Whether they lied on their resume or overpromised on what they could deliver, there are some video game characters who make you wonder: how the heck did they get here? Sometimes it’s a normal every-level enemy that seems a little underpowered, or a stage boss that isn’t menacing at all. Sometimes these characters simply don’t fit the role they are supposed to be playing, or that everybody around them is overpowered.
When it comes to under-qualified video game characters, there is a bit of relief in the idea that at least it’s all make-believe. If this were reality, these underqualified characters would be in some serious, serious trouble.
9/9 Barney (Half-Life)
While we love Barney and were thrilled that he survived the first Half-Life, the security guards around the mostly underground Black Mesa were simply not prepared for inter-dimensional aliens. The Barneys of Black Mesa may have done security at a mall or Rolling Stones concert just fine, but for a super-secret military installation with all sorts of sinister things going on?
Nope. You would think the U.S. Government would have prepared them more. No wonder they called in the military to clean things up, because these security guards weren’t going to solve anything.
8/9 Goombas (Super Mario Bros.)
“Hey look, there’s Mario! Get him!” You would assume this is what a competent minion would say while chasing after the Italian plumber. In the Goomba’s case, though, their idea of chasing is slowly ambling toward Mario at the pace of a sloth.
While a Goomba might be the most iconic of Mario’s enemies in a series with a ton of characters, they’re still a bit overrated. At least the Koopa Troopas would jump up and down or the Hammer Bros. launch projectiles at Mario. Goombas are just punching in the clock and hoping Mario speed-runs over them.
7/9 Bubble Man (Mega Man)
When Bubble Man is sitting on the same bad guy screen as Metal Man, Crash Man, and Air Man, you have to think that somebody called in sick and Bubble Man was brought in as a backup.
Mega Man 2 is a legendary game with iconic weapons, but Bubble Man’s bubble weapon isn’t one of them. To make matters worse, in lore he was designed poorly and can’t actually walk on land, instead having to hop like a frog. In a world full of killer robots, Bubble Man does not exactly instill fear in any of us.
6/9 Marines (Halo)
While Halo’s Master Chief is one tough Spartan warrior, who can take on hordes of Covenant and other aliens seemingly by himself, other members of the UNSC Marine Corps aren’t so lucky. The Master Chief may have a power suit that protects him from many dangers, UNSC Mariners seem like the redshirts of the series.
Not as well armored, usually outnumbered, and seemingly always needing rescue by the Master Chief, the Marines in the Halo series could use some better equipment. This is even built into Halo: ODST. Despite the cool name, Orbital Drop Shock Troopers can’t fall from as high distances as Master Chief, and don’t have energy shields. It’s a different playstyle than in the main Halo games, as the player gets the feeling of being much more vulnerable than the Chief.
5/9 Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island)
As much as he would like to think he is a mighty pirate, Guybrush Threepwood is not that. Move over, Captain Jack Sparrow, the overly excited protagonist of the Monkey Island series seems like he knows it all, but that tends to end poorly for him.
It’s not like he is some brawny, grizzled, witty dog of the seas. He bumbles around, much to the amusement of the player, and that is really why we like this game series so much. He may be underqualified, but we’re perfectly okay with that.
4/9 Star Fox’s Wingmen
Listen, we get that in a video game it’s better if the player feels like they’re doing the most. Still, the wingmen of the Star Fox series need to really pick it up. It felt like during a large stretch of the Fox games that all you hear is Falco, Peppy, and Slippy crying out for help as they were getting shot at.
Now, how many times was the player saved by their wingmen? Not very often. Star Fox must have back problems due to how he has to carry his team across the galaxy.
3/9 Lut Gholein Guards (Diablo 2)
Diablo 2 does a great job showing how the character you played in the original game was corrupted by the power of Diablo. Now, if such a mighty fighter and killer of the frenzied hordes of Hell couldn’t handle themselves, what hope did the Lut Gholein guards have? In the second Diablo, when you get to the coastal desert city Lut Gholein, you find the main palace has been closed because of a few issues.
When you finally go inside, you find that the palace guards were trying to fight off demons and monsters while you wandered around in the desert. Why did anyone think this was a long-term solution?
2/9 Bowser (Super Mario Bros.)
Bowser is supposed to be the main villain in the Super Mario Bros. series, right? Then why does he keep getting defeated time and time again? You would think a large, fire-breathing Koopa might have an advantage over a plumber that enjoys mushrooms.
Considering Mario is Nintendo’s flagship brand, there needs to be a much more menacing adversary. This guy camped out on a bridge in the first game, and all the player had to do was jump over him. Now, when you see Bowser attack the Mushroom Kingdom, you think “What is this joker up to again? How cute.” He’s the lawn gnome of villains, and even his son isn’t that menacing.
1/9 Johnny Cage (Mortal Kombat)
We like Johnny Cage. He’s a witty, 1980s action hero who gives Mortal Kombat a sarcastic flavor to it. However, in a tournament involving gods, overlords from other realms, cyborgs, ninjas, and the undead, Cage seems a bit outmatched.
Imagine Jean-Claude Van Damme fighting a dragon, and that’s what you have with Johnny Cage entering the Mortal Kombat tournament. No wonder you love beating up Cage for YouTube videos so much.