While all years have ups and downs, it is a safe to say 2020 had many more downs than ups. From unprecedented wildfires, murder hornets, and devastating floods, not to mention COVID-19; it is certainly a year many will not forget. Some of the biggest and most impactful events have been the global lockdowns to prevent the pandemic from getting worse. These lockdowns reached most shores in March 2020, and have persisted through to the publication of this article (possibly even longer). Thankfully, many of us have been able to turn to digital entertainment during these trying times. The result for the interactive entertainment industry has been nothing short of impressive. Unfortunately for some gamers, however, there are some rather dastardly Video Game Characters who Embody the Horrors of 2020.
Amongst record-breaking video game sales and hardware purchases, streamers and creators also saw an upsurge in views and subscriptions. With this in mind, I feel it is safe to say that many video game characters helped gamers through ‘the isolation’. However, “all things must have balance” – said the Mad Titan Darth Yoda while adding the Power Stone to his Death Eater Mask. For every good character who helped us through these trying times, there most assuredly were several bad ones.
This is what the following list of ’10 Video Games Characters Who Embody the Horrors of the 2020′ is all about. From gremlins to totem-wielding trolls and weirdos called Chris who keeps staring over the Macbook while I work [I have photo evidence, Chris!], finding characters who simply would not make you forget about 2020 are easy as pie. This is especially considering they can never go away, once published! Digging deeper, however, is when the real malevolent icons appear. The real 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020 if you will. These characters are mean and gross, and pretty much sum up everything that was 2020 (and perhaps even the 20s as a whole). It must be noted how characters on this list can come from any video game from any year. Video Games are forever, and the 20s is just another step along that path.
Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020
Spider Mastermind – DOOM
If there is a stronger candidate to start this list out with I am all ears. I mean, just look at that face! The Spider Mastermind is the final boss of both the original DOOM and the incredible 2016 reboot. Spider Mastermind has reason to be on this list for its horrendous looks alone, but it is most assuredly also embodies 2020. It also resembles a half-chewed and regurgitated spider, so there is that.
It is safe to say that 2020 was one of the years only demons from a video game could plot, and this demon is not called a Mastermind for no reason. In the 2016 reboot, Spider Mastermind is a speedy demon who jumps and lunges at Doomguy. It uses its legs and/or pincers (I am still uncertain about that) to slash and swipe, and it can even roll over all Exorcist-like and walk around the wrong way up. Truly horrifying if you ask me!
Nemesis – Resident Evil
Nemesis most assuredly does his name justice. It is a character who has become quite the namesake in recent years, with Resident Evil fans clamouring to see more and more of him. The character has also received a few facelifts over the years, but none of them come close to the movie version, which was truly horrendous and villainous… albeit a teensy bit misunderstood. Much like how simple Nemesis defines 2020 in a very simple way: no one wants to see him again.
Nemesis may not be the smartest of the 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020, but he is one of the more physically powerful characters. In the games, he is a hulking zombie/genetic mutant hybrid who skulks the player throughout most of their experience. He is strong and can snap any person in half with minimal effort. In the movie, Nemesis is similar, but with the bonus of a massive light machine gun! Whether he is encountered in the game or seen in the movies, no one involved would ever want to see him again… just like 2020.
Alma Wade – F.E.A.R.
Alma is pretty much fear incarnate – the perfect antagonist for a game called F.E.A.R. (2005)! Alma’s scariest feature is undoubtedly her tenacity to appear and disappear as she pleases. This way she can torment those who can see her full apparition, and haunt those who can only see her powers. While she made her first appearance in the original 2005 F.E.A.R., she was featured in pretty much every F.E.A.R. instalment, tie-in novel, and comic thereafter. Who does not like a misunderstood and imprisoned witch who projects her childlike visage while burning through the brains of everyone who comes close?
Of all 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the horrors of 2020, Alma comes the closest in terms of having the most traumatic events to be bestowed upon the proud peoples of Earth. Thinking back, it was one of the scariest years – I mean, it almost started with a Third World War! In the games, Alma likes to silently stalk her victims while giggling like a little child. She is also shown wreaking havoc, and I will never forget that darn school mission from F.E.A.R. 2.. Now I need to call my life coach again.
Necromorphs – Dead Space
From crazy wildfires to murder hornets, it is frankly a surprise the planet was not enveloped in a cloud of eternal darkness or something. While most of the world still had their power intact, South Africa continuously had load shedding. Needless to say, this reminded me of Dead Space and the necromorphs, undoubtedly some of the scariest Video Game Characters Who Embody the horrors of 2020. Just look at them!
I touched upon how the Spider Mastermind was a horrific creature. All necromorphs, however, have been designed to look as grotesque as humanly possible, and it shows. The idea around the necromorphs is that they are different body parts from different creatures, all fused into individual monstrosities. Throughout the game, Dead Space protagonist Isaac learns about the evil origins of the necromorphs. Let us just say that a global pandemic ravaging the populace may not be too far off… what a sad day to be reminded of that.
Four Horsemen – Darksiders
While not a single character (or character type) the Four Horsemen are one-and-the-same when it comes to what they resemble: the end of the world. This makes them easy candidates for 10 Video Games Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020. In addition to being key characters in a world-renowned video game franchise, these entrants are also iconic characters featured in multiple mythologies.
The Four Horsemen’s design have changed wildly over the years. From the deeply serious War to the more humorous Death and the strong female Xena-like temptress, Fury (not to mention merc-with-a-mouth-inspired Strife from the spin-off title), it is clear none of the horsemen are the same. It is a shame, then, that their existence means the world is either ending or has already ended. That took a dark turn!
