Ultimate Badass - Unarmed Combat

Any punk ass jabroni can pick up a gun and be a badass. Any blonde spiky-haired emo bitch can kill a dragon with a sword ten times his size. But it takes a truly epic kind of badass to go after that same dragon with punches and kicks and acheive the same results as the guy who's totally overcompensating for something with that ginormous sword or huge gun.

Now i'm not gonna bother putting people from fighting games up here...i'd die of old age without even getting a tenth of the way through the list. Unless it's a character from a fighting game where most of the other characters use a weapon of some sort except for one who relies on fisticuffs.

If a character can be customized so that they can rely predominantly on Unarmed Combat(like the protagonists of the Fallout games), I may also include them here. I'll also allow an exception for character who use weapons designed to enhance unarmed combat techniques like Khatar Punch Daggers, and characters with superpowers ONLY if those powers are primarily physical in nature(like super strength, or shapeshifting). So Alex Mercer is in, but Cole MacGrath is not.

List items

  • Sadly I havn't played any of the Persona games. I've wanted to for a while but I always feel like i'm missing something critical when I jump into a long established franchise without having played the previous games. So with that being said, all I have to go on for Akihiko is various web pages devoted to him. From what I've read i get the sense he's more of a support character(buffing/debuffing) than a frontline fighter, but regardless he gets mad respect for bringing his fists to a demonfight.

  • It's Tifa. 'Nuff said.

  • Yeah he was a dork. But darn it if he wasn't an energetic dork. It was fun watching him bounce around all hyper before he beat the snot out of something.

  • Havn't played the game. From what i've read, he's kind of an imbecile. If Zell is any indication I guess you'd have to be to go after giant monsters with your knuckles.

  • Dude, he suplexed a demon-train.

  • Again, I havn't played the Persona games but I understand she inherited the gloves of the most powerful character from the previous game, which I assume speaks well of Lisa's prowess.

  • Hey she practices Kung Fu, AND she puts out. That's my kinda girl.

  • Setting aside the various and numerous flaws with the whole Tenchu game series, Tesshu was probably the most fun of all the characters in the franchise with the possible exception of Tatsumaru. His attacks and stealth-kills were a joy to watch, and he had the LEAST complicated, yet MOST entertaining(and beleivable) storyline.

  • Havn't played the game or read much about him, but in a setting where other people are using lightsabers and plasma rifles, he's ninja-kicking the damn rabbit. Sweet.

  • She's from the same game as Cliff.

  • He's some kind of Godhand or something. I dunno. Whatever.

  • The aforementioned "most powerful" character from Persona 1. I havn't played the game so I imagine that this claim would be open to debate, but regardless you gotta love a man who plasters the American flag across his fist before he demolishes your face with it. America. Fuck yeah.

  • I don't remember much about this game which is odd considering how much I played and loved it. Fei turns out to be like...God or something, right? I dunno, whatever. Fei kicks ass bareknuckle-style, the way God intended and that's good enough for me.

  • Forget the guns. Brick is at his best when you activate Beserk-mode and punch the ten-story tall extra-dimensional monstrosity to death.

  • Ayla is the reason I first came to apprecciate the inherent superiority of the unarmed combatant. So in a way she's the reason for this list. There's a segment of the main storyline in Chrono Trigger where all your characters have been captured and had their weapons taken away. Ayla and Ayla alone saves the day, because she does not need a weapon. She IS a weapon. And cute as a button to boot. And i read somewhere that she was supposedly preggers(I.E. Knocked Up) during the course of the game, so she's not just a badass unarmed combatant. She's a Momma Grizzly too. Move over Palin, Ayla's stealing the show!

  • Technically his attacks are more monster-copied than strictly unarmed. Still, it's close enough for me.

  • Ah Tatsumaru. The real star of Tenchu 2 which was tragically the last truly good game in the series. A great game too that did not get the recognition it deserved, and beautifully interwove the independant storylines of the three major characters so that you had to play as all three to get the full scope of what transpired. Tatsumaru's grand finale was bittersweet, epic, and wonderful. Sadly the writing quality has gone downhill for the Tenchu series ever since, and the gameplay has stagnated. They also turned Tatsumaru into something of a pathetic flunky-bitch in later games, but Tenchu 2 cemented Tatsumaru as the greatest Ninja of them all.

