Everyone loves a good hero. In fact, a hero is the basis of all great storytelling. Whether they are an underdog, a warrior, or just someone that wants to make something of their lives, a good hero/heroine will keep the audiences sympathies and keep them entertained throughout as they follow their journey from beginning to end, supporting them all the way.
But sometimes, just sometimes, you come across a hero or heroine that is just so unlikeable, you just want to punch them! Whether it’s because they are selfish, badly written, or just plan villainous in their actions, these are the type of characters who just want to make you sarcastically cry out “Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!” (apologies to Linkara)
And today, in this blog, I look at my personal Top Five of what I consider to be the worse heroes/heroines ever written. These are the Top Five characters that, for some reason or another, just p*** me off! And maybe they will to you to. So let’s get down to it.
A few things before I start, because I’ll probably open a hornets’ nest in this list. Firstly, I WILL mention some characters that are beloved by many, so please bear in mind that A) this is just MY opinion and B) this is not 100% serious and not intended to be taken entirely seriously. I will elaborate on why I think these characters are so unlikeable as heroes so as to justify their reason for being here. Hopefully I won’t get trolled too much for this!
Anyway, before we start, some honourable mentions.
Bella Swan from Twilight and Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars Prequels
Yeah, yeah, I know that EVERYONE and their mother has done blogs/videos about these characters and how they are so obnoxious, whinny and completely transparent (just to name a couple of examples, the Nostalgia Critic Listed Bella as number one in his Top 11 Dumbasses in Distress videos and the Distressed Watcher did a whole video on the Star Wars Prequels, listing how Anakin was a whinny little brat), and personally I don’t have anything more to add to that.
Besides, the examples I’m giving I fell are WORSE than Bella and Anakin put together! So let’s go on, shall we?
1. Duke Nukem of the Duke Nuken Games
Duke Nukem may have wow’d the video game world with his early games – but since Duke Nukem Forever he’s become somewhat of a pariah. Now I’ve played Duke Nukem Forever and it’s not really as bad as people say it is – but after about 12 years in development, you would have expected something a little better than this.
So, what don’t I like about Duke Nukem? Well, in many ways, he is pretty cool. His voice has a cool, Clint Eastwood type tone, he can kick alien ass while cracking jokes, and he just oozes machismo from everywhere – making him kinda like a cross between James Bond and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But honestly, I find him one of the most sexist characters in video game history.
Not that I’m trying to sound like a feminist, but I kinda have a problem with the fact that the only female characters in the game are scantily clad strippers, nude women who have been abducted, or just random chicks who want to get off with Duke. This isn’t the 40’s anymore, this kinda of attitude just doesn’t work in this day and age. Ok, so I may have written a few sexy females into my stories – but I do at least try and give them a personality to go along with it so that they aren’t just there for fan service.
Now, Duke Nukem does have a certain level of parody to it, so I wouldn’t really be worried about this too much – if not for the hive level in Duke Nukem Forever. In that level, he finds that women have been abducted and impregnated by aliens (there is even a scene where a couple of hookers from the beginning of the game explode with aliens from their belly and dying in a completely inappropriate way) and he has to kill them to stop the aliens coming forth. Does he show any remorse or sympathy for killing these poor women to save their pain? No, he just continues to crack jokes and doesn’t show any hint of sympathy for his actions. That is just despicable! And don’t even get me started on the “wall boobs” scene.
Overall, Duke’s type of humour just feels dated and few I think would actually find him funny. I get the odd chuckle from here there and now, but otherwise I just find Duke a really unlikeable hero – especially with his attitude towards women.
2. Light Yagami, AKA Kira from Death Note
Even thought I have an interest in Anime/Manga, Death Note is just one of those stories that I’m just not really into. Main reason – I think the main character is just a complete monster. Some people have praised the fact that Light (aka Kira) is a character that you can both love and hate, but honestly, I just can’t stand the guy. Even though I get his motivations, I just can’t support him.
For those who don’t know this series (adapted from a Manga and turned into an Anime and live action film), Death Note is about a boy that comes into possession of the Death Note, a book that kills anyone when someone’s name is written on it. Light uses this book to start killing the criminals of the world (along with a personification of Death), but eventually becomes corrupted by power and gains a god complex. The crux of the story features a team of investigators trying to track down Kira (as he has named himself), led by L – a highly intelligent young man determined to bring him down.
Now, I can understand Light’s motives to a certain level – he wants to bring justice in the world. But the problem I find is that he is willing to put innocent people – even members of his own family – in danger to do so! I’m sorry, but I can’t support anyone like that! If Light had some sort of redeeming qualities to his character (in the way that Tony Soprano did) then I would probably get behind him a little more. But because he is so focused on his goal and doesn’t care who he has to step on to do so, then I just wished he would get his comeuppance.
Luckily (SPOILERS AHEAD!) he does! Eventually he is caught and trapped. But Light, in his arrogance, summons the spirit of Death, telling him to write a name in the Death Note to show his power. Death writes in Light’s name, having grown tired of him, and finally Light gets a taste of his own medicine! Even though his death is kinda drawn out, it is satisfying to see the cocky little s*** beg for his life.
Light is quite possibly one of the worst heroes in Anime – possibly even in existence. I would say he is just as bad (if not worse than) King Joffery from A Game of Thrones, or A Song of Ice and Fire if you want to go by the book series. Sorry to any Death Note fans reading this, but I just really don’t like this character.
3. Napoleon Dynamite
I’m probably one of the few people that didn’t find Napoleon Dynamite the least bit funny – partly because I found the main character so unlikeable! How unlikeable?
