Our favorite characters are always evolving in one way or another, but in a medium that goes through as many technological evolutions as video games, it is even easier to reimagine them. Practically all the great faces of the games have already undergone one or another mutation, but some stand out for changing too much between one game and another. Check out our list of the 10 most shocking video game transformations!
Not all changes are limited to changes in appearance. The Conker that we found in Conker’s Bad Fur Day it’s basically the same squirrel that we saw in the cute adventure Conker’s Pocket Tales and racing Diddy Kong Racing, but when his solo adventure was launched on the Nintendo 64, we were surprised by an 18-year-old censorship game starring a drunk, sarcastic and promiscuous animal, a radical change that helped to eternalize the mascot.
Conker changed from cute mascot to a drunkardSource: Rare
It is common to see fighters go through a makeover in their look between games, and usually their changes involve a new haircut, changes in the color palette or new clothes, but sometimes the changes are too shocking. Mortal Kombat 3 surprised fans in 1995 by presenting an unmasked version of the Sub-Zero ninja. Divisive, to say the least.
Sub-Zero showed its face in Mortal Kombat 3Source: Nether Realm
Link and Zelda in Wind Waker
After the franchise The Legend of Zelda took advantage of all the hardware power on the Nintendo 64 to create the most impressive open world made in video games so far, the fans’ expectation for the series’s debut on the GameCube was to receive an even more realistic fantasy game. To everyone’s surprise, Big N preferred to invest in a cartoon style. If the decision was initially received in a mixed way, soon Toon Link proved to be one of the most beloved versions of the hero.
Link and Zelda surprised by appearing as cartoons on the GameCubeSource: Twinfinite
When you think of Dante, what is the look that comes to your mind? Probably very white hair and a red coat, very affected, right? It turns out that the fifth game in the series ended up opting for a drastic redesign of the world and characters in the franchise. Developed by Ninja Theory, the title features excellent hack and slash mechanics but, because it diverges so much from the established canon, it ends up annoying part of the fans and never won a direct sequence.
Not everyone dies of love for Dante’s “emo version”Source: Capcom
Jumpman / Mario
Our younger readers may not know it, but the biggest video game mascot has also undergone a major change! When the original video arcade Donkey Kong was released, Jumpman had a strong antagonism with the gorilla. The feud was so great that when Donkey Kong Jr. was released in 1982, there was Mario as the main villain, mistreating animals. Naturally these traces of villainy were soon abandoned, helping the good plumber to gain fame as a good guy for the launch of Super Mario Bros. in 1985.
Mario, one of the greatest heroes of the games, was once a villainSource: Villains Fandom
The bluish sprinter had already undergone a major redesign when he starred in his first Dreamcast adventure, creating the division between what we now know as classic Sonic, more chubby, and modern Sonic, more cool. In 2014, SEGA tried to make another reinterpretation of the hero and his friends, now much more drastic, to launch the cartoon and games Sonic Boom. Filled with bandages and a scarf around his neck, this version suffered from the poor quality of the games, but ended up winning fans thanks to the very funny animation.
From its first appearance to the last events seen in God of War III, the Kratos thug was always shown as a bully more than willing to take heads off and use women as objects in minigames. Everything changed with the reimagining of the series on PS4, when the team led by director Cory Barlog turned him into a big daddy concerned for the well-being of his puppy Atreus.
Kratos went from brainless thugs to a real big daddySource: Time
Already created with the sex symbol status of video games, the heroine Lara has had quite a journey in the transition between pointed polygonal breasts to a more empowered heroine shaped for the 21st century. In 2013, Crystal Dynamics launched a soft reboot of the franchise tomb Raider showing a more humane, vulnerable Lara and with more realistic proportions, which proved to be a very good bet that inspired successful sequences.
Lara Croft from the 2013 reboot is more human in both her motivations and appearanceSource: Crystal Dynamics
Co-protagonist of the first resident Evil, Chris Redfield is one of the biggest chameleons in video games. In his debut, Chris already had a good physique and was clearly a well-trained agent, but ended up getting too heavy in the gym to face the villain Albert Wesker, which left him so pumped that he looked more like a character out of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure in resident Evil 5!
Chris’s change between Resident Evil 1 and 5 was pretty big …Source: Capcom
Chris Redfield … again!
There is nothing more fair than closing our list by quoting Chris again! After all, isn’t it that the guy has achieved the feat of totally changing one more time? If you are not done yet Resident Evil 7, here is a slight spoiler alert: Chris reappears at the end of the game, not only back to his old slimmer form but also with a whole new face!
… but isn’t it that it changed even more at the end of Resident Evil 7 ?!Source: Capcom
And for you, which character has changed the most from one game to the next? What did you think of our list? Comment below!