Although lunatics aren't thought of very highly in reality, they're celebrated in video games. I mean, what fun is a perfectly sane human being? We see them all the time. What we want are sociopath clowns and kangaroos with a penchant for explosives.
With that being said, here are our top 10 biggest lunatics in video game history.
10. Ripper Roo
A failed experiment, Ripper Roo is a genetically mutated kangaroo who is turned insane after one too many zaps of evil Dr. Cortex's Evolvo Ray. However, after undergoing some intense therapy sessions, Ripper Roo transforms into Doctor Roo, a genius psychologist and a best-selling author, penning Through the Eyes of the Vortex: A Study of Rapid Evolution and Its Consequences.
But Doctor Roo is still always only one explosion away from turning back into his old, maniacal self, and continued to pursue Crash Bandicoot with his trademark boxes of TNT throughout the series' history.
9. Captain Walker
[SPOILERS] Dubai has been hit with the worst series of dust storms in recorded history, and Captain Walker is sent in with two of his fellow soldiers in order to retrieve Colonel John Konrad, who has gone AWOL along with the rest of his unit, the 33rd, after imposing an unauthorised martial law upon the devastated city. Captain Walker leads his men through the ravaged Dubai, fighting against the 33rd in order to get to Konrad, with the intensity of the battle leading Walker to make the rash decision of launching a phosphorus attack on the enemy forces. It later transpires that the attack did not hit the 33rd, but rather innocent civilians.
As Walker continues on, led by radio communications with the psychotic Konrad, he eventually makes it to the rogue Colonel's penthouse. There, Walker discovers that Konrad has actually been dead for a lengthy period of time, and that he had imagined all of his communications with him as a way to disassociate himself from the various war crimes and atrocities he had carried out in order to fulfill his desire to be a hero.
8. Psycho Mantis
Metal Gear Solid's bosses were relatively normal (I use that word loosely) when compared to those we'd later see in the series, with the exception of the unforgettable Psycho Mantis. Attired in clothing more suited to hardcore porn shoots, Psycho Mantis used his telekinetic powers to see what other games you had been recently playing (he read your memory card) and to predict your every movement (he read your inputs on your controller). He would later reappear in Metal Gear Solid 4, where he continued his love for breaking the fourth wall, yet again making the player's controller rumble with his telekinetic powers.
Albert Einstein once defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results", and this does not apply more than to the Lemmings. Following each other no matter what danger lies ahead of them, the Lemmings have surely figured out by now that a complete lack of independency is NOT the route to survival, yet they continue to follow each other off of cliffs and into death traps, hoping that this time they might make it through without severing their limbs. Madness.
6. James Sunderland
[SPOILERS] Although by the end of the game James has regained his sanity, his journey through Silent Hill in order to seek out his deceased wife Mary, who has seemingly written him a letter from beyond the grave asking him to meet her at their "special place" in the rural town, is filled with terrifying monsters and paranormal goings-on that we later discover are nothing but symbols of James' inner-torment, due to him repressing the memory of suffocating his ill wife to death.
While it's understandable that James would feel a tremendous amount of guilt and shame after killing his wife, the fact that his refusal to accept what he did eventually leads to him being chased around by a guy with a metal pyramid on his head is what solidifies his place in the looney bin.
5. The Joker
[SPOILERS] Although The Joker is arguably the biggest lunatic in comic book history, he only makes it to #5 on this list. Why? Well, although The Joker is insane by nature, his appearances in Arkham Asylum and City have arguably featured him at his most human – his desperate struggle to stay alive at the end of Arkham City is a far cry from The Joker who snapped his own neck in The Dark Knight Returns, while the myriad of pregnancy tests found in the game and its DLC, Harley's Revenge, suggests that he even has sex. And now you're thinking about The Joker's penis.
4. Sweet Tooth
Here's a guy who dresses like a clown, walks around with his head on fire, murders his own family and drives an ice cream van that shoots rockets. When he eventually wins the Twisted Metal tournament, the prize of which is whatever the winner desires, he asks to know the whereabouts of his daughter so he can find her and murder her. Sweet Tooth is inarguably the most messed up character in a series that also includes cannibals, a man with wheels for arms and the devil.
3. Sander Cohen
Rapture's resident lunatic artist, Bioshock's Sander Cohen makes sculptures out of the corpses of splicers he's murdered, working towards his 'masterpiece' that he is overwhelmed by when player-character Jack finally meets him, descending down grand stairs in a rabbit mask whilst glitter falls to his feet. Speaking of rabbits, here's his infamous 'The Wild Bunny' poem:
"I want to take the ears off, but I can't. I hop, and when I hop, I never get off the ground. It's my curse, my eternal curse! I want to take the ears off but I can't! It's my curse! It's my fucking curse! I want to take the ears off! Please! Take them off! Please!"
What is it with clowns?
Final Fantasy's Kefka was more ambitious than all of the other lunatics on this list, but that doesn't make him any less insane. Kefka was instead a functioning lunatic. Setting out to take over the world (a goal he actually achieved at one point), Kefka's sociopathic behaviour coupled with his penchant for theatrics share similarities to a certain other clown on this list, but Kefka is arguably even more abhorrent than even the Clown Prince of Crime. I mean, he poisons the water supply of Doma Castle, leading to the deaths of almost an entire nation, and then laughs about it.
Before you start complaining about how Kefka should have been number one, let me remind you that this is a list of gaming's biggest lunatics, NOT gaming's most diabolical villains. Despite being fundamentally insane, Kefka and every other character on this list still had goals they wished to achieve and would set about achieving them. The Rabbids, however, do not have things they wish to achieve, and even when they do they're often ludicrous, such as in Rabbids Go Home when they attempt to go to the moon (which they thought was a giant light bulb) by stacking up inanimate objects for them to climb.
Although they aren't sociopaths or mass-murderers like some of the other characters on this list, the Rabbids are incomprehensible, useless and hopelessly imbecilic creatures who, for better or for worse, completely embody the term 'madness'. The Rabbids aren't coherent enough to form a sentence, let alone poison the water supply of a city, and this is what makes them gaming's biggest lunatics.
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