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There are enemies that are tough to defeat, and enemies that are easy. And then there is a special, separate group of bad guys that are just plain jerks. They're not so hard; they don't have a bunch of hit points. But for whatever reason, they seem to exist solely to annoy the freaking soul out of you. Below are a few of the greatest jerks of all time, but this is far from all of them. Nominate your own classic jerks in the comments.
Sniper Joe, "Mega Man" and sequels
There are a lot of jerks in "Mega Man" -- for instance, the little hard-hat dude (the Met) could easily qualify for the title. The extra-special obnoxious thing about Sniper Joe is his propensity to stand there behind his impenetrable shield and do nothing for long stretches. Look, dude, can we just get on with this whole "shooting each other" thing already? Because I've got other things to do.
These snakes from the recent "Adventurers Club" title inspired this list. They sit around with a big grin on their face and then, if you cross their line of sight, they rocket across the screen in an attempt to bite you (a feat at which they almost always succeed). Pretty standard fare, except that Mike, the hero of "StarTropics," can't run worth a damn. Yes, in the "StarTropics" universe, this garter snake -- one that never leaves a coiled position, no less -- can travel at ultrasonic speeds while star baseball pitcher Mike Jones is still struggling to handle the concept of "left foot, right foot." And Looper (what kind of name is that for a snake?) never misses a chance to rub it in your face.
The turrets, "Portal"
Everybody loved the turrets. They were cute, funny and as clever as a stationary mini-gun could be. And that's the thing -- I always felt like the turrets and I could be buddies. If we could just get past that one little bit of their programming (the killing-me-on-sight bit), we could hang out on weekends, watch a game together, maybe take in a film. But no, they had a job to do, and nothing would ever change their mind. Fine. I felt bad about scrambling their circuits with a Weighted Companion Cube, but damn, they drove me to it. (Sniff.)
Slime, "Dragon Quest" and sequels
Like the dude from work who insists on playing on the softball team even though he obviously can't hack it, the humble Slime is a benign sort who ought to just get off the field. Nobody in the history of "Dragon Quest" has ever been killed by a regular Slime. They're oh-for-70 billion. And yet the Slime still makes you sit through another tedious random battle, dragging everybody through the whole ordeal because this time, THIS TIME, he thinks he can pull off the win. Know your limits, little blob of goo.
Fleaman, "Castlevania" and sequels
Fleaman is a hunchback. He doesn't have any special powers. He's not undead. So why does he cost you a million hit points when he bumps into you? Which, not for nothing, is all he does. He simply fidgets a little bit and then jumps into the air (juuust missing your whip every time) in the hope that he will stumble into one Simon Belmont. Does Dracula's human resources department know about this? The prince of darkness really ought to have higher standards.
The UFO, "Space Invaders"
One of the earliest jerks, this thing knew how to make you seethe. Who wouldn't bristle at the way it would just cruise blithely across the top of screen and DARE you to hit it? It's the equivalent of the insult clown who sits in a dunk tank, daring you to hit the target with the grungy old softball.
Rodian Scavengers, "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed"
Guys, don't know if you've noticed this, but the stuff you're so viciously defending with your blasters and your incessant jibber-jabber? It's garbage. Literally. Believe me, I don't want your precious garbage. I'm here to kill a Jedi master or two, and I'll be on my way. So just relax, and go do ... whatever it is you like to do with those green snout things. Because you're making me realize why Han shot first.
Birds, "Ninja Gaiden" (NES)
No creature is more deserving of an appearance on this list than these avian S.O.B.s from the first "Ninja Gaiden." They set a bar for jerkiness that has never been equaled. In a game that required pinpoint jumping and insane reflexes, a bird was always, ALWAYS there to mess up a jump at the worst possible moment. And just go ahead and try to kill them. They'll keep coming, spawning instantly without giving you a moment's respite. Why? What did we ever do to those birds? Ninjas and birds seem to have no inherent beef with each other -- they're both quiet, light on their feet, and just want to be left alone. It didn't matter; these birds were out for blood. I would say that their relentless rage was Hitchcockian, but the feathered friends in "Ninja Gaiden" made the title characters from "The Birds" look like seed-nibbling chickadees.
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