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    Default Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Nicked from the role-playing forum, because it's sort of a different question in computer games but still relevant.

    In my own case it would be Lords Chaos and Order from Dungeon Master.

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    Lords Chaos and Order were big bads in the sense that both of them were big guys who wanted the (firestaff?) and were prepared to murderise your party to get it. What the party had to do was contain Lord Chaos in flux cages then use another feature of the staff to merge the two, after which you got a nice little old guy saying "thanks friends that was really great of you".


    I don't understand why that ending hasn't been reused.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Depending upon how you define BBEG - well, spoilers for Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
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    Edelgard becomes the main antagonist of that game in three of its four routes (the fourth being the one where you side with her), due to starting the war that dominates the game's second half. But the thing is, she's not evil. Arguably, she's even right in her reasoning: the sorts of reforms she wants to make to her society would be a very good thing, and would be strongly opposed by the Church, whose influence over the other nations of the region is so great that it would likely lead to war, on worse terms for her and her people, if she tried to just do so peacefully. To say nothing of how that same Church can be rather draconian in some ways, and so reducing or eliminating its influence can be argued as a good in and of itself. She simply chooses to confront the problem head-on and have the element of surprise when she does. But of course by going for this route she more or less forgoes any chance of trying to convince the other nations to her side in the conflict (admittedly a long shot considering how the other nations have closer ties to the Church than hers, but still) by casting herself as the aggressor in the war, and therefore plunges the region into a bloody, years-long conflict that could never have a perfect resolution.

    She creates the conflict, but she's not evil. She fully believes she's pursuing a noble goal by the only means that will work. And it's even quite possible, as tragic as it may be, that she's right. Few stories manage to have a main antagonist that compelling.

    Alternatively, the main antagonist of the route where you side with Edelgard becomes Archbishop Rhea of the Church of Seiros. Whom you see throughout the game's first part (and for what you see of her in the second part for the other routes) as a kindly woman who genuinely seems to want the best for those around her, but who is utterly intolerant of defiance of the Church. It turns out she's actually basically an ageless member of a race of dragon-people and set up the Church after the legendary war from a thousand years ago that the game tells you about in its backstory in order to help stabilize the region and avoid ever repeating the tragedies that took place back then. Again, a very sympathetic character in many ways, and not truly evil at all, even though she's a source of conflict for the game's story. Though I'd say that Edelgard is the overall stronger character, since well, Rhea can be rather cavalier about executions of people who try to oppose the Church, and does go kind of crazy towards the end in the route where you oppose her. And in one of the other routes from ill-explained reasons.
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    For me, it's a toss-up between SHODAN and Handsome Jack.
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    Bossing Around Mad Cats for Fun and Profit: Let's Play MechCommander 2!

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Always had a soft spot for the Queen B* of the Galaxy, Kerrigan. At least until they did that ridiculous Blizzard thing of making some big galactic threat that means you're forced to turn the irredeemable villain good to save everyone. Replacing Kerrigan with Amon was one of the worst villain downgrades I've ever seen.

    Kefka remains the best villain that Final Fantasy ever created.

    Ganondorf from Twilight Princess, Windwaker, and Ocarina of Time has it all. Big, scary, intimidating. Intelligent enough to manipulate enemies and allies to do what he wants. While still perfectly capable of going a round of fisticuffs with the hero. WW added a bit more depth to him, which was nice. But TP has the best end game series of boss fights in the entire series and the best design for Old Man Ganon.

    GLaDOS is frankly hilarious, and honestly sometimes that's all you need in a character.

    I might throw in Gwyn Lord of Sunlight/Cinder in there as well.

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    After three games in the universe all of which take place after Gwyn has died/gone hollow he still remains such a fascinating character. He essentially created the world as we see it in all its splendor and all its horror. His fear of the growing dark power of humanity made him do many terrible things. Shackling mankind to the cycle of undeath, using everyone including his own children as pawns, and propagating false narratives and prophecies all to maintain the world as he knew it. And we can all argue about whether it was justified or not. The glimpses of the world after the fading of the light we get are as terrible if not worse than the world Gwyn made, and he certainly was no coward trying simply to keep hold of his own power, as he was more than willing to sacrifice his own life just to keep the world going. He makes such a fascinating villain, partially because all we can really do is look at the remains of his works and wonder. Because what remains of him is just a burnt out husk that won't give us any answers.

