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Chu
06-03-2007, 01:58 PM
Coming back from a convention, my apartment mate and I discovered that we had somehow made our way to Bizarro World: my roommate who never played video games outside of free flash games and Phoenix Wright had, out of her own free will, picked up and started playing FF7.

Now, even though I enjoyed FF7 back when I played in middle school, I had never been really impressed with Sephiroth so much as I was with the quality of the cutscenes (they haven't aged well, sure, but back then...) Regardless of your opinion on him, it's undeniable that Sephiroth is a really popular guy. It got me wondering: what video game villains do I actually like?

The only villain that came to mind when I tried to brainstorm about this was Count Bleck. Even though his story sounded kind of clichť, it was still surprisingly touching, perhaps because I didn't expect to find it in a game like Super Paper Mario. I like to think I've played a number of RPGs; maybe not as many I would have liked, but still. Have all the villains I've fought against been boring and unforgettable? The only exceptions seem to be goofy villains like Bowser... or perhaps the Phoenix Wright villains, who make me want to smash my DS from time to time.

I guess what I'm going for is that I like villains like Xanatos from Gargoyles. He isn't the most physically powerful and he's not described as being especially handsome, but he can manipulate anyone into doing anything and he's likable to boot. So while being super powerful may be the only attribute some villains need to seem cool to other people, I end up being unimpressed in the long run. A good example of this is Wind Waker Gannondorf vs. Twilight Princess Gannondorf. WWG seemed retrospective and interesting, TPG was more along the lines of "RAWR KILL YOU".

So... What kind of villains do you guys like? Any personal favorites you'd like to share? Got beef with my opinions?

alexb
06-03-2007, 02:05 PM
I like villains who are not complete madmen. They seem more evil if they are making reasoned decisions to do evil. I enjoyed Special Agent Kato in Shadow Hearts Covenant.

Eusis
06-03-2007, 02:16 PM
He was made better by the fact he was just a lackey in the original game who all but completely vanished once you were out of Asia.

I prefer grayer, better developed villains. Jowy's awesome (though I need to replay SuikII), Kato's a similar example now that I think about it, and there's Luc in SuikIII. If they ARE going to be deranged lunatics though, they need to do a damn good job of it, and having something of a genuine reason makes it better. Luca Blight's a great one there. Heck, Suikoden has been more or less fantastic in regards to villains, heh.

VsRobot
06-03-2007, 03:44 PM
http://www.moneymachines.com/dkcabinetgraphics.jpg

JCDenton
06-03-2007, 03:56 PM
I will always have a soft spot for Kefka.

Maggie
06-03-2007, 04:30 PM
I, uh, I like Lezard Valeth. No surprise there. He basically destroys everything and everyone based on a fixation he's got for some girl. And yet he seemed so sane through the first half of the game.

I also have a soft spot for villains who went through crap first to "become" evil. They're not as satisfying to kill, but you almost root for them. Like Viola from Zone of the Enders, or, I guess to an extent, Delita Hyrul. If you consider him a villain. Seemed like it to me. Maybe the new translation will help.

specific_chris
06-03-2007, 04:34 PM
For me, I like villains who seem to be in the wrong line of work, like Teisel from Megaman Legends (who I already expressed love for previously), or other bumbling villains... but as far as really evil characters go, I've always been a fan of the truly despicable characters out there, like Rubicant from Final Fantasy IV or Prince Luca from Suikoden 2. Kefka ranks pretty high in my books, though not in the top spot.

alexb
06-03-2007, 04:51 PM
As far as they go, Rubicante (or Lubricant, as Firefox wants to render it) was actually a pretty class act. Definitely one of your lawful evil types. Healed you up before you fought him, expressed regret for Edge's parents being turned into monsters, and wasn't overly boastful for a villain. If there was ever a character I could see coming over to the side of angels in that game, Rubicante is it.

And as far as Lezard seeming so sane... the jags of maniacal laughter and delusions of grandeur weren't a tip off that he might be something less than entirely balanced?

Eusis
06-03-2007, 04:58 PM
Maybe he's referring to VP2? I haven't played through all of that (would like to, but the lava boss pissed me off and I haven't really played it snce), but Lezard comes off as sane in that. It'd figure he'd snap/reveal he's really just as nuts as he was in VP1 later on.

Parish
06-03-2007, 04:58 PM
Yeah, Rubicante is pretty much the opposite of "vile scum," especially in the tidied-up FFIV Advance script.

I admire the balls-out-evil types -- Luca Blight was amazing -- but I'm more a fan of subtle villains. Like Delita, who was in many ways the most despicable person in FF Tactics (although hardly the most overtly evil). Or... well, I guess that's about it. Games aren't much for subtlety yet.

Maggie
06-03-2007, 05:03 PM
Heh heh. "Lubricant."

Er, ah, yeah, though, I was referring to VP2. I probably should have put up a spoiler warning sort of. I didn't like the Lezard from part 1 much, though. He was just annoying. Mostly the voice acting.

Sanagi
06-03-2007, 05:04 PM
In terms of inspiring terror and angst, I'll have to go with the "s" pieces from Tetris.

PHATTOM
06-03-2007, 05:10 PM
The thing about video games villains is that I can recognize/realize them being evil, but rarely do I actually have an emotional response to them, whatever that may be. Revolver Ocelot is probably the only one I'd bring up as someone that genuinely love as a villain, every red coating bomb he drops getting a, "OHHAHAHA OCELOT YOU SON OF A BITCH I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT METAL GEAR", response from me.

JCDenton
06-03-2007, 05:23 PM
Richard Hawk - Metal Wolf Chaos

Maggie
06-03-2007, 06:14 PM
Pfft, he never stood a chance. He was up against the President of these United States, for whom nothing is impossible.

