It seems like there’s barely a character on this earth that hasn’t been thrown into a fighting game at this point. From Battletoads to Bayonetta, Phoenix Wright to Freddy Krueger, Doctor Doom to Dr. Mario, is there a stone left unturned when it comes to making the most off-the-wall characters possible fight each other? Well, I’ve thought of at least five! There are no rules for inclusion on this list, but that doesn’t mean I’m throwing in random nonsense (as much as part of me wants to see Jesse Pinkman take on Sparkster) – I really believe the following five characters would be sensible and fun combatants in any fighter. Let’s get to it!
#5 – George
An arcade classic with a memorable cast, the Rampage games were really a breath of fresh air when it came to beat-’em-ups (beating up people is cool, but what about beating up buildings?). Shout-outs to Ralph and Lizzie but George is usually pushed as the face of the series, and thus the most sensible inclusion in a fighting game.
He may need to be scaled down just a tad, but I’m confident that he would be as powerful and menacing as ever. In addition to his strategy of mindlessly punching and kicking (reflective of his games, in a way) George has access to some weird ranged techniques like “death breath” and the “hot loogie”, as well as his “Ape Stomp” that will take a building down in one jump. His strongest move would probably involve a transformation into V.E.R.N., the ultra powerful fire-breathing… uh… pink goblin thing? This series has been dormant for the past decade but maybe George cracking a few skulls and eating a few civilians is just what it needs to come back into the limelight.
#4 – Duke Nukem
Duke Nukem (1991)
A character that time had forgotten saw his not-so-triumphant return in 2011’s Duke Nukem Forever, and five years on he’s already gone back into hiding. But I won’t have it! Duke Nukem isn’t allowed to go back into retirement until he’s redeemed his latest outing with an unexpected guest role in a fighting game!
Taking out aliens and rescuing hot babes is just another day in the life of Jacob Col-err, Duke Nukem, and the skills and weaponry he’s picked up along the way are itching to find their way into a 2D fighter. The Duke Nukem series features a pretty even split of realistic weapons and absurd ones; pistols and shotguns are complimented by shrink rays and the legendary “BMF Thunderstrike” plasma cannon, and of course his classic Mighty Boot makes sure that anyone who picks a fight with him up-close would be sent flying. His series is home to a ton of creative weapons and a once-respected character, so it’s not particularly hard to imagine him taking the role of a projectile-centric tank of a fighter.
#3 – Scott Pilgrim
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (2004)
After starring in a comic book series, a movie, and one of the finest beat-’em-ups on the planet (which is unfortunately completely unavailable for purchase at the time of writing), Mr. Pilgrim is no stranger to throwing down with unexpected opponents. With a series that’s constantly paying homage to pop culture and classic games like Street Fighter, it’s high time Toronto’s finest fighter gets his chance to shine!
His hand-to-hand fighting style is mostly derived from the various special moves and air juggles he’s seen in video games, but his true potential is unlocked when he acquires The Power of Love (referring to the flaming blade, not the Huey Lewis song). He’s also got no shortage of friends with insane abilities he could potentially summon for help. The character hasn’t seen much action since his series ended in 2010, but it’s a crime such a fun and stylized character hasn’t seen his proper fighting game debut yet. Hey, with any luck, we might even see him depicted with the voice acting talents of Michael Cera!
#2 – The Boy and the Blob
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobonia (1990)
An NES cult classic that got an adorable 2009 re-imagining, this boy and his blob are one of gaming’s earliest and most creative duos. The list of NES gems turning into awesome fighting game characters is growing all the time (Ice Climber, Battletoads, Ghosts ‘n Goblins) and I don’t know what’s taking these two so long to enter the ring.
The Blob’s gimmick is that he transforms into different objects by eating different flavored jellybeans. Most of them are suited to exploration (turning into ladders, keys, trampolines, etc.), but a handful of them would be a lot of fun in a fighting game moveset. Imagine fighting alongside a partner who could transform into a shield, a rocket, an anvil, a brickwall, and even a gun that shoots vitamins. The 2009 reboot even offers a grape jellybean that turns the Blob into a destructive giant! There are multiple approaches you could take to all these; having him transform for all of their different attacks would be a lot of fun, but perhaps it would be more loyal to their game to have them function as a stance-based character, switching part of their moveset entirely depending on what form the Blob has taken.
#1 – Conker
Conker’s Bad Fur Day (2001)
He isn’t much of a fighter by nature, but Conker the Squirrel is as adaptable as they come. He technically debuted in 1997’s Diddy Kong Racing, but the Conker we see in his own adventure is raunchy and insane enough to practically be a whole different character. Conker’s Bad Fur Day has a ton of “context sensitive” moments that give him whatever he needs for the situation at hand, and by the end of the game he’s gone through enough weapons to put a Dead Rising protagonist to shame.
He uses katanas, throwing knives, chainsaws, and an assortment of guns, as well as more zany options like frying pans, bricks, transforming into an anvil, and of course public urination. He has plenty of abilities to use for super moves as well, like summoning his caveman followers, riding his t-rex friend Fangy, or even activating a Matrix-style bullet time sequence and covering the screen with his dual SMGs. The thought of seeing all these weapons in one character sounds absurdly fun. We may never see him in Smash Bros., but I think we’ve found Killer Instinct’s new guest character.