Follow TV Tropes

Following

Genius Bruiser / Video Games

Go To

  • In Persona 3, once your Academics reach level 6, the protagonist officially becomes a "Genius". They're probably also the one dishing out the most damage in Tartarus.
  • Pokémon
    • Any Psychic-type reliant on Physical attacks. The most evident example is Metagross, who has a modular brain with the intelligence of a supercomputer and is pretty much a tank on legs.
    • Fighting-types have a kind of reputation where they're portrayed as "Dumb Muscle" due to their weakness to Psychic attacks. In actuality they're more this trope. For example, Conkeldurr taught humans how to make concrete while older Hariyama actively teach young Makuhita the art of sumo. And combining the two are the Pokémon who are both Psychic AND Fighting, such as Gallade and Medicham. They are both mentally focused and in peak physical shape.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
      Advertisement:
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: Tommy Vercetti. He is smart enough to manage a considerable number of businesses and is undoubtedly one of the most physically strong characters in the series.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: Niko Bellic is pretty intelligent, skilled with many different types of weapons, knows Krav Maga, and is one of the most dangerous characters in the series if he's after you. Despite his lack of formal education, Niko is a tactical genius and remarkably fluent in English: He is quite articulate during conversations and also demonstrates good grammar when writing emails. How much of a badass he really is? He has survived the war, the disaster of a ship, dozens of shootouts, and still managed to survive all this, almost as if he were supernatural!
    • Grand Theft Auto V:
      • Trevor Phillips is one of the most scarily psychotic protagonists in the entire series and boasts the highest Strength stat off the mark, but there are many moments that show that underneath his deranged exterior, there's a sharp mind that's working non-stop. This is made especially apparent when he single-handedly plans out a heist against a private militia that would have succeeded had the target not been a deadly superweapon that would have had the entire U.S. government after him and then, later on, is able to calculate the value of two tons of gold bricks in a matter of seconds, impressing pretty much everyone around him. It's revealed through conversations that he was a qualified US Air Force pilot (an occupation requiring a smart individual) who was rejected because of his psychotic personality, not because of lack of skill or intelligence.
      • The Online Protagonist. He is very capable of hacking doors and planning heists. Besides, if you want to improve your skills, the protagonist can be superhumanly strong.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Warforged in Dungeons & Dragons Online have been shown to be rather intelligent, despite their massive, muscular, mechanical bodies. A good example is Talbron, who you meet in the beginning. If you take the quest, he, the rogue, and the paladin accompany you through the caverns. In one situation, after defeating the Sahaugin, Talbron steps on a switch that reveals a pit of water in the center of the room. Since you have to swim down and retrieve the key at the bottom yourself, the other characters make up reasons not to go down. Talbron's excuse is "My joints rust easily. I will read until the situation resolves itself." At which point he pulls out a book and does exactly that.
  • Forte, in the Galaxy Angel gameverse; the anime version showed less of her "genius" side.
  • Almost all the members of the Knight/General/Great Knight classes in Fire Emblem fit here. They're all slow and powerful lance (and axe, after promotion) users with great defense, but at the same time they're so smart and dedicated to their mission that they're often the right hands of the Lords. Notable examples are:
  • Lexaeus from Kingdom Hearts is a good example of this trope; he's the musclebound Earth elemental giant of Organization XIII, who knows when it's a good idea to wait for events to develop (rather than immediately charge into the action like your standard brute). In addition, in his cutscenes in Chain of Memories, he's usually seen pondering, or holding conversations with Zexion. As a founding member of the Organization, he was a researcher apprenticed to Ansem the Wise before becoming a Nobody.
    • This is furthered in the manga: he apparently spends his free time doing brain teasers or reading.
    • Xaldin is almost as large, and also one of the original six, with a particular penchant for psychological manipulation.
  • Demon King Odin from Odin Sphere is a gargantuan mountain of muscle whose weapon of choice is a ball and chain larger than most playable characters. More importantly to the plot, he is also a wise and cunning schemer, as befitting the king of a nation.
  • Don't let his ridiculous getup fool you: Birdie, from Street Fighter, is pretty on the ball, and has designs on Shadowloo.
    • Rashid somehow tops him, not only by stopping C.H.A.I.N.S., Bison's final project, but by beating down F.A.N.G. and a Zerg Rush of troops in his story mode of Street Fighter 5.
  • Bentley the Yeti from Spyro: Year of the Dragon is a mountain dweller with a huge ice club, but speaks in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness and comes up with a variety of barely pronounceable insults for Moneybags.
    Bentley: Why, you brazenly avaricious, duplicitous, larcenous ursine!
  • Thrall from Warcraft is mostly represented as a magic type character (he is a Far Seer). But other sources show that he is as accomplished in physical fights. Being raised as a Gladiator really helps.
    • Shamans in general fit this trope, mostly. Even allowing for specialization, they excel in both spellcasting and melee combat.
    • Ogre-mages especially in Warcraft II. Ogres upon being upgraded even say "we're not brainless anymore!"
      • Although their next quote disputes the "genius" part a bit, when they go "I've got the brain!" "Nuh-uh!"
