While the majority of us fear the day that our precious locks retreat towards the back of our head others should be resigned to the fact that baldness may be their only chance of not looking like an utter berk. As we have seen time and time again, videogames imitate and magnify the mistakes we make in life and hair-based disasters sadly are no different.
While a quiet word in a secluded corner would have been all it took to inform these characters that they would have been better off as Phil Mitchell rather than Phil Spector, they pushed on with their permed monstrosities all the same. Far be it from me, a simple writer, to question the mistakes these titans of gaming have made; I will, however knock them back down to earth with my childish jibes and name-calling. So, grab your GHDs and a can of Elnett, because here comes my list of 7 characters in gaming that would have been better off bald.
Ahh… I love the smell pomade in the morning.
1. Paul Pheonix
No one should attempt to emulate the haircut of Christopher ‘Kid Coolout’ Reid. Not because he was so talented and unique that he managed to make the ‘tower block fro’ his own, but the man was in three House Party films… three! Mr. Pheonix would probably punch me in the teeth for saying that his cut was inspired by one half of a poor man’s Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff, but sadly that is exactly how it appears.
Oddly enough, Paul is one of only four characters to have featured in every one of the main Tekken games and I imagine that is mainly due to his gravity defying barnet. Even so, if I looked like Marge Simpson if she was pumped to the eyeballs with testosterone and steroids I’d be reaching for the clippers pretty sharpish.
Like a digital Romulus and Remus the Super Mario Brothers have built an empire from humble beginnings. However, while the ancient twins enjoyed suckling wolves, thinking about aqueducts and being the namesake of a fictional planet, the Super Mario Brothers took mushrooms, saved princesses and propagated one of the worst haircuts in gaming.
Usually hidden under flat caps to cover their modesty and preserve some sense of self-worth, Mario and Luigi’s hair isn’t that bad… for plumbers; but there’s nothing I hate more than a bad case of hair envy. Clapton got it when he met Hendrix, Pat Sharp got it when he saw Bon Jovi and Wayne Rooney got it every time he opened his eyes. Shave it off Lu Lu, the world doesn’t need another wannabe.
3. Every Final Fantasy Character Ever
That’s right, every single one. Every spike, every sweep and every implausibly quaffed thatch – shave it off. The random battles, level-grinding, and ploughing through endlessly dull cut scenes would be far more bearable if I wasn’t playing a character that looks as windswept as a North Atlantic trawler man. Get rid.
4. Solid Snake
The man’s got a mullet. No wonder he hides under cardboard boxes.
5. Jaster Rogue
If you tasked a drunken rabble of mud crabs to cut your hair, you’d still end up with a better hairdo than Jaster. The cute Twiggy-esk pixie bob may be good enough for a Topshop model, but you’re a space pirate for pity’s sake – a job so awesome, it’s not even been invented yet.
Jaster carries all the hallmarks of a Japanese anime character (winey, pathetic, irritating) and none of the aesthetic qualities of a real pirate; qualities such as a ripped Manchester United football shirt circa 1994, a shaved head courtesy of a sexually frustrated prison barber and a rubber dinghy moored off the coast of Mogadishu. Get with the programme man.
Now time for a quick comparison. Sonic the Hedgehog is two things: fast and cool and everybody likes him for that. Knuckles, you are both puzzlingly mal-formed and irritatingly pompous. Your hair makes you look like a Rastafarian’s pet rat and I don’t like you.
Sonic’s hair is imperative to the structure of the game. His head looks like a crash helmet with a dorsal fin. Your head is good for nothing and it looks like a cuddly version of the Predator. Even Tails has better hair than you.
7. Leon S. Kennedy
Remember the 90s? Leon does. He’s desperate for us all to return to a time when boybands ruled the airwaves, the internet was something only scientists used and a centre parting was reason enough to feel good about yourself.
Sadly for him the 90s won’t be coming back and his ‘it’s so retro it’s gone out of fashion again’ haircut would have any normal person reaching for the scissors. Not Leon though, apparently surviving a zombie apocalypse makes you impervious to changing haircut trends. I still think he looks like a goon.
So there you have it, proof indeed that even the most successful videogame characters can make costly hair-based mistakes. For this selection of misfits a quick trip to the barbers would have saved their blushes and propelled them into the annals of videogame history; as it stands, they will be forgotten as quickly as the styles they tried to emulate. Sad but true.