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Top 5 videogame characters that made bad decisions

There are moments in everyone’s life when they wish they could hit rewind and replay the last few decisions they made. If we all had Prince of Persia style time-rewind buttons, we would have worn them out as we continually undid the last actions we took or words we said and acted with the wisdom and hindsight that only a time traveller can achieve. Worse than this though is the decisions you know that are wrong, but choose to make anyway. You see the path ahead, decide that following it would be a bad move, and then plough on regardless.

Many times in games we see this. The character knows he’s about to make a bad decision. There’s much better solutions to their problems, obvious ones, but it makes no difference. Here are the top 5 videogames characters that make bad choices, even when they should have known better.

*Spoilers ahoy!*

5. Mario – Every time he decides to rescue that bitch

Now there’s nothing wrong with chivalry and heroism. Climbing a tower to save a maiden or slaying a dragon is fine. But storming the same castle to save the same Princess from the same dragon and getting burned, squished, spiked, frozen and stomped over and over while running through dirty pipes and inexplicably moving platforms is cruelty to plumbers. This is cruel and unusual punishment aimed at squarely at two Italians with moustaches, and it hasn’t happened just the once. This Princess needs to spend some of the Mushroom kingdoms inexplicable wealth (probably generated through the enslaving of Chain Chomps and the arms trade of Bullet Bills) on anti-kidnap technology. Instead, she relies on the good will of two Italian stereotypes to save her for little-to-no reward. Have you seen where Mario and Luigi sleep? It’s not in the castle! Do they have a car? No, they’re made to travel through fucking pipes!

And what colour is this Chained Chomp? Black! He's black you racist Princess!

It’s hard to see who comes out worse in this. While an obvious cock-tease, Princess Peach at least bakes Mario a cake. For the work that the blue overall wearing hero must endure, this is scant reward. What exactly does Luigi get out of this though? Fuck all, that’s what. He accompanies his brother across worlds numbered by their potential likelihood of killing you, and for what exactly? He might be the best wing man in the world, but what does he actually get for it? Certainly no action with Daisy, she’s more uptight than Peach. No, the best he can hope for is a date with Birdo. Oh God.

Why! Why would this happen!

4. Anyone feeling depressed – Looking for answers in Silent Hill

“My names James Sunderland. Well I guess I’m pretty messed up right now. I’m guilty about the death of my wife, who I euthanized to end her suffering. I have an unconscious desire to be punished and unfulfilled sexual frustration due to my wife’s inability to satisfy me. I guess all I can do is work through my problems and take some time to get my head straight….

Wait, what’s this? A letter? It’s from my dead wife and she wants me to go to Silent Hill. You know, that place where all your deepest, darkest, repressed fears and anxieties take physical form. Should I go there? I mean, I know she’s dead, but maybe I could have some supernatural nookie with an imaginary, over-sexualised version of her. I’m sure it will be fine. It’s not like pyramid-headed representations of my libido will come to murder me, or scantily clad nurse-creatures without faces will cut me up with scalpels.

Right? Right! Going to Silent Hill is the best idea ever! I’m going to get soda and some Doritos for the trip. This is going to be soooooo much fun.


3. Commander Shepherd – Forgetting to save the galaxy

Now a ship Captain needs to make sure his crew is battle ready and they are focused on the mission ahead, but Mass Effect 2 takes this to ridiculous levels. While every moment of the main campaigns dialogue emphasizes that you must take action quickly and decisively, it’s a little difficult when this is happening:

“Commander Shepherd, I miss my sister!”
“Commander Shepherd, I have unresolved issues with my dad!”
“Commander Shepherd, I’m worried about my son!”
“Commander Shepherd……I feel sad….”

Seriously guys! Seriously! Can’t you solve some of your own shit? I’m a Commander of a giant space ship tasked with stopping an alien menace from wiping out all humanoid life in the entire galaxy, and you’re sulking around like an emo teenager who needs a hug and a wowwy pop!

The worst thing is when you ask what’s wrong:

Shepherd: “Whats the fucking problem Jacob!”

Jacob: “It’s nothing, it just well….It’s my dad.”