      • The case is strongly reconstructed by Draz'Zilb, an ogre-mage in World of Warcraft. When it becomes apparent that the Player Character is taken aback by his articulate and sophisticated speech manner, he responds thusly:
    Draz'Zilb: "Why the puzzled stare, <name>? Expecting me to speak like an uncouth ruffian merely because I am an ogre?"
    • Anduin Lothar: An accomplished warrior, commander of the Alliance forces, and skilled diplomat who cemented the Grand Alliance.
  • Damon Baird from Gears of War. He doesn't just shoot people and take steroids like all the other Gears! He has some understanding of the Locust language and a head for technology and mechanics. He fixes nearly anything and everything that ever breaks in the game. When asked to improvise a bomb with few parts available, he replies, "Regular or extra strength?"
  • In The Sims 2: Bon Voyage, if you can persuade him to join a playable family, Bigfoot begins play with all his skills and talents maximized.
    • In any Sims game there's nothing stopping you from making any given sim a giant with equal scores in athletics/body and logic.
  • Very strong and a remarkably skilled fighter, what made the Practical Incarnation in Planescape: Torment such a dangerous and effective person was his cunning and near complete lack of morals: a Genius Bruiser Manipulative Bastard.
    • Coaxmetal is a gigantic iron golem in possession of a similarly gigantic hammer, locked into a siege tower due to his destructive potential. He's also one of the best blacksmiths and weapons manufacturers in the planes and an erudite in the art of war, both small-scale and large-scale. He can both provide you with the strongest armament of the game (including the only weapon in the game that can permanently end your life) and some invaluable advice in how to face your mysterious antagonist, and how to root out his weaknesses to finally take him down. Remarkably polite and erudite for an Omnicidal Maniac, all in all.
  • He doesn't display much sign of higher education in his actions or dialogue, but as he player is him, Badass Biker Ben of Full Throttle shows a great deal of unconventional genius. How many other bikers would think to use mechanical toy bunnies to clear a minefield?
  • Fawkes from Fallout 3. Game Informer describes him as being "smart, funny, and damn near unkillable". He's an enormous green beast with a fondness for Super-Sledges and gatling lasers, and yet is very intelligent and philosophical.
    • This is due to having been locked in a cell for most of his life in which the only diversion was a computer terminal with access to massive amounts of data and a huge library of electronic books.
    • Super Mutants in general are quite strange. While most of them are brutes, some are actually very intelligent. However, those are rather rare in Fallout 3's setting. The only two smart super mutants around DC are Fawkes and Uncle Leo, who randomly wanders the wasteland and manages to retain his human conscience through zen. No, really.
      • This is actually a plot point in the previous Fallout games. The Forced Evolution Virus, which "perfects" humans by turning them into Super Mutants, also grants them genius level intellect... or rather, is supposed to. Unfortunately, one of the problems that can't be solved even with 200 years of slow but steady progress in the field of retroviral evolution is the fact that the IQ upgrade only works on the unmutated genetic structures of Vault Dwellers. Apparently after a single generation of exposure to the titular Fallout, human genetic damage isn't enough to markedly impact human appearance or skills, but it is enough to react unpleasantly with the FEV to reduce the minds of the Super Mutants created from them to that of particularly dim-witted children. Later in Fallout 3, this is the revealed as the motivation behind The Enclave's plan to introduce their plague into the water... it's designed not to kill all the people in the Capitol Wastelands, only those whose genetic structures have been too badly damaged to be converted into Super Genius Mutants. So the Vault inhabitants survive, everybody else dies.
      • It should be noted that in the first game's actual terminology, the FEV created two different types of creatures from human subjects. Those whose intelligence diminished from the change were called simply "mutants." It was only those whose intelligence increased who earned the title of "super mutants." Using this terminology, there were a total of two super mutants in all of Fallout 3. It should also be noted that "purity of DNA" brought on by having been born and raised in a Vault was merely The Master's favorite theory of why some humans became super mutants, and some became mere mutants: This was never flat-out confirmed to be the actual reason, but some mysterious "x factor" did exist. That being said, this means that any being marked as "super mutant" in the first two games-even ones who were given no official name beyond such and were just nameless mooks-qualifies as an example of this trope.
      • Note that the super mutants in DC are products of Vault 87 experiments rather than (remnants of )The Master's army, the diferent strain of FEV there causes mental degradation even in Vault Dwellers & makes them grow bigger with age. Although they know one thing or two about tactics & aware of their sterility, "recruiting" hapless wastelanders to expand their numbers.
      • The Nightkin, which are stealthier, Stealth Boy-addicted versions of the aforementioned mutants, should qualify, as they never lose their intelligence like their more common counterparts. However, they trade this for utter, batshit insanity and thus it doesn't come up as often; they're still extremely dangerous physically, yet often mentally crippled in comparison. It's just that, instead of being utter morons, they're at best paranoid to the point of violence, and at worst utterly detached from reality. Still, those that manage to stay functional qualify handily, like God in Dead Money.
    • With the right levelling, perks, and chems, the player character in a Fallout game can become one as well: able to hack any computer, pick any lock, smooth talk any merchant, and, if need be, kill Deathclaws. Bare handed.
    • Marcus for Fallout 2. In Fallout: New Vegas, he's one of the few non-Legion character who consistently uses the Latin pronunciation of Caesar (Kai-Sar). Though in the latter his Intelligence stat is only 3. Also, Goris, who rivals Myron in terms of smarts and also pretty handy in a fight, what with being a Deathclaw and all.
