The Top Ten Jobbers of the NES

jobber  \jŏb'ər\  n.  1. in professional wrestling, someone who always loses; a jabroni

      In the world of professional wrestling, there are winners, there are losers, and then are jobbers. Jobbers are guys who don't just lose, they always lose, usually in fantastic fashion. They are the Brooklyn Brawlers, Al Snows, Paul Wights, Mick Foleys, Paul Londons, and Val Venii of the of the world. They are has-beens and never-weres, guys who just can't seem to catch a break. The world of NES games is not much different. In the halcyon days of 8-bits awesomeness, you would often find yourself up against enemies or groups of enemies who just couldn't seem to seal the deal. This article is dedicated to them, those ineffective insufferable bastards who barely slowed us down in our single-minded pursuit of Nintendo mastery: the jobbers of the NES!


10. The Living Dead

Appears In: Monster Party
Threat Level: 2
Deadliest Move: Asking you to dance, then biting your hand off.

      There are two main types of jobbers in this world, the serious jobber and the comedic jobber. The serious jobber is usually some guy who's too short or too light to beat any of the big boys in a match. The serious jobber will try his best to win his matches, but his attacks will fail to wear down his opponent. In the end, he will be felled a hard kick to the stomach followed by his opponent's finishing move and an easy pinfall. The comedic jobber is a different creature entirely. The comedic jobber is someone who COULD win his matches, if only he weren't so goddam stupid. The comedic jobber will almost always find himself in a position where he could win, but instead of going for the pin, he does something completely retarded instead. Monster Party's Living Dead are a great example of this. They're completely invulnerable to Mark and Bert's attacks, making them prime candidates to defeat end our heroes' monster-slaying mission. But do they accomplish this? No. Hell, they don't even try. Instead, they frolic like autistic children until they fall apart. With underlings like these, is it any wonder that the Dark World Master was bested by a third grader?


9. Red Skeleton

Appears In: Castlevania, Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Threat Level: 3
Deadliest Move: Reanimating underneath you while you're walking up stairs.

      In order to be a successful jobber, you need to be able to take a merciless beating from your opponent and still be able to pick up your broken body at the end of the night, drag yourself into a shitty rental car, and drive to another city so you can do it all over again. A jobber's life is tough and unrewarding. Since no one wants to watch a twenty second squash match, a good jobber has be able take hit after hit and still get up. Of course, You can't get up right away; you have to convince the audience that the your opponent's moves are every bit as vicious as they look. And you simply will not find a better exemplar of this than Castlevania's Red Skeleton. Yes, he's weak. Yes, he's stupid. Yes, he's a completely pointless addition to the Castlevania bestiary. Still, there's something kind of endearing about an enemy with an unrelenting desire to kill you and zero chance of ever actually doing so.


8. The Foot Clan

Appears In: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project
Threat Level: 5
Deadliest Move: The gangbang.

      In the original TMNT comics, the Foot Clan was an army of masked ninjas led by Shredder. On the Ninja Turtles' cartoon show, the Foot Clan was an army of masked humanoid robots led by Shredder. This small change was crucial to the success of the series, as it allowed the Turtles dismember Foot Soldiers on a regular basis without raising the ire of self-important soccer moms. In the cartoon, the Foot Soldiers were a total fucking joke; the Turtles would kick their sorry asses without even breaking a sweat. In the Konami video games, the Foot Soldiers are slightly more threatening. Individually, the 8-bit Foot Soldiers are all worthless and weak. However, when they band together, they are able to upgrade themselves from destroyable background items to worthwhile adversaries. When you've suddenly got six guys coming at you from different directions with boomerangs, nunchuks, boogie boards, and sledgehammers, you're probably not going to escape unscathed. Don't worry, you'll still win handily... just not before those goofy bastards sneak in a lucky shot or two.


7. Ripper

Appears In: Metroid
Threat Level: 2
Deadliest Move: Accidentally blundering into you while mindlessly floating back and forth.

      Samus encounters strange and hideous creatures while exploring Zebes, many of them vicious and deadly. And then there are Rippers. Rippers are essentially clawless flying lobsters. And since claws are only means of attack that lobsters have, Rippers are about as threatening as quadraplegics. Rippers' main purpose in Metroid isn't so much to assault you as it is to help you explore the highest reaches of the game's labyrinthine caverns. Once Samus has acquired the Ice Beam and the Fuck Me Boots, you can freeze a Ripper, jump on him, jump way the hell up in the air and freeze another Ripper, then jump up again and stand on him. You can repeat this process over and over until you find a door or a platform or something... or until you fuck up one of your jumps and fall fifty feet, hitting every single one of the freshly thawed Rippers as you go. Dude, you fucking suck at video games.

FUN FACT: After the success of Metroid, the Rippers went on to become shittiest back-up band ever.


6. Snakey

Appears In: All three Adventures of Lolo games
Threat Level: 0
Deadliest Move: Sinking while being used as a raft.

      Snakey's status, both as enemy and a jobber, is somewhat debatable. On the one hand, Snakey can't actually hurt Lolo. He is completely immobile, and unlike some of Lolo's enemies, his touch is harmless. Snakey is not so much an active adversary of Lolo as he is a living puzzle piece. By using a Magic Shot, Lolo can turn Snakey into an egg and move him around the board. Snakey can be used to float across water or lava while in egg form, but he will eventually sink; this is the only way that Snakey can kill Lolo. But more often than not, Snakey will be used to shield Lolo from more dangerous enemies such as Gol and Medusa. Because of this, Snakey's status as a jobber is indisputable: jobbers always get thrown in front of much stronger opponents.


5. Glass Joe

Appears In: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Threat Level: 1
Deadliest Move: The right hook.

