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but without the main villain, would we even be out on our adventure?

See, it's the point where writing is needed — to ensure the protagionist has stuff to do in the world apart from his confrontation with the main villain. If the villain's the only reason for the main character to start acting, the latter is somewhat bland, don't you think?

Edited by alphyna

you can watch my triumphant procession to Rome

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Nope, I think you did :) If a conflict is real, no one really creates it, it arises itself from a complex set of differences among various worldviews. Someone can trigger it, true, but it doesn't even have to be the antagonist. Frankly, I prefer PS:T-type villains, who didn't even do anything wrong, but the protagonist simply had to go (no hard feelings!), or maybe Firefly-type villains, who are also not really villains, but simply represent a different worldview. And I would definitely love a game where the conflict is created by the protagonist (once again, see PS:T).

I get what your say but your view is more applicable to a real life scenario than an actual story, because its the conflict that drives the villain and therefore the story. But within the confines of a simple three stages story structure its the villain that initiates the conflict. PS:T is a great example of a story without a main villain, although you could argue that the nameless one was the villain since his actions initiated the conflict and he is also the main antagonist.

So... I'm confused. You agree that it is possible to have a story without the main villain (PS:T being an example), but you don't want it? Why?

 

Motivations aside though, I think that is that the problem is writers that confuse relatable with apologetic, I prefer my villains to be consistent in their personalities.

P.S: I think I would like a pacifist antagonist if I get the chance to play as an evil overlord.

True. Relatable ≠ apologetic, and deep ≠ whiny. Well, once again it's simple the matter of good writing.

 

As for your PS: it's about personal preferences, but that's not what I meant. I think it would be rather nice for the character to be an ordinary adventurer with a medieval set of morals (like "it's ok to kill a bandit without judge and jury"), and for the villain to be just the guy with a modern one, who is horrified by the protagonist, although he does nothing over the top. I think any adventurer is a criminal from a moredn point of view; such a clash of morals would be a fun thing to play. Sut that's just an idea.

you can watch my triumphant procession to Rome

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on the other hand, obsidian/bis best antagonist... wasn't. ravel/mebbeth/kreia/etc has all been variations of the same character, and all has been the player's protector and guide as much as an antagonist. bestest obsidian/bis character has appeared in all their games, and we hope this continues with eternity. doesn't need be main antagonist.... but it wouldn't be a bad idea neither.

That's actually a great thing! I'm a fan of the idea that Kreia is also Ravel (I also find her in other games, not necessarily Obsibian/BI, but that's just me). I think including Ravel once again would be an awesome thing, althougn more like an inside joke, so she really shouldn't be the main antagonist. Just, you know, a character.

you can watch my triumphant procession to Rome

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eh? you don't think that ps:t and motb had primary antagonists? regardless, one o' the big flaws o' motb were that most folks did not give a damn 'bout the antagonist. and please note that ps:t had a specific protagonist... which were a frequent complaint btw. "story is the story" is... meaningless. make observation that eternity is a game that will have a story is far more significant. as a game, you necessarily needs to accommodate gameplay, yes? this is why there is almost invariably a confrontation with the UBG (ultimate bad guy) that allows player to overcome via gameplay. ask chrisA... he has noted that story takes a backseat to gameplay on more than one occasion.

 

doesnt matter if you talking donkey kong or ps:t 'cause you is still finding yourself leaping over barrels/obstacles to reach a final confrontation with the ubg.

Technically PS:T did have an antagonist, but your confrontation was not with him, but with the world and with yourself. The challenge and the story come from two facts: a) everyone around you is completely nuts, and you get to choose whether to bring some order and peace to this chaos or to embrace it, b) there's a mystery drama going on about your past, and you get to solve it. Personally, my main confrontation was with said mystery. It drove my desire to keep playing. Would I be disappointed if the big boss was not a charater but an interactive thing, sensory-stone-like? If well-written, not a single bit. To me, the highest point of the game wasn't even him, it was talking to your incarnations. And it's not him you overcome in the end.

 

So yeah. The confrontation and the main character's development are important. Tying them to a single bad guy? It's one possible way to go, but not the most interesting one — IMHO.

you can watch my triumphant procession to Rome

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For me the villain has to be the opposite of what Kai Leng was in Mass Effect 3. A villain can't be redundant in the sense that if you think about him/her, you see that he is indespensible for the story. That he/she can't be easily substituted with a mere soldier or theif without a name.

