The average video game protagonist can live through what most people would call a Rasputinian Death and has a typical body count in the high thousands. Yeah.
All of the protagonists of the Grand Theft Auto series, although somewhat small hat compared to the superhuman ones here. By the end of each game, each has killed hundreds to thousands of people, assassinated a few crime bosses along with good numbers of their underlings and survived entanglements with SWAT teams, the FBI and the US Army.
However, Tommy Vercetti is the biggest one in the entire franchise. Yes, he is probably the most immoral and evil protagonist of the franchise, but still, he is unstoppable in every point of view, to the point that fear him some characters from the end. He faced the most dangerous and powerful criminals of the 80s, and killed them all, including hundreds of henchmen without problem, something no other character in the GTA III Era could muster.
The turian species. Every single turian is a trained soldier, having spent at least a year training and a year serving in the Hierarchy's military, which is generally considered the most disciplined and well-trained army in the galaxy. In other words, every turian you meet, from the shopkeepers to the scientists to that Jersey-accented mechanic on Noveria could probably break a man over his knee if he was so inclined.
Shepard him/herself definitely deserves mention. Whether you play as a paragon or renegade, Shepard has succeeded at making a fleet of Space Cthulhu pissed off at him/her through destroying a few of them to the point where they all know his/her name and are coming after him/her personally. You can be so badass Shepard is recognized as a near legend and lauded or at least respected by damn near every race in the galaxy. Krogan, turian, quarian even the robotic geth for crying out loud. Species quarrels founded in centuries of conflict are as nothing when appraising the awesomeness of Commander Shepard, even if he/she's willing to work with people you regard as your worst enemy.
Thane's badassery gets upgraded by the third game, as despite the face that he's already in the final stages of Kepral's Syndrome and requires medical attention every day and the best projection for him was that he was supposed to have succumbed to his illness six months before, he steps up to confront Kai Leng when the latter tries to assassinate the Salarian Councillor. Thane gets stabbed, but gets to have the last laugh over the fact that he, a terminally ill drell, was able to stop Kai Leng from killing his mark.
Zaeed Massani was betrayed by his own mercenary crew and shot in the face by his second in command. Most people would have died after having something as nasty as a shot through the head but Zaeed recovered and proceeded to become the best goddamn bounty hunter in the galaxy before being hired by Commander Shepard.
Zaeed: Rage is a hell of an anaesthetic.
In the War Assets system in 3, you get some interesting results, especially since many of your former teammates are individual Assets. For example: Wrex, Grunt, and Zaeed? Together, they provide more War Asset points than the Destiny Ascension. Add in Samara, Miranda, Jack, Kasumi and Mordin, and your Virmire Survivor if you don't have them join your team, and the War Asset total beats the Alliance First and Third fleets, even if you sacrificed the Ascension to ensure the Fleets were at full strength. Your former teammates are so awesome that as a group they are more helpful to the Reaper war than two full fleets.
The Belmonts of Castlevania. A clan of vampire hunters that have fought toe to toe with the Drac himself for centuries using nothing but a holy whip for this express purpose and assorted subweapons. Special mention goes to the latest member of the belmont family, Julius Belmont whoembodiesquiteafewbadass tropes. As well he should, he's the only belmont who killed Dracula, and manages to kick large amounts of ass even without his weapon of choice or even his memory, becomes That One Boss at one point and kills regenerating monsters before they get a chance to do so.
TRAVIS TOUCHDOWN. The man taught himself to fight by watching anime and wrestling. This is truly badass or not but when you see the man in action you won't care. Travis changes the meaning of otaku He disposes of professional assassins and has time for Oneliners while doing so. And for what? To be Number 1.
Archer from Fate/stay night, the man they invented the word 'GAR' for. In case you're wondering, it's from the phrase "I'm Gay for ARcher" when someone misspelled it and wrote "I'm gar for Archer". It has since mutated into a term meaning roughly "Badass to the nth power".
The most awesome part is that Archer is nowhere near the most badass character - Shirou Emiya, who is actually Archer's younger self, is the high lord of badass. Go view his path in Heaven's Feel if you doubt me.
Most of the servants, and a fair few of the non-servants too, also fall into one or more of the subcategories above. All of the people in the show's character sheet has one or more badass tags associated with them.
At the end of the 'Fate' path, Saber blocks a planet-buster rated attack which tears apart time and space to erase the target from existence, reflects it back towards Gilgamesh and then while he's reeling, she cuts him in half with Excalibur. All after having been hit, just minutes ago, by the same reality-collapsing attack two times, and riddled with the Gate of Babylowned before that. This is why Saber is awesome, despite the inevitable Tear Jerker of a Bittersweet Ending.
Fate/hollow ataraxia tends to feature a lot less fighting, but the ending shows that the entire cast is made up of extreme badasses.
Duke Nukem from the Duke Nukem series is a humorous parody of a badass.
Serious Sam, from the series of the same name, most certainly qualifies. Although no more empowered than a seriously over-armed human, he defeats whole armies of aliens (literally tens of thousands each game), a boss 50 times as tall as him (Ugh-Zan III from First Encounter) and various deities (Kulkukan from Second Encounter, the Ram-God from the Second Encounter DLC, the Huge Lava Golem from the First Encounter). He can't quite resist poking fun at the Duke either.
Shin Megami Tensei II's hero, regardless of alignment path, took on YHVH (i.e. - GOD HIMSELF), and remains the only SMT protagonist to have the honor of taking on God in his purest form and winning.
The Demi-Fiend/Hitoshura of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. By the end of the game, he'll have racked up a body count that includes several gods, an avatar of THE God and, depending on your ending, possibly even becoming The Dragon of Lucifer. And, considering that Nocturne is regarded one of the hardest games in the series, he damn well deserves the title.
And just to show how powerful he is from someone else's point of view, in Digital Devil Saga, he can be fight as an insanely hardBonus Boss. Who is able to do four-digit damage using a lower-tier attack. To drive the point home, his battle theme, lifted from Nocturne, could've been the the Fiend theme, Final Boss theme, or even just the standard boss theme. Nope, it's the standard random encounter theme. To him, the heroes, even at level 99, are merely low-level random encounters.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's protagonist is one on any game path, but this gets played the straightest on the Neutral Path, because not only does he have to fight both the Law and Chaos Hero (and the latter even lampshades his badass status), demons from BOTH sides of the fence are openly terrified of said protagonist the closer he gets to the final boss. And, even before than, every human on the Strike Team, all of them trained soldiers in their own right, immediately cede to your protagonist's on the ground of Asskicking Equals Authority.
Gideon Wyeth of Advent Rising. After aliens destroy (almost all of) his species, he brings the war to the genocidal aliens by dual wielding guns rocket launchers, going hand-to-hand with creatures twice his size, bullet-timing every time he dodges, and using phenomenal cosmic powers to kill any enemy that gets in his way. Oh, and as an epilogue, he fights an acknowledged demigod boss and sucks it down a black hole that he created.
Kratos of the God of War series is a walking epitome of this trope - a brutal monster of a man, seemingly without a conscience, the heights of his penchant for depraved execution defy easy description. But he's such a badass that the player can't help but root for him, and admittedly most of the Greek heroes were jerks anyways (to say nothing of the gods or the Titans, who double-cross and jerk Kratos around through all three games).
Probably his crowning achievement was in God of War II, when he killed the Sisters of Fate. In other words, Kratos destroyed the beings who essentially weaved the fabric of time and space and judged what was going to happen. He killed three beings who even the gods themselves feared.
For further clarification, this is a man who went from being a One-Man Army to a One-Man Armageddon. The mere mention of his name makes the Gods themselves tremble in fear.
On the topic of Spartans, there's also the Master Chief from the Halo series, whose feats include disarming a bomb on a space station and throwing it back at the enemy ship that placed it there, and surviving a fall from several kilometers in the air at super-sonic speed.
And that's only a fraction of Chief's heroic accomplishments. Doing the impossible is what he and his fellow Spartan-IIs do best.
In addition, there's the man who fought on the front lines from the very first bullet of the war to the very last, Sergeant Avery Johnson.