  • He doesn't do squat in the actual game, but the FMV video that introduced him is badass. He's a Martial Arts/Super Reflexes-set Scrapper and trust me when I say that MA/SR Scrappers are freakin' godly in the City of Heroes/Villains universe. There's very little that a MA/SR Scrapper can't solo. This anecdote won't mean much to people who havn't played but those who have will apprecciate the beauty of what I am about to describe. So i am playing my level 35 MA/SR Scrapper(Named Neros, either on the Champion server, or the Virtue server. I can't recall cuz I played Neros on both Servers. Champ at first, then Virtue when I learn that was the main roleplay server) and I get the call from my guild/supergroup. Somebody's playing the Story Arc mission where we have to go down deep into the Circle of Thorns underground city of Oranbega to hunt down and destroy the Envoy of shadows( that's an Uber-Demon for those of you who don't know). And just for kicks, the mission difficulty is cranked all the way up to "Oh my God!!". So I figure, 'what the hell. Let's do this.' We were getting along surprisingly well. We were a large and well-balanced group, and on high difficulty you know what that means. MASSIVE high-level mobs all over Oranbega. The cramped hallways of that wretched maze-like city were a non-stop warzone. We were fighting tooth and nail for every inch of ground we claimed, but we were doing surprisingly well...and then somebody zigged when they should have zagged and trained a fresh mob of demons, spectres, and mages straight into our rear flank while we were still trying to clear the chamber ahead. The group went from 'triumphant' to 'wiped' in under a minute. All of us except for a certain plucky little scrapper who...much to the surprise of his own player was still standing as everybody else either dropped or tried to high-tail it out of there. Well by then I knew full well the utter futility of trying to run away with a mob hot on your ass. Not in Orenbaga. There's no escape from Orenbaga. I breifly considered just letting them kill me so I could zone out with the others and we could take another stab. I even started to do that and then I noticed the damndest thing. While my health was declining it was goind so....slowly. Many of their attacks were missing me(From that day forward i take Super Reflexes over Regeneration any day), even though almost everything around me was conning red and purple(That's "Run for the Hills" and "There is no hope" for those of you who don't know the game). I happened to glance down at my tray of inspiration buffs and noticed that I hadn't actually used any, and I had a pretty good spread of Defense, Damage, and Accuracy boosters. That's when I had the first glimmer of madness. "I can do this". Now for those of who you have read "The Zen Art of Scrapping" you know this is the kind of insanity a proper scrapper thrives upon. It is only when you begin to think this way that you tap into the true and awe-inspiring majesty of the scrapper. So I popped a few Inspiration buffs, and got to work. And amazingly, almost as quickly as I was using my Inspirations, fresh ones were dropping from the kills I was scoring. Everytime I was on the edge of defeat, I would use the Scrapper-set's Uber defense power(I forget the name) and it would make me untouchable for a few minutes...long enough to pick up a fresh array of defense or healing inspirations from my kills, which I would then spam as soon as my Uber-defense wore off. And those kept my alive long enough for my Uber-defense to recharge and let me repeat the cycle. And in case you're thinking otherwise, trust me, those ubder-defenses recharge painfully slow. So over the course of the next fifteen minutes, I proceeded to single handedly annihilate the massive mob that had wiped out my entire well-balanced group in under a minute. Both of them. Including the ones that returned from having chased down and executed those foolish members of my group who failed to understand that NOBODY ever escapes from Orenbaga. You either conquer Orenbaga, or it conquers you. And that day, a plucky little Scrapper named Neros, with high reflexes and slick kicks, conquered Oranbaga. It was glorious.

  • Havn't played the game or read much about her, but again she's an unarmed fighter in a game full of weapons and sorcery so much love Farah. Much love.

  • In a game where everybody else is using beam-swords, high-explosives and every other kind of utterly insane weapon a fevered otaku can dream of, Jeane stands heads and shoulders above them all with nothing but her fists. And a giant spirit dragon. But it doesn't count cuz it hardly does anything. So rock on you screwed up, demented little psychopath. Rock on.

  • Havn't played or read much about her, but she brings punches and kicks to the fight while those around her bring magic swords and thunder bolts.

  • It's all right there in his nake folks.

  • Lan Di is Ryo's hated enemy...and a much better fighter than Ryo. MUCH better. Consider that when you're reading Ryo's entry below.

  • Ryo Hazuki. "Would you like to play a game of Lucky Hit?" Well let me tell ya, if Ryo Hazuki hits you, you ain't lucky. I never got a chance to really sink my teeth into the second game of the series(my dreamcast burned out before I even reached the halfway point) but I still fondly remember hours spent training my roundhouse kick at the local playground in the first game. And who could ever forget the epic 70(Plus)-Man Battle? That's Right. With only one other guy as backup, Ryo proceeded to beat the crap out of over 70 opponants, as part of the official storyline over the game. This is especially impressive because the game-world Ryo lives in is...for the most part, exactly like ours. It's "The Real World". Not some crazy anime world where little girls can kick a 10-foot tall muscle-bound thug into orbit, or jump ten stories, or dodge bullets. Ryo's a surprisingly "realistic"(Though obviously cinematic) Kung Fu hero. And he takes on seventy guys at once with only one other man backing him up. And he wins.

