Gw Temp


Article - 'Cruel Intentions Rewrites 1.0' by Xanqui

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Nov 29, 2004


The rewrites of the two first articles of Xanqui's critically acclaimed series: Cruel Intentions.


Like them or not, the Cruel Intentions articles are what made me staff. There were good times and bad times, but I focused mostly on the bad. Unfortunately, the first few articles are not quite up to the level of my more recent articles. So what better way to make up for the crappy articles than to take what was good about them and collaborate them into one big, awesome SUPER ARTICLE? I submit that there is not a better way.... Actually, it's not one big article, it's several articles... with two articles each.

Cruel Intentions I: The Common Villain
Balance is the key to avoiding chaos and destruction, but what keeps us from achieving a utopia. It is only when this balance is close to being thrown off that a story of epic proportions can take place. Epic stories are about that balance. The point at which a story truly begins is when the balance is threatened by a person.

This person is known as the antagonist. In order for a story to take place, there must be an antagonist and a protagonist who makes the attempt to foil his plan. It wouldn't be a story if the antagonist just ravaged through cities, slaughtering millions, and lives happily ever after. But don't let that deter you from experimenting with a story like that. I'd love to see someone prove me wrong, in fact.

But when we see villains, we usually see some common aspects. There's the French accent or whiny voice with the evil laugh, or some sort of super weapon that he uses to destroy a large area. He'll be dressed in dark clothing and have henchmen that he kills constantly just for the sake of killing. These common uses annoy people and force them to use a certain word that starts with a C and ends with an E. It also rhymes with "Feeshay." I will not use that word in this article.

Let's begin with a simple personality trait of a villain: sadism. For those of you who don't know what sadism is, it's the pleasure one derives from giving pain to others. A sadistic villain makes sense, after all, since his goal is to kill people. If you're going to kill people, why not make it slow and painful so that you can see your victim suffer? We laugh at this trait because it seems ridiculous. Unfortunately, it does exist, but in a different form than you'd think.

Look at the popular school girl who everyone calls "The Bitch." There's a reason for that title. She makes fun of the girl with braces, uses her nails when she slaps her boyfriend, and does lots of little things that are just plain cruel. Why would she do such a thing? This is a different form of sadism that can be found in many, many people. They enjoy seeing other people in misery. What they love more is being the one who makes those people miserable.

Now give that girl power. Give her a gun and the ability to avoid the police. Or give her followers who will do anything she asks of them. Do you really think she wouldn't take advantage of her power? What if you gave her a castle on a hill, an army of henchmen, and billions of dollars?

Now you have a person who would otherwise be normal who has the power to destroy. It may seem like a joke in video games or movies, but there are people who do exist who are sadistic who have power. However, I won't completely deny that villains can be ridiculous. The stupid costumes and massive lairs are something we don't usually see in real life. But what would an evil person do with money and power?

The following is assuming that the villain has unlimited funds.

They would probably have some sort of harem full of beautiful women (or men) that serve no other purpose than to feed or have sex with them. They would wear expensive clothes, like business suits or whatever they think looks cool. If they're a video game fan, they might dress up like their favorite villain. They would own their own island or build up an army to annihilate a country to control.

But to build these lairs, not only would they need to pay people, but they would need to find people willing to fight for an evil cause. Fortunately for them, there are people who desperately need money and will ignore their morals and values to feed their family. It would also takes months or years to create a facility to hold all of the weapons and vehicles that they use, which would also need to be built or purchased. Transporting them to the lair would require large boats if it's to an island, and all of this would need to be kept under cover from the military or superheroes.

It would be a very difficult process to get it all set up, unless they do one very intelligent thing: convince a nation to do it for them. DING DING! We all know of someone who has done this. It would be a certain person by the name of Adolf.

Still, all of that requires something else: charisma. Without being able to convince people to join you, you can't do it. The villain will need to look good and speak with a voice that appeals to the audience.

