- "The selfish man is like a mangy dog chasing a cautionary tale."
- ―Sergeant Calhoun, about Turbo
King Candy is incredibly eccentric and flamboyant. Throughout most of the film, he portrays himself as a bubbly, yet somewhat strict, ruler. As Turbo, he was said to have loved the spotlight, but the moment that was all taken away, the racer became demented, and he was determined to remain beloved, even if it meant ruining another game. While most of the film portrays him as wacky and fun, the king's true colors are shown as time goes on. He is revealed to be a villainous mastermind, whose ambitions drive him to insanity. According to his minion, Sour Bill, he'll do anything to get what he wants. This was proven when Candy attempted to murder Vanellope on the racetrack by trying to ram her into a stalagmite during the Random Roster Race. It is traits like these that makes King Candy a virus, what video game characters christen as dangerous threats that can spread and control. Like most Disney villains, King Candy is power-hungry. This was shown when he was turned into a monstrous Cy-Bug, as he openly planned to take over any game of his choice, now that he had ultimate power to assimilate.
Although he was a strict ruler, Candy was apparently beloved by the Sugar Rush subjects, who all showed a definite respect for him, with the exception of Vanellope of course. The praise, however, was in reality artificial when Turbo had reformatted Sugar Rush years ago. He was particularly close to Sour Bill, his most trusted assistant. Bill was the only other character in the film to know about the secret codes of Sugar Rush. Not only that, the king trusted Bill enough to actually inform him that Vanellope wasn't really a glitch. Aside from his dark, yet humorous nature, King Candy also proves to be very manipulative, being able to get Ralph to destroy Vanellope's kart acting as if it was to protect her, though it was really to prevent his plans from being foiled. He also showed signs of being a sadist, specifically when he laughed psychotically when Vanellope was about to meet her end on the race track, again when he stated killing Ralph would be more fun than gratitude, and again when he forced Ralph to watch Vanellope as she was nearly killed by a swarm of Cy-Bugs, exclaiming "Let's watch her die together, shall we?".
King Candy was originally known as Turbo, a video game character from an old unplugged racing game called TurboTime. He was considered an extremely popular racer that loved the attention from players, but when a new racing game called RoadBlasters got plugged in, that game got more attention than Turbo. Being jealous, Turbo abandoned his own game and decided to take over the new one, and as a result, he ended up causing both the new racing game and his own, to become unplugged for good. His actions were nicknamed "Game-jumping" and "going Turbo", which was something that the video game characters were encouraged not to do (as dying in a game that a character is not native to results in their permanent death, and even worse abandoning his game and trying to take over another resulted in both being shut down), which is something that Ralph does later to try to become a good guy. Unbeknown to anyone, Turbo actually escaped his game before it was unplugged, and thus escaped termination. He remained dormant until years later, where, with the aid of Sour Bill, he hijacked Sugar Rush and turned himself into King Candy. He then began to tamper with the games codes by trying to delete Princess Vanellope's code, but instead this turned her into a glitch. With Vanellope now a glitch, King Candy was free to rule the kingdom. Even worse, he locked up all of the memories the inhabitants had of Vanellope so that everyone also saw her as nothing more than a glitch, and believed he was the rightful ruler. Unfortunately for Turbo, there were two flaws to his plot. In the first place, the game's codes would be restored if Vanellope were to cross the finish line, hence Turbo's desperation to keep her out of racing. In the second place, her picture was still on the side of the game console, as Ralph would discover upon returning to the deserted Fix-It Felix, Jr. with the medal from Hero's Duty after breaking Vanellope's kart.
Role in the film
King Candy is first seen at the race track in Sugar Rush where he and the other racers are preparing to deposit their gold coin fees for the daily Random Roster Race, expressing immense excitement for the race. During the registration, King Candy notices a mysterious hooded figure depositing a coin and it is revealed to be Vanellope. King Candy orders his security guards, Wynchel and Duncan, to capture her, but because of a random taffy monster attack, she escapes. Fortunately, the taffy monster gets itself trapped in a giant cupcake, allowing Wynchel and Duncan to arrest it and take it to King Candy's palace, on the king's orders. There, he orders his assistant, Sour Bill, to de-taffy the beast. The "monster" reveals to be Wreck-It Ralph, a villain from the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., covered in candy. King Candy and Sour Bill begin to believe Ralph has "gone Turbo" and is trying to take over his game. However, Ralph explains that the "coin" Vanellope has inserted is actually his gold medal, and that he wants it back, hence the reason he has chased after her on the race track's starting line. The king tells Ralph that the medal can only be returned if Vanellope wins the race and earns it back, but since she's not allowed to, the medal may be gone for good.
