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I would ask a different question, which is do we WANT a villain we love to hate? Just wanna clarify...

 

I personally prefer Caesar over Benny. Benny has "no redeeming qualities" (not entirely, but close) because he'll literally keep trying to stab you in the back whenever he gets a chance, Caesar on the other hand is a definite villain for many, but you can understand his motivation.

 

If loving to hate a villain comes at the cost of them being so senselessly evil that they lack a sympathetic motivation or the like, then I say it's not worth it. Kefka and the Joker are fine for their settings, but personally I do NOT want to see another cliché fantasy setting where you fight the bad guy "becuz he's evil." I prefer morally grey, with an enemy I can sympathize with and have a chat with them. I prefer killing them not because they're downright disgustingly evil, but because they simply have an opinion on how things should be that vastly opposes my own and they refuse to back down from their own opinion and I from mine, thus forcing a fight. I prefer Caesar and Dagoth Ur over Ganondorf and the Joker.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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The best villains are those we can sympathise with. Irenicus was a great antagonist because one could understand how his being stripped of his soul drove him to do the things he did.

 

Kerghan was a great villain because his motivations for ending all life are perfectly sane and make a whole lot of sense given how the afterlife works in Arcanum.

 

Psycopaths who do evil just because are no fun.

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I think a key part when dealing with this aspect if you are talking about the "MAIN" villain is that you can't have it be too sympathetic. Especially since you are usually a character with free agency. For me when I'm in a game where the villain is a well intentioned extremist or something of the sort, I usually want to take other approaches as opposed to "I MUST STOP YOU BLAHMCEVILPANTS". The man or woman basically has to have broken a moral taboo and I think it has to not be abstracted , I think it needs to be in the viewer's face. And they need to be resolute and unapologetic (ultimately).

 

For a villain to be conflicted or anything of that sort causes them to enter tragic villain/figure territory, which works in some stories. I don't think it works for stories where you want "BIG BOSS FIGHT". I kind of went on a tangent.

 

Who sez you MUST have a Big Boss Fight? What makes you think that is a requirement?

 

In Fallout you could convince the Big Bad he was wrong, and he would kill himself.

You could avoid him completely and arm the nuke in his base, killing him without ever talking to him. I didn't felt cheated after that. I felt smart.

You could even agree with him and join him.

 

Why not?

Give us damn options as to how to handle the villain(s).

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I like intelligent villains. I like villains capable of manipulating events through schemes and politics, rather than just some muscle guy who takes over a city/country/world because he can beat everyone else up. Give me Kreia over Malak any day (KOTOR reference, for those unaware).

 

I also like villains who are willing to go to any lengths to make their plans come to fruition. If they kill someone's family, it's not because they're EVIL! and want to massacre everyone just to say they can. It's because it's a part of the grand plan and they have no qualms about murdering innocents if it furthers their goals.

 

Indeed villains have to have at least some degrea of class. Throut slitting bastards that apear once to kill an entier vilage and the next to be killed by you are simply to clishe and you can not feel like they are actualy worth your time


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I think a key part when dealing with this aspect if you are talking about the "MAIN" villain is that you can't have it be too sympathetic. Especially since you are usually a character with free agency. For me when I'm in a game where the villain is a well intentioned extremist or something of the sort, I usually want to take other approaches as opposed to "I MUST STOP YOU BLAHMCEVILPANTS". The man or woman basically has to have broken a moral taboo and I think it has to not be abstracted , I think it needs to be in the viewer's face. And they need to be resolute and unapologetic (ultimately).

 

For a villain to be conflicted or anything of that sort causes them to enter tragic villain/figure territory, which works in some stories. I don't think it works for stories where you want "BIG BOSS FIGHT". I kind of went on a tangent.

 

Who sez you MUST have a Big Boss Fight? What makes you think that is a requirement?

 

In Fallout you could convince the Big Bad he was wrong, and he would kill himself.

You could avoid him completely and arm the nuke in his base, killing him without ever talking to him. I didn't felt cheated after that. I felt smart.

You could even agree with him and join him.

 

Why not?

Give us damn options as to how to handle the villain(s).

 

I wrote

"stories where you want "Big Boss Fights" not "stories need "BIg Boss Fights" ;)

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I think a key part when dealing with this aspect if you are talking about the "MAIN" villain is that you can't have it be too sympathetic. Especially since you are usually a character with free agency. For me when I'm in a game where the villain is a well intentioned extremist or something of the sort, I usually want to take other approaches as opposed to "I MUST STOP YOU BLAHMCEVILPANTS". The man or woman basically has to have broken a moral taboo and I think it has to not be abstracted , I think it needs to be in the viewer's face. And they need to be resolute and unapologetic (ultimately).

