Characters from video games can stick with us because of their impactful stories or an element of nostalgia, particularly if they were a playable character. And then there are those characters that we remember, not for their ability to touch our hearts, but for their downright grotesque or confusing designs! We remember these monstrosities because they stand out, making us cringe, gag or even laugh at their appearance. While many of these memorable creatures show up in games as our enemies, some of them can be unfortunate allies. It is important to remember that, while these characters are some of the ugliest around, this does not lessen their ability to intrigue us! In some ways, an ugly or confusing character design can be more compelling than a standard one.
As every rose has its thorn, so every video game has these characters. And we here at Honey’s Anime have found quite a few thorns in our day! We hope you enjoy our discussion of the ugliest characters in video games!
10. Lickilicky from Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
- System/Platform: Nintendo DS
- Developer: Game Freak
- Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
- Release Date: Sep. 28th, 2006
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum are the three games surrounding the fourth generation of the Pokémon series. In the Sinnoh region, players catch Pokémon, train to defeat gym leaders, and battle the evil Team Galactic along the way. The plot and premise of these games are rather typical for the Pokémon series, with a new setting and a whole host of new creatures to encounter. A number of the new Pokémon revealed in these games are not particularly impressive. Perhaps the worst of the bunch is the evolution of Lickitung, Lickilicky.
One look at this pink apparition and you can see the ridiculousness of Lickilicky is not just in its name! Despite the wide range of moves this Pokémon can learn, it is generally proven to be rather useless in competitive battling. Lickilicky is usually given a large oversight in Pokémon games, just as its previous form Lickitung has been. Even so, Lickilicky is remembered among fans for its hideous design.
9. Birdo from Super Mario Bros. 2
- System/Platform: NES, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, GBA
- Developer: Nintendo, Fuji Television
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release Date: For NES, Oct. 9th, 1988; for GBA, June 11th, 2001
Mario is a franchise that spans a massive number of games. And while many of the characters in Mario games are downright strange-looking, none is weirder than Birdo! Birdo is a pink, feminine creature that comes from a species also known as Birdo. While the main Birdo character is always pink and wearing a large red bow, it appears that the Birdo themselves can come in all kinds of colors, although they all look similar. Birdo first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 2, where she shot dangerous projectiles out of her snout to hinder Mario on his journey.
Birdo has always been seen as a feminine character, although the official guide for Super Mario Bros. 2 stated that “he thinks he is a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth.” Some Mario games will refer to Birdo as “it”; however, Nintendo mostly seems to refer to Birdo as a “her.” Regardless, Birdo has been a staple friend in Mario’s group since Wario’s Woods was released in 1994. She is usually a playable character in most Mario Party games and Mario sports games. Birdo is not necessarily an ugly character, but she is definitely one of the strangest!
8. Gruntilda Winkybunion from Banjo-Kazooie
- System/Platform: N64, Xbox 360
- Developer: Rare, 4J Studios, Ultimate Play the Game
- Publisher: Nintendo, THQ, Microsoft Studios
- Release Date: For N64, June 29th, 1998
Banjo-Kazooie was made by Rare, with the premise of the game as the adventure of Banjo and his friend Kazooie, who set out to rescue Banjo’s sister from the evil witch Gruntilda. Gruntilda has captured the young Tooty with the intention of using an invention to suck the beauty out of her prisoner. Banjo and Kazooie were clearly not intending to go on a long rescue mission anytime soon, but it is apparent that Gruntilda will stop at nothing to attain beauty. The homely witch is unable to come to terms with her own appearance, blaming everyone else around her. When she discovers Tooty is considered more beautiful than she is, Gruntilda flies into a rage and kidnaps the young bear on the spot.
Also called “Grunty” by those around her, Gruntilda is your typical ugly witch, complete with green skin, crooked hands and a few unsightly warts. Her deep-seated discomfort with her own appearance stems from her prettier sister, Brentilda. Though she is rather ridiculous, Gruntilda earns her place as the final boss of Banjo-Kazooie, using her numerous spells and flying broomstick to throw the player off track. She is persistent in her evil schemes, plotting revenge in the other Banjo-Kazooie games that follow. Gruntilda is also fond of rhyming, which drives her sisters crazy. Despite fitting rather typically into the trope of a witch, Grunty’s appearance will continue to get more disheveled throughout the series, getting her further away from the beauty she desires.
7. Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog
- System/Platform: Sega Genesis, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, GBA, 3DS, PC Android, iOS
- Developer: Sega, Sonic Team, Backbone Entertainment
- Publisher: Sega, Nintendo, Tectoy, Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: For Sega Genesis, June 23rd, 1991; for GBA, Nov. 14th, 2006
Sonic the Hedgehog is a fast-paced platforming game similar in many ways to the original Mario games, except for its high-speed, high-intensity style. Though other Sonic games have since been released that delve into adventure or sports themes, the core features behind Sonic have always remained the same. Along the way, we have been introduced to many important characters in Sonic’s world, including Tails, Shadow and Amy. Yet none is more important than Sonic’s enemy, the evil Dr. Robotnik.
Dr. Robotnik is often referred to as Dr. Eggman throughout the Sonic games, mainly due to the fact that he is shaped like an egg. Robotnik chooses to fight Sonic through the machinery that he commands, and is often sitting aloft or afar from the battlefield in some sort of control center. While Eggman’s design isn’t the ugliest we’ve seen on our list, compare him to the sleek and adorable characters normally found in Sonic’s world and you’ll see the differences. Sonic’s main villain can be seen with or without his dark glasses, but he is well known for his unusual body shape, large nose, bald head and bristling mustache.
6. Tingle from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
- System/Platform: N64, Wii, GC
- Developer: Nintendo
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release Date: Apr. 27th, 2000
With The Legend of Zelda being one of the most popular franchises Nintendo owns, it is no wonder that at least one character from the many games should appear on our list! And many gamers have heard the dark story surrounding The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The game focuses on Link traveling back in time to the same three days, using music and masks to try to change Skull Kid’s destruction of the world. For gamers that have a love for The Legend of Zelda, Majora’s Mask offers the same sort of adventurous story with a few small twists to entertain players. It is a game that feels very different from other Link stories, but has similar characters and places to make players feel at home.
One character from Majora’s Mask who does not make players feel at home is the enigmatic Tingle. Tingle is a 35-year-old tiny man who is obsessed with forest fairies, hence his clothing choice. In Majora’s Mask, Tingle is useful as a guide for Link, selling the player maps. While he can be helpful, Tingle’s willingness to befriend Link over and over for little reason seems strange. Tingle is seen as a joke by most fans, and his interesting appearance certainly doesn’t help him!
5. Birdie from Street Fighter V
- System/Platform: PS4, PC, Arcade
- Developer: Capcom, Dimps
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release Date: Feb. 16th, 2016
Street Fighter is a side-scrolling fighting game with an endearing arcade style of play that continues to draw in fans. When Street Fighter V was launched just last year, it had a total of 16 playable characters, with several more being added over time. Many of the characters had to be purchased through in-game currency (or real currency), but a handful of characters were available for players right from the start. One of these classic characters is the infamous Birdie, first seen in the original Street Fighter game.
Birdie was originally just an opponent players had to defeat, but in Street Fighter V he is now available to compete firsthand. This large British man dresses in a punk rock style, using chains to tear down his opposition. He has gained quite a bit of weight since his initial release, with a new tattoo to sport on his stomach that reads “Life Likes Dice.” Birdie is obsessed with both his mohawk and food, often seen eating during the middle of combat.
4. Raul Alfonso Tejada from Fallout: New Vegas
- System/Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks, Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Release Date: Oct. 19th, 2010
Although it was not a direct sequel to the previous games, Fallout: New Vegas has the same style as Fallout 3. Set in Las Vegas and its surrounding areas, players begin Fallout: New Vegas after they have been shot trying to deliver a package. The game is complete with many of the same mechanics players have come to know from other Fallout games, such as the SPECIAL system. Players also find that there are plenty of friendly, and not-so-friendly, residents of New Vegas to interact with…
Raul Tejada is one such resident, a ghoul living at the top of Black Mountain. Raul has a rather tragic backstory, as his entire family was killed by refugees after the war, with the exception of himself and his sister. When Raul began to suffer the effects of radiation poisoning, his sister was forced to fend for her survival and was killed as well. Raul lives under the rule of a super mutant in New Vegas, captive unless the player character frees him. If he is freed, he can join the player as a companion, being useful in many regards. Yet his deteriorated appearance earns him a lot of hate from people in the post-apocalyptic world.