    And yeah, I still get chills hearing that piano.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Depending upon how you define BBEG - well, spoilers for Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
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    She creates the conflict, but she's not evil. She fully believes she's pursuing a noble goal by the only means that will work. And it's even quite possible, as tragic as it may be, that she's right. Few stories manage to have a main antagonist that compelling.
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    Edelgard is explicitly absolutely not right. She places the blame for all of the iniquity in society and for her suffering on the church, who did none of it, and co-operates with Those Who Slither in the Dark who actually did some of it. The church isn't responsible for the Crest system or the social structure imposed by it, nor is Rhea responsible for the experiments done on Edelgard. The massacre of the Tragedy of Duscur was done specifically to benefit Edelgard, and she tries to deflect blame away from her own family's part in it and blame it entirely on Those Who Slither in the Dark.

    Rhea did support the independence of the Alliance and the Kingdom using the influence of the church, but Edelgard's opposition to that just makes her a conquering revanchist and a hypocrite. She simply seeks to reassert the dominance of the Empire, no more just than the crest system, and her "rebellion" against the church is her excuse.

    Edelgard isn't right, she's a fool and a dupe who launches a continent-wide war which ends up predominantly benefiting the exact people who caused all her pain in the first place. Ultimately the theme of Three Houses is that violence begets violence, and violence is not only Edelgard's chosen path but the only one she believed in. (That's why Claude is the only one who fixes ****, because he prefers nonviolence where possible, even if that means trickery)

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Vaas basically carries the plot of Far Cry 3, even though he's not the final boss. They've been trying to recapture that level of antagonist and failing ever since.

    The original fall of Arthas was pretty good at the time. It's a bit watered down by how terrible Blizzard's storytelling has been since then.

    Other than that....Handsome Jack maybe? He and Glados are funny and memorable, but I don't know that they're great villains. Video games aren't the best for compelling bad guys. Usually the more sympathetic ones end up on your team or helping you somehow.
    Last edited by Anteros; 2021-12-16 at 04:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    ...Does Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors count? Probably my favorite villain.

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    It's funny how much genre can influence a player's assumptions, I think Akane wouldn't have been nearly as shocking if it weren't for the fact that she's the protagonist's childhood best friend/romance interest in a visual novel. She plays tightly to the cliche to disarm the player, but when the reveal finally happens, it doesn't feel like the game was lying to you at all; her motives are weird, but consistent, and you want her to survive even though she's done a lot of extremely messed up stuff already.


    Other than that... I go back and forth on how I feel about Sephiroth, but I think I lean toward liking the way he fills his narrative function. He's a pretty huge presence in the game compared to a lot of BBEGs, constantly showing up in cutscenes or to unleash another monster, and it's incredibly satisfying to beat him down.
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    I'll be the first to mention Jon Irenicus from Baldur's Gate 2, though that is as much the voice acting as the actual character.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    I'll second Kefka- amazing what a great soundtrack can do for a villain (why hello there, Darth Vader and your Imperial March!), and he's just so utterly bug**** insane that it's sort of amazing that he got as far as he did.

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    I mean, how many villains in any genre can claim to have achieved their goals and ruled the world as a god for years in the middle of the game? It happens sometimes in the backstory of games, where you have to throw off the shackles of whatever conquering overlord killed your father/mentor/friend/king/whatever in the opening cutscene at the latest, but having the heroes flat out fail halfway through the game and the world go 'boom'? Gutsy choice, and I don't think I've seen a game do it since.

    And I can still hear that laugh, more than 20 years later...


    Another would be the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah from Star Control II.

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    Finding out that the aliens that conquered Earth and sealed it inside an impenetrable slave shield were protecting humanity? Oof. Not a happy moment, given that the alternative is their genocidal cousins glassing the planet.

    And then finding out that they're doing that out of fear of a nastier threat? Bit of an 'eep' moment there, too. Great storytelling in a game that at first glance didn't seem to have a lot of room for it.
    Times being what they are, the stars aligning and the End of All Things barely registered as background noise.

    At a bit of a loss as to what to do next, and with bills to pay, a certain Elder Thing has taken up bartending.

    This is...

