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Wickedrob

Do you personally enjoy a Hero or a Villian?

14 posts in this topic

Rather it be the chosen one or the tortured soul, people usually feel more connected to one than the other. Is it the Hero (the one you actually play with the whole game and venture with on the journey) or the Villian (the one who wants to conquer you, the land, the world or destroy it).

Heroes and Villians arent so Black and White anymore, not to mention theres tons of Hero and Villian archetypes: Do you like the not-so-bright but the strong hero? or The cool and suave villian?, etc.

So whats your fave? and why?

 

Mine: Villian! You play with the hero for the whole game and the bad guy only has to make an appearance once and you know he's going to be trouble.He could give a long, philsophic speech that makes the player question his own agendas or look you in the eye and burn down your village, either way the Villian has very little screen time compared to most on your journey but when he's on the screen he makes the most of it.And well... I have a natural attraction to bad things and doing the opposite of the law... sooo.... Lol

 

 

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Someone said one day that a story is only as good as its villain.

I'm tempted to agree for the most part. A lot of great games actually have heroes that won't even speak up.

The Hero is rather a tool to put you, as a player, in context. Its generally a good approach to have you experience the game from within.

A lot of games actually give your hero a personality, but its easy to be cheesy with that.

So in essence, I like the villains a lot.

 

My favorites, however, are as follows:

 

- The Hero that is, undeniably, a villain (see House of Cards for example, where the protagonist is clearly not an angel by any stretch).

Because the Hero is fundamentally bad (or at least, not inclined to do good for the sake of it), the narrative has to somehow make you care about them, despite their flawed logic. Though you couldn't possibly agree with them on principle, being in their shoes for a while makes you understand their twisted logic, and you get to experience a part of their history, understand their motives, share their successes and failures.

These characters are extremely hard to "paint" right, but I particularly liked Kain from Legacy of Kain (Blood Omen). This guy was out for revenge with absolutely no other consideration, and it made for an interesting game regardless. I particularly liked his witty comments on bosses he'd kill and keep trophies of: "Poor Napraptu, I knew him well........ not really".

Other games also allow you to experience your darker side. While the Hero has no clear definite personality and is controlled mostly just by you (see Fallout for example), you get to do "not nice things" just for the sake of it. It's interesting to interact with the game on these terms, as a human being, seeing how the game rewards/punishes you for your urges/curiosity.

 

 

- The anti-hero that somehow isn't either the hero nor the villain, but ends up being some kind of unreliable sidekick (CT's Magus, FF4's Kain, etc.)

Because of genre staples, most characters are stock characters (holy hero, evil villain). Having strong support cast with unclear allegiances (with shifting loyalties based on their own history and depth of character) is fun to watch evolve. You'll notice that a lot of great stories have these "wildcard" characters.

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An Anti Hero is a good medium to bring to the table.With all the varying heroes and villians, Anti heroes walk the line in the middle, doing what they want.They may not want the big frosting cake at the end but they sure as hell will enjoy the party.

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I like the Villain fighting other Villains to be the King of Villains type of thing.

The Godfather?

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If I watch some new anime series with a cast of 100 characters, the one I develop a bit of a crush on is 80% of the time going to be a villain.  Not usually the big bad, but some sidekick or underling villain who talks big but is inwardly insecure, and his plans are clever and creative and usually not outright sadistic or bloodthirsty, but they probably don't actually succeed all that often because he's got some kind of blind spot or weak area.  And a sad backstory that makes me want to give him chocolate and cuddles until he smiles.

 

But it's important to distinguish that I don't really want to be a villain in an interactive story or game.  I don't really want to be a hero either, at least not in the traditional superhero sense.  I like being a character who is one of the smartest characters in a setting, gathering knowledge as a game goes on, and using my knowledge to explore with minimal risk to myself and also to solve others' problems for pay, both activities leading to me becoming one of the wealthiest characters in the setting.  I might use my knowledge and wealth to help the heroes if they pay for my help, but I also might help a villain if they present a good case.

 

I'm also quite fond of settings where the "official" good guys are actually the bad guys and the "official" villains are actually the good guys.  The whole "good is dumb" trope really lends itself to this.  Especially if there's a bit of a comic flavor to the whole thing.

Edited by sunandshadow
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Conduct a long string of practice murders, and then wrap it up by killing the main boss/father/authority figure. Is that the actions of a hero? Since no one can think of any other plot for a video game, good guys do it too and simply claim 'those guys' are barbarian-mutant-zombie-robot-aliens. Yep, clearly heroic and good by comparison.

 

Bioshock:Infinite and The Last of Us both dispense with the sordid amount of distasteful fakery necessary to claim that such actions are heroic, and just cast the player as a villain.