Sergeant Stacker, who's tough enough to survive the original trilogy to lead the twenty-one gun salute at the end of Halo 3, and survives the tumultuous four year interval to show up again in Halo 4.
For an action survivor counterpart, there's Private Chips Dubbo, who also somehow survives the original trilogy.
For the Chief's Covenant counterpart, there's Arbiter Thel 'Vadam. How does he respond when his target is hiding on a station only being held above a giant storm by a single cable?
Arbiter: "The cable. I'm going to cut it."
Rtas 'Vadum (aka the Elite nicknamed "Half-Jaw") gets a particularly badass line in Halo 3:
Random Elite: "Brute ships, staggered line! Ship Master, they outnumber us 3-to-1!"
Half-Jaw: "Then it is an even fight."
Which is especially awesome if you keep track of the space fight through various radio transmissions throughout the following level. In short, the Elites under his command thrash the Brutes.
Man, why hasn't anyone mentioned Sgt. Forge yet? He's a gung ho, dedicated and honorable Marine lifer. He does whatever it takes to beat the Covenant, and he personally kills the Elite Arbiter in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. But what really solidifies his position as a badass is when one of the Spartans tells him that the bomb they're using to blow up the shield world has been damaged—someone will need to trigger it manually. Without missing a beat, Forge volunteers himself for the job, telling the Spartans that he has a feeling that humanity will need every one of them to win the war.
Captain Jacob Keys belongs here too. The man is one of the most effective captains in the UNSC with several kills to his credit, including his performance during the prelude to the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV. He also held off a Covenant boarding party on a colony ship while injured. He even killed four Covenant ships with a single, out-dated, and damaged cruiser over Installation 04. His most most impressive action, despite all of that, would be how long he held out against the Gravemind's interrogation, which doubles as a Tear Jerker when you find out everything that he sacrifices to the flood to keep them from finding the location of Earth and other UNSC population areas. Oh, and he's father to the equally badass Miranda Keys, and lover to the brilliant Dr. Catherine Halsey, the women who created the Master Chief and the other Spartan-IIs.
Noble Six is one of the few things in the galaxy as deadly as the Master Chief. Not bad for a supposedly inferior Spartan-III.
The Spartan-IVs of Fireteam Crimson do their Super Soldier predecessors proud by cutting through swathes of enemies and completing missions that would give even their fellow IVs trouble.
Earth Defense Force 2017 has the player character, Storm 1. Canonically, The Earth Defense Force is supposed to be a Badass Army. In game,however, everyone who isn't Storm 1 is near useless and frequently ends up dead within seconds. Storm 1's badassery is even mentioned in game at times. Examples include being sent alone to back up teams or take out entire alien fleets, or EDF soldiers actually saying that a team might succeed in a seemingly impossible mission just because Storm 1 is present.
Ramiro Cruz in Total Overdose is a habitual criminal with the ability to gun down small armies of thugs, soldiers and luchadors as the story demands. He single-handedly wipes out a Mexican drug cartel, the army of a Latin-American dictator, and then shoots his way through the Mexican border to save his brother and his love interest.
Dante and his brother Vergil, from the Devil May Cry series. If defeating the King of Hell, as well as an usurper of the power needed to defeat said King of Hell, doesn't count as badass for you, probably nothing is. Their father Sparda was probably even more of a badass, reportedly going single-handed against The Legions of Hell that were his former allies and saving humanity from extinction. Unfortunately, this took place in the backstory, as he is currently somehow dead, and it is unclear exactly how accurate the account is. Lady is also quite the Badass Normal, while Nero was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap (or not?) entirely on Badassery.
Luca Blight, one of the main antagonists from Suikoden II. One of the more memorable scenes of the game involves him battling (and dominating) an army of magically powered warriors by himself using nothing but brute force and a small weapon augmentation. He does this after he has been riddled with arrows. While covered in arrows, and fighting the strongest 18 warriors of the opposing army (At least one of whom is endowed with the power of one of the fundamental forces of existence) singlehandedly, he loudly proclaims how wonderfully evil he is, and that it took hundreds to kill him, and that he slaughtered men personally by the thousands. As a division of an army is devoted solely to his death, and are barely doing it, he still needs to proclaim how murderously badass he is. Then, as a final "screw you", he dies laughing.
Incredibly, Mickey Mouse, in Kingdom Hearts II; he is a caring pacifist and a nice guy, much like the personality you're accustomed to him having... but when the time comes, he shows an amazing Yoda-style swordsmanship that leaves even the main character with his mouth hanging. The fact he is wearing a Badass Longcoat is only the icing on the cake.
Sora himself is also quite Badass, even though he's actually quite a nice kid out of battle. When you think about it, he must have put down thousands of horrors in his not-too-long "career." At one point in Kingdom Hearts 2, he faces down an army of The Heartless one thousand strong. And kicks their asses.
Not to mention several Final Fantasy characters, themselves incredibly Badass, including Cloud, Squall, and SEPHIROTH.
Axel. Just look at all of Chain of Memories. Especially this dialogue between Axel and Vexen in Twilight Town.
Vexen: No! Please don't! I... I don't want to-
Axel:Goodbye. * Snaps fingers, destroying Vexan with a burst of fire*
If that isn't Badass, that I don't know what is.
Everyone in Birth By Sleep. EVERYONE.
Dual-wielding Roxas. The beta-version of him that we are introduced to in Deep Dive is simply him in full badassery (therefore, getting the fans quite excited for this mysterious character at the time). It's not just the stunts, but his attitude, presence, and his movements that brings out the full effect. Though it's actually more apparent if he is either dual-wielding, cloaked, or both. Kingdom Hearts Coded raised his status a couple of levels by presenting him as a Manipulative Bastard (with reason) and Final Boss, despite that it's a Data version of himself.
The feats of Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden series defy common belief. These include defeating everything from giant dragons, to entire fully armed platoons, to even demon gods, being agile enough to practically be able to fly, and being proficiently deadly with every single weapon imaginable (and some that aren't even weapons).
Samus Aran, from the Metroid series, is a bounty hunter that has eliminated whole planets single-handedly. This character has taken out flying dragons, well-armed and armored enemies by the score, is fast and can roll into a basketball-sized Morph Ball to get into tight places. The arm cannon on the armor suit worn fires a variety of both energy beams and projectiles, when in ball form it drops bombs of various kinds, and can execute enemies by simply jumping through them (the infamous Screw Attack). It doesn't hurt either, that Samus Aran, under all that armor, is a FEMALE badass. Until Prime 3, some members of the Galactic Federation treat her like a legend, with one of them not even believing she exists and comparing her to the likes of Santa Claus and Bigfoot.
Probably because whenever she has a confrontation, there is usually no one left alive, be them a Space Pirate or a lowly bug... it can be understandable how this makes it hard to have any sort of record of her existence.
Ridley, the literal Dragon of the series, deserves a mention, too. May it be because of surviving every confrontation he had with Samus despite ending, in one case, disintegrating into radioactive waste. Or entering a planet by simply flying into it. It's implied that Samus is the only person in the galaxy who is actually a threat to him and in Metroid: Other M, Adam Malkovich even implies that he's just as dangerous, if not more so, than an entire station of Metroids.
Keldorn Firecam of Baldur's Gate 2. Sixty-something, but still covered in armour and swinging a two-handed sword whilst singing the praises of his rocking-out god. If you get right down to it, though, most of the characters eventually become badasses by the series' final installment. Even "innocent little Imoen" has enough magical power to wipe out small armies by the events of Throne of Bhaal. The protagonist of the games automatically qualifies as soon as you learn of their heritage, given that they're the child of the old God of Murder.
Minsc, the huge barbarian ranger. Almost certainly the only badass in the history of the universe to own a pet hamster called Boo. Which he thinks talks to him, and comes from space.
Not a scripted event, but on my game Minsc, with one hit point, killed five gnoll elites with his bear (pun intended) hands, no weapons, no berserkery, just sheer awesome. It only stopped when he found Dynaheir, who was able to heal him, at which point he was able to kill thirty gnolls before the party left the area.
