WITH TOKEN DREW
“Top 10 Heroes that turned heel”
What’s good everyone, its ya boi Token Drew with another list: the Top 10 Heroes That Turned Heel! In this list, I am going to talk about both characters with an evil/dark side and characters that have gone fully dark side in the world of video games. I will do alternative lists for comics, movies and TV shows in the future. (I gotta make sure I have material to keep this sh*t goin, na-mean?) I am including some characters where your choices turn them bad, characters with cannon heel turns and characters where you pick up the next game and boom, they are evil. There are characters I am leaving off, such as Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 since I haven’t played that game and therefore have not seen the fall of the hero. I am also not including side characters that turned evil, I am sure I can think of enough for a different list. Surprise villains will not be on this list either, and by that I mean the main antagonist turns out to be an old friend or something. Let’s keep this at playable characters that shocked us, and by us I mean me, by turning to the dark-side Also, beware of spoilers. In fact, imma throw in a big ol warning before we get to it.
For the most part, good and evil are different points of view. What one person might define as good might be evil to another person. Some characters had traumatic experiences that turned them away from the light, such as a loved one dying or the struggle that is life becoming unbearable. So join me as we take a look back on some characters that have gone bad and start Listin Sh*t!
10.) Ken/ Violent Ken
SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, Street Fighter V
Violent Ken, also known as Brainwashed Ken is a form that Ken Masters has taken after being brainwashed and controlled by M. Bison’s Psycho Power, similar to what happened to him in Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie. Oh, um… spoilers? In fact, Violent Ken’s design and backstory was heavily influenced by that movie. He was designed to be a contrast to his original character, similar to Evil Ryu with lusting for power and having no empathy for anyone else, even his loved ones. Violent Ken usually keeps his same red karate gi but has purple or gray eyes depending on the game, darker purple-ish skin and lighter hair. His win quotes focus on his obsession with power, and his game play is more aggressive and ruthless than before. This isn’t truly an alternate form, as he has to be brainwashed in order to achieve it however Ken is one of my mains in Street Fighter so it was cool seeing him have an “evil” form. Nostalgia puts him on this list, let’s move on to the next one!
09.) Cole Macgrath–
Infamous 1-2- PlayStation 3
In the beginning, Cole was a parkour enthusiast and bike courier in the city of New Marais along with his best friend Zeke Dunbar. One fateful day, Cole was assigned to deliver a package to Empire City to a woman who claimed it was the wrong address. Right away, Cole got a call from a character named Kessler who orders Cole to open the package. Initially refusing, Cole was swayed by an offer of $500 to reveal the Mcguffin: an item called the Ray Sphere which immediately activated upon being opened and released a devastating explosion that destroyed several blocks and killing a large group of civilians, due to their energy being transferred into Cole.
After waking up from the explosion, Cole discovered he had cool ass electric powers better known as electrokinesis: absorbing energy from nearby power sources such as cars and lights and also being able to mimic Thor and Storm by calling down lightning bolts from the sky. Players control Cole through a series of twists, turns and awesome open world adventures with this great morality meter similar to Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic where your actions depend on if you are good or evil. Good Cole uses blue electricity and has moves that aren’t as lethal, opting to pinning down or knocking out your opponent. As the good side, you also get access to creating a bulletproof electrical shield and healing abilities. On the dark side, you get red electricity and access to more devastating moves such as electric grenades, head exploding bolts and electric mines for traps.
Throughout the game, the man Kessler is your enemy and an antagonist: going as far as to kill your girlfriend Trish during one of the key decision making parts. Eventually you find out that Kessler is actually Cole from an alternate future, who came back to make sure Cole had the strength to fight and defeat his nemesis; “The Beast.” In the future, Kessler had the power to face and defeat The Beast, but instead decided to flee from it. The Beast ravaged the world of the future, even killing Kessler’s wife and two daughters and his own powers barely standing a chance against The Beast.
This entry is interesting because it is up to you to decide whether you will be good or not, and are faced with some difficult situations to try and make the best choice. The first play through, I went dark side and when the games end, the world stays open for you to continue your reign of terror. But I also beat it on the light side, and that was interesting seeing the city get rebuilt and become a beautiful metropolis and less hostile. You can play as both good and evil Cole in the crossover fighting game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and even get to a special move for evil Cole that allows you to transform into The Beast: antagonist of the second game.
