Favorite/Least Favorite Villain Character Traits?

Finnuval

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One thing I wanna add is that a lot of ppl will say evil for the purpose of being evil is bad design and i agree for about 99%. There is one exception, for me, though it is debatable of it would still fall under evil for evil's sake but that is the villain that for whatever reason he had to do so made a concious choice to be evil for the sake of evil.
An example of that (for me) is batman's Joker who eve though he has a complex backstory chose to be evil to cause evil and Luca Blight from Suikoden 2 who also with more backstory made the same concious choice (and prolly is the best true evil antagonist in gaming).
 

fluffymonster

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@Finnuval I agree. There are some cases where someone is bad 'cause they wanna be bad and it doesn't feel lazy. It really does depend on how you handle it, though. I really do feel like black and white evil characters are mostly a thing of the past. Most cases have reasoning outside of just wanting to be bad like they want to get rich or are misguided in some way. They're angry and expressing it in a destructive manner.
 

Finnuval

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@Finnuval I agree. There are some cases where someone is bad 'cause they wanna be bad and it doesn't feel lazy. It really does depend on how you handle it, though. I really do feel like black and white evil characters are mostly a thing of the past. Most cases have reasoning outside of just wanting to be bad like they want to get rich or are misguided in some way. They're angry and expressing it in a destructive manner.
Yeah i agree. Even the example I have have more to them then Just born evil. I just wanted to point out the difference between the lazy born evil version and the evil for evil's sake with reasoning begind it :)
 

Willibab

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I like smart villains, especially the ones that win and it turns out it was for the best xD Watchmen comes to mind but....not much else really :p
 

CraneSoft

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Since the topic is about "villains" here and not "antagonist", I'm going to exclude the well-intentioned extremists and Forced Into Evil archetypes.
My personal favorite is the kind of villain that have a clear motive (even if it's something as generic as world domination or eradicating/enslaving humanity for example) and is VERY determined to achieve them. In which they may have some or all the following traits:
1) They are irredeemably evil and can't be reasoned with.
2) They are no-nonsense and pragmatic. If they can shoot the protagonist in the head given the chance, they'll do it. No gloating or warnings.
3) Revels at their own evil and makes no attempt to justify their actions.
4) Treating everyone and everything as expendable.
5) Willing to do ANYTHING if it means it contributes to their goal, including temporarily assisting the heroes or working with other villains, but won't bother with needless evil.
6) Intelligent enough to not pick fights they know they can't win.
7) Have infinite patience and determination. Will come back again and again no matter how many times they are defeated or their plans burned to the ground.

Least favorite:
Lazy villains that only sits on their throne all day looking menacing and powerful but only ordering minions around while he have yet to achieve his goal, and then getting emo and throws a tantrum (read:execute immediately) when they fail him. This is excusable if they have already conquered the world so it make sense not to worry about a few "extraordinary pests" here and there, or cases where ordering an army of 10,000 would be more effective in terms of scale. I understand you can't let the hero face the demon king early on, but at least make some reasons to justify why he didn't just go and kill the hero right away when the former keeps putting nails in his path. By the end of the game, the player would be barely threatened because he would just looked like an incompetent boss/commander who can't even manage his underlings properly and only fights the hero because all of his goons are dead.
 

FirestormNeos

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@FirestormNeos, I just read on the fandom.com. Is there controversy? Yeah, I see literally right now about sexual controversy you refer to correct? ... Yikes. ... Is that what you mean? My eyes are bigger than my stomach! How about Fullmetal Alchemist less triggering. Sorry again to mention it.
Yes that's the one.

No need to apologize. I'm not prudish; I'm just squeamish and can't stand seeing people get hurt like that. :kaoswt2:
 

Mystic_Enigma

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One type that irks me is the kind of Villain that goes "Oh something bad happened to me, so instead of settling things with the ones responsible, i'm gonna take it out on everyone and/or blow up the world!"

Seriously, there are better, less time-extensive ways to expend your anger. Like hitting the Gym or a Stress-relief computer game or something!


What I like to see is a character who isn't really a Villain, but someone who genuinely wants to help out, but goes about it the wrong way...This allows the Heroes to give them a reality check and realize they've been going about it all wrong, so they switch sides and help to fix the mess they made.
 
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BK-tdm

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1592672516643.png

This guy right here, never have i hated a villain and actually liked it so much at the same time, this guy is Yuuki Terumi/Hazama from the BlazBlue light-novel/Beat em up series, this villain had enough power to believably top anyone in the cast, the intelligence to pull plans 200 steps ahead, the cunning to disguise himself as a good guy, and the trolling, oh gods the trolling.

Havent liked and disliked agame villain so much ever since.
 

Nerthus

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I reslly dont like inneffectual villams who could win 10 times over but sabotage themselves by being stupid.
 

Kupotepo

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so they switch sides and help to fix the mess they made.
[That is just feeling and what I see in the history.] That would work in an amateur villain. And, frenemy those loved character will just trolling and play date with heroes.:wink:

But, the supervillain/super-holy hero would not do that. After all, it is their works and business. It is their llivelihood. The heroes will go down if they tired to obstruct their business operations.They are either retired from being evil due to old age and being safe or found new organization. To find new ways to get the profit of the world.:LZSevil:

Can anyone explain to me? I do not understand how narcissistic of hero can be to think that the anti-hero existence circles about the protaganists' world.:guffaw:
 
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RachelTheSeeker

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I like a lot of villain types. Which is funny, because my most-defined OCs are the heroes and I lack hard-defined villains. :v

Favorite villain traits?
  • Became villainous due to heroes, corrupt or not
  • Over-the-top, dramatic, or even mustache-twirling villainy; only works if not the only villain present
  • Aberrant or otherwise mentally unsound
  • Reasonable motives and trauma, but go to far to avenge themselves and others
  • Distinctly inhuman cruelty or aloofness, in non-human but sapient monsters
  • Recurring rivals that are over-the-top, or otherwise as quirky and/or fleshed-out, as the heroes
  • Warped mirrors of the heroes' own motivations and ideals
  • Fiercely loyal to their minions, and other villains they team up with
  • Has open infighting moments with other villains
  • Sleazy, greedy, cowardly, sniveling, conniving lackeys... especially if they outwit the "main" villain
  • Satire or parody of common villain archetypes, especially if still a reasonable threat
  • Once-heroic or once-pure people, beings, etc that have become corrupted
  • Alternate-timeline villains, once allies or heroes that became evil in that diverging circumstance

Least favorite villain traits?
  • Is evil for the heck of it, especially if not a satire like my fave trait #2
  • Half-arsed tragic motivations out of left field
  • Blind loyalty to abusive superiors (minion unions FTW)
  • Edgelords done poorly; Sephiroth and Kuja would be nothing without context
  • Always-incompetent rivals that are fought too often; as much as I can admire Jessie, James and Meowth from the Pokemon anime, their shtick got old quick due to Flanderization
  • Twist villains without any buildup, foreshadowing, or any good hints and use of a twist in actually-good writing
 

HalcyonDaze

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Whatever their motivations, villains MUST be interesting, not merely be there to move the plot forward or simply to be an obstacle for the protagonists. However, I like tragic villains the most, honestly. Ones you can sympathize with, or at the very least, be able to understand what made them the way they are. Hannibal Lecter, Jigsaw/John Kramer, Anakin Skywalker, Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion, Severus Snape, and Thanos are some great examples, at least in my opinion, of good and interesting villains.