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Ever felt bad about playing an evil character?

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I'm mostly referring the KOTOR series. I suppose there are a lot of other games where you have to decide from the light and dark side. I know that a lot of my personality was shaped by do-gooders such as Cecil in FF2. All characters I've role played with (through MBRPGs - yes, I'm a dork) were good guys. Anyways, once I finished KOTOR as a jedi I decided to go through it as a Sith. I'm telling you I thought it was rather difficult sometimes to take the "bad" decision and hurt someone. Am I the only one who's felt this way? Think people might be discouraged to play a game if they are forced to play an evil character?

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I thought I was the only one who felt bad about being evil in KOTOR. That game was fucking amazing...

I played it almost non-stop during a break for like 12 hours at a time, sleep, rinse/repeat. It was really scary when I was completely immersed in being malevolent. Not many things can consume you so whole-heartedly and now I think I know how most MMORPG addicts feel.

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i know i feel bad if i start being mean to certain characters in games. especially in the final fantasy series :P.

but even in games like fable or black and white, i would feel bad if i did something like let the kid drownd or something. hehe.

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Occasionally in KOTOR 2 I felt honestly a little bad, usually when I did something completely uncalled for just to drop myself another point into the dark side.

Most of the time it was also very funny though, so that's ok [grin]

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Not particularly.

More often I find myself unable to play through the 'evil' path of RPGs because the evil choices are bad game choices. Things like "pick good to get a nice reward", "pick evil to fight many hard enemies which yield little experience for no reward".

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Original post by sanch3x
I'm telling you I thought it was rather difficult sometimes to take the "bad" decision and hurt someone.


Whoa! Whatever you do, don't play the hit GTA series!! :-)

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Original post by slowmike
Quote:
Original post by sanch3x
I'm telling you I thought it was rather difficult sometimes to take the "bad" decision and hurt someone.


Whoa! Whatever you do, don't play the hit GTA series!! :-)

Well GTA is different because the people are just mindless things to be killed.

In KOTOR it's completely different because you can talk to the people and they seem almost innocent. You can slight them and sometimes even kill them and it's just hard to laugh at it. I went through half the game as evil then restarted it as good and played through that because I felt so bad. [smile]

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Now that you put GTA in the question, why in GTA is OK to be bad and in games like KOTOR, Fable and Jade Empire, lots of people feel guilty about taking the dark way?

I believe that it has to do with the "forgiveness" hability of the game world in GTA and the lack of compromise with good/bad path that the sandbox nature of this game presents to the player.

What's your view?

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In fable the only way to get this truly cool bow was to be bad, very, very bad. So after munching obscene numbers of crunchy chicks I went and gathered up the evil oriented mercenaries and rendered unto caesar what was caesar's. Then hot footed it over to the other place and repented with the rest of my funds. Still, I felt sullied. I was after all just a weapons whore.
Jade Empire at first looked like it had transcended "good and bad" with the two paths; open palm and closed fist. But as you got further into the game, the closed fist options weren't as advertised in the game's philosophy of the two paths. I don't know if the default to evil was part of the characters deception or if it was a bit of design laziness.
Yep, I felt bad about being bad. Its probably a part of how we choose our daily approach to life.

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Original post by Mercury
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Original post by slowmike
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Original post by sanch3x
I'm telling you I thought it was rather difficult sometimes to take the "bad" decision and hurt someone.


Whoa! Whatever you do, don't play the hit GTA series!! :-)

Well GTA is different because the people are just mindless things to be killed.

In KOTOR it's completely different because you can talk to the people and they seem almost innocent. You can slight them and sometimes even kill them and it's just hard to laugh at it. I went through half the game as evil then restarted it as good and played through that because I felt so bad. [smile]


Your comment has a lot of interesting implications. Considering your feelings as an gamer average then it means that when the game AI and interaction has a good level then then the player will feel more and more influenced (it gets more 'personal') and it will be harder to make the usual game life/death decisions, while the less you interact with the local then its easier to kill them... maybe its not the interaction but the mood of the game.

Maybe you remember games like 'Legacy of Kain' where you play a vampire and you go to towns and feed from the villagers. The setting makes you more comfortable with the idea.

When you play the average Fantasy RPG then its common to go, get a mission (like kill the thiefs that are attacking local caravans) and return when accomplished. Have you noticed RPG games never ask for returning the bad guys to justice? Its always kill them. Players like to do that and they get no 'bad' feeling. Does this mean that the life of those we consider 'the bad guys' is less important?

On games like HalfLife and Farcry you kill people by dozens. But they are the oppressors so no problem. Doom3 presents demons so anything goes.

In real life, its usual for human beings to disregard human life if they are alien to our culture. The more close and 'like us' they are, the more value you give to them. And worse yet the fear of thinking that those aliens are thinking in the exact the same way makes both partys wary. Thats the origin of war and prejudice. So you are ready to kill the 'bad guys' in order to defend your people... that is 'the good guys'.

In the case of KOTOR. Which game element cause players to stop playing the dark side and go for the light side?

Luck!
Guimo




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I've felt bad about doing something mean/violent in a game, but I think even more often I've felt bad about doing something stupid in a game. I don't mean I screwed up, I mean according to the story my character wimps out and lets the bad guys escape, or walks into an obvious trap, or yells at one of the other characters for a dumb reason, and that sort of thing.

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I've always liked it when a game gives me a choice... for example in Chrono Trigger when you can choose to have Frog kill Magus or let him live. I've had a few games give me that choice and I've always given them a second chance.

I also liked the character creation in Ogre Battle where you're asked questions with no real "right" answer. These questions were compiled and decided your stats (I think they did anyways). Questions like:

Your house is on fire and you can only save one person. Who do you save:
Your child
Your wife
Your mother

I love the fact that there are multiple answers and none of those answers insult your intelligence.