In a series rife with badasses, Sanger Zonvolt of Super Robot Wars Alpha holds a special spot in the hearts of fans. His trademark weapon is a BFS that's known to slice battleships in two, and upon receiving a Super Robot with broken equipment, uses it as his only weapon, even when the built-in parts are capable of being repaired. During an offscreen fight with a not-quite-evil not-quite-clone, their combined badassery causes them to accidentally blow an opening into an underground shelter that was designed to survive an alien apocalypse. They then proceed to destroy all of the bosses your characters had been fighting in a single blow.
It doesn't end there, when a baddie in OGS:Gaiden decides to use a cheap trick by taking away his Trademark weapon, he was in for a rude surprise as Zengar proceeds to beat his enemies to death with his shoulder lasers, rocket punch and slicing repeatedly with his weaker guardian sword. And those things can punch through barriers without problems. Although he goes back to slicing things up with the BFS.
Even when he is first introduced as a villain, he is Badass, especially in 4koma. See Thrudgelmir's impossibly cool moves named the Sword of Cosmos that is used by Wodan(which is his Alternate Universe self) in OGS? Sanger does that first in the 4koma. After the heroes manage to destroy his BFS, he does an Impossibly awesome Drilll Punch and a Headbutt to Mazinkaiser's cockpit AFTER BOTH OF HIS MECH's ARM IS . After getting lectured by the heroes, did he stop fighting ? NO considering he is Zengar, he summoned his second BFS AND wield it using his mech's mouth. lets face it, this guys nuts
Ooh, that didn't end there. When a crossover RPG called Project X Zone is announced, which brings forth the heroes from Bandai Namco, Sega and Capcom together... guess who represents SRW? Sanger. Did he bring any of his mecha (Dygenguard/Thrudgelmir/Grungust Type-0/Grungust Type-3)? Nope. He just brings a human-sized Colossal Blade and cleaves/smites evil on foot.
Touma Kanou, Sanger's sometime student, becomes his equal over the course of Alpha 3, going from a delivery boy with a minor karate background to an epic martial artist and walking Kamen Rider shoutout. It says much about Touma's skills that Baran Doban acknowledged him as a Worthy Opponent, something he also did for Sanger in an alternate route.
Special mention also goes to Rand Travis in Z. A few of the Banpresto originals are of the Falling into the Cockpit variety, but most of the biggest badasses in the series are people like Sanger, trained warriors whose beam rifles and rocket punches and Colossal Blades are an extension of themselves. Surrounded by such veterans, Rand stands out by being a mechanic who defeats his enemies by smacking them around with a giant wrench.
And now the latest badass pilot to enter the stage is a certain Delinquent named Michiru Hanaten. He's supposed to be the equivalent of Boss but instead of being just a Joke Character/Lethal Joke Character, he's a straight up Mighty Glacier. How badass is his mech? The only two weapons he has are Eye Beams and a giant knapsack. Everything else is used with the Direct Motion Link which means he does all those crazy stunts like Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, kicking the enemy while they're down and smacking them continuously with a giant knapsack.
The Figaro brothers in Final Fantasy VI: Where everyone uses swords and spears, Edgar uses a drill (more realistic one that averts This Is a Drill, he even puts on a construction hat). Later, he gets a Chainsaw and doesn't use any safety at all, just spins wildly with it. Sometimes he can land a One-Hit Kill, in which he calmly saws the enemy down in Jason's mask. Then his brother, Sabin? Motherfucker suplexes a running train! Said train transports the dead to the afterlife. He takes down enemies with his fists and on more than one occasion has shown super human strength, like when he held up a burning house.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, everyone becomes a badass. And everyone who was a badass before it doubles in badassedness. Two words: motorcycle swordfight. And that's not even getting started on the Bahamut scene, where Vincent calmly jumps onto a bigger-than-skycrapers model of Bahamut and calmly shoots it in the face, or Cid, who stabs a spear through its skull and is one of the first characters to actually cause it to visibly flinch.
All these insanely badass scenes are surpassed by the final fight, where Cloud does things such as jumping upwards from a sheer wall with a sword in each hand and start slicing apart car-sized falling chunks of a building one-handed in mid-air, and all these feats merely serve to just barely keep up with Sephiroth (who in the above case had made the top of the building collapse on both of them by just posing in front of it, and then turned around and sliced the entire avalanche of giant debris in half with a single swing). If it were anyone else than Sephiroth in this fight, the Rule of Cool couldn't possibly cover it.
Let's not forgot that Cloud was infected with Geostigma for most of the movie. When Aerith's Great Gospel cures him of this affliction, he starts effortlessly destroying Kadaj, who had him outclassed in all previous fights. The only person who he struggles against then is the aforementioned Sephiroth (who in Complete, blocks the Omnislash, the very same attack that offed him two years prior) and he eventually he still triumphs thanks to his "World of Cardboard" Speech followed by whipping out a new version of the Omnislash, where he separates his Fusion Sword into its basic six components and starts going haywire on Sephy's ass.
In the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, there is Zack Fair, the man who, surrounded by a whole army, charges them and proceeds to thoroughly kick their assess. He dies after taking more than ten bullets in the chest, still he managed to take down countless men armed with granades, machine guns and rocket launchers and several helicopters. And he has enough strength left to say goodbye to Cloud, too.
Final Fantasy XI has a couple badasses of its own. Zeid is the Big Scary Galka who not only oozes badassitude, but beat the goddamn Shadow Lord in the Crystal War. Ragelise also fits pretty damn well, as he's the only FFXI character that could possibly be considered for Dynasty Warriors, for crying out loud! Well, okay, Zazarg would fit too, since he can send Orcs into low orbit.
Actually the Ur Example would have to be Garland, and at the beginning of one he was holding the Princess captive, one that he had to take from her kingdom, and was currently downing every division of Cornerian soldiers sent his way. Then when you do beat him he doesn't die, he just goes back in time and becomes the living embodiment of Chaos given physical form. Also retconned in Dissidia they explained the reason why there are no summons/Espers/Eidolons whatever you call them in Final Fantasy 1, Garland killed them all (Except Bahamut) singlehandedly.
But did Garland take over HEAVEN as well? Nah, didn't think so. That's right, kids. In the remakes, his good half ascends to the game's equivalent of the pearly white gates, and he takes that over too. Either way, Mateus has your ass on speed dial from both ends of the celestial chain.
Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII is probably the biggest female badass in the series thus far; in the beginning, she slaughters a legion of Mooks with a coolly unconcerned expression all the while. And that's before she becomes a Empowered Badass Normal. Throughout the game, she blows up trains, armies, aircrafts, zombies, and an Eldritch Abomination with a casual self-assurance that makes her act like she's just going to to drop her little sister off at Sunday School.
Fang is also quite the sexy badass, being the biggest tank and having the highest damage dealing capabilities in the party. Also, she summons Bahamut and her Limit Break attack as well as Infinity Plus OneSpear is a callout to Memetic Badass Kain Highwind, which adds another total of 25 points to her badass factor. It's kind of a toss-up between Lightning and Fang as to which one of them is the bigger badass.
Snow should, by all means and accounts, be the game's biggest badass. He protects his girlfriend from the ENTIRE FREAKIN ARMY of Cocoon, beats the crap out trained soldiers by himself with his barehands, and pulls a massiveBig Damn Heroes moment saving Lightning and Hope in Palumpolom along with Fang, wtfpwning every single PSICOM agent along the way. Unfortunately, this counteracted by the fact that he is also a massive moron who rarely thinks ahead with most of his plans and every single thing he does pisses off Lightning for the first part of the game.
Big Boss was, in turn, taught everything he knew by The (original) Boss, who spent most of her time on-screen beating him and intimidating the brutal psychopath she's supposedly working for.
Did we mention she fought in World War II non-stop after performing her own C-section on D-day?
Come to think of it, nearly EVERY major character of the Metal Gear Solid series could be considered badass to varying extents.
Agent 47 from the Hitman series is a quintessential Stoic badass both in the game and in the film (despite the film trying desperately to appeal to both fans of the video game and everybody else who watches the film).
Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear has an attitude exemplary of this trope. No one would be able to have such a lazy-looking fighting style if they weren't badass enough to pull it off.