Portal 2- PlayStation 3
Ah, this cheeky bastard! Wheatley was designed to be an Intelligence Dampening Sphere that is one of the Cores that is to be attached to GLaDOS. His role is to “generate an endless stream of terrible ideas” and to inhibit her mental capabilities. It isn’t explained why he wasn’t attached to GlaDOS but if you read the comic, it does reveal that he used to work with the staff at Aperture Science before they were all killed by GlaDOS using a neurotoxin. Though we the gamers didn’t know this the first time around, he was put into storage with the other cores seen at the end of the first Portal. He was left in a deactivation mode through unknown circumstances after a few years along with the other personality cores. Thanks to Chell putting the Boot of Judgment on GlaDOS, Wheatley and the other cores were reactivated to maintain the facility. However, that backfired when (with the exception of Wheatley and a few corrupted cores) the remaining cores appear to have been killed, ran low on power or have just gone insane.
Through the game Portal 2, Wheatley is your snarky British companion, guiding you through the facility as the refurbished GlaDOS tries to kill you. BUT midway through the game, the roles switch and GlaDOS works with you as Wheatley becomes the antagonist! The heel turn comes when GlaDOS gets transferred into a potato and Wheatley gets put on her body, thus running the facility and becoming drunk and corrupted with power.
Wheatley is a fun villain, maintaining his humor and charm throughout the entire game. His switch was a surprise but from what I can remember, they were leading up to it gradually through his comments and actions. His moronic tenancies kept up even after his turn and that added even more to the already awesome series.
Trivia: He was nominated for “Character of the Year during the 2011 Video Game Awards”, and his voice actor Stephen Merchant won “Best Performance by a Human Male” for his portrayal of Wheatley.
07.) Link/ Dark Link
Legend Of Zelda: The Adventures of Link, A Link to the Past, Four Swords, Ocarina of Time, Oracle of Ages, Twilight Princess, Spirit Tracks (tf is this game?)
Nintendo Systems, all of them.
Finally, Link shows up on of these lists! I do not talk about Legend of Zelda much since I really do not play the games, yes I know it is blasphemy. However, I do like characters with a dark side and here we have a doppelganger of Link. Dark Link bears resemblance to the Link of whichever game he appears in. In case you didn’t know, there are many Links and about three or four different time lines. There are videos all over the internet about it, maybe I’ll make one too but do not hold your breath. Anyway, Link almost always has to battle his dark side which I know, doesn’t really fit the idea of having a “Heel Side” like what the title of this article says but Dark Link still deserves to be here.
Appearance-wise, he wears the same clothing as Link: a tunic, and a long floppy hat but that is where the similarity ends. His outfit is typically a dark green or black color, his hair is either a shadowy black or dark gray and his eyes glow red. Each game that he appears in utilizes a different strategy in order to win, most of the time he will mirror the players number of hearts, items and move set. He is always one of the most difficult battles in the game, as fighting yourself should be. He doesn’t have much of a story that I could remember or care to find online, Dark Link is the “fight your inner demons” trope that so many characters follow.
6.) Gabriel Belmont/ Dracula
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Series- PlayStation 3
OK, a disclaimer is needed here: I haven’t fully played the Castlevania series. There I said it, take this entry as you please. So this was the first game in the series that I played through, being well aware of the previous entries in this franchise, it was just never my thing to play. Then on October 5, 2010 Konami published this reboot that gives player control of Gabriel Belmont in 3D environments on his quest to defeat the Lords of Shadow and resurrect his wife. Gabriel begins his journey as a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an elite group of holy knights that protect and defend innocent humans from the supernatural creatures. Gabriel’s wife Marie was brutally murdered by one and cannot pass on to Heaven because her soul is trapped in limbo. Eventually Gabriel learns of two masks, the God and the Devil masks, with the God Mask having powers to resurrect the dead. The plot follows Gabriel as he tries to find the pieces of the God Mask by taking out the various Lords of Shadow, being helped occasionally by Zobek, a high ranking member of the Brotherhood.
After much death and chaos, it is revealed that Zobek used the Devil Mask to control Gabriel into murdering his wife. Eventually Satan even pops up and reveals that he controlled Zobek for reasons that a good Wikipedia search will tell you, or even playing the game. Gabriel confronts Satan and defeats him, adding to the list of legendary creatures Gabriel has brought down. A post credits scene reveals that even in modern times, Zobek still lives and so does Gabriel Belmont though he goes by a different name now: Dracula.
