The 15 Most Annoying Video Game Characters (From Otherwise Great Games)

In video games, just like life, there's a certain percentage of people who just need a good punching. The percentage may even be higher in video games, if that's possible.

What makes the offenders on this list even worse is that they reared their ugly heads in what are otherwise some of the best games ever made, making the whole experience just a little worse each time.

#15. Baby Mario from Yoshi's Island

This is an infant version of everyone's favorite plumber who must be protected by Yoshi (that is, you). If the two of them get separated, may God have mercy on your eardrums.

Why he annoyed us:
Did you know that human beings are biologically programmed to find a baby's crying unpleasant? If you answered 'yes', congratulations, you're smarter than Nintendo.

Every time Baby Mario is separated from Yoshi, he bawls his lungs out, releasing one of the most ear-piercing sound effects in video game history. While the relentless crying does prompt the player to urgently recover Baby Mario, it comes at a great price: their sanity. Thanks to him, the mute button quickly becomes an integral part of this gameplay experience.

#14. Miles "Tails" Prower from Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic 2 introduces us to Tails, a sidekick who wants to help Sonic save the world. Unfortunately, his ambitions far surpass his abilities.

Why he annoyed us:
On one hand, Tails is a cute, lovable fox. But on the other hand, Tails is good for exactly nothing. Unable to keep up with Sonic's momentum, playing as Tails in the co-op mode is basically a constant struggle to keep the character on-screen.

The computer-controlled version of Tails is no better. Try playing a special stage with Tails as your computer partner and he becomes the digitalized version of every bumbling sidekick in TV sitcom history, crashing into bombs at will. During regular gameplay, when he's not busy dying, Tails has also been known to prematurely activate crumbling platforms and elevators. Worst of all, deep down inside he believes he's helping the entire time, which makes it almost impossible to hate him.

Almost.

#13. Slippy Toad from Star Fox 64

This toad pilot and mechanical genius is a valued member of the Star Fox team. That is, until he opens his mouth, engages in combat, or pretty much does anything.

Why he annoyed us:
You'd think that a toad flying a jet fighter in space would be nothing short of awesome. You'd be wrong. During every mission, Slippy quickly makes himself the most hated member of the Star Fox team by using his high-pitched voice to shout random, useless advice. During combat, his idea of dogfighting seems to be getting trapped by the enemy and bugging Fox to save him.

We're assured during the game that his mechanical expertise makes him invaluable, which must be the only reason he isn't blown out of the sky by friendly fire five seconds after takeoff.

#12. Ashley Graham from Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 sends you off to rescue Ashley, the president's daughter. Once you find her, keeping her alive becomes a tedious, full-time job for the rest of the game.

Why she annoyed us:
When will game developers learn that no one enjoys protecting the weak and defenseless? Or even worse, controlling them?

Like Resident Evil 2's Sherry Birkin before her, Ashley's special abilities include being difficult, slowing you down, and making the game less fun. It gets to the point that when Ashley gets recaptured, it's like a weight has been lifted. You can go back to slaughtering mutated Spanish villagers unencumbered. The whole second half of the game revolves around saving Ashley from a parasite implanted in her body that would turn her into an inhuman horror. How many of us were hoping the parasite would take over so we would have an excuse to bombard her with incendiary grenades?

#11. Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

This tactical espionage agent is pretty much the main character in Metal Gear Solid 2, and is not Solid Snake. Not even close.

Why he annoyed us:
Mainly, because he prevents us from playing as the ultra-cool Snake. Instead, we're "treated" to hours upon hours of controlling the effeminate, whiny Raiden. We've never been employed in the spy business, but according to all the research we didn't do, it's industry policy that girly men like this aren't given jobs.

Raiden's unwelcome presence makes him a constant, persistent eyesore. Let us re-emphasize that Metal Gear Solid 2 is still a great game. But Raiden did something we had previously thought impossible: he took the fun out of sneaking up on people and breaking their necks.

#10. Natalya from Goldeneye

James Bond must protect this computer programmer who once worked on the deadly GoldenEye satellite that has been hijacked by terrorists. Her expertise was essential in stopping it from attacking London, which means every bad guy in the game is going to try to shoot her while you, as Bond, must throw yourself in front of their bullets.

