"It's cute you all think you're the heroes of this little adventure, but you're not."
All heroes need a villain, and all villains need a hero, it's the rules in games, in cinema and in novels. Usually, the hero will defeat the villain, sometimes not. A lot of the time, villains are so well written and defined that it's impossible not to find them interesting, sometimes even more than the protagonist. Most of the time, a heroes motivations are clear from the start, he must prevent the world from ending, stop the bad guys and get the girl. But for villains, their ambiguity and muddled intentions is what makes them so captivating. I believe the quality of a games story can be judged solely on the quality of the villain. That is why I think in most cases, the villains are better than the heroes. Without the villain, most stories wouldn't happen, they act as the catalyst that causes the hero to take action.
"What I have shown you is reality. What you remember, that is the illusion."
Yin and Yang is a concept used to describe how opposite forces are interconnected and dependent on each other throughout the world. Light and dark, hot and cold, high and low and good and evil. Heroes represent the good, the light and warmth. Without them, people would have no hope, they'd have no one to look up to or to aspire to become like. But that's all very plain, don't you think? In most games we spend our time as the hero, so we know how the good side works. But what about the evil side? Aren't we attracted to the dark, unforgiving, power hungry side every once in a while? I know I am. I prefer the villains over heroes in games because it's easy to be some form of hero in the real world. In games, I get jealous of the villains, I get jealous of the power they have and the dark deeds they are able to carry out. A villain is also something that I feel people can take inspiration from, how so? Well most villains will stop at nothing to get what they want, the only way they will be stopped is usually death, and while I'm not saying we should all try to reach are goals even if it kills us, but we shouldn't give up no matter what. A hero is just a reaction to an action.
"I'll be there with bells on! Ho ho!"
Villains usually come in all shapes and sizes, which, can be a startling contrast with the usually muscle-clad hero of the story. some bad guys can be can hulking, all-powerful Gods with the enough power to destroy the world, some can be small and furry, but eager to take your money. Their goals can be different, some want to rule the world, some want to destroy it and some just want to make a quick buck or two. That's what makes them interesting to me, heroes all have the same goal, defeat the bad guy, some may be reluctant to do it or it's a secondary goal to them, but nonetheless it's all the same. I also find it interesting when a villain believes what they are doing is for the greater good, to protect all of humanity. This makes bad guys a lot more diverse than heroes.
" Curse you! Not only do you foil my plans, but you foil my speeches as well! I work hard on them"
A lot of the time the villains can provide a contrast to the silent protagonist in games, they can give epic speeches that put fear in your eye and a shiver down your spine. Sometimes they can provide comedic value. Being a person hell-bent on destroying the world doesn't mean you can't be a clumsy mess at times. At the times the main villain may lurk in the shadows, watching and plotting in the distance only to be revealed at the climax of the story, all these characteristics add extra depth to the villain, sure the main characters can be like that, but I find it much more entertaining when these features are shown in evil characters.
"Look at you, hacker: a pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?"
Well that's me finished explaining why I think the villains are much better than the heroes, I want to finish off with my top 5 favourite villains, in no particular order:
"See, this is what I don't get about you bad guys. You know the hero's gonna win, but you never just die quickly— man, this one guy in New Haven, right? City's burning, people dying, blah blah blah. This guy rushes me with a spoon. A fricking spoon. And I'm just laughing. So I scoop out his eyeballs with it, and his kids are all, "aghhhhh!,” and, ah...you had to be there. Anyway, the moral is: you're a bitch."
Yes, I'm a bit obsessed with Borderlands 2 at the minute, but I feel everyone should, not only is it one of the best games of the generation, but it also has one of the best villains of this generation too! Jack is the egotistical CEO of the Hyperion Corporation and self-declared dictator of Pandora. we find out that he orchastrated the events of the first game purely for his own gain, which is, to make trillions of dollars and to wipe Pandora of all the bandits. You rarely meet him, the entire time he is just a voice in your ear that is constantly putting you down. I'm not going to lie, half the things he says brings me to tears every time, the way he delivers them is amazing, the above quote is just one of many where I feel I shouldn't laugh but I did anyway. He is controlling and manipulative, he uses others for his own advantage, even his own daughter. *SPOILER* Even when his daughter is killed he uses her death as a way to get sympathy from the people of Pandora*SPOILER*.
The Illusive man:
“Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our methods, but by what we seek to accomplish.”
The Illusive Man is the elusive, secretive, and well informed leader of Cerberus. His goal is to make humanity the leading race of beings in the Galaxy, and at any cost. It was interesting to having to work for him in the second game, it allowed us to believe that maybe he isn't so bad, he just does what he does in the interest of all of humanity, but then we get to Mass Effect 3, and he become indoctrinated by The Reapers, even though he thinks he isn't. We see he has performed experiments on his soldiers that has turned them into freaks. He is one of the few villains where we actually see he will do whatever is necessary to win.
"Citizens of Earth, lend me your ears and listen to me very carefully! My name is Dr. Eggman, the world's greatest scientist, and soon to be the world's greatest ruler! Now witness the beginning of the greatest empire of all time!"
Eggman, or Dr.Robotnik if you shall, has been Sonics are nemesis since the very beginning. His goals are simple, rule the world and use small furry animals to make his robot army go. No matter how many times he gets defeated by Sonic, he never gives up. That's dedication right there. He also brings a lot of comic relief to the games, which is a brilliant characteristic for villains. Not by what he says, but because for a person with an I.Q of 300, he sure his a bumbling buffoon. But that's why he holds a special place in my heart.
"I think we can put our differences behind us... for science... you monster."
GlaDOS was unique amongst villains in that the player had no one else to interact with for the entirety of the game, and although she says a couple curious things, you have no reason to doubt her intentions until you round that corner. Though she wasn't the toughest baddie, it was her wit and personality which made me enjoy her as a villain. She isn't afraid to throw in some name calling too, and even though she is an A.I, she is one of the most human villains out there.
Plus she apparently knows a really good cake recipe!
"To think, they called me insane, Lawrence. We'll see who's insane...when my pets have exterminated all life on this miserable planet!"
The thing about Dr.Nefarious is that he is pure evil, he wants to wipe out all organic life in the universe, but he is evil in the most lovable way. Every scene he is in will be hilarious, his presence and his quotes are some of the funniest in gaming. One of Dr. Nefarious' most charming quirks is his tendency to blow a fuse and stop mid-sentence, occasionally picking up soap opera radio waves in the process. This glitch happens when Nefarious is under stress or overly excited, and it lends a tremendous amount of personality to his character.
Who are your favourite villains? Or are you more of a hero person? Feel free to let me know, and if you disagree, prepare to be evaporated by my death-ray! Mwahahahaha!
Once you're done here, why don't you continue your evil planning over in TayClassic? If you need help with world domination, feel free to contact me or any of the other authors over at the ConTAYct list.