Five Video Game Character Reboots that Were Extremely Weird

    July 25, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Character reboots in comic books are quite common. Sometimes the results are gritty and successful, other times the new character is bizarre and hilariously anachronistic. The same is true for the video game world. We took a look at seven different video game characters who have been radically restarted, for better and worse:

    1. Bomberman

    One of the most long-standing and popular multiplayer game series, Bomberman has been making computer screens look cute with explosives since 1983.

    The franchise fell silent for a few years until 2006, when Konami tried an edgy reboot.. Instead of a cute guy who threw cartooney bombs, Bomberman was now a gritty, cyborg-esque creature who had to bomb his brethren to survive.

    This failed horribly and was a franchise-killer. Who would want to play a malicious-looking guy with explosives? Terrorists, and no one else.

    2. Conker


    Conker is known for his juvenile bathroom humor and cutting edge gameplay. But, before the foul-mouthed mascot got his big break, he was far more cutesy:

    Conker’s Pocket Tales was a Game Boy Color game from 1999. It featured a much gentler squirrel, and even got an “E” rating. Something had to happen to put that once-lovable squirrel in a foul mood. Perhaps he dropped his nuts.


    3. Donkey Kong

    Until Bowser stole the sinister spotlight in 1985, Mario’s main nemesis was Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong would steal his princess in retaliation for getting whipped too hard (no, really). However, once Bowser became the go-to Peachnapper, DK lost a lot of popularity and (we assume) had a hard time getting work.

    Then, starting in 1994, Donkey Kong became a good guy.

    He was the protagonist in his own best-selling games, and started racing carts alongside Mario and the game. He even became the host for some friendly games of Mario Party. That whole business with Mario caging and whipping him seems to be in the past, strangely.


    4. Sagat


    One of the most popular characters from the Street Fighter series, Sagat has appeared in nearly every incarnation of the game. For the first two, he was an evil crimelord who wanted to punish humanity with fireballs.

    But, then, Capcom decided to do a prequel where sagat does none of that.

    Street Fighter Alpha was a prequel series to the classic fighting game. In it, Sagat decided to leave his crime organization, and from then on is considered “good.” He even calls Ryu his “friend” in Street Fighter IV. We really would have preferred a Mortal Kombat-style reboot. Make Sagat a robot, or undead, or just different-looking. But taking the main bad guy of the original game and making him a cheerleader is just… ugh.


    5. Jimmy Lee

    Double Dragon was a classic NES series about two brothers fighting evil to save a girl. Then, in a surprise shocking twist that makes literally no sense, [italicize] your brother turns out to be the main evil and final boss.

    That was Double Dragon 1. Double Dragon 2 decides to forget about that whole “your brother is an evil crimelord and probably dead” plot. Your now-loyal brother is ready to fight by your side.

    This really creeped us out back in the 1980s. After all, we had just fought our way through Double Dragon only to find our dickhead brother betrays us. Now, we’re expected to fight through another game like it didn’t happen. We began each level by pounding our brother until there was only one of us left.

    Which video game characters are sorely in need for a reboot? Personally, we’d love to see a slimmed-down, edgier Pac Man. Like, maybe he gets on some meds that help him stop hallucinating ghosts everywhere.

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