Not even the best story, flashiest graphics, or greatest combat system ever devised can save an otherwise great game from the hell that is a super-annoying character.
Some characters are so annoying that they just about break the game. Others are simply minor annoyances who may get on our nerves, but don’t have a negative impact on an otherwise great game. However, all the characters on this list have one thing in common: at one point, I wanted to falcon punch each of them in the mouth.
Slippy Toad, StarFox 64 (1997)
Think of all the reasons why a game character can be annoying, and chances are good that Slippy Toad from Starfox 64 encompasses all of them. Annoying voice? Check. Repetitive dialogue? Check. Never shuts up? Check. Constantly getting into trouble? Check. Telling you what to do even though they’re struggling to survive at every turn? Check. This character single-handedly turned a fun rail-shooter into a cringe-worthy game that only the most patient gamers could get through.
Ashley Graham, Resident Evil 4 (2005)
“Leon! Help! Leon! I’m stuck. Leon! I can’t open the door. Leon! I’m a worthless secondary character who only exists to drag out this game and make it as frustrating as possible for you to accomplish anything at all!”
In Resident Evil 4, Ashley Graham is the President’s daughter. You’ve been sent to rescue her, and this is one case where following executive orders is probably a really bad idea. Ashley is a constant nag who is always slowing you down and always getting you into trouble. If your idea of a fun game is a single escort quest dragged out over 10 hours, then you will love Ashley. But if you’re like the rest of us (read: sane), then her presence is an abomination in what could have been an otherwise great entry in the Resident Evil series.
Cedric, King’s Quest V (1990)
In King’s Quest V, Cedric is your companion. He follows you throughout the game, providing commentary and advice. I don’t know about you, but if I was a game designer and I was designing a character that was going to follow you through the entire game, I would focus pretty hard on making him as likeable as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not the path they took here.
The fact is, Cedric never shuts up. His voice is completely grating, and his ‘advice’ is rarely helpful. He is, without a doubt, the worst companion character I have ever encountered. Don’t believe me? Just watch the video.
Natalya, GoldenEye (1997)
Here’s yet another annoying character pulled straight from the N64 catalog. GoldenEye was one of the most popular games on the N64. Even though the game was best-known for its great multiplayer component, the single player campaign was a lot of fun as well. Well, except for Natalya, that is. Natalya was the worst kind of character in that she only existed to make the game harder for you.
Natalya was a computer programmer, with no combat skills whatsoever. When she appeared in a mission, you knew that your job would be protecting her from enemy fire while she hacked into some system. While that isn’t bad on its own, she always took forever to get her job done, mouthed off at you at every opportunity, and wasn’t shy about stepping directly in front of your gunfire (mission failed, Bond).
Eric Sparrow, Tony Hawk’s Underground (2003)
Tony Hawk’s Underground was the first Tony Hawk game to focus on story, rather than simply placing you in levels with a series of objectives. And while the game was successful in some ways, it suffered from poor writing quality and some seriously annoying characters. Eric Sparrow was the antagonist of the story, and by far the most annoying character of the bunch. Every time he spoke, I felt embarrassed for playing this game.
Rosh Penin, Jedi Knight Academy (2003)
Jedi Knight Academy was a decent enough game, but it suffered from some pretty horrible dialogue and voice acting. Rosh Penin is a whiney punk who wants to become a Jedi and so he attends the Jedi Academy. Now, I have no idea why the Jedi would agree to train such a whiney, arrogant jerk, but here we are.
Watching the video above will give you an idea for how annoying this character is, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Rosh would frequently follow you around the levels, where he routinely got stuck on objects, fell in gorges, and otherwise single-handedly caused you to fail your quest objectives.
Roman Bellic, Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Hey Niko, it’s your cousin…
Hey Niko, let’s go bowling…
No character created in the last five years has been as universally despised as Roman Bellic. The reasons for our hatred are many. First of all, he’s an asshole. Roman lies to Niko to trick him into moving to the United States. Second, just about every single bad thing that happens to you in the game is directly his fault. Third, he blames you for all of it. Fourth, well…read on.
One of the great things about the Grand Theft Auto series is that you can play it in different ways. Feel like progressing through the storyline? Go for it. Feel like blowing stuff up and causing mayhem in the streets? Knock yourself out. In previous entries in the series, the two gameplay styles were completely independent of each other, so you can choose to go one way or the other (and have fun doing it). The separation of story and mayhem is what made it fun.