Figure Four
06-03-2007, 06:20 PM
I love Nishiki in Yakuza. The final battle with him is the very definition of epic.

Greg4cr
06-03-2007, 06:36 PM
My absolute favorite villain of all time is Kefka. He gave me chills as a kid. I mean, you don't get much more evil. He poisoned an entire town just because *he could*. He took over the freaking world and destroyed towns with his death laser.

<3arl
06-03-2007, 06:49 PM
I always really liked Ghadius from Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. He may of been a bit cliche, but there is something about his unorthodox voice acting that always sent a chill down my spine. Especially after the battle with him; he just sounds so vicious and dark to me. It is something that I don't think that could have been pulled off if he was voiced with normal English/Japanese voice acting.

dangerhelvetica
06-03-2007, 06:49 PM
Mother Brain. Never has a brain in a jar been more terrifying.

BEAT
06-03-2007, 07:12 PM
I would have to say Arkham from DMC 3 is one of my favorite villians. Just the right combination of Creepy old Scarred Guy, Psycotic Evil Clown, and evil manipulator of all parties.

It's a shame you only get to fight him as a horrible blob of chaos.

I also like Dr. Robotnick, but that really has more to do with my SEGA filled youth than anything else.

Other Good Villians:

Bloody Mary, Beruga, and Yomi from Terranigma
The entire lineup of Admirals from Skies of Arcadia.

EDIT:
I cannot belive I forgot Gannon. Gannon is awesome.

nadia
06-03-2007, 07:20 PM
I'm seconding a fondness for balls-out evil types. I loved Kefka because not only was he a mad bastard, he was perfectly happy to lord over a decaying world.

Luca Blight will always be a #1 favourite. He has a pretty goddamn nasty past, but he never cuts himself and cries. He just made a whole kingdom suffer instead.

Sarcasmorator
06-03-2007, 07:45 PM
Sydney Losstarot counts as a villain, right? For half the game, anyway. Yeah, he was pretty cool. Metal limbs and all.

Jeanie
06-03-2007, 08:11 PM
Yeah Kefka's pretty good. One villian that's underrated though is Dr. Wily.

No, no let me explain. So he goes all evil and reprograms the six original RMs, naturally he loses at this because they're not made to be killing machines. So the next time he designs them to be nothing but killing and not only that he makes more of them because there's no such thing as over kill, right? Now when this fails, he decides to fake fliping sides and work on a giant "peace keeping" robot. So to distract the one robot that beat him before, he breaks out the spare RM's and uses them to grab 8 more robots that can copy the previous eight RM's. Well next, he blackmails another scientist into building yet another eight RM's, then kidnaps his rival and blames it on Mega Man's one ally Proto Man. Then there's Bass who was made to be the "Mirror Universe" Mega Man, so to speak, plus leaving some RM's in storage to break him out of jail when he gets sent there.

And I'm not gonna mention how BA Zero is in X1-5 and his own series.

Pawelmaji
06-03-2007, 08:22 PM
Prince Arthas.
I like how WC3 had him start off as a holy paladin and eventually he slowly became that which he was so eager to destroy.

Evil acts.
- Slayed plagued townspeople to prevent them from turning into zombies and bolstering the Burning Legion's armies
- Hired Troll Mercenaries to sink his own ships so his men couldn't leave him and then turned on the Mercenaries and used them as scapegoats.
- Allowed his friend to die so that he would wield FrostMourn
- Went back to his kingdom and murdered his father in front of everyone, then much later he used an urn that held the cremated remains of his father to raise a powerful lich.

Vahn16
06-03-2007, 08:26 PM
Pawelmaji, if you hadn't used Arthas, I probably would have thought of him...eventually. Thus far, though, he's my favorite villian listed here.

In the same universe, some might call Illidan Stormrage a villian, but he's just misunderstood.

Edit: Oh yay, I thought of one of my own. Sarah Kerrigan from Starcraft. Another of example of a good character becoming bad. Although she wasn't really helping the Terrans voluntarily. She also spared a group of Terrans in an act of friendship, even though she was Zerg at that point. Unfortunately, I don't really remember much else. I really want to replay Starcraft now.

Maggie
06-03-2007, 08:34 PM
Illidan never struck me as a villain, either. I mean, he does bad things off and on, but he usually just seems so bored with it.

Guy
06-03-2007, 08:39 PM
I would have to say Anselem from DMC 3 is one of my favorite villians. Just the right combination of Creepy old Scarred Guy, Psycotic Evil Clown, and evil manipulator of all parties.

It's a shame you only get to fight him as a horrible blob of chaos.

His name is Arkham. You get to fight him in his Jester form several times in the Special Edition.

Torgo
06-03-2007, 08:44 PM
Kefka and Luca Blight are the only right answers.

An honorable mention goes to Baldwin from Ogre Battle 64.

Jeanie
06-03-2007, 09:01 PM
Just thought of one: Lavos from Chrono Trigger. Not for destroying the earth in 1999 but because he killed Crono. I've never forgiven it for that and that's why I killed him every chance I got in the New Game+. Also isn't he in some way responsible for the mess that is the story in Chrono Cross?

Maggie
06-03-2007, 09:02 PM
Also isn't he in some way responsible for the mess that is the story in Chrono Cross?

Probably. If he'd just destroyed the world in 1999, we wouldn't have to still be alive to remember it?

Torgo
06-03-2007, 09:04 PM
Probably. If he'd just destroyed the world in 1999, we wouldn't have to still be alive to remember it?
But no one did remember. Remember?

