art piece by theREDspy, GLaDOS has taken on a humanoid and motherly form and is cradling what appears to be a child version of Chell. Of course, timeline logic and continuity are not necessary when it comes to good fan-art, which basically has GLaDOS shedding her beloved robotic form, and willingly taking the shape of her most disliked species.
Still, the odd affection the two characters share with each other is not totally unfounded, as is GLaDOS penchant for singing soothing lullabies—something the art piece is actually named.
If Nintendo’s long-standing Metroid franchise had one clear-cut villain it’s a toss-up between reptilian space pirate Ridley and the frightening A.I. monster Mother Brain—still the latter trumps her rival, just a little, by being the ultimate big bad behind it all. Poor Samus Aran has had to battle it out with the gross looking entity on more occasions then you have fingers on your hands.
The villain was a Chozo created database that got her moniker by being named Mother, but also by looking like a big old brain—lovely stuff really. Her cold-blooded scheme to basically reset all forms of existence ‘back to zero’, has been her main drive across several games, with a general dislike for all forms of existence. So when it comes to being an actual mother, she’s not really a prime pick.
Not according to artist Junk Puyo, who takes the ‘mother’ part from Mother Brain and celebrates it quite literally. Showing the villain—decked out in her Super Metroid final form—and Samus in a heartwarming display on the day that champions moms everywhere—it's kind of hilarious and sweet at the same time. Who knew that beneath that vile and monstrous exterior they is just a big softie?
All Samus needed to do was buy her an epic-sized bouquet of flowers and the animosity between the two could’ve been buried years ago.
9 Donkey Kong, Jr.
So who else got confused by the continuity of Nintendo’s Donkey Kong character? In the original arcade title, he was an angry monkey who threw flaming barrels down at a determined Mario. The character was a clear King Kong rip-off and, in fact, became one of gaming's first iconic villains—not to mention a major thorn in the sides of eager arcade players. Fast-forward to 1994 and Donkey Kong Country has you playing for a similarly large ape, sporting the same name, yet he’s now a hero and all-around nice guy—what gives, Nintendo?
Well, even though it was hardly spelt out, gamers came to the conclusion that DKC’s protagonist is actually Donkey Kong Jr; basically the son of the original ape, who also appears in that game as Cranky Kong, the old ape that’s, well… cranky and stuff.
Sadly, while they interact amongst each-other at present, we were sort have robbed of the chance of seeing the big baddie raising his son into a fine young ape. I mean if Jr grows up into a pretty decent good-doer, his dad had to have shown him right from wrong, no? In this piece by BBBHuey we get that snapshot moment with a young Jr proudly hanging on his dad’s arm, during his Cranky's prime barrel chugging days. As anti-social a villain Kong Sr. is in that original game, we can fondly imagine that when it came to dad duty, he was a top ape for his son.
8 Taking After Daddy
Hands down, Silent Hill 2 is one the most chilling and effective entries out the franchise, not to mention, one of the great horror games in general. The dense, surreal story pulls you in with an air of mystery and unbelievable tension, that’s more David Lynch then Blumhouse productions.
One of the most memorable parts of the game is the fearful antagonist Pyramid Head; appearing in a blood-stained butcher's outfit and wearing, well, a gigantic pyramid on his head. He’s a relentless and terrifying enemy that dogs your protagonist at every moment. Also, his intro is jaw-droppingly disturbing, as he appears to be having some group fun with weird zombie mannequins (or something to that extent). Basically, he’s not the kind of fellow you’d be bringing home to mother—or home in general, actually.
So, how would he hold up as a dad? Well, dispute his fervent affection towards his mannequins buddies, in artbrut’s adorable piece that dropped on Father’s Day, good old Mr. Pyramid has his little girl accompany him on his daily routine of grisly doings—she even has her own little Pyramid hat—awww, that’s pretty cute.
Still, if you saw this duo coming at you in a dark alleyway; I advise you run for the hills.
7 Finding Meaning
Square Soft’s ever running franchise of Final Fantasy, along with its endless spin-offs, cross-overs and alternative dimensions, sure has a bevvy of villains amongst them. Most iconic though, stands Sephiroth; the big baddie in Final Fantasy VII.
One of the saddest scenes in gaming was due to this evil man’s cold-blooded actions. Let’s just say it easily helped etch him a spot as the most loved/hated when it comes to video game antagonists.
Still, Sephiroth wasn’t always a meanie, in fact, he was a war hero and noble warrior fighting for SOLDIER to restore order in a warring universe. It was only until he found out that he was a test tube baby that things went south, and he basically lost his darn mind.
Also, a family were of major importance to him; since he never had one and grew up with a fabricated memory of his mother.
Hence why this piece by artist purgatory0207 feels so fitting. Asides from the psychotic lapse Sephiroth suffers, he was a good person, and one with a giant hole in his heart from lacking a family unit. Here, you can see he’s turned things around by having a flock of little white-haired, green-eyed tykes, and appears to be enjoying his newfound role as daddy.
Maybe if he took this path instead of the world-domination route, how different Cloud’s story would’ve been?
6 No Jokes About It
Yeah, it's true, Joker is a comic book villain first, then a movie or TV villain second, so why’s he on the list of video game villains gone adorable parent? Maybe because the Arkham series coupled with Mark Hamill’s iconic voice acting have cemented him as one of the most memorable recent takes on gaming villainy—so yeah, it's getting a pass.
Equally frightening and darkly hilarious, the Clown Prince of Crime has etched himself as the permanent nemesis of Bruce Waye’s Batman. Not fuelled by riches, power or lust, Joker is that unpredictable kind of criminal that just ‘wants to see the world burn’. So not exactly your ‘Father of the Year’ type material?