    The Last Call of Cthulhu

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Dagoth Ur from Morrowind. He was courteous, nuanced and actually wasn't wrong about everything. If they had n option to join him plenty of people would have.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    I'm going to nominate Kreia, from KOTOR II.

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    She spends most of the game as one of your companions, dispensing sermons about how everything you thought you knew about the Force and morality was wrong and you were stupid for having thought it. You can argue with her, but the writers never let you win, and from a game mechanics perspective the best option is to sycophanticly agree with whatever she says. So when at the end of the game she turns out to be a villain and the final boss, it's enormously satisfying to smite her right in her smug face.
    I'm making a webcomic, featuring absurdity, terrible art, and alleged morals.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zekestone View Post
    Dagoth Ur from Morrowind. He was courteous, nuanced and actually wasn't wrong about everything. If they had n option to join him plenty of people would have.
    He's totally right about pretty much everything. Shame he wants to kill everyone to prove it.
    "Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the sky."

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Already listed, but Irenicus and GLaDOS are among the most memorable.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Ansem, Xenmas and Xehanort made for rather memorable BBEGs. By the time you get to any of them you're oh so very ready to ruin their day, and they have some memorable boss fights as well.

    +1 to Kefka and Sephiroth as well. I'd also like to give honorable mentions to their theme music as well, any time you heard that you knew ish was about to get real.

    Zenos from FFXIV and Ardyn from FFXV also made for great BBEGs. So very satisfying to get to smack those two down, smug jerks the both of 'em.

    Lets see, for a non SE BBEG, hrm....
    SMT has some rather interesting BBEGs, but they're more of just the last obstacle in your path, rather than the goal being to conquer over them specifically.

    Planescape Torment has the physical embodiment of your mortality as your final foe, not technically a favorite, but definitely memorable.
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
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    Edelgard is explicitly absolutely not right. She places the blame for all of the iniquity in society and for her suffering on the church, who did none of it, and co-operates with Those Who Slither in the Dark who actually did some of it. The church isn't responsible for the Crest system or the social structure imposed by it, nor is Rhea responsible for the experiments done on Edelgard. The massacre of the Tragedy of Duscur was done specifically to benefit Edelgard, and she tries to deflect blame away from her own family's part in it and blame it entirely on Those Who Slither in the Dark.

    Rhea did support the independence of the Alliance and the Kingdom using the influence of the church, but Edelgard's opposition to that just makes her a conquering revanchist and a hypocrite. She simply seeks to reassert the dominance of the Empire, no more just than the crest system, and her "rebellion" against the church is her excuse.

    Edelgard isn't right, she's a fool and a dupe who launches a continent-wide war which ends up predominantly benefiting the exact people who caused all her pain in the first place. Ultimately the theme of Three Houses is that violence begets violence, and violence is not only Edelgard's chosen path but the only one she believed in. (That's why Claude is the only one who fixes ****, because he prefers nonviolence where possible, even if that means trickery)
    The biggest strength of Three Houses is that the characters are so well written that they divided the fanbase over who is right. Which is damn impressive storytelling.

    For another "do they count as a BBEG?" example - Yomiel from Ghost Trick. He's written as a scary as hell villain for 90% of the game...and then you learn his backstory and why he's acting that way, and your heart shatters into pieces.

    For BBEG Classic, there's no beating Kefka. But looking through my games list, I really do find that these days I tend to go more for the complex as hell villains rather than the pure evil dudes.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    The biggest strength of Three Houses is that the characters are so well written that they divided the fanbase over who is right. Which is damn impressive storytelling.
    I mean, on the one hand, what I've seen of Three Houses does make it seem like most things, except Dimitri, are pretty well written, but on the other hand, I kinda do have to point out that people are also divided on, like, Skyrim, despite the fact that the game's writing kinda sucks and also the Stormcloaks are a bunch of supremacist, nationalistic idiots that anyone who has ever had the displeasure of talking to your garden variety aspiring neonazi (as I had to, back in my teen days) will find eerily familiar. So, fanbase division, not necessarily a huge indicator?