Squall
06-03-2007, 09:05 PM
That does depend on what you classify as a villain.
Delita and Sydney both made excellent Villains, if you so call them that.
Megaman made an awesome villain too, and Harpuia was also pretty awesome.
Julius was pretty awesome in the original FF Adventure.
Even though it was just a spaceship, the Lucifer was absolutely terrifying in Freespace.
Maybe Queen Zeal?
ooh ooh last one: The cat from Chu Chu Rocket.

Also, Nine-Ball (or R for you AC1 fanboys crazy enough to work out the storyline) is definitely one of the coolest. You know, I never have played through Master of Arena in English...


But you should all be ashamed of yourselves for not putting down the most awesome villian of the coolest hero ever. Geese Howard.

JCDenton
06-03-2007, 09:13 PM
Pfft, he never stood a chance. He was up against the President of these United States, for whom nothing is impossible.

You bring up a good point.

I can't believe no one has mentioned Dracula yet. Is this Talking Time or some twisted perversion where no one mentions Dracula? Have you forgotten what he did to your mother?

Jeanie
06-03-2007, 09:20 PM
Watch it JC. Parish doesn't like it when SotN gets quoted and I'm feeling one coming.

Also, new contender, Ghaleon from the Lunar series. Loved how he started out as one the Four Heroes, but after he saw his best friend, Dyne, sacrifice himself, he got all bitter and tried to corrupt the personifaction of the Goddess Dyne sacrificed for. Then his return and redemption in Lunar 2 was pretty good too.

In fact, my last battle with him in the Sega CD original has become legendary in my mind. Well when it comes down to just Alex left to fight him, it seems pretty awesome, especially when you're 12.

Vahn16
06-03-2007, 09:20 PM
Shhh, you might reawaken the Castlevania quotes hidden within our souls. You know how Parish deals with that, right?

Edit: Curses, beaten to the punch.

Makkara
06-04-2007, 01:26 AM
You bring up a good point.

I can't believe no one has mentioned Dracula yet. Is this Talking Time or some twisted perversion where no one mentions Dracula? Have you forgotten what he did to your mother?

Think you I would forget such a thing?

Wait, am I banned now?

...crap.

nadia
06-04-2007, 06:39 AM
Kefka and Luca Blight are the only right answers.

Hooray! Do I win a prize?

...No?

Damn.

Going a bit further, video games tend to suffocate you with the reasons a villan goes bad, but Suikoden II never does (the most Luca reveals to the player is through random bits of conversation with Jowy). I know I recently wrote a feature about how video game stories tend to be less than epic, but I think Suikoden II is one of a few exceptions. Too bad the translation was a little weird.

Exclaimation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kirin
06-04-2007, 07:32 AM
If we're getting into borderline characters... Durandal, Tycho, Thoth.

None of them are really out-and-out "villains" (well, Tycho is pretty close), but each is an adversary at some point. All pretty great characters for not even having bodies, faces etc.

I'll also throw in a vote for Suiko III's Luc, for reasons already stated.

Also also, Cid from FFXII. He was awesome.

And let's not forget about the Enourmous Cow from Katamari. *twitch*

Zef
06-04-2007, 09:07 AM
I see your Ghaleon and raise you a Dhaos.

Griffon in Dark Cloud 2 was all kinds of awesome. The build-up to his first appearance was great, then you actually see him... and he all but humiliates you after that first impression. He also has the greatest boss theme this side of The Extreme.

The Queen in Ico is such an archetypal image she's still inspires anxiety and dread after several playthroughs, which is something no other villain has achieved yet. Ueda and his team managed to tap deep into primordial fears with her.

If no one else will, I'm going to root for the ensemble of villains in FFX. They actually succeeded at enslaving the world for a thousand years, after all, and they too had reasonable motives.

Does FFT Advance even HAVE a villain?

Deadguy2322
06-04-2007, 09:12 AM
Does FFT Advance even HAVE a villain?

The oh-so-emo heroes?

Maggie
06-04-2007, 09:49 AM
FFXII Spoilers, kinda.

Vayne from FFXII was a kind of good villain because what he was trying to achieve was good for humanity, but his methods were too brutal and vicious. So on the one hand, you can understand why he would want to destroy the Suncryst, BUT look how many people he has killed to pull it off? And do you really think he'd suddenly become nice and friendly once he's Dynast-King?

I still see comments on youtube where people say "I don't get it. Vayne isn't a villain. He's defeated the Ocuria. The main characters are the villains for attacking him!" It's nice when you have to really think twice about a villain and decide why you're fighting him.

Makkara
06-04-2007, 09:57 AM
Judge Gabranth was also doubleplusgood. In fact, morally ambiguous (and morally complex) villains are a recurring theme in Matsuno's games. Just look at Sydney Losstarot, Delita, Wiegraf, etc.

Squall
06-04-2007, 10:47 AM
Oooh how did I miss Ghaleon? Seriously, his intro in Lunar 2? That defines badass.

alexb
06-04-2007, 12:06 PM
Didn't like his voice acting at all. Totally inappropriate for the character. But as a concept, Ghaleon was tops.

Maggie
06-04-2007, 12:39 PM
I only ever played Lunar Legends for the GBA. I suspect it was similar to, say, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a flash based cartoon. Can't help but feel you're missing out on the full experience.

BEAT
06-04-2007, 12:40 PM
His name is Arkham. You get to fight him in his Jester form several times in the Special Edition.

Dammit. I KNEW I had it wrong.

And yeah. Still would have liked to take him down as a suprisingly spry old creepy dude as opposed to a big blue blob.

tungwene
06-04-2007, 01:04 PM
I think Sydney Losstarot is my favorite RPG villain of all time. I really like villains that reside in the morally ambiguous gray area particularly if they're articulate and charismatic, though the crazy evil ones are kind of cool too.