Add to that, the only sustainable intimate relationship he’s held is with lover Harley Quinn, yet it's a highly abusive scenario where Joker has left Quinn for dead as many times as he has wined and dined her.
With his sociopathic tendencies could he ever get bitten by the parenting bug?
This altered photo by Johnessa successfully alters that perception, as Heath Ledger's iconic take on the character here gets teamed up with a new partner-in-crime; his little daughter. Ledger’s chilling portrayal all seems to melt away as he looks more like a sleep-deprived and patient parent than anything else. Who knew how much a little Photoshop magic could do in sweetening up this infamous bad guy?
5 The Leader
The Pokémon franchise sure had lots and lots of villains challenge the dynamic duo of Pikachu and Ash Ketchum, yet none really stood out as memorable as Giovanni, the all-business leader of Team Rocket. It also helped that his character was involved in one of the biggest twists in Pokemon history; that he was also the Gym Leader the whole time.
What’s less championed is the fact that he was kind of a lame dad. After being defeated in Pokémon Red, he trotted off to seclusion, basically abandoning his only child, Silver. This set’s off a chain of events that lead to that kid growing up to be a cruel and anti-social villain in later games, who not surprisingly has a real disdain for Team Rocket—but what if that hadn’t been the case?
In this art piece by yamujiburo, we see an attentive Giovanni helping his little toddler Silver take his early steps. If only this level of dedication could have been held throughout the years by the absent father, gamers wouldn’t have had to have dealt with not one, but two, of the more powerful villains from the game series.
4 Monsters Make Family
Yeah, sure, Dracula is more famous as a literary figure turned classic movie monster, but there’s no denying he’s one of the great gaming villains too. The prevalent antagonist in Konami’s landmark Castlevania franchise, his origin is similar to Bram Stoker’s original prose; he was an honourable soldier entangled in the War against the East. Upon returning home his beloved wife is gone, and he curses God’s name, in turn becoming the undead monster we all know Count Dracula as.
The games main difference is his interlinking with the Belmont bloodline, a family who’s adamant responsibility is to take out Dracula whenever he returns from his grave—in whatever century that happens to occur—with his several nefarious plans stopped by the famous whip and sword combo.
In UsagiToxic’s fan-art piece, we see the malicious Count in a much more loving light, just trying to get his darn son to stop crying and eat some food. You see? These people have to deal with those problems too.
And it’s not a far reach either to assume the Count is a decent fellow, after all. In fact, he’s basically one of the greatest tragic monsters, a noble man whose heart was broken, and rashly took the wrong path. Maybe all he needed was demanding little tyke calling for his TLC?
3 The Boss Of It All
While Big Boss had sort of taken over the as the lead and main hero in the Metal Gear franchise—at least in the series’s more recent entries—one would do good not to forget that he was the first-and-foremost bad guy, with original NES entry Metal Gear pulling a third act twist where Solid Snakes fatherly mentor was actually the darn villain the whole time!
Several insane conspiracy plots and time-jumps later, and it eventually came to pass in the series that Big Boss was also actually the father of Solid and his nemesis Liquid Snake.
Well, father in the sense that both those guys were cloned from his DNA into super soldiers.
So, you know- normal family drama, basically?
Well, the revelation that all three were genetically connected came late in the game for his sons, so Solid and Liquid never actually enjoyed him as a proper father raising them. Boss was more like a drill sergeant breaking them into super-soldier shape.
Well, here in the drawing by artists ren and watches over at their personal MSG fan-art page ‘A Fistful Of Chaff’, Big Boss is reimagined as that loveable Dad who carries his little tykes everywhere. Hilariously the future antagonism between the kids are foreshadowed with some bratty infighting. The joys of parenting, huh?
2 Where's Their Child?
As the no-nonsense leader of crime syndicate V.I.L.E, Carmen Sandiego certainly had her work cut out for her; I mean, to rise to the top as minority female in the 1980s and etch out an existence as top-dog in an international organization that's only really rivalled by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.—is no mean feat. Maybe that hyper-intelligence explains how she’s alluded gamers in the classic edutainment series Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? since the mid-80s.
Also, her elusive talents have created a whole fan-art sensation of her being romantically linked with the equally hard to find (if less evil) Waldo from the Where’s Waldo? series of kid’s books. I guess it kind of makes sense, since life on the road gets lonely, and they would’ve finally found someone to relate their travelling dramas with. In fact, the whole concept is kind of endearing.
Yet, not without its set of problems it seems, as pictured here in this funny comic strip by Ianismycousin. After Mrs. Sandiego gives birth, with hubby Waldo by her side, the little girl that emerged out of her just as quickly ups and vanishes—resulting in too very worried looking parents.
All that suffering, just in name of a punchline...
1 A Famous Couple
Certainly, when it comes to classic Mario villains Bowser takes top spot, but that doesn’t mean there was no room for anyone else. Arriving on the Game Boy in Super Mario 2: 6 Golden Coins was the hulking, rotund presence of Wario; an evil alter ego of our favourite Italian plumber. The character was a hit and became a quick mainstay in the series, even taking on the role as an anti-hero in two of his own spin-off franchises (Wario Land and Wario Ware series).
Waluigi, on the other hand, is pretty much the same evil double concept but just applied to Luigi—imaginative stuff, huh? He emerged in Mario Tennis, and ever since, he and Wario appeared like two peas in pod, causing plenty of mischief for those other heroic super-brothers. Yet, if Bowser is allowed to have a kindergarten worth of dinosaur kids, where are Wario and Waluigi’s little monsters?
This fan-art by cmdixon589 depicts exactly that concept as an imaginary spin-off title. Certainly, Wario and Waluigi are way overdue their own platforming team-up, adding their naughty little runts would just be that extra icing on top, in a concept that looks like a whole lot co-op fun.