3. Uma from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- System/Platform: PS4, XBO, PC
- Developer: CD Projekt RED
- Publisher: CD Projekt, Bandai Namco Entertainment, CDP.pl, Warner Bros. Interactive, Spike Chunsoft, 1C Company, SoftClub
- Release Date: May 19th, 2015
A game that takes the idea of an open world adventure and expands on it even further, The Witcher 3 includes many kinds of quests, sidequests, activities and characters the player can interact with. This game is popular around the world, especially with the depth of character development and storyline involved. And there are plenty of interesting characters you can run into…
Perhaps one of the most interesting NPCs in the game is Uma, a man cursed as the “Ugliest Man Alive” who serves as a sort of court jester for the Bloody Baron. Uma is a resident at the Baron’s castle, being the Baron’s property. He is regarded as a personal oddity, being as deformed and unique as he is. If the witcher eventually goes on Uma’s quest to restore him to his former self, they can discover the cursed man’s true form. And for those who are curious, it’s vastly different! However, Uma’s ruined husk remains one of the most memorable characters from the Witcher 3, simply because his ugly form is unlike anything else.
2. The Nemesis from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (Biohazard 3: Last Escape)
- System/Platform: PS, PS3, GC, PSP, Dreamcast, PC
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom, Eidos Interactive, Virgin Interactive, Nintendo Australia
- Release Date: Sep. 22nd, 1999
In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, players are transported into yet another survival situation that is terrifying. The story ties closely with its predecessor, furthering many of the unfortunate circumstances behind the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon City. Jill Valentine is trying to desperately escape the city, especially after she learns the government is planning to destroy it altogether. This game is similar to other Resident Evil games, but it is the first time that the monster known as Nemesis makes its appearance. And what a horrific appearance it is!
The Nemesis is one of the most intimidating and terrifying creatures in the Resident Evil universe – and that is saying something, considering the cast of horrors created for these games! Created to be more intelligent through use of an infectious parasite, the Nemesis is capable of following players and using weapons against them. To make it even more terrifying, this monster continues to mutate as the player progresses in Resident Evil 3, growing tentacles and becoming even more hideously disfigured. The Nemesis is one of the best villains in Resident Evil, precisely because it is so scary to face off against.
1. Clotho from God of War II
- System/Platform: PS2, PS3, PSP
- Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: Mar. 13th, 2007
God of War II follows its predecessor well, incorporating all the action and fighting mechanics players loved from the first while bringing in better puzzles and platforming moments. The game focuses on Kratos, the new god of war who is brought to his death by Zeus. Before he actually dies, Kratos is given a chance to go back in time and get his revenge on Zeus. Equipped with Athena’s Blades, Kratos sets out to find the Sisters of Fate and achieve his ultimate victory. Little does our Spartan protagonist know that even fated beings like the Sisters can be hideous…
Clotho has the most important job of the three Sisters, as she is the spinner of the Threads of Fate. Most depictions of Clotho in mythology show her as a young maiden. However, in God of War II, Clotho is a disgustingly large hag resembling a silk-worm. Kratos fights Clotho to help achieve his goal, since she is opposed to Kratos meddling with fate. However, she is only able to attack the player with her arms, as she is too cumbersome to move. Clotho is a character we will always remember, not only because of the fight Kratos put up against her, but because of her definitive and disgusting form!
These characters on our list are the worst of the worst when it comes to appearances! They will remain memorable to us because of their ability to stand out from other characters in their respective games. We may not want their images ingrained in our brains, but they are there to stay!
What are your thoughts on this list? Any characters you feel we’ve forgotten? Let us know in the comments!