At least, that’s what was fun about every Grand Theft Auto game up until GTA IV. Roman (and his constant phone calls) made the free-roaming elements of the game completely unbearable.Want to take a break from the story to blow stuff up? Well, too bad. Here’s a call from Roman, and guess what…he wants to go bowling.
Navi, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen!
You know what I’m talking about…
Baby Mario, Yoshi’s Island (1995)
Think of the most annoying sound you have ever heard in your life, and then multiply it by ten. That will get you somewhere close to the atrocity that was Baby Mario’s cry in Yoshi’s Island. Now, I’m a pretty tolerant guy (seriously), and I probably wouldn’t have had a problem with this sound if it were used in moderation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Every time Baby Mario is separated from Yoshi (which is very often), he unleashes the fury of a baby scorned. In terms of pure sensory assault, there really aren’t any other game sounds that can compete.
Bubsy, Bubsy (1992)
After the wild success of the Mario franchise, just about every game publisher jumped on the side-scrolling platformer bandwagon. Knowing that the success of their game largely depended on the personality of the main character, there was this horrible trend where developers were hell-bent on creating characters that were ‘just like Mario, only cooler.’
Unfortunately, a developers’ idea of cool and things that are actually cool can be two very different things. Bubsy is a prime example of this. The game is full of annoying catch-phrases that are supposed to be funny but are nothing short of painful. Listen to the video…you’ll see what I mean.
I can’t imagine that their target audience (young kids) were too impressed by Elvis and Clint Eastwood jokes.
Raiden, Metal Gear Solid 2 (2001)
Solid Snake is one of the most badass characters in gaming history, and he’s more or less carried the entire Metal Gear series on his back. He should be the focal point of every game in the series, right? Right?!
For reasons I will never understand, Solid Snake was not the primary character in Metal Gear Solid 2. Instead, we got to play as a whining, complaining, self-centered little prick named Raiden. While the gameplay was everything that you would hope for from a Metal Gear game, the cut scenes and story were damn near unbearable thanks to Raiden.
Adoring Fan, Oblivion (2006)
Oblivion was a pretty great game, and I still fire it up from time to time. While a lot of the characters are memorable for all the right reasons (I’m talking about you, Dark Brotherhood members), the Adoring Fan quickly earned a reputation as one of the most annoying characters in all of Tamriel (check out the sheer volume of YouTube videos where he is killed in creative ways).
After completing the chain of arena quests, this little bugger pops up to tell you how great you are and offers to follow you around the world singing your praises. Yes, he’s annoying by design, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with him.
Creepers, Minecraft (2011)
“Hey, man. That’s a nice little building you’ve got there. Must’ve taken you days to create. It’d be a shame if something happened to it…”
Creepers are iconic by this point in time. And yes, I have to admit that I do love them in a strange way — even though their digestive system is seemingly crammed with TNT that they can detonate at will. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re annoying as hell.
Murlocs, World of Warcraft (2004)
Perhaps the most famous creature in World of Warcraft, Murlocs are annoying for a few different reasons. First (and perhaps most famously), the murloc sound is absolutely cringe-inducing. If by some chance you aren’t familiar with it, just click play on the video above and let it keep playing until you feel the urge to fall on your own sword.
Second, when one of these spear-throwing assholes gets close to death, they take off down the beach, alerting all the other murloc brethren to your presence. When this happens, you better hope that you can feign death or vanish, or else you’re probably done for. While questing in WoW is pretty risk-free for the most part (unless you’re on a PVP server), Murlocs remain one of the only mobs that can consistently get you killed.
Tidus, Final Fantasy X (2001)
Choosing one Final Fantasy character to put on this list was hard. In fact, a case could be made for putting *every* Final Fantasy character ever created on this list. With that said, Tidus holds a special piece of hatred in my heart.
Up until Final Fantasy X, the dialogue in Final Fantasy games was text-based (yeah, you used to have to read when you played games. I’m old). When Final Fantasy X rolled around, technology had improved to the point where real voice actors could give life to the characters’ dialogue. And what did Square decide to do with this newfound power? Why, hire the most annoying voice actors on the planet and pair them with dialogue so insufferable that Twilight looks like Hamlet in comparison.
Tidus’ constant whining, annoying voice, shallow thoughts, and obsession with blitzball (a stupid game that you will be forced to play throughout the campaign) make him completely insufferable and thoroughly annoying.
Captain Falcon, Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
Oh yes I did. I want to falcon punch Captain Falcon in the mouth. And while you’re free to disagree with me, just click play on the video above. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Captain Falcon sounds like he’s pooping. All. The. Time. It’s completely unbearable to listen to.