That brings us to another aspect of a villain: his or her body. Few people would be willing to follow some fat slob. People tend to prefer a well-groomed, well-dressed relatively healthy person. Even the audience of a story prefers a sexy villain over some fat slob. It could be the one redeeming quality of the antagonist.

Sex is a powerful tool for evil. It lures even the best of people into doing some awful things. Not all people give into it, but those who can be lured in by sex are extremely vulnerable to doing some pretty bad things. Just the sight of a beautiful person, whether there will be any sex at all, can be that effective. Most villains who have harems tend to use the women to manipulate a male protagonist.

So when we laugh at these horribly common villains, it's important to find what we do like about them. There's always something in every villain that is at least slightly realistic. Sometimes the ridiculous villain can be used for humor. Yet why is it that we respect Darth Vader so much? Yes, he kicks ass, but the cheesy Bat Man villain kills hundreds of people each year!

The original Cruel Intentions I article touched on a few other subjects, but they didn't fit in too well with the overall idea of the article. Being my third article ever written, I'm surprised it gained the popularity it had. It's very humorous to look back at it, since it's so scattered and unorganized, but at the same time it brings back feelings of the old days of GW, when the standards for articles were much lower.

Rewriting it felt kind of awkward, as if it wasn't mine to alter. I hardly even remember writing the original. I wish I could go back and read the comments that GW members left before they were deleted for GW5. I hope that no one minds me doing this, but as time passes and my writing improves, I can't help but want to bring it up to my personal standards.

Cruel Intentions II: Reasons for Villainy
We'll begin with the idea that there are two types of villains. The first type is the villain that knows that what he or she is doing is wrong, but is doing it for personal gain. The second type is the villain that believes that what he or she is doing is right, but does not understand the morals or values that would state it is wrong. They can be divided into subcategories, but those are the two most general types of villains you'll usually see.

The first type of villain mentioned we'll call the Greedy Villain. This villain is evil because he knows that if he achieves a certain goal, there will be wealth or something in the end. They know that what they're doing is wrong, but they feel that it's worth it. He may have started out just like any other person, but this reward was too much to pass up.

The greedy villain is a very simple concept because just about anyone can become one, depending on the circumstances. There are many people as well who would avoid such temptations because of the morals that they follow. Even so, that person may have a family to feed, and his life may depend on it. It all depends on a person's true values.

Next is the Righteous Villain, the villain who believes that what he is doing is right and the society he is defying is wrong. This is one of the highest levels of motivation one can achieve. People who assassinate their leaders are investigated to understand if they did it because they were insane or if they did it because they believed that the laws didn't apply to their morals.

These people think beyond the levels and limitations the laws place on society. They believe that by breaking one or more laws to achieve the things that they believe in is right. A villain in this case may think that God or something is telling him to kill, or that by killing, he is making the world better in some way. These people will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, making them far more powerful than any villain in existence.

But there is a third type of villain, even though I stated that there were only two. This third is one of the more oftenly used types, and should be avoided if your story depends on this villain. This evil is brought about by insanity.

Insanity is a difficult method of making a villain with a deep personality. Something happened in their lives that caused their brains to go haywire, and since they were powerful in the first place, they have become a powerful foe. They forget their morals and values and go on a rampage killing people. There is often very little reason for the killing other than pure insanity.

The deep characterization in this sort of villain is brought about him trying to overcome the insanity. This is usually a split personality and the "good" side has limited control. It then becomes a battle over a mind at the same time as the battle against the protagonists. he insane villain should be avoided unless the story revolves around the fact that he went insane.

If you want a deep villain, you must give the proper motivation. The worst mistake you could make is to have the villain start out evil, unless you refer to flashbacks or a history of some sort. No person is born evil, but it is a path that one can turn towards very easily.

This one was actually shorter than the original, I think. But that's because the original went all over the place and didn't stick to the point.

That's all for now. Next I'll try to get three in, but we'll see.