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drascin View Post
    I mean, on the one hand, what I've seen of Three Houses does make it seem like most things, except Dimitri, are pretty well written, but on the other hand, I kinda do have to point out that people are also divided on, like, Skyrim, despite the fact that the game's writing kinda sucks and also the Stormcloaks are a bunch of supremacist, nationalistic idiots that anyone who has ever had the displeasure of talking to your garden variety aspiring neonazi (as I had to, back in my teen days) will find eerily familiar. So, fanbase division, not necessarily a huge indicator?
    Dimitri is quite well written as well. You need to play through his version of the story to see it, but he's definitely no outlier. After playing all the game's routes, I have a hard time deciding which House leader or route (not counting Silver Snow) is my favorite, since they were all so well done. And the point here with the split fanbase thing is that the story is such a well-written example of moral ambiguity that different people take different sides, and can each have legitimate arguments for them - not just that some idiots will side with the obviously evil side for dumb reasons. That is indeed quite rare.

    Although I should say, some of GloatingSwine's remarks are just factually incorrect, and I don't even know where he got the idea for some of them. But I don't want to get into the details so as not to derail the thread into a big discussion of Three Houses.
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    "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." -C.S. Lewis

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    I think you could make just about any story, attach pretty anime characters to different sides, let the fandom choose, and you'd get divides.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    For me, Delita from FF Tactics. He manipulates everyone, including the hero of the story. What's worse, you never get to confront him in any way. You're too busy dealing with the consequences of things he helped set in motion.

    Vizier Khilbron, aka the Lich, from Guild Wars. While alive, he destroys the home of the gods in order to save it from invaders, causing the cataclysm, which turns him into the lich. Later, he pretends to help fight against an undead army in exchange for a powerful artifact which he then tricks the player into using it to release the titans. Also, he zombified your prince after he sacrificed himself to save your people.

    The Transcendental One, from Planescape Torment. Not so much for his characterization, but more for how many different ways you can 'defeat' him, including a traditional fight, talking him into reintegrating with you, and killing yourself with a weapon that can kill someone who is immortal.


    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    I'm going to nominate Kreia, from KOTOR II.

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    She spends most of the game as one of your companions, dispensing sermons about how everything you thought you knew about the Force and morality was wrong and you were stupid for having thought it. You can argue with her, but the writers never let you win, and from a game mechanics perspective the best option is to sycophanticly agree with whatever she says. So when at the end of the game she turns out to be a villain and the final boss, it's enormously satisfying to smite her right in her smug face.
    Kreia is also high on my list. I never got the hate for her. Her entire purpose is to teach you, to discriminate what's dogma to the Jedi and the Sith and the reality of the Force. She betrays you to teach you the lesson she failed to learn.
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    I think you could make just about any story, attach pretty anime characters to different sides, let the fandom choose, and you'd get divides.
    Reminding me of the "Griffith did nothing wrong" crowd here.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Toastkart View Post
    Kreia is also high on my list. I never got the hate for her. Her entire purpose is to teach you, to discriminate what's dogma to the Jedi and the Sith and the reality of the Force. She betrays you to teach you the lesson she failed to learn.
    Agreed. despite all her evilness, she does act like an actual teacher encouraging you to think outside one paradigm or another and that the world isn't as simple as one thing or another. I'd say she has is a negative view of the Force as a malevolent entity only causing conflict, which doesn't make sense, since we know there are light siders who unite and make people cooperate rather than divide, the Force influences and ties together all life, they are apart of that as well and she is ignoring the fact that the Republic exists and is actually good for the galaxy and its people in its coooperation- which is apart of the point of the game, you can't listen to one person or philosophy not even Kreia because Kreia's blindspot is all the sidequests that she doesn't care about which are actually vital to recovering the republic. She has a point, but there are clear holes in what she focuses on, because she talks about not focusing on the Force too much.....while ignoring the mundane economic/political concerns of the galaxy and thus the normal people around them. she failed to learn her own lesson of focusing too much on Jedi.
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

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    Solas. He is responsible for nearly every bad thing currently happening in the setting. He's also eminently likable and wise while he's with you.

    However my opinion of him may change depending on what happens in DA4.
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
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    Solas. He is responsible for nearly every bad thing currently happening in the setting. He's also eminently likable and wise while he's with you.

    However my opinion of him may change depending on what happens in DA4.
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    Hard disagree with him being likable and wise. I spent the entire playthrough thinking his views were wildly dangerous...which turned out to be completely justified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
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    Hard disagree with him being likable and wise. I spent the entire playthrough thinking his views were wildly dangerous...which turned out to be completely justified.
    I agreed with plenty of his views, particularly those regarding the Qun, the Circles, the nature of the Fade and the Evanuris. And of course without him we'd have been annihilated by Corypheus.