That’s right, you are playing the origin story of the main antagonist of the entire franchise! The second game continues with you in the modern day playing as now Dracula, with all sorts of vampire powers and sh*t. Though I wasn’t honestly a fan of the Castlevania series, it was a cool twist to see that a Belmont who is normally the protagonist of the series, becoming Dracula! The second game was a lot of fun playing as gotdamn Dracula, and even though it isn’t exactly a form that Belmont can hop back and forth into, he still deserves an entry on this list.
5.) Siegfried/ Nightmare
Soul Edge, Soulcalibur 1-5- Arcades, various systems
The most central character of the Soul series and the main protagonist in most installments, Siegfried Schtauffen has appeared in every game along with Nightmare, Mitsurugi and Cervantes. In Soul Edge, he was referred to as Innocent Darkside. In Soulcaliber: Lost Swords he is referred to as He who Fights the Past. He carries a big ass zweihander sword known as Requiem, which works in three different stances. In his first appearance, Siegfried appeared as a young German man with blond short hair and blue eyes, wearing simple knight armor. As time went on, his hair got longer and he got a scar over his right eye but always the shining armor. Nightmare is the host, wielder and living incarnation of the cursed sword, Soul Edge and makes him the main antagonist of the series. There are two different forms of Nightmare: The Nightmare seen in Soul Edge, Soulcalibur 1-2 and Soulcalibur IV is Siegfried possessed by the cursed sword. The Nightmare that appears in Soulcalibur III, Legends and IV is Inferno, a being that that is the central antagonist of the Soul series and the main villain of the first three games, possessing Siegfried’s discarded armor. Nightmare, who is his own separate character in the games, is a stronger and sometimes faster character than his good counterpart. Though both have the same fighting style, the two do have some differences such as Nightmare having some energy explosion move and Siegfried having… blond hair… I prefer to play as Nightmare if I am choosing between the two.
So how did Siegfried end up like this? Well, it boils down to the Soul Edge- the mcguffin of the story, and Siegfried’s search for it. When Siegfried was younger, he began to socialize with a band of edgy teenagers and became the leader of their band of thieves known as “Schwarzwind”, meaning “Black Wind.” In a bit of misguided patriotism/ national pride (damn do we know all about that one here in the States), the group made a plan to attack the knights that ran away from the crusades. One fateful night, Schwarzwind ambushed a group of war-weary soldiers that were too tired to retaliate. Our boy Siegfried even managed to kill the commander himself, but as he held up the severed head in victory his eyes met with the now dead eyes of his own father! At that moment, Siegfried’s mind snapped and he ran into the forest becoming more and more insane as he reminisced on what happened until he came to a point where he psychologically convinced himself that his father’s murderer was someone else. Upon hearing rumors of the invincible Soul Edge, Siegfried came to believe that his father’s killer could only be killed with that weapon. When he found the weapon on battlefield next to the dead pirate Cervantes de Leon, he earned the right to wield it after defeating the fiery Inferno that came to claim it as well.
The moment he obtained the cursed weapon, Siegfried heard the wicked voice of the sword in his head that arranged a deal with him: Help the blade obtain souls to restore itself and Soul Edge would resurrect his father Frederick. Accepting the offer, Siegfried carried the blade into many battles, causing many slaughters until he finally succumbed to the restored power of the sword, transforming him into the Azure Knight Nightmare. So he is an insane blonde murderer with a talking cursed sword, if you want the short and curly of it. Moving on!
4.) Akuma/ Shin Akuma/ Oni
Capcom VS SNK 2, Capcom Fighting Evolution Street Fighter Alpha 2, 3, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition- PlayStation 2, 3, Xbox 360
Honestly, Akuma shouldn’t be this high on my list, even though I do like the character, he isn’t one of my mains. In fact, this is Tony’s character that he almost always used in the days of youth. Shin Akuma is the form that Akuma takes when he almost becomes one with the Satsui no Hado– I say “almost”, because he hasn’t lost his humanity while accessing this form. When he originally appeared, his hair color was red and he wore his purple gi, similar to his normal gear. Eventually, later incarnations have him with white hair and a darker purple gi.
Akuma’s personality doesn’t change when he is in his “Shin” form, however this is Akuma essentially using the fullest extent of his power. Akuma will only fight at this true potential against an equal to do so against, showing less mercy and more competitiveness in battle against a strong warrior. When playing as him, he is faster, can deal more damage and throw two Hadokens in the air. His Demon Rage (Shun Goku Satsu to the purists out there) is much faster and travels farther across the stage, and in some cases will inflict more damage. But this isn’t even his final form!
