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The most bizarre playable characters in video games

You're probably thinking, "What's so special about video game characters being a little wacky?" After all, video games are escapism. They're all about suspending disbelief, if only for a bit, in order to experience something that you never could otherwise. That's why you can play as a snake in Snake Pass, or take control of an Arwing as Fox McCloud in Star Fox.

But video games don't always go in that direction. In fact, some opt for super realism. Take the gritty cowboy simulator Red Dead Redemption 2, for instance, or the World War II reenactments in Call of Duty. On the other hand, some go way beyond what you might think is normal for video games. Sure, being a spacecraft-flying fox isn't something that happens in the real world, and you'll never talk to a little being with a mushroom head like in the Super Mario games.

There is weird stuff, though — truly oddball playable characters in video games that even we can't believe exist. Like sentient bread slices. And giant gun-toting pieces of tofu. And octopuses who are married to human women and struggle every day to hide their secret identities. We've compiled these characters below, along with many others. And once you reach the end, you'll likely wonder what video games can possibly do next.

These are the most bizarre playable characters in video games.

Tofu, Resident Evil 2

Believe it or not, this won't be the last playable character on the list that's based on a type of food. Still, it stands out due to the fact that it basically takes the place of a human being, weapons and all. And let's be honest — there's something hilarious about a vegetarian staple being pursued by zombies who want nothing more than to eat guts and brains.

It is Resident Evil 2's Tofu, and yes, before you ask, it'll be playable in the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake.

The story behind the original Resident Evil 2's Tofu is rather interesting. According to Polygon, the Tofu model was actually used by Capcom in order to help RE2's development team with collision detection. Capcom later stuck Tofu in the game for fun, adding it to a scenario called "The Tofu Survivor." And now, in the Resident Evil 2 remake, Tofu is set to make its return, looking even more like tofu than ever before.

Tofu was a trip way back when the original Resident Evil 2 dropped in 1998. Hats off to the team at Capcom for resurrecting this unusual playable character in the game's modern-day makeover.

Washing machine, Banjo-Kazooie

If you aren't a video game completionist, you might think that the washing machine transformation in Banjo-Kazooie was just a joke, and that you don't actually play as the home appliance. That's where you're wrong. Yes, Mumbo Jumbo does mistakenly turn you into a washing machine. And yes, he does transform you back soon afterward. But that's not the last you'll see of the machine inside Banjo-Kazooie ... at least, not if you complete all of Bottles' bonus challenges.

If you manage to knock out those challenges, you can gain access to a cheat that lets you play as the washing machine for as long as your heart desires. And aside from a few moves, like the stilt stride and the turbo talon trot, you'll actually have access to many of Banjo and Kazooie's abilities.

You'll want to proceed with caution, though. The washing machine can withstand some dangerous areas without taking damage, but it's not so great on offense. Don't forget, there's no Maytag repairman in the world of Banjo-Kazooie should someone come along and turn you to scrap.

Meat Boy, Super Meat Boy

Most who've played Super Meat Boy will agree: wow, it is such a fun and challenging platformer. And wow, Meat Boy is such a weird playable character for a video game.

When you first jump into Super Meat Boy, you'll likely wonder who dreamed this character up. He's a super speedy boy made of meat. He leaves a trail of blood everywhere he goes. And he's able to grab, jump from, and slide down blood-covered walls in order to progress through levels. But those aren't even the weirdest things about Meat Boy. His girlfriend is named Bandage Girl, for instance. And in Super Meat Boy, she is kidnapped by a villain who goes by the name Dr. Fetus.

You can attribute all of this madness to a game designers Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, whose studio, Team Meat, released Super Meat Boy in 2010. And that team — minus McMillen — will be back at it again for Super Meat Boy Forever, which is slated to arrive in April 2019.

Bread, I Am Bread

Did you have some toast this morning? What about at lunch — did you have a sandwich? You'd likely be disturbed if you learned that all of the bread in your home was alive. While you were gone, the bread was moving around on its own, rearranging things in your home. The revelation might even drive you mad.

Welcome to the goofy story of I Am Bread, the game that legitimately lets you play as a slice of bread.

