Jump to content
Cactush

Reasoning behind a villain to do Villain things.

Recommended Posts

Have you guys ever struggled with making a good villain? I am.

 

The villain of my game is the main character, and I am struggling with finding an engaging reason to make the plunge into being antagonistic. The plot basically has him betray his friends in a crazy bid for power, but after his initial power high, he starts to see that he has screwed up massively and is hurting people. My problem is that I don't have a reason to betray them that seems plausible. Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda hard to come up with something appropiate with so little info. But...here are a few classic ideas:

- Having a loved one of them being held hostage by a bad guy.

- Jealousy for the hero

- Falls in love with a villain (this may be real love or the villain manipulating their feelings)

- Mind control

- Pure and simple greed. The bad guys were paying well

- Having some sort of past with one of the villains (the villain's second in command was actually their brother! :o)

- Having been a spy all along

- Dissaproves of the hero's methods

 Those are the first ones I can think of the top of my head, and yeah some are kinda similar, sorry :P

Edited by Nirwanda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe he got tired of being the "good guy". Too many unappreciated quests, actions. maybe the people he travels with took him for granted and he got tired of being part of it.

 

Revenge? Maybe they themself weren't being the "bad guy" but more, he was on a personal quest/adventure to fulfil his own abmitions. His goals and such just overlapsed witht he good guys goals making him the enemy to them.

 

I agree, the lack of story plot is vague so a pinpoint idea is kinda iffy.

We know nothing of the character himself or how close to his friends he was, so we can't tell exactly why he turned against them or such. Love rivalry, sick of being the good guy, maybe he wasn't getting paid enough and he needed themoney to save x or something.

 

Maybe he unintenionally became a bad guy. His friends just saw his actions as bad, but the MC himself was only doing what he thought was right. ect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the last point of what Takeo said is probably the most plausible explanation:

 

He thinks he's the doing the right thing - it's only when he begins to see that he's actually hurting people that he realized he screwed up. This would mean that he betrayed his friends because nobody sided with him in his belief at the time, and he jumped at the first opportunity he had to accomplish what he thought must be done.

 

Really, if he developed a consciousness about the nature of his actions, chances are was that he was never an evil person to begin with, just stubborn and misguided. It's either that, or he ended up doing something that he regretted so much that he only wants to redeem himself after that, and begins to see his past actions in a new light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some dark knight logic there! However, I think that the last thing Takeo said has the strongest impact. Assuming that you want the players to like the villain, albeit that it is also the hardest to accomplish. Think about it, how many opposite wiews want to accomplish the same thing? How many of those can possibly justify a deed considered the incarnate of all evil for its opposite, while still appearing like a "good" action in the eyes of anybody?

 

Pulling this of is almost a guaranteed success, but it is near impossible to achieve in a plausible way. Remember that the players will be the final judges, and generally they feel their way about it, instead of rationaly deciding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the betrayal card.

 

He did not want to willing betray them, but if he wanted to ever reach his goal of becoming stronger he had to make that sacrifice. His plans would not have been accepted by the others, but we wasen't going to let that stop him. He was ultimately determined to seek out his mission of power no matter what the cost even if it meant betraying his freinds.

But in the end when he finally obtains his goal and realizes that even though he pushed so far and made it to his goal he forgot the one thing more important then anything else. People who care about him. He finally saw this as he noticed he had all the power he wanted, but was left alone. Now seeing the error of his ways he sets out to make things right.

He has a new goal, to live a happy life not a powerful one.

 

 

Does that work for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jumping off Takeo and Yuggami, a lot of the best villains in history are great because they are people with ideologies - they are heroes of their own stories.

 

  • Tyler Durden of Fight Club wants a disenfranchised populace to stand up against corporations and materialism, and take back their lives and self worth as human beings.
  • Lex Luthor sees superman as a vigilante that humanity neither asked for, nor needed, and is a volatile threat that could literally destroy the earth with a single punch if he wanted.
  • In the original story Die Hard was based on, Gruber, the leader of the terrorists, is trying to steal an oil company's records of dealing with foreign civilian dictatorships.
  • Roy Batty is an android who simply wants to live, and is willing to kill people to save his own life.

 

These people are all villains.

Edited by Chaosian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Villains or heroes, "people doing things for his self satisfaction/interest."

is golden rule I must obey.

 

Why he bothered when he starting to hurt people... why he befriend with his betrayed allies...

Why he need that power...

 

I already gave you the hint (Or because I'm too lazy, partly I dont know the whole story)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you guys ever struggled with making a good villain? I am.

 

The villain of my game is the main character, and I am struggling with finding an engaging reason to make the plunge into being antagonistic. The plot basically has him betray his friends in a crazy bid for power, but after his initial power high, he starts to see that he has screwed up massively and is hurting people. My problem is that I don't have a reason to betray them that seems plausible. Any ideas?

