Christmas is a time for relaxation and many of us will be settling down with some of the latest releases. We’d like to spare a thought for those video game henchmen who won’t be getting any time off this festive season.
We mean those unsung heroes, who’ve been turning up year after year with the gruelling task of stopping us, the protagonist. Those dedicated and loyal workers who risk life and limb for the cause, day in, day out.
Here, we recognise some of those proficient professionals who’ve more than earned some time off this Christmas.
Goombas – Mario Series
One of the most recognisable enemies in all of gaming, having dutifully served the cause for over 30 years. Despite that these loyal servants of King Bowser have never gotten the better of the plucky plumber.
Not as well armed as some of Bowser’s other goons, in fact, they don’t have arms at all. Meaning they can’t even protect their most vulnerable areas on the tops of their heads. They aren’t even provided with protective hats which surely must be a health and safety requirement in their line of work.
Given they are doing battle with a man who can leap roughly three times his own height. They are always the first henchmen on the scene though, heading off Mario on the frontline.
Grunts – Halo Series
Grunts are effectively the meat shields of the Covenant Army within the Halo wars. An archaic battle strategy deploys these low skilled soldiers as the first line of defence in a bid to slow down the opposing force.
Armed with some of the weakest weaponry in the fight as well, Grunts have little chance again the highly trained SPARTANS. In some instances when the tide of battle is against them they will even throw down their arms an attempt to retreat from battle.
The Geneva convention doesn’t appear to stretch into the galaxy though and retreating Grunts face being shot in the back. Sometimes even reduced to cannon fodder for their own forces more elite weaponry there are few safe locations for the Grunts.
Bodyguards – Hitman Series
Being a bodyguard is often a thankless job, not seen on the same level as their prestigious clients. Yet they are expected to throw their lives on the line at a moments notice to protect those deemed more valuable than them.
A tough job made harder when a genetically engineered assassin is on the loose and after your client. One minute you’re investigating a suspicious noise in the bathroom to clear the area. The next a mysterious bald man appears in the mirror behind you and everything goes black.
You wake hours later wearing nothing but your underwear and stuffed uncomfortably into a trunk or wardrobe. Best case scenario, you’ll be down the unemployment office in the morning after finding your client dead. That is unless there was no wardrobe available and you were instead suffocated in a freezer or fed into a wood chipper.
Joker Gang – Arkham Series
Batman is one of the most successful heroes in the entire DC Universe. Highly trained and incredibly well funded he has done battle with some of the most powerful villains in the world.
Meaning he’s not the kind of person you should be tangling with if you’re a somewhat stocky man in a clown mask. Still, the Joker Gang unwaveringly obeyed their charismatic leader and attempted to thwart the Dark Knight. A job made much worse by Batman’s ruthless approach to ‘non-lethal’ combat.
Where you’ll likely be zapped with high voltage stun guns, or barraged with high-velocity bean bags from a mounted cannon. That’s if he’s not smashing your skull into a brick wall or hanging you upside-down indefinitely. Extra credit to those who maintained control of their motor functions and even moved to serve Harley Quinn after their leader was killed.
Nameless Henchmen – Uncharted Series
Many FPS games feature a constant stream of nameless goons. But perhaps none are more suffering than in the Uncharted Series. Uncharted features a noticeably limited number of character models. So Nathan Drake finds himself facing some very familiar foes again and again.
Leading to one of two possibilities, either these henchmen have an obscene number of identical twins. Or, as we choose to believe, the same four guys keep coming back for more. Despite being gunned down by Drake in Syria, they quickly recuperate and hop on the next plane to meet him Peru.
Because no matter how many times they are shot and seemingly killed this dedicated troop continues to try again. On top of that, they are often positioned in dark, dank, booby-trapped tombs, just waiting for the hero. Those are some deplorable working conditions by modern HR standards.