  • The only other person in the Shenmue Universe that might be an equal match for Lan Di.

  • The dude who just won't die in the Tenchu universe. He occasionally uses a sword but like Tatsumaru and Tesshu most of his moves are punches and kicks. Awesome moves, even if the character himself has become something of a caricature.

  • Cute as a button and one of the better Martial Artists in the game she comes from.

  • He trained Tifa. 'Nuff said.

  • I havn't played the game but I want to. From what i've read it seems pretty cool. And i always love it when an RPG has the MAIN character as the unarmed fighter, cuz you know the main character is always the most well balanced and effective person on the team.

  • Like Chie aboved, Brianna puts out. That alone is enough. On top of that though she trains nude(well as nude as game censors allow). Sweet. The best thing of all though is how monstrous she is, as a pure martial artist. You don't even have to make Brianna a Jedi...and even id you do she's more powerful unarmed than she is with a lightsaber. Even two lightsabers. She's THAT badass.

  • I know, I know. He always loses. But that's only because the show isn't named after him. We all know that writer-induced-stupidity is the ONLY reason Lee ever loses. Lee could have easily beaten Gaara if he'd just stuck to what was working. Keep dodging Gaara's attacks, and keep wearing him down with punches and kicks. That's true of almost all Lee's fights with the possible exception of his fight against that bone-guy. But it bears mention that Lee wasn't even fully recovered from his injuries when he got into that fight. The fact is for the most part nobody's ever beaten Lee except...Lee. The Writer doesn't want Lee to make Naruto and sasuke look like chumps, so he always makes Lee use some ridiculously stupid move that does more damage to HIMSELF than it does to his opponants. That my friends, is Writer(Or Plot)-induced-stupidity. Sadly Lee suffers from it in spades, but if he was ever allowed to utilize just a glimmer of intelligence in his fights, he'd be the most powerful character on the show.

  • I havn't played the game and there's little info to read. But from what I gather ALL the characters in this game fight unarmed. Makes me wish I still had my old PS1 so i could hunt this game down and try it.

  • See Vahn above.

  • See Vahn above

  • Most of Alex's moves are slick, stylish punch and kick moves. Augmented of course by his super strength and speed, plus shapeshifting. Even if Alex Mercer himself is kind of a dick, fighting as him is a pleasure.

  • The main reason I was annoyed that Blizzard declined to provide a gender-swap option to Diablo 2.

  • I never played the game he is in, but like all Final Fantasy Monks(or Monk-type characters such as Tifa/Zell), I assume he is the pure and undiluted essence of awesome.

  • Setting aside the various problems with the game itself(and the largely unfair cirticism various game magazines give to Michael's character), the one thing I did like most about this game is that it is possible to beat almost every boss in the game with pure fisticuffs if you design Michael properly. Difficult, but possible. Mind you, the best route is a mixture of fisticuffs and the occasional triple-shot to the head with your pistol, which is far more effective but even then you'll mostly be using the martial arts attacks. And very effectively too.

  • Ok, so she's a Golem which gives her a somewhat unfair edge. She still uses her fists to devastating effect.

  • All Fallout characters can be customized to effectively rely on unarmed combat.

  • All Fallout characters can be customized to effectively rely on unarmed combat.

  • The coolest hero in the Onimusha franchise. Everybody else relies on Ogre Gauntlants, and energy whips and magic spells and three-in-one elemental swords to kill Genma. Roberto punches stuff, and stuff dies.

  • One of the oldest and coolest NES games I remember, the Kick Master kicks ass.

  • All Fallout characters can be customized to effectively rely on unarmed combat.

  • All Fallout characters can be customized to effectively rely on unarmed combat.

  • Their fists are almost bigger than their entire bodies, but the Bouncers bring alot of power to the Ironheade army.

  • Ok, I hate Pokemon but I will grudingly acknowledge that this guy goes up against all kinds of crazy monsters with boxing gloves. Respect.

  • The kicking version of hitmonchan.

  • Lucas is like Neo from the Matrix. He flies, and he knows Kung Fu. At the end of the game he even gets his own version of the Hadoken.

  • River City Ransom. Nuff said.

  • River City Ransom. Which part of "Nuff Said" did you not understand?

  • Double Dragon. Nuff said.

  • Billy Lee's broski.

  • The only mayor in the world so awesome that when gangsters kidnap his daughter, he doesn't call the police. He rips off his shirt and starts piledriving motherfuckers all over the city.