How about he is the leader of the group(He is a brother/sister to the protagonist), But then after successfully getting the power source they are seeking.(A crystal, A magic stone, etc.) he succumbed into it. He got corrupted by that evil energy. By the time he snapped out of it. He already hurt his/her friends..The evil then tries to take over him again and leave without saying a word. The protagonist, Now stands to become the leader of the group promises them that they will get their leader back and destroy that evil energy inside of him.

The real leader of the group, Now an evil villain at first tries to fight over the evil inside of him, But because of the power he have, He sees it as an oppurtunity to get what he wants. SO he decided to let the evil take over his body.

After being so powerful he then saw all the damages he had done. to his friends and all the people on their land.

He wanted to be stopped! He wants to stop the evil inside him but it's too late.. It's now up to the heroes and the protagonist to save him.

 

There are 2 endings here.

- You save him/her and successfully destroys the evil energy.. The power source that they seek revert to the original form and they uses it to restore their land.

-He asked you to finish him/her off to destroy the evil energy. You killed him and the evil energy, The power source revert back to original form and they uses it to restore the land. But the protagonist and the gang was left sad because they've lost their real leader. Who is also the brother/sister of the protagonist.

 

This is just my idea.  :D

Edited by Chadzter01

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometime you don't need any reason at all.

 

Sometime a person just happens to grow up and is a "POS" all along.

 

A bad kid grows up in a bad neighborhood?

 

A spoiled brat in a rich family that has "tradition" of killing each other for money?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway if you are looking for a reason for a character to do something "because of the plot" I feel it usually means either your character is wrong for what you want or your plot is wrong for what you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good guy going bad, then coming back around to being good again, sounds overly intricate and basically nullifies him as an antagonist, doesn't it? If he comes to see the error of his ways half-way through the game, what's stopping him from just... well, stopping being evil? What you need here is some sort of antarctic cold hearted reasoning for his actions or some sort of internal power struggle, as these are the most common reasons for good guys to go bad.

 

Sometimes good men do what they do at the expense of others because they believe the ends justify the means, and that their "small" sacrifice is worth whatever supposed greater good they are trying to accomplish.

Sometimes good men fall prey to exterior forces that they cannot control, like being cursed or being blackmailed to do someone else's bidding. They don't want to be evil, but it's out of their control.

Edited by TheManlyFairy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to make a small note.

 

A good guy going bad, then coming back around to being good again, sounds overly intricate and basically nullifies him as an antagonist, doesn't it? If he comes to see the error of his ways half-way through the game, what's stopping him from just... well, stopping being evil?

 

It may look forced, but how about he doesn't stop being evil because he's not able to asume he's, in fact, evil. Let me explain, let's say our guy here betrays his friends because he thinks it's the only way to achive a greater good. He does atrocities he otherwise would never have thought in doing, but he does them because its the only way he sees to overcome evil. At some point he cuestions his own actions, and he dislikes them. However if he stops, that would mean there was no reason for the evil things he made, no way to justify them. That of course makes him the evil one, and that's something he isn't prepared to digest. That would mean he became the very one thing he was trying to defeat. The only way out of this would be to stay on this dark path, so at the end, he can achive his goal. Maybe if he finish this, he won't be able to live with himself, but stopping now is to remove any purpose to the suffering caused, wich at his eyes is a much worse situation.

At the end, he will finally asume his wrong ways (may be by being near death, asuming the cost it's too much,..) and he'll look to redeem himself (being by death, or by helping the good ones again).

 

You can see this as a variant of "the end justifies the means", but without the lack of morals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you guys ever struggled with making a good villain? I am.

 

The villain of my game is the main character, and I am struggling with finding an engaging reason to make the plunge into being antagonistic. The plot basically has him betray his friends in a crazy bid for power, but after his initial power high, he starts to see that he has screwed up massively and is hurting people. My problem is that I don't have a reason to betray them that seems plausible. Any ideas?

 

I think the key to a character like this is self-delusion. You want a character who goes bad, not necessarily for all the right reasons, but one who remains relatable enough to keep your players interested throughout your game. Human beings are capable of rationalizing an awful lot, and that, combined with some well-developed prejudices, will go a long way to making your character simultaneously selfish and sympathetic. We don't necessarily have to agree with what the character is doing, but we need to at least be able to understand why he/she can't behave in any other fashion. Maybe his/her whole family was murdered by people of a certain nationality/ethnic group/religion, etc. Maybe they have seen or experienced things so traumatic that they are driven almost without thought or reason toward some goal. It's a very tight balancing act to maintain, but I think it can be done.

