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Article - 'Heroes and Villains' by Angroth

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Aug 9, 2003

Blurb

Angroth delves a little deeper into the realms of prot/antagonists for some big fun!

Body

For every day there is a night; where there is light, there is a shadow; wherever there is life, death soon becomes. One cannot exist without the other.
Guessed what I’m doing? No? Well, I will be exploring what makes a hero(ine) and what makes a villain(ine….Err…Just kiddin!).

How do we define what makes someone good and someone bad? Generally in games it would seem a good person is the one murdering everyone in order to slay a big meanie who is apparently trying to kill everyone else who are ‘innocent’. Some of the time the bad guy is so maleviolent that they are intending to kill everyone including themselves and their evil maties.
What strives them to be such vindictive and malicious monsters? They appear to have had some serious problem in their life. It is almost always revenge and seldom some other reason for their acts.
However, in Fighting Force it was because the world didn’t end in the year 2000 and Mr. X (or whatever his name was) belonged to a cult that thought the world should end, thus meaning he thought something had gone wrong. So his mission to end the world himself began. This is what I would class as another main reason usually interlinked with the hate and vengefulness. The ‘insane’ bad guy can sometimes be so much eviller than the pissed off one.
For example, Sephiroth was kind of madman but to a degree where you could see exactly where he was coming from and he had more of a revenge / hate (main) reason behind his actions.
On the other hand, the seemingly deathly mad likes of the blonde fellow from Vagrant Story send shivers down your spine. With such a sordid personality yet an elegant frame he makes the perfect enemy.
He is what you might call the typical good looking bad guy who everyone male wants to be and everyone female wants to be with (unless you’re bi or gay or something).
So what kinds of evil overlords can be expected in games? Well, these seem to be the general bunch in games.

*Mastermind Weaklings- Like Burns in the simpsons. Hard to get at but physically weak. They always have some evil mastermind scheme up their sleeves.
*Cool Guy- They may want to destroy or conquer the world but they have the charisma of James Bond and the coolness of Jackie Chan. They are handsome and you know you were born to grow up just like them. These people are usually a bosses bodyguard like Shiva from Streets of Rage 1-3 and Onikage from Tenchu.
*Supernal Power- These supernal beings are godlike forces which know no good. A god or mighty demon (satan himself?) they always seem unstoppable. Usually it takes some stupid ass to summon these ultra forces which wreak havoc upon the lands.
*Overgrown Moron- A large and non-intelligent creature. Ranging from a dumb dragon to some big troll guy or something. Overgrown morons can also be like Balio and Sunder from Breath of Fire III. They are typical hard yet stupid and pathetic bad guys.
*Undercover Meanie- Almost always the main hero’s family member or best friend. An undercover meanie is best utilised as the main dude’s brother. This evil character is almost always revealed at the very end for a nice twist, however their bad acts are known from the initiation.

Now, what strives them goodies to be so happy happy joy joy? They appear to have had some serious problem in their life as with the baddies. It can be revenge, a quest tossed upon them or maybe even something else. In Star Gate the film it was revenge for Kurt Russel but in the film Lord of the Rings it was a quest. Nevertheless it takes something bad (which a meanie has done) in order for the good guys to react, therefore it must be due to something bad in which they are motivated for their acts.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of hero types. Want to know the main ones, ‘ere we go!

*Mastermind Weaklings- This is rare for the good guy but often in things like Willow and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Gathering etc, they are the weakling who must be accompanied by the likes of Val Kilmer or Sean Bean (cool guy’s).
*Cool Guy- Just like their evil counter parts, they have the coolies. These include the likes of Solid Snake and what have you. Nevertheless if they are male or female they are so cool and know how to get out of any situation.
*Overgrown Moron- Conan crosses into this category and the cool guy section. But overgrown hero moron’s tend to be rarer than Mastermind Weaklings. And as we all know (defined by the cliché) a moron hero MUST be a barbarian guy… Jim Carrie also falls into this category and the mastermind because he is a weakling moron!

I would like to finish on the short note of cliché hero’s and villains aren’t always the best, be weary of how you choose your for your games, and don’t do something overused