Losing his patience, King Candy orders Wynchel and Duncan to escort Ralph out of Sugar Rush and heads out to find and capture Vanellope. Unfortunately for the king, Ralph escapes the bumbling guards and finds Vanellope. The glitch gets the idea to have Ralph break her into King Candy's kart factory and have him help her build a kart, allowing her to race and win back his medal. Ralph reluctantly agrees and the plan is set in motion. Later on, the king gets a call that Ralph and Vanellope have broken into the kart factory to build a kart for the race. King Candy, Wynchel, Duncan, and several other guards, storm in and attack. Unfortunately for the king, the duo gets away. The furious King Candy orders Wynchel and Duncan to continue searching and heads back to the castle while they do so. When the donuts return, they inform the king that they've failed. With no other choice, King Candy and Sour Bill violate the arcade's by-laws by heading to the lowest part of the castle and entering the game's codes. Within the forbidden realm, King Candy is able to retrieve Ralph's medal and heads out alone to find him, leaving Sour Bill in charge during his absence.
When he does, the bad guy immediately becomes hostile and chases after the king. Pretty soon, Ralph has Candy in his grasps and is fully enraged until King Candy pulls out his medal. King Candy willingly returns said medal and asks for Ralph to head him out about a very important matter. King Candy tries to convince Ralph that if Vanellope were allowed to race, it would make her a playable character, and when the players see her glitching, they'll think the game is broken, resulting in Sugar Rush being unplugged. And because she's a glitch, Vanellope will be trapped in the game and die with it. King Candy offers Ralph his medal if he'll keep Vanellope from the race. Understanding the king's claims, Ralph reluctantly destroys Vanellope's kart in front of a heartbroken Vanellope.
Afterwards, Ralph leaves Sugar Rush and returns to his own game. At some point after Ralph departure, King Candy captures Vanellope and sends her to the fungeon, locking her up in "glitch proof" chains. Back in the Fix-It Felix, Jr. game, Ralph is able to see the Sugar Rush cabinet and notices Vanellope's picture featured prominently on it. Realizing King Candy was lying to him, Ralph immediately returns to Sugar Rush and tortures Sour Bill into revealing King Candy's crime of messing with Vanellope's code. Bill also tells Ralph that if Vanellope crosses the finish line in an official race, the game will reset and Vanellope will no longer be a glitch. Meanwhile, the daily Random Roster Race (the race that determines the game's racers for the day) has begun, and Vanellope is considered a no-show, much to the king's delight. As the race begins, Ralph breaks Vanellope out of the fungeon and asks his friend Fix-It Felix, Jr. (who was trapped in the fungeon by Sour Bill) to repair her kart.
During the race, Vanellope catches up to King Candy, who tries to ram Vanellope off the track. As the king attacks the glitch, Vanellope's glitchiness reveals King Candy for who he really is: Turbo. With his secret revealed and his patience wearing thin, Candy confesses his crime of reprogramming the world to Vanellope. Candy then tries to kill Vanellope by ramming her into an oncoming stalagmite, but the young girl is able to save herself by glitching out of Candy's grasp. After Vanellope races ahead, King Candy pursues her, but one of the Cy-Bugs from Hero's Duty that had invaded Sugar Rush, blocks his path and devours him. However, instead of dying, he fuses with it, becoming a monstrous creature depicting both his King Candy and Turbo personas. Meanwhile, as the Cy-Bugs multiplied, which puts Sugar Rush in grave danger, Ralph initiates a plan to punch down Mentos stalagmites into a pool of Diet Cola to create a beacon that will attract the bugs to their destruction. Before Ralph can complete his mission, King Candy, in his Cy-Bug form, arrives and prevents him from doing so. The villainous king welcomes Ralph to what the former calls the "boss level", declares that he is now the most powerful virus in the arcade, and announces that his next plot is to utilize his ultimate power to dominate the entire arcade universe, but not before killing Ralph as revenge. King Candy and Ralph battle, but Candy eventually gains the upper hand and flies Ralph into the air, where he forces the bad-guy to watch helplessly as Vanellope is nearly killed by a swarm of Cy-Bugs.
Just as King Candy declares that it is game over for both Ralph and Vanellope, Ralph declares that it is just for him as he breaks free from Candy's grasps and plummets to the mountain. Ralph then brings down the entire crater that plunges into the lava, causing an eruption that produces a bright beacon that attracts all the Cy-Bugs. The Cy-Bugs immediately begin to fly into the light and are vaporized. King Candy, being more powerful than the others, is able to resist for a short time by alternating from his mesmerized Candy persona and panicking Turbo persona, but his Cy-Bug programming overpowers him, and he flies into the light as well, to his death. As characters who die outside their own games are unable to regenerate, he is gone forever.
Role in the Spongebob Series
In Spongebob and Friends Play Wreck-It-Ralph, King Candy/Turbo reprises his role from the film. He first appears to have hired Team Nefarious as his personal elite guard, but in truth, he is actually working with the Villain League, specifically Xehanort's 13 Seekers of Darkness, to eventually plunge the arcade world's heart into darkness. When Candy reveals himself to be Turbo, Braig appears to sic the Cy-Bug on him for failure to kill the Princess of Heart, Vanelloppe. But Turbo's heart had succumbed to the darkness within and Ansem Seeker appeared to forge/awaken the Candy Cy-Bug as a last resort to destroy Spyro and Ralph. In the end, Turbo is destroyed by a vengeful Dr. Nefarious, who fires a laser at the mutant Heartless insect, blowing it and Ansem Seeker up in a huge explosion.