 

Villains in games are ofen the running types. Ones that you have to chase untill you meet them at the end for the final battle. It's fine as long as you have a compelling reason to do so. As a gamer trying to identify with my PC, I'm not going hate the villian just because the narrator tells me so. The tension between the main character and the antagonist must be built during the game, through actions and events. I might even be unaware at first, that a certain character I meet at the beginnig of the game will be the main "evil-doer". But if I feel that I must find him/her in order to stop him/her, avenge someone, help him/her or even just meet him/her, the villain is a successful one.

 

One-dimensional characters don't help, either. The antagonist should not be pure evil. He/she should be a sophisticated, possibly conflicted individual...but that's too obvious.

 

EDIT:

Wow, alphyna, I'm not trying to act as a moderator, but me and probably others would appreciate if you could use the Edit function, instead of posting 4 messages in a row. Please.

Edited by norolim
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EDIT:

Wow, alphyna, I'm not trying to act as a moderator, but me and probably others would appreciate if you could use the Edit function, instead of posting 4 messages in a row. Please.

To be fair, there is only a limited time window to edit your post (I don't remember the number of minutes) and when responding to different posters, it's easier for those replied to to re-reply so to speak without having to sort through a quote mountain. Actually, there is also a limit on the number of quotes you can have in a single post, but people rarely hit it.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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To be fair, there is only a limited time window to edit your post (I don't remember the number of minutes) and when responding to different posters, it's easier for those replied to to re-reply so to speak without having to sort through a quote mountain. Actually, there is also a limit on the number of quotes you can have in a single post, but people rarely hit it.

 

I see. I that case I take it back, alphyna. It's a shame, though. It generates mess.

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a villain huh.. an obstacle to my goals or the reason for me to live/act etc.

A villain that challenges you, forces to adapt or suffer, someone that really motivates.

IMO the main thing is the villain-hero relation, how the conflict is progressing. Antagonist personality is a factor of course, but the chemistry between him and the hero is what really makes it interesting. The action-reaction stuff ;)

my main problem with villains is that I actually mostly like their way of thinking/their goals etc, hate games that just force me to be the guy, who must oppose and my actions as a hero don't really change the reaction of the villain.

Edited by Zeer
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I don't want to hate the villain, rather come to understand his perspective and possibly even be allowed to switch sides based on my own believe in what is the right thing to do for the PC (player character).

 

I have always found "pure evil" villains to be hilarious, both in video games, movies and books. It is more interesting and rewarding to learn about the enemy and see similarities or things that one might sympathize with (offset by things one might strongly disagree with) as to provide a moral dilemma or at least will make one pause and take a breath instead of having a "I will kill you for this you evil evil demon!" mantra repeated throughout the game.

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I belive that that a good villan over all else needs motivation and thats what makes you belive them.

 

Personally i prefer storied were the righteous have fallen or the fallen is trying fighthing for redemtion but thats a personal favorit character

theme. Loghain was a badly written (according to me) version on the theme were doing good led him deep into the dark. The master from

fallout was also on this theme but better written all over.

 

When we come to Irenicus ive been reading everybodys loves and hates for him and i feel his a good example of a evil b*st*rd that is beliveable

just becuse of his motives are so clear. What he wants power and you and imoen and the others under his thumb are his route to this.

 

 

And lastly i hope this has been repeated to death becuse i think nobody wants to have this character written for the pc or a npc. No "puppy kicking evil" please

this is the kind of writing were evil is some kind of selfmotivation really is horrible and fails espcially on the microlevels of the writing.. How many times havent

we been angred by the pc or npc that just undermines all common sense or selfintrest or other intrests by just doing a random act of stupid evil like kill the

person who could have been manipulated to give you something or to be concrete:

 

the classic YOU HAVE FAILED ME! followed by killing the senior officer without a thought that hes killing every person of worth for the tiniest mistake does kind

of devalue your skill and intelligence reserves among your minions. This classic does go a long way to explain the amounts of incompetence and lack of skill in

the common minions if the main antagonist keeps on killing anybody that gets his attention the second they do the tiniest mistake. And it ends with yout minions

consisting of the three stooges.

 

 

 

So when the evil overlord stands before the riled up masses and he sees a puppy waddling up infront of him. I say NO. Dont kick that puppy. resist it and manipulate

the masses to your evil will by pretending your a decent person! RESIST THE URGE!

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eh? you don't think that ps:t and motb had primary antagonists? regardless, one o' the big flaws o' motb were that most folks did not give a damn 'bout the antagonist. and please note that ps:t had a specific protagonist... which were a frequent complaint btw. "story is the story" is... meaningless. make observation that eternity is a game that will have a story is far more significant. as a game, you necessarily needs to accommodate gameplay, yes? this is why there is almost invariably a confrontation with the UBG (ultimate bad guy) that allows player to overcome via gameplay. ask chrisA... he has noted that story takes a backseat to gameplay on more than one occasion.