Lavos – Chrono Trigger
Lavos is a time entity who drifted around in space until it made landfall in the early years of human evolution. The massive meteorite caused a cataclysm for all living things, and changed the planet’s fate forever… and that is only the short of it. This is why Lavos is one of the 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020. With a big ugly shell the size of a small mountain, and a slimy biomechanical alien at its core, Lavos has a look only a mothership would love! After everything that happened in 2020, it would come as no surprise that aliens might come down to turn us all into pawns in the near future. I mean, the Pentagon did release a bunch of info on Unidentified Flying Objects mid-way through the pandemic.
First appearing in Chrono Trigger (1995), Lavos acted as the arch-villain who defied time and space. While thought lost and gone, Lavos reappeared in Chrono Cross (1999). There it woke from its slumber, where it devoured time, and influenced the events of the game. Lavos is a huge being that burrowed beneath the surface of The Entity (the planet) after it hit the ground in 65,000,000 BC. In Chrono Trigger it resembles a massive boulder with spikes and a gross little head at the front. After Chrono and his friends defeat it for the first time, it is revealed that the real (slimy and weird looking) Lavos is hidden deep beneath the hard shell! By the time it reappeared in the sequel, Lavos had evolved into an entity that resembled its shell once more, but with a much more natural look.
Headcrabs – Half-Life
Half-Life falls into the category of “franchises that will never see a second mainline sequel from Valve”, like Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Portal. Half Life’s story essentially fell off the face of the earth after Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Before this, however, the developers saw it fit to introduce some of the creepiest looking alien parasites the gaming world has ever seen. Thanks to the original Half-Life, gamers were introduced to headcrabs.
Headcrabs may not be the most powerful, or even most omnipotent of the 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020, but they most certainly are the creepiest. These little pumpkin sized and four-legged creatures are extremely smooth-skinned. They pose no real threat except for taking control of dead humans (but only some of them can). They do this by latching on a living host’s head, where the seemingly toothless mouths suck attach, and hidden mandibles crack through skull and bone to get to the brain. Whether it is their parasitic natures; how creepy they look, or the fact that they latch onto human skulls [!], they pretty much sum up how 2020 felt for most of us.
Malboro – Final Fantasy
If you ask any role-playing game fan about the nastiest, ickiest, most annoying and most dangerous creature they have ever come across, the Malboro would be very high on their list. First appearing in Final Fantasy II (1988), Malboro used to attack in groups and had nowhere near the status they have today. Final Fantasy VI (1994), however, introduced the solo Malboros with the Bad Breath attack, and they have not reverted to their more innocent days since. This skill is renowned for its ability to cause an unprecedented amount of damage – so much so, many players who have had flawless experiences would get game overs in seconds!
As far as 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020 go, it is easy to include Malboro with its Bad Breath attack. However, what makes it an even more likely candidate is the fact that no player ever wants to deal with them! Moreover, The Malboros encountered in Final Fantasy IX can inflict an ailment called Virus. Virus nullifies all experience and abilities gained by the victim! Any character inflicted with this should be a priority fix, or else they will be going through the game without progressing in stats. Fortunately, this ailment has a cure, which is more than we can say for another virus currently inflicting the world.
Bezelgeuse – Monster Hunter
If you can find a more nefarious, yet simultaneously annoying character in any video game franchise, I am all ears. The Bezelgeuse is a spiteful little (read: massive) wyvern that loves to stick its matchstick scales where they do not belong. It can fly over the battlefield and drop scales like a Boeing B-52 Bomber! The creature was first introduced in Monster Hunter: World (2018), which was perfect for the nature of the monster. All Monster Hunter titles before World simply did not have the horsepower to showcase exactly what the Bezelgeuse is capable of.
The Bezelguese ignites entire plains and blasts the ever-loving poop out of unsuspecting hunters and creatures. It is clear the Bezelgeuse perfectly defines some parts of 2020, if not the 20s altogether. It is an incredibly annoying character who always appears when no one asks, and it tends to wreak havoc whenever it does. The Bezelgeuse also has a much more powerful subspecies called the Seething Bezelgeuse. Its subspecies enters battle with all of its matchstick-like scales already primed for blasting. Fortunately, that one does not just arrive at the party whenever it feels like. I will take whatever reprieve I can get!
Reapers – Mass Effect
Who knew that one of video gaming’s most beloved sci-fi franchises would be home to one of the top 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors of 2020? “I am beyond your comprehension” is a quote forever etched into my psyche – and those of many other gamers. Never did I think real life would somehow feel like it was masterminded by a video game entity from Mass Effect (2007): the Reapers, but here we are.
The Reapers are gigantic creatures who tower over entire skyscrapers. They are entirely synthetic and can even act as starships and/or transports for subspecies and lesser races indoctrinated to do their bidding. These massive constructs reside in deep space where they wait 50 000 years for every galactic cycle to evolve far enough for their own artificial intelligence to have become sentient. They then enter galactic space to wreak havoc and harvest all intelligent species. Their reasoning? To save the species from extinction. Yeah, if that does not scream evil villain, I do not know what does.
Man-Bat – Batman: Arkham franchise
Need I say more?
While these are 10 Video Game Characters Who Embody the Horrors 2020, they are not the only ones who might fit this list. Please feel free to let us know, either below or on socials, about who you think deserves to be listed here! Did we miss a much more crucial character? As a rule, we tend to choose only one character per franchise, but if there are any others who might be a better fit, let us know!
Now, if you will excuse me, I shall go and play more video games that remind me of much better times. You know, so I can forget about the Spiders and the Malboros and the B-52 Bombers that keep reminding me of a year I would also much rather forget.
Junior Editor at Vamers. From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.