How To Spot a Video Game Villain

A guide by Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist


This article was originally featured in Thirteen1 Gaming Magazine: October Issue.


Villain: The JokerThey’re out there… waiting for you to make your move… eventually hitting you when you least expect it. It is very hard to determine which character would end up as the villain. It’s really fantastic how they change the flow of the story just by doing one dastardly deed, converting them from protagonist to antagonist. Even if some remains as the villainous understudy instead of becoming the mastermind, these people are still deadly and deserves our full attention. If you are willing to fight for the sake of macabre and evil, then I suggest you go ahead and read another article; however, if you’re yearning to seek truth and justice, here’s a couple of stereotypical villainous classes to help you distinguish the banes of the video game world.


The classes:


10) The Chancellor/Advisor

These treacherous beings are the most cliché among videogame villains. Always the nice person with comforting words, telling the heroes to move on while they carry on with their devious plot. Their tactics are simple but quite profound. Despite these wretches’ predictable behavior and attack point, most heroes seem to be reeled in like stupid fishes. Their goal is simple: Learn everything you can from your opponent and use their strategy against them. A cheap trick if you ask me. So if ever you encounter a counselor/chancellor/adviser, you’ll know whom to blame if something goes wrong.

 Example: Grand Apothecary Putress (World of Warcraft), Chancellor (Chrono Trigger)


9) The Underdog

Much like the chancellor, these are people who are on the brink of turning evil due to mass failures and “loserdom”. These individuals may look puny at first, but don’t take them too lightly as these individuals often hit you back with their pain and agony (times two). What’s good about these people is that they would regularly remain as an understudy and would lack the brainpower to become a full pledged mastermind (except if they were smart to begin with). Their villainous ways only revolve around their emotions, which makes them easy to break regardless of their powers. If there’s a loser in your party… just kill him/her


Example: Zeke Jebediah (Infamous– though he’s just plain stupid and is still on the verge of understanding his actual alignment), Dr. Wily (Megaman), Cole (Infamous– hey, it’s your choice)


8) The summoned creature

It won’t take a genius to know how dangerous it is to trust an inhuman being from another world. These unruly beings are normally summoned by warlocks or other diabolical magic users. When it looks at you with a smile, do know that it’s merely expressing its hunger and is currently looking at its next meal. To sum it all up… You see a summoned being, kill it asap…. unless you can control it.


Example: Felguard (World of Warcraft), Lavos (Chrono Trigger), Bahamut (Final Fantasy Advent Children), Doom Train (Final Fantasy)


7)The Summoner

Behind every summoned creature is a dastardly summoner. The interesting part about these incomprehensible fools is that they would often be consumed by the ones they summoned. Whether it’s escaping their summoned creature’s wrath or just plain dying at the sight of their glory, these people must be stopped before they summon more infamous creatures. These villains are the masters of self sacrifice and would often just sacrifice themselves to make the world suffer more. Diabolical yet stupid.


Example: Magus (Chrono Trigger), Majordomo Executus (World of Warcraft), The King (Prince of Persia 2009)


6) The Cool Guy

Seifer Almasy (Final Fantasy VIII)Yes! It is quite evident that the good character who would often be cooler than the hero would be the next epitome of evil. You would normally be able to use them at first, since the game is such an @$$ when it comes to tricking you into loving that character. These guys don’t really need a good reason to fight the good guys. Sometimes despite their justified form of reasoning, these individuals only give lame excuses just so they could wreak havoc throughout the entire universe (or most of them at least). If not, then it would only be to piss off the game’s protagonist (who’s controlled by you!). The cool guys are people who just want to steal the spotlight. They may be annoying most of the time, but the worst part is that they are just so cool to hate.