 

doesnt matter if you talking donkey kong or ps:t 'cause you is still finding yourself leaping over barrels/obstacles to reach a final confrontation with the ubg.

Technically PS:T did have an antagonist, but your confrontation was not with him, but with the world and with yourself.

 

you could say that just about any story wherein a protagonist must ultimately confront an antagonist. "you know, like the UBG is a metaphor for the hero's fear of death-- or maybe it is the hero's fear of turtles. regardless, it was brilliant how the author..." etc.

 

*snort*

 

the more you like, the more you will read-in pretentious stuff to give more depth. ps:t, like most interplayblackisleobsidian games, were not having a particularly well-crafted conclusion. sure, we liked where we is stuck walking into the blood war, but the fortress o' regrets felt incomplete and ultimately unsatisfying. ravel, and to a lesser extent trias, were far more interesting than the transcendent one. so we fight a bunch o' meaningless battles with shadow critters to get to a potential final confrontation with a rather underwhelming ubg. disappointing. regardless, ps:t did have a villain... metaphor and allegory nonsense notwithstanding. is just unfortunate that self-as-villain stuff were not near as well-crafted as ravel/ei-vene/mebbeth. eternity won't have a fixed protagonist such as ps:t, so it will be even more dependent on a villain to give story focus.

 

...

 

again, this is a Game story we is talking about, so there will ultimately need be a gameplay resolution that the story must accommodate... is not the other way around, yes? you will confront the ubg at the end of game, and as many players will have built combat characters, you will necessarily have an opportunity to do some fighting at the end. such a confrontation will be climax. so, you gotta make villain compelling, or your climax is... anti-climactic.this is not movie, novel or short story. gameplay is unavoidable and should remain the focus. chrisA knows this... but he seems to have lapses when it comes to actual writing o' conclusions.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I disagree with concept of main antagonist being a Big Bad Evil/ Final Boss to beat. I don't want another game in which despite of what I do - I am the good guy.

I could be the worst **** on the planet, but at the end I bring back the water chip and save the village. Or destroy the evil treat of put_name_here by accident, cause my evil empire was running low on milk and I went out to get some and *this* happened.

Screw that, there was enough games where the main character is (like it or not) the savior. Sure, story needs a culmination and resolution, but it doesnt have to be "stab-the-ubg' kind.

 

Being more on topic,

The best antagonist is the one that either:

1)has a conflict of interests with you. He can be a good-doing paladin, pure at heart and unquestionable in his ways - with the only trouble being - he/she sees you as the villain (perhaps even is right about that :p).

It could be the 'convincing' guy - see Letho from Witcher 2, who in the final scene pitches you a variation of the old line "we are not so different you and I" - and worse, he is most likely right. Or Loghain - after you hear him out it raises the question "if I were in his position, knowing just what he knew, wouldn't I do the same?" (also known as "Nothing personal, just business")

 

Or this (pretty forgotten) guy, CBG Spender:

tumblr_lmkf4pR0Ik1qglqfno1_500_thumb.jpg

Not to be confused with another smoking fella from ME2 - who also fits the archetype.

 

For both of the smoking guys, the agenda was to resolve the same conflict you are trying to - just the means and ways were outside the comfort zone. But RPGs being about choices, an unique opportunity to see their way arises. Shades of grey make perfect antagonists, black and white makes hack-n-slash games.

 

2) the second type - it's personal. For you or for the antagonist, though better if for you. Irenicus in BG2 is a perfect example - Some may see the plot as player's attempt to save the world (a-gaain), but I think for many of us it was personal. Not because he is to be hated, but because he went after the main character and his friends at one point. And doesn't seem to stop there. See also: Vlad in Max Payne 2.

Edited by Veevoir
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I disagree with concept of main antagonist being a Big Bad Evil/ Final Boss to beat. I don't want another game in which despite of what I do - I am the good guy.

I could be the worst **** on the planet, but at the end I bring back the water chip and save the village. Or destroy the evil treat of put_name_here by accident, cause my evil empire was running low on milk and I went out to get some and *this* happened.

Screw that, there was enough games where the main character is (like it or not) the savior. Sure, story needs a culmination and resolution, but it doesnt have to be "stab-the-ubg' kind.

 

Being more on topic,

The best antagonist is the one that either:

1)has a conflict of interests with you. He can be a good-doing paladin, pure at heart and unquestionable in his ways - with the only trouble being - he/she sees you as the villain (perhaps even is right about that :p).