Why she annoyed us:
"Ok Natalya, here's the deal. I'll kill all the bad guys and complete the mission objectives. All you have to do is not die and under no circumstances should you step in front of me while I'm shooting. If you get the urge to fire your revolver or type on a keyboard with closed-fists, go right ahead. Just don't die. Think you can handle that?"

No she can't. If James Bond is licensed to kill, Natalya must be licensed to die. She, like the aforementioned Ashley Graham, was born with a rare genetic disorder that disables her instinct for self-preservation.

Natalya also reinforces a double-standard. It's ok for her to ruin James Bond's missions by dying unexpectedly, or bitch at him for icing Boris, her scumbag computer programmer friend. But should we suddenly feel the need to turn on her and unload two RCP-90 clips into her skull, it's considered "wrong" and "misogynist" and "pathological".

#9. John Madden from the Madden Football Series

This former NFL coach and color commentator has been a mainstay on one of the most popular series of video games of all time. Since the mid-90's when technology allowed for voice announcers, John's job has been to provide insight into the game as it's played.

Why he annoyed us:
Just like his real-life counterpart, the virtual John Madden is always prepared to state the obvious. If a defender knocks someone on their ass, Madden will be quick to point out that a big hit was delivered. If a receiver burns the secondary for a touchdown, Madden will cunningly observe that the player is, in fact, quick.

The only difference here is that video game Madden plays Captain Obvious in a much more repetitive manner than he does in real life. For example, one can only listen to Madden calling a nice play "big time football" so many times per game before fantasizing about Solid Snake creeping up behind him and snapping his neck.

Madden barely makes an appearance in the newest edition of the game, so maybe after more than a decade of annoying gamers, somebody at EA finally turned off his microphone and hoped he wouldn't notice.

#8. Navi from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

In Ocarina of Time, Navi is Link's fairy companion on his quest to save Hyrule. She shows how much she cares for Link by constantly pestering him like a nagging, clingy spouse.

Why she annoyed us:
Anyone who has ever played this game should remember constantly hearing a tiny little voice saying:

"Hey!...Hey!...Listen!...Hey!...Watch out!...Hey!..."

SHUT THE FUCK UP! I'm trying to have an adventure here. God damn.

#7. Tingle from Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

This eccentric little man sells you maps, making it easier to find your way through the world. Oh, and he wears a spandex fairy costume.

Why he annoyed us:
Yes, the Zelda series makes its second appearance. Are we being too hard on Nintendo on this list? It's no coincidence; they have a terrible habit of including characters and themes in their games that are cringe-worthy for anyone over the age of 12... yet the same games are also some of the best ever made and impossible to resist for a dedicated gamer. It's a cruel, cruel trap.

As for Tingle, we're all for character development in games but it may never be fully understood why this simple map maker had to be fleshed out as a 35 year old weirdo obsessed with fulfilling his fairy fantasy. Sure, as Link we're also wearing green tights, but at least we've got a sword, dammit.

This guy seems to have been genetically bred in a lab as a walking irritant. Everything he does rubs us the wrong way (Tingle ends every single convesation with the magic words "Kooloo-Limpah") and there's no avoiding him, because he's got the maps. What's worse, Nintendo continued to bring him back in future installments of the series.

It is a cruel irony that we could barely make it down one hallway of Goldeneye without accidentally killing Natalya, yet no amount of vicious blows by Link's sword will bring down Tingle. He's lucky, too, because as soon a we had that last map we'd put his head on a pike.

#6. Daxter from Jak and Daxter

This is Jak's half-otter, half-weasel companion who makes a long quest seem longer by interjecting bad humor into it.

Why he annoyed us:
Daxter reminds us of that one friend who is always cracking jokes, but isn't any good at it. In the case of our friend, we try to force a polite laugh, as not to lower his self esteem any more than it already is.

Daxter, however, is not our friend, leaving us no choice but to hate his very soul. Further sealing his fate, he constantly complains about how the player is playing the game. This is the kind of back-seat gaming we wouldn't tolerate from Navi the magical fairy up there, we're sure as hell not going to take it from this talking rodent.

#5. Mr. Resetti from Animal Crossing

This is the hot-tempered mole who stresses the importance of saving your game just a little too much.