The whole cast can qualify in some way or another. From Bridget the crossdresser with a yo-yo all the way to the invincible ancient vampire assassin Slayer. Seriously, when you beat him, he just lays there looking like a cross between bored and amused, and his instant kill involves punching you out of the galaxy.
The Warden from Dragon Age: Origins s/he starts of as a nobody and ends up as the most respected person in Ferelden, known far and wide, plus they have killed an ancient god corrupted by evil...
Also N from Pokémon Black and White. At the game's climax he captures one of the legendary Tao dragons, one of which is the aforementioned Zekrom, and uses it to tear Champion Alder a new one, and then fights your dragon with his once you capture the opposite dragon.
Lucario and Meta Knight have a match in Subspace Emissary where you can play as either character! Later on, they meet up with Snake (and further proves Lucario's awesomeness when he removes Snake's box with Snake in it).
But neither comes up to the level of badass of the almighty Captain Falcon, who PILOTS A SPEEDING HOVERCAR THROUGH HUNDREDS OF PLANT MEN BEFORE JUMPING A HUNDRED FEET INTO THE AIR TO KNOCK OUT A GIANT ROBOT WITH ONE PUNCH... and then land like a fucking bird.
Also Billy Coen from Resident Evil 0, near the beginning Rebecca encounters the leech hivemind which the head leech flies towards her about to latch onto her face when Billy arrives and shots the tiny leech out of the air with one bullet half an inch from Rebecca's face.
All of the Ace Attorney prosecutors (except for the Payne brothers), especially Godot.
A special mention should be made just for Manfred von Karma, as his voice still causes nightmares for some fans even years after the first game.
Klavier is a sex god. With commandments. It's hard not to include him here.
Another special mention should be given to HoboPhoenix. See, after he loses his license, he ends up a badass with a background in fighting/punching, he get's hit by a car, and walks away, and he manages to spend seven years finding all the evidence to destroy the man who ruined his life, all while raising a young girl he adopted.
And ''Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth" brought us Inspector Lang, who is so badass that he saved his assistant's life by getting shot in the leg, even though she had been proven to be a murderer (Lang is A Father to His Men and said that, since she was still his subordinate, he couldn't let her get shot). He then arrested her and continued work on the investigation. After being shot in the leg. Also, DetectiveBadd◊.
To clarify: Badd's tattered jacket, with all the holes? Those are bullet holes. And only half of them were from the KG-8 incident. He further claims that he keeps the mirror around so that he can keep an eye out on what's behind him without turning around.
Zetta who's title is...wait for it..."Bad-ass Freaking Overlord". No kidding.
Disgaea, featuring Laharl and Etna a.k.a. Hell's Most Destructive Duo.
James Earl Cash of Manhunt is another uber example. A convicted serial killer chosen by a snuff film director (voiced by Brian Cox, the original Hannibal Lector) to hunt packs of insane gangs? Badass with a capital B.
The The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess version of Link definitely qualifies as a Badass, both due to his victory pose, performed after every Boss Battle, and the fact that he's wrestling and subduing charging goats barehanded within five minutes of starting the game. He also has sword techniques that vary from impaling enemies into the ground, killing them while drawing his sword, and flipping over the top of his enemy to get to their back and attacking at the same time. He's surprisingly ripped in the Shirtless Scene. In fact, all versions of Link count. Each one has stormed fortresses of evil, taken down armies of Mooks, and bested said armies' leaders, over and over again. See also: Link from The Legend of Zelda manga.
Midna arguably qualifies, too. Think she's just an adorable, three-foot-tall imp? Ponder, for a minute, that this adorable, three-foot-tall imp can levitate huge chunks of cement, repel equally huge boar monsters with minimal help, and kill one of the game's major villains in the blink of an eye - all of this using only her hair!
Byrne from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks qualifies as well. He has a kickass hairstyle, a shawl over his mouth and nose, wields an extendable metal claw, and is actually found out to be a Lokomo late in the game. How can he NOT radiate badassery?
Many characters in Killer7 fit this trope, but it is Dan Smith who personifies it.
Marcus Fenix from Gears of War. Marcus is known for chainsawing Locusts, killing General RAAM, who was equally Badass, and is well known for curbstomps and making a Corpser melt. Marcus can beat a Locust in a chainsaw duel, ramming the Lancer blade through the grub's pelvis and upward. He eats the guys who eat nails for breakfast...for breakfast.
K' of The King of Fighters. Sunglasses that can kill and the thumbs down disapproval of his foe before obliterating him with a massive explosion out of nowhere.
Kim Kaphwan of Fatal Fury. Kim's history of enforcing justice goes a very long way. From beasting against badasses like Geese Howard and Rugal Bernstein and on. Kim likes to kick the crap out of evil spouting 'Aku wa Yurasan' and spamming hiki-kick infinites. Kim Kaphwan also made it his duty to reform all of Korea, one kick at a time. This master practitioner of Tae-Kwon Do is a badass to the core.
Also Raziel, who was selected as one of EGM's Top Ten Most Badass Undead in a recent issue. When Kain beats up the Lovecraftian horror, he is wielding a sword that is made from the unholy fusion of the Blood Reaver and Raziel's soul. That's right folks, the Bad AssMagnificent Bastard master of Screw Destiny end up wielding his most loyal lieutenant, who is a Bad Ass second only to Kain. It's no wonder Kain's enemies are so scared of him in Blood Omen 2.
Akuma from the Street Fighter saga definitely classifies as one of the biggest badasses ever. While his portrayal in the animated serieses sucked (same goes for the series as a whole though too), in the games and the canon story he's just the biggest badass in the whole friggin' universe. The calm, composed manner in which he walks up to someone, kills him and keeps walking like nothing happened is just... Well, it just is.
He further assured his Badass status with the introduction of Shin Akuma in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which in-universe is explained as Akuma fully utilizing the power of the Satsui No Hadou (Killing Intent) without giving in to it, instead of holding its own power back as usual to avoid ending fights prematurely.
And with his appearance as Oni in Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, explained as Akuma completely discarding his humanity and giving into the Satsui No Hadou, allowing it to consume his entire being, his Badass cred gets cemented to the point of being considered a physical god.
Oro from Street Fighter III. He is immortal and just because he is bored due to his exceeding the greatest martial arts skills possible reduces himself to using one arm. In his Third Strike ending, he is holding up a large boulder with one finger, upon which Ryu is training by barely holding up a smaller boulder.
The Green Beret from Commandos has a backstory involving not one but two occasions where he single-handedly takes out eleven or more enemy soldiers armed only with a knife. In the game you can do much better.
Classic Proto Man certainly qualifies. Bass started out as a calm badass, but then went psychotic and obsessed with defeating Mega Man.
X: Zero, obviously, getting many a Crowning Moment Of Awesome throughout the X and Zero series. Vile also happens to be one, especially in Maverick Hunter X.
Zero: Zero, as mentioned, and more here. Fefnir comes close.
At the end of Zero 1, Zero is seen facing down an army of what essentially are low-quality X clones. And then we find out, at the beginning of Zero 2, he's still alive, having fought the army by HIMSELF for a YEAR, and mainly stopped because "this isn't fun anymore".
There's also Craft from Z4, who was introduced wearing a Badass Longcoat standing in front of the Einhejar. He also has 5:00 shadow and a ALL-PURPOSE LASER CANNON equipped with missiles, rocket-propelled KNIVES, and a HUGE-ASS LASER BEAM THAT CAN MAKE HIM HOVER IN THE AIR WHEN SHOT STRAIGHT INTO THE GROUND!!! He also has shrapnel explosives and a knee that fires trios of RPGs. Even his THEMES radiate badass!
Star Force: Omega-Xis, certainly, which makes the episode of the anime where he temporarily becomes a gentleman rather...awkward. Bly as well, just because he completely subverted the Power of Friendship.
In Star Force, as well as the later Battle Network games, Mega Man himself when he acquires/learns to control the latest super ability, and proceeds to destroy the nearest baddy. Example: The Cybeast forms in BN 6 and the Zerker/Ninja/Saurian forms in Star Force 2.
