All Together Then: The evil clowns of gaming
A fol-de-roll call of charlatan harlequins
Besides commitment and the King Ramses episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, nothing is scarier than a clown. It’s a widely-accepted fact that all clowns are evil (except Charlie Chalk) so it’s no surprise that villain-starved game developers have gone back to the Evil Clown well over and over again, despite their parents’ stern warnings.
Additionally, there is a recent popular Evil Clown Movie and I want to ride the crest of that sweet clown wave. So everyone pile into the Retronauts Clown Car and All Together Then! Let’s have a look at some Evil Clowns in videogames. And I’m not talking about Randy Pitchford! (Sustained, aggressive booing - Readers)
Edgar Ektor (Aero the Acro-Bat, 1993)
I will mention Aero the Acro-Bat at every given opportunity and it delights me that I have an actual thematic reason to do so now. Edgar Ektor, you see, is the final boss of both Aero titles as well as its underrated spin-off, Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. Edgar, then, carries a lot of expectation into this prestigious series, but he doesn’t really get to show his stuff properly until Aero 2, going toe-to-toe with the eponymous flittermouse. His appearance in Zero is even better, especially given that he’s clearly been on so many ‘roids that Eric Bischoff hires him after the credits. In the original Aero he’s content to come at you with a flying machine that boasts a fairly obvious weak-spot, that being its glass jaw. It’s not literally made of glass, you understand. It’s just an expression.
Black Jack (Kid Klown in Crazy Chase, 1994)
Intergalactic sod harlequin Black Jack is the arch-nemesis of the titular Kid Klown in Kemco’s excellent SNES run-‘em-up. You see, he’s kidnapped Princess Honey (who is also a clown) and, worse yet, set enormous bombs that will surely exploderise a variety of colourful worlds unless someone (Kid Klown) boots them up the arse. So Kid Klown does. Pursuing the WMDs’ rapidly-burning, if inordinately long-burning fuses through obstacle-laced isometric deathtraps, Kid heroically collects arbitrary baubles before swinging his Doc Martens heroically into the bomb’s hindquarters, sending them flying into the stratosphere. They’re the sky’s problem now!
Charly (Charly the Clown, 1996)
I’m going to level with you, Nauties. Charly is not actually, strictly speaking, an Evil Clown in the traditionally understood sense. Indeed, he’s the hero of this obscure DOS platformer. But just look at him. Look at his wretched little Punchinello face. I’d like to punch the hell out of his face, indeed. But I, as ever, digress. Charly the Clown looks the part, but like a lot of DOS platformers it just doesn’t feel quite right. Charly’s jumps don’t go as high as you’d want, his projectile attack is awkward and unwieldy, the level design is just that little bit shonky. It’s yer DOS platformer by numbers, really, more like the rubbish Skunny series than anything of real quality. Boo! Boo this clown!
Boomer (Ballz, 1994)
Hissss! Spit, spit!! Not only is this hideous, untextured disaster of spheres an Evil Clown, it’s also a boomer. One of the many barely-controllable characters in this near-impossible to comprehend disaster of a fighting game, Boomer at least vaguely resembles what he’s supposed to be. And that’s a circus jester with cruel intentions, hence his appearance in this hard-hitting and important piece of games journalism. Really, it’s the chaotic nature of Boomer that makes him a shoe-in. I can’t figure out this game, you see. Ball technology hadn’t quite reached Ecstatica levels yet so the clearly brilliant premise of Ballz was unable to be effectively realised. But they got a passable Evil Clown in there, so kudos to them on one level. One miniscule, barely worthwhile level. Ballz – the game that reviews itself.
If you know of any more nightmarish Pennywise-alikes that should have made this list, by all means sound off in the comments. They’re usually full of clowns anyway. Ha ha! Just my little joke, friends! (Squirts seltzer)