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Talking Time Presents: The Top 60 Video Game Enemies Exhibit at the Valdez Museum of Video Game Box Art

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Important: Yarnaddle Doo has a button for his eye.

 

Issun

Could be a fren
And then Kirby grabs them by that eye so as to murder them and who's the real monster I ask you?
 

WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)

FLEAMAN* (Castlevania)

#49 (46 points, nominated by Dracula [18], Kishi [8])
First Appearance: Castlevania


Twitchy, erratic, tense and wiry, Fleamen have become one of the most notorious enemies in the wide Castlevania canon. Their unpredictable movements and jump arcs made fighting them difficult in the early games, as the Belmont arsenal was not properly equipped to tangle with such bouncy opponents. In later games their low HP made them more trivial for "heroes" such as Alucard and Soma Cruz to fight, as they had more weapons and options to deal with the springy assaults of the Fleamen. The devs made up for this by introducing armored variants, knife throwing variants, and in one game even a gigantic subweapon stealing variant**! Or just putting dozens of them in a room. Crafty and jump happy to the end.

Here's what some of our donors had to say:
Castlevania was an awful game because Simon Belmont is too slow to kill a Fleaman ~ Dracula
Like Medusa Head, pretty easy to shut down once you know your way around them. But when you're a novice, they'll make an indelible impression for their overwhelming speed and tenacity ~ Kishi
No jokes today, just want to spotlight an undersung musical legend in VGM playing this song on a fan's piano at a con. God I would be so thrilled to meet Kinuyo Yamashita. One of my heroes!

* No one voted for the boss variant Igor.
** Giant Flea Man was counted as a separate enemy per the description supplied by the donor; just mentioning the variant here.​
 

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him and such)
Learning that you don't need to crouch to whip them was a game-changer for me when I was younger.

Shoutouts to their alternate designs (the cute little gremlins in Famicom 3 and Super 4, and the less cute critters in Bloodlines).
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
As a wee lad I think I preferred Castlevania II to the first game despite being completely inscrutable because it did NOT have fleamen.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
Surprised they didn't place higher (they're in my top ten, as you can see), but at least they're here.


Shoutouts to their alternate designs (the cute little gremlins in Famicom 3 and Super 4
Certainly. Ghoul Rabbit is important.



Ghoul Rabbit
Originally a rabbit, this monster acquired a taste for human flesh, and something terrible was brought into existence. They arrive by Harpy to attack Simon.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
n later games their low HP made them more trivial for "heroes" such as Alucard and Soma Cruz to fight, as they had more weapons and options to deal with the springy assaults of the Fleamen.
But they could still clown on you (especially the armored ones).

(Also, why the scare quotes?)

a gigantic subweapon stealing variant
Well that just sounds like the most awful thing ever.

Tiny Octos every attempt to beat level 3 of Castlevania was stopped by those little jerks
I would call them twitchy little assholes but that works too.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Surprised they didn't place higher (they're in my top ten, as you can see), but at least they're here.




Certainly. Ghoul Rabbit is important.

I could have SWORN there were Fleamen in Super 4.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
Ghoul Rabbits have the exact same behavior, same getting-dropped-from-Harpies. The Flea Men in Castlevania III are just graphic-swaps of the Ghoul Rabbits in Akumajō Densetsu.
 

WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)

REVENANT (Doom)

#48 (47 points, nominated by Issun [20], Kzinssie [5])
First Appearance: Doom II


Introduced in Doom II, the Revenant has become an iconic enemy for its franchise, appearing in all of the major games that have followed. Despite its grotesque skeletal appearance, Revenants can still shriek and emit breathing noises to unsettle the "hero". While their creation varies from game to game, ranging from reanimated corpses to willing volunteers to undergo conversion, the danger they pose persists throughout. Once engaged in combat, their intense speed and precise missile launches as they rush straight at the "hero" add immense levels of tension. In later games the technology they utilize increases, with better body armor and jetpacks to further intensify their threat.

I will burn for you
Feel pain for you
I will twist the knife and bleed my aching heart
And tear it apart

 
Last edited:

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him and such)
Interesting! These guys may be my...6th top Doom baddie (though one of my top five arguably debuted as a boss and would therefore be disqualified). It may just be that I've only seen them in '16 (I've played '16, the original, and 64, so I've completely avoided the classic Revenant), while I've gotten to know many of the others in both sprite and polygonal form. But certainly a solid choice for this list! I suspect Doom will be well represented when all is said and done.
 

Issun

Could be a fren
Skeletons with shoulder mounted rockets is just a cool idea, and while not much on their own, they make battles more interesting when they're in the mix.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Revenants are one of those monsters where I do not hesitate to bring out the rocket launcher because hoo boy can they make a mess of things in a hurry.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Revenants are one of those monsters where I do not hesitate to bring out the rocket launcher because hoo boy can they make a mess of things in a hurry.
Those who live by the rocket die by the rocket.

Or, if you prefer:
Fight rocket fire with rocket fire.
 

WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)

PIRANHA PLANT (Super Mario)

#47 (51 points, nominated by Kzinssie [12], Beta Metroid [20], Johnny Unusual [25])
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros.


Debuting in the original Super Mario Bros., Piranha Plants remain one of the most iconic and numerous denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom. Almost immediately their species began to differentiate, as The Lost Levels/SMB2 JP introduced red variants that ignored Mario or Luigi's proximity to a pipe and popped up whenever they pleased. These became the standard colorization of the plant moving forward, but the diversity continued in Super Mario Bros. 3 with ones that spit fireballs, metal balls, could move outside of pipes, jump at the "hero" to nip at their heels, and even an indestructible obstacle. Their size and body types have only continued to broaden, making each appearance a new challenge to decipher. And it's not every day an enemy becomes a full fledged playable character in Super Smash Bros.

Here's what some of our donors had to say:
Such a great aesthetic. One of the utter classic foes of gaming. I never suspected or asked for a Piranha Plant to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros., but I am so very glad it happened, because it really summarizes just how versatile these flora have been over the decades. ~ Beta Metroid
Guten Abend, gute Nacht
Mit Rosen bedacht
Mit Näglein besteckt
Schlupf unter die Deck
Morgen früh, wenn Gott will
Wirst du wieder geweckt
Morgen früh, wenn Gott will
Wirst du wieder geweckt

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
You will never convince me that each and every Piranha Plant to ever exist doesn’t sound like Levi Stubbs
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator


Agreed, I'm fond of the mobile versions too: ptooies, nippers, etc all get a thumbs up from me. And of course Smash Plant is best girl.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Another cromulent choice by the Tyrants. Can be annoying but they don't top out the annoy-o-meter.

You will never convince me that each and every Piranha Plant to ever exist doesn’t sound like Levi Stubbs
Does that only apply to the larger Piranha Plants? Would the smaller ones sound like the backup buds (or a higher-pitched version of Mr. Stubbs)?
 
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