Frank West of Dead Rising is a One-Man Army that has fought his way though endless hordes of zombies with only his fists and whatever he can find in the shopping mall, while protecting and escorting (stupid) survivors, defeating psychos (including a Monster Clown, a Vietnam veteran with a machete, and Kent), while also stopping the plans of a bastard who is retaliating against a government cover-up, fighting off the Special Forces and the local raincoat cult, and finally defeating the special forces commander Good Old Fisticuffs style (and that's no easy task). And he's still taking photos like the Intrepid Reporter he is. That's dedication. And it also takes balls of steel... Which he seems to have, since since all the female zombies seem to be going straight for them all the time. I know the man has supposedly covered wars, but he's never fired at a person before the incident either, let alone a zombie.
Chuck Greene in Dead Rising 2 deserves a mention, he is just as tough and ballsy as Frank, but has a colder/tougher personality due to his tragic past. As well as is a caring single father to a 11 year old girl.
The Commando (Nick Parker, codenamed "Havoc") in the Command & Conquer games. By extension, any of his equivalents in the spin-offs or sequels: Tanya (also a Third-Person Seductress) in Red Alert (and Red Alert 2), Boris in Red Alert 2, Colonel Burton in Generals. Jarman Kell is, arguably, a Badass, but he's really more of a Cold Sniper.
Special mention for Simon Belmont, protagonist of the first few Nintendo Hard games. Most of the other Belmonts tend to be Magic Knights of varying degrees, either directly utilizing magic or having a large arsenal of magic items. Simon, though, is like the protagonist of the grittier sort of 80's Fantasy film. He didn't have magic, or item crashes, or even a very large subweapon arsenal. or, for that matter, video game jump physics. And he still killed Dracula. Twice!
He was dying the second time, thanks to a curse placed on him by Dracula. His remedy? Find Dracula's body parts, revive him, and then send him right back to Hell in about three seconds flat. BAD. ASS.
Altair is lauded as the biggest kill-stealer in history, to say nothing of what he actually does in his game.
He sounds even MORE badass in the Japanese translation, his seiyu being Kamina and all.
Ezio "The Flying Eagle of Florence" Auditore. After all, his life's mission culminates in beating the crap out of THE POPE.
Brad Evans is the game's quintessential stoicBad Ass. Though fearsome with his BFG the heavy Arm, he's also a patient longsuffering Nice Guywith a penchant for volunteering to be the Sacrificial Lamb or Heroic Sacrifice, though he doesn't actually die in any of these attempts. Brad is quite masculine, but patiently sensitive, with a very noticeable touch of Straight GayHo Yay in his relationship with Billy Pilder.
Breath of Fire III had a variety. Rei, Garr, Balio, Sunder... and some of the musclebound enemies to fight. Then there's Ryu, who even as a young whelp could leave a terrible path of destruction and charred corpses in his wake.
Particularly notable among those "musclebound enemies" are the Dodai of the Inevitable Tournament. For the unknowing, the Dodai are men that hold up platforms for fighters in the Ring of Fire battlefield who take Made of Iron to new levels... by doing their job while standing in lava! If you need further proof of their toughness, try targeting them instead of your opponents. They have a huge amount of HP, roughly 10x that of your opponents, and grants you enough experience to jump several levels should you beat them, even if you're already overleveled.
Zappa. Surprisingly badass when he becomes playable.
Isaac Clarke from Dead Space. The man is an engineer, and he takes on a crazy scientist, a ship full of nightmarish aliens (who assembled their bodies using parts of human corpses) and the monster controlling them...all using construction tools.
As this LPer states:"Did he just fucking boot the baby?! Now that is badass!"
Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem. The number of badasses here is endless. Want a list? (Brace yourselves...)
Ike grows into being a total god through Path of Radiance and continues to be a total god in Radiant Dawn. Ironic, since he kills the Goddess
though in RD, he has no choice but to betray the Laguz Alliance, due to Lekain's blood pacts. But in FE9, he's just acting like an ambicious mercenary leader cause he could.
Volke. So incredibly sociopathic that when he is told that the man he had been working under for the past 10 years or so was dead (said man even crippled himself for Volke's sake), his reaction is a deadpan "Well. That is a problem. You're Greil's son, right? You'll do."
So many people wish to find a way to replace Sothe with Volke for the finale, it's not even funny.
Hector. The first time we see him in Eliwood's story, he and his group gets accosted by a local guard who tries to keep them from helping Eliwood fight bandits. Hector's response is essentially "screw that!" and he kills the guard with one hit, public relations be damned. He only gets better from there. And better, and better, and BEYOND BETTER!!! If excessively trained, he will OBLITERATE anything that goes into his range! It's best to give him an S in swords instead of axes, since Armads is better than Baskilios in practicality, and the Regal Sword would be a fair weapon if axes weren't the right weapon to use. And on the topic of Armads, IT GIVES +5 DEFENCE AND AN AWESOME ATTACK ANIMATION THAT'S SO AWESOME, HIS CRITICAL MAKES HIM GO AMBIDEXTROUS!!! If he and Ike were to face off in a duel to the death...well, we'll all had a good run by then, have't we?
Oswin' no slouch in the badass department either. When Hector threatens to kill him if he doesn't give him information, his response is a calm "Do as you must." He doesn't even blink.
Innes. This is all that needs to be said. Though even he pales in comparison to...
Shinon. His very first scene in Path of Radiance has him saving the life of Ike's sister and his apprentice by killing the man holding an axe above their head with a single shot right between his eyes. Capping matters is the fact that he's too far away at the time for said man to even see him. He gets another moment similar to this in Radiant Dawn, where he breaks the rope of a noose with a single arrow. And this doesn't even come close to his skill at deadpan snarking.
Shinon: A new girlfriend? Is she blind or something?
But not even his Badass attitude compares to his skills as a Game Breaker! In FE9, he's useless, but in FE10, HE IS INDESTRUCTIBLE!!!
Then there's Largo, a Large Ham berserker who apparently managed to pin two tigers at once.
But due to him losing an arm in the 3 years between FE9 and FE10, he isn't playable in the latter.
Empress Sanaki from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. She mocks her enemies by looking weak, but she comes attached with the fact that has monstrous attack power, the fact that she's still a little kid (13 in Radiant Dawn, 10 in Path of Radiance), and the fact that she will drop A BIG FREAKING SUN on your head if you piss her off. While she may not act it, and the game may seem to try and direct the player's thoughts elsewhere, Sanaki is a badass through and through what with how much raw badass magic she has.
Seriously, she even acted like a Badass in FE9, by playing all those mind games on Ike. And then, in Part 4 Prologue in FE10, the first time you used her, you saw for the first time the awesomeness that was Cymbeline...and the best part is, she makes a great Rexflame user for the finale, if you didn't train Calill. Tormod doesn't count, since you get him REALLY late in the game, when he's still nowhere NEAR promotion to Archsage!
Nephenee is essentially a farm girl with a southern drawl who was given a blade on a stick, held captive by Daein, and then procceeded to kick more ass than I knew a [[Mook soldier]] class was capable of. Then again, it probably helps that her class itself was previously the Mook class, but was oh so very ascended in Path of Radiance. It also helps that in Radiant Dawn, she can promote to Sentinel rank and wield the strongest spear in the game.
Face it, bringing Nephenee to the finale with a blessed Wishblade and Dragonfoe skill makes EVERY part of the finale easy.
Haar. Essentially a FLYING TANK. Massive DEF, STR, Move, andStun. Adding to the badassery is the fact that he has ONE EYE. His possible love interest and fellow dragon rider Jill. She chased after your boat alone in Path Of Radiance knowing damn well that she couldn't get back to land and that she wouldn't get any reinforcements. She ends up being essentially Haar+ if you level her up.
Ayra. A tough, fighting-geared princess with the ever-so-deadly skill Ryuuseiken, which lets her hit several times in a row in one round, which can easily clean up damn near all of the enemy troops. Can you say One Woman Army?
