First appearance: Splatterhouse (Namco, ARC, 1988)
M.O.: A huge dude with chainsaws for hands and a bag over his head.
Distinguinshing characteristics: ďThat huge dude with the bag over his head and chainsaws for hands.Ē
Standard equipment: Attacking a possessed guy trying to rescue his girlfriend.
Nature of demise: Repeatedly blasted with a shotgun and kicked in the head.

Profile by Mike Zeller? | February 4, 2011

Next to hero Rick (known primarily for being a huge rip-off of Jason from Friday the 13th), Biggy Man is arguably the most visually arresting character in Splatterhouse. And thatís really saying something, considering that most of Rickís other foes resemble shambling, faceless mounds of flesh or vivisected fetuses. But even next to those undead abominations Biggy Man stands out. He is an absolutely massive foe, towering over Rick much more so than any enemy he has yet encountered. And while Biggy may be one of the more humanoid antagonists in the game, that just makes the means by which the game twists his form in unnatural ways all the more disturbing. Most of the creatures that assail Rick are naked, establishing the fact that they are mentally little more than beasts. Biggy Man, though, wears the tattered remnants of clothes, implying that he was once human and that on some level small vestiges of humanity may yet remain. The bag over his head, reminiscent as it is of the hood worn by the condemned moments before execution, seems symbolic of a kind of bondage. Is Biggy Man merely another victim of the infernal forces that torment Rick throughout the game, only one who perhaps wasnít quite strong enough to resist? Itís likely not a coincidence that Rick and Biggy are the two characters in the game that wear very distinctive headgear.

Itís not just his clothes, either. Biggy also comes equipped with some very distinctive weaponry. Instead of bearing one chainsaw, which would be enough for most self-respecting movie maniacs, Biggy has two. Not only that, but rather than simply carry them he actually has their blades jammed onto the bloated meat lumps at the ends of his arms. This transforms even the simple act of walking into something threatening, as he swings them menacingly with each step.

And thatís what players notice first. Biggy Man is exceedingly dangerous. His frantic, terrifying theme instantly puts players on edge, and the fact that he tends to counter every attack with a huge swipe of one of his chainsaws can often make the fight seem unwinnable. Despite his size he is extremely fast, and his speedy, erratic movements combined with his long reach make him a much more threatening foe than anything that has come before him. The only saving grace is that a fully-loaded shotgun is lying on the ground right before the start of the battle. Without those eight rounds to soften Biggy Man up itís likely most playersí adventures would end on the edge of a blood-spattered chainsaw blade.

But perhaps his murder and maiming are really a mistake. After all, heís got a bag over his head, so he certainly canít see what heís attacking. Players always assume when he lumbers onto the screen that heís just another servant of evil, but thatís never explicitly stated. Maybe after being experimented on by Dr. West, tortured by the demonic beings that have overrun the mansion, and finally blinded in a humiliating fashion, Biggy Man simply ran off in search of help. Players never see what he was doing before they stumbled upon him wandering the mansion grounds, so for all they know he was just trying to find someone to get that damn bag off his head, not being able to do it himself without extreme risk of auto-decapitation. Maybe sensing a being (relatively) uncorrupted by the mansionís influence, Biggy, overwhelmed by the thought that his nightmare might finally be over, simply went rushing towards him in elation. He had no way of realizing that his attempts to embrace his perceived savior would be viewed as savage attempts at mutilation. And thatís the real tragedy of Biggy Man: you can never give anyone a hug when you have chainsaws for hands.

Previous: Big Core | GameSpite Quarterly 7 | Next: Birds