The new film adaptation for Stephen King’s It did phenomenally well for its debut, with over $123 million in U.S. box office gross. Turns out people really love stuff that has scary clowns despite the fact that they're... well, scary clowns. And there are plenty of scary clowns to go around in video games.
They may give the light and cheery appearance of someone that can make you a balloon animal, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a deadly enemy that’s ready to tear you apart. Let’s take a look at some of the creepiest clowns in video games.
Back in its arcade heyday, Midway produced a fun shoot-'em-up coin-op called CarnEvil where you basically resurrect a carnival from hell and blast everything apart to take it back down. Players take on a barrage of demon clowns over the course of the adventure, but nothing tops Umlaut, a floating clown head that taunts players at every turn.
Eventually, players end up having a boss battle with him where he tries to headbutt them and take bite them. Yeah, floating clown heads don’t really do well with us, thank.
This PlayStation 3 Bomberman wannabe wasn’t really that great a game as poor controls and bad graphics sunk any potential that it had, but Basement Crawl is memorable for one thing: its haunting characters.
Among them a unicycling clown; a small, terrifying looking creature that holds a joystick and taunts his opponents at every turn. He’s not as homicidal as Pennywise, mind you, but he sure looks it.
The Williams arcade classic NARC definitely taught us not to do drugs as it basically had a couple of heavily armed police officers take down criminals by any means necessary. That includes Kinky Pinky, a homicidal clown that comes charging at you with a knife in his hand. And the scary part is that there’s more than one of him, meaning that you’ll need all sorts of weaponry to bring down this armada of psychotic clowns. Or better yet, rev up the Porsche and run over them all.
Frank West already has enough to contend with in Dead Rising, with literally hundreds of thousands of zombies confined within a shopping mall district. But then Frank comes across Adam, a clown-dressed lunatic who’s lost his mind thanks to the pending apocalypse and reacts in the worst way possible.
Eventually, you’ll have to come face-to-face with this nightmare before you continue your adventure. Fortunately, you can meet him on crazy common ground and beat him up while you’re dressed as Mega Man. Because what better way to take on insanity than with equal insanity?
Heavy Rain has its fair share of characters that you aren’t sure you can trust, and establishing conversation and making decisions is the best way to go about seeing who’s who. But we’ll tell you right now that no amount of words will make us trust the creepy clown that dwells within the mall. The clown just doesn’t look right, and the way he hands your young charge a balloon leaves us a little unsettled. Not to mention the fact he disappears shortly thereafter. Lesson learned: DO NOT TRUST MALL CLOWNS.
Most Final Fantasy villains are straightforward and pretty easy to figure out simply because they’re so damn diabolical. However, Kefka tells a bit of a different story. Not only is he a villain with cruelty and destruction flowing through his veins, but he also looks psychotic as he dresses up in clown gear and boasts a convincing smile across his face. He’s definitely one of the more memorable characters you’ll come across in the game – and not always for positive reasons. Yikes.
Finally, we look at the face that made Twisted Metal an iconic game franchise: the psychotic Needles Kane. He’s a maniac that’s been driven to absolute insanity, mainly because he’s forced to wear a clown mask and his hair is continuously on fire. So, yeah, we’d go nuts, too. But the thing that makes him king of the psycho clowns is the fact that he drives a heavily armed ice cream truck. Usually, those things are sweet and innocent, but this time around, he makes it quite sinister.
Who’s your favorite psychotic clown in video games?