Example: Sephiroth (Final Fantasy), Seifer Almasy(Final Fantasy), Ken Masters(Street Fighter– At least after he got controlled by Vega/Bison), Iori Yagami (Back then during the KOF 97 Orochi Saga)

 Al Mualim (Assassin's Creed)

5) The Master/Teacher/Leader

Although we’ve seen this happen on the big screen, people still aren’t used to the master being the student’s arch-nemesis. At first it’s all about training and molding his student to be the next epic hero, until things get ugly and the master becomes too much of a wuss to stand up to the forces of evil. These people are the source of great wisdom, which would be devastating if ever they fall in the wrong hands. I wouldn’t feature this class if there weren’t any cases, but just so you know: A renegade master is definitely worst than an evil student. Boy, Anakin Skywalker would be a maggot compared to these nasty muthafluffas.


Example: The Boss (Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater), Sanctus (Devil May Cry 4), Manfred VonKarma (Phoenix Wright), Albert Wesker (Resident Evil), Al Mualim (Assassin’s Creed), Kain (Soul Reaver)


4) The Proud Hero

Credo (Devil May Cry 4)In some cases, Heroes would find the need to grow stronger just to be able to take down their menacing rivals. Searching for power is good but would sometimes lead to the path of chaos and destruction. Sometimes, believing that they’re destined for greater things would drive them out of their sanity. Refusing to give up to evil doers, these individuals try to attain powers that consumes not only their bodies but their alignment as well. Most of them aren’t really blinded by power but merely their perception on what good or righteousness is.


Example: Illidan (World of Warcraft), Credo (Devil May Cry 4), Gray Fox (Metal Gear Solid)


3) The Main Character?

Fully aware that the power of evil may be more than they could ever handle, Some heroes become temporary villains by using the power of evil against their suppressors. I know that they’re still heroes but that doesn’t mean you don’t get to fight them. This case is much like the Proud Hero’s except for the fact that these villains always manage to revert back to their heroic selves. If ever you encounter these beings, try to watch their movements… and if ever they’re looking at you with the same devilish smile, get your rocket launcher and fire at will.


Example: Nero (Devil May Cry 4), Dante (Devil may Cry 4), Joey (Suikoden), Roger (Jeanne D’Arc)

Dante (Devil May Cry 4) 


2) The Idealist/Truth Seekers

Idealists or Truth Seekers are mostly found in anime shows. These are individuals who have seen the horrors of the world and have lost the will to carry on with their holy crusade. Some of them just have a different goal to begin with. It’s a given fact that most heroes don’t know jacksh!7 until the final battle. Any hero who realizes the truth before this given time turns into a villain after a few nudges of temptation. Truth Seekers often end up as a powerful minion as well but can take the mastermind’s place through double-crossing. Idealists don’t realize their wrong doing upon losing a confrontation with the hero. Their stubborn nature merely leads them further into the heart of darkness, accepting their defeat but not their mistakes.


Example: Ocelot (Metal Gear Franchise), Delita (Final Fantasy Tactics), Sanchez (Suikoden)


1) The False Ruler

Arthas (World of Warcraft)The most stereotypical and cliché type of villain would be the false ruler. These villains are destined to be nothing more than evil masterminds and has “LORD OF DARKNESS” written all over them. They could be any of the previous nine classes who are obsessed with destroying or ruling the world. Their methods consists of every villain’s diabolical tactics and would stoop to the lowest level just to be able to kill the protagonists of the game. False rulers always have the other nine classes at their disposal along with a variety of evil minions that will end up boosting your experience. You can always thank him for that the moment you kill him; but then again, why risk getting experience for the final battle when you can just kill him before he realizes his evil destiny?


Example: Arthas (World of Warcraft), Ultimecia (Final Fantasy 8), Cefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy 4), Diablo (Diablo), Baal (Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction), Smithy (Super Mario RPG)


Thirteen1 Magazine is an independent, online based, professionally made free-to-read games magazine created in East Yorkshire, UK. Each new issue is released on the 13th of every month at 13.00 GMT. Thirteen1 have published 15 issues to date, as well as 2 supplements, covering a wide variety of titles from multiple-platforms.

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