Ephraim, who's beautiful stats will, like with Ayra, help him to easily mow down about half of the enemies on the battlefield. Plus, he held his own against the enemy empire for a good while before the game began, with only three soldiers at his side. Granted, one of those three soldiers ended up betraying him, but still.
The first time you actually get to see him, you play as him and two other guys. Your mission is to storm a fortress. Many a player, especially first timers, went Oh Crap. No worries, it's one of the easiest chapters in the game, and can even be done with Just Ephraim on hard mode.
His Baddassery is exemplified by his philosophy for that particular mission: one of his companions warns him that storming the fortress is too dangerous with so few troops. Ephraim's response is to point out that he only picks fights he knows he'll win... before leading the group into the mission to take the fortress.
Joshua, who's widely considered one of the best swordfighters in the whole series. And for good reason too, he kicks a lot of ass.
ESPECIALLY as a Swordmaster. A God-awesome +20 crit boost, high strength AND speed, and a fairly high constitution makes him nigh invunerable. And then you find out he's a King Incognito...
Cormag, like Haar, is a flying tank with huge STR, DEF, and Move.
Only he uses Lances+Swords instead of Lances+Axes, and he doesn't have Stun, either...
Marisa. A renowned mercenary who many people are scared shitless of, and for damn good reason to, but that doesn't stop them from admiring her beauty.
Raven. He initially joins the army just so that He can kill Hector, the brother of the marquess, who presumably destroyed his home (although he can get over that if he supports with either Priscilla or Lucius), and has some of the best stat growths of any mercenary in a Fire Emblem game, eventually being able to OHKO most enemy units.
Lyndis, especially when she does her sweet critical attacks, OHKO'ing most enemies.
Rebecca is probably one of the most adorably badass characters in the whole game. She's one of those units that starts out weak, but grows stronger as they level up. However, in Rebecca's case, it's especially impressive because she starts out as quite auseless unit, but when she DOES become stronger, holy shit, she'll be the most badass archer you've ever seen!
Athos, a very powerful wizard who you can tell really is around one thousand years old, who gives awesome weapons to the main characters at the end of the game, and has some destructive magic on him. Pent explains to Louise the extent of his badassery: the reason Athos forgets to eat is that he's so old he doesn't need to.
Pent is pretty badass too. In the desert chapter, he arrives on the scene and can easily destroy 99.9% of the enemy units on the battlefield, even though it's definitely not recommended that you do that. He does make a pretty damn good sage when he joins, however.
Miledy, who, once promoted and given a Delphi Shield (and a decent lance), will become Queen of Sword of Seals with her superb ass-kickery.
Zihark is one of those characters who you can tell is a badass just by looking at them. He's strong, quick, and sturdy, making him an easily welcome addition to the party, and his evade and defense stats are much higher than most characters of his class, making him less frail than the average myrmidon. He's quite possibly one of the most badass characters in a class of charcters that are already badass by default.
Rolf, another Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn character, starts out as one of the weakest fighters in the game. Level him up, and he accumulates so many badass levels it's not even funny. He's probably one of the standout examples of the Badass Adorable trope.
Unfortunately, he's overshadowed in FE 10 by Shinon instantly, since the latter is already 13 levels higher than Rolf, and has OVERPOWERED speed and defence.
Mia. She runs around the place, always looking for "her ultimate rival", and has awesome stat-growths in both games, being able to kick tons and tons of ass. There's a reason she has legions of fanboys who call her "The Goddess Of Win".
She's also incredibly hilarious in her supports, notably the ones she has with Rhys.
Gatrie... how could we have possibly forgotten Gatrie, one of the biggest, mightiest tanks in the entire series? All I can say is that he is a walking tank, who hardly ever takes any damage in combat, and can also deal a very hefty amount of pain on his enemies. Forgetting to mention Gatrie, I swear...
Yes, he's awesome. Unfortunately, you lose him for about 6 chapters in FE 9, so he's somewhat underleveled when you get him back.
Titania is possibly an even bigger tank than Gatrie. From the start, she can easily clean up the enemy army, even if it's not exactly recommended that you have her do so. But then, unlike most Jeigan characters who undergo serious Badass Decay as the game progresses, Titania will still be an awesome unit even as you're in the last few levels of the game, where you won't have to worry about her stealing experience points from characters, and they'll all have leveled up and become badasses in their own right. Titania will still kick plenty of ass even then. Granted, it's debatable whether she's a Jeigan or an Oifeye, but who cares? Titania's a badass, end of story.
Eirika, the aforementioned Ephraim's twin sister. Come on, the girl marched head-first into an enemy war zone with only a small group of like, ten other people to save her brother. And she won.
Amelia. Just... Amelia. Oh, sure, she's a weak and ineffectual unit when she first shows up, but just try leveling her up (the Tower of Valni is your friend), and watch her Take Many, Many, MANY Levels In Badass. Then when you promote her, make her into a knight, then a general. All done? Good, now just set that cute, sweet little girl alone in the middle of a swarm of enemies. You have just created a fucking monster.
Just to name one, Morgan can reclass (with the buyable Second Seals, allowing any and everyone to grow infinitely, or at least until the stat caps. Also, note that with a DLC, you can get a skill that adds 10 to that. Yeah.) to any other class. Give him/her Galeforce, Wrath, Armsthrift, an Asset of Luck, Aether, Renewal, maxed stats, and pair him/her with someone who has even HALF the training, and then give him/her Mjolnir, Forseti, Mercurius, Book of Naga, and a fifth choice, and you have an indestructible deity of death and destruction who can one shot any and every single enemy In The Game with a 200 hit rate and an approximately 55 crit rate with Mjolnir (if lower than half health, that raises to 75%), able to, in A SINGLE HIT, do 250+ damage. And that is about 25% of the time. It's kind of... scary. Really. Really. Scary.
Lugaru's Turner. His family was murdered, so what did he do? He systematically killed absolutely everyone related to the massacre, AND their families, up to and including the Alpha Wolf, who has his status for the simple reason that he's the biggest Bad Ass out there. Apparently not. Turner can launch enemies hard enough to crack stone, with just one paw.
And then survive hits hard enough to do the same thing.
Flint, the dad from Mother 3. After His wife and one of his sons are apparently killed by the Mecha-Drago, he single-handedly beats the tar out of the same fire-breathing, cyborg T-Rex, using nothing but a piece of wood as a weapon. The man is the video-game equivalent of Chuck Norris. It helps that he looks like Chuck Norris as well.
Flint becomes even more of a bad-ass in the final chapter when he jumps in front of Lucas and eats two back-to-back shots one of the most powerful attacks in the game, PK Love Omega, before he collapses to the ground. He then gets back up a few minutes later as if nothing happened.
The various player characters from Ace Combat. While we do not know how well they would do outside their cockpits and they usually start as nobody grunts, they rapidly become One Man Air Forces who gather the fear of their enemies and admiration of their allies. Various other aces are also badass, such as Yellow 13 who already has 64 kills when he first appears.
Palolo II from Baten Kaitos Origins. Just...Palolo II. On top of being second only to Guillo in wit (but that's only because no one beats Guillo in that area), at one point in the game he holds off the enemy your party just lost to with his bare hands. And returns without a scratch.
Kiryu Kazuma, the Dragon of Dojima from the Yakuza series. A hard-as-nails brawler and former yakuza boss, this guy has taken down entire syndicates with little more than his bare hands. And when his adoptive daughter Haruka is in danger, not even tigers are enough to stop him.
Alex Mercer. If you can't level half a city block in less than a minute, you're playing the game wrong.
As of note, Shadow's Inhibitor Rings can be removed for a massive power boost. In the battle agains Semi-Super Mecha Sonic, he didn't remove them. Which means that if he had done so he could have easily wiped the floor with him.
He teleported around 30 Yoshis (one of them being overweight) to another place with one Emerald,
As suggested in the preview of episode 9, he was about to fight Mecha Sonic again, this time in the normal world with NO powerups.
Knuckles The Echidna. In his first appearance, he punches out Super Sonic, who until then could not be harmed by conventional attacks (being vulnerable only to bottomless pits, drowning and being crushed in Sonic 2). At the end of his story in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, he goes on to lay a beatdown on a Master Emerald-empowered Mecha Sonic.
