Keep in mind…there are Spoilers, you have been warned!
John McClane, Jules Winfield, Batman, Solid Snake, John Rambo, Gordon Freeman, Conan the Barbarian, Kratos, Mike Haggar. What do these names all have in common? If you had said Badasses, well, you’re right! Badasses have been around pretty much ever since the dawn of time. I can recall countless times in my lifetime where I’ve said those words “What a badass”, or “That is so Badass” while watching a movie or playing a Video Game, but you can’t just sit there and throw it around like it’s some kind of regular word. When you give that word to someone, you better mean it and they better be that! Or I’ll find you…I swear I will!
Let us think about some of the best Animes to have come out in the past decade. Three of my favorite anime characters of all time are: Simon the Digger from Gurren Lagann, Hei from Darker than Black, and Revy from Black Lagoon. Which is also a great way to differentiate between different types of badasses. If I can use some Dungeons and Dragons vocabulary; on one side of the spectrum you’ve got Simon: The Lawful Badass. The ‘crusader’, in which he acts compassionately towards others and has the sense of honor. Simon will ALWAYS do the right thing, and he will never let someone say no to what is right. Just who the hell do you think he is? He’s Simon: The Lawful Badass.
Hei, on the other hand, is more in the middle as the Neutral Badass. Hei is pretty much told what to do for most of the series, but he’s still a badass while doing it. Occasionally saving people but never shedding a tear if they’re killed. He is very apathetic towards everyone around himself throughout both of the DtB series. Which definitely labels him as the Neutral Badass.
While Revy I believe is the Chaotic Badass. She acts more on her own terms. She’s absolutely crazy in every way, shape, and form. If she were real, she’d probably break down my door and kill me as I’m typing this. She is out to get whatever the job entails; get in, get out, and finish the job. Of course, there are exceptions, whether it’s saving one of her partners from the Black Lagoon Company or if someone challenges her to a fight. One thing is for certain though, she will kill your ass and never look back. And I feel she’d gladly take the Chaotic Badass title, any day.
Now that I’ve pretty much covered most of my bases with every form of media whether it’d be mentioning the Badasses from TV, Movies, or Anime, you have to be asking yourself: “Thief, what the hell does this have to do with Video Games and the “Ultimate” Badass?” Well I’ll tell you, computer screen! It’s just setting you guys up for the ultimate badass in any form of media.
YOU! That’s right. You! What makes the Ultimate Badass you ask? Well your decisions. You as a player must shape how your character is a badass. So you do that throughout your entire adventure. Think about when you played Mass Effect, or even D&D. I remember one of my first times playing with my good buddies here at The Community and I was a Shapeshifting Elf. You’d bet your ass that when I turned into a Bear, I wasn’t satisfied until I ripped someone’s neck off.
But it’s not just about fighting. It’s also about the things you say to the people you encounter and what you end up doing when you encounter them. Lets take an example from Mass Effect 2. I recently was playing through Shepard’s second grand sci-fi adventure and I was met with a dilemma. I was attempting to interrogate this man but he just wasn’t cooperating. So that little button called the “Renegade” button flashed on the right corner of my TV screen. My decision was simple, do I get my answer, Or find it out for myself? Well, when the man didn’t want to tell me what I need to know, I pushed the jackass out of the window. Another moment from ME2, right before I was about to fight The Collectors in the final mission, I made a speech. I had a choice between saying that doing this was for the good of the universe, or taking Revenge on all of the people that we had lost. I wanted Revenge! I was emotionally attached to these people, and The Collectors took them from me! I wanted to make them pay, I wanted them to squeal and die at my feet for the fallen people they had processed into them. Damnit I wanted them to bow and beg and grovel on their knees. I felt sorry for what they were going to endure at my hands.
And that, my friends, is the key right there. The word “I”. Because YOU are the Ultimate Badass. YOU have the final say, YOU make all of the choices. And you are Ultimately the one to decide everyones fate. Every choice you have in these games, is yours and yours alone. And at the end of the day, you are the key to unlocking it. So go out there and start becoming your own Ultimate Badass!
A special thanks goes out to Underbelly for giving me an awesome idea for an article to write for all of you. They’re definitely a Quad of Badasses for sure!