Video games and enemies go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly, but only a very special type of video game can surprise us. The weirdest enemies in video games aren’t just going to shock you, you’re going to remember them for a very long time. We’re mining the depths of the past (both distant and recent) for the strangest enemy encounters ever. We’ve got weird inappropriate parodies, do-nothing trees, terrible translations, and much more. These are the enemies we can’t forget — even when we want to. They’re absurd, hilarious, totally inappropriate, and we love them for it.
Before we dig into our picks, let’s go over a quick bunch of bad guys that didn’t quite make the cut. We’ve got Kirby in Link’s Awakening — because, there’s an enemy that’s just Kirby in Link’s Awakening. The chickens from Sekiro deserve a call-out specifically because they’re chickens that can counter and riposte you somehow. Then there’s Godzilla in Revenge of Shinobi. Just Godzilla. And lots of other copyright busting inclusions like Batman, the Terminator, and Spider-Man.
Get more gaming lists on Gameranx:
- 10 Secrets, Cheats & Easter Eggs That Took Fans Years To Discover
- 20 Best Modern Games You Can Beat In 5 Hours Or Less
- 10 Scariest Moments In Games That Aren’t Scary
- 10 Unbelievable Video Game Rumors That Turned Out To Be True
- 10 Weirdest & Worst Mini-Games You Were Forced To Play
- 10 Best Bugs That Made Games More Fun | Most Useful Glitches List
#1. Devil Sonic The Hedgehog [Illbleed]
Take a long breath, because we’re jumping right into the deep end of incomprehensibly weird video game monsters. There is a game where you have to fight a giant demonic Sonic The Hedgehog. There is so much to unpack about Illbleed, an insane Dreamcast “horror” game that defies description. There’s nothing else I can do — I’ll just have to lay out the plain facts as simply as I can.
In Illbleed, you play as a visitor to an evil (and haunted) amusement park. Your goal is to complete the different attractions and try to survive. Later in the game, you’ll enter an attraction that literally changes your physical body — swapping into “Cork Inda”, a combination of Woody (yes, that Woody from Toy Story) and Indiana Jones. After acquiring a gun, you’ll fight through different stages of Toy Land. At the end of the area, you’ll have to defeat “Zodick The Hellhog”, which is a giant demonic Sonic.
I can’t tell you the why’s or the how’s. Why is there an entire section of a video game where you play as a creepy Woody toy man that shoots zombies with a gun? And you don’t get a gun in the other sections of the game, either! This is the only section where you encounter parodies of video game characters. This is the only time this happens! And it isn’t like this area is funny. It’s just weird! I’m so speechless, we better move along to something I can understand a whole lot better: Resident Evil trash.
#2. Torpedo Kids [Resident Evil: Dead Aim]
75% of the reason I’m picking “Torpedo Kids” is because of the name “Torpedo Kids” — it is so literal, it just makes me laugh. It helps that the “Torpedo Kids” are a frankly bizarre edition to the wonderful oeuvre of Resident Evil monsters. There’s a lot of silly stuff in the grand schema of RE’s collection of bioweapons. Ever heard of the “Cleaners” from Resident Evil: Survivor? No? Remember the “Eliminators” from Resident Evil: Zero? There are some weird critters in these games, especially when you search the deep spin-offs in the series. And Dead Aim is about as far down the spin-off totem pole as you can go.
Dead Aim is a PS2 early attempt at Resident Evil 4 gameplay, just done way worse. While the main villain is a great source of WTF, I’ve got to give the crown to the Torpedo Kids — literal little torpedoes with faces spawned by the Nautilus monster. Having a monster give birth to “babies” with weird fetus faces that swim after you like demented worms is weird enough without also calling them “Torpedo Kids,” a name that actually appears in official notes in-game. I think someone might’ve take the translation too literally. They’re like torpedoes and they’re kids because they spawn from a big monster! Welp, that’s another hard day done at Capcom’s bottomless Resident Evil mines. They can’t all be winners.
#3. Pagan Tree [Dark Souls 2]
From Software took a chance with Dark Souls. When the original PS3 Demon’s Souls came out, the idea of a hardcore action-RPG that barely explained anything to you seemed like an anomaly. Now these types of games are a staple of gaming. When even Star Wars is imitating the Dark Souls formula, you know you’ve hit it big. And a big part of the appeal is the mystery. Exploration might just uncover unique armor, a special weapon, or even a hidden area. And the games were packed with unique one-time-only enemies to reward dedicate players with something interesting to discover.
And the weirdest one-time-only enemy in the entire series has to be the Pagan Tree. Only found in the Crown of the Sunken King DLC for Dark Souls 2, the Pagan Tree is located in a secret area that’s very easy to miss. Once encountered, this weird looking tree with a face (sort of) just does nothing. It seemingly has no effect. It is an enemy that can be killed, but it doesn’t fight back. If you attack it with a whip, it releases an aura that repairs all your equipment. Why? Huh? Bwuh? Someone needs to make a two hour lore video about the Pagan Tree.
#4. Tricerotops Mech [FF7]
We all love Hellhouse. The little house that transforms into a robot warrior made a splash in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and his boss fight is one of the most spectacular and memorable in the game. We can only hope the TriceraTank (or how its actually known in-game: the Heavy Tank) gets a lavish boss fight in future Final Fantasy 7 Remakes, because this is one of the most adorably silly designs in the entire series. If you asked my five year-old nephew to design an enemy in a Final Fantasy game, this would be it.