I've always felt the best (or worst) villain in FF7 was Hojo. There was not a shred of human decency any where on that man. Despite all the "horrible" things Sephiroth had done to your party it was a few words spoken by Hojo that caused Cloud's fragile psyche to snap.

Also got to give a shout out for Van Grants from Tales of the Abyss. It takes guts and supreme self-righteousness to offer one last time the main character and two other of your party members the option to come to their senses and help him in HIS scheme to save the world in the cutscene leading to the final battle of the game. That is a man with a will of iron.

Kishi
06-04-2007, 01:16 PM
Didn't like his voice acting at all. Totally inappropriate for the character. But as a concept, Ghaleon was tops.

John Truitt's portrayal of Ghaleon is awesome in that over-the-top Working Designs kind of way. I'd definitely take it over your typical "evil emperor" voice acting any day.

alexb
06-04-2007, 01:48 PM
Next you're going to tell me that Nall and Luna weren't badly done and irritating. Well, tastes differ. I think Truitt's portrayal was whiny and effeminate. Ghaleon, in my mind, should have had a calm, very masculine voice. I mean, he was the puppet master. He was a pimp and he knew it, to utilize a phrase I normally avoid. He was meant to be a fallen good guy, a tragic anti-hero, not a stock Saturday morning villain.

Red Hedgehog
06-04-2007, 02:01 PM
Does FFT Advance even HAVE a villain?

Technically it would be the queen entity that you fight at the end. I guess the entity took Mewt's wishes for a better life and made the world and set herself up as his mother, though I can't remember its motivations for doing so. Whatever, the story in that game was pretty bad.

I like the Queen from Ico, but my entry into this thread will be the Ghost/Zombie/Demon pirate LeChuck.

Maggie
06-04-2007, 02:04 PM
Technically it would be the queen entity that you fight at the end. I guess the entity took Mewt's wishes for a better life and made the world and set herself up as his mother, though I can't remember its motivations for doing so. Whatever, the story in that game was pretty bad.

I like the Queen from Ico, but my entry into this thread will be the Ghost/Zombie/Demon pirate LeChuck.

It pretty much just says it's doing it for the sake of Mewt's happiness, if I recall correctly. I still have no idea what Marche's problem was. Guy was a dick.

poetfox
06-04-2007, 02:10 PM
It pretty much just says it's doing it for the sake of Mewt's happiness, if I recall correctly. I still have no idea what Marche's problem was. Guy was a dick.
Sort of? It was more of a "Fake happiness isn't as good as real happiness, and this world is fake, even though all of my friends are amazingly happy in it, so I must save them from their happiness, so they can maybe find real happiness maybe, back in the world that sucks." But mostly he was just a dick, yeah.

alexb
06-04-2007, 02:16 PM
I don't know. There's something to the idea that living in a dream where all of wants and desires are provided for is inferior to living in and adapting to a reality where that most certainly is not the case. They wouldn't grow as people if they got to live in their little fantasy cocoons forever. It was a childish, counterfeit existence and one could argue that it was right to smash it.

Maggie
06-04-2007, 02:18 PM
Now they're back to living in their dull, cold world without even a single bunny woman.

If you can call that living.

Makkara
06-04-2007, 02:29 PM
I don't know. There's something to the idea that living in a dream where all of wants and desires are provided for is inferior to living in and adapting to a reality where that most certainly is not the case. They wouldn't grow as people if they got to live in their little fantasy cocoons forever. It was a childish, counterfeit existence and one could argue that it was right to smash it.

Kind of like Paris Hilton going to prison, amirite?

alexb
06-04-2007, 02:34 PM
Fuck her, man. Many if we ignore her, she'll go away.

philliam
06-04-2007, 02:37 PM
i liked the axem rangers because they were retarded

Kishi
06-04-2007, 02:42 PM
I just loved their sense of camaraderie.

"Yo, RED!!"

"What?"

"I broke my shades!"

"Serves ya right!"

Jeanie
06-04-2007, 03:41 PM
Next you're going to tell me that Nall and Luna weren't badly done and irritating. Well, tastes differ. I think Truitt's portrayal was whiny and effeminate. Ghaleon, in my mind, should have had a calm, very masculine voice. I mean, he was the puppet master. He was a pimp and he knew it, to utilize a phrase I normally avoid. He was meant to be a fallen good guy, a tragic anti-hero, not a stock Saturday morning villain.

Well I had nothing against Luna, but Nall's was annoying. The worst I thought was Quark though.

poetfox
06-04-2007, 03:51 PM
I don't know. There's something to the idea that living in a dream where all of wants and desires are provided for is inferior to living in and adapting to a reality where that most certainly is not the case. They wouldn't grow as people if they got to live in their little fantasy cocoons forever. It was a childish, counterfeit existence and one could argue that it was right to smash it.
If nothing else, I would have thought it would be crazy hard for Marshe to rationalize making his brother stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, since he could walk in the fantasy world. Maybe that's just me.

alexb
06-04-2007, 03:55 PM
Well, that was the kid's problem, not his. At worst, Marche was no more selfish than anyone else. He wanted out of there. That was his dream. And he had the strength to realize it.

poetfox
06-04-2007, 03:58 PM
Well, that was the kid's problem, not his. At worst, Marche was no more selfish than anyone else. He wanted out of there. That was his dream. And he had the strength to realize it.
...yep, very good point. I agree.

nadia
06-04-2007, 08:28 PM
I'll put in a good word for Sydney Losstarot as well, even though I came nowhere close to finishing Vagrant Story.

Sarcasmorator
06-04-2007, 08:31 PM
Oooh, you really should some time.

Maggie
06-04-2007, 08:31 PM
I got, um... I think I got past the crab. There was a crab, right? I don't remember. I think I beat a crab and then got to a forest where another dragon showed up and told me I would get no further in the game.

nadia
06-04-2007, 08:32 PM
Nah, see, I never finished the game 'cause it kept kicking my ass.