Edited by AngleWyrm
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I am inherently more interested by villainous characters. However, they are so difficult to develop in a way that has them retain their evil nature that I don't actually have an example of a villain that has truly captivated me yet.

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Have you seen the movie Hancock? Now the depiction of the superhero in that film was great for the first half of that movie. I would like my superheroes to be like that. Not Boy Scout or unusual sense of justice good. Just realistic. If a hero killed someone, it's not the end of the world or the first step to oblivion.

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Conduct a long string of practice murders, and then wrap it up by killing the main boss/father/authority figure. Is that the actions of a hero? Since no one can think of any other plot for a video game, good guys do it too and simply claim 'those guys' are barbarian-mutant-zombie-robot-aliens. Yep, clearly heroic and good by comparison.

 

Bioshock:Infinite and The Last of Us both dispense with the sordid amount of distasteful fakery necessary to claim that such actions are heroic, and just cast the player as a villain.

That's a really good point. But in a shooter is there anything else the hero could do besides mass bullet carnage? I guess stealth games are a little different: In Metal Gear you could be completely stealthy and just focus on the boss fights and in Dues Ex you could avoid most confrontations with the right dialouge.

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define "hero" and "villain"

when i was in school, i had some kind of cult/art-classes where the (writers of our) textbook considered celebrities heroes,

while my teacher in german considered a guy who went to his work every day to provide for his family even though he hated his job a hero.

 

A main character i like is the one from Mad Max(movie) because he is there for himself, will help the weaker on occasion, as long as they leave him the fuck alone.

(and pretty much acts the same to the bad guys)

Why ? i m a bit like that. I can relate to him and i would probably help him if he was real, and so i would not mind controlling him in a game and ""helping" him virtually.

and i think most other people also want a main character they can relate to, for some that may be a character that goes out to save his village

(i don't think anybody realy loves his country so much to realy relate to saving his country, countries are too big)

 

 

Hero tales are what society(the greater good) wants you to believe, because it benefits them, but nobody realy enjoys being the hero,

since the hero usually has to sacrifice something for the greater good, be it comfort, safety or something else

They 're also popular because they give you an excuse to do whatever you want to.(kill all the aliens, because they're trying to kill humans, while in reality the aliens are just repopuloting the earth and the player likes to shoot stuff.

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A game called Disgaea 3 for PS3/PS Vita had you playing as an evil character, Mao, but the whole game was incredibly wacky. It seemed that to be evil was good and to be a nice or helpful person was evil, or that was the impression I got. Disgaea 3 deserves a Game Of The Year award and the combination of "evil" with "wacky" can be used to great effect.

Short answer: I like to play as the villain. Hero isn't bad either, though.
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Bioshock Infinite simply combined the hero and the villain.

While I do enjoy the crosses between hero and villain, I absolutely hate having villians given a "soul". A "reason", they're not evil just mislead!

It ruins it.

They are the villain, not the hero.

Consider The Joker, thanks to Johnny Depp and the idea of the character he was cast as maniacally evil. he wasn't hated, he wasn't good, he simply acted within his nature.

And I loved him for it. I love him more then  Batman, and yet he's the evil one. I felt no need to have a justification for his actions, he did what he did to see if he could.

He didn't have some huge plot twisting motive behind his attempt to destroy the city, he just wanted to see if he could.

 

That, in my opinion, is a true villain.

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A villain can be great if written right, but I believe it is important to give them motivations for what they do. Sometimes you can have great villains who are evil for the sake of being evil or chaotic (The Joker and Kefka come to mind) but the really truly great villains are ones who see themselves and their motivations as heroic. I'll move to TV for a moment and point to Marcus Crassus from the final season of the Spartacus TV show. He's obviously cast as the villain, and yet he sees himself the defender of Rome, the only man capable of putting down the slave rebellion sparked by Spartacus and the man that, in putting down the rebellion, can save the empire from future recurrences of like event. The show does a great job in showing several nuances of the man; he's a loving but incredibly tough father, a brutal leader but one that expects honest assessment of his enemies absent embellishment or overconfidence, and a man driven by a quest to test himself against one of the greatest warriors the Roman Republic knows but also a man who has no desire for titles or positions that he has not earned.

 

Doesn't sound like a straight up villain. Certainly he has plenty that can make us revile him, but in certain ways the show does a good job of displaying his humanity and humility alongside his brutality and questionable morals. The villain should be layered like an onion. At times you should question whether he's truly a villain, and at times you should wish his untimely demise, but he should be an equal to the hero in terms of successes and failures to really give for an epic story where you can not really predict the outcome. Hard to strive for, but still, hope that helped some.

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