Shepherd: “What about your fucking dad?

Jacob: “Well, me and him were never that close. When I was young…”

Shepherd: “..oh here we fucking go…”

Jacob: “Why do you always have to be like that. It’s so insensitive! People have feelings you know.”

Shepherd: “Yeah, I FEEL like that giant robot we just fought that almost blew me to shit would make you stop whining about your dad. I FEEL like you should pull yourself together and upgrade my fucking heavy weapons for me instead of moping around. I FEEL like a fucking camp counsellor instead of a bad-ass future captain-warrior-jedi-ninja like I should!”

But I'm a hit with the laydeez

Of course if you play the game like most other RPG’s then you’ll complete all of Shepherd’s side missions. This can potentially prove to be a terrible decision. As you run around the galaxy patching up every broken relationship with your co-dependent side characters, your crew will be liquidated into nourishing slurry by The Collectors to feed their giant Terminator. That’s what you get for choosing to be a nice Shepherd. You lose your chance of scoring with Kelly in Mass Effect 3.

2. John Marston – killing all his friends to wind up dead himself

No one’s saying that saving his wife and daughter from the Government agents would be easy for the former gunslinger John Marston, but surely it would have been easier than the path he took. Sent out to kill Dutch van der Linde’s gang of outlaws of which he was a former member, there’s no limit to the killin that Marston is willing to do to save his family. It’s not just all skinning animals either, through the course of the game literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of men and women are killed through the actions of John Marston.

From the start, he storms Bill Williamson’s fort and kills a whole gang of outlaws. A whole fucking fort! Storming a Fort is hard; killing a whole gang of murderous outlaws takes time and effort and in the end, Marston has to kill his old friend too. Wouldn’t it have been easier to, you know, kill the Government guys who were actually his enemies.

I mean sure, he would have risked the lives of his family, but they were at risk anyway. Killing the Government agents would be tough, but so was fighting on both sides of the Mexican revolution and killing innocents on both sides. Worst of all, the Government agents come back to kill Marston and his family anyway!

I may seem respectful in cut scenes, but in game I am a baa-aad

In retrospect, maybe he deserved it. Marston massacred half of the old west throughout his mission to murder his friends for no better reason than he couldn’t face up to a few Government agents. No matter how you look at it, that’s some bad decision making.

1. Martial artists – Attending a secret fighting tournament

This goes for movies as well as games. Just ask Williams.

Martial arts tournaments should be like Karate kid. Big tournaments, held in front of huge audiences (the opposite of secret) and with referees and Doctors on hand. In these tournaments, if someone hits you then the referee gives them a point, but also very definitely makes them stop hitting you anymore. Sure, sometimes a kid will get a really sore leg, but no one will be put in a body bag.


Look at poor Sagat. Sure, he looks ok with a shirt on, but take it off and he has a big fucking scar from that little karate dudes jumping uppercut. Actually, he has that eye patch too and I bet I know what happened there. Probably another fucking secret fighting tournament with no decent eye doctors on hand!

If you go to regular tournaments there are weight classes and gender is definitely not mixed. In the world of secret fighting tournaments you might get lucky and face a hot girl with (nonetheless very dangerous) spiked bracelets. You might also face a green creature of a whole different fucking species that bites your face and produces electricity at whim. Imagine if Daniel Larusso had to fight that!


Of course ending up in the Street Fighter tournament would be a bad decision, but what if you choose to engage in Mortal Kombat? Well instead of traveling to the Brazilian jungle or an airfield, you’d be travelling to somewhere nice like…Outworld. There all sorts of adventures await you like:

Having your arms explodified. Baam!

Or winning only to have your neck comically broken in a “You did NOT just do that” fashion.

Suffice it to say, there’s lots of bad decisions made by games characters, but the surely the worst is saying “That Shang Tsung gets a bad rap, I bet he’s a decent, honest fellow you know!”, before having your testicles shoved up your nose*.

*A top secret fatality not yet found in the current build of MK

I hope you all enjoyed the list, feel free to pitch in your ideas in the comments. I’m done for the week so have a good one everyone!

Published inTop 5