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Can I play with madness?

Depending on who uses it, science can be used for good or evil.  And no one uses science for evil better than a mad scientist.

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Mad scientists use their incredible intellect to create giant robots, weapons of mass destruction, horrendous monsters, or any of these at the same time. Regardless of the medium, a mad scientist’s only purpose is to fulfill his own goals, such as kidnapping a girl, spreading chaos, and of course, taking over the world.

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I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going…

Mad scientists are your typical comic book villains. Some examples include Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, Dr. Freeze, Dr. Sivana, Gorilla Grodd…you get the point.  These iconic villains use their inventions, monsters, or some master plan against the heroes. In fact, some of these villains are based on well-known characters of literature, such as:

Dr. Frankenstein

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Dr. Frankenstein is probably the most well-known mad scientist of all; a guy with the ambition to create life, but in the end, he created his most deadly enemy. Frankenstein created a monster, and then rejected him, as a father rejecting his son. The creature’s loneliness prompted Frankenstein to create a wife for him. In the end, Frankenstein realized that his creations would unleash a new race into the world, so he had no alternative but to attempt to kill his monster.  But Frankenstein’s fate was sealed and the monster got his revenge by killing Frankenstein’s family, friends, and fiancée.  The doctor swears vengeance, but in the end, dies and the monster ends up alone once again. (Sorry for the spoilers, but the novel is almost two centuries old.)

Dr. Jekyll

Spencer Tracy in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 
Dr. Jekyll doesn’t create a monster; he becomes one: Mr. Hyde. Jekyll believed that every human being was composed of two opposing forces, good and evil, and that those two forces are always battling each other. Following his hypothesis, Jekyll created a formula that can transform a person into their evil counterpart (kind of like fighting games that just change the color of Player 2’s sprite when the same two characters are fighting.), and an antidote to return the person to normal. In the beginning, he used Hyde to do all the things that he didn’t allow himself to do. But over time, his control over Hyde became weak, and the transformation began to occur spontaneously without the formula. The antidote had no effect. It was just a matter of time before Mr. Hyde took over his whole body, and because of that, Dr. Jekyll makes the awful decision to end his own life.

A sad story for sure, but great literary masterpieces can be sources of inspiration for villains found in video games. Villains such as:

Dr. Wily from the Mega Man franchise

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The first mad scientist I ever faced, Dr. Wily is the former partner of the good Dr. Light. Wily stole Light’s robots and turn them evil in order to take over the world.  If you include the Mega Man X saga as canon, then Wily’s experiments really messed up the future as well. In X, Wily created Zero and the Zero Virus (an evolved form of roboenza which affects only robots). The virus created The Mavericks, a group of deadly robots that seek only world domination.

Dr. Robotnik/Eggman from the Sonic Franchise

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Eggman created a vast army by transforming normal animals into robots. He also used nuclear devices to threaten other nations, awakening deities of mass destruction to conquer the world…and the entire universe. The best part of all is that Robotnik actually conquered entire cities in the Sonic universe, according to the manuals, and even in the cartoons.  Eggman is basically a dictator of a robot city where many of Sonic’s former friends work as robotic slaves.

Dr. Neo Cortex from the Crash Bandicoot Franchise

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Of all the mad scientists, Cortex probably has the longest backstory of all. A history that involves growing up in a family of circus clowns, being bullied for being a genius, going to a school for evil scientists (also known as “Law School”), getting an evil scientist as a co-worker, finding a desert island for evil purposes, and finally, creating an Evolvo-Ray to build an army of mutant animals. Dr. Cortex has created several deadly machines and creatures in order to take over the world, but his biggest mistake (as with Dr. Frankenstein) was creating his deadliest enemy and our favorite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot.

Basically, everyone in Umbrella from the Resident Evil Franchise.

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The only requirements to work for Umbrella are a basic knowledge of biology and a high level of psychopathy

Each of the scientists at Umbrella are at least guilty of three of these crimes: conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, bribery, and blackmail.  Oh, and also the creation of biological weapons and viruses. We have characters like Oswell E. Spencer (the owner of the Mansion of the first game), James Marcus (Resident Evil Zero), Alexia and Alfred Ashford (Code Veronica), Willian Birkin (Resident Evil 2) and of course Alfred “I can’t be seen without my sunglasses” Wesker (the main antagonist of the franchise).

One thing that most these enemies have in common is that most of them fight dirty. Here are some of the dirty (and often expensive) deeds they do:

First Cliché

An Army of…

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Yes, this is a real comic!

When you are a mad scientist, you can choose between paying a bunch of guys in order to kill the main hero, or spend a lot of money on machines and materials to create an army of very intelligent monsters, dumb robots, or mildy intelligent super humans. It may be a tough choice for some, but these guys normally go for the second choice, so they don’t have to deal with henchmen drama.

Second Cliché

War machines

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Freeze or I freeze you!

Giant tanks, giant robots, mechanical armor, or just a really really big gun are some of the most well-known tricks that these scientists use during the final fight. Dr. Wily, Eggman, and Cortex are known for using these war machines to fight face-to-face with our heroes.  The last resort is always the most powerful one, and trust me, what these guys lack in physical strength, they compensate in heavy metal.

Release the Kraken/The Jekyll formula

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I’m too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts.

Sometimes you have to make a big decision, such as releasing a powerful monster (or machine) in order to beat your enemy, or going full-on Mr. Hyde and becoming a monster yourself.  Either way, this can be a hard decision to make because something can go wrong, like being attacked by a bio-weapon, or ending up near death after a transformation of hulk-like proportions.  But again, if you are fighting an entire squadron of top-notch officers or a guy that is basically a ninja with better gadgets than James Bond himself, I guess that the risk is worth it.

Third Cliché

Trap room

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Anything goes in the final battle. With Land mines, electric walls, crushing pistons or platforms, and even spikes that fall from the roof at their disposal, these scientists won’t hesitate to use any means available in order to win.  After all. For example, the final fight against Eggman in the first Sonic was a fight in a trap room, and these traps can be very annoying when you are just one hit from death.

Forth Cliché

Self-destruct button

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Cool guys don’t look at the explosions; they just walk away.

I don’t know why, but after beating the science out of these guys, everything tends to blows up, even if there is no explosion at the precise moment of their defeat.  Not only that, but these bastards always choose these moments to escape or fake their deaths, because that’s how you make a franchise, right?  I suppose all mad scientists think alike, or at least the games’ developers do.

Sometimes if you are lucky enough, you’ll have to deal with all of the elements that make up the mad scientist’s clichés at the same time.

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So, remember to keep some of these things in mind before fighting against a mad scientist…

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…especially if the mad scientist kidnaps your dog.