Tapping Into the Dark Side: A Look at Gaming's Evil Doppelgangers
There's darkness in every person no matter how good, and when it comes to video game characters, that darkness can sometimes manifest itself as a whole new being. Whether it's from within the heart, the product of science or from another world entirely, these wicked doubles of gaming's finest offer some of the most memorable moments in their respective series. Let's take a moment to join the dark side and appreciate some of gaming's best doppelgangers. Also, Shadow the Hedgehog.
Dark Link - Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The final boss of Link's second, non-legendary adventure is one of the most memorable and challenging boss battles in the series. Dark Link mimics all of green Link's moves, combining constant jumping with lightning-fast strikes, making him a brutally relentless opponent.
Dark Samus - Metroid Prime Series
Unlike some of the other dopplegangers on this list, Dark Samus has managed to plague Samus proper for an entire trilogy of games. This entity is actually an incarnation of the creature known as Metroid Prime that assimilated Samus' Phazon suit. It thus gains many of Samus' abilities (albeit with certain tweaks) as well as completely new powers such as invisibility. Dark Samus is as resilient as it is powerful, making every confrontation with it a true test of your skills.
Shadow Mario - Super Mario Sunshine
All Mario and Peach wanted was some R&R on Delfino Island, but the sudden appearance of Shadow Mario quickly ruined their plans. Armed with the most powerful paint brush this side of Epic Mickey, the malevolent plumber vandalizes every building on the island, framing Mario in the process. If that wasn't enough, the jerk occasionally robs you of your FLUDD jet pack, forcing you to tackle the game's more difficult stages without it's help. Once you finally lift the veil on this doppelganger's identity, he's revealed to be none other than the debuting Bowser Jr.
Alastor - Viewtiful Joe Series
Alastor also likes being referred to as Blade Master Alastor and The Midnight Thunderboy, I guess because nicknames are awesome. The master swordsman's first gig in the series is working for Jadow, a faction of villains, though he really only cares about finding the "ultimate battle". He gets his wish after challenging Viewtiful Joe, whom he comes to view as his greatest rival. Alastor was even responsible for bestowing the title of "viewtiful" upon Joe after witnessing his skills in battle.
Dark Prince - Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
The final chapter in the Sands of Time trilogy pits the Prince against his greatest opponent yet: himself. The Prince becomes infected by the Sands which causes the darkness within his heart to manifest itself into an evil entity known as the Dark Prince. Typically acting as the devil on the Prince's shoulder, Dark Prince spends much of the game whispering "advice", usually in the forms of cruel taunts and spiteful sarcasm. He occasionally takes over the Prince's body entirely, sporting a wicked chain-whip and more vicious attacks.
Nega Scott - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
Nega Scott is the dark alter ego of Scott Pilgrim, a living manifestation of his flaws and insecurities. While he shares many of Scott's moves, he's much faster and more powerful, making him a very formidable opponent. Completing the game with every character unlocks Nega Scott as a playable fighter (complete with a Nega Knives as an assist). His rather funny ending shows him enslaving Scott and his friends, forcing them to work in a salt mine while he just heads off to bed. Being evil is exhausting work.
Shadow the Hedgehog - Sonic Series
Oh, there he is. Created as the ULTIMATE WEAPON, Shadow is basically the anti-thesis to his arch-rival Sonic. He's always scowling, has a perpetually bad attitude, and has never once starred in a good game. Shadow also occasionally dual-wields pistols, because nothing causes people to involuntarily release their bowels than a hedgehog with firearms. If that wasn't enough to put full white tufts of hair on your chest, Shadow even rides a motorcycle. You know, even though he can skate up to speeds that nearly match Sonic. But when you're rocking highlights like his, who cares about making sense?
Regime Superman - Injustice: Gods Among Us
This twisted version of the Man of Steel occupies an alternate dimension in which he is tricked by The Joker into destroying Metropolis as well as killing Lois Lane and their unborn child. Driven insane by grief and fury, he brutally kills Joker and establishes a new world order, naming himself High Chancellor. Unlike the compassionate Clark Kent we know and love, this Superman possesses zero remorse and has no qualms with permanently silencing any who oppose him, friend and foe alike. Many heroes and villains join his regime out of fear for their lives, carrying out his strict rule for a crime-free utopia.
Who are your favorite doppelgangers? Let me know in the comments below!