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Why Dr. Robotnik is The Best Villain In Gaming


davethesodaguy

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Hey guys, I wrote this a couple of years ago as a Deviant Art Journal Entry. See if you guys agree with it, if not, show me your thoughts and concern over my love declaration towards the awesomeness that is Dr. Robotnik / Eggman. XD

 

It's kinda hard to explain Dr. Robotnik's greatness as a villain, his many incarnations treat him in very different, but at the same time, very equal ways. So let's take a peak at an usual player's reaction to the character.

 

I think everyone has had that mixed feeling when they first saw Dr. Robotnik.

 

You finish the stage and you're not presented with a bad ass, super-powered villain or something so grotesque that makes you wanna kill it with fire.

 

Seeing that obese guy with glasses and moustache really isn't what you expect in a video game.

 

The usual video game villain is supposed to be a dark, dangerous being. You almost feel sorry for the good doc when you see him, you act like: "Geez, Sonic can really beat this guy with his hands tied."

 

And it's not that much further from the truth, but, damn, does robotnik make every battle count.

 

He is like the perfect antithesis to Sonic, it's the eternal battle between the blue, light-hearted, super-fast, super-powered and courageous hedgehog and the fat, nerdy-looking, slow moving, selfish, weak and sometimes even childish old guy in red.

 

I don't want to get too philosophical here, considering it's the Sonic The Hedgehog Series we're talking about. But think about it.

 

I really bet When Naoto Oshima created Robotnik, he didn't really think the character would become that powerful and important in the series.

 

Going further into the character's personality (all its incarnations) you realize that you're like opening a magazine with old people in the cover, but inside it talks about heavy metal.

 

Unlike many villains, Robotnik is not what you expect when you see the package. The typical video game villain is either a complete and grotesque loser or an interesting and mysterious, handsome, stylish and dark anti-hero (who later becomes an ally of the hero.) He does not fit into the typical sort of video game villain, he can be both and none at the same time.

 

He is an emperor, a dictator a stylish billionaire ruling with an iron fist over an entire nation made of nothing more than machines.

 

He can turn living beings into mindless slaves, he can build deadly machines, he can construct space stations capable of destroying an entire planet.

 

This kind of thing is totally what you not expect from a fat guy with a funny mustache.

 

Also, despite being fat, bald, mildly unattractive and with a despicable personality, he can be a gentleman, a wealthy philanthropist, a man who can be so captivating to the point of fooling others into doing whatever he wants.

 

Most villains or anti-heroes are nothing but uninteresting, forgettable fellows who are usually never used in the series again.

 

Robotnik keeps coming back, he is so desired and so important to the series that putting someone else in his place is nothing but a crime to the fanbase and it took a while for the creators to figure that out.

 

He's been in more games than even the main character himself.

 

He is cartoony, he is colorful and childish, but he is also a dark killer, he is a merciless destroyer. He can subjugate an entire species to his desires. He has no regards to nature, in fact, destroying the environment and making innocent animals suffer is like a hobby to him. He isn't that easy to fool, he is a military leader, a strategist, whatever his empire conquers, darkness takes over the place, he can build machines that can absorb the energy of the most powerful stones the Sonic universe have ever seen.

 

He has no special powers, he can't fly, he can't run (that much), he isn't strong enough to destroy walls or carry heavy things on his own, but give him a machine and he'll be able to do every single one of those things and even put anyone who's more powerful than him to his mercy.

 

Despite always losing, he is always back to try and take over the world.

 

Other villains are simply scary and menacing, they look and behave like monsters, either that or they're just too cool, too extreme and way too nice to remain a villain. All these villains have been forgotten or not brought up in the series again. Robotnik doesn't have that, he is goofy-looking, he looks anything but menacing, yet he is still the most dangerous villain in the series. And is still brought up to this day.

 

A lot of people say that the Sonic games would be the same if the entire setting was changed as long as the gameplay was good. They say that they won't even care if the main villain of the series changes. Some would even say the series would be even better if Robotnik died.

 

I say these people aren't really in their right minds because if the original Sonic premise is forgotten, the series will go downhill and will become nothing but another generic video game series.

 

And the original Premise is Sonic runs fast in order to fight Robotnik and his machines, that's it, no more, no less.

 

Robotnik is, among a few things, what gives the series its identity. He and sonic are two sides of the same coin.

