Monday, May 6, 2013

Bizarre Evolutions of Game Characters

Every so often, we see established game characters get an overhaul for the sake of keeping things fresh and new.  Most times these characters receive only minor changes, such as the Master Chief's armor in each Halo game, which seems to get more detailed over time yet retains the same overall look.  Other times the changes to characters can be extreme and will cause fan outcries of rage, such as when Nintendo unveiled the cel-shaded styling of Link in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  After all, as gamers we tend to collectively call for change, and collectively complain about it when change does occur.

In this article, let's take a look at how some game characters have evolved over the years, with changes that are not always for the best.

Raphael - Soulcalibur Series

Raphael made his first appearance in Soulcalibur II, where he was a mortal French noble with no personality and fighting moves ranging from decent to poor.  That's all there really is to say about this character in Soulcalibur II; I'm not one to slog through the implied story-lines in fighting games, especially the mess of the Soulcalibur series story, which basically boils down to "Character X wants the Soul Edge."

In Soulcalibur III and IV, the game developers for some reason decided to transform Raphael from a boring French guy into a somewhat less-boring French vampire.  Where the logic is found here, I'll never know.  Upon making the jump from Soulcalibur II to Soulcalibur IV, I was fairly surprised when discovering that the least-interesting character in the series had been given a Castlevania makeover.

Now we just need a Belmont to star in Soulcalibur VI.

I never even knew that vampires existed in the Soulcalibur universe, but I guess we shouldn't be too surprised, considering there are much weirder things in these games.

Dante - Devil May Cry Series


I probably don't even have to explain this one, if you are a fan of the DMC series then you know where this is going and you are likely outraged.  But for the uninitiated, Dante is the main protagonist in this series, a demon hunter who just so happens to be part-demon himself.  In the early Devil May Cry games Dante was a likeable badass, facing off against monstrous demons while still managing to crack a few jokes at their expense.  All was well with this character until Capcom's game designers all simultaneously received brain hemorrhages and decided to reboot the DMC series, including a reboot of Dante himself:

Really Capcom?  Really?  You take an awesome character like Dante and turn him into a whiny, emo, Anakin Skywalker-ish teenage brat?  Understandably there has been a huge outrage at this character's redesign, and nothing short of a triumphant return of the original Dante will appease this.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Yes, Sonic himself has seen his share of evolution over the years.  While not as truly shocking as the previous two characters we covered, Sonic has changed in a way that somewhat annoys me.  Look at the squat little hedgehog from Sonic the Hedgehog, we all know he's a 'hog with a 'tude, and this representation shows that fairly well:

In later entries in the Sonic series, I feel that Sega might have tried a little bit too hard to push the 'tude element of Sonic's personality:

Because flashing gang signs is cool, right?

What the hell happened to Sonic?  He looks like Sega's kid-friendly representation of a gang member.  Sonic was enough of a badass in the Sega Genesis days, we don't need him striking weird poses with his strangely lengthened and rubberized limbs while he flashes a creepy grin.

And that wraps up this quick look at some bizarre game character evolutions.  Have you guys found any game characters to evolve in such a way that it annoys you death?


  1. I haven't played the Devil May Cry series, but even I was surprised at the difference in the images above! I knew the original Dante, probably from images of the character being used so much on sites for years, and I didn't even realize they had made such a drastic change.

    I can't think of any character changes right now that I have found bizarre, but if one enters my thoughts I'll try to make sure to come back and update this.

    1. Yea I don't know what Capcom was thinking, the original Dante was a perfectly good character, they took a huge step backward with the unlikable "rebooted" Dante.

      I look forward to hearing back if any character transformations come to mind!

  2. I think I am the only Dante fan on the planet that likes the reboot character, lol.

    You should include Lara Croft in this list. She turned into a normal human in the last game. Even her womanly assets,

    1. Good call, I forgot about Lara! Yea she definitely had some shrinkage in her proportions, understandable since the new game is a prequel and she has yet to visit the plastic surgeon haha

  3. I love the DMC series. I really hated the reboot of Dante at first. The opening was very disappointing, but the gameplay itself is still pretty kick ass. If you just separate the characters and just see it as a whole new/different game then it's not so bad. I just tell myself 'no, this is not Dante - he just has the same name as him.' The character actually gets a little bit better as the story progresses. Alternate reality so to speak. But I really hope they do bring the original Dante back eventually because nothing can EVER replace the original - ever.