    • Fawkes, Marcus, and basically every other intelligent Super Mutant are descended from the Lieutenant (called Lou Tenant by his underlings), The Dragon of Fallout. Where most of the other Super Mutants range from average to dim, Lou is urbane, philosophical, and offers cogent arguments that Utopia Justifies the Means, considering himself to be the pinnacle of evolution. Considering he's That One Boss, it's hard to argue with him...
    • Also in New Vegas, Legate Lanius is a brutal Blood Knight who revels in bloodshed and quite tough in direct combat. However, he's actually a relatively decent tactician who if you decide to engage him in conversation is actually a surprisingly intelligent man who will not toss away the lives of his men pointlessly and will actually retreat if the player makes a very good argument (most of which has to do with logistics).
      • While he sounds like a smart guy and is a decent tactician, he clearly has absolutely no idea what he's doing when it comes to politics or strategy, basically the know-how you'd need to keep an empire up and running. Sure enough, a Courier with maxed out Barter can make him retreat simply by pointing out just how stupid his long-term plans for the Legion are, and it's implied by several characters, chief among which Mr. House, that the whole Legion will fall apart within a scant few years under his leadership.
  • Frank Gaunt of Operation Darkness is a heavy machine-gunner and close-combat specialist who also seems to have some knowledge of nuclear physics and other specialized fields. Certainly doesn't hurt that he is the Frankenstein creature, who was every bit as sharp in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein.
  • Steroid Gontarski in Jagged Alliance 2, one of the strongest mercs in the game AND when dealing with repair and electronics is one of the best mercs outside of the ones who assign both specialty options as one of the two. He is hindered only be his lack of agility, but he is also very cheep to hire.
    Steroid: My skin is punctured and leaking!
    • He also refuses to work in the same team as Ivan Dolvich (one of the designated badasses), which many fans consider to be a serious drawback.
  • The Metal Gear series is about a special ops soldier who had a genius-level IQ, fluency in a half-dozen languages and enough skill with a vast array of weaponry (from sniper rifles to tranquilizer darts to aerosol spray cans and matches) to bring down telekinesis masters, armed tanks, overmarketed yellow rodents, and berserk clones of a legendary villain. His father is implied to be similar.
    • Interestingly, while Big Boss and Solid Snake share all the traits described above, Snake is a Pop-Cultured Badass while Big Boss tended to suffer from Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure. The latter is justified, though, as he's simply wasn't as interested in pop culture as nearly everybody else.
    • Vulcan Raven from the same series is a villainous example. While he's best known for his fondness for serious firepower, he's also a shaman and a graduate of the University of Alaska.
    • Liquid also has a genius level IQ, and is even tougher than Snake, but really should've paid attention in high school biology.
    • Colonel Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3 is also an example: It's implied that he came up with the design and architecture of his fortress Groznyj Grad, and likewise the Hinds were also implied to have been designed by him. He also was shown to possess enough strategic sense to deter any chances of an air-raid against Groznyj Grad by fortifying the Krasnogorje Range and, should that not work, he even created an air raid shelter below the mountain in anticipation of the unlikely event that it was going to be hit in an air raid, and also fortified the already fortified range even further with Hinds when Snake arrived, implying that he anticipated that Snake was to traverse through the area. A throwaway line made by him shortly before shooting the Davy Crockett at the Sokolov Design Bureau likewise suggested that he was at least knowledgable enough in world politics and intelligence operations to know that the world's intelligence agencies will likewise only assume that The Boss fired the weapon instead of himself. He is also extemely large, was strong enough to send foes flying with his punches, and possessed electrical abilities.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has Senator Steven Armstrong who is quite good at manipulating others and organizing various illegal activities while keeping up false motives as his disguise. Since his body was artificially enhanced, he's also a Mighty Glacier and a Lightning Bruiser at the same time.
  • Metroid's Samus Aran is implied to be a pretty sharp woman; she's about twenty different flavours of badass in battle, but she's also apparently quite learned in biology and designed her own gunship. During the times we can hear her thoughts, she's quite philosophical, too.
    • And if her cameo appearance in Tetris is anything to go by, she also plays the double bass.
    • Samus's nemesis, Ridley, also has a very high level of intelligence which has earned him a command position both in the Space Pirates organization and under Mother Brain. And Ridley is a giant, winged space dragon that eats people.
      • Although this is usually a case of All There in the Manual (he rarely ever appears in person outside his inevitable boss battles), this aspect of his personality was finally brought to light in Metroid: Other M, where he displays far more cunning than in previous games. Ironically, it's in this game that Samus is quite probably the least intelligent.
  • JC Denton from Deus Ex is either a badass Super Soldier or a badass Solid Snake type sneaker, but a competent secret agent either way. He often gets into discussions on political philosophy with curiously knowledgeable bartenders or ultra-advanced AIs. Alex D from the sequel, however, always reacts in similar situations with "Huh?" or "What do you mean?"
    • Apparently Alex's intelligence was programmed out...
  • Gaia Online plays with this trope with Labtech X, who is a huge man but has never been seen in anything but a lab coat.
