There are few pleasures in life greater than daydreaming about two fictional characters from completely different worlds going ham on each other. What abilities would they use? Who would come out on top? How can we convince Nintendo to include every fictional character ever in the next Super Smash Bros.?
Sometimes the most interesting characters to think about are those who aren’t associated with video games at all. While acclaimed author Tom Clancy has had his fair share of creations turned into games, mild-mannered CIA analyst turned action hero field agent Jack Ryan certainly isn’t one of them.
We’ve pitted him against some of the gaming world’s most famous villains and took a stab at who would win.
Is there a video game villain more iconic than Bowser? Unlikely.
Bowser is, of course, Mario’s arch-nemesis and king of the Koopas, a race of turtles crossed with a kind of lizard… I think. Who’s to say?
Could Jack Ryan defeat Bowser? I’m gonna come right out and say absolutely. Think about it, not only does Jack have the backing of one of the most powerful government agencies in the world, but he’s much taller and smarter than Mario – a plumber – who also kicks Bowser’s ass on the reg.
VERDICT: C’mon, Bowser is a wuss. Jack wins, no questions.
Depending on which Metal Gear Solid game you’re playing, Big Boss can be a good guy or a bad guy in the franchise, but either way, he’s always a force to be reckoned with. The bloke’s title is Big Boss for crying out loud, that should say it all.
The question then becomes which version of Jack Ryan would take on which version of Big Boss, given there are variations of both. For my money, I believe the fairest matching would be Big Boss (or Naked Snake) from Metal Gear Solid 3 and season two-era Jack Ryan, as both have experience fighting in a jungle setting.
However, in this pairing, Jack likely has the upper hand considering his past military training and transformation from analyst to full-blown field agent. Furthermore, Naked Snake’s naivety would see him fumble on more than one occasion. Peak condition Metal Gear Solid 5-era Big Boss, though? Sorry, Jack, you’d probably lose that fight.
VERDICT: Jack Ryan, unless we’re talking about MGS5 Big Boss.
Ribbie from WWE 2K20
Whether you perceive this delightful chap as a friend or foe probably comes down to your personal tastes. To me, Ribbie is a pal, to others, he is a giant meaty monstrosity that has no place in a wrestling game. The choice is yours.
Little is known about the sentient rib, but he certainly looks tasty. Unfortunately for Jack Ryan, Ribbie’s deliciousness would be simply too much to resist, rendering it the perfect distraction.
VERDICT: Jack is knocked out with a chair while trying to take a bite out of Ribbie.
I know what you’re thinking. Since when is Mario’s dino pal Yoshi considered a villain? Well, he might be clean inside the confines of the Mushroom Kingdom, but word on the street is that he’s been dodging his taxes.
That’s right, Yoshi is a tax fraud, and if there’s one thing Jack Ryan’s good at sniffing out, it’s suss financials. As we learned at the beginning of season one of Jack Ryan, the analyst hunts down terrorist groups by tracking the ways in which they move money around. If he can do that for the CIA, I have absolutely no doubt that he’d be able to bring down Yoshi as well.
VERDICT: Jack Ryan wins in court and Yoshi does 12 months in a minimum-security prison.
Hideo Kojima and Death Stranding
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how confusing Hideo Kojima’s latest game, Death Stranding, is to just about everyone. I’m about three hours into the post-apocalyptic postman adventure and I still have very little idea of what’s going on.
Now, Jack Ryan is an exceptionally intelligent man, and his smarts get him through a lot, including terrorist interrogations in the Middle East, jungle ambushes in Venezuala, and political turmoil in Russia, but there’s no goddamn way he could make sense of Death Stranding, a game where you play a delivery man who carries a baby in a jar so he can sense ghosts around him.
VERDICT: Jack Ryan’s brain melts after Kojima tries to explain the character “Die-Hardman”.
Wario is like the Wile E. Coyote of the Mushroom Kingdom. He has the drive required to achieve his wildest goals but is often foiled by an abundance of dumbass energy he simply can’t keep a lid on.
Jack Ryan, who works for the goddamn CIA, is too smart to fall for Wario’s “tricks”. And don’t even get me started on Waluigi.
VERDICT: Jack is Wario’s Roadrunner and thus, he wins.
Sonic’s nemesis Dr Robotnik, as far as I can tell, holds no doctorate at all, painting him as little more than a common fraud.
While the rotund gentleman insists on being called a “doctor,” his full name is actually Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik, which I’m sure you’ll agree is absurd. None of this is really important when considering his abilities in combat, but it’s important to me that you know that.
The Eggman falls within the category of mad scientists, which makes him unpredictable, and unpredictability is hard to fight in any situation. Both also have access to drones and other trinkets, so assuming these cancel each other out, we’re talking about a good old fashioned fistfight.
While I can’t recall ever seeing Robotnik in hand-to-hand combat, I refuse to believe that someone named “Eggman” could best a field agent like Jack Ryan.
VERDICT: Piss off, Eggman.