|“||I'm gonna Wreck it!||„|
|~ Ralph's catchphrase|
|“||Sure must be nice being the good guy.||„|
|~ Wreck-It Ralph dreaming about being a good guy.|
Wreck-It-Ralph (although) is the titular main protagonist of Disney's 52nd full-length animated feature film with the same name because he is the unhappy sole main antagonist of the (fictional) video game, Fix-It Felix, Jr.. within the movie. Though the "real" Ralph in the movie is a hero, this article is about the role he plays within the fictional game.
He was voiced by John C. Reilly in the film, and Brian T. Delaney in the video games.
At the beginning of a game, Ralph is destroying Niceland Apartments in retaliation for the Nicelanders bulldozing his hollow-stump home in the forest to build their apartment building and leaving him in the town dump. Ralph climbs up an apartment building, breaking windows as he goes. It's the player's job as Felix to repair each window with his magical hammer, while avoiding bricks that fall off when Ralph punches, and Duck Hunt-inspired ducks that fly horizontally across the screen at random. On some screens, if the player waits long enough, a Nicelander will appear in a window to drop off a pie which Felix can collect for a period of invincibility and other effects depending on the version of the game.
As the game progresses, the enemies become more numerous and faster, and there are more windows to repair. What's more, Ralph will smash and break windows that the player has already repaired, forcing them to go back and fix them. Higher levels introduce rather increasing numbers of randomly-placed obstacles such as purple flowerbeds which prevent Felix from jumping up or down between two windows. The versions made available online also feature open window shutters for blocking Felix horizontally, while the arcade version instead has a number of large piles of bricks fall between two windowsills and get stuck starting in the fifth round. Felix can jump over these brick piles to get across the row, but they will kill him if he steps into them or jumps into them from below.
The story of the game is that Ralph is destroying Niceland Apartments in retaliation for the Nicelanders bulldozing his hollow-stump home in the forest to build their apartment building and leaving him in the town dump. When Felix fixes every window on the screen, Ralph climbs higher and reveals more floors of broken windows. When Felix fixes the highest screen (with penthouse visible on the arcade version), a cutscene plays where the Nicelanders join Ralph and Felix on the roof and award Felix a medal (which floats down from behind a pair of parting clouds), a pie, and a kiss on the cheek. The Nicelanders then lift up Ralph and hurl him off the building into a mud puddle. Finally, Ralph comes back to try again in a new level.
Despite his hulking nature and his villainous programming, Ralph is ultimately a sweet, authentic, well-meaning, and compassionate character. He is also extremely casual, easygoing, adventurous, and somewhat laid-back. Though surrounded by over-the-top personalities (such as the excessively gruff Sergeant Calhoun or the magnanimous Felix), Ralph carries himself in a manner that is considerably more humanitarian, and less caricatured. However, a direct result of his programming, Ralph is also a destructive, unpleasant, contentious, antipathetic, temperamental, and uncontrollable bumbler with an admittedly obstreperous and explosive temper. As such, he can occasionally fall into fits of rage, causing him to rampage and cause destruction to objects around him. This is what ultimately motivates Ralph's unpleasant reputation in Niceland, and the arcade as a whole, as well as the reasoning behind the bad guy's insecurities and the bad guy's antisocial and troublesome behavior. Even so, Ralph makes earnest efforts (in a rather passive-aggressive manner) to suppress his temper and wrecking habits for the sake of those around him, as well as himself — especially during social events like the 30th-anniversary celebration that took place at the beginning of the film. However, his programming and constant mistreatment make this a difficult feat to accomplish.
Ralph is a fairly selfish, nefarious, and vituperative character at the start of the film; his goal was to win the respect and hearts of other video game characters by retrieving a medal, but uncaringly causing havoc — including thefts, physical intimidation, and breaking Arcade bylaws by game-jumping along the way. He is also seemingly arrogant, traitorous, manipulative, uncomplimentary, persuasive, and blinded by his own self-interest, so he had little regret in causing damage during his pursuit for a medal. Nevertheless, his intentions were pure at their core; he did not wish to become a hero for the sake of becoming one. Instead, he spent years living with the belief that only heroes were capable of making friends and garnering appreciation for their work, prompting him to change his reputation in hopes of receiving what he believes to be "good-guy exclusive" luxuries. Being that he spent thirty years facing prejudice and abuse, Ralph's lengths to achieve his goals had few bounds, with his breaking point having been reached.
Upon meeting the young and feisty misfit, Vanellope von Schweetz, Ralph learns that having medals and an abundance of praise isn't what makes a good guy, but showing love and care for others, does. Loving and valiant, Ralph went through great lengths to ensure Vanellope's happiness and safety, ultimately at the expense of his own, thus allowing him to evolve from selfish to selfless over the course of the movie.
He is also shown to be extremely caring, sincere, charming, authentic, protective, sympathetic, and thoughtful through his friendship with Vanellope, as he continuously protected her from various antagonists throughout the film, and was willing to bring legit, physical harm to those who unfairly opposed and discriminated her. This is partially out of relatable sympathy for the young glitch, as she had endured treatment similar to Ralph's own experiences, showing Ralph's desire to help those as unfortunate, or even less so, than himself. This is also seen during the first half of the film, where Ralph charitably bestowed stolen cherries to homeless Q*Bert and his colleagues, as their game was unplugged, leaving them without food and substance. Ralph's care for others was also showcased during the finale, where he invited homeless video game characters to live in Niceland as his neighbors.
Though he doesn't exactly appear to be much of a speculative intellectual, Ralph actually proves to have some intelligence to him, as he has the ability to concoct plans and effective courses of action on the spot, using his brawn to his advantage in creative ways. This is notably seen during his adventures in both Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush, as well as the climax.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Ralph is seen as having immense superhuman strength. He has shown being able to lift objects many times his own size and weight in the film. Ralph has demonstrated his strength multiple times, such as being able to bring down a building by smashing it with his own two hands, being able to lift a car of the ground with no stress, and he was able to smash through the walls of King Candy's "Fungeon" with a single punch. Also, Ralph was able to bring down the Mentos stalactites with a few smashes to the ground, and other feats demonstrating his supernatural strength level.
- Superhuman Speed: Ralph can move at speeds greater than what is naturally possible.
- Superhuman Durability: Ralph also has seen being superhumanly durable. He was able to withstand a strike from King Candy in his Cy-Bug form (which would have severely injured an ordinary human being), being hit by Venellope's cart multiple times, and even falling many stories from buildings in his game without sustaining damage.
- Semi-Immortality: Ralph, being a video game character, also is semi-immortal, meaning that he can never age, but can die from being killed outside of his game, which he would be incapable of regenerating from.
- Indomitable Will: Alongside these, Ralph has demonstrated a strong force of willpower that is not commonly seen. Ralph has a sheer will, completely free of evil or lack in belief. Whenever Ralph puts his mind to something, he never gives up no matter how difficult the task at hand seems. For instance, Ralph was able to push himself to get a Hero's Medal even though others said it couldn't be done.
- Master-Wrecker: Living up to his name, Ralph is an excellent wrecker. He is capable of completely obliterating buildings, huge objects, and taking down large structures all with his brute force.