 

Kudos, by the way, for pursuing such a non-standard story structure and protagonist. If you pull it off, it'll be straight-up awesome.

 

Jinumon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Judging by what you wrote in the OP, it sounds like you've already got a good reason: he was selfish. Sometimes a person's selfishness is the only reason why they betrayed or hurt someone else. People are naturally self-absorbed and selfish so it's not difficult to pass that off as a reason. Also, we can all relate to being selfish at some point or another.

 

If you're looking for a deeper reason for the selfishness, maybe the character has a personality disorder and s/he just doesn't have it within themselves to care for people or to concern themselves with the consequences of their actions when it comes to affecting others. Most serial killers always seem like the 'nice guy' until they get caught. I'm not saying to make the character a serial killer but, maybe you could have them suffer from a psychological disorder. This could be the internal struggle they are dealing with.

 

Anyway, good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The inmates are running the asylum, Guyver =)

 

@Nya- For a story driven game that is very true. The villains that are developed as well and as deeply as the hero tend to be the most memorable and more loved games.

 

However, with games that aren't focused on story, a one dimensional villian just be be a villian enemy is often all you need. They arw really just a simple medium to give the player and sense of progress and accomplishment. (amd hopefully a cool, fun, and challeging fight at the end =p).

It also charts a path for the developers to follow.

 

@Chungsie- Absolutley :) I have no doubt that Bowser feels very antagonized by Mario. Can't a guy kidnap a princess in peace?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woah this took off.

Ok yeah I was extremely bad at explaining in the OP, and I'm also extremely late with getting back to this, life is a bitch.

 

But to clarify with everyone, here's a little more back story.

 

It's a little similar to the story of Pandora's Box, where there's this powerful maguffin that has centuries worth of evil creatures trapped inside that tempt the outside world with promises of great power if they just open the box. What would you do if you heard that great offer of power? Would you be tempted to open it, despite the risk? Or would you leave it alone. This story falls with the scenario of opening it. Our protagonist, opens the box, knowing full well of the dangers, so he could attain the power it promises. Doing so however, also releases the demons and other calamities stored in the box. This is where the "Heroes" come in, while for the most part they are not playable, they are the reaction to the player's actions. They consider you just as big a threat as the real demons and blame you for everything, so a fight will happen between them eventually, the difference is how they will see you if you are a "noble demon" or a "complete monster" in terms of evilness, based on the player's choices ingame.

 

This is where I'm having trouble providing a well-thought out motivation for opening the box. Some of you said Selfish-ness or Self-delusion and I liked that, however I need the reasoning to be strong enough to commit to such an act, but redeemable enough so that I can have fun with a "redemption" sub-plot that the player can choose to do, otherwise he can be evil forever, otherwise it'll just sound like a cop-out. 

 

If there's more I need to say I will, I will admit, writing is one of my weak points so I may have still missed a tonne of helpful information.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it even necessary for the character to be aware of the consequences or have it be on purpose? Though if you want them to know or suspect what will happen when it is opened, how about this:

 

The character has had this box for years, keeping it secret and safe, not really trusting any government or heroes to take care of it. Maybe the government is oppressive or the heroes have their own flaws. Maybe one day, something happens which makes them angry, really really angry. But they are helpless to stop it as they are. And they get to thinking about that box and it's great power... heck maybe they even do one more then just open the box, but use it as a bomb of sorts, unleashing demons on a government building or hero headquarters.

 

It's kinda funny, but Final Fantasy 7 is the only game I know where you start on the side of a terrorist group, but they sort of drop that plot after a while. If I remember correctly, while their are a handful of times where people mention that your actions have killed innocent people, you are still almost universally treated by the game as heroes because you are still fighting an enemy that is universally treated as "the bad guy". In a more realistic scenario though the government force even if corrupted would still be filled with good people and who is the "good guy" and the "bad guy" would be indistinct. No matter how important the cause you want to fight for is or how bad your enemies are, compromising your morals to fight for it will make you no better then them.

 

Still, isn't there at least one cause where, if you had this evil box thing, might tempt you to open it? Might tempt you to use that power? Heck maybe you might think you may even be able to control the daemon hoards! Would that be worth it to you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why go through such complex maneuver and analyze the moral compass of a institution or a group of people? Why not just put his life in peril? 

 

For whatever reason he finds himself faced with certain death. Panick, fear, anxiety and regretful are emotions that might fit the occation. Right when all seems lost, a voice from the box offers to save his life if he opens it. I think it is pretty understandable that people do questionable things when their life is threatened. ;)

 

If you want to really drive him crazy, make it a loved one that attempts to take his life. (That kind of betrayal would sure as hell push me over the edge, I would set the world on fire!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×