The object of the game is to get yourself good and toasted. You'll have to make your way to the toaster by manipulating your various bread slice corners and letting physics help you along the way. Should you fail by hitting the floor or becoming dirty in some other way, you'll become less edible, and no one wants that. But if you succeed, you'll set off a chain of events that causes the home's owner to eventually become incapacitated.

And who helps him? Why, a surgeon of course. Yes, I Am Bread is a developer-confirmed prequel to Surgeon Simulator 2013. What an incredible twist.

Anything Mario can possess, Super Mario Odyssey

In some games, an outside-the-box playable character is often a cheat, or a sort of joke included by the developers. It's not often that you come across a game where transforming into a bunch of weird characters is the central premise. There aren't many developers that could pull that off. Then again, Nintendo is no ordinary developer, and Super Mario Odyssey is no ordinary game.

Here are all of the things Mario can transform into during Super Mario Odyssey: a frog, a spark pylon, a Paragoomba, a Chain Chomp, a Big Chain Chomp, Broode's Chain Chomp, a T-Rex, binoculars, a Bullet Bill, a Moe-Eye, a cactus, a Goomba, Knucklotec's Fist, a mini rocket, a Glydon, Lakitu, a zipper, a Cheep Cheep, a puzzle part, a Poison Piranha Plant, an Uproot, a Sherm, a Fire Bro, a tree, a boulder, a Coin Coffer, a picture match part, a Tropical Waggler, a pole, a manhole, a taxi, an RC car, a Ty-Foo, a Shiverian Racer, a Gushen, a Lava Bubble, a Volbonan, a Hammer Bro, meat, a Fire Piranha Plant, a Pokio, a Jizo, a Bowser Statue, a Parabones, a Banzai Bill, a Chargin' Chuck, a letter, Yoshi, and Bowser. Whew, take a breath.

According to Game Informer, with all of the variants included, Mario can transform into over 50 other playable characters in Super Mario Odyssey. That's the unique brand of wild that only Nintendo can pull off.

Glover

Back in the late '90s, it seemed like anything was possible when it came to 3D platformers. Sure, you could play as a mustachioed Italian plumber. But what if that wasn't your thing? What if you'd rather play as a bandicoot? What if a suave gecko was more your speed? What if the kind of platformer that fit you like a glove was one where you played as a literal glove?

Wait, a glove? Yes. In 1998's Glover, you took control of the game's title character, a magician's enchanted glove.

When some potion making goes awry, you and your twin brother glove, named Cross-Stitch, suffer very different fates. A blast throws you a short distance, while Cross-Stitch unfortunately lands in the potion and becomes an evil glove. Also displaced in the blast are the magician's magic orbs, which Glover manages to transform into rubber before they are destroyed. From there, Glover sets out to collect the balls — because of course a glove should do that — in order to bring them back and set the world right.

Normally, you'd be hard-pressed to find a video game character this strange. On this list, though, Glover might not seem that out of the ordinary.

The goat, Goat Simulator

Okay, we admit that it's not that odd to play as an animal in a video game. In fact, there are a host of video game mascots who are animals themselves. If you've raced around in Sonic the Hedgehog, you've played as an animal. If you've played Conker's Bad Fur Day, you've played as an animal. But there's something really unique about the goat in Goat Simulator, the 2014 sandbox game from Coffee Stain Studios.

You play as a goat running around in the real world, interacting with humankind. And you're a real jerk.

If you've never spent a few minutes with Goat Simulator, it's highly recommended. The goat has an abnormally long (and strong) tongue that can attach to humans and objects in the world, sending them flying. The goat can also use its tongue to swing back and forth between trees and buildings. Really, the most fun you'll have in the game is when you're causing humans pain. But there are plenty of other secrets to discover as well. Who knew you could perform a Satanic ritual as a goat? Or that you could crash into someone's home and play a knock-off version of Flappy Bird?

The goat may not be the G.O.A.T. of this list, but it definitely deserves a spot.

Octodad

We imagine a game called Dad Simulator wouldn't be all that appealing to players. Imagine an entire video game where all you did was go to work, do your job, come home, take the kids to and fro, go grocery shopping, and try to maintain a happy home life. That doesn't exactly conjure up the type of thrilling gameplay you'd get from, say, a God of War. But imagine if you introduced one bonkers, off-the-wall twist.

Imagine that instead of a normal human dad, you were an octopus who no one seems to notice is an octopus. And you're trying to fit in anyway.

