Most Video Game Villains Aren't Exactly Subtle

A lot of video game villains are cartoonish and over-the-top, but as Danika Harrod argued in a piece on Waypoint this week, sometimes games go too far in trying to make the point that evil people are evil. Danielle, Rob, and myself huddled around some microphones to use Danika’s piece as a launching pad for a broader discussion about how games use villains, prompting us to discuss everything from BioShock Infinite to Resident Evil: Code Veronica.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Pretty sure Turock was a comic before it was a video game.

Re: the possible confusion of Tobias Bruckner being a pastiche of a Confederate or Union soldier: The character looks like a video 90s video game version of Armstrong Custer, who was a Union General, but who also famously led American forces against Indigenous peoples in the “American Indian War.” Which seems like a likely source of inspiration for a writer of a cartoonish comic book/video game looking for a villain to fight an Indigenous American hero.

So this space-racist may not have been inspired by the racists who served the Confederacy, but the racists who participated in the extinction and genocide of North America’s Indigenous people.


You are correct! Turok started as a comic book character from the 1950s (that is not very good if you ask me) and for whatever reason got turned into a video game (the reason was that the concept of a dinosaur hunter is too good to pass up). If I remember correctly the comic relaunched in the early 90s and was a sort of Land of the Lost deal, except Turok was not in a family station wagon that fell into a time warp, he just lived there.

Crazier still, assuming this Wikipedia article I’ve pulled up is accurate, there was a Turok series going on as recently as 2016, which blows my mind a little bit.

If that recent Turok comic is the one I’m thinking of, I think he was a black soldier in it.

One of the weirder bits about Acclaim making those games was they bought out an entire comic book publisher (Valiant Comics) to raid and develop their characters for video games to varying degrees of success. The only ones that got turned into games besides Turok though was Shadowman (an awkward, kinda “edgy”, kinda interesting 3D adventure in the vain of Soul Reaver) and the mostly forgotten Armorines for N64.

I was a big fan of Shadowman when it dropped for the N64. I like the whole Loa thing and the fact that you talked to a grumpy, foutlmouthed bone snake with an Irish accent as your companion.

Too bad the combat and controls were actually atrocious.

I played it for the first time on my dreamcast like…8 years ago? I think? Played like ass but I kinda dug it. Acclaim was pretty trashy but it’s clear some folks there had neat ideas sometimes. Kinda grindhouse-y, looking back on them. Um, except for having actual budgets I guess.

Danielle, you’re not actually crazy. Snifit is a type of Mario enemy. It’s the Shy Guy with the cannon mouth that shoots tiny bullets.