Villain Types

Remember that piece of shit thing I wrote on hero types a long time ago? Well, I decided to do one on villains. I would have done it sooner, but stuff got in the way.

Every protagonist needs an antagonist, a person that is the opposite to the protagonist and opposes them at every turn. Thus, the hero-villain relationship is created, and maintained throughout the ages. Sometimes exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness, while other times handled quite carefully and sympathetically, the villain is a vital role in any game.

  1. Godlike Villain: You know those wizards that hang around in big towers, watching the heroes run around while firing the occasional lightning bolt of beam of death? Those guys all fall into this category. They never bother to fight the heroes directly; they simply stand back and watch as their empire crumbles before them. Finally, the heroes fight and slay them, proving that they are not gods at all.

If you thought the Flawless Hero type was stupid, get a load of this. They’re gods, and yet they don’t bother to kill the heroes when they have the chance. Not only that, but they stay tucked away in little towers, watching everything from their evil safehouses. A REAL god would have no need of any protection; they could probably take a couple million machine gun rounds to the chest while calmly eating a snickers bar. Like the Flawless Hero, these are found a LOT in older games, but still creep up in newer ones.

  1. Sympathetic Villain: These are the bad guys you feel for. They either have a dramatic backstory or some kind of event that turns them into universe-destroying monsters, which you then have to slay. They often have the powers of the Godlike Villain, but like to actually get involved in the action, rather than sit around in the background. And sometimes, when they get killed off, the heroes actually feel sorry for them.

This is a good kind of villain type for an antagonist. They have a lot of powers, yes, but also have problems of their own. In other words, no mere tower can stop the pain in their minds. These guys are slowly growing in popularity, but unfortunately, many a company has turned this type into a laughingstock by making it TOO dramatic.

  1. Honorable Villain: These are almost NEVER the main antagonist. Rather, they often work as underlings to the big guy himself, and often hold high positions and favor with their masters. However, unlike the other sniveling creatures around them, they have a sense of honor and righteousness, and serve the bad guy either because they honestly believe in what he says, or because there’s some other event we don’t know about. Also, they usually get the crap kicked out of them, and ALWAYS get killed.

The Honorable Villain, although cool, simply cannot work as a main antagonist, and for good reason. We like our villains rotten; even the Sympathetic Villain is evil in some way. The Honorable Villain is evil in that he is being controlled or misguided. Also, why do they always have to die? Can’t they just turn on their masters and join the heroes or something?

  1. Lackey: I’m not gonna even touch these guys. They’re the most pathetic villains in existance: the loyal, bumbling lackeys to the villains. Sure, you might get an Ozzie or such sometimes, but quite often, they’re cast as comic relief…and aren’t funny in the least. Not only that, but they have no good powers or abilities, and deserve to die in all situations.

The Lackey will always be around, sadly. Maybe someday, they’ll make consistent FUNNY lackeys…but that seems very unlikely.

  1. Manipulator: The Manipulator is a different kind of villain; he doesn’t touch anything directly, like the Godlike Villain, but he instead pulls the strings from behind whoever is in power. The Manipulator is often close to the power source of the land (the ruler) as either an advisor or counsellor; however, sometimes he is not even involved in that regard, and simply controls others in the court. The Manipulator is always revealed, and is almost always caught and defeated.

The Manipulator is a very interesting type, but also very complicated to pull off correctly. Maybe it’s because their schemes always have to be larger than those of the more direct villains, but that’s not important. What is important is that this type has been appearing often in games for God-knows-how-long, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Criticize, add, insult, etc. Just leave me with a tiny shred of dignity.

I only skimmed your post, but I think you forgot one type: The villain who really thinks he’s the good guy. The Honorable villain is kinda similar, but not quite the same.

(Example: Guy who wanted to destroy the phantoms with the Zeus Cannon in FF:TSW)

What aout Ultros?

:ulty: I’m the funniest lackey in existance.

Well, he really didn’t serve anybody but he’s a villain and he’s great comic relief.


:mwahaha: Yeah me! I’m funny too!

While he was the main villian in the game, he did serve Gesthal (sp?) until he killed him.

Mentioned I was not? I HAVE FURY!!

Yes, Fawful, you’re a Lackey, too.

Heh…VERY nice, Galloway. :hahaha;

Nice Gallo, quite entertaining.

Hades: You forget, no villian believes that their motives are evil :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d just like to say here and now: Ultros is NOT funny. “Seafood soup!” “Don’t mess with the octopus kiddies!” Oh come ON. -_-

It’s not that the villain doesn’t think he’s evil, but rather that the villain thinks he’s helping others when he’s actually hurting them. This is in comparison to villains that are acting in their personal interest, which, while they may not perceive themselves as evil, does not fall under the category of being benevolent or altruistic.

d: What are you complaining about? That was pretty good. And pretty accurate, too.
However, you forgot to give us a frame of reference: do you mean VIDEO game villains, or Comic Book villains, or just ALL villains? (Your list applies everywhere, actually.)

My favorite Comic Book villain is Thanos, The Mad Titan, from Marvel Comics. He seems to be the Godlike Type, but is actually a Manipulator. He can trick nearly everybody into doing what he wants- sometimes even while making them think they’re tricking HIM!
Thanos has actually managed to obtain infinite power on ocassion (anyone remember the Infinity Gauntlet?) but ALWAYS lost it because -get this- deep down he knew he didn’t deserve it. So, unconsciously, he SABOTAGED his own plans! Like, when he had the Gauntlet, he decided to join his spirit with the Universe. Ohh! Ahh! EXCEPT YOU LEFT YOUR BODY UNGUARDED, YOU MORON! And of course, somebody just walked up and stole the Gauntlet from him! It was THEN he had to accept his own flaw. The fact his woman, Death herself, rejected him, was a blow to his ego, too (then again, Death in the Marvel Universe is a b*tch- she used Thanos, dropped him, and even slept with other guys just to spite him. Ouch.)
Thanos has been made into an unwilling hero of sorts, 'cause he’s so popular, and has even been given his own comic book!

Reminds me of a line from the MGS2 Thumbnail Theatre

Solidus: Actually, I tricked Ocelot into manipulating you into manipulating me!

Heh… this is informative.

Heh, pretty cool… now, I wish I could’ve read the Hero type thing you did…

Wow that was a pretty good list there.

And thanks for posting that link Yar, I’ve only just recently beaten MGS2. It’s so true :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re welcome, MISTER Countryson.

One word: Kefka.

I must concur … although one could argue that there’s a difference between liking to destroy stuff and actual evil. Still, just because he doesn’t actually use the phrase “I’m evil” ingame doesn’t mean that –

:mwahaha: UWEE HEE HEE HEE! I am the baddest, I am, I am!

:mwahaha: There warm to the Touch.

Leo: 3. Honorable Villain, at least until his dismise!

:mwahaha: Before Killing Gestall : 5. Manipulator

:mwahaha: after killing Gestall: 1. Godlike Villain

Big Nutter

:ulty: “Fall Down all those floors just to be squashed by 15 10-Ton weights”