Mightyblue
06-04-2007, 08:59 PM
Got to the end with uber-Guildenstern, but I got whupped and got busy, so no finish for me. One of those things I intend to go back to. That, and finishing the Iron Maiden.

tungwene
06-04-2007, 10:10 PM
I should pick my quest to forge a Damascus Romphaias and start playing it again sometime.

ArugulaZ
06-04-2007, 10:15 PM
Oh for crap's sake! I played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for what seemed like a century and I still never came close to reaching the ending! Now I guess there's no point in doing it... :P

JR

Mightyblue
06-04-2007, 10:56 PM
Actually, beating it opens up more quests and the opportunity to recruit some of the NPCs like Ritz and that Viera partner of hers. So if you like playing it, go ahead.

gamin
06-04-2007, 11:23 PM
The Queen in Ico is such an archetypal image she's still inspires anxiety and dread after several playthroughs, which is something no other villain has achieved yet. Ueda and his team managed to tap deep into primordial fears with her.

Good call with the Queen from Ico. She was haunting. And you feel so powerless during the fight against her.

Matsuno always has good shades of gray antagonists, many of his games are simply about people doing what they believe is right for the people or the world and it's circumstance that sets them against each other. Tactics Ogre especially--some of the decisions you have to make in that game put your own character between a rock and a hard place.

Chu
06-04-2007, 11:34 PM
I just remembered- even though I never beat the game (I got stuck one wyvern-filled TIMED chapter before Roy got his class upgrade), Zephiel from Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals became cool when a certain part of his backstory was revealed. From Wikipedia:

"Fifteen years later, Desmond made a more direct attempt at killing his son by passing an adult Zephiel a goblet of poisoned wine during a banquet. However, the poison failed to kill Zephiel, and the prince was secretly nursed back to health by his armsman, Murdock. Shattered by his father's betrayal, Zephiel continued the ruse of his death and stayed hidden while Murdock scheduled a funeral. When Desmond approached his coffin, Zephiel rose and drew a hidden blade, cutting down his father."

If only there was a cutscene for it. Besides the fact that you get to see him practically chop a horse in half with his morphing spear/sword, he was such a nice kid in the prequel, Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword (the first FE game to be released outside of Japan). Since that was the first FE I've played, I felt really bad that he turned out to be a crazy warlord because of his paranoid father.

Torgo
06-04-2007, 11:37 PM
Matsuno always has good shades of gray antagonists, many of his games are simply about people doing what they believe is right for the people or the world and it's circumstance that sets them against each other. Tactics Ogre especially--some of the decisions you have to make in that game put your own character between a rock and a hard place.
Does this mean I can ultimately blame Matsuno for that stupidly obtuse good/evil system in Ogre Battle 64?

(Don't get me wrong, I love the game, but trying to be the 'good guy' according to the game's mostly unspoken rules practically ties your hands and throws you on the ground.)

gamin
06-04-2007, 11:41 PM
Never played Ogre Battle 64, but if it's anything like Ogre Battle on the SNES, yeah, getting the "best" ending required some pretty obtuse steps.

Evil Dead Junkie
06-05-2007, 12:19 AM
I've always thought that Kuja from FFIX was just as underated as the game he was in.

Sure for most of it he's just a cool puppet master with a badass thong.

But at the end of the third disc the way he cracks when his moment of glory is snatched away at the last second is genius. And when it happens, he doesn't take it lying down no...

He GOES AHEAD AND DESTROYS THE FUCKING WORLD

I couldn't believe it when I played the game the first time.

Remember kid's that pussy Sephiroth tried to destroy the world, Kuja just went ahead and did it.

alexb
06-05-2007, 12:24 AM
Never played Ogre Battle 64, but if it's anything like Ogre Battle on the SNES, yeah, getting the "best" ending required some pretty obtuse steps.

Actually, no you can't. Matsuno was already working at Square during the development of Ogre Battle 64.

gamin
06-05-2007, 12:29 AM
Actually, no you can't. Matsuno was already working at Square during the development of Ogre Battle 64.

That's true, but (and I'm kinda assuming because I didn't play it) the basis for the game was the SNES Ogre Battle which he was in charge of, so it's by association.

Healy
06-05-2007, 12:31 AM
Remember kid's that pussy Sephiroth tried to destroy the world, Kuja just went ahead and did it.

Yeah, but Kefka destroyed the whole world too, and before Kuja or Sephiroth, and didn't totally look like a girl to boot.

As to the general topic of video game villains, the Mani Mani statue (from Earthound) is perhaps one of the creepiest villains out there. Think about it. It's a perfect personification of evil (or greed, depending on how you interpret things) that can pretty much manipulate people into doing whatever it wants. Going back to Moonside is so freaky now.

Evil Dead Junkie
06-05-2007, 12:35 AM
Point Of Order:

Kefka only left the world a hellish husk of its former self.

Kuja reduced the planet of the monkey people to a charred cinder.

Plus as Kefka's two forms where a clown and a naked Greco Roman God I don't think he has much room for fashion bashin.

bobservo
06-05-2007, 06:36 AM
Well, that was the kid's problem, not his. At worst, Marche was no more selfish than anyone else. He wanted out of there. That was his dream. And he had the strength to realize it.

...Until you beat the game and everyone was inexplicably back in Ivalice again.

And about Ghaleon- I'm surprised Victor Ireland didn't add fart noises to make him seem more imposing.

Kirin
06-05-2007, 09:51 AM
Nah, see, I never finished (Vagrant Story) 'cause it kept kicking my ass.

