Sci-fi, especially video games, frequently features evil clones.
If you’ve ever felt like you were your own worst enemy, being forced to fight your bad carbon copy might sound like the perfect way to let off steam. For everyone else, the idea of a DNA-identical copy running around in the same lines, breathing the same air. And being a jerk in general sounds less than ideal.
But the theme is interesting enough that it has been used in a number of stories where the protagonist’s clone is a bad person. Whether it’s because of crazy science or messed up different timelines. These mirror-image outlaws know all the good guy’s best moves (but not always how to avoid them). Here are some of the best games where players have to fight a copy of themselves that is bad.
Mass Effect 3 (2012)
In space, heroes either die as heroes or live long enough to see their own xenophobic clone steal their ship. And use it as a weapon in a campaign to build a “humans only, no aliens allowed” club. In any case, that’s true for any space captain whose last name is Shepard.
In the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, Shepard’s clone shows up. He is cocky, rude, and envious of the real Shepard. The clone is one of the most frustrating bosses in the game. But it is also one of the most exciting to fight because (spoilers) the player gets to kill it at the end.
The planet-sized palace where the main character is trapped in the 2017 sci-fi game ECHO can make copies of her and her abilities, based on whether or not she is using them at the time. This is a mechanic that was sadly overlooked. This means that players have to be smart about how they use their skills to get through parts of a game.
If players aren’t careful, the many deadly clones that are spread out around the house may use their own skills against them. With the rise of AI and its ability to steal skills, ECHO was in many ways a picture of the future that came true.
Caves Of Qud (2015)
Caves of Qud is a top-down, open-world roguelike game with a huge world full of psychedelic creatures, magic mixed with cutting-edge tech, and a procedurally generated nightmare mix of monsters and marvels that really pushes the science-fantasy genre to its limits.
With a design theory like “everything but the kitchen sink,” it shouldn’t be a surprise that Caves of Qud takes place in a multiverse, full of evil versions of the player who want their blood. Even so, these evil clones from other dimensions only show up if the player has the “evil twin” flaw, which makes hostile copies (likely from even more hostile dimensions) appear every time the player enters a new zone.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex (2001)
Crunch Bandicoot is the logical result of the popular saying, “If you can’t beat them, make and mind-control their genetically enhanced super-cyborg clone and get them to fight for you.” Crunch from The Wrath of Cortex spins around a lot less than Crash. But he jumps and crushes a lot, as his name might suggest.
There might be another clone in the Crash series, but this one came about. Because of a mistake with time travel. Fake Crash first showed up in a Japanese commercial for Cortex Strikes Back. Since then, he has made a few small entries in the series. In the GameBoy Advanced version of Crash Bandicoot 2: N.Tranced, it seems likely that N.Tropy and N.Tranced made him as part of a failed plan to take a marsupial using time travel.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2008)
She may have all of Samus’ moves, but she doesn’t have her looks. At least not the ones under her suit (her weird three-eyed skull doesn’t count). Dark Samus is not a perfect clone because she was made from one of Samus’s old suits that she threw away at the end of Metroid Prime. In the Metroid Prime games, she shows up more than once.
Dark Samus can beat the famous cosmic bounty hunter in every way. She is cold, smart, and sometimes laughs evilly in fits of mania. She’s tougher, moves faster, and has stronger weapons, which makes her a good choice for the main bad guy.
Bioshock Infinite (2013)
For people who haven’t finished Bioshock Infinite yet, this section contains spoilers. Zachary Hale Comstock, the charming fanatic who built the “city in the sky” Columbia, used to go by the name Booker DeWitt before he was reborn.
Without a feel-good, all-is-forgiven baptism after leading a brutal killing at Wounded Knee. DeWitt keeps his guilt close and decides not to commit to building a multiverse-powered ethno-national dystopia. Because of all the “science radiation,” Comstock aged faster than normal. And the main character has a hard time recognizing him for most of the game. Comstock, on the other hand, knows who Booker is and will do anything to kill him.
Saints Row 4 (2013)
In Saints Row 4, the evil clone of the Boss has an eyepatch and a goatie. Which makes them look pretty bad from the start, especially after they kill a helpless prisoner just for fun. Well, they had to find a way to make the bad guy look even worse than the main character, who is always bad.
They also killed the girlfriend of the Boss’s best friend, which, again, is probably not as bad as what the player does to the poor people of Santo Lleso between tasks, most notably with objects of an unspeakable nature.
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008)
Lara’s evil twin first showed up in Tomb Raider Anniversary. In that game, she finds a skinless copy of herself that moves just like her and hurts her if she shoots it. But, as seen in Tomb Raider: Underworld, this wasn’t a real Lara copy.
The Doppelganger looks like a twisted version of Lara. It has the same clothes and look as Lara, but its hair is dark red and its eyes are golden. She was faster and stronger than the original, and her mind was also being controlled (something an evil clone would say!). But in the end, she breaks the spell.
Metal Gear Solid
Even though Solid Snake and Liquid look like twins, they are actually clones of the famous fighter Big Boss. Liquid is said to be the clone who got all of Big Boss’ “recessive genes,” but in Metal Gear Solid‘s final phone call with the president (who is also a clone, don’t worry). It turns out that he was the stronger of the two, which makes his defeat all the more satisfying.
By the end of Penalty Kick Online, it seems pretty clear, given how many machine gun bullets old Liquid takes while driving away, how he falls from Metal Gear, and how he can fool even his twin/clone with a pair of shades.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z (2018)
The power levels of the fighters in the Dragon Ball world are hard to match. So what better way to level the playing field than to make them fight each other? Each clone is about as strong and has about the same moves. But they lack the “essential spark” that makes each fighter (and enemy) unique.
Each clone wears darker clothes than their real-life peers, probably. Because they’re sad about not being able to make their own decisions. They also tend to have scary red eyes. Which could be a sign that they were made by the Red Ribbon Army or just because red eyes are scary.