I know, I know . . . MARIO? On a LIST? Of VIDEOGAME CHARACTERS?!
Yeah that's about as predictable as what's going to happen in the next Spider-Man movie.
Chances of this happening = 100%
So yeah, we know, Mario's fat AND he's famous. In both cases proving that size matters I guess. So does that mean, like Milton Berle, he gets a free pass to just show up in any damn list he wants?
Yuuup! It sure does!
Let's face it, Mario's pretty awesome. A classic hero even. He's done just about everything you could want: driven go karts, rescued princesses, healed sickness, and even hosted his own TV show!
But more importantly, he did it all while being what we would call "jolly" if we're being nice, and "a cholesterol time-bomb" if we're not. Yet it has never, for a second mattered.
Take a lesson other game developers! You don't have to go for the average 25-year old athletic Caucasian male for your protagonist (*cough* Prey 2 *cough*). If a forty year old fat Italian-American with a Burt Reynolds stash can become iconic, you do NOT need to make your characters so boring!
So for being the poster boy of fat acceptance in gaming, we salute you Mario!
They may need to work on the posters though.
Pig Josh (Red Dead Revolver)
You know, being a lard ass in this day and age really isn't that hard. I mean, there's probably a graph somewhere in some science-a-torium that explains it in detail, but I'm pretty sure that there's been a direct correlation between "the passage of time" and "ability to stuff more calories into edible objects than Japanese people into a subway car".
The pinnacle of our advanced food technology.
So if you got bigger than 3 Rosie O'Donnells duct-taped together back in 188X or whenever Red Dead Revolver takes place, you must've been awesome.
This of course leads us to "Pig" Josh.
He's gonna make you sssqueeeeeaaaaalllll!
The amount of f**ks Pig Josh does not give is on a scale I'm not sure exists yet. But at first glance, this includes:
1) He just goes screw it and walks around without a shirt, fully embracing his fatness.
2) He has dynamite strapped to his head.
3) He runs around with a gang of circus midgets and coal miners.
4) He has DYNAMITE strapped to his HEAD.
5) He's the first boss in Red Dead Revolver that will give you any trouble, and he WILL give you trouble unless you exploit some sort of bug.
6) HE HAS F*CKING DYNAMITE STRAPPED TO HIS HEAD.
Pig Josh: Loud, Proud, Huge and 100% American!
Besides he must be a pretty cool guy - he walks away from every explosion
Doctor Clash (F-Zero)
Was there ever a more 'Merican pastime than NASCAR? Baseball? Nah I think not. Baseball doesn't have squealing tires, hot flag girls, and car wrecks that inspire our most patriotic citizens to write epic poetry.
So what's even MORE more "Merican? How about NASCAR . . . with rocket propelled f*ture cars, and IN SPACE!
Everything's better in space!
Especially the astro-bikinis!
Well that's what F-Zero is: NASCAR and in the f*ture and IN SPACE.
So who builds these insanely dangerous always zooming, always dooming, vehicular manslaughter cases waiting to happen? Dr. Clash does, that's who.
"Ladies . . ."
A self described "supertonic geekoid" hailing from Mute City (f*ture New York), Dr. Clash ended up building a bunch of the F-Zero cars that end up competing . . . but he still only wants to get into the action himself. In his vehicle named the CRAZY BEAR!
Stephen Colbert's fiercest foe.
The only prob for ol' Clashy actually happens to be his weight, as he's far heavier than almost all the other F-Zero pilots. But due to good old American ingenuity he makes up for it by building himself some sweet Dr. Octopus arms to assist in his driving. As well as "help out" whenever he decides to "relax".
Barry Wheeler & Zeke Dunbar
Meet Zeke Dunbar:
This poster boy for [BIG MAC ATTACKS] follows around the lead [COLE MCGRATH], while making inane comments during their dangerous adventure in [EMPIRE CITY] while they fight the forces of [KESSLER], the primary antagonist. He looks retarded in his overweight [TYLER DURDEN] outfit, does almost nothing useful, and will only frustrate the player while they try to enjoy being a [GOOD GUY ELECTRO].