 

Sonic is fast, hard to catch, can become impossible to hit, he is indeed very tough fellow.

 

But Robotnik has every other power a living being can have.

 

Robotnik is the kind of character who's just as unpredictable as any good villain should be, he usually doesn't beg for the hero's mercy, but mercy is what is asked of him during battle.

 

He can use iron balls, he can use fire, he can use lasers, he can use spikes, he can use giant robots, he can use explosives, he can use nuclear missiles, he can use mystical powers, he can use bounty hunters, he can use guns, he can use naive people to do his dirty work, he can use an entire army on his favor, he can use the energy of living beings to do his deeds, he is the first and the final boss, the best music in video games is played while he tries to crush a hedgehog's skull and put the little prick out of commission. He is the quintessential representation that a fat person can be awesome and tough.

 

He is the Eggman, he's got the master plan AND we'll be waiting for his next scheme to take over the world. That is, if SEGA is smart enough to put him in the next game.

 

Thanks

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It's kinda hard to explain Dr. Robotnik's greatness as a villain, his many incarnations treat him in very different, but at the same time, very equal ways. So let's take a peak at an usual player's reaction to the character.

I think everyone has had that mixed feeling when they first saw Dr. Robotnik.

..? Did I miss something? 

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It's about time this topic was made. For me I think he is the best villain ever because... Well multiple reasons. I like that he is a scientist. I have always really liked scientist villains. Doc Ock, Dr. Doom etc. His voice (in every version of him) is amazing. His mustache (need I say more??). He has one of the most kick ass theme songs ever. I really like Dr. Eggman. I seriously wouldn't mind if in a game it shows a future where Eggman won and Sonic was defeated and we get to play as Eggman.

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Yeah, Robotnik's design is one of the reasons for why I think he works really well. He looks like he wouldn't be that far off from fitting into Looney Tunes, which contrasts with the wide-scale and often cruel things that he does, and it also contrasts with how strong he has proven himself to be. (I actually forgot he could apparently punch out cars and trains, thanks for the reminder.) I also think he stands out in a world full of heroes and villains that often have superpowers of their own, in that being able to keep up with them despite being an ordinary man (a genius with surprising strength granted, but you know what I mean) is impressive, and being able to remain such a large threat for years in spite of the aforementioned is impressive and scary. I'm a big fan of effective mad scientists and villains who are normal people but are able to become so much more, and Robotnik pulls both of those archetypes off beautifully, so I guess he was always going to make it into my books. Also, robots.

Villains who are more about order than chaos may not necessarily be rare, but they do usually tend to get overshadowed by the latter types, which can annoy me at times because order-centric antagonists can be every bit as malicious as chaos-centric ones. I like Robotnik because I feel he's a good example of proving that just because he wants control and not just destruction for it's own sake, that doesn't automatically mean that he's "not as bad". How messed up do you have to be when your immediate reaction to the side-effects and damages of your plan(s) is of complete indifference? Incidentally, this is one of the reasons for why I'm not that keen on Eggman Nega, in addition to feeling that the Order VS Chaos routine works better and more interestingly with Robotnik and Sonic.

Something else that I've always appreciated about the doctor is how much variety he can deliver, whether that be about his robots, his fortresses, or his plans. With most villains, you feel there has to be some sort of limit as to what they could do for one reason or another, like maybe this is too ridiculous for this villain to do, or maybe this is too sadistic for that villain to do, or maybe this is simply too out of character for them. Robotnik? Almost anything can go, or at least I think so. He can pull off whatever kind of scheme he wants, however twisted or out there it may be, and as long as certain requirements are fulfilled, he can probably get away with it. Use a water monster? "Sure." Make a Death Star knockoff? "Why not." Make a theme park out of whole planets? "Groovy." Send a bunch of robot pirates to steal a scepter that will eventually be used to power your not-pirate-themed-at-all wizard robot? "No problem." Make some shoes to slow down your nemesis and then dump him into a maze? "Fuck it, I can afford to have bad ideas."

We don't get to see it that often, but for all his cartoony and bombastic antics, I also enjoy how manipulative Robotnik can be. Putting all the subsequent Knuckles incidents aside, I'm not sure if it was even intended this way, but I love how Robotnik was audacious enough to reveal his trickery to the echidna by stealing the Master Emerald right in front of him at that exact moment. That must have been really humiliating for poor Knuckles after having just fought the guy he thought was the baddie, and this is before Robotnik straight up electrocutes the dude. Even when he has no machines at his disposal thanks to the Deadly Six, he's still able to get by and recover them when no one's looking. He may be a loopy blowhard, but he can still be genuinely crafty when he feels like it, and I think to some extent, the man himself might be aware that others can underestimate his underhanded nature very easily.