It could be the 'convincing' guy - see Letho from Witcher 2, who in the final scene pitches you a variation of the old line "we are not so different you and I" - and worse, he is most likely right. Or Loghain - after you hear him out it raises the question "if I were in his position, knowing just what he knew, wouldn't I do the same?" (also known as "Nothing personal, just business")

 

Or this (pretty forgotten) guy, CBG Spender:

tumblr_lmkf4pR0Ik1qglqfno1_500_thumb.jpg

Not to be confused with another smoking fella from ME2 - who also fits the archetype.

 

For both of the smoking guys, the agenda was to resolve the same conflict you are trying to - just the means and ways were outside the comfort zone. But RPGs being about choices, an unique opportunity to see their way arises. Shades of grey make perfect antagonists, black and white makes hack-n-slash games.

 

2) the second type - it's personal. For you or for the antagonist, though better if for you. Irenicus in BG2 is a perfect example - Some may see the plot as player's attempt to save the world (a-gaain), but I think for many of us it was personal. Not because he is to be hated, but because he went after the main character and his friends at one point. And doesn't seem to stop there. See also: Vlad in Max Payne 2.

 

what about a situation with more than one potential ubg depending on your choices? some number of rival nations or gangs or individuals or whatever where you can still get a big ultimate battle, but it can be a different ultimate battle depending on how you play the game. You can side with any of them and defeat those opposing you. Give you the option of being the peacemaker between them if you want to be the super do-gooder. Or give the option of being the super bad ass who takes them all down. There are a ton of different ways it could go. Maybe my big bad evil ends up as a martyr or an ally or even a companion in your play through the game.

Edited by ogrezilla
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That's my point exactly. One obvious antagonist from start to finish is an outdated concept. So is The Big Bad. plot twists, motives and point of view change. Circumstances change, putting the protagonist often in situations that were previously unthinkable and giving choices that often require hard sacrifice if you are trying to stick to own beliefs. Im no fan of games being incredibly dark and gruesome, but then again I hope Obsidian goes into mature territory - and mature touches the ambiguity of the world around us.

But fortunately, we are talking about Black Isle folks here, so Im not worried. There is a reason I could find my box with BG2 cds blindfolded, but newer games.. I never remember where Ive put them :p

Edited by Veevoir
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I hated Irenicus. Reallly he just didn't seem to work for me. Maybe his look was just all wrong (buff musclebound S&M guy).

 

In a lot of other games the villain really is the side piece. I didn't care for the Master in Fallout much (again, David Warner, even though I like David Warner I don't really like his villains). But the Master was a side character only really showing up at the end.

 

Fallout 3 though the president seems omnipresent, he's on one radio channel all the time, he's talked about on the other radio station a lot, his soldiers are out and about. The fact that he's a faceless voice behind the scenes I think worked well.

 

Best villain of all I think was Shodan from System Shock. Always present on the loudspeakers, taunting you, commenting on your actions, setting traps, etc. Somewhat similar would be GladOS from Portal.

 

The villain should not just be the boss of the bosses that you mostly only see at the start, at the end, and in cutscenes.

 

Often most games do without a good villain and instead the enemy are the followers; the cult trying to resurrect the dead god, the supermutants terrorizing the wastelands, the obstacles in your way. You finish the game and you remember them but you forget who the villain was.

 

(it's really sad, I check out the web for list of favorite RPG villains and I've never heard of most of them, almost all seem to be ridiculous Japanese/console RPG things)

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I hated Irenicus. Reallly he just didn't seem to work for me. Maybe his look was just all wrong (buff musclebound S&M guy).

 

Well ... this is awkward.

 

I would for once like to see a villain that is ... completely right in his motives. I remember once reading about this D&D campaign where the DM was simultaneously with playing two different groups in the same campaign. In one group, there was a necromancer that raised the dead, and made them do labour, usually of the extremely dangerous kind that most people wouldn't willingly take up. He'd also leave an associate in charge in each place he visited. Of course, there were some civilian casualties, on occasion. So the second group would put the zombies down and kill the necromancer's apprentices, wherever they'd arise.

 

In the end, the necromancer came face to face alone with the second group, a broken man, all his friends dead and all his life's work destroyed. In the end he had nothing left, but to fight to his death for what he worked for his entire life. I'm sure there's better examples than this, but few more base to make my point.

 

So, I would like a villain, or a group of villains, that for all intents and purposes, despite his/her/their bad rep and questionable methods, wasn't/weren't that bad after all. The villains shouldn't always be demonized, IMHO.

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What makes a villain a good villain is a such a complex formula that it is impossible to simplify and abstract it.

Not to metnion is is largely subjective.

 

We can debate weather or not a villain is well-written, but a well-written villain doesn't mean everyone will like him.

 

 

Take for instance Kreia and Irenicus. Completely different villans. Some hate one, love the other. For some it's tte opposite. Some hate both, some love both.

* 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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