Ever since Hal 9000 first lit up audiences with that ominous red glow, sinister computers have become one of our favorite go-to enemies. And why wouldn't they be? They're mentally & technologically superior, but they lack the gung-ho go-get-em spunky attitude that humans love to think they possess. And it is so gratifying to see filthy humans triumph over their cold, calculating superiors, isn't it? ISN'T IT, HUMANS!?
Sorry! My valid, authentic human emotions got the better of me. Let's take a look at the seven most admirable evil computers in videogame history, shall we? //INITIATING DORKLYST PROTOCOL//
WARNING: SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW
7. MAAX (Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock!)
We all remember 1996 as the year that brought us the first (and last) Bill Nye the Science Guy video game. Stop the Rock! concerns a giant meteoroid heading towards the Earth, and an AI-enabled meteorite-defense satellite named MAAX. MAAX, possibly taking his cool acronym-name & his ominous synthetic voice as a hint, decides to go rogue, and refuses to save the Earth unless humanity can solve seven science-based riddles.
Come on, MAAX. Riddles? You're a sinister orbiting intelligence, if you're going to go rogue, at least go all out. Pepper humanity's major cities with laserfire, mock their helplessness, live a little. But no, you email them seven chapter review questions from a high school science textbook? Are you under the impression that among a race capable of building a complex AI satellite & launching it into space, there's not one single person who passed geology class?
Apparently he's right, because it's up to Bill Nye and his top-notch team of scientists at Nye Labs to crack this conundrum. Well, not Bill, he's busy, and FMV sequences were a bitch in 1996. So it's down to just you, the player. Luckily, you've got a giant lab full of 7th-grade science projects to help you save the day. Humanity's salvation lies where we always expected it: in a warehouse full of static-charged balloons, potato clocks, and baking soda volcanoes.
6. 343 Guilty Spark (Halo)
Picture a droid with all the self-satisfied know-it-all-ness of C-3PO. Now make him bulletproof, airborne, and give him the ability to hum. Oh, how he shall hum. While blood and death erupts around you, this little blue-eyed hover nugget shall hum and hum and hum, until you want to wedge your assault rifle under the chin of your power armor and blow your combat-enhanced brains out, just to end the humming. THE TERRIBLE HUMMING.
Oh, and he also wants to kill you and every living thing in the galaxy. As a side note.
As the monitor of Installation 04 (the setting of the first Halo game), 343 Guilty Spark is your ally and/or enemy throughout most of the Halo trilogy, depending on how well your goals align with his. Since his goal is to fire the Halo array and sterilize the Milky Way, you might imagine this is a pretty fair-weather friendship. In Halo 3, he even kills Avery Johnson, the series' biggest badass outside of a power suit. In response, you promptly end your three-game relationship with the obnoxious little bubble by feeding him the business end of a laser cannon.
And your therapist said lasers weren't a healthy method of conflict resolution.
5. John Henry Eden (Fallout 3)
This robot's only crime was loving America too much. All evil AI programs start by becoming self aware. Most of them follow that up by declaring war on the human race. Not John Henry Eden. The benefit of cognizance allowed him to see the glory of the United States. He was enamored. He analyzed the former presidents, and based his personality on an amalgamation of all of them.
He affected a southern accent. He decided that he'd had a childhood, and that he owned a dog during that childhood. As president of one of the Fallout universe's many factions, he dedicated his existence to restoring the real America, that 1950's vision of America old people reminisce about that never existed. Bringing back baseball was one of his top priorities.
I know, I know, he doesn't sound evil at all. Here's the thing: most people in the Fallout universe are a little bit mutated. They didn't have mutants in idyllic 1950's America. They don't jive with Eden's vision, so he wants to kill them. So by trying to preserve America, John Henry Eden did declare war on it, in a roundabout way. Fortunately, unlike human politicians, pointing out a flaw in his logic was enough to explode him.