Most videogame antagonists are pretty one-dimensional: they're content to twirl their mustaches, tie the hero's girlfriend to the tracks and drink milk straight from the carton. But every now and then a villain comes along whose motives run a little bit deeper. Maybe these "evil" characters are just misunderstood heroes with bad PR. Or even a true-blue villain who repents and hitches his wagon to the good guy caravan late in the game. We love these guys especially, because villain-turned-heroes are awesome: They dress better, they don't take any crap, and they still have that aura of lingering badassery that a Mario or a Crono is never going to achieve. In honor of our one-time enemies that fought alongside us, here are our candidates for the prestigious Vegeta Award For Excellence In Being Less Evil Than You Used To Be.
The jury's still out on what exactly an echidna is, but if they're at all like Knuckles in Sonic 3, we can assume they're a race of pointy-fisted animals that occasionally flip switches that make you fall off waterfalls. Then laugh about it. A lot.
As it turns out, Knuckles isn't actually that much of a dick. He had been tricked by Robotnik into thinking that Sonic was trying to steal the Master Emerald. And as the last surviving Echidna on Angel Island (thank you, Wikipedia), it was his sworn duty to protect it. Eventually he grew wise to Robotnik's evil ways (the army of robot slaves didn't tip him off initially) and joined up with Sonic. Nowadays, Knuckles is one of Sonic's greatest allies, even earning a title credit in the follow-up game, "Sonic & Knuckles," after only one appearance. See, this is why Tails drinks.