    • Gambino himself might qualify as a more eccentric variation, as he's dabbled in mad science in between playing the stock market, picking fights with vampires, and being generally clueless how to deal with other people. Labtech X is Gambino's clone, so naturally they'd both be genius bruisers.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Vector the Crocodile is classified as a power character, and is shown to be a brilliant detective. He unfortunately sometimes doubles as a total idiot - but then most of Team Chaotix does that.
    • Nowhere is this shown better than at the end of Sonic Heroes where he lays out to Eggman that he knew EXACTLY who he was all along, and was playing along with his game because he knew that whomever locked Eggman up would be the worse of two evils after effortlessly tearing a thick metal door off the wall with his bare fists.
    • Dr. Eggman himself also counts, though he rarely ever uses his raw strength. He is orders of magnitude above everyone else in knowledge of robotics and machinery, but when push comes to shove, he can not only run as quickly as Sonic can (albeit for short periods of time), but the Sonic Riders games show he can punch aside metal doors, cars, stone statues, and other large heavy objects like they're nothing and with no assistance. He just prefers to let his machines do the destruction.
    • When he's not being written as rock stupid Knuckles has, at various points, demonstrated a philosophical streak, a fair bit of historical knowledge, an ability to read ancient runes, and some tactical ability. All in addition to his prodigious strength.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has Dr. M, a well-spoken scientist who used to plan elaborate heists and can go toe to toe with the group's strong man Murray... as the landowner of the island the vault and its contents were legally his property.
  • You probably wouldn't believe it from looking at him, but Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear. Yes, the insanely powerful warrior who's built like a quarterback and wields an angular BFS is actually a bona-fide genius. He used to be Frederick, the brilliant scientist who created the titular Gears, and he's also responsible for building the Gear-obliterating superweapon Outrage. He's also proficient with magic, as he uses very powerful fire magic in battles and spends most of Guilty Gear II: Overture prattling off Magi Babble.
    • Potemkin also counts. While he looks like the ridiculously Dumb Muscle right hand of President Gabriel of Zepp, he is also very polite, erudite, and must be smarter than he appears if he's been directly tasked by his own president to undertake covert missions on his behalf. He's also a talented artist.
  • [PROTOTYPE 2], James Heller, former US Marine sergeant, whose powers allow him to absorb the knowledge of his victims, among which are a wide variety of genetic scientists, mostly virologists.
    • This is also true for Alex Mercer but with Alex initially being a genetist himself.
  • Adell from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories is a surprise example. A Hot-Blooded fist-fighter who puts Honor Before Reason, he manages to shock the entire rest of his adventuring-party when, during the Tournament Arc, he solves a highly complex Geo-Puzzle after a brief glance and two seconds of thinking-time. As it turns out, he doesn't charge headfirst into every conflict because he's too stupid to think of anything else - but simply because that's his style.
    Adell: Never underestimate me. I hate cheap tricks and dirty tactics. If I put my mind to it, I can solve these things pretty quick. Just because I like to rush into things doesn't mean I can't think.
  • Final Fantasy provides several examples:
    • Golbez of Final Fantasy IV is an eight-foot-tall hulk of a Tin Tyrant with Shoulders of Doom and marked proficiency in the use of BFSs. And on top of that is wellspoken, a mage of great skill, and a masterful Chessmaster.
    • Cid from Final Fantasy IV is a much better example. As the game's resident Cid, he's the engineer in charge of the airships, but is also a formidable physical fighter too, preferring to bash his enemies in with hammers and wrenches.
    • Edgar of Final Fantasy VI is a talented engineer, having designed a castle capable of subterranean travel, a small arsenal of machine weaponry, and is capable of repairing practically any broken equipment you come across. Oh, and put a spear in his hands and he'll make shish kebab out of you in about 3 seconds flat. His twin brother Sabin is no idiot either, despite being a Bare-Fisted Monk and one of the stronger players in the game.
    • Cid Highwind of Final Fantasy VII is one of the best examples in the series. Featuring some of the highest HP and Strength stats in the game, the second-best limit break damage, serious muscles and a nasty mouth, he also has stacks of engineering blueprints in his house and a massive airship named after him, presumably because he designed the damn thing himself.
      • Oh, and he's the world's first astronaut (is hinted to have had a hand in building the rocket too), runs a town, has flown a light plane, a jet powered airship & a more traditional zepellin style one. He's quite possibly the most booksmart FF hero ever. And a powerhouse.
    • Zell Dincht of Final Fantasy VIII while at first glance Zell seems to be nothing more than a passionate, loud mouthed fighter-type with energy to spare throughout the game it's revealed that Zell is an avid reader with an extensive knowledge of world history, mechanical expertise, and jewelry making. He's literally refered to in game as Mr. Know-It-All-Zell. He's also one of the strongest characters in game. He once derailed a train accidentally by punching the floor of a traincar. Later in game he steps forward as leader and pilot.
  • Mass Effect
    • Commander Shepard, in addition to them being regarded as the biggest badass in the known galaxy, shows themself to be very intelligent throughout their battles, as much as they hate dealing with it, politically savvy, and capable of coming up with creative solutions to many problems. Plus, the male version is pretty buff. Ironically, the third game shows that for all their intelligence, Shepard isn't a very good chess player.