Now let me introduce you to Barry Wheeler:
This poster boy for [DIABETES] follows around the lead [ALAN WAKE], while making inane comments during their dangerous adventure in [BRIGHT FALLS] while they fight the forces of [VAGUE DARKNESS; ALSO ALAN WAKE], the primary antagonist. He looks retarded in his overweight [MARTY MCFLY] outfit, does almost nothing useful, and will only frustrate the player while they try to enjoy being a [SOCIOPATHIC WRITER].
Yeah . . .
Proving that the long history of dick punching each other via imitation isn't limited to film (see Armageddon VS Deep Impact, Antz VS A Bug's Life, The Wild VS Madagascar and many others), the makers of inFAMOUS and Alan Wake have been competing in a very narrow category: Fat, annoying Best friends to the main hero!
Both characters fulfill pretty much the same role in their respective games, and both represent a weird American dream: to have sycophantic crony ever at your side and helping out your greatness.
If I had to choose which is better . . . I guess I'd go with Barry. He's a bit less annoying overall, proves to be handy at least once (unlike Zeke, who only gets better in the sequel) , and actually gets a couple of decent moments:
Zeke . . . well he just sucks. But then he's supposed to, in order to make Cole look even cooler. So maybe he's actually better then? Better at sucking.
Yeah that seems appropriate for Zeke.
CJ (GTA San Andreas)
It's no secret that we Americans love our freedoms! Whether it be the freedom to say whatever the hell we want to whoever the hell is around, the freedom to go out into the desert and blow crap up with homemade thermite, or the freedom to just tuck in and engorge ourselves in our own base desires, we just . . . LOVE FREEDOM!
I think I've got something in my eye . . . I'm starting to . . . tear up!
Sorry, that's just my CBD (Chronic Beck Disorder) acting up. Let me take a wheeze from my inhaler . . .
Whew! Much better. Where were we?
Though there are plenty of RPGs out there that let us customize our stats and whatnot, I don't think there's a better representative for gaming freedom than Carl Johnson in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
When we meet Carl - CJ to his friends - he's just a skinny dude getting back home to Grove Street, but as you keep going along with his thug life epic you learn that well, you have more freedom to control his appearance, actions, and even dating habits than Stephen King has stories featuring weird psychic kids.
You also have the freedom to pig out so much that you end up like Bart in his deepest fantasies:
OK, maybe not that much, but you can get pretty large. It's a completely optional thing, and actually pretty easy to do accidentally at first, once you learn that eating is the primary way to heal in the game and food is cheap. Also, the game's pretty realistic about losing weight - it takes WAY more effort to lose it than it does to put it on.
So I salute you CJ! You've given all us Americans an outlet for our drive by/drive thru dreams!
Bob (Tekken 6)
Living in the world of a fighting game has to be pretty weird. Everything runs by different rules. Or actually I should say, everything runs by one rule: The most important thing in life is knowing how use your fists to turn others into Hamburger Helper without the "helper".
The world of Tekken is no exception to this, and thus everyone who's anyone is living a life that is 90% Rocky training montage, and 10% melodramatic back story. This holds true no matter what, even if you're so big you make Jabba the Hutt want to go to the gym rather than introducing slave girls to your "pet rancor".
This is Bob:
Bob had bitch-t**s.
Oh no- wait. I got that wrong. Sorry.
Let me start over.
This is Bob:
Bob . . . probably still has b*tch-t**s actually.
His full name's Robert Richards (no relation to the stretchy guy), and he's an American fighter originally known for his ferocious speed, but rather small stature. But remember, this is a fighting game universe we're talking about so Bob decides to deliver a flying bicycle kick to his genetics and stuff himself with enough calories to raise his weight class from "Christian Bale in The Machinist" to "Adam Sandler at the end of Click".
Since he's an American, this isn't hard.
What a time to be alive.
So yeah he lives like he's on a food Network game show where he's the winner every night and fattens up. But he does this while training constantly in some sort of weird regimen that's supposed to maintain his speed while putting on the pudding padding.
