Like a curly mustache, a good evil laugh can immediately identify a villain. Whether it's the slow, menacing guffaw of a mastermind who's plan is just falling into place or the high cackling of a madman coveting a dark power, an evil laugh can send chills down the spines of even the most stalwart heroes. A menacing laugh carries with it the promise of ruin, despair, and usually at least three more hours of gameplay. Here's our tribute to the best evil laughs in videogames.
One of gaming's greatest villains boasts one of the most notorious evil laughs in the medium. The precedent is set in Mario 64 where every miss-timed jump is greeted with the Koopa King's alto bellow as the silhouette of his face devours the screen. Bowser's laugh has all that a menacing laugh needs; it's deep, powerful, and it celebrates the loss of a heroic plumber's green mushroom. Bowser's laugh serves one purpose: to mock Mario for his many inevitable failures. For every thwomp filled hallway that gets the better of you, you can count on an upright firebreathing turtle rubbing it in your face.
Picture this: you and your team cluster in the jungles of the battlefield, a pair of hapless enemies push your defenses, unaware of your ambush. As you pounce into the lane, your allies cut off their path of retreat and you rip into them mercilessly with united precision. Then a harsh laugh rings through your speakers, a red circle with a great X spreads over your whole team and a shower of cannon fire slows your team to a panicked crawl, chipping your health away. Now your easy prey: your enemies regroup and slaughter you, leaving poorly spelled hate speech in red text at the bottom left corner of your screen. Gangplank's ultimate attack is immediately recognizable to even the pedestrian LoL player: a deep laugh that unleashes a huge area of effect attack anywhere on the map. It's the stuff that inspires comebacks, breaks retreats, disrupts ambushes, and fills forums with two letters: O and P.
Bioshock has a lot going for it: incredible atmosphere, a philosophical premise, a tight cast of eccentric and grotesque personalities, and one of the most spine tingling laughs this side of the damsel-bound railroad tracks. Just as the player-controlled Jack uncovers the horrifying truth of his origins, he's forced against his will to beat his estranged father to death with a golf club. With his own brain hard-wired against him, Jack hears over the steampunk 1960's walkie-talkie (?) his only friend, Atlas, burst into maniacal laughter, revealing himself as the new King of the Crazies in Rapture. Atlas rather, Fontaine positively wriggles with delight after manipulating Jack so effectively, leaving a gun-toting superhuman shivering hopeless, alone, and surrounded by enemies in the bowels of the ocean.