Penguins are one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. They are birds, yet they don’t fly. Fantastic swimmers, yet they aren’t strictly creatures of the sea. They are walking conundrums, beautifully wrapped in a cute little tuxedo. Penguins are amazing creatures through and through and even video game developers have taken notice of them.
While they’re not as prominent as cats or dragons, there are quite a few penguin characters to be found in video games. That being said, there are several of these flightless characters that stand out among the masses. Those that are great visual representations of their species and iconic enough to stand out against the slew of characters and creatures that dwell within the world of video games.
7 Dr. Akaggy (Starbound)
Penguins are known as being cute, cuddly, and a little clumsy. They are not, however, portrayed as being particularly smart, let alone capable of creating giant robots. This is what makes Dr. Akaggy, Starbound’s resident Mech scientist, so special.
As previously stated, Dr. Akaggy is a scientist with a passion for mechs. She can be found at the Outpost and grants players access to the Mech Assembly Station and the Mech Part Crafting Table. This talented penguin is also an accomplished mech pilot, operating the Shockhopper Mk I to devastating effect. If you’re willing to brave this penguin’s legitimate business, then some worthwhile rewards may be in your future. If you survive that is…
6 DJ Grooves (A Hat In Time)
Penguins are already cool-looking. They’re birds that look like they’re wearing little tuxedoes, what more can you ask for? How about a red jacket, platform sandals, an afro, and star-shaped sunglasses? Too farfetched? Well, DJ Grooves doesn’t seem to think so, and truthfully, he rocks the look.
While his personality leaves much to be desired, DJ Grooves is one of the most eye-catching characters in A Hat in Time, and the most fabulous penguin in video game history. This movie director acts like a stereotypical diva that believes the world has been promised to them, and he’s not afraid to let everyone know it. While he’s an antagonist, DJ Grooves is proof that you can be evil and fabulous at the same time.
5 Paxton And Philbert (RuneScape)
Those who played RuneScape back in 2006 no doubt found themselves confused when they visited Fred the Farmer’s Farm and encountered this odd pair. While attempting to shear the sheep on this farm, players encountered a “Thing” as Farmer Fred called it. In reality, it was two penguins disguised as a sheep.
Now, RuneScape is no stranger to strange creatures and odd plot lines, but having two random penguins dressed up as a sheep seemed out there. It was later revealed through the Cold War questline that these penguins were KGP spies and that the penguins of the game were attempting to take over RuneScape. Who would have thought that these cute flightless birds could be so devious?
4 Prinny (Disgaea)
When people think of the afterlife, they typically envision eternal bliss or paradise or endless punishment in a field of fire. Most don’t think of their soul being shoved into a penguin-shaped doll, but those people clearly haven’t played Disgaea. In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, when a human sinner passes on, their soul is sewn into the body of a Prinny, and they are forced to live out the remainder of their afterlife as servants until they earn reincarnation.
Prinnies, for the most part, are portrayed as lazy and rather dull. They’re typically used as servants or even soldiers, carrying large arsenals of weapons in their pouch. These creatures also tend to explode when they are thrown, something their Netherworld masters are quite fond of doing just because they can. If you had to choose between eternal damnation or being a Prinny, damnation’s looking kind of nice.
3 Chill Penguin (Mega Man)
While there have been several penguin-like Reploids introduced in the Mega Man games, none stand out in the same way as Chill Penguin. For one thing, his design perfectly blends a king penguin with a robot, creating a seamless and unique character. He even uses the ice as a mode of attack, playing into his penguin aesthetic.
Another thing about this character is that his personality is very distinct. He’s not just a villain that just wants to wreak havoc, he’s an actual character. He’s sensitive about his height to the point where he is actively antagonistic and envious of one of his fellow lieutenants, Flame Mammoth. While he may be seen as one of the easiest bosses, Chill Penguin is one of the most notable.
2 The Piplup Line (Pokemon)
It’s hard to believe that it took Nintendo nearly ten years to introduce a penguin Pokemon, but Piplup was well worth the wait. This proud little Pokemon stole the hearts of players everywhere. From its adorable design to the proud and clumsy personality it showed in the anime, this plucky little penguin was everything we wanted in a Pokemon and that’s not even including its evolutions.
Prinplup is the perfect middle stage, taking elements of Piplup and blending them with its final form. Speaking of which, Empoleon was both nothing like we expected, but everything we wanted. Seeing the progression from the clumsy and arrogant Piplup to the sleek and regal Empoleon makes this line so much more appealing. While there’s only been one other penguin-based Pokemon, the Piplup line is more than enough to satisfy penguin lovers.
1 King Dedede (Kirby)
When it comes to video game penguins, none is more iconic than the king of Dream Land. King Dedede puts the “king” in king penguin. This large hammer-wielding penguin has been a staple of the Kirby games much like the pink puffball himself. With his signature red and gold attire and greedy and arrogant personality, this bulky penguin steals the show, going as far as mimicking Kirby’s abilities while adding his own flair to his attacks.
While this character is often portrayed as an antagonist for Kirby, that’s not all he is. Oftentimes, King Dedede’s seemingly evil actions are committed for the good of Dream Land. While he is lazy and gluttonous, he does exhibit some care for his people and his minions. He’s a dynamic character that, while mainly used as an enemy, is deeper than he first appears. This coupled with his eye-catching design cements King Dedede as one of the most beloved characters of all time. Not bad for a penguin.
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