    • Grunt, the genetically-engineered Super Soldier krogan in Mass Effect 2 is raised via Neural Imprinting. While he's The Big Guy of the party, he's actually quite articulate and contemplative for a krogan (if still just as much of a fight-happy Boisterous Bruiser in the field). He even chose his own Meaningful Name reflecting on how well it represents him when he's born, a fighter without much purpose. The Shadow Broker DLC reveals that he's into Ernest Hemingway on his spare time.
    • Before Grunt, we had Wrex. Disillusioned with his people because their nature will doom them to extinction. Knows that the purpose of a stealth ship is NOT to get into slugging matches. Can con clients into hiring him on as a permanent bodyguard against a particular enemy of the client, even after failing the original contract to kill said enemy. Also smart enough to see Saren as Obviously Evil and not even waiting to get paid for a job he was hired and ends up becoming the only surviving merc. Eventually becomes the man with the plan on saving his species if he survives to the second game.
    • The Shadow Broker is revealed to be one of these in "Lair of the Shadow Broker". He took over a criminal empire and ran it in such a way that no one even figured out that power changed hands. He himself is three times the size of a krogan. His species is said to be this, in fact: strong as krogans, smart as salarians.
      • The downside being that their tempers are 3 times those of the already-irritable krogan too. And when his species get angry they lose all their intelligence and go berserker.
    • Javik. A skilled warrior, talented commander and eloquent (if grim) philosopher.
    • Garrus Vakarian. He is an extremely skilled sniper and soldier and consistently causes the highest weapon damage of Shepard's squadmates. Garrus is also a skilled technician and detective.
  • Dragon Age: The Qunari (a term that refers to followers of the Qun, regardless of race) consist mostly of, and is often erroneously used as a name for, a race of musclebound, gray- or black-skinned giants (with or without horns). While all the Qunari you meet in the games belong to the Antaam (which is essentially the warrior caste in the Qunari's non-hereditary caste system) and are therefore Proud Warrior Race Guys, they tend to be of the quiet and brooding variety rather than Boisterous Bruisers. The Qunari are also the most technologically advanced society in the games and the only one to have developed gunpowder (though not firearms).
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has The Iron Bull, a member of the Ben-Hassrath (the Qunari secret intelligence) who happens to be the largest of the party members and openly embraces the life of a hard-partying mercenary. This doesn't stop him from being a very perceptive individual with a talent for reading people, with idle conversations showing that he's capable of spotting out spies with relative ease. He's also smart enough to go toe-to-toe in chess with Solas, with the game they play only being visualized in their heads.
      • A warrior Inquisitor can also be played this way, if the Knowledge Perks are chosen from the Inquisition perk trees at the war table. Nobility Knowledge, Arcane Knowledge, History Knowledge, and Underworld Knowledge each provide the Inquisitor with extra dialogue options in certain situations which reveal just how well-read and well-educated the character is, as well as being an absolute nightmare on the battlefield.
  • Pick any member of the Belmont family from Castlevania series and you've got a pretty good chance of finding a Genius Bruiser. Notable examples include Juste, Richter and Julius. Alucard is also a fairly sharp guy, particularly in his Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow persona of Genya Arikado.
    • Justified in that he is Dracula's son, and immortal, meaning he has lots of free time.
  • Iron Tager from BlazBlue is this trope to a T; a massive, genetically and cybernetically modified hulk of a man, almost eight feet tall and over a thousand pounds. Tager is able to throw opponents around the battlefield like rag dolls, sometimes jumping after them and plowing them straight back down into the earth face-first. A single full-on punch from Tager will easily send his target flying to the opposite edge of the screen. However, the very reason he's able to do this is that he was dealt a grievous wound while doing field research, his life only saved by the cybernetic enhancements he uses in battle. As testament to his immense practical and technical knowledge, in addition to his raw physical capability he also uses electromagnetism to draw opponents towards him rather than having to chase after them himself. When he's not throwing his weight (and/or opponents) around in direct battle, he operates primarily as a field agent, and when not in the field, he works as a researcher directly under the greatest scientific mind in the world. Finally, in addition to his fearsome intellect and frightening battle ability, Tager's quite the calm, collected gentleman - he rarely, if ever, actually gets angry, has an open and honest demeanor and is quite happy to discuss scientific theory when the opportunity presents itself.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • Ganondorf is usualy portrayed as a genius bruiser whenever he's not a drooling beastie, and sometimes even then. He always plans ahead of time and is rather methodical. Tricking Link into opening the sacred realm so he could get the Triforce (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time), setting up plagues and curing them through Aganihm in order to gain (political) power (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past), and apparently setting up several resurrection plans are some of his highlights. Even when things don't go his way, he can salvage the situation; his actions in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, including feeding on the Twili's hate and allowing Zant to release him, as well as getting around every seal placed on him, are examples of this. He is also a beastly fighter: in his human form, he's canonically seven and a half feet tall, and deadly with swords and his bare fists, while his true form is a gigantic boar more than capable of crushing Link with his sheer size.
    • Although not technically canon, he appears in a fairly high-tech-looking computer lab in the Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, overseeing everything as it transpires. Given that his only immediate ally besides Master Hand is Bowser, it's not too much of a stretch to assume that ol' Ganon's technologically savvy, too.
