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Sonic the HedgehogMuch of Sonic's woes (and whoa, have there been a lot of woes) started when he added an expanded cast to his adventures. Things got worse when he started to talk. When an animated series about a talking Sonic and his crazy crew of friends and enemies came along, it was doomed to failure. Not as bad as some entries on the list, its nonetheless sad to see Sonic in any medium these days. Its been so very, very long since he did anything right. It seems like someone needs to just turn off the life-support machine and let him die peacefully. Beep.Beep.Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Wing Commander AcademyWing Commander was one of biggest game franchises to be badly burned by an awful movie adaptation before 2000. And since they couldn't just leave well enough alone, they had to make an unsuccessful cartoon as well. Despite featuring some major vocal talent (Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell), the damage was already done.
Pac-ManThe problem with converting a character invented to circumvent the graphical limitations of ancient gaming hardware to a world of cartoon entertainment is the number of questions it raises. Is Pac-Man a drug addict? What is this strange world of mazes he lives in? What were the ghosts when they were alive? Is that really a Pac-Baby? How was that conceived? Who is this strange Sith Lord included in the cartoon but never mentioned in the game? What the f**k is going on!?!
- 5One of the greatest franchises in gaming made it to the small screen in the late '80s, but the animated Legend of Zelda didn't do the games justice. At all. The actual animation was terrible, with color mix-ups, ugly character designs, and lip-syncing that was often off by a country mile. And that's just the technical stuff, either. Worst even than bad animation was Link himself. The intrepid hero of the games was instead a petulant, whiny, would-be date rapist who ogled and pursued Princess Zelda in a manner not unlike Pepe La Pew.
The Adventures of Super Mario Brothers 3Mario makes a lot of sense as a cartoon character. He appeals to children, saves princesses, and has a bunch of loyal, bumbling sidekicks (what exactly is a Birdo?) and a range of inept, incompetent antagonists (who birthed the Koopa Troopers?). The problem with this cartoon is that while it is clearly just a cartoon about Mario, it is marketed and branded prominently as The Adventures of Super Mario Brothers 3. The opening sequence has a huge image of the game cover on the front of a book; an act of marketing not so much subliminal as beating-you-about-the-face.
Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the RealmWhile other entries on this list may have had some limited potential to succeed as cartoons, this entry was doomed from conception. What's the very first thing you think about when someone mentions Mortal Kombat? The very first thing? Honestly. Is it violence? Blood? It's either one of those or, more likely, fatalities. You know, those things where you pull out an opponent's spine or burn off their skin or melt their face or pull their arms off and beat them to death with them? Imagine a Mortal Kombat with no violence and no fatalities (only friendships). Few adaptations in any medium have missed the point of the original source material as much as the Mortal Kombat animated kids cartoon.
Captain N: The Game MasterCartoons have been glorified advertisements for toys since He-Man came along, but Captain N took this to new levels. I mean really, can they do this? Is this not wrong? This isn't even a demand that cartoons be educational. As long as kids learn that dropped anvils will flatten you, explosions cover you in black soot, and Acme is a poor supplier of goods and services, then everybody's fine. Surely a half hour program of targeted marketing aimed directly at their receptive little minds will brainwash them though. Won't they grow up to buy Nintendo consoles and Mario games regardless of the fact that the company they loved has abandoned the hardcore fans who made them a success to pander to the casual gamers?