We know why we love to play video games—they’re an escape from reality, an opportunity to explore crazy new worlds, even a chance to test our battle skills without getting our heads blown off. But sometimes our fav games come loaded with some dicey characters that get in the way of our fun. Like that jerk in the office, the drunk ass at your local bar, or the irritating in-law you get stuck sitting next to at the holidays, you just want to erase them from your world. Except you can’t. It makes you wonder if some game developers are secretly sociopaths.
A list like this could go on well beyond this, but here’s my take on the nine game characters everyone wants to punch in the face.
9. ASHLEY GRAHAM
’Resident Evil 4’
As U.S. government agent Leon S. Kennedy you have been tasked by the President with rescuing his whiny daughter Ashley Graham from a twisted religious cult. But there are probably many times you wish you hadn’t been. Ashley represents the damsel in distress stereotype that proliferated in games up through the ‘90s but which is dying out now. The game may have garnered critical hoopla, but defenseless, clueless Ashley’s inability to do anything and penchant for running away at the first sign of danger, often leading to her being recaptured, makes her a very frustrating companion. Snake Plissken wouldn’t tolerate this crap.
8. BABY MARIO
Super Mario series
Bawling babies are not a lot of people’s cup of tea to being with, so perhaps the last thing you want to be dealing with while gaming is a crying tyke. Well, Baby Mario excels at that when you leave him, say, trapped in a floating bubble. Too bad you have to drag him along with you wherever you go.
7. CL4P-TP AKA CLAPTRAP
Despite being a droid-like companion who helps you through the Borderlands series’ brutal environments, Claptrap’s high pitched voice and perky attitude (which are admittedly a programming glitch within the narrative itself) make him annoying to hang with. Considering the amount of noise he generates, you’d think he would get you into a lot more hot water than he does. And no, we don’t want to hear his new dubstep song.
6. MR. RESETTI
Let me tell you kids somethin’: back in my day you couldn’t save your gameplay, and it seems like that cranky mole Mr. Resetti wants to rub it in. Actually, if you reset Animal Crossing he gives you a long winded monologue, sounding like an indecipherable Alvin (hence the subtitles) while berating you for daring to reset the game. It doesn’t matter if you had a power failure, your sister took over your game, or whatever. It’s also to discourage cheating, but even then, he babbles on so much you’ll want to go out and play Whack-A-Mole as therapy.
In 2013, Animal Crossing: New Leaf allowed players to make Mr. Resetti optional after the game creators received numerous complaints that he made little girls cry. Nice going, guys.
5. ROMAN BELLIC
’Grand Theft Auto IV’
The cousin to the anti-hero protagonist Niko Bellic is a bon vivant of sorts. He totally lies about his life of luxury to your character, who arrives in Liberty City from Eastern Europe to discover his relative scraping by in a dumpy apartment and working as a taxi driver. While the wannabe playboy offers Niko advice on women and money, he is a needy little bastard who frequently calls his cousin to go bowling or get some chow. He’s like dead weight, especially when you’re in the middle of a fight or flight scenario and he wants to check out some strippers. At least he dies in one of GTAIV’s story paths, and you can even kill him yourself at an opportune moment.
4. THE DOG
This cringe-inducing canine goes back to the '80s and a simple Nintendo game about shooting at ducks. All’s well and good when you knock them out of the sky—the Dog is there to pick up your duck bling and show it off—but when you miss, he pops up and giggles at you, even after a successful round of duck blasting. It’s kind of like your parents laughing at your misfortune at getting a C on a school paper after 10 straight As. Luckily, you can occasionally shoot the dog to vent your frustrations. He’s just another reason why I’m a cat person.
3. SLIPPY TOAD
’Star Fox 64’
The mechanic of the Star Fox crew, Slippy Toad has a penchant for ineptitude. When piloting his own craft, he frequently needs to be rescued because he simply does not have the stuff that warriors are made of. He shouts in his irritating, high pitched voice (a la Martin from The Simpsons): “Fox, help me!” “Fox!!!!!” Slippy is the kind of character that game developers and animation filmmakers mistakenly believe is there to provide comic relief, but simply stresses you out.
’The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time’
Remember having Tinkerbell on speed follow you on your quests throughout Hyrule? She’s constantly shouting, “Hello,” “Heyyyy, look!”, “Heyyyy, listen!” and “Watch out!” Yeah, that’s not much fun. And believe us, you’re not alone. Many Zelda-ficionados can’t stand the flittering fairy. Yes, she can be helpful and changes colors to help you distinguish friend from foe and lock onto various objects, but still, a floating ball of light that doesn’t shut up and repeats the same things endlessly…well, at least she was ripe for this fun parody. (Navi drunk dialing Link is classic.)
1. THE HERO
Adventure was cool at the time. You scoured a medieval kingdom—granted, a very blocky kingdom with very blocky bats, dragons, and mazes—in search of a silver chalice. There was also a secret room that revealed the name of the creator (Warren Robinett) and a secret red maze as well. But the one thing that was truly irksome about the game at the time was, well, you. You were a square. Literally. A f**king square. Talk about making you really feel like a nerd.
Playboy contributor Bryan Reesman still has his Atari 2600 stored somewhere. Moon Patrol actually kicks ass on that system.
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