Why he annoyed us:
Much like an activist with nothing better to do, Mr. Resetti travels around berating those who quit their game without saving. If you ever reset or turn off this game without saving, if we may borrow a line from Full Metal Jacket, you will be in a world of shit. The next time you attempt to play, Mr. Resetti shows up to punish you by forcing you to scroll through endless screens of boring text. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Even if you had to quickly turn off the system in order to drive your grandmother to the hospital, you will still be chewed out. If he happens to be particularly upset with you, he'll even make you type out an apology using a mediocre and outdated letter entry system. Okay, it's funny the first couple of times. But after that, Nintendo just needs to realize we're busy people, always getting paged to go tend to some emergency. We can't be stopping to save your stupid game every time, Grandma's spleen is bleeding.

#4. The Cops from Road Rash

In real life, we appreciate the cops. We don't want to live in a lawless wasteland (well, not all the time anyway). But in the world of video games, they serve primarily as a means to obstruct your fun.

Why they annoyed us:
When playing this game, all you're trying to do is participate in an innocent little illegal motorcycle street race, while maybe hitting your opponents with chains. The "fuzz", as they are referred to, insist on busting your ass at every opportunity. They have also clearly been bribed, as they never attempt to arrest your opponents, many of which, according to their bios, actually have an established criminal history.

As if these officers weren't already diabolical enough, they often have the foresight to park themselves roughly two-hundred yards in front of double-parked cars at the end of blind 90-degree turns, so that when you inevitably crash, you slide right into them. We ask you, who's committing the crime here?

The system, man. That's who.

#3. Waluigi from Mario Tennis

For some reason all of the heroes and villains of the Mario universe gather to play a game of tennis. Waluigi is Wario's teammate, which is also his sole purpose for existing.

Why he annoyed us:
When they were developing Mario Tennis, Wario needed a doubles partner. So they chose between two alternatives: Either dig into the Mario archives and bring back another classic villain, like they did with Birdo and Shy Guy, or put 'Wa' in front of 'Luigi' and create the biggest piece of shit character of all time. Sadly, they chose the latter and the abomination known as Waluigi was born.

Sure, maybe the concept of an evil counterpart to Luigi actually had potential at some point, like maybe if they didn't just take the Luigi model, turn it purple, then stretch him out and give him a mustache like a silent film-era villain. It also doesn't help that you're debuting him in a damned tennis game. Seriously, if this is the first time we've seen him, how do we know he's evil? Because of his backhand?

#2. Every Racer that uses Comeback A.I., from Countless Racing Games

At some point race game designers realized we stopped playing the games as soon as we got good enough to win the races. So how to keep the game competitive years later? Why, by giving the opposing racers magically-enhanced speed, which means no matter how well you drive, they will always be right up your ass.

Why they annoyed us:
When we own the fastest racer on the track, are the most skilled driver, and sit in first place for minutes on end, we expect to build an ever-widening lead en route to a dominant victory, thus giving us that self-esteem boost we so desperately need.

However, racers who use comeback A.I. don't like it when you feel good about yourself. Making people angry and depressed is the highlight of their day. Whenever you move into first place, they gain an impossible speed burst (or, in Mario Kart, actually teleport ahead) to stay right behind you and wait for you to make the slightest mistake. Hit a pothole two seconds before the finish line, and these guys will sweep around you to claim the checkered flag.

Never mind that you just shaved a whole minute off the time it took you to win the race before, and that you've spent weeks honing your driving skills and upgrading your car. It's like a practical joke the system is playing on you, and you keep falling for it over and over again.

#1. The Dog from Duck Hunt

It's a hunting dog who is proficient in retrieving ducks and laughing at you.

Why he annoyed us:
This dog, despite not even having a name, has truly earned his title as the single most hated character in video game history. For millions of kids, he was the very first video game character they ever saw, and it was their very first experience with having an inanimate computer mock their failure.

You could shoot a hundred ducks in a row, but as soon as you miss one, this motherfucker would be laughing at you like you shit your pants. This canine is not man's best friend. To him, you're his bitch, to be mocked for his enjoyment. If real dogs did this, they'd be extinct by now. Mankind would have made sure of it.

These same people, who cried watching Old Yeller as a kid, found themselves shooting mercilessly at this animated, snickering dog, to no avail. So congratulations, Laughing Duck Hunt Dog. You were the first landmark annoying video game character, and for two decades you have held tightly onto that crown.

Tim Lovett also writes for his GoldenLiterature.com.

For entire games that annoyed us, check out our rundown of The 10 Most Irritatingly Impossible Old-School Video Games. And be sure to read about even more retarded games in blogger Dan O'Brien's report on the surprisingly dangerous choking game.

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