Speaking of which, Mecha Sonic is a One Scene Badass, who up until Heroes was likely Eggman's finest machine. It could pilot Eggman's machines (and uses two of them to fight Sonic throughout Sky Sanctuary), is extremely tough to effectivly destroy (it had to be be defeated thrice-once by Sonic, twice by Knuckles as mentioned above), and can use the Master Emerald and achieve a Super form-a feat that no one else in the games (not even Knuckles himself) has done to date.
Metal Sonic is also quite the badass, especially in the OVA where he is faster, stronger, more durable, and more agile than Sonic. That's not even going into Sonic Heroes, where with the data he copied from all three members of Team Sonic (Sonic himself, Tails, and Knuckles), Shadow, and Chaos, he could possibly be the absolute most powerful character in the entire franchise.
Pete Wheeler's super speed makes him kick ass in every game. Yes, he has been in every game of the series. And it's always his super speed that does the job. Not being a great hitter/thrower/shooter/whatever, this way Pete is made badass. Pete peaked in 2004 when he got Badass theme music and Badass skateboarding tricks.
Darth Revan. Even though the game begins with his having died. It's complicated and doesn't bear explaining here, but suffice to say, by the end you'll know he was badass indeed.
Even better: Canderous Ordo. Sure, Revan was a Jedi, incredibly poewrful, etc. But Canderous defines the concept of badass. His basic ranged weapon is the equivalent of a medium machine gun. However, for ultimate badassery, he makes the best melee combatant in the game (even surpassing Jedi and the wookie!). Plus, he then makes an appearance in the sequel, where he attains absolutely ludicrous levels of badassery. Remember, this is a man whose idea of "sneaking aboard an enemy ship" is to let a grenade kill him and then count on his incredible healing to wake him up in their morgue later.
Aldo Trapani, player character of The Godfather: The Game. By the end of the game, he will have killed over a thousand enemy mobsters, taken over their well-defended fronts and crushed the other four families, almost entirely by himself.
Kanji Tatsumi regularly beats up biker gangs and at one point scares away a cop. Also, if the Main Character is about to take a mortal blow, he leaps in, kicks the protagonist in the head with both feet, and takes the blow instead. Most especially in the True Ending when you're fighting Izanami-no-Okami and she uses an attack that drags them to the underworld.
Max out your courage stat (raised by karaoke and drinking suspicious drinks when tired/sick) and this is the title given to the main character of Persona 3 The male protagonist needs it in order to even taste Fuuka's concoctions. The female protagonist uses her badassery to drag Ken into a date with her.
Wander from Shadow of the Colossus is not the most physically imposing protagonist; he has no real superhuman abilities other then perhaps incredible grip strength and relatively mild health regeneration, he wields a sword but clearly does not possess anything near Implausible Fencing Powers, and his archery in a setting where his arrows will annoy enemies at best. Despite all this he defeats some of the most gargantuan monsters in any video game armed with nothing more then a bow, a sword, and balls of adamantium. He also generally defeats said opponents single-handedly, and when he doesn't, he's backed up by his equally badass horse.
Captain"Soap" MacTavish. When you lie bleeding on the ground and pull a knife out of your own chest to trow it into your attackers eye, your Badass-meter reaches 100%.
Sergant Viktor Reznov. Fighting through World War 2 in Europe, getting sent to a hellish prison camp, then breaking out with a brainwashed American (and he manipulated and broke the original brainwash plan) alongside THE PRISON.
Captain Price.And Private Dimitri Petrenko. Getting injured 11 times and still surviving the brutal WWII. Captain Alex Mason takes out a base all by himself, though hallicuating that Reznov was with him.
Jason Hudson AKA Mr. Shades for alot of reasons. Frank Woods is just epic. To epic for me to describe.
His dog Repede, has a badass scar over his eye, smokes a pipe, and fights monstersw with a a knife he holds in his mouth. His leash is also a metal chain, which just makes him look even more badass. Any badassness Yuri has likely came from associating with the most awesome dog in the world.
Also, from the same game, Judith is a Lady of War with large breasts and a Blade on a Stick who flies around on her pet dragon and flings enemies into the air in battle like it's nothing, and fought in a war when she was nine years old.
Lloydtakes quite the level in badass over the course of the game, what with the twin swords, all the awesome skills he learns in battle, his decision to Take a Third Option to save the world, even though it seems impossible, and dude, just look at Rising Falcon and tell me it's not one of the most badass attacks you've ever seen.
Asch the Bloody from Tales of the Abyss, is quite the badass himself, although sometimes he comes off more as just an outright Jerkass rather than a badass.
Richard from Tales of Graces. Dude, just... watch some of his anime cutscenes. If you can do that, and then look us straight in the eye and tell us, with a straight face, that he isn't a badass, you're freaking crazy.
Also, if you can look us in the eye and tell us he's not crazy, well, then...you're also freaking crazy.
Zeratul, Prelate of the Dark Templar, is most definitely this. You know this is one badass Protoss when, in the second game, you see him effortlessly slaughter a pack of Hydralisks (even impaling one through the skull with its own claw), and then land a serious blow against Kerrigan herself (okay, she regenerates quickly, but still...)
Bayonetta is an unbelievably badass witch who rivals Dante from Devil May Cry. She has so many weapons and moves and all are awesomely impressive. She fights enormous creatures non-stop with no fear and actually seems to really enjoy doing it. One of the best examples in recent years.
John Marston. Throughout the game he shows nothing but absolute, unadulterated badassery. In addition, he might have the single greatest Dying Moment of Awesome in video game history. He may have been taken down, but through his Heroic Sacrifice he nearly annihilates an entire platoon of soldiers in order to protect his family.
Let's put it this way. A dude descends into Hell in nothing more than his boxers, a flimsy and brittle suit of armor, and a couple of weapons (not unlike Simon Belmont) and takes on The Legions of Hell and finally, Satan himself to save a princess. He wins. Not only does he do this, but he has to do this "TWICE!!" Before finally rescuing the Princess. PURE BADASS.
Might actually be a real life example more than a game example, but let's say anyone who's ever beaten I Wanna Be the Guy.
And if you do it on impossible (remember, it has no save points), you deserve a FRICKING MEDAL WITH YOUR PICTURE IN THE RECORD BOOKS!
The Touhou girls. First off, Hong Meiling (aka China): she is a Chinese youkai girl, who is a gate guard for a giant vampire mansion, and is no slouch when it comes to danmaku. Oh and she is a Kung Fu master. There's also Yukari Yakumo; Flandre Scarlet; Shikieiki Yamaxanadu (Yukari Yakumo believes that herself, Yuyuko Saigyouji and Reimu Hakurei to be together "no match" for her.); Sakuya Izayoi: the time stopping, knife throwing, mysterious background carrying, maid; and Yuuka Kazami the Flower Youkai, Ultimate Sadistic Creature, and one of the strongest people in Gensokyo, to name but a few. and the list goes on ... and on. In fact, the amount of non-badass characters with names can be counted on one hand.
Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles, a woman so powerful that she manages to singlehandedly make Chapter 7 absolute Hell for the player by being able to wipe out every single single unit save for the Edelweiss and can deflect a tank shell with her weapon. Later on, she then reveals that she can now destroy TANKS with a single attack! Good thingyou don't have to fight her then. And then, when you finally have to fight her to the death in her normal, non-Valkyria form, she's still really tough! Truly, one of the most badass Dark Action Girls in fictional history.
And then there's Squad 7, which is just packed with badasses; Marina, Jane, Rosie, Largo, Zaka, Hector, Vyse, Nils, Musaad, Wendy, let's just say that invading Gallia was a grave mistake.
Alicia when her Valkyria powers awaken and she wtfpwns Selvaria just like that!
The player character in Minecraft. He fights some of the most formidable enemies a miner could deal with, including cave-ins with sand and gravel, Creepers and Spider Jockeys and everything else, and for what? Some minerals to expand his homebase and allow him to better protect it. Also, he can use obsidian to create a portal to The Nether, where has to deal with big falls, Ghasts that shoot fire, lava, Zombie Pigmen (if he provokes them), and the screams of the damned.