The way to get to see all of Vagrant Story's awesome plot if you didn't get lucky with your weapon drops and don't have the energy to spend hours with the intricate crafting and leveling system is this:
- Find a geeky friend who *did* spend hours with the crafting system
- Borrow a memory card with a New Game Plus save that includes a thusly crafted uber weapon of doom
- Profit

Er, I mean, enjoy. Works quite well. In my case, he had a one-handed axe very aptly named "Death on a Stick".

blitzchamp
06-05-2007, 10:05 AM
It's hard to think of an example of a villain I like. I can, however, think of plenty counter-examples. I hate it when villains like Robotnik and Liquid Snake, come back to life a million times, even though you defeated them just a short while before their reapppearance. Oh and I would also add Seymour from FFX to that list, though he was an easy win and got you plenty of spheres.

Here it comes: the only villain i can think of at the moment that i like is Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. He knew how to outwit the characters and even though things didn't always go his way, he always had sneaky back up plans that the heroes were completely unaware of.

Kupek
06-05-2007, 01:06 PM
I'm going to third Lavos mainly because his motivation was survival. No rants about how unfair life was, or rationalizations for power that somehow end up sounding comical. Because Lavos can not be reasoned with, because his motivations are not some over-the-top caricature of "evil," he ends up being the creepiest villian I can think of.

I'm also going to mention Delita, even though in Tactics you end up fighting a God-Jesus-thing. To explain him, I'm going to crib from the introduction to DC Comic's Justice, Vol. 1: the best villians are the ones who think they are the hero.

jeditanuki
06-05-2007, 01:21 PM
Seconding LeChuck. Also, throw in the Voodoo Priestess lady from the first Gabriel Knight and you've got a deal.

Makkara
06-05-2007, 01:26 PM
I'm also going to mention Delita, even though in Tactics you end up fighting a God-Jesus-thing. To explain him, I'm going to crib from the introduction to DC Comic's Justice, Vol. 1: the best villians are the ones who think they are the hero.

I don't think Delita thought he was a hero, though. He didn't strike me as the idealist type. He was just sick and tired of being exploited because he was a commoner. Now Wiegraf, he was an idealist. He wanted to change the world. He wanted to change the rules of the game. Delita just wanted to win it.

Speaking of Wiegraf, you might consider him a villain who thought he was a hero. But in fact, in chapter one, it's more correct to say that you were the villain. The Death Corps were in the right. The nobles used them, and as soon as the war was over, cast them aside. In chapter one, you fight on the side of those same nobles. Not until the very last battle does the real villain reveal himself: the very aristocracy that you are part of. That's part of you.

Of course, by then Wiegraf's motivation has changed to revenge for his sister. His idealism has been stripped away, leaving behind only bitterness and hatred. Enter Velius.

God, I love Final Fantasy Tactics so much!

tungwene
06-05-2007, 03:51 PM
I'm also going to mention Delita, even though in Tactics you end up fighting a God-Jesus-thing. To explain him, I'm going to crib from the introduction to DC Comic's Justice, Vol. 1: the best villians are the ones who think they are the hero.Van Grants fits that description perfectly too.

virulent
06-05-2007, 04:57 PM
Can I say Tom Nook? Seriously, what a bastard.

Anyways, I have to throw my votes in for the standards: Ganon, Kefka, etc. Other than that how about Diablo from... Diablo. I mean it's hard to top the devil when it comes to villainy.

Falselogic
08-30-2011, 02:39 PM
I always thought Mannanan, Mordack, and the Vizier (all members of the Society of the Black Cloak) were good villains. Especially Mordack.

It is a shame Sierra imploded/sold out before they could do something with the Society.

Sanagi
08-30-2011, 04:31 PM
I have to go with Mother Brain in its scariest incarnation, in the original Metroid. The freaky sound design in that final chamber of Tourian makes it much more disturbing than the similar fight in Super Metroid.

Falselogic
08-30-2011, 04:33 PM
I have to go with Mother Brain in its scariest incarnation, in the original Metroid. The freaky sound design in that final chamber of Tourian makes it much more disturbing than the similar fight in Super Metroid.

Yeah that is one creepy boss fight.

Netbrian
08-30-2011, 05:16 PM
I always thought Mannanan, Mordack, and the Vizier (all members of the Society of the Black Cloak) were good villains. Especially Mordack.

It is a shame Sierra imploded/sold out before they could do something with the Society.

I loved seeing Mannanan make a reappearance in KQ5. I hope he escaped his bag.

For villians, I generally prefer either the flamboyantly insane (Kefka, FF12 Cid), or the the more non-villian-y types such as the admirals in Skies of Arcadia, the Bonnes, etc.

Derra
08-30-2011, 08:02 PM
I don't understand how Sydney is so highly regarded as a villain. As a character, sure, but in the grand scheme of things he is barely an antagonist.

Zef
08-30-2011, 08:12 PM
I don't understand how Sydney is so highly regarded as a villain. As a character, sure, but in the grand scheme of things he is barely an antagonist.

Anti-villain, in any case. He took it upon himself to destroy the city and place the burden of its power on someone who would never use it, all at risk of his own life. Sure, he manipulated everyone that crossed his path, but he's less of a villain than Vayne.

Voncaster
08-30-2011, 08:17 PM
Although not terribly deep story wise, I have always liked Death and Dracula in the Castlevania games. There is something kind of cool about how little they change from game to game. Death is always vulnerable to the cross, and the Dracula fight invariably involves avoiding fireballs and whipping his head. Sometimes repetition is boring, in the case of Castlevania I really like it.

***

I also like the Umbrella Corporation. I think the big and powerful corporation is something that everyone fears to some extent. Umbrella is a good embodiment of that fear.