    • Link himself could also count, though in many games, the 'bruiser' part usually involves him using magic items to perform feats of incredible strength. Twilight Princess is an exception; in this game, we see him sumo wrestle Gorons, swing a huge ball-and-chain, and even overpower Ganondorf, all without needing any magical items. As for the 'genius' part, well, quite a few of the puzzles in the dungeons Link had to beat do require him to be pretty smart to solve them, especially since he doesn't have the same benefits of the wider-angle camera and the internet that the player does.
  • It may not look like it, due to some of his portrayals as a comic relief and his overall lack of common sense, but Bowser from Super Mario Bros. is far from idiotic. Similar to the 300 IQ Dr. Eggman, Bowser designs and builds all of his technological contraptions, and while his plans usually fail because the good guy always wins, they are well thought out by the big man.
  • Wild ARMs 5 has Elvis, the foremost among the fore of Filgaia historians and a real top-class scientist. Oh, and he's absolutely huge, seems to be built out of nothing but muscles which he flexes a lot, and he beats the party down with his bare fists.
  • In Halo, Spartans, Sangheili/Elites, and to a lesser extent Jiralhanae/Brutes. Though they don't often show it, Mgalekgolo/Hunters are quite intelligent, too. But these are topped by Forerunner Warrior-Servants, who are both highly skilled tacticians and equipped with armor and mutations far superior to what even the Spartans have.
  • Resident Evil: Albert Wesker. Described as a child prodigy, one of Umbrella's top researchers, master of The Plan, and was skilled enough in martial arts pre-viral upgrade to go toe-to-toe with an Ivan-class Tyrant, and is capable of punching people through walls after his viral upgrade.
    • His son Jake Muller takes after him. Though it's downplayed since he's not that educated and drops more curses than big words, he's implied to be able to pick up skills very quickly. Aside from learning combat skills well enough to kill multiple experienced attackers after relatively little experience when he was just a teenager, he speaks and writes flawless English despite it probably being his second language and learns how to both speak and read fluent Chinese — a tone language with vastly different grammar from English and most European languages — after listening to his captors speak it for a few months.
  • Backyard Sports: Dmitri Petrovich.
  • Sarevok from Baldur's Gate: An enormous Black Knight who's by the numbers as strong as an ogre (which are a lot bigger still), but also The Chessmaster running everything from behind the scenes in the first game (and again, by the numbers on his statistics, a genius).
  • Tales Series
    • Tales of Symphonia has Regal Bryant: He's the second strongest fighter of the group and quite skilled in Chi arts, even capable of firing an energy blast once. However, he is also the president of the Lezareno Company and a duke, therefore the character that expresses himself in the most refined manner. He's also the one the smart woman of the group will turn to due to his general maturity.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has Richter Abend, who was a scientist at Sybak University.
    • Malik Caesar from Tales of Graces is the most muscular and tallest man in your party but instead of using them to fight, he uses his magic to fight. Magic, in turn, is based off the intelligence of the mage. He is also the person that the other characters turn to due to both his experience and his knowledge.
  • Dr. Hank Freebird of Trauma Team. Genius orthopedic surgeon with a military honorable discharge. Who fights crime as Captain Eagle in his spare time. Including picking up and tossing a car at a drug smuggler, or punching a thug through a ceiling. Yet has enough fine control to operate various medical tools during orthopedic surgery.
  • Jack Cayman of MadWorld is actually an incredibly sharp dude coupled by experience as former Grand Champion of Deathwatch. He's able to wax philosophy as he carves mooks in half and by the time he's facing the Final Boss it's implied he's already figured out the entire scheme of Deathwatch and who's really behind it.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The Heavy wields the big guns. In Poker Night at the Inventory, it is revealed that he went to college and that he has a Ph.D in Russian Literature. He also has refined tastes when it comes to drinks and music. While he does display a fair amount of intelligence in "Meet the Heavy" by rattling all the detailed specs of his machinegun, the Russian version of this trailer and "Meet The Team" show that he is eloquent in his native language.
    • As displayed in the expanded material, the entire country of Australia is this. Thanks to Australium, every man and woman in the country are certified geniuses, while also being musclebound, mustachioed, machismo machines. Mann Co. CEO and yeti mauler Saxton Hale being the prominent example.
  • Eddie Riggs of Brütal Legend is not only a Hot-Blooded warrior, but being that his life as a Roadie requires him to maintain others' equipment, he's also mechanically adept enough to build practically anything as long as he has the tools around with him. Being a roadie is also where he picks up his strength, heavy lifting and all.
  • Piers in Golden Sun: The Lost Age is a beefy sailor and a textbook Mighty Glacier. He also has powerful healing spells and indicates in some cutscenes that he's trained as a medic, figures out ancient Magitek in moments, infiltrates a town under security upgrades for a special occasion, discusses at length the state of the world since the decline of Alchemy... oh, and it's implied in some of the Lemuria cutscenes that he was originally going to leave the country as a spy for King Hydros. There might be some justification in his age, but he refuses to disclose his age, so we don't know if he's Really 700 Years Old or not.
  • Kratos from God of War, despite being a brute that kills anything that so much as looks at him funny, is still intelligent enough to succeed at obtaining Pandora's Box, a task many adventurers before him failed, the path to it requiring as much wit as it does brute strength. In fact, he spends just as much, if not more of his time solving puzzles than he does killing monsters and Gods.
