First Appearance: Battletoads (Rare/Tradewest, NES)
Distinguishing Feature: Inappropriate attire
Likes: Other people’s suffering
Dislikes: Puppies, rainbows, love, toads

Profile by Jeremy Parish? | February 19, 2011

From the Memoirs of T. Bird
Professor Emeritus, Herpetology
U of Ragnarok
Published by Ragnarok Press, 2021
Reprinted with permission

“How does one even begin to comprehend the madness of a woman like the Dark Queen? Her behavior is beyond strange, her personal habits inexplicable... and yet, within that fevered mind is real genius at work. Baffling.

“I hesitate to bring sexuality into this discussion, because it’s such a prickly subject -- especially in light of Rash’s recent coming out as Nurse Rashette! -- but in the Dark Queen’s case I feel her sexuality is an inextricable part of who she is. I’m not referring to her physique, impressive as it may be; I believe it was Zitz who described her as ‘Jessica Rabbit gone all the way bad,’ and indeed her zoftig figure is a distraction for any of a more human persuasion than myself.

“But no woman should be forced to account for her genetic gifts, or even those endowed by cosmetic surgery. I do feel, however, that her standard mode of dress is fair game for discussion. Much has been said of her so-called Battle Corset, which is, despite her claims, simply a normal piece of lingerie accessorized with a cape and thigh-high boots.

“Obviously, I’ve just described standard dominatrix gear, and that is indeed a somewhat accurate assessment of the Dark Queen’s state of mind. However, hers isn’t the standard sadomasochistic mode of domination. One of the ’Toads rather archly speculated long ago that the Queen couldn’t achieve climax unless she watched someone die by her creations. I find this highly unlikely, because if others’ death were the Queen’s sexual fetish, she would be in a perpetual state of orgasm.

“That’s the Queen’s mad genius, you see. She has a diabolical mind for constructing traps and obstacles. Compared to other criminal masterminds of the 8-bit era, she’s a Rhodes Scholar in a special ed classroom, if you’ll apologize the politically incorrect metaphor. Folks like Jacquio and Bowser simply took advantage of preexisting structures; others, like the Shadow Boss and Slick, relied on waves of mooks to crush their opponents under the sheer weight of mob masses. But not the Black Queen. She painstakingly designed each and every leg of the road to her Tower herself, thoughtfully constructing deathtraps both diverse and devious. Her closest rival, I suppose, would be Albert Wily, but even then she makes the doctor look like a complete twit. His work was characterized by repetition and stagnation, throwing out the same obstacles within the exact same framework time and again, despite their proven ineffectiveness. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, so by that definition Wily was insane indeed.

“But not the Dark Queen. Each and every challenge she put before the ’Toads was admirably varied in both substance and form. She softened the boys up with a simple mob rush, lulling them into a sense of security with what appeared to be a standard fisticuffs melee. Then she forced them to rappel 300 meters into a seemingly bottomless void. That was followed up by providing them with speeder bikes, ridiculously fast and nearly impossible to control, in an unreasonably complex obstacle course. That was followed by a deadly lair that could only be circumvented by navigating the backs of giant serpents, a brutal underwater labyrinth, a race to outrun a bomb-wielding rat—truly, she was genius.

“Really, the only flat note in the Dark Queen’s symphony of cruelty was the defective Clinger Winger that unfailingly killed the second rider without recourse. I honestly suspect that was a mistake on her part -- so inelegant, so unlike her. She’d never admit it, of course.

“That’s the thing, you see. The Dark Queen has an obsessive need to dominate. To humble all who come before her. It’s no mere power trip, you understand; despite her self-ordained moniker, the Queen doesn’t really want to rule over a land. She just wants the galaxy to recognize her superiority and genius. The problem, I think, is that her genius is for creating malevolent architecture -- not exactly the sort of thing that wins one social plaudits, I fear. She’s possibly the universe’s leading designer of vicious deathtraps, and there’s not much of a call for such things. Especially in this economy, where people can barely afford the mortgage on their family home, let alone a vast luxury dungeon!

“I fear that the Dark Queen will always be considered a criminal element, simply because her skills don’t have any beneficial applications. Pity, because in the time I spent in her captivity, I came to recognize the razor-sharp mind hidden beneath that overly elaborate hairspray helmet and caked-on rouge. Like so many criminal masterminds, she’s a sensitive soul twisted by a lifetime spent in need of approval that will never be granted by society at large.”

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