That's the challenge Octodad faces in Octodad: Dadliest Catch. And since you're controlling Octodad, you're facing it too. If you think moving around a house full of rambunctious children is tough as a human, just wait until you're an octopus with all those legs. You're going to knock things over. You're going to bumble about with almost no coordination whatsoever. You'll find everyday tasks incredibly challenging as a character who really, really doesn't belong above the sea. And you'll wonder how on earth someone came up with Octodad, and who decided to put him in this world.

Seriously ... no one notices he's an octopus?

The Prince, the Katamari series

In terms of weird games, the Katamari series is about as weird as it gets. You play as the Prince, sometimes called the Prince of All Cosmos, and you're tasked with rolling up items on Earth in order to create a large ball that can then be turned into a star. We can't emphasize the rolling part enough. You are rolling, and rolling, and rolling — rolling pretty much everything — to create balls that are much larger than the Prince. Part of the challenge is keeping the ball rolling. Part of the challenge is finding items that can make the ball bigger.

But enough of that. What is the Prince, exactly? For a Prince of the Cosmos, he certainly doesn't look like anything anyone's ever seen before. He'd look human if not for the oddly-shaped head and the weird antenna that protrudes from his top. If he's an alien life form, where is it he comes from? And why is he stealing stuff from Earth in order to make stars?

The Prince is definitely a quirky playable character ... one we have yet to understand fully.

CommanderVideo, the Bit.Trip series

The Bit.Trip series — particularly those of the RUNNER variety — are delightful games. They're rhythm-based platformers that challenge you to jump, slide, and kick your way through and around obstacles, all while keeping the beat with fun, bouncy soundtracks. As you progress through the games, they become increasingly more difficult, but they're the kind of difficult that makes you feel responsible for failing. It's not the game that was unfair to you. You just weren't focusing enough.

But wow, the star of the Bit.Trip games is a head-scratcher. The playable character is called CommanderVideo — that much we know. What exactly CommanderVideo is, though, remains a mystery. He has arms and legs like a human, but his body and his head are a single cylinder, and his one eye is a solitary white strip. He has all of the parts necessary to do what he does in every Bit.Trip game, which is run. But his physical form leaves us asking so many questions. Where did he come from? How old is he? Is there a Mrs. CommanderVideo?

We may never find the answers we seek. But hopefully, we keep getting more Bit.Trip games.

Wrecking Ball, Overwatch

If you've ever had a pet hamster, you'll take a liking to this character. We should warn you, though: any normal hamster wouldn't make this list. Don't be fooled by this character's former name, Hammond, which sounds innocent enough (and a is great hamster name, to boot). This hamster is larger than the pet store variety and is ultra intelligent, thanks to genetic therapy he received while living on the Horizon Lunar Colony.

He now goes by Wrecking Ball, and aside from being one of the more bizarre characters you can play as in a video game, he's also one of the more fierce heroes you can choose in Overwatch.

Wrecking Ball wasn't an immediate addition to the game. Instead, he had to battle his way through the Australian Outback's Scrapyard in order to earn funds and build up his mech — all the while keeping his identity as a large hamster completely under wraps. Once he had a mech that could make the journey, Wrecking Ball left the Outback and joined the Overwatch roster as a tank hero.

He's deadly, adorable, and completely, utterly weird. He definitely belongs on this list.

Bigfoot, Grand Theft Auto V

The Grand Theft Auto franchise is well known for its Easter eggs and secrets. The series is also famous for introducing elements of the supernatural from time to time. Throw both of those elements together, and you have a strange playable character that also has a foot firmly planted in folklore.

Let's be honest — who wouldn't want to play as BigfootThe Bigfoot?

That's right. Bigfoot is a playable character in Grand Theft Auto V. But the game doesn't just make him available to you right off the bat. There's a whole lot of gameplay involved in order for you to access the character, and even then, you can't just be Bigfoot forever. Playing as the creature involves 100% completing the game, as well as completing a side mission called "The Last One." But even then, you're not done. You'll then need to find 27 Peyote Plants and then locate golden Peyote Plants that only appear during specific times of the day and week. The weather has to cooperate, as well. Seriously, this thing is involved.

Complete all of those tasks, and you can take your place as the large and mighty Bigfoot.