  • Adray Lasbard from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is 188cm tall, immaculately muscled, totes around a big frickin' katana and, oh yeah, he's considered a Wizard.
  • Seven of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is first described as 'a mountain of a man', but employs strategies such as putting in objects to stop the doors locking after going through them. He was also a detective.
  • Birdbrained moments aside, Utsuho Reiuji of Touhou demonstrates pretty good understanding of nuclear physics in Hisoutensoku. Possibly a Required Secondary Power for her since nuclear power is her specialty.
  • Letho of Gulet in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a large hulking man mistaken as Dumb Muscle by those he works with. This in turn makes it easier for him to manipulate them since all he has to do is play along and make them underestimate him as he secretly manipulates them for his own ends.
  • Bao-Dur from Knights of the Old Republic II built a custom droid when he was a kid, made weapons for the military including the mass shadow generator that wiped out a planet and ended a war, says designing planetary-class defensive shields is 'a hobby', and starts idly taking apart and rebuilding your ship piece by piece because he's bored. He also has a military-grade artificial arm with weaponized force fields and starts out with a very high Strength score and multiple points in unarmed combat.
    • Mical. He talks like a teacher, is a historian/scientist, and can be trained as a Jedi Consular - the class that focuses most on the Force rather than lightsabers. He starts out as a Soldier class. You find him in the deadly sub-level of the Jedi Temple, from which almost no one has returned alive. He might be more of a Badass Bookworm, though.
  • Oleg Kirrlov of Saints Row: The Third. Outsizes everyone by about 3 feet,(Up and across), can shove cars aside like nothing, was the genetic model for The Brutes...and is well read, speaks with impeccable diction, and loves playing chess. An audio log in the sequel reveals that tech genius Kinzie thinks of him as an intellectual superior, suggesting that he is likely one of the smartest people on earth.
    • Alien emperor Zinyak in the sequel. He is far smarter and more cultured than the protagonist (possibly than any human) and is also so large and strong that he is able to curb stomp them at the start of the game with little effort.
  • Michael Thorton from Alpha Protocol. He kicks a tonne of arse regardless of your play style, of course, but not just that. Depending on the background you chose, Mike can have multiple PhDs, crack ciphers in his spare time, learn foreign languages amazingly fast... Even in gameplay, you can make Mike a technical whiz without compromising too much on his killing prowess.
  • Minute Man in Freedom Force is a Captain America-themed hero who can leap tall buildings and has enormous strength. He's also a nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project. In one mission, a villain sets off the timer on a nuclear bomb. Guess who has to disarm it?
  • Batman: Arkham City: The title character, but also Mister Freeze. Trying to fight him head on is comparable to trying to fight a hand grenade using hugs, and he's also the only smart enough to manufacture the cure to the disease that everyone's been catching.
  • Fur Fighters has Viggo, the main antagonist of the game. He's built up his own business empire, discovered a hidden society of dinosaurs underground and backwards engineered their technology for resale. Learned an ancient ritual for raising the dead, mastered genetic manipulation and built a machine that pumps out endless clones. He's also the strongest thing in the whole game.
  • Torchlight II's Engineers are expected to both construct a medical robot in a jiffy and lug around and properly use either a huge two-handed hammer or an enormous cannon without much trouble.
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • Odd example in Advance Wars: Dual Strike. Normally Jugger is The Brute and is coded with an intentionally stupid AI script. When he uses his CO power though, he switches to the smartest AI script in the game and spends the next turn liberally tossing you to the curb.
  • Krogg of WildStar. Extremely large, muscular, tough, scaly hides, well-tuned predatory instincts and dangerously intelligent. They aren't the "criminal vermin of the galaxy" and head of the largest criminal syndicate, the Darkspur Cartel, for nothing.
  • Bomb, the black Angry Bird, is very intelligent. Aside from his great brute force, he is good at reading self-help books such as "Keep Calm And Don't Blow Up" as well as cooking. He could possibly be a strategist.
  • Wario definitely qualifies. Don't let his potbelly and ugly face fool you; on top of being able to shatter solid rock walls with a shoulder charge and lift enemies twice his size over his head with one arm, the man is a highly experienced treasure hunter (which, as his games demonstrate, is a job that usually requires fairly extensive use of your noodle!) and a wildly successful game designer and corporate owner to boot. Some games such as Mario Power Tennis and Wario: Master of Disguise even show that Wario is actually a pretty decent inventor.
  • Sheriff Bigby Wolf of The Wolf Among Us is a clever detective, able to quickly discern the implications of various clues and the motivations of various people. Oh, and also of note, he's The Big Bad Wolf, so partially transformed in his wolf form, he can shrug off several shotgun blasts at close range and rip a troll's arm out clean from the socket. And if you really piss him off... well, imagine a wolf the size of a bull elephant. Yeah.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, like many RPGs, it's possible for the Watcher to qualify. Canonical examples, however:
    • Kana Rua is an Aumara; in other words, he's seven feet tall with shark's teeth, and built like a castle wall. He's also an intelligent, well-read scholar who came to the Dyrwood from distant Rautai to find archaeological evidence proving his culture is more interconnected with others than reactionaries in his own land would like to believe.