The Heavy Tank is one of the seemingly endless cavalcade of silly (and totally random) monster designs in FF7. And this game has way more than the rest of the series — I can only assume the designers were one-upping each other by trying to make increasingly juvenile and out-of-place enemies. The Heavy Tank only appears in one area in the game, the ruined Mako Reactor in Gongaga, which is also totally optional. That location choice screams rejected enemy concept that got thrown into the game anyway. Its a Triceratops with tank treads! Who made him and why? And why is he so easy to kill!
#5. Giant Vacuum [Yakuza 7: Like A Dragon]
So, a mad scientist needs your help to test a new street-cleaning robot. Just a normal day in the life of your protagonist in a Yakuza game. The series is known for some wild diversions in its side-quests, and I deem this one the flat weirdest — which is saying a lot when Yakuza 7 throws enemies at you like dancing trash bag men, flashers, and ambulatory blood-soaked mummies. You’ll actually encounter the giant roomba twice, once as part of an open-world quest, and again if you fully explore the depths of the Sewers, where the weirdest of the weird enemies lurk.
And if this was just a regular robo-vacuum, that would be weird. Its the size of a truck and armed with a flamethrower. It starts by trying to suck up a street cat, then turns on its creator and sucks him up next. Due to appearing in the Sewers later, this is actually one of the tougher bosses in the game — you’ll need to wear it down by smashing both arms, but that still leaves it with a killer spin attack, electricity, and much more. Just an all-around stupefyingly silly boss. Sure it was meant to be, and it worked on us.
#6. Guta [Halo: Reach]
In any other game, the “Guta” wouldn’t be unusual at all. But this isn’t just any other game. This is the Halo series, and Halo: Reach is the final Halo made by the original developers Bungie. That also makes Halo: Reach one of the most beloved entries in the series — just one with the weirdest addition. The “Guta” is an alien lifeform that exists on the planet Reach, just a four-legged creature with sharp teeth and claws so you know to shoot it.
It is the only enemy of its kind in the entire series. The first non-Covenant creature is limited to a single level, and only appears briefly. Its also incredibly basic, just running around and half-heartedly swiping at the player. Tons of games have basic enemies like this for filler, but why Halo: Reach? Originally, environmental enemies were going to be a much bigger focus on the game to really pound home how alien and inhospitable the planet Reach was. But it ended up getting cut down to a very low key WTF moment in the grand scheme of the Halo franchise.
#7. J-Son [Super Mario Land 2]
Let me remind you that this is a Mario enemy. J-Sons. Like Jason. Jason Voorhees. The masked man from Friday The 13th. J-Sons are the Halloween-themed replacements for Goombas in Pumpkin Zone. They’re little Hockey masks with feet and a big machete stuck straight in their head — kinda referencing Jason’s defeat in Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. Let’s just think about this for a second. There’s a Super Mario enemy that references cinematic serial killer Jason Voorhees. The Super Mario Land games were willing to play around with established Mario tropes, but this little monster pushes the envelope — or in this case, dagger — so far we have to say WTF.
#8. Just A Big Dog [Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night]
The Kickstarter model helped a lot of indie games get up off the ground in the early 2010s. One of those games was Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, back before developers really started to grapple with Kickstarter bloat. Back in those heady days, devs would toss out way too many incentives to high-paying backers, letting them include their own enemies and artwork in the game. That lead to some pretty weird, out-of-place assets like the portraits of different backers in their Sunday best gamer trilbies.
The portraits may be weird, but its the animals that are weirdest. You’ll encounter a giant dog enemy named Puppy — and it looks just that, like a big fluffy white dog face. And it is just the face! Later you’ll face a beefed up version named Rocky, which is JUST a Rottweiler head. It isn’t demonic in any way. It isn’t even a design! It looks weirdly realistic, and it isn’t scary! We can’t even blame Kickstarter for these things. They look like extra assets picked up off the Unreal Store. And that’s what I’m going to assume they are until I hear different.
#9. Slappers [Final Fantasy 8]
Final Fantasy 8 seriously shrunk down on the number of wacky enemies compared to FF7. They traded all those inane enemies for inane battle mechanics, I guess. Still, there’s at least one group of enemies that always makes me laugh. During the climactic raid on the Galbadia Garden — basically a training academy for the bad guy empire — you’ll briefly visit the school’s Ice Rink. And that’s where you take on the Slappers! It’s a trio of hockey mask clad hockey players. This is the only place you’ll ever see these guys. That’s what makes them a totally unique surprise.
#10. Cart Dog [Dusk]
Even a twisted game like Dusk has a sense of humor. The ridiculous Cart Dog — its a weird legless monster dog strapped into a wooden cart — is actually kind of disturbing you first time you see it. It’s like a sad tableau painted by Francis Bacon and stuck inside a PS1-era FPS. The more the Cart Dog appears, the funnier it gets. Nobody likes seeing cruelty to dogs, but this is clearly a demon dog summoned up from the silliest depths of Hell. Its just the right combination of creepy, gross, and totally absurd. How does it even move around? Maybe its propelled by schadenfreude.
That’s 10 of the absolute weirdest enemies we’ve seen in video games, but there are dozens more out there to find. The entire roster of things in TMNT on NES probably counts. Let us know your favorite out-there enemy concepts!