Then there's his infamous ego. I know it's far from common to have villains who think highly of themselves, but business as usual, Robotnik takes it that tiny step further, which is another way of saying he defaces Ancient Egyptian monuments with his own face, among other things. Robotnik's ego is so gargantuan even compared to others like him that you start to wonder if he seriously thinks he's Jesus or something. (He probably does. He may or may not refer to Metal Sonic as "Judas" from time to time.)

These are just some of the more understated reasons for why I love Eggbotmannik. There are plenty of other reasons of course - such as how nothing fazes him and how he'll always be willing to take matters into his own hands - but I wouldn't want to drone on forever. There are other antagonists in this franchise that I do like; I like Chaos, I like Erazor Djinn, I like the Deadly Six... hell, I can even have a good laugh with Black Doom's crazy mishaps. But in the end, the doctor will always be number one for me. In the words of Jack Nicholson, he... is my number one... guuuuyyyy.

But Wily's alright too.

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Eggman was one of the things that drew me to Sonic in the first place. The idea of some maniac, with an entire robot army at his disposal, with the ability to turn others into his robot slaves, and plans of world conquest was so.. badass to me. While I do enjoy the silly side of his character in spinoffs like Boom, I'd like to see a more serious take on the character, like in SatAM, Underground, Adventure and.. yes, 2006.

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Coming from another side, I don't think he is. In fact, I honestly think he's far from it, would rather go towards Dr.Nefarious as the best villain.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Eggman. He's a bombastic character who just looks like he's having a hell of a time screwing with people's lives and as a result, comes out with some of the weirdest, and laughable lines out there. Stuff like "Yus!" and "HOHOHOHO". He's such a fun character to quote, especially if you do an over the top impression of him to boot. His Adventure counterpart in particular also managed to pull off a smug asshole of a villain, who still had a bit of respect for his adversaries. For example, referring to Sonic as such.

But that said. He isn't a good villain. He simply isn't, at least in the main series. His writing is too terrible and his threatening attitude has been way too underplayed for that to ever happen, especially from Colours onwards. Everyone always seems to say that Potac and Graff wrote Eggman really excellent and...I don't see it. Mike Pollock's line performance can get a chuckle out of me, but that isn't because of the line itself, it's because Mike delivers his lines in such a over the top and fun way that you can tell the guy's just having fun going full over the top, and that enjoyability kind of sucks you in as well.

But in recent time, Eggman isn't treated as a villain, or a threat, or even a force to be reckoned with. He's a joke, a inconvenience, the road block on Sonic's trip to the shops. Nothing he says is threatening, his plans are always underdeveloped as fuck, especially from Colours, where I've described the massive issues in his plan multiple times, going off a 2 minute cutscene. He barely has a presence in Generations, and Sonic & Tails are too busy with their annoying bro attitudes and idiotic jokes to even allow Eggman to shine, How can we be expected to take a villain seriously when an eight year old is directly competing against him, and calling him Boldy McNosehair to his face, only to get a small "i didn't vote" or something similar line from Eggman.

Even his Boom counterpart, which is much  better written isn't a threat, and instead is more like Sonic's friend and enemy, and even then, his plans don't have much thought in them. That however can be excused because it's entire point is to be a comedy sitcom, while we're meant to take Eggman seriously in the games. It's storytelling 101. Make your villain feel like a threat so the player feels like they need to stop him.

Dr. Nefarious on the other hand pulls off comedic and threatening. Sure, he acts like a total goofball from time to time, and Ratchet and Nefarious even have silly conversations about Qwark and such, but Nefarious also succeeds in his goals while doing this. When he actually pulls off something big, he's actually treated as a big threat, and treated seriously by Ratchet & Clank, all the while, he happily hams it up and gloats about how he's winning, to which he's got a point. It takes a certain level of skill where you act like a complete goofball, but still manage to pull off the stuff he does.

As for Archie Eggman, now he actually is a great villain, but since this is strictly "in gaming", he's irrelevant to the topic.

