It would be hard to play the hero if you had nothing to stand up against, wouldn’t it?
Here’s to you villains, scoundrels and general ne’er-do-wells for giving us video game players something to overcome in our journeys. Some enemies are just as, if not more, iconic than the heroes of their series from the Kingly Bowser to the lowest Goomba.
You can’t see it right now but I'm pouring one out for every weird walking-fanged-mushroom that I’ve ever made Mario stomp on.
Just like everything else behind the scenes in video game development, enemies get redesigned and reiterated until they fit. Out of all the initial ideas, it's best to focus on just a few at a time and bring them to life. As such, some bad guys get left behind - either considered no longer relevant or simply can’t quite make it into the game before the klaxon calls and the game has to be shipped.
And whilst many titles make the right choices, leaving their half-baked ideas off the printing line, sometimes a sneaky look at what could’ve been has you asking why on Earth companies would let something so great not make the final cut. You can’t help but wonder what could’ve been.
10. Cuphead - Demon Bat
When games get announced to the public, they often contain trailers that use ideas that are unfinished or, by the end of the project, hit the famous cutting room floor. It’s often pretty remarkable to watch the trailer of a game you’ve just finished and find yourself saying: “Wait... where was that?”
What makes Cuphead’s cut boss, who has been named “Demon Bat” by fans, so noticeably absent is that he was a major part of the game’s original 2014 reveal trailer.
This is where gaming audiences were introduced to Cuphead’s undeniably unique style which was so fresh that the trailer went rather viral. As such the Demon Bat was used in a lot of early pre-release material. Screenshots imply a flurry of bat minions to contend with as well a form where the boss shields from attack by hiding in a coffin.
Come the final game however, and Cuphead and Mugman jump from fighting King Dice to the Devil with no hellish, flying middle-man in-sight. Not that Cuphead isn’t stuffed with enough insanely hard boss fights as it is but it certainly would’ve been great to have Demon Bat be a penultimate boss - a gatekeeper for hell and a sign you were very nearly there.
More than that, those following the project for the three years before between reveal and release, were keen to fight the winged creature and were left disappointed.