***

King's quest games had a society of Evil? Awesome. I played those games when I was so young that I wouldn't have picked up on that. But its pretty cool to learn that Sierra was building a larger world within the games.

Can't wait for the TellTale KQ games.

Falselogic
08-30-2011, 08:53 PM
Can't wait for the TellTale KQ games.

Have you looked at The Silver Lining (http://www.tsl-game.com/)? The episodic unofficial/official 9th game in the series?

I don't know anyone who has and I'm not brave enough, yet,to make the leap into it myself...

Kishi
08-30-2011, 11:14 PM
I also like the Umbrella Corporation. I think the big and powerful corporation is something that everyone fears to some extent. Umbrella is a good embodiment of that fear.

I've only ever seen Umbrella as an embodiment of impossibly insane incompetence. They were ambiguous enough to be creepy in the first game, but then the second game shows you their underground Death Star overrun with killer plants, and that was that.

Wolfgang
08-31-2011, 12:45 AM
Every response must be Bowser forever. I love that there's possibly as many games that let you play as him as there are that make you fight him. Ninty knows what the people want.

Meditative_Zebra
08-31-2011, 03:50 AM
I tend to like villains that take fall into two different categories.

The first type is The Madman. He might have once been wholesome, talented, and likable but was pushed into insanity by some external event. This villain is nihilistic but often quite charming. He loves to taunt your hero and envisions himself as being a contestant in a game of skill and he relishes seeing himself as superior to the hero.

Madman examples include
Kefka (FF III)
He was a promising young military officer whose mind was warped by magical experiments. Once the magicite altered his character he gained an insatiable lust for increasing his magical power and sought to inflict pain and suffering on people for no other reason than because he could.

Ghaleon (Lunar Silver Star Story)
He was actually one of the original heroes in the game's backstory. But when a certain event occurred he felt deeply betrayed and came to the conclusion that he must seize power for himself for the benefit of the greater good.

Joker (Batman Arkham Asylum)
I don't know a lot about the actual Batman comics but I guess the Joker had some sort of industrial accident? At any rate he's as goofy as gumballs but he's also exceedingly clever and wants nothing more than to triumph over Batman. Also, Mark Hamill's voice acting really brings this character to life and makes you feel stymied at every turn by this psychopath who always seems to be one step ahead of you.

Luca Blight (Suikoden II)
Perhaps no truer face of evil has ever been seen in a video game. Luca Blight relishes in the suffering of others and in a particularly appalling scene early in the game a woman begs for her life and he responds by offering to spare her if she humiliates herself; when she does he promptly kills her. He has perpetrated wars based on lies which have led to an untold number of deaths but not content with that he has also killed hundreds (thousands?) by his own hand. Even so there are traumatic events in his life which, though they in no way excuse his villainy, when combined with the corrupting influence of the magical Rune he possesses suggest that his wicked nature was exacerbated by external circumstances.
Shodan System Shock II
An AI gone rogue that has decided that it is a God. You are the poor fool who has stumbled into its dominion and will either be her unwilling vessel or you will share the same gruesome death that has visited all the other poor souls on this lifeless yet massive spaceship. Shodan has perhaps the best cut-scene any villain has ever been graced with. You know the one, right? If not then playing this game is worth it just for that part by itself.

The second type of villain I tend to find appealing is the Machiavellian Manipulator. These characters are the manipulative geniuses who are able to forge alliances for themselves and turn those who were once friends against the hero. They might be outright evil but just as often are morally ambiguous. Indeed, sometimes the Manipulator will reveal knowledge to the hero that shows that his seemingly altruistic actions have been misguided and the ostensible villain has actually been working towards a morally-worthy long term goal.

Examples of the Manipulator include:

Delita (Final Fantasy Tactics)
He actually recognizes even before the hero that their actions are furthering an unworthy goal. However, instead of seeking to change the process by which their world works he instead merely seeks to put himself atop it (though perhaps with the aim that he can change things once in power). To this end he allies himself with despicable characters and even threatens to kill his childhood friend if he should interfere with his machinations.
Walton Simons (Deus Ex)
Probably not as memorable a villain as some of the others on this list he nonetheless is a consummate operator. The director of FEMA (which was relatively obscure in 2000 some five years before Hurricane Katrina) Simons's appearances have an ominous tone from his first entrance. As the game progresses you realizes that his hands are driving more events than you could have guessed and that your defiance of his edicts have left you utterly isolated on the run.

There are others, I'm sure, but I'd have to think about it some more to come up with good examples of Manipulators in games. It's far more common to see a Madman as the big bad guy rather than a scheming politico type. Which is sad because they're often some of the most compelling characters!

BŁge
08-31-2011, 06:09 AM
http://www.imperial-library.info/sites/default/files/Chars_DagothUr.jpg

"Come, Nerevar. Friend or traitor, come. Come and look upon the Heart, and Akulakhan. And bring Wraithguard... I have need of it."

I think Dagoth Ur is probably the most nuanced and interesting video game villains I've seen in recent years.

He's also incredibly tragic. He was betrayed by his friends and caged in the heart of Lorkhan. While his mortal remains were destroyed, the powers he gained from the heart allowed him to continue to exist as a living dream.

On the surface, he just seems like your standard off-the-peg godlike villain who wants to conquer, but the beautiful part about Morrowind is that it allows you to get to know the story behind everything important in the game if you take the time to read the in-game lore.

Pajaro Pete
08-31-2011, 12:05 PM
The King and Princess from No Heroes Allowed (Badman 3) are basically History's Greatest Monsters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_qYvan7Jlk).

Tanto
08-31-2011, 01:45 PM
I'm a big fan of villains whose status as the villain is somewhat ambiguous. I don't mean "maybe you are the villain" situations, I'm talking characters you wouldn't necessarily pick out of a lineup as the main villain at first. They're running around, doing their own thing, seeing to plans that don't necessarily have anything to do with you... and it's only later on that you find out how it all fits together.