The one character that really qualifies for the title of badass in Eien no Aselia is, unfortunately, a bad guy. Takios, who just oozes badassery by matching or bettering your godlike best character while using inferior equipment.
While the Killzone series is obviously full of badasses, one in particular stands out. Despite being a villain and an extreme case of a Bad Boss, Colonel Radec from Killzone 2 has become somewhat of an Ensemble Dark Horse due to his immense badassery often being just as willing to fight as call the shots from behind the scenes. An excellent example of Authority Equals Asskicking.
The old man in the Red Forest in S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky. He's probably 80 something years old and bagged a bloodsucker by himself. For the uninitiated, a bloodsucker is the sick twisted nightmare-love-child of a Cthul Humanoid and a vampire. Said abomination can become invisible and require whole clips of assault rifle fire to kill. The old man has nothing but ragged clothes, a ushanka and one of those old-fashioned break-action hunting shotguns. Also worth mentioning that the Red Forest is an extremely dangerous and foreboding place even by The Zone's standards, and Stalkers will refuse to go unless in large groups and with military-grade equipment. This old man lives in the Red Forest in a small shack alone, and it's implied that he was born there and has lived there since The Zone became what it is. Totally hardcore.
There's also Badass Bookworm Dr. Kruglov, a minor character in Shadow of Chernobyl who you can find in the wilderness. It turns out that he and his science team are being hunted by a squad of heavily-armed mercenaries attempting to get the data he's carrying. The player can help him, but if they don't, his team are picked off one by one until only he is left. The leader of the mercs will contact him over radio and attempt to negotiate with Kruglov to no avail, and just say "Alright, looks like this is about to get ugly" to which Kruglov calmly replies "As you wish". If they kill Kruglov and you loot his corpse, you find out that his last act was to destroy the data so the mercenaries couldn't get it. Fuck. Yes. Notably, if the player does help him, he becomes the subject of quite possibly the most bearable Escort Mission ever, as takes several solid hits to be killed and he's capable of pulling off headshots consistently with any half-decent rifle, even though he is in his own words a "third-rate fighter". If he survives, he replaces Semenov in the later Ecologist missions and is substantially better than him as well.
There's also Noah from Call of Pripyat who blends this with Crazy Awesome. His name isn't that for nothing; he's a deranged lone stalker who is trying to build an ark out of a ruined ship to protect himself and anyone willing to come along from a massive emission that he believes will happen in the near future and will kill everything else in The Zone. Soundfamiliar? He has a tame pseudodog◊ named Lassie. He once tried to detain a military squad for attempting to detain him because he shot at them (he does this to everyone, including you at first). In one mission, you need to collect an extremely rare and powerful artifact that no-one has seen in a while, and you are sent to visit Noah for a lead. Turns out Noah has three of these things, and will simply give one to you freely, implying he has even more stashed away somewhere. In his ending slide, some stalkers take shelter in his ark after a nasty emission. Turns out his vaunted ark works perfectly and in the ensuing mutant attack, he charges into battle with Lassie and three pseudodog puppies.
In fact, you can just name a character, any character, from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games and chances are they will be this. It's hard to be anything but a Badass in The Zone, a place where the laws of physics repeatedly and randomly decide to go out to lunch and the most common cause of death is either "gunshot" or "torn to shreds by horribly mutated wildlife". And even then, being badass sometimes just isn't enough.
Mario. The plumber who has slain dragons, giant robots, ghosts, stone demons, and evil turtles.
Luigi is scared of... A lot of things, but he makes up for it by being just as strong and able a fighter as his brother, and even more agile.
Wario. He's usually not able to die in his games, which means he sets himself on fire, becomes flattened, turns into a vampire, a zombie...then laughs about it and continues on his way, breaking stone with his shoulder.
The designers of Wario Land Shake It! / The Shake Dimension went on to say that as a short, fat man with a whole bunch of disgusting habits, Wario is essentially so uncool that he wraps around the scale into a total badass.
In Wario World, Wario can punch out and piledrive a dinosaur.
Yasha deserves special mention by being able to defeat Asura. Twice.
Jack from MadWorld. Let's just put it this way: when you can battle your way to the top of the DeathWatch ladder — a Deadly Game populated by the meanest, nastiest psychos in the world — with nothing but a chainsawfor anarm and a Kratos-level penchant for doing vicious things to mooks and bosses alike, you deserve the title. Even more so when you've done it time and time again.
Rose from The Legend of Dragoon. Having a long history of kicking ass does that to you. She's also one of the few characters to already be a Dragoon when she joins the party, and has a killer attitude that just screams badass.
Cole MacGrath from inFAMOUS is fairly badass. He beat a monster that eats nukes for crying out loud. That's an all-you-can-eat-pass to the Badass Buffet.
Most of the cast of Duel Savior Destiny, which only makes sense considering the main characters all a group of elites training to become the Messiah who will lead the good guys against the forces of entropy and destruction. The biggest badass among the controllable characters is the main character Taiga, of course, who by the end gets a massive powerup and beats the shit out of God repeatedly.
In the Borderlands series, the term Badass is used as a label for Elite Mooks. Also, this seems to be a prerequisite for becoming a Vault Hunter, or at least a successful one.
Super Robot Wars UX: Most people...but special mention goes to Kaidou and Magami from Mazinkaiser SKL who are unfazed by the revelation that their battles only bring the end of the world closer, while everybody else feels the despair.
Joel from The Last of Us certainly qualifies. The man can singlehandedly take down small armies of Infected and human bandits using nothing but his bare hands and whatever odds and ends he finds laying around. He can also Mac Guyver up some wicked tools, including homemade nailbombs, makeshift shivs, Molotov cocktails, and improvised melee weapons. All this, and he's got a gentle soothing voice like Bob Ross.
He's such a Badass that toward the end of the game, the enemies actually begin to fear him and run away when they see him coming.
Tess would qualify. She certainly isn't afraid to play rough, especially if you've pissed her off. Or if your name is Robert. There's also the time when She holds off a group of armed guards, alone, to give Joel and Ellie time to escape. She doesn't make it, but she remained fearless up until the very end.
Ellie is more of a Little Miss Badass variety. She's more than capable of killing a grown man in a fight, and she can take some serious punishment without submitting.
Bill controls an entire town that he renamed "Bill's Town". He keeps the place booby trapped, and keeps detailed notes on where the Infected are, where supplies are, and which traps need replacing. He does this all by himself, with no help from anyone.
For that matter, any of the survivors in the game would quality, given the harsh conditions of the crapsack world the game is set in.
Richard Miller, the protagonist of Time Crisis and Time Crisis: Project Titan. He's been involved in three separate missions, more than any other protagonist in the series, with only a six-bullet Desert Eagle in a series where other characters have 9-bullet pistols and alternate weapons, by himself, without speaking so much as a single syllable. And just to illustrate how tough he is, one of the last requirements to complete VSSE training is to defeat him in combat.
Lara Croft, the iconic heroine of the Tomb Raider franchise. She is famous for not only being breathtakingly gorgeous, but also for spending all her time shooting down all enemies in her way as she searches for artifacts, all while being a very classy Deadpan Snarker. The 2013 reboot gives us an origin story of sorts, showing us how she grew from an initially terrified college graduate to the badass heroine we know and love.
Coltrane Crowley from Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. True, he's just a graffiti artist on the streets of New Radius. And then he gets beaten up by other graffiti artists later on. However, he goes on straight ahead to make his name by going into super - dangerous spots to show his art, such as one instance when he sneaks on the mayor's own Silver Train and proceeds to graffiti an entire train car while it was moving. But he's not done yet - he goes on to infiltrate the C.C.K.'s headquarters with all the armed men inside looking for him using nothing but a few spray cans, run away from being pursued by a force armed with rifles, spray - paint his name plus propaganda against the mayor down the length of a bridge while being fired on by a helicopter. And the clincher? He sneaks onboard a freaking blimp filled with heavily - armed men hunting for him, and changes the mayor's fliers to ones with details of his crimes. And then he jumps off and disappears into the crowd below.