Most gratuitous video game characters ever

It's been a long battle, but video games are finally being respected as an art form. Gorgeous visuals, elaborate and meaningful storytelling, and an immersive, interactive experience can all come together to create an indelible impression on a gamer, just like a great movie or book. And then there are games that take all of that beauty and just chuck it out the window, because we live in a technologically advanced era and animated boobs are possible. Here are some of the worst offenders when it comes to totally gratuitous video game characters.

Princess Daphne - Dragon's Lair (1983)

Titillation isn't unique to modern gaming. Dragon's Lair rewards arcade players with brief glimpses of Princess Daphne, the game's resident damsel in distress, which kept 1983's pre-Internet quarters flowing despite the game's crushing difficulty. Perpetually perky, empty-headed, and barely clothed, Daphne was completely redesigned and covered up when it came time to put her in a Saturday morning cartoon based on Dragon's Lair, taking away the only part of the game that most of its fans actually found remotely rewarding.

Amazon - Dragon's Crown (2013)

Like a modern version of the classic Golden Axe, Dragon's Crown allows you to choose among a selection of warriors who set out through dungeons in search of treasure and things to beat up. By all accounts, it's a solid game with a lot of fun value, not the least of which is the completely over-the-top designs of the game's characters. While the men are bulked out in ways that would make superheroes blush, it's the game's ladies that are truly eye-sploding. Notably, the Amazon is all thighs and chest, without much of an effort put towards armor, but hopefully you'll choose a hero based on their actual fighting ability, right?

Ivy Valentine - SoulCalibur IV (2008)

Speaking of great fighting ability, many SoulCalibur players gravitate towards playing as Ivy, simply because it's pretty fun and effective to fight with both a sword and a long-range whip. Back in 1999, Ivy's first appearance in the series was relatively modest as far as dominatrix-themed outfits go, but the character lost more and more clothing by the time that SoulCalibur IV was released, leaving Ivy as little more than a character made entirely of jiggle physics and a barely-functional bikini, and a complete embarrassment to play. By SoulCalibur V, Ivy's costume was reined back in…but only a little.

Candi Stryper - House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)

House of the Dead: Overkill is specifically designed around B-movie zombie tropes with a '70s grindhouse twist, but some elements of the game are just way too exaggerated to allow for proper enjoyment. Forget about Varla Guns' potty mouth, because it's stripper Candi Stryper that brings the game to an intellectual standstill. With barely-contained cleavage, the creepily infantilized version of a human woman doesn't really have a place on Earth, let alone an intentionally dumb video game. Candi skews just a bit too ridiculous to even pretend to enjoy on a visual level.

Candice Shand - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)

It's hard to define anything in the GTA series as gratuitous, because anyone picking up the game knows what they're getting into (and it's all gratuitous), but looking back at the insanity of Candy Suxxx says a lot about how far video games have come. Teenage boys were learning to read between the pixels of an incredibly poorly-rendered polygonal porn star in 2002, because that's pretty much the closest thing that existed to easily-accessible Internet porn at that point. Candy is further proof that if you're playing a game and run into a character named "Candy," you should probably hit pause and make sure your mom isn't around.

Melona - Queen's Blade Spiral Chaos (2009)

Melona is a weird shape-shifting lady made entirely of pink goo from Japan's ongoing Queen's Blade series of games, anime, and manga. Her bra is a pair of translucent hands that extends from her goo-like hair, if that gives you an idea of which part of weird Japan we're getting into. In Queen's Blade Spiral Chaos, defeating any of the all-female cast of warriors in the right way will cause their clothes to rip off, and like some kind of insane Mortal Kombat fatality, the defeated will get sprayed with a strange liquid. It's hard to choose only one overtly gratuitous character in this scenario, but let's just go with Melona.

Cleopatra - Dante's Inferno (2010)

Based very loosely on Dante's Divine Comedy, a poem completed in the year 1320, Dante's Inferno follows our hero on a quest through the circles of Hell. You can tell it's going to be intense when the first boss you fight is actually Death, but it gets so much worse. At the end of the second circle of Hell, which is Lust, you have to fight a giant, mostly nude, undead Cleopatra and an armored Marc Antony in order to gain passage to Gluttony. It's disgusting, despite the full-screen view of evil bosoms. Let's not even talk about the fight against Lucifer, because those jiggle physics are best left ignored.

Rainbow Mika - Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998)

R. Mika might not have been an obscenity when she made her first appearance in her lingerie-like wrestler costume, but Street Fighter V promises to be a different thing altogether. Capcom had to censor out a self-inflicted butt-slap before the game was finally released, but left in all of the parts where the character's bare bottom is presented to the audience and/or used as a weapon against her opponents. Why they decided to draw the line where they did is anyone's guess, but R. Mika is no longer just being used for her tactical abilities.

Quiet - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)

Quiet is unique in her gratuitousness in that her near-nudity throughout MGSV is explained narratively, in that she can only breathe through her skin due to a strange chemical accident. Of course, this is just a lot of backstory to explain away the fact that the game's creators wanted to include a sexy lady character in an otherwise ultra-masculine, gritty property. If they wanted a sassy sandwich that had a shark for a dad, they would have found a way to write it in, but instead, we get 256 MB of RAM dedicated to making sure Quiet jiggles just right.