Well, I’m gonna leave a link to a video by The Cinema Snob, from his The Worst Films of the Decade (done back in late 2009), in which he featured Napoleon Dynamite on there. Skip the video to around 14:32 and listen to what he says about the character of Napoleon Dynamite – because pretty much everything he says in that video is what I would say about the character and I would just be repeating him! (Contains some swearing).
Ok, that was a short one – moving on!
4. Benjamin Spooner Briggs from Limbo of the Lost
This one not many of you will probably know about – and for good reason. Limbo of the Lost is a point and click adventure that was released around 2008 for the PC – but was quickly halted and pulled from sale. Why? Because it was discovered that the backgrounds were ripped off from other games, Elder Scrolls, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Thief – even the opening sequence is directed ripped off from a scene in the Spawn movie! And that’s just SOME of the things they plagiarised. Nowadays, copies of the game are kinda hard to find and are somewhat of a collector’s item – but as a game it is just horrible! The animation is poor, the story makes no sense and the acting is just terrible!
But anyway, onto the character of Benjamin Spooner Briggs (who has a perfect English accent in this game, even though I’m pretty sure the original Captain Briggs was American – please correct me if I’m wrong). After the sailing of the Marie Celeste, Briggs was taken by two supernatural beings and forced into the land of Limbo, where he must try and find a way of escape and overcome his fears.
Pretty basic story, but the way Briggs has to do this usually revolves around people getting hurt in some way, shape or form. And does he show any remorse to it? Not a bit! He walks across a wooden board, causing dust to fall into someone eyes, causing them to be eaten by a wood insect – barely bats an eyelid. He has to look at a paper to get some information, so rather than just asking if he could have a look, he blinds the poor fellow! Not only that, but when he’s investigating several mysterious deaths by a mad cult, resulting in many more people dying in the process, does he show even the slightly hint of remorse? Nope! Not at all.
Ok, so compared to others on the list, he isn’t that bad a character – but he doesn’t seem to show any real emotion to the things going around him – nor does he really make any attempt to understand the characters around him and their plight. But mainly, he’s just a dull character and you can’t really get behind him because he has no personality.
But there is one thing I WILL show you – the ending to Limbo of the Lost. It is one of the most bat**** crazy things I’ve ever seen in my life! Normally I would give a spoiler warning, but because this game is so bad, and has no real story, I think I can get away with this.
Ok, now onto number 5. Boy and I about to open Pandora’s Box on this one!
5. Padme Amidala from Star Wars Prequels
Remember how I said at the beginning that there were worse characters than Anakin Skywalker and Bella Swan? Well, here she is! Padme Amidala! Possibly the worst heroine in the history of Star Wars - and even fiction itself!
Now, I’ll admit, at first I found this character just mildly annoying. She was bland, didn’t do anything and her relationship with Anakin was just plain awkward and the dynamics between the two characters was non existant. Which is a shame as I think Natalie Portman is a fantastic actress (her roles in Leon and Black Swan were just amazing), so she was wasted here. But after reading a blog that appeared in my Triberr stream, going onto explain why Padme is one of the worst characters ever (I can’t remember the name of the blogger, nor remember the link, but if that person is reading this, then thank you for opening my eyes) I now have to say I totally 100% agree with everything she said and can’t believe that I missed it the first time.
Like I said, at first I thought Padme was just a bland character that served little than a plot device – but there are two instances which highlight her as both an unlikeable heroine and an idiot. Spoilers follow.
The first is from Attack of the Clones when Anakin admits to her that he slaughtered an entire village of Sand People, the ones who took his mother. He even admits to killing women and children and saying how much he hated them. How does Padme react to this? “Being angry is to be human!”
Ok, two things. Firstly, in The Phantom Menace, Yoda explained that anger is one of the powers of the Dark Side of the Force. So you do NOT say this to a Jedi – and being around Jedi’s for so long she should know this. Secondly, he just admitted that he committed mass genocide and her reaction was just “Meh, s*** happens.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Maybe Padme just has a thing for murdering maniacs – she and Kratos from God of War should hook up!
But the second thing, which is what the other blogger mentioned, is what cements her as the worst heroine ever. In Revenge of the Sith, after she is choked by Anakin, she is taken to a medical bay. The doctor says that she is dying, even though she is medically fine – she has just lost the will to live. Not only that, she is pregnant with twins (who we know will be Luke and Leia). But all she can think about is Anakin, the guy that tried to kill her.
So, let me get this straight – she’s about to die, about to leave her two children motherless, and all because she can’t stop thinking about a guy who tried to kill her. WHAT A COW!!! I mean seriously! How dumb is this b****?
Now some Star Wars fans have defended Padme, saying that she believes that she can turn him back to the side of good and be a pure source for him. Sadly, I don’t buy that for one second. I find it hard to believe that ANY woman, no matter how much she cared for a man, would want to associate herself with a murdering, needy freak like Anakin, unless she herself was not right in the head. To me, the whole Padme/Anakin thing seems to glorify abusive relationships and tell the audience that it’s ok to be in one. And that is just horrible!
It’s a shame, because Padme is really the only female character in the series (aside from a few female Jedi and some other minor characters), so the series is lacking a good, strong heroine. And the heroine that is in it is little more than a dumbass in distress. I never thought I’d say this, but Padme is so bad, she even makes Jar-Jar Binks tolerable!
Ok, so that’s my list. Hope you enjoyed it and please leave a comment below. Do you agree or disagree with me? Is there a hero/heroine that I missed out? Please let me know as I would love to hear it.
And just to finish off, Happy St Patricks Day everyone! Go out and, as Father Jack from Father Ted would say – DRINK!