Oni is Akuma in full on beast mode. Appearing in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition first as a hidden boss and then eventually becoming playable, Oni is what happens when Akuma fully becomes one with the Satsui no Hado, completely losing any shred of humanity he had left. In the story, due to his training and mediation, Akuma had trained to suppress some of the darker aspects of Satsui no Hado, allowing him to control his actions. When he becomes Oni, the power of the Satsui no Hado has fully overcome him. Rose has a win quote against Oni that presumes Oni was supposed to show up at a later time, giving us the impression that Akuma transforming into Oni is fate and not a “what-if” situation.
Oni is swoll as f**k and much larger than Akuma. He has dark blue skin, glowing yellow-red eyes, glowing spiky hair, fangs and what looks like horns on his forehead. The prayer beads that were around his neck now float around his body, disconnected. Most characters, with the exception of Gouken (Ryu and Ken’s once dead teacher and is now back for reasons).
I enjoyed playing as him but he isn’t someone I wanted to learn how to use on the regular due to his immense strength. Akuma and his two forms appear as a secret boss in Asura’s Wrath and he definitely throws them hands at you with no remorse. Let’s keep on moving with our next entry.
Injustice: God’s Among Us, Injustice 2- PlayStation 3-4, Xbox 360- One
NetherRealm Studios has done it again with this series! First off, Injustice is one of my favorite fighting game series. I am not sure if it landed on the list I did or not, but I tell you what this game is my sh*t. So, if you haven’t played it here is the synopsis and the reason why gotdamn Clark “Superman” Kent is on this list. Set in an alternate universe, bored of always f**king with Batman, the Joker decided to try to mess with ol Kal El by tricking him into not only killing Lois Lane and their unborn child using the Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin, making Superman think that Lois was Doomsday but also tricking him . The icing to this tragic cake was Lois’ heartbeat was linked to a nuclear bomb that we set to go off in Metropolis once she flat-lined. Needless to say, Clark was pissed and went to confront the Joker, who of course laughed in his face and pondered if Superman would ever love again, and if he did would Joker kill that family as well. Snapping mentally, Superman plunged his fist through the chest of the madman, putting the killer Clown Prince of Crime to rest. That moment, the tyrannical High Councilor of the One-Earth Regime was born. Superman did probably the greatest heel turn I’ve seen.
The game follows the heroes split into two different factions, one that sided with Superman and that included Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (who got himself a fancy Yellow ring during the game), The Flash, Cyborg and Shazam. Opposing him was Batman (of course), Catwoman, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, Batgirl, Nightwing and Aquaman. (there are many more characters in the game, but we aren’t talking about the game we are talking about Superman.) Superman rules with an iron fist to go along with his laser eyes and ice breath. Any that stands against him, he murders such as Shazam and Green Arrow. And this Superman is relentless and unforgiving. I wouldn’t say evil but more ruthless and willing to get his hands dirty with the life force of enemies to keep the world safe. Throughout the game and ensuing amazing five year DC comic series based off the game, Superman stays ruthless and unwavering. This is my favorite depiction of a Heel Superman, and this game does its story fantastically.
2.) Kazuya Mishima/ Devil
Tekken 1-7, Tekken Tag Tournament 1-2, Street Fighter X Tekken, Namco X Capcom, Tekken Revolution
The son of Heihachi and Kazume Mishima and grandson of Jinpachi Mishima, and father of the series main protagonist Jin Kazama as well as the man responsible for the deaths of Eddy Gordo’s father and Leo’s mother; Kazuya is one of the series main antagonist. Playable in every Tekken game except for Tekken 3 where he appears in a photo cameo, he is a huge driving force of the story just like his father, Heihachi. In order to toughen up his son, Heihachi threw 10 year old Kazuya off a cliff, stating that if Kazuya is truly his son he will climb back up the hill. That moment, the dormant Devil Gene that he inherited from his mother and grandfather activated and he was restored to health. This all happens before the first game in the series. At the end of the first game, Kazuya gets revenge on his father by throwing him off that same cliff however in the next game the cycle continues; this time Heihachi throwing Kazuya into an active volcano, killing him. In the fourth game, it is revealed that the Mishima Zaibatsu (the corporation that his father started) had used his genetic material to revive him. Or clone him, its not really specified to be honest. Also, I should mention and I do not feel like rewriting, when Kazuya threw his father off the cliff at the end of the first game, it was him winning the tournament. See, every Tekken game is another tournament in the story. When he won the tournament, he took over his father’s company and thanks to the Devil Gene slowly corrupting him, Kazuya made the company ruthless. His father Heihachi regained control after the second game, and in the fourth game when Kazuya returns, it takes place 21 years after the second game. There is a ton more detail, but we are talking about Heel turns and dark sides in this list, so let’s talk about the Devil. Not “The Devil” from biblical standpoint, even though originally in the first game Kazuya had made a deal with the biblical devil, eventually the series went with a genetic Devil Gene that was passed on through bloodlines.