 

For a villain to be conflicted or anything of that sort causes them to enter tragic villain/figure territory, which works in some stories. I don't think it works for stories where you want "BIG BOSS FIGHT". I kind of went on a tangent.

 

Who sez you MUST have a Big Boss Fight? What makes you think that is a requirement?

 

In Fallout you could convince the Big Bad he was wrong, and he would kill himself.

You could avoid him completely and arm the nuke in his base, killing him without ever talking to him. I didn't felt cheated after that. I felt smart.

You could even agree with him and join him.

 

Why not?

Give us damn options as to how to handle the villain(s).

 

I disagree about the Big Boss Fight because I believe there needs to be a final confrontation in the climax in the narrative structure. There needs to be that confrontation that leads to the resolution. However that 'fight' does not need to be combat as demonstrated in the Phoenix Wright series, you can have wonderful pacing, confrontation and reveal through just dialogue. Who doesn't like a good back and forth with objections with good evidence?

 

There's a problem with the balance between player choice vs telling a story and Obsidion needs to know the line. How much freedom should they be giving the player as oppose to their need to tell a story. Good stuff :)


Obsessing over Sword Art Online at the moment ^_^

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The most important thing to me is, that the motivations of the villain are believable and perhaps even ones you can relate to and understand the twisted logic behind them. The villain doesn't necessarily have to be super-evil, he might simply oppose your views and have a different world view / morals.

 

That and awesome spiky, black platemail full of skulls.

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Kreia...ugh.. I really hated her. Not because I think she was excellently written, but because she was so annyoing. And obvious. I knew before the first level was done that she will be the bad guy. And I couldn't kick her out of hte airlock.

As much as I like KOTOR2, I hate all the things done with the force (hole in the force? force hunger? Wound in the force? Super-jedi-mater-insta-kill Kreia power?)

 

 

I wonder how...

 

She cut them off the Force, like they planned to do with the Exile. The resulting shock killed them, not what she did.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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These are just some thoughts I had, and are in no way good ideas. I just like writing what I think and see what other people think.

One thing that I think would be interesting (albeit perhaps a bit expensive), is if you had different antagonists depending on the choices you make. I realize this isn't new at all, but I feel it's a bit more realistic. If someone plays as an unrelenting murderer of men and otherwise, while someone else plays a diplomat and "nice guy/gal", why should they be forced to fight against the same antagonist(s)? Hopefully though, the game will be much more complex than what i've just described, but several antagonist would be nice.

 

Also, seeing as they have heavily hinted this will be a franchise, i'd like to meet several antagonists that we never really end, or who outsmarts us perhaps in the later installments. How cool wouldn't it be if some antagonists were able to beat you, and the next time you would be meet them would be a game, or even several games later?

 

But to the real question in this topic, what make a villain you love to hate? If I hate a villain, I generally see that as a mediocre antagonist at best. I like antagonists that I, either hate to love (in which case I don't really hate them, I truly like them), or that I can understand and even condone. Antagonists which make me question myself and my "morals"

 

But yeah, while i'd like there to be a main antagonist(s), I feel that if there are a number of several memorable ones, that would make a far greater game than one with just one main antagonist. Also, i'd like to say that everyone in this topic has some great ideas, and hopefully Obsidian takes to heart the things we have to say. (My favourite so far would be, and I apologize if I am mistaken, but I believe it was agewisdom who brought the idea of an active, not passive antagonist(s); I really like that idea!

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For me a villain can have any kind of personality, really. But the most important thing about a villain is that I don't just meet him once at the climax of my journey, kill him and then let the credits roll. I want him to be there with me on my journey. He needs to be one step ahead of the Hero, and he needs to make it loud and clear to him. A good villain is someone you care about, and the only way to make you care is to have him be as prevalent to the story as your Hero. Now I don't mean care as in be sympathetic for him, although that's ok too, but I mean care like you actually care about ending him. If there is a villain on the loose, then you have to care about his destruction. It needs to be personal, it needs to feel personal. There's nothing more impotent than a major villain appearing out of nowhere with some pseudo-intellectual dialogue trying to make you care even though you just learned his name and existence 5 minutes ago.

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I believe a villain does not necessarily need to be crazy or mad. Sometimes, a villain is just a regular person viewing things from another perspective. For instance, it can be that, from the villain's point of view, your character has done terrible things to him. I guess (and most certainly hope) many of you have read the books of George R.R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire', and I think this story is a perfect example for this. There are many different storylines in the overall story, and sometimes they intertwine. However, every time you read a person's chapter, you feel with the character and his or her choices. But in every chapter, almost every other person is a bad person. It goes on in an endless cycle, making everyone a villain to at least one other person!

