In today’s video games industry there is an obsession on block based worlds and characters. So to bring back memories of a more vertex free time I have decided to list the “Top 10 Round Characters in Gaming“.
To qualify for the list the characters must be show a good degree of roundness or sphericity in their design. They also must display at least some sentience or self-awareness in order to qualify as characters. I will only be including one entry per game series and also I will only include characters from games I have actually played. Some spoilers lie ahead so beware. Without further ado here is the list…
(10) Cool Spot (7 Up’s Cool Spot)
Undoubtedly one of the most hip round characters to grace our screens. This disk of condensed coolness was a mascot for the 7 Up brand. He attacked enemies using the awesome power of soda bubbles. His main aim was to rescue other Cool Spots who had become imprisoned by enemies such as crabs, thus protecting his people from a crustacean-based genocide.
(9) Red Bird (Angry Birds series)
This guy is the face for the Angry Birds series. He acts as the leader of The Flock in their efforts to save their eggs from their enemies The Bad Piggies. Red Bird is known for his simple style of flying straight to his target and dealing devastating damage to any architectural structures that are foolish enough to get in his way. The original Angry Birds game spawned a large array of follow up content to help keep fans happy, including an animated TV series, lots of merchandise and even theme park attractions.
(8) Marble (Marble Madness)
One of the very earliest examples of sphericity in gaming, acheived thanks to the utilisation of an isometric viewpoint. This globe-shaped hero is controlled via a 3rd person perspective as he traverses an unforgiving grid based world which totally fails in so many aspects of health and safety that I just can’t list them all here.
(7) Ballos (Cave Story)
Whilst this character may not be well known compared with other characters on this list he definitely deserves his spot here. Ballos serves as the true final boss of Cave Story, unlocked only by following a specific set of instructions. He is very difficult to defeat and has a great character history. I’ve got to say he’s got a really great set of teeth, shame about those eyes though.
(6) Samus Aran (Metroid series)
While Samus Aran is technically a (cybernetically enhanced and genetically altered) human and therefore not ball-shaped, she is technically not eligible for this list, however by using her morph ball ability provided to her by her power suit she qualifies. This bounty hunter shocked gamers by being one of the first female ball oriented protagonists in a gaming industry where male ball oriented characters were the norm.
(5) 343 Guilty Spark (Halo series)
Known by many names throughout the Halo series such as the Oracle, the Monitor, Lightbulb and even Tinkerbell, this robotic orb was the guardian of the eponymous Halo on which the first game of the series is set. He switches alliances so rapidly, based on how well it will allow him to follow his protocol, that its difficult to know if he is truly friend or foe. His abilities include mastery over virtually any other piece of machinery, levitation and talking in a sophisticated British accent.
(4) Angry Sun (Mario Series)
This toasty individual has won this spot over other Mario series characters such as Boos, Bob-Ombs, Chain Chomps and Phantos. In the end though I feel he deserved this place on the list due to his sheer bad-assery demonstrated by his difficulty to kill, just how angry he looks and his complete disregard for scientific accuracy.
(3) Wheatley (Portal 2)
This Aperture Science Personality Core is undoubtedly the breakout character of Portal 2. With his witty dialogue and Stephen Merchant’s excellent delivery he has shown that games can be a great medium for comedy. It was a tough decision to include Wheatley over Space Core, however in the end the Intelligence Dampening Sphere was victorious.
(2) Pac-man (Pac-man series)
One of the pioneers in video game roundness, this yellow power pill munching maze traversing ghost hunter was just to important to leave out. ATARIs golden child was an unprecedented success and still holds the title for the highest grossing arcade game to this day. His success was large enough to warrant the production of an animated series and a pop song which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
(1) Sonic (Sonic series)
This blue blur gave Sega a massive boost in its early days when Nintendo ruled the home console markets. He’s a household name and his fame has spawned numerous animated and comic series. There were several other ball shaped characters in this game such as Tails, but in the end the Speed Demon of Mobius was the only choice.
Here are a few honorable mentions for the characters who just didn’t make it to the list for one reason or another.
AiAi (Super Monkey Ball series)
Kirby (Kirby series)
Q*bert (Q*bert series)
Thanks for reading. Take note that this list is based on my own opinion and due to the nature of listing things inevitably there will be some people who will disagree with my choices. If you have any thoughts on this matter feel free to leave a comment below and I will explain to you why I am right :P