Press up on the D-pad to indict!
My friends, my fellow gamers, it's the most magical time of the year.
That's right. That magical time when people can smell the pine needles and the general lust for power in the air. That season where everyone seems nicer than usual, and those nice people show ads on your TV telling you exactly who wants to destroy America. It's that wondrous, festive time when folks wait with bated breath to see if Santa's left them the most precious gift of all: a functioning democracy.
It's primary season! In a little over a week the ponderous, silly wheels of American presidential politics will begin their quadrennial trundle down the hillside of freedom -- beginning with Iowa's caucuses on January 3rd.
So, in honor of another cycle, we're compiling a list of ten of the slimiest politicians in video game history. They take bribes, they kill for influence, and sometimes they are actually huge monsters taking a human form simply for convenience (OLD GAME SPOILERS AHEAD). But whatever their deal, you wouldn't want them in the Oval Office.
10.) Chancellor / Yakra - Chrono Trigger
If your candidate, at any point, screams "TRUE FORM CHANGE" their poll numbers are probably going to take a hit.
Slimiest Moment: His immediate reaction to his plot being discovered is to say, "Gyah, ha, ha... It's useless to fight!" That's not gonna look good when they loop that soundbite over and over on MSNBC.
9.) John Henry Eden - Fallout 3
Charismatic voice? Check. Photogenic, nonthreatening appearance? Uh, what's the opposite of check?
Slimiest Moment: I'm gonna have to go with the part where he tries to get you to poison almost every living being in the greater D.C. area in a quest for human purity. That's not a platform that's going to appeal to the electorate! If you really want to get something like that done you've got to quietly slip it into a military appropriations bill or something. You can't just come out and say it, silly robot!
8.) Abdul Alhazred - King's Quest VI
If you opt to gain power through usurpation, you should expect a lot of moments like this.
The evil Vizier Abdul Alhazred of KQVI is the classic duplicitous villain. He is pretty much Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves without any of the charm. Having done away with the king and queen of the Green Isles, Alhazred plans to marry the princess Cassima to consolidate his power. Only through brave point-and-click adventure action can he be defeated!
Slimiest Moment: I mean, the whole "kill the princess's parents then marry her and rule the land" bit is pretty rough, but the real dick move is when Alhazred curtly yet politely informs Prince Alexander that he can't see the princess and kicks him out of the castle. If our hero tries to enter again, he is stopped by Alhazred's bipedal dog-knights. The Vizier's got it right -- if you've got somebody asking about the skeletons in your closet, I've got two words for you: deny access! Diane Sawyer can't do a piece on how you murdered the royal family if she can't get past your security detail.
7.) Donnel Udina - Mass Effect Series
Udina listens to some feedback from his constituents.
Slimiest Moment: Udina grounds your ship in ME1 and almost makes you sit out the climactic battle for the future of mankind and alienkind because he's feeling pissy (and doesn't believe you about the big bad genocidal robo-threat). Clearly a governmental overreach, as I'm pretty sure the Constitution states in plain language that no official, elected or appointed, may strip a citizen of his or her legal right to fly around space and romance cute, bookish blue aliens.
6.) B.H. Pirkle - Earthbound
Mayor B.H. Pirkle of Onett (see from about 5:00 on) is a smarmy, moonfaced coward of a man. When the local psychic boy does the job the city police are unable to do and clears out the local gang's hideout, Pirkle openly applauds his vigilantism. When that same boy asks for the key to a local shack, the mayor obliges, but only if the boy agrees that the mayor can "avoid all responsibility" if the kid gets hurt.
Slimiest Moment: Is insecure enough to ask point-blank, "Do you think I'm important?" If the child he is asking this question of responds in the negative, he calls the child a "brat." Not exactly the type of positive attitude that plays well on the campaign trail.
Next week we'll have the other five picks in the thrilling Part 2!