Evolution is the process of creatures adapting to survive their environment. What is especially evident in video games is that almost everything has adapted to look cute in order to hide the imminent danger that they present to almost everything around them. Here are 10 such examples of deceptive evolution (and design in some cases).
For those unfamiliar with Gigantic, it was a short-lived third person MOBA style game which involved a team of five trying to destroy the enemy teams Guardian, a colossal beast who protected the house which lives symbiotically with it. Among those who fought for the guardians was Pakko, A child Frost Titan with the face of a clown.
The reason he’s so adorable is because despite being a child he’s the size of a St Bernard and is incredibly fluffy to the point where you wouldn’t consider him a threat. However, during a battle, Pakko was Gigantics Cerberus driving the soles of the unsuspecting and prepared alike to their deaths with the speed of Cheetah. It was surprisingly easy for this beast to run into a fight kill at least two enemy combatants and escape sliding and spinning on his backside laughing with maniacal glee. Should you have encountered a Pakko and lived to tell about it you were a lucky person indeed.
Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde have a certain charm to them. They don’t look like they should be the villains to Pac-Man’s heroic quest to gorge himself. Yet, as ghosts they endlessly wonder the maze searching for a cheese caked pizza to consume. Completely corrosive to the touch, their mere presence in the same corridor as Pac-Man sends him running.
Pac-Man’s flight is almost proof that beneath that cute exterior lies a tormented soul with a great dislike of animated pie charts. Perhaps it may be due to the circular protagonist’s relentless cherry pursuit or the constant theft of their dots that they became so dangerous. Whatever the reason, let’s just enjoy looking that them while keeping our distance.
When you think of Ridley from Metroid, the last thing you think of is adorable. He’s an enormous purple dragon that runs a band of unruly space pirates. So, it came as a surprise to learn that his younger self is the before picture of a KFC family bucket. He turns up a couple of times in this form doing his best Michael Myers impression (that being the serial killer and not the actor).
While slightly unnerving, the fact he looked like the latest redesign for a shiny Torchic didn’t even slightly foreshadow the draconic presence we would later have to face. Truly, a deception worthy video games most sadistic dragon.
When talking about cute characters it would be amiss to not mention Nintendo’s signature bubble-gum man Kirby. A plump circular figure, large eyes and Powerpuff limbs makes him one of the most delightful characters in Nintendo’s roster. Behind (or rather inside) that physique is actually a sentient black hole, never satisfied with what it has brought in and always consuming more. From food, to the denizens of Dreamland, to even buildings and the earth beneath their feet.
Nothing stands in the way of this bottomless pit on legs. Fortunately, when the howling gale of Kirby’s lung capacity wears out, he gets a nice hat and goes back to looking cute again.
Mascot (Pit People)
Of all the characters in this list, the Mascot is probably the least obviously threatening. He can look like a small Lizard, Bird or even Zebra and no one would think anymore of him. He is so adorable that on his own he would be Bandit food. In order to survive the mascot teams up with various parties and provides them with stat boosts to keep them alive to protect him.
Honestly, with that face who wouldn’t want to. His true danger doesn’t come from the parties he is with though. Upon his death the mascot will detonate damaging ally and foes alike. An eruption so deadly its almost not worth having him on the team. While the kamikaze potential is very strong, it’s difficult to send something so unassuming to its death. Perhaps it may be best to just let him cheer from the city instead of the battlefield.
Bullets (Enter the Gungeon)
Bullets and guns are not the first thing that comes to the mind of anyone who isn’t a crazed killer when the question “what’s cute?” gets asked. But, the Bulletkin of Enter the Gungeon have a very different approach to the question. Awkwardly waddling towards you doesn’t make them look like much of a threat but when they start firing the pressure spikes so high even Queen won’t sing about it.
The worlds saddest sound is made upon their death that it almost makes you feel bad for slaughtering them all. Not that it matters after you kill the past anyway. So, technically they aren’t dangerous because you never have to fight them. Bulletkin are officially just cute.
Willie (Feel the Snow)
Willie is a snowman. That positions him fairly high on the adorable meter. Pair that with pixel art and you have the best darn snowperson to have ever walked the Earth. Builder and craftsman are his trades as he makes the tools he needs to survive. Simply a pleasurable character, he can do no wrong. Oh he’s fishing? That’s an adorable way to do it. Cooking now? Much nicer than that Gordon Ramsey, let’s have him host Master Chef.
Willie is also capable of defeating creatures such as the Ice Queen. An impressive feat as even the denizens of Narnia need help ousting her. He still looks adorable while doing it too. His danger is only present to those who are a danger to others, so as long as you aren’t out to hurt people you get to bask in his snowy radiance.
Dream Eaters (Kingdom Hearts)
A lot of things in the Kingdom Hearts franchise are fairly cute to look at. Mostly attributed to the fact that the franchise is a large ensemble of Disney characters. Dream eaters are the creatures who trump the rest of the cast though as the most adorable Kingdom Hearts creature. They first appeared in Dream Drop Distance, the series’ 3DS instalment, where they helped Sora to wake up several sleeping worlds.
While they look like a fat cat drawings or circus triceratops, they (more specifically the enemy ones) are actually quite dangerous. Capable of suddenly appearing in great numbers makes it easy for them to overwhelm any unsuspecting passer-by. When working with a person, the danger they present increases immensely as they are able to combine their power into one special attack. At least Dream Eaters don’t exist in the world of the conscious.
Palico (Monster Hunter)
Of all the cats to ever exist, the Palico of Monster Hunter are the only decent ones. Mostly because they have the most adorable faces. Being a bipedal companion probably helps them look more adorable too because if any cat could just walk around like us humans, I’d probably tolerate them a hell of a lot more.
Don’t confuse their charm for uselessness. Battle after battle they assist in taking down creatures considerably larger and more dangerous than the Hunters and Palicos put together. Such ability shows that they are on top of the food chain and deserve our respect. Respect they will never get because people are too busy petting them for being so damn charming.
More often than not appearance is not the only thing that can make someone adorable. Voice, personality and laser eye beams can all factor into how cute someone or something can be. Fortunately for the Turrets from Portal they have all of this is spades. They take a somewhat empathetic approach to killing which to the untrained test subject could potentially be seen as kindness.
You cannot help forgiving or sympathising with these AI either as they openly state that they don’t blame you for their senseless test success driven murder. Even though they present an apparent danger, their lack of a judgemental attitude just makes you want to hug them till they have shot off your hands.
And that’s your lot. Have any other suggestions that we missed or just want to talk about how adorable each one is? Reach out in the comments!