As a video game hero, you can rack up quite the body count. And all that corpse manufacturing can build up a massive appetite. So it’s no wonder that some heroes “waste not” and chow down on the enemy.
It’s a means of killing two birds with one stone, then eating the birds so you can get to killing more birds. Here are a few of the games that let you snack attack your foes and never face battle on an empty stomach.
THE ORIGINAL GHOSTBUSTER
Pac-Man from ‘Pac-Man’ series
Perhaps the most famous yellow circle besides the sun and a smiley face, Pac-Man is a video game legend. When he burst into the arcades in 1980, he took the world by storm. No one seemed to have a problem with the inherent violence of swallowing your tormentors back then. And this game still slips under the radar of parental watchdogs year after year.
Your ill-fated ghostly enemies are Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and that dullard, Clyde, who’s just left-sharking it as best he can up there. For most of each stage, they try to run down our hero, but once he chomps a bigger-than-usual dot, the fiends “blue the heck out,” and the yellow terror swallows them whole, leaving their disembodied eyeballs to scurry back to the ghost corral to re-spawn. Perhaps those eyes contain the ghosts’ wayward souls, doomed to a hell of being devoured over and over again, like the mighty Prometheus. I’m working on some fan fiction that explains all of it.
HE DOESN’T SPARKLE
Kain from ‘Legacy of Kain’ series
To describe Kain as a hero may be a bit generous. In fact, he’s appeared in a few “top video game villains” lists. And he tends to drink his enemies’ blood rather than eat their whole bodies. But he’s certainly a sometimes-protagonist blood-guzzling anti-hero, and he’s definitely consuming some part of his foes. He’s a complicated vampire like that.
Kain doesn’t have the luxury of choosing whether or not to drink his enemies’ blood. He has to do it, or his health deteriorates throughout the games. And sometimes he has to feed on innocent people. But that creates the sort of moral ambiguity that the player is meant to feel, and it’s what characterizes Kain. He’s complex, unlike many video game characters who are easily defined as good or evil. And his wisdom and calculating ways prove he’s not a mindless killer, either. That said, he’d kick Edward Cullen’s ass.
STICK ‘EM IN A STEW
Kirby from the ‘Kirby’ series
The iconic pink, balloon-like, blob thing is one of Nintendo’s best-known characters. He sucks up enemies like a vacuum cleaner, swallows them, absorbs their abilities, then somehow excretes them from his body. The fewer questions asked about that last part, the better. This allows Kirby to gain new powers and some fancy new hats, which he also creates from inside his own body somehow.
The insatiable sphere has taken this penchant for fine dining from his own games to the Super Smash Bros. series, where he can gulp down characters from other video game franchises with reckless abandon. In fact, his final smash move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl allows him to don a chef’s hat, pull out a giant cauldron, and suck players and items into a super soup before ejecting them from the stage. Say what you want about Gordon Ramsay, but he’s never cooked the people that piss him off. Yet.
IT’S NOT WORTH LOSING YOUR HEAD
Stubbs from ‘Stubbs The Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse’
Any idiot with a katana or a shotgun can kill a zombie. But it takes an un-dead traveling salesman from the Great Depression era to actually be a zombie. Stubbs is a bit of a schlub, but that doesn’t stop him from rising from the grave to enact revenge on the man who killed him. Nor does it stop him from [spoiler alert!] eating the brains of his former lover.
Like most zombies, Stubbs’s favorite dish is fresh brains. And once he eats someone’s brain, that person becomes a zombie, too. Then that person can eat someone else’s brain, creating another zombie, and so on. You know how zombies work. This allows Stubbs to raise his own army of zombies to do his bidding and attack his enemies in an ever-growing horde. It feels good to be on the winning team of The Walking Dead for once.
GO LAY AN EGG
Yoshi from the ‘Yoshi’ and ‘Mario’ series
Mario’s occasional mount, Yoshi is a saddled dragon creature with a long, sticky tongue. So maybe he’s part frog, too. He uses that long tongue to slurp up baddies and either fire them back out at other enemies or swallow them and somehow lay an egg full of them. So the internal anatomy of a Yoshi is probably the most insane thing you’ve ever see in your life.
Like Kirby, Yoshi’s abilities follow him to the Super Smash Bros. series, where he can swallow his enemies and poop them out in an egg shell. It doesn’t necessarily do much physical damage, but it must take a psychological toll on characters who get blasted through a split-second tour of the Yoshi digestive-reproduction system. That’s not something you just come back from without some emotional scars.
THE BELLIES OF THE BEASTS
George, Lizzie, and Ralph from ‘Rampage’
If giant monster movies have taught us anything, it’s that giant monsters smash stuff, eat people, and generally run amok. But in Rampage, you are the either a giant ape, lizard, or wolf out to do what monsters do. The trio wreaks havoc, destroying buildings and gobbling up humans like Tic Tacs.
George, Lizzie, and Ralph are joined later in the series by other monsters, but these original beasts have been rampaging since ’86, so they’re pretty good at chaos. Calling them “heroes” might seem inaccurate, but as Obi-Wan once said, ”…from a certain point of view.” If you were being attacked by cocktail weenies, you might eat a few. And you might smash up their cities because that’s fun, too.
Mike Clark is a Chicago-based writer and video game/comedy/dog enthusiast. He will defend to the death the idea that blowing in a Nintendo 64 cartridge will make it work better despite scientific evidence to the contrary. Tweet your best hate @MikeClarKent.
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