Kazuya, though starting out as a warrior out to get revenge on his ruthless father, eventually got corrupted enough by the Devil Gene to be even more ruthless and evil than his father. The seven games chronicle the Mishima family struggle and what that Devil Gene curse is. At first, Kazuya could not control the Devil transformation but after his death and rebirth he became more in tune with his genes (mainly due to the scientific interference) and was able to control his alternate form.
Side note, in Tekken 2, Devil was a separate entity from Kazuya and it had an alternate form: Angel. Those characters came back in the Tekken Tag Tournament games, and even though “Devil” was the Kazuya Devil, I cannot remember how it fits in with the canon of the games. (Damn retcons…). As of Tekken 7, the story of Kazuya and Heihachi came to an end and the next one will pick up with Jin Kazama following his father’s footsteps in trying to take him down.
1.) Ryu/ Evil Ryu
Street Fighter Alpha 2, 3, Street Fighter IV, Asura’s Wrath, Street Fighter EX, SNK vs Capcom, Capcom vs SNK 2, Namco X Capcom, Marvel vs Capcom
One of my favorite video game characters for some reason, even to the point where at the time of this writing he is the only video game character that I have tattooed on me (dressed as a Red Lantern). Unlike the Mishima’s and their Devil Gene being apart of their very bloodline, this form is what Ryu takes when he is overcome by the Satsui no Hado and loses control. There are some depictions where it was this form that Ryu tapped into when he scarred Sagat, and because of this form and his potential, Ryu has found himself on Akuma’s radar for a while.
Similar to Akuma, Evil Ryu appears as a darker skinned, darker gi wearing red eyed menace with a thirst for blood. Also like Akuma, Evil Ryu has a signature kanji that appears when he performs the Raging Demon: it is the kanji for Destruction. In Super Street Fighter IV : Arcade Edition, Evil Ryu appeared with a fierce visual update such as fangs, glowing red eyes, spiked hair, torn gloves, gi and headband, demonic voice, constant red aura and most notable is the fist sized gaping hole that was burned into his chest with a scar on his back that reads “heaven.” It is generally believed that the wound is from the Ryu Final manga in which Akuma punches through Ryu’s chest in their final battle, almost defeating him. In the Asura’s Wrath DLC, it is the titular Asura that gives him the scar after launching him up to the moon from Earth and attempting to impale him with his fist, however I do not believe that scene is canon since it was DLC.
In contrast to how he normally is, Evil Ryu is cold and conceited, obsessed with fighting in order to prove that he is the strongest. In Super Street Fighter IV, he is a more demonic and murderous being. He enjoys absolute power and lacks any sort of empathy or respect. Ryu in this form refers to himself as heartless and nothing more than a demon and will actively seek out to destroy any opponent in a fight no matter their age or current condition.
In the story, Ryu first tapped into the Satsui no Hado during his match against Sagat in which Ryu lost control and hit his opponent with a cheap Metsu Shoryuken, forever scarring and changing Sagat. in various endings he has threatened his pupil Sakura, faced off against Akuma and generally ran wild. Eventually, Ryu does learn to suppress this form and even gains a new form where he is fully at peace.
Evil Ryu has made a variety of crossover appearances, and even appeared in some of the animated features: Street Fighter Alpha Generations, Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, and Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation. Hands down one of my favorite video game characters, favorite Street Fighter character and as you can tell, my top character with a heel side!
That’s all folks! Thanks for reading another edition of Listin’ Sh!t. Sorry for the delay, you know how life and gaming is! Tune in next time for my Top 10 somethings or others. I’m Token Drew: Live Up, Smoke Out and Game On. I’m out this bish. PEACE