    Obviously the parts we disagreed on are pretty major, but I'm hoping there's more than one way to resolve things in DA4.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    I'd second Dagoth Ur. Morrowind just got so many things right... Dagoth Ur isn't just Dagoth Ur, he's the way he deforms animals and followers in body and mind, reaches out to you in your dreams, encroaches in the filthy air of the blight storms, and extends his reach through Vvardenfell's ashes and hidden caves, sitting at its heart. He enters the cities as a drug -- literally: at least in one case a skooma addict got corprus, and smugglers will carry both moon sugar and ash statues.

    In general, well-written games will have well-written baddies. Dr. Lamb and Andrew Ryan from Bioshock II and I, and the Seti-Olivia-Mercury triad in Tribes: Vengeance come to mind. However, a very well-written game like SOMA didn't have a real bad guy, as far as I remember. Deus Ex instead felt like it was so big and everything was in movement, and even the bad guys in the end were just gears in a wide array of moving parts.

    I am still waiting for that System Shock remake, the demo really made it the only announced game I want to play (with STALKER 2).
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    I never understood why people thought so highly of Kefka. He's just a random cackling psychopath who destroys the world for pointless absolute power and reigns on a ruins.

    He's got the random nature of the Joker with none of the wits. He's not Machiavellian, he's just vicious and petty.

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    Lurkmoar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    I never understood why people thought so highly of Kefka. He's just a random cackling psychopath who destroys the world for pointless absolute power and reigns on a ruins.

    He's got the random nature of the Joker with none of the wits. He's not Machiavellian, he's just vicious and petty.
    I think it's because he successfully brought about the apocalypse and the heroes barely survived it.
    Don't know your name but bring the pain.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    I never understood why people thought so highly of Kefka. He's just a random cackling psychopath who destroys the world for pointless absolute power and reigns on a ruins.

    He's got the random nature of the Joker with none of the wits. He's not Machiavellian, he's just vicious and petty.
    Violent petty losers with too much power are very cathartic to destroy. And he was the most of the violent petty losers.

    Successfully conquering the universal also puts a nice feather in his cap, and I found him somewhat amusing in his best moments.

    I definitely enjoyed him far more then the frankly pretty dull Sephiroth that for some reason gets a lot of press. Can’t say about any of the later villains in the series though, it’s possible he’s been topped.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Vaas basically carries the plot of Far Cry 3, even though he's not the final boss. They've been trying to recapture that level of antagonist and failing ever since.
    To the point that I never even bothered to finish the game after he was offed. I kinda just treated that as the end and returned the game (I had it via Gamefly at the time). I have no idea how the game actually ends and I'm content that way.

    So, yeah, Vaas pretty good. Who else. Hm.

    I actually don't remember too many "great villains" in video games. Weirdly I find a lot of video game antagonists are usually good for the game they're in, but I struggle to really feel like they stand out from the game itself, and really DEFINE the experience. Or, at least, the "main antagonists". Eg., I think Baron Praxis is an excellent villain in Jak 2...but the real "Big Bad" kinda sucks ass by comparison.

    Likewise, Seymour is an amazing villain in Final Fantasy X, but Yu Yevon sucks. Kind of ruins Sin (who might otherwise make the list, even though it's less a character than a force of nature, which is part of why it's so appealing).

    Hmmm. Loghain, perhaps, from Dragon Age: Origins? Not only a great villain, but a fascinating character in his own right. Again, not technically the "big bad", but the real big bad is, again, a faceless evil with no character traits. He's the closest thing you get to a primary antagonist.

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    Default Re: Who's your favourite big bad evil guy in a game you played? (spoilers ahoy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lurkmoar View Post
    I think it's because he successfully brought about the apocalypse and the heroes barely survived it.
    But it's just because he pulled the stupidest move at the right moment. Nobody would think the ******* who smashed all buttons at a nuclear power plant and survived the ensuing apocalypse was a a good villain.

    He had no forethought, no afterthought. No plan, or ambitions beyond "kill everything and be unkillable". And again, no wits or elegance.

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