 

But to me, I believe a villain can be any kind of person. It can be a king, your closest friend, or maybe even some beggar on the street. It's interesting when a villain is somewhat personal, but it does not need to be as such. For example, the villain does not require to have done something personal from the beginning - this can gradually happen, maybe even occuring from a person who you would never have thought would be or turn a villain. But his story should be his and my story should be mine, colliding and excalating at one point.

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I have few villains that I love, both for very different reasons.

 

Heavenly Sword - King Bohan: Magnificent character, borderline insane, power hungry, entertaining, ALIVE. Alive is the key here, his character was so flush with emotion and awesomeness. He seemed pretty evil, but not over the top.

 

Harry Potter - Dolores Umbridge: Thi....this.....THING. As I write this, my eyes tear with RAGE. I..i.i.i.i.i.....can't express... my pure, unfaltering, unforgiving HATE for Dolores. When I watched her on the big screen, my blood turned into lava, I could feel it burning through my heart turning in black and charred. If I had a spoon, I would of dug it into your throat, and done everything I could to prevent her from saying one more word. She did such a great job at making me hate her, I respect the actor 10000x over. Now what you have to do, is make you hate the villain that much, but to be good, you have to save her ;-).

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As several have already said in this thread, but a really good villain is someone that no matter how evil and vile his or her acts are, you cannot help to sympathize with him/her.

 

Or a kind of funny twist would be that no matter how righteous your character is, the end villain would be you. The same would apply if you were trying to be evil, you would save the very world that you wanted to burn. Oh the irony.

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"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Too much sympathy for the villains is bad. :( In IWD2, I didn't want to fight the big bads by the end of it... go separate ways, maybe, but as a group of mercenaries, probably not fight them. :/

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Too much sympathy for the villains is bad. :( In IWD2, I didn't want to fight the big bads by the end of it... go separate ways, maybe, but as a group of mercenaries, probably not fight them. :/

 

I tend to agree with you. If diplomatic options are available that lead to rewarding alternative paths , then it is fine. But if they are gonna remain the antagonist and you are forced to ultimately clash with them in some form or another it can just be frustrating. You should be able to understand why an antagonist is doing something. But to sympathize with them will cause you to want to help them or deal with them in an alternative way ( that is the case for me at least).

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I'd actually like it if there are ways to alternately deal with the villains....but with a consequence. It's one of those things that DA:O almost did well, by making Alistair quit the party if you let Loghain live. Note that I didn't say it actually did well, because the consequences of that sort of thing should've been far more serious. You let your emotions and/or honor/better side get the better of your common sense? Have fun trying to avoid a Ned Stark ending and/or trying to deal with the following civil war!

 

It'd actually be great if you can ever, ever cause a Red Wedding situation, all out of your own stupid goodness....

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Sword Sharpener of the Obsidian Order

(will also handle pitchforks and other sharp things)

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i truly love Anakin/Darth Vader and really i just loved episode 3 (top to down it's like ep. 5, ep. 3, ep. 4, ep. 2, ep. 6 and the worst of all being ep. 1).

 

still, taking all the fluff out of those "worst" episodes it's really interesting to watch him develop. from a child filled with frustration, with a lot of potential, courage and love to a bitter disillusionment half man half machine to finally and ultimately being just human, not a hero nor a villain.

 

his journey to the dark side is just... very well pictured. his intentions are to save the one he loves, he has the power (or thinks he has the power), he's not dumb (as in he realizes that he's impatient, he realizes the danger, he eventually realizes that he has been manipulated by both parties) but he decides to risk it all - for what he sees is the highest purpose of all, to save the one he loves.

 

i don't know, but if i had to chose, i'd like to be like him (lol... in traffic, sometimes i'd really like to force choke some people or to just crush their cars into a soda can size toy - with them inside of course :p).

 

so you asked: there you go... Anakin / Vader

 

so attach a story to the main anatagonist, attach a credible motivation. ok, he wants to destroy the world, he wants to enslave it or whatever - but really, attach a motivation. this also leads to the subjective nature of morality - is it moral to take a life in order to save another (even your own). well then, how about two lives, how about 1000 lives.

 

maybe he thinks that in time he will amend for it, or that he genuinely thinks that what he is doing is good in the long run, and the sacrifices are justified.

 

don't know how Obsidian will do but i would really like to see a villain that's more than just "insane guy bent on destroying the world".

