The 50 Greatest Video Game Villains Of All Time

Credit: Matt Becker (compilation); Capcom, NetherRealm, Nintendo (artwork)
Credit: Matt Becker (compilation); Capcom, NetherRealm, Nintendo (artwork) /
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Credit: HAL Laboratory /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #34 Giygas

Game(s): EarthBound Beginnings, EarthBound

Background: The “Embodiment of Evil” is the alien antagonist in both EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound. In EarthBound Beginnings we learn that Giygas was an alien raised since infancy by human parents, both of whom were abducted from Earth in the early 1900s. Giygas was tasked to ensure that humans do not use the alien’s PSI powers against his own race. This forced him to attack Earth and betray the humans that raised him. He was eventually forced to retreat after being defeated by his adopted parents’ grandson. EarthBound‘s story begins with Giygas returning to Earth.

We learn that while in the future he actually succeeds in conquering the planet, a prophecy foretells his defeat by Ness. He travels back in time to defeat Ness, overcome with rage and despair after losing his adopted mother. Giygas partners with Pokey Minch, Ness’ neighbor, who helps keep Giygas’ destructive powers under control. His evil power spreads through the whole universe, and he is able to manipulate the minds of humans, animals, and even inanimate objects. He faces Ness and company in the interdimensional final battle of the game, where is finally defeated once and for all through the emotional power of prayer.

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: Giygas’s story is one of heartfelt despair and emotion. In EarthBound Beginnings, Gigyas has a strong connection with his human mother and feels immense guilt for being forced to betray her. He had to choose between protecting the ones he loved or fulfilling his duty to protect his entire race, an immensely difficult decision for even a powerful alien like himself. Giygas becomes so unstable after these events that he becomes pure evil and completely loses his mind. His influence over the universe is unparalleled, and every enemy Ness encounters in EarthBound is under his control. He turned innocent little animals into possessed monsters, and turned the young boy Pokey Minch into a power-hungry killer.

Despite all of this destruction and evil, Giygas’ true weakness was that of human emotion. In both EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound, the protagonists were unable to physically defeat him and instead relied on exploiting his emotional weakness. This shows that despite being literal evil, deep down Giygas felt true emotion and understanding. His descent into pure darkness and destruction due to his emotional instability had tremendous narrative influence in the story of EarthBound and sets him apart from other video game villains.

Next: 33- Dr. Wily