    • Galawain, god of the hunt, is exactly as powerful and brutal as one would expect. However, he considers cunning, guile, and willpower forms of strength as important as physical might, and explicitly respects the hunt for knowledge as much as he does a literal hunt. This makes him an unintuitive but steadfast ally of scientists and animancers, whom most other gods despise.
    • The Master Below, aka the Adra Dragon. Bonus Boss. Giant Dragon. Also one of two characters to figure out actual, drawback-free immortality (the other is the Big Bad). She created both a method to keep her body alive indefinitely through soul absorption, and a method of stealing another body if she ran low. Also figured out how to peer into and influence the minds of others at extremely long range - most ciphers need to be face-to-face for that.
  • The monsters of Evolve. Physically, even the smallest among them is over six meters tall and capable of ripping through armored fortifications. Mentally, they use psychological warfare against their human prey and outwit enemies despite a massive technological disadvantage. While their physical strength is constantly increasing, it would be foolish to assume them helpless just because they're at their weakest.
  • Overwatch: Winston, a super-intelligent gorilla who is about as comfortable devising groundbreaking new technologies as he is jumping into the fray, frying people with his tesla cannon and beating them senseless with his bare hands. Many of his enemies often underestimate him for this reason, thinking he's just a dumb animal.
    Reaper: I'll be sure to send them your regards, 'monkey'.
    Winston: I'm not a monkey... I'm a scientist! *Device blows Reaper across the room*
  • Unlike his Thrall brethren who are simply all muscle and no brains, Attikus from Battleborn has both muscle and brains. Thanks to the side effects of the Hedronic Collector grafted on his right arm, he's not only capable of clobbering foes with his fists but also capable of thinking of higher concepts. Said concepts include realizing the unjust slavery his people have been shackled to.
  • In the Dawn of War sequal, Dawn of War II – Retribution, Kaptin Bluddflagg is able to tell that Adrastia is an Inquisitor by her uniform, which is remarkable as Orks have a biologically enforced Large and in Charge thing going for their race and have no concept of uniforms (and Adrastia is a mite shorter than the soldiers with her). He also deduced Kyras' location very intelligently, not just by Ork standards, but by any standards. Note that Autarch Kayleth, leader of the so-called "super-intelligent" resident elves, struggled to figure this out. Although, to her credit, Kayleth takes a lot less time to explain it when she finally puts two and two together... and unlike Bluddflagg's gang, her subordinates actually understand what she's on about.
  • Your player character in RuneScape can be the ultimate Jack-of-All-Trades, from Strength and Agility to Magic and Invention, and master them all, too.
    • The Temple Knights of Saradomin have this trope as a requirement. You can apply to join them in the quest "Recruitment Drive", and they test you with everything from "fight a champion no man can defeat... with your bare hands and no armor, while he has both" to logic puzzles, lore, and chemistry.
    • General Khazard is the only Mahjarrat to specialize in melee combat over magic. However, as seen in "Ritual of the Mahjarrat" he's absolutely not stupid, and perfectly capable of using magic if he needs to— he's just such a Blood Knight that he prefers swords to spells.
  • Hello Neighbor is basically a middle finger to Artificial Stupidity; the eponymous Neighbor learns from your mistakes and secures his house by installing cameras, bear traps and motions detectors. He has also set a huge amount of puzzles that you have to solve if you want to acquire the items required to open his basement's door. To make thing even more difficult, the Neighbor is FAST and will chase you around his house by breaking doors and jump through windows very easily.
  • League of Legends: Jayce, the Defender of Tomorrow, is an extremely well-built and handsome man who fights crime in his hometown Piltover using his own invention, an advanced lightning-based cannon-hammer hybrid called the Mercury Hammer. He's also one of Piltover's most brilliant Hextech inventors.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: Aloy. Hunts T-Rex inspired robots with missile launchers on their backs while armed with a bow and arrow, figured out the Earth was a sphere because of its shadow on the moon during an Eclipse. Also, resident CSI who knows what actions will set off a certain bomb or knowing that the smoke in the forest isn't "wood smoke". And let's not forget that she's the clone of genius Elisabet Sobeck and has inherited much of her intelligence
  • In the backstory of Armello, the King used to be this. Strong enough to break crossbows with his bare hands, cunning enough to lie, scheme, and manipulate his way to throne of a foreign land, and a master sorcerer. Then he meddled with the Rot, which turned him into the mad king seen in the game proper; only the bruiser remains.
  • Ar-Kaius the Architect in The Blade of Galadriel DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of War is an Olog-Hai captain just as big and strong as any other and also a great fortress architect both skilled at designing very tough fortifications and noticing weaknesses in structures to better wreck them. He keeps a full set of geometry instruments on his chestplate at all times and even has a blue beret and a full grey beard that make him look like a more muscular version of Leonardo da Vinci
  • The instruction manual to Scooby-Doo, Who's Watching Who? describes the Ghost Scene Investigation team's leader Dr. Scott O'Mulligan as having both brains and brawn.
  • Tyl Regor from Warframe is a muscular Grineer who wields an axe/shield combo and power fists, the latter of which the Tenno can only use when flying with an archwing. He's also a Mad Scientist who managed to find at least a partial cure to Grineers' Clone Degeneration.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback