Nintendo is mostly known for being a family-friendly company that creates heroic characters with integrity. However, it takes all sorts to make a world. Here are some of the characters from further down the other side of the spectrum. Not quite overtly villainous, but real unpleasant fellas, nonetheless.
The Dog (Duck Hunt)
Belittling, degrading speech has no place in family relationships. Families should provide a supportive, loving environment to help each other through their toughest moments. And this dog did not get the memo. When a whole flock of ducks escapes because of your poor aim, he doesn’t offer a friendly “That’s okay. You’ll get ‘em next time”. No. He points at you and laughs in your face. But I guess this all begs the question: does your character, the duck hunter themself, deserve this treatment? Maybe his life at home is a nightmare, and the dog is just so fed up with whatever you do to him that he must take these little potshots whenever he can, just so he can feel some semblance of regaining his agency, consequences be darned. Maybe the dog is not the scoundrel. Maybe YOU are the scoundrel. Just something to think about.
CEO’s Son (Good Job!)
In the Nintendo-published Good Job! you take on the role of the very embodiment of corporate nepotism. You play as the son of the nameless company’s CEO, where you bumble your way through every department in the building. Along the way, you disrupt and endanger your fellow workers, smash priceless items and work equipment, and show flagrant disregard for the dress code by donning a myriad ridiculous outfit. It’s possible to do a “Good Job” and complete your work in an efficient manner that wouldn’t make a worker’s comp lawyer salivate. But just like the character we are forced to play as, we as players are just dropped into scenarios involving heavy machinery and precision work that we are not properly trained for and are therefore woefully underqualified for the tasks assigned to us. With this setup, most of us will inevitably make some massive oopsies. Regardless of how awful your performance is, you will be forcibly dragged up the corporate ladder with promotion after promotion, if only to get the other employees out of his direct line of fire. If he’s in an executive office, at least the son is less of an immediate threat of bodily harm towards the employees. He’ll probably just mess up their pensions or send the company into bankruptcy.
Louie (Pikmin series)
Louie first appeared in Pikmin 2 and has gone on to appear in every subsequent mainline Pikmin game. And in each new appearance, his unsavory traits increased exponentially. Louie is the main reason for writing this article and the single biggest obstacle to keeping the language in it at a PG level.
From the moment he was introduced in Pikmin 2, Louie was making protagonist Olimar’s life miserable. Olimar had just returned from a harrowing experience of being stranded on a hostile alien planet. The moment he lands, he learns that the company is in financial jeopardy. This is because Louie ate an entire shipment of precious foodstuffs and then lied about it. Before even getting to take a shower or see his family, Olimar is immediately tasked with returning to the planet with the lying little jerk to collect treasure to pay off the company’s debt.
In Pikmin 3, the menace in a spacesuit is again encountered by your group of playable Koppaites. Even though they save his life from a creature and offer him sanctuary on their ship, he steals most of their food supply and runs off into the wilds, necessitating his rescue again. At least this time, it’s more to rescue the foodstuffs he stole than it is to salvage his valueless person.
SPOILERS FOR PIKMIN 4 AHEAD
Louie once again appears in Pikmin 4, showing off his stupid, empty-headed stare and droning, monosyllabic speech. With the improved graphics of Pikmin 4, his face has more detail than ever before, and is therefore more punchable than ever. I cannot properly describe the mix of frustration, anxiety, and unbridled rage that welled up in me when this dumb jerk reared his ugly head again. Initially assigned to rescue his coworker Olimar, he quickly lost interest like the self-centered jerk he is and went off to find food. He takes on the role of main antagonist in this one, endangering the lives of multiple castaways and numerous Pikmin because of his selfish, food-obsessed ideals. He actively works against your efforts to rescue the castaways stranded on the planet and has a major role in the final boss fight. Louie has truly transformed from a selfish, annoying liability into a full-fledged villain. There’s a small, small part of me that wishes I could sympathize with him, because he almost certainly has some kind of emotional handicap or developmental disorder that prevents him from connecting with his fellow man on a personal level. But his repeated offenses that endanger the lives and livelihoods of everyone around him are just too much for me to overcome. Now, I only wish there was an option to feed him to a bulblax before leaving the planet.
These characters aren’t exactly scoundrels; they may even have positive, heroic traits. But they are nonetheless each incredibly annoying in their own way.
Slippy Toad (Star Fox series)
A loud, obnoxious, and incompetent liability to the Star Fox team. Constantly needs rescuing.
Navi (The Legend of Zelda)
Hey! Listen! We know where we must go. Please stop reminding us every five minutes.
Baby Mario (Mario Kart series)
The fault here is less on the kid, and more on the gross lack of parental oversight that led to an unlicensed baby driving a kart in the first place.