 

also, villains that appreciate and respect arts, or intelligence, or courage, or a good fight, villains that would much rather let some folks leave simply because they did stand up for their beliefs and kill some folks, without hesitation, because they were cowards and tried to make an alliance rather than just fight with gim, or even show mercy from time to time (maybe because of a hidden agenda or whatever) - well, attach some emotions to it and when the time comes for the PC to take him down it will be an even greater and enriching experience. make him complex, make him motivated by strong emotions or strong beliefs.

 

so add Darth Vader :w00t:

Edited by cealicu_ca

"Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain."

- Isaak Yudovich Ozimov

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I feel that one of the most interesting antagonists in games is Dagoth Ur from Morrowind. He was mysterious, legendary and pitiable all at the same time. Partly the reason why he was such a powerful character however was that the games overall plot was so interesting. The deeper you dug into the history of Morrowind, Nerevar's death and Dagoth Ur's fall the more it made you wonder if you were really doing the right thing in your quest to destroy him.

 

Dagoth Ur only really made a couple of appearances but there was still the ever present nature about him. Really though, what works for one character won't work for another. A large part of what makes a strong antagonist, protagonist or whatever is the strength of the overall plot.

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We are at page 5 and NOBODY mentioned Practical Incarnation yet? The outrage.

Finding out things "he" done made me hate him with a true passion.

 

And Kreia... she is not a villain. She is beyond mere tropes. Of course she was obviously not a 'good guy' - but she was not just 'Sith in disguise' either.

What she was?

Well, there an article, that I completely agree with:

http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=4271

 

Perhaps she raves on about 'Finally a woman character that is not only about **** and sex!" too much, but her other points are quite adequate, and I can sympathize with her on that point - there IS a lack of deep women personalities in RPGs.

 

And besides, making a villain that you love to hate, hate to love... now, a villain that you love to LOVE, while him still technically being a villain and an "End boss" - that is something really unheard of.

 

Also, this:

http://lparchive.org/Knights-of-the-Old-Republic-II/Update%2058/

(Major spoiler, of course, but I guess it is too late for such warnings now).

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Villains should be guys you can talk to. Think Michael Mann's Heat.


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
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I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
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We are at page 5 and NOBODY mentioned Practical Incarnation yet? The outrage.

Finding out things "he" done made me hate him with a true passion.

I liked him. He's smart, confident, charismatic, he'd done for you more than any other incarnation ever did, and I'd love to have him as a romance option an ally. Pity it had to be either me or him.

Edited by horocaust

Updated my journal.

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I liked him. He's smart, confident, charismatic, he'd done for you more than any other incarnation ever did, and I'd love to have him as a romance option an ally. Pity it had to be either me or him.

 

Well, he did not do it 'for you' he done it 'for himself'. Also, he is "smart, confident, charismatic" and with NO regard for suffering of others whatsoever. A perfect sociopath. Someone who will make the planes burn to further his goals. Who will manipulate a women who loves him to death and suffering BEYOND death as one of his contingency plans, for instance.

You can understand him. You cannot but use what he sowed to your advantage. But you cannot but hate him all the more for that.

 

MCA is genius. His writing in games goes far beyond mere 'entertainment' - this is real Art.

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Well, he did not do it 'for you' he done it 'for himself'.

Still, he managed to be the most helpful incarnation except maybe the first one.

Also, he is "smart, confident, charismatic" and with NO regard for suffering of others whatsoever. A perfect sociopath.

That's funny, as I'm crazy about sociopathic men. Seeing what Practical Incarnation did, hearing his words, watching his thought pattern I couldn't help but understand fully well why Deionarra fell for him, even if for different reasons.


Updated my journal.

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Of course he was "helpful" - since he didn't play 'by the rules' and had enough cunning to avoid the consequences. End justifies the means and all that.

 

And about sociopaths - well, there is a reason they exist and usually manifest a tight-knit complex of behaviors... because this is highly adaptive. They would not be able to create and maintain a culture or a society, but they are highly effective parasites. Still, parasites they are, and I prefer to base my life on Kant's categorical imperative, which rules out such behavior.

Edited by Balor

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Too much sympathy for the villains is bad. :( In IWD2, I didn't want to fight the big bads by the end of it... go separate ways, maybe, but as a group of mercenaries, probably not fight them. :/

 

I tend to agree with you. If diplomatic options are available that lead to rewarding alternative paths , then it is fine. But if they are gonna remain the antagonist and you are forced to ultimately clash with them in some form or another it can just be frustrating. You should be able to understand why an antagonist is doing something. But to sympathize with them will cause you to want to help them or deal with them in an alternative way ( that is the case for me at least).

 

Which would make the confrontation even more emotional. The concept of an unstoppable force colliding with an immovable object is a good one. You may sympathize with the villain, but his goals may be completely contrary to yours. Just because you like him doesn't mean you should be able to talk him down. It depends entirely on context.

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