One of the reasons I like Tales of Symphonia so much is that if you pay attention, you can track the movements of almost every character in the game very precisely, even when they're not on screen. Villains usually don't just show up to taunt you or give you a random boss fight; they show up for a reason of their own, which isn't always obvious at the time. It needs a few playthroughs before you start to appreciate just how everyone's story fits together. I love that kind of attention to detail.

One villain I really like, from a game I've been playing recently, is Dimentio from Super Paper Mario. Although in the end he just ends up being G-rated Kefka, for most of the game it's a lot less clear what he's up to. I love how he talks in similes which seem like bizarre, Fawful-esque non-seqiturs at first, but they all actually have this weird internal logic that holds up if you follow them through. ("Now we must duel, like two gleaming banjos on a moonlit stoop (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8)!") It's a neat reflection of the character himself, being both not quite all there, but still making a certain amount of sense in the end.

ThricebornPhoenix
08-31-2011, 02:51 PM
I don't mean "maybe you are the villain" situations, I'm talking characters you wouldn't necessarily pick out of a lineup as the main villain at first. They're running around, doing their own thing, seeing to plans that don't necessarily have anything to do with you... and it's only later on that you find out how it all fits together.
Have you tried Avadon (http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/avadon/index.html)?

Spiderweb also does shades of grey pretty well. It's arguable whether the first Geneforge has any real villains. The guy who most closely fits the bill is (as I recall) an intelligent, strong-willed man who wants to liberate a race of slaves.

Brickroad
08-31-2011, 04:18 PM
Luca Blight (Suikoden II)

...

Even so there are traumatic events in his life which, though they in no way excuse his villainy, when combined with the corrupting influence of the magical Rune he possesses suggest that his wicked nature was exacerbated by external circumstances.

I've always felt this was a weakness, not a strength. Luca is a better villain before you learn he has any humanizing traits; there always seems to be some schlub who stands up in a Luca Blight discussion and says "the guy watched his own mom get raped repeatedly, that would screw anyone up!", and the character didn't need that.

Voncaster
08-31-2011, 05:05 PM
Have you looked at The Silver Lining (http://www.tsl-game.com/)? The episodic unofficial/official 9th game in the series?

I don't know anyone who has and I'm not brave enough, yet,to make the leap into it myself...

How long has this existed? I thought Roberta Williams exited the games industry.

Sidenote: There was some thread on TT lamenting that people 100 years from now will not appreciate the video games of today. I responded that the majority of gamers probably don't even know who Roberta Williams is.

Kishi
08-31-2011, 05:15 PM
Well, I didn't know who Roberta Williams was when she was relevant.

Falselogic
08-31-2011, 05:22 PM
How long has this existed? I thought Roberta Williams exited the games industry.

Sidenote: There was some thread on TT lamenting that people 100 years from now will not appreciate the video games of today. I responded that the majority of gamers probably don't even know who Roberta Williams is.

She did exit it. I think the people of the project dug her up and asked her to comment on the project. As far as I know she had no input into it.

The Silver Lining Project has been around for like five or six years at least, I think...


Well, I didn't know who Roberta Williams was when she was relevant.

Roberta Williams is eh, you really should know about the Coles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Cole) and Jane Jenson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Jensen)

Brickroad
08-31-2011, 07:08 PM
Well, I didn't know who Roberta Williams was when she was relevant.

I still don't know who she is, except she apparently sucked an earthworm's dick (http://www.seanbaby.com/cleveland/images/kingsquest.jpg).

Falselogic
08-31-2011, 07:11 PM
I still don't know who she is, except she apparently sucked an earthworm's dick (http://www.seanbaby.com/cleveland/images/kingsquest.jpg).

She created the King's Quest series and wrote the narrative for the first adventure game with pictures.

I'm guessing you already actually know this...

*looks a fool*

Kishi
08-31-2011, 07:12 PM
I still don't know who she is, except she apparently sucked an earthworm's dick (http://www.seanbaby.com/cleveland/images/kingsquest.jpg).

Heck if I wasn't thinking about that very article while I was writing that post.

Brickroad
08-31-2011, 08:04 PM
I'm guessing you already actually know this...

*looks a fool*

Well, I'd never played King's Quest and don't get why it's important, but then again, I was (and still am) an NES kid.

So really, my only exposure to Roberta Williams is that she got burned by Dolemite.

Falselogic
08-31-2011, 08:05 PM
Well, I'd never played King's Quest and don't get why it's important, but then again, I was (and still am) an NES kid.

So really, my only exposure to Roberta Williams is that she got burned by Dolemite.

I READ YOUR LPs!

*cries*

BŁge
08-31-2011, 08:09 PM
She created the King's Quest series and wrote the narrative for the first adventure game with pictures.


She also instituted a theme of obtuse game logic that players were supposed to unravel or wander about endlessly in an unwinnable state.

VorpalEdge
08-31-2011, 08:34 PM
http://images.wikia.com/aceattorney/images/6/6a/Sprite-gant.gif

also: the ai in ai war, the queen from ico, and walter breen

VorpalEdge
09-01-2011, 03:50 PM
man, someone makes a final fantasy villain topic and this thread drops like cement shoes

you people

Falselogic
09-01-2011, 03:53 PM
man, someone makes a final fantasy villain topic and this thread drops like cement shoes

you people

It wouldn't be the first time...

Zef
09-01-2011, 06:38 PM
man, someone makes a final fantasy villain topic and this thread drops like cement shoes

you people

I'll give you a hand!

http://i.imgur.com/TUUxU.jpg