And it works! Bob's one of the fastest damn characters in the game! Heck, he's top-tier! Some might even say he's a little too good (i.e. he's getting nerfed in Street Fighter X Tekken).
Aw he's getting nerfed? That's like death for a fighting game character! I guess we better start our mourning.
His name is Robert Richards. His name is Robert Richards. His name is Robert Richards. . .
Rufus (Street Fighter 4)
Long and short of it, Rufus here, is pretty much just like Bob above (his name is Robert Richards). He's American. He's heavier than the lead hippo that ate Chris Farley, and he's stupidly high tier for his size.
But unlike Bob, Rufus has two things going for him that put him further up on the list:
1) He is absolutely comfortable with who he is and what he looks like.
Yes, he's overeating - IN HIS CONCEPT ART
His hair makes Queen Amidala look like she went to Supercuts. His outfit is something Lady Gaga wouldn't wear. His back story is a ridiculous contrived mess and his alternate costumes are pretty much designed to give the concept of ludicrous some thing to laugh at.
"I don't want to look like some sort of freak. I'll just go with the Mu Mu."
So yeah, he's a lot like Pig Josh on this score, but what really separates him further:
2) He has a girlfriend who's actually hot.
Seriously, Rufus' girl (if he somehow was able to chloroform her) should look like this:
Look at her! She's skin and bones!
THAT's his girlfriend? A cute little redhead in daisy dukes?
Yeah. That's why Rufus wins over Bob. When you get to tap Strawberry Shortcake every night, before you go eating some . . . strawberry shortcake you win over a guy who is super disciplined about eating too much.
King Hippo (Punch-Out)
So while we finish our fearsome fighting fatso lineup on this list, I bet you're asking yourself . . . "Why is King Hippo better than Bob or Rufus?"
Uh doy! He's the King stupid. Duh.
King of what? King of punching you in the face if you ask dumb questions like that! That's what.
But seriously, back in the day, King Hippo was the business. Probably the first big ol' chunk a pork pie to make a notable impression on us wee gamers (not to be confused with "Wii "gamers"), King Hippo was unforgettable.
Mostly because he was surprisingly hard. I mean, you take a look at this guy and you think he's going to be a piece of cake. Up to this point you've been fighting a bunch of boxers in way better shape than him, including a Russian drunker than a Tony Stark on St. Patrick's day -
Or any day really.
- and then you meet this guy and like a priest standing behind a choirboy, he's deceptively hard.
I mean his weak point (that big bandage on his belly) that makes it look like he just cut the cord from Ma Hippo (who would be of Stay Puft proportions if true) is so obvious, yet he does something most video game bosses fail to ever remember - he covers up! So you have to give him a sock in his big fat mouth if you want him to drop his big mitts, so you can reach his belly and the sweet, sweet jelly that erupts out of it when you punch him there.
OK that last part about the jelly isn't true, but everything else is . . . probably.
It's hard to remember with this guy, seeing as the "real" King Hippo was pretty darn different from his TV Incarnation.
Where he was King . . . Smurf?
Up until King Hippo, all the other bosses' weak points were pretty obvious single-part affair. This was TWO parts!
He's also just a lot more memorable. I mean, most of the boxers in Punch-Out!! look like, ya know, boxers. King Hippo, he looks like a schlub. Heck I'd say he broke new ground for the world of boxing. If King Hippo hadn't come along, do you ever think Butterbean would have found mainstream acceptance . . . I think not!
Plus, he's also a great singer!
Coach ( Left 4 Dead 2)
Man, picking your favorite Left for dead character is like making Sophie's Choice. It's a tough decision since you love them all . . . but you're probably going to ditch Rochelle in the end.
Sorry Rochelle, you just don't measure up to the rest!
But for our purposes of "fattest" and "American", there's really only one choice.
The Boomer! Obviously.
Just look at that gut . . . it's mesmerizing. Like a lava lamp.
There's no better analogy for the deepest foreign stereotypes of any average American. The perfect representative of the morbidly obese, Wal-Mart shopping drone who does nothing put spew bile all over everything anyone tries to do!
