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Ravanon

Is Your Nemesis Interesting Enough?

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I was thinking about the opposition in RPGs. More specifically, the main ''bad guy'', or the character''s nemesis. It''s fairly standard just to shove in some half-daemonic killer with a thing about mad laughter and unnecessary cruelty, but is that a good thing? What makes a better opponent for the player? Is it better to have some huge incarnation of Hell (as in Diablo), or someone more ordinary, perhaps forced by cruel fate into the role, perhaps believing that what he/she is doing is for the greater good - someone hauntingly close in personality to the actual hero? Or perhaps it is better that there be no actual nemesis at all (like Ultima 4)?

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I''d say it goes with setting. If you''re going to venture into hell, then a demon is appropriate. Or, if you''ve got a story based on some mad mage calling up the pit fiend lord.. lol. The pit fiend might consume the mage upon birth.. and the mage was really weak. So, you''re focusing on one enemy one minute, and then a totally different one the next.

I like the guy Jon Irenicus in Baldur''s Gate II. He had a defined history and reasons for tormenting your character. Although there were other bad guys along the way.. you still had to meet up with this guy And he was the be-all, end-all bad guy of the game.

So.. make a villan to fit the story, and make the villan REAL. Flesh them out a bit. Don''t just make a POS villan as a last-minute thought.

J

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Hmmm... well, a huge incarnation from hell would be appropriate only if you''re doing a medieval fantasy RPG, right?

I rather like the Master from Fallout as a bad guy. Intelligent. Charming. Self assured. He actually was trying to do the right thing, to ensure human survival, but his methods were hiddeous and his plan flawed. (Oh, and there was that thing about being half dismembered, insane, and possessed of multiple-personalities)

It actually WOULD be VERY COOL to make the badguy easier to understand, and like the player. The one thing that I''d love to see more of is the turning of stereotypes. We don''t think of ourselves as bad, yet wouldn''t it be cool if we discovered some uncomfortable link between our avatar and the main badguy. The thing''s that make us think, "oh, that could be me..." make us squirm, and that would be IMPACT.



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

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LOL! Um... This is so apt a discussion seeing as I recently came up for the nemesis in my fairly whacked and crazy game. Actually, I don''t think I will spoil it seeing as it really would give away the whole point, plus, it isn''t just about the nemesis either.

But, more to the point for those who think they know what my game is about - The Dream Idea has been DROPPED . So goodbye whatever people thought they knew about my game

I will only tell you if people demand to hear though... Enough different people that is

-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

          

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator
It actually WOULD be VERY COOL to make the badguy easier to understand, and like the player. The one thing that I''d love to see more of is the turning of stereotypes. We don''t think of ourselves as bad, yet wouldn''t it be cool if we discovered some uncomfortable link between our avatar and the main badguy. The thing''s that make us think, "oh, that could be me..." make us squirm, and that would be IMPACT.




DAMNIT WAV... I suppose I should have read all of your post before I said a thing... Oh well. Wav is pretty close to what my idea is. Jeez, I should know that most of you here are on the same wavelength after all the things we''ve talked about

-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

          

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Poor planning inspires lack-luster antagonists. Before pen goes to paper on a story for a game, complete back history should be written on all major characters involved.

"The bad guy is your father!"
"The bad guy is your identical twin!"
"The bad guy murdered your parents!"

These aren''t good bad guys. Unfortunately, the game industry bases most of it''s characters around these bad gimmicks. You sketch out the plot first, considering the theme, the major high points of the story, and the characters. Then sometime before you write a draft, you flesh out who these characters are. What drives them, why are they the way they are. What do they wear? Why? How did they get to their position in life? What is their view of the world?

The biggest mistake I see made with antagonist is they are written to be "bad". No one considers themselves bad. They are just trying to make it through life. These are the only times I believe characters should be written intentionally evil

1. When creating a caricature of an evil creature/person.
2. To make fun of him. Think Dr.Evil in Austin Powers

Evil is a matter of perspective. All Lucifer wanted was to be acknowledged by God for how great an angel he was.

Ut

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quote:
Original post by Ut

Evil is a matter of perspective. All Lucifer wanted was to be acknowledged by God for how great an angel he was.




What would you call a character that intentionally took pleasure in the suffering of others? How about one who annihilated an entire population for sport? Or what about one who tortures people indescriminantly.

Maybe their just insane. But I''d classify them as evil by any perspective.

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

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One interesting bad guy is Kefka from Final Fantasy 6, because he looks like being a weak army general in the beginning, and end up being almost a god. Unlike in Diablo or other games of the same kind, it''s not just "I kick everybody''s ass through 26 levels just to see who''s the real bad boy". I mean, he has his own personality, and evolves as the game goes on, just like the characters in your party; you get to meet him many times in the game, and also fight him sometimes, and that''s pretty cool, because when you face him for the last battle, you know who''s in front of you, you know what he did, etc. you don''t have the "so, at last, this is the famous Diablo I''ve been searching for" kind of thinking. So it''s still some half-daemonic killer with a mad laughter and uncessessary cruelty, but who''s role has been developped throughout the game, and that makes a huge difference in my opinion.

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator

What would you call a character that intentionally took pleasure in the suffering of others? How about one who annihilated an entire population for sport? Or what about one who tortures people indescriminantly.

Maybe their just insane. But I''d classify them as evil by any perspective.




What about their perspective? Did they see themselves as evil?



Digital Radiation

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Oh my god, somebody finally got it on the villain thing, I too agree that Kefka was one of the greatest villains of all time. Just purely because of the fact that you seen him do the things that made him evil, you weren''t just told, one of the things I hate about Gannon in the Legend of Zelda series is that you are told how bad he is, you never really see what makes him so bad. When I played Final Fantasy III by the end of the game I wanted to kill Kefka even if I jumped into the game myself and I love villains!. Want to test out how potent a Nemesis is?, then I have one easy test, turn the sound down and dont read the text, just look at them on the screen, if you dont hate the character, then they arent really all that bad are they? I remember the time in Final Fantasy III the point in the game when Kefka blasted the king with the power of the statues, then kicked him in the face a couple of times and then kicked him off the floating platform, and then proceeded to then carve up the world, and ALL OF THIS you seen on screen, every last moment of it, YOU SEEN the time he poisoned his own soldiers to get at the soldiers of another country, YOU SEEN the time he punked his own soldiers throughout the game, and YOU SEEN the time he killed General Leo. If you think about it Kefka killed more of his own people than you in certain points of the game.

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