With the revelation that Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil Village’s demo is not 8ft, as some had estimated, but a suitably 9ft 6inches tall, according to Art Director Tomonori Tanako on Twitter, we’ve been thinking about the other (literally) big bads in the world of games.
Size isn’t everything of course, and some of the most fearful creatures are small and unassuming, but here we’re focusing on those nightmares which are larger-than-life. What springs to your mind? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, here’s what haunts our every dark winter’s night…
Compared to Toon Link and Young Link, Gohma is huge.
Sam | Dragon God from Demon’s Souls
Having recently been acquainted with Lady Dimitrescu via the Resident Evil 8 demo on PlayStation 5, she’s certainly an imposing and oddly seductive figure. The “tall vampire lady” didn’t leave quite the same impact as another recent boss encounter on PS5, though.
While the likes of Bowser and Shao Kahn are all-time classic big baddies, they’re also way too obvious. In a similar vein, a lot of boss fights against large enemies essentially take the same obvious form. That can’t be said of the Dragon God in Demon’s Souls.
The Dragon God is really something to behold. It’s a magnificent, ancient creature that I didn’t have any immediate inclination to kill. The boss battle itself plays on that fact, having players utilise stealth in order to fire two ballistae and pin the deity down. Cutscenes accompanying both shots are tragic, but don’t compare to what comes next.
With its shoulders pinned and its weary head on the ground, players must hack at the Dragon God’s face to finish it off. The old beast barely fights back, despite its power being such that its hot breath alone is enough to kill.
Dragon God is just one of several unconventional boss battles in Demon’s Souls, which helped to cement it as my favourite console launch title.
A boss that refuses to fight back certainly sounds like a change of pace from the regular Souls baddies.
James | GLaDOS from Portal
While the more inspired turn for GLaDOS came in Portal 2 when she(?) spent time as a potato, there’s no denying the physically-imposing impact of meeting her(?!) for the first time in your first go-round at Aperture Laboratories.
Not content with being a huge robotic arm with a HAL9000-esque central eye, the lasting impression of GLaDOS really comes from the ever-increasing sense of dread as the plot unfolds; a fun and innocent puzzle game slowly becomes a horrific ordeal in which you couldn’t even trust baked goods. Nothing is sacred.
Being in complete control of your environment, GLaDOS also torments with deceptively murderous turrets and, occasionally, fire to motivate you to your goal. It’s difficult to be angry though, since peeling back the layers of lore reveals an AI built using the uploaded consciousness of Caroline, lab assistant to the mechanical maniac’s creator.
How immediately the player warms to this mostly unseen and yet omnipresent foe is a testament to GLaDOS’ staying power as a killer villain, and the reveal of her full physical form more than lives up to the anticipation of finding out who’s been pulling the strings. Sadly it’s unlikely we’ll see much more of GLaDOS, since Valve famously can’t count to three, but here’s hoping there’s more puzzles with the same sort of depth on the horizon.
Our favourite power-hungry robot. And look, there's GLaDOS, too!
What's your favourite big baddie? Let us know below.