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I... really don't think he really is tbh. I mean, he's a great character that's got amazing comical value and personality thanks to Mike Pollock's performance, but in no way he is the best villain in gaming, especially after Sonic Colors and the games that followed. Back then he was considered quite a threat, but nowadays he's treated like an absolute joke, well... in my eyes that is.

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I highly doubt he's the best villain in gaming (not that I play many video games...), but I still like him a lot. I love that they don't feel the need to make him pure evil and as deplorable as possible, but also don't feel the need to make him overly sympathetic or nicey-nice.

I love that he's not over-the-top evil. He is evil - truly and genuinely - but the writers just don't feel any need to make him "xtra evil". He wants to conquer the world and plaster his face all over it, and he's willing to do what it takes to get that goal, and that's enough. That's plenty evil right there. No need to make him sadistic, do more deplorable things than necessary, or do anything that isn't in pursuit of that specific goal.

Villains who are just as evil as possible don't really do anything for me, honestly. I would much rather they just be people who have motives and personality traits that lend themselves to evil, and Dr. Eggman certainly does a good job at that. With how hyper-egotistical he obviously is, and his intelligence he takes great pride in, his desire to conquer the world simply makes sense. He's not a deranged person, nor an emotionally damaged one - he's just someone who wants to conquer the world. And, well, I like that.

There's also the fact that, at least ideally, he manages to be threatening and comedic at the same time, which is pretty impressive - and enjoyable. And what he does, i.e. create robots, is just fun and interesting, especially with all the designs he comes up with. He's certainly a creative guy.

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That Robuttnik! I have a few things I could say about THAT bozo....

 

Well actually, not much. I love that he's adaptable though, he can be truly and pure evil without it coming across as hammy and he can be slightly mean and slapstick without it seeming out of place. He's like a cartoon villain of the Disney/Looney Tunes variety, especially in Sonic Boom. He's just a villain that really holds up after 25+ years and I can't say there has ever been a performance of his character I didn't like. 

Also while I'm at it, RIP to Deem Bristow <3

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He's not the best villain in gaming. I still love villains like Handsome Jack or Dr Nefarious. But Dr Eggman is up there, just not really high up.

Eggman sure does have some fun flairs for a villain, and he means business. But sometimes, he just doesn't mean business. Sometimes, he's a bumbling fool. And then he may also be a serious force to be reckoned with. Sonic Lost World had a comical Eggman, but then that fused with him sometimes being the edge to surpass Metal Gear. It didn't bode well, and he seemed a bit mixed.

If he is just one of those traits, it becomes ridiculous. You have AoSTH Eggman, and he was barely even a threat. Let alone a villain. And then you have SatAM Eggman, who just wasn't Eggman. He was a cruel dictator, who took the planet at his leisure like a walk in the park, which I must remind you, isn't Eggman. Eggman is simply an Emperior of his own empire who wants to take over the world and make everything about him. It's a good mash of the two, a real big bad to take the world, and a bit comical to make it all about him. He made an Eggmanland, for goodness sake. And even then, it was an energy factory disguised as a theme park.

Eggman is not the best villain in video games, but he does well for a character on his own.

 

(I have no idea if my post made any sense as it's goddamn past midnight where I am)

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I like Eggman, he's my favorite character in the franchise, but no. He's not the greatest villain ever, at least not in SEGA. He may be a good character, may be the only funny one these days, but he's not a good villain.

His credit as a villain has dropped very significantly. He's not treated as one. He's not a threat. To me, to be a good villain, you have to be perfectly capable of stopping the hero. Doesn't mean you have to win (though winning a battle certainly helps) but you have to be capable of it. And as of late, he hasn't been treated like he can.

He's a pathetic, awful villain. At least in SEGA. Archie, that's another story. And Boom retains its sort of own thing (and even there, it's shown he has come closer to beating Sonic than any game in the main series for years).

 

It's fine and dandy to look goofy, do goofy things, ham it up, but it should not be done so at the expense of your ability as a villain.

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BALDY MCNOSEHAIR!

I love this guy! I love his machines I love how even when hes a genius that he sometimes does stupid things. Even also for a villian who wants to rule the world he has compassion.... a little. He doesnt want to distroy the world also Sonic Lost World he didnt want to drain all the energy. He even also fed Prof Pickle (a bad sandwich but still). McNosehair can be a nice guy but hes still a villian who wants to make Eggmanland.

Its just awesome to see a bad guy have some compassion. 
 

 

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