And about GTA, I always thought that game played out more like a movie then anything else. The attachment I've felt to the main character was nothing more then how I felt towards Al Pacino in Scarface.

So it's always better to have multiple answers that aren't always black and white.

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I often "feel bad about being bad" in RPGs, however part of that is due to the poorly defined elements of choice in those games. Knights of the Old Republic was a prime example of this; too many of the "evil" options were there purely as an exercise in being evil, and were not a sensible option to take in any circumstances.

To take an example, there was this bit in KoTOR where you could either find these slum dwellers their map to a fabled lost sanctuary, or sell it to a sleazy merchant for a measly few hundred credits (which was next to nothing in the game). I just couldn't sell the map just for the sake of being evil. I'd have prefered it greatly if there was the sensible option of just gutting the merchant for the cash rather than having to traipse all over the area searching for the map.

I guess that was symptomatic of my main gripe with that game; if your PC was evil, they could shake down the poor, irrelevant weaklings that were scattered around the universe, but once they met, for example, some gatekeeper who wanted them do to some stupid pointless fetch task for him to open the gate, there wasn't the option of just choking the guy and asking him to "reconsider" opening the gate for free. More often than not, making the "evil" choice left the PC in a worse position than if he were "good". Also, there wasn't really the option of pretending to be good purely to win people over to your side, but I suppose that might have been a little bit too subtle.

However, I do like playing games that are purely about being villains. I loved the Thief series (Garrett is probably my favourite game anti-hero), and Dungeon Keeper and Evil Genius were good too. As long as the game is either presented in a cartoonish fashion (like Dunegon keeper) or with a sensible main character (like in Thief), I think playing the villain or an anti-hero would be fine in a game.

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I felt a little guilty at times playing Fallout and Fallout 2. Selling your wife into prostitution and so on - it's hard not to feel a little guilty unless you're completely detached and disinterested in what's happening in the game. I'd have probably felt a little more guilty if she hadn't been completely useless, forced upon me, and taking up a party spot, but the principle still counts. Those games were a bit more harsh than anything I've played or read of in recent years though.

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I felt a little guilty at times playing Fallout and Fallout 2. Selling your wife into prostitution and so on - it's hard not to feel a little guilty unless you're completely detached and disinterested in what's happening in the game.
You should!! I've played both games several times and I never even realized that was an option.

I always feel bad playing as evil, even when it made no difference, or could provide a different game experience. For instance, Might and Magic VII allowed you to choose between two warring parties, neither of which were more evil than the other (human empire vs. elven empire), and then allowed you to choose Light magic vs. Dark magic. I've played siding with the humans and siding with the elves more than once (and once doing both quests before returning to collect my reward), but I've never played siding with the Necromancers, even though there's a different ending and different quests, because I don't like being evil. I actually downloaded a utility to extract the other ending movie so I could watch it, but I wasn't willing to play through the game to see it.

One of the only games I've ever played as evil was Jedi Academy (it only takes just a bit longer than a day to play through, so I've played it through many times). In Bard's Tale, I reloaded before choosing the final dialogue option so I could see what the evil ending was (hilarious, of course).

I don't even like playing as Zerg or Undead in Starcraft or Warcraft.

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KOTOR had an incredibly rushed moral system.
You could become light through very neuteral acts and you basicly had to kill every one in sight to become dark...

It was a piss poor system... you could not play an evil coniving SoB to be a sith.. you had to be a psychotic sociopath with the subtlety of a kick in the balls.

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Original post by Crazy_Vasey
I felt a little guilty at times playing Fallout and Fallout 2. Selling your wife into prostitution and so on


Off topic: How do you do that? I never found how, even though it said you could on the box. I didn't try overly hard, but tried the options I thought reasonable.

Also, I find it hard to beleive nobody's mentioned Deus Ex. There's virtually no gameplay difference between lethal/nonlethal play (lethal is denied one clip of ammo, which isn't really significant, but the lethal path is often faster, easier, and to the point). However, the dialogue makes you feel bad for killing. It was surprisingly effective.

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I find the biggest problem with playing an evil character is any game that gives you a choice doesn't Really give you a choice.

"Be good, we'll give you this shiny sword of honor!"
"Be bad, and we'll sick every city guard on you!"

Games that make it easy to be evil either don't give you a choice, or makes being evil just so much easier than being good.

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I think that it comes down to gameplay. "Evil" play always cuts down on possibilities and alliances, and there's a ton of "peer pressure" from the NPCs to be good.

In Fable, if you go "evil", then you don't really see a change in the story or gameplay (until the end), and it just costs you money every time you want to go into a town. It's nice to get houses and shops by killing the legal owners, since there's no other way to do it, but it's so expensive that it really isn't worthwhile. You get punished for being evil, so you don't do it.

In GTA, pedestrians are just polygons in the middle of the road. They're meaningless, and they'll spawn just as plentifully next time I barrel down that road. The odd star I get is just an inconvenience, and not as annoying or as much of a hindrance to gameplay as driving responsibly would be, so I just hit the little spedestrians and move along.

SO it all comes down to my gameplay experience, but there's a little bit of feeling in there, too. For instance, in Resident Evil 4 (one of my all-time favorite games), I have often amusied myself by loading my obscenely maxxed-out game and blowing Ashley up with the various weapons (Mine launcher is the best, because she totally doesn't notice the plinking bomb sticking out of her eye socket until it detonates). It's fun to kill her, because she's so annoying and useless throughout the game. But I have never, ever, in all my times through RE4, refused to set the dog free in the first level. I've never even pointed a gun at it. I don't need it, since my super-guns can kill the boss it helps with before the dog actually shows up, but I always free it, and feel good as it scampers off into the woods.

So what does that tell you?

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