      With 1-99 win-loss record, Glass Joe is the absolute definition of a jobber. Joe only exists to make you look good and build up your self-esteem; that way you won't feel so bad when the Super Macho Man KOs you in one hit with his stupid fucking Spin Punch. I am pretty sure it is impossible to lose to Joe. If you aren't able to TKO him in the first round, you'll almost definitely score a straight KO in the second round. And if you somehow manage to go three full rounds without beating Joe, you'll win by decision so long as you've scored at least 5000 points. Hell, Joe KNOWS he can't win. In between rounds he pretty much begs you to whip his sorry ass so that he can retire. Not that he needs to beg; anyone can beat him. Legally blind? Just start mashing buttons and you'll win sooner or later. Don't have arms? Stomp on your NES controller and he'll go down faster than a Saigon whore. Mentally retarded? Drool your way to victory! I'm not exaggerating... Glass Joe is really that easy to defeat.

FUN FACT: Glass Joe is three feet taller than Little Mac, but only three pounds heavier. Maybe he's actually made out glass.


4. Moblin

Appears In: The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Threat Level: 3
Deadliest Move: A spear followed by a jackhammer. No one gets up from that.

      In the original Legend of Zelda, the Moblins were Ganon's loyal albeit stupid army of bulldog-like soldiers. They patrolled Hyrule's forests, hoping to find pieces of the Triforce and crush the young warrior Link. In the game, there are two types of Moblins: basic orange Moblins and stronger blue Moblins. The basic Moblin is a complete joke, easily defeated by two hits of Link's basic sword or one from an upgraded sword. In Zelda II, the basic Moblins were downgraded from enemy to mild annoyance. If you are unfortunate enough to be hit by Bit or Bot while standing on a forest square on the map, you will be forced to do battle with an endless stream of basic Moblins until you are able to exit the screen. These Moblins do not count as real enemies, a point which is underscored by the fact that they don't give you any EXP. In fact, if you are dumb enough to let a basic Moblin touch you, you will actually lose TEN (10) experience points. In addition to being a massive jobber, Moblin has the had the misfortune of being in the care of a series of design teams that can't seem to decide what the fuck he should look like. First he's a fat bulldog thing, then he's a thin bulldog thing, then he's some sort of pig, then he's a giant bulldog, then he's a pig again, MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS!


3. Slime

Appears In: All four Dragon Warrior games
Threat Level: 2
Deadliest Move: Being fucking adorable.

      Dragon Warrior was the most prolific RPG series on the NES; it was also the best. However, it's hard to say exactly what made the Dragon Warrior series so awesome. It wasn't the storylines that made the games great; the stories were banal. It wasn't the heroes that made the games great; the heroes were generic. It wasn't the main antagonists that made the games great; the main antagonists (aside from the Dragonlord) were corny and garish. No, it was the basic enemies you encountered throughout the games that made them great: Drakees, Goldmen, Goopis, Warlocks, Babbles, Wyverns, Bomb Crags, Medusa Balls, Lethal Gophers, and of course, Slimes. Despite being the absolute weakest enemy in each Dragon Warrior game, Slimes have become the most enduring symbol of the franchise. It's not hard to see why, those smiling homologous piles of goo are cute as hell. I wish I could buy a whole crate of the damn things and line my window sills with them; if I lived in Japan, I could. I always felt kinda guilty killing Slimes, but when you're just starting out and you desperately need experience, sometimes you gotta do things you're not proud of and killing Slimes is one of those things. Sleeping with fat chicks is another.


2. Neo Met

Appears In: Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3, Mega Man 4, Mega Man 6
Threat Level: 3
Deadliest Move: Shooting three bullets at once.

      The classic Mega Man franchise has a number trademark features. First and foremost, each game features noted eyebrow enthusiast Dr. Albert W. Wily as the end boss. Secondly, each game features a group of poorly conceived Robot Masters, each of which is critically weak against one of his cohort's weapons. And finally, each game features some variant of the Met, better known as You Know, That Fucking Guy With The Orange Helmet. The original Met was rather inconsequential. Appearing in Gutsman's level in the first game, the Met's first incarnation was little more than a living helmet. In Mega Man 2, the Met was redesigned to include a crucial feature: legs. Thus, the Neo Met was born. The Neo Met became a mainstay of the Mega Man franchise and it led to nearly a dozen variants on the NES alone, including Cannon Mets, Giant Mets, Train Mets, and Mettonger Z. Mets would also go on to become a staple of the Mega Man X series as well as make a cameo in Mega Man's Marvel vs. Capcom level. You know, if Mets were as good as fighting as they were at showing up, they'd be a force to be reckoned with.


1. Koopa Troopa

Appears In: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3
Threat Level: 4
Deadliest Move: Bouncing off a pipe and slamming into your face at a high velocity.

      Let's face it, you knew there was going to be at least one Mario villain on this list and you probably guessed it would be either Goombas or Koopa Troopas. Indeed, the two enemies are very similar: both exist in abundant quantities, both will mindlessly wander into bottomless pits, and they both seem largely disinterested in killing Mario. And while the Goomba has the advantage of being named after a hilarious racial slur, the Koopa Troopa won out. The reason is simple: not only are Koopas entirely harmless to the pudgy plumber, but he can convert them into the most deadly weapon in his arsenal. After he's incapicitated a Koopa by jumping on it, Mario can shove his size 12 boot right up that turtle's ass and send it careening towards other enemies for massive points, and eventually, 1UPs. So not only only is the Koopa Troopa more deadly to his friends than his foe, he actually extends Mario's life cycle. And that's not evening counting that incredibly cheap 99 lives trick from SMB1.

      And with that, I fondly bid farewell to jobbers of the NES. Actually, fuck that; I'm going to go play these games.


Posted by: Syd Lexia