  • He towels the man-sweat off Mike's chest after he's done piledriving people.

  • He holds the towels for Cody.

  • B-list replacement for the original Final Fight team.

  • Another B-List Final Fighter.

  • I wasn't sure if I should add him. He's mostly a carbon copy of Guy, but he does use a sword too. Still he doesn't use it much and mostly relies on his martial arts skills so I added him.

  • I don't even remember her from any Final Fight games, but presumably she beats up baddies like they do.

  • Wannabe version of Final Fight's Cody.

  • Actually Blaze deserves special and unique mention in that unlike most women in beat-'em-up games who have high speed but low striking power, Blaze is remarkably well balanced and effective.

  • Wannabe version of Axel Stone. And he's black.

  • Surprisingly fun character from Streets of Rage franchise. Hey if he kicks that much ass as a child you know he's a badass adult.

  • I beleive he's the Mike Haggar wannabe in Streets of Rage.

  • The speedy guy of Bouncer.

  • Typical "Wrestler" type character from Bouncer.

  • Dude. Those clothes...so...so...*vomit*. The well balanced main character of Bouncer.

  • This must be where Sion gets his fashion advice. Except on little female preteen cuties it's adorable. On boys, it's kinda fruity. Anyway, Dominique turns out to be an android who can singlehandedly mow down an army of goons on her own. Shame she spends the entire game playing the role of Damsel in Distress.

  • Ok. The game sucks. There, I said it. I feel seriously ripped off. That said Kenshiro is a badass. His game is not.

  • Rei is as close as Fist of the North Star gets to a Bishonen. He's still pretty Gar though. So I guess he's a Garshonen.

  • Supposedly before getting radiation sickness too severe for his healing powers to cure, Toki was more powerful than Kenshiro AND Raoh.

  • He's more Gar than Kenshiro is, if you can beleive it.

  • I know nothing about him but apprently he exists in the Fist of the North Star universe.

  • The Evil Bouncer you kill early in Brutal Legend.

  • Pages for the individual characters in this game don't exist, but basically everyone in this game qualifies for this list. So here.

  • Never played the game but it seems to be a Final Fight-style brawler and Lewis is the main guy.

  • Alot slower than Fei from Xenogears, but he does pack alot of power in his punches and he can take a beating, like most "Brick" type characters.

  • A combination of Monk and Ninja...two of the absolute most badass jobclasses in Final Fantasy...Amarant has a cool look and makes a damn effective contribution to the team.

  • In the Samurai Warriors series, Fuma looks completely different than he does in this picture. He has weird albino white skin(alot like a taller skinnier version of Amarant Coral actually) and relies on powerful punches and kicks for his normal moves. For his special moves his arms stretch like Dhalsim from Streetfighter.

  • Saints Row 3's resident Luchador, and very physically imposing so we can probably expect some unarmed CQC-Shenanigans from him.

  • An exception to my "No Fighting Games" characters because she goes unarmed against LIGHTSABERS. Hell to the yeah.

  • He has some shuriken and magic attacks but most of his moves are punches and kicks, and that makes him awesome.

  • It's all there in the name folks.

  • He rules this school.

  • Screw the guns. Jack's at his best when delivering brutally vicious barehanded killing blows.

  • He won't just kick your ass. He'll kick your ass drunk.

  • They'll get you to lower your guard with the sheer power of their cuteness...and then...then you're screwed pal.

  • Redfield needed a whole arsenal to go after Alexia. Wesker just socked that bitch in the jaw. Badass indeed.

  • Havn't played this yet but I am assuming he is at least as dangerous a fighter as Mercer was.

  • He seems to have a few sword and gun attacks, but most of his moves appear to involve hand to hand, which means he rules.

  • The final boss of the game. And he don't need no stinkin' weapons. That's so boss.

  • He leads an entire nation of Kung Fu badasses. Leon himself starts with the best stats of any other general in the game.

  • He starts as a fighter, but once you make him a Monk, only then does he truly become an Ultimate Badass.

  • Forget rapping Sam. You should be a boxer, throwing 'dem bones like that.

  • I WISH my Saints Row protagonist had this kind of Unarmed Skillz

  • A fist fighter AND a werewolf. That's a downright unfair amount of awesome right there.

  • In a game with dozens of characters who use damn near every form of weapon and magic you can imagine, here we have a man who CAN perform magic but chooses not to, because ass-kicking feels so much better when done as god intended. With actual kicking of asses.

  • Desert Eagle? Colt Anaconda? Rocket Launchers? Jake leaves that stuff for pussies like Leon and Chris. Jake just pucnhes BOWs to death.

  • Considering the weapons and runes in this series only the most hardcore take the field unarmed.