Except well . . . that's kind of unfair isn't it?
I mean we don't know if the Boomer is fat because they started out fat, or if it's just their weird bile glands acting up at hyper speed and filling them to capacity. How quickly do they get full of that spew anyways?
Boomers. They get filled up faster than a prostitute on payday.
So yeah, we need a TRUE representation of the plucky, positive, never-say-die, American spirit. Someone anyone can relate to, because we all know a guy like him. Probably an ex athlete, who watches American football and enjoys a hearty meal and loves chainsawing Zombies into pieces . . .
OK fine. Coach it is!
Yeah, Coach is a pretty cool guy. eh kills the Zombies and isn't afraid of anything. Also a big fan of the Midnight Riders, cheeseburgers, and he just loves to get him some of that sweet, sweet can . . . dy.
In the form of a Chocolate Helicopter:
So if you ever loved a good ball game (and not that wacky "f*tbol" everyone else seems to think of), hanging out listening to good tunes on the jukebox and shooting Boomers in your spare time . . . then you're probably Cally from Battlestar Galactica.
Get it? Her name is also "Boomer". Eh? Eh?
Or you're Coach.
Who, ya know . . . might also be a robot himself.
Hoagie (Day of the Tentacle)
When you think of a big fat, long-haired slacker, who travels through time and says "dude" a lot . . . who do you think of?
Well Hurley of course.
Ok fine. Good point.
But if this were 1993? Well aside from a Theodore "Ted" Logan who seriously let himself go . . . you'd probably end up thinking of Hoagie, from the Epic Masterpiece that was Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle!
Oh man, this game was (to put it in the parlance of our times) flippin' sweet.
Written by a young Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman, this game was the perfect mix of time-travel puzzles, humor, and awesome. Oh, and if you don't know who either of those folks are . . . then you can strip your game cred off right now and call yourself Sally, because that makes me a sad, sad Panda.
Though these days it seems EVERYTHING makes pandas sad: the price of bamboo, handsy zookeepers, commuting . . .
Anyway, consider the following.
Think of the first game you played that dealt with time travel puzzles. Was it maybe one of the Prince of Persia games? Perhaps one of the Zeldas, Ocarina of Time maybe?
Day of the Tentacle precedes most, if not all of those games, doing all sorts of wacky things with time travel, like leaving bottles of wine in the past so you could pick them up in the f*ture because what you really need is a bottle of vinegar . . . stuff like that. Stuff that was so ahead of its time it's still hardly done, even today!
If you want to know what this game is like . . .
This is what it's like.
So who IS Hoagie anyway?
One of the three main protagonists, Hoagie is a chunky, roadie layabout who hangs out a lot with his buddy Bernard, super nerd extraordinaire, and Laverne, a space cadet med-school student. They get involved in trying to rescue a good sentient tentacle from a mad doctor who lives in a mansion (of the titular Maniac variety) and for his trouble, Hoagie gets propelled 200 years into the past against his will, which sucks, 'cause he totally has a show he's got to get to tonight.
Also he gets propelled via a time-traveling toilet, which, you know . . . ew.
But it isn't all bad being stuck in the past. While there, Hoagie gets to hang out with the founding fathers! . . . and Ben Franklin.
Here he hangs out with a freezing John hancock, a time capsule obsessed Thomas Jefferson, and a stuck up George Washington. He even gets to teach Ben Franklin how to discover electricity and, like any true American, comes up with his own twist to the US Constitution - putting a vacuum cleaner in every basement!
Heck, if it weren't for Hoagie, the founding fathers might never have been able to get the Constitution off the ground.
Truly, he is the paragon of an American Hero.
So this 4th of July, whether you're celebrating by eating barbeque, drinking beer or watching fireworks . . . just remember, you have a big fat metal head to thank for all of it.
So go my friends! Enjoy the holiday! Have a blast! Rock out with your tentacle out and try to be just like the nineties slackers of yesteryear!
That is to say . . .
. . .EXCELLENT.
L The List