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Reversal Villains!


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#1 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 11:06 AM

Oh yeah! What I have long considered to be the greatest plot function of all time! (oops! Personal opinion, oh no! Get the torches!) The Redemption of a Villain! These characters are SO awesome... albeit cheesy if done improperly. Now I''m at a loss to explain exactly what "properly" is, but I''ll give it my best shot... Here''s how your typical reversal or redemption plot works: First you must have two villains, a reversal villain, and the real villain who will drive the crisis when the reversal villain reverses. Now, as with all archetypal plots, there''s some leeway, and the story is usually better when you USE the leeway; for example, your REAL villain may just be some crisis that was initiated by the reversal villain, and not a person at all! The reversal villain needs to exhibit some form of morality, some code that will neccesitate his redemption. This needn''t be a standard set of morals or even a directly sympathetic one, but the villain''s reversal can''t seem sudden or unprovoked. The player needs to know from the beginning what it will take to drive this character (but they shouldn''t neccessarily know he''s going to redeem himself. Predictability leads to cliché...) Now, the reversal villain doesn''t need to be cool, either. It''s sometimes better if the viewer gets very attached, but it can lead to predictability (and hence cliché). Once again, it''s best to find your own balance for your own story. During the setup and the conflict, the Reversal villain needs to remain evil as sin. Nearing the end of the conflict phase (or act 2) the True villain enters the story and somehow irks or provokes the reversal villain. You can do a cheesy 80''s plot "Now we must work together despite our hatred for eachother to defeat a greater menace!" or you can do it more tastefully: Reversal villain exits the story right away in a blaze of glory, trying to prevent the new evil from taking hold. Now there''s a boatload more of info on this, but I''ll bring it down to my favorite... forgiveness. The Protaganist must have a relationship of some kind with the Reversal villain. They can have similar situations, which leads to sympathy, they can have similar hatreds, similar goals, family ties, anything. It''s just best that the reversal villain and the protaganist mirror eachother in some way so that niether one upstages the other. In games, or any divergent plot this leads to a great possibility. Leave forgiveness in the hands of the player. It happens so late in the game that it''s of little consequence which happens, but it''s so important to the aesthetic of the story and the protaganist that it gives the player a real sense of validity in his/her choice. Alright, that''s enough. Please add any of your own ideas, or ask me for more info, I''m pretty well read on this one (seeing as it''s a favorite of mine...) ====== "The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates "Question everything. Especially Landfish." -Matt

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#2 Saluk   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 06:25 PM

Yep, you explained it pretty well. Actually, it made me think of Mario RPG where bowser eventually joins you, but that was more comical than what you''re talking about.
The "crossing-over" definately needs to be slow and directly related to the story, otherwise the player is left thinking, "What? He''s helping me out now? Why the hell is he doing that?" which is kind of hard to do right, but is a pretty cool plot device when used "properly" as you say.

#3 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 06:33 PM

One thing that you are maybe forgetting is the actual cross-over. An enemy may be truly evil enough to never join your side. But as the new evil is spurned and they see their wrongs, they may take their own life and leave you with the bigger problem. It may be funny if you spend the whole time chasing your arch-nemesis only to find his limp body and an evil mess left for you to clean up

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#4 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4822

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Posted 16 November 2000 - 04:38 AM

I like when the villain is fairly well established, then you accidently stumble or eavesdrop on him/her doing something good, and you wonder "What''s going on?!"

#5 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1721

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Posted 16 November 2000 - 10:16 AM

I''d like to see the kind of reversal you get in the Star Wars trilogy with Vader (a favorite series... so sue me! )

Star Wars is a good example because, just as LF says, the Emperor remains completely evil, while compassion and family bond causes Vader to cross over and even give his life.

I wonder which would be more interesting to be, as the player? Vader, Luke, or the Emperor?

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

#6 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

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Posted 16 November 2000 - 10:42 AM

Vader would be most fun... Unfortunately, his salvation is suicide... Which is what I said before ... Only he actually did something against his evil master.

You know what? This is reminding me of Xena again, when Gabriel (*drool*) grabbed her daughter (played by the same actress *drool*) and jumped into the lava. Xena was the game hero, Gabriel was the tag-along... It was a very good episode (or series of episodes) building up to that... It also had emotional impact (I was very sad to see such a gorgeous character get killed off . But she came back ). Two plusses

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche

          


#7 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 17 November 2000 - 03:22 AM

HAs any of you ever seen the movie "Bad Lieutnant" by Abel Ferrara ? I think you''d find that Star Wars is pretty crap compared to it. I mean, I know you people all adore sci-fi and fantasy, but honestly, there is something so much better in a Real Life based story...

Darth Vader is interesting in the fact that he realises what he has become.
I remember bringing this up in another topic, about how we could make a villain so much more interesting if his motivations actually made sense. I really like the "necessary evil" type of thing. The guy that will avenge someone''s death by hunting down the killer ... and killing him. There was an interesting case like this in the Jessica PArker show, second season. A serial killer that only killed criminals.
There is also a book called "Les Thanatonautes", where around the end, the world has gone a bit crazy, and there is no badness anymore. Creating a tremendous problem : without evil, how do you really know what is good. So a person decide to take the role of the Villain, for the sake of humanity, so that they realise again what is Good and what is Bad. Sounds very manichean, but I dunno, I love this sort of thing.

Villains are so so so boring in fantasy, it''s awful. They are so one sided things. It''s like those people who see Satan (or whatever other name) as just Bad. The interesting thing in the character (I am considering him only in a story writing manner here) is that he WAS the greatest of the angels, but then got corrupted. Why ? How ? This is the kind of thing that really make a character have some guts. Well, at least I like that

youpla :-P

#8 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 12:35 AM

Here''s another "my fav". It''s when villian#1 (to be goodie) believes clearly that they are doing the correct thing. Then something drastic occurs which makes them see otherwise. Then instead of doing something stupid like killing themselves they turn around to rectify all of their mistakes. But the hero/goodies don''t want him/her to do that becasue it means bringing about something worse. All the mean while the villian turned goodie has something compelling them to change things. and then it continues on to get even more complicated.

One more time for the dumbies
ar+gu+ment n. A discussion in which reasons are put forward in support of and against a proposition, proposal, or case; debate.

#9 Niphty   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 03:30 AM

And paul.. you hit close to many things that already exist. There's a lot of plots where the good guy is a pawn for the bad guy, and half-way through something happens and he realizes "i've been on the wrong side!" and that's when the real butt-kicking starts.

A lot of the time, the crossover character dies. Sometimes this is good (star wars) but usually it's a senseless loss of life. They do something totally stupid, and die for it, without even causing any damage to the side they defected from. What good is your defection if you're just gonna waste your life? That to me sounds more like someone who's torn between good and bad, and just wants out of the situation. However, Having the person live creates a much better air in the game, in my opinion. Perhaps they defect, get caught trying to give you the critical piece of the puzzle, brought to execution, and you hafta save em. You do so, and then they tell you that one bit of info.. and you have to rush off to take care of that before the baddies hatch their plan, while the defector goes back with the good guys to rest.. or they join you and come along.

J

Edited by - sunandshadow on November 19, 2000 12:56:18 PM

#10 Necromancer   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 06:11 AM

Sure the having a villian go good thing is interesting and somewhat dramatic, like the Vader example is the best...

But your forgetting the coolest thing of all
and thats hero''s turning Evil, for greed or personal reasons
like Sepheroth, now that adds whole new levels of plot to any
game!

Though redemption is interesting, having a truly evil trait is more profound, and changes the character from just a farytail
to a person...
But this is a good topic for a change!

Keep conjuring the undead, my friends...

#11 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 10:26 AM

quote:
Original post by Niphty

J

Edited by - sunandshadow on November 19, 2000 12:56:18 PM


Oh, jeez, sunandshadow... now I''m curious!

#12 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 10:55 AM

Anime does good reversal villains. Ashram from Record of Lodoss War, Folken from The Vision of Escaflowne (please god, not the american version!)

Oh yeah, and my personal favorite game of all time; Panzer Dragoon Saga.

#13 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4822

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 01:59 PM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

[quote]Original post by Niphty

J

Edited by - sunandshadow on November 19, 2000 12:56:18 PM


Oh, jeez, sunandshadow... now I''m curious!

Nothing to see here, move along... Seriously, I was just taking a precautionary measure.

#14 Shinkage   Members   -  Reputation: 595

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Posted 21 November 2000 - 09:12 AM

One thing I thought I''d note, there does not necessarily need to be a second villain to take over when the first one crosses over. An interesting plot would be one in that perhaps the villain has set in motion a chain of events and then realized the absolute horror in what he has wrought, subsequently trying to undo his own evil works.

Maybe even a game in which the player plays that villain? I could imagine the plot being constructed such that the player *thinks* what he is doing is good, until one critical plot point where it is revealed that what''s actually occurring is horrible beyond belief. Then it becomes the choice of the player whether or not to cross over.

#15 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 22 November 2000 - 04:37 AM

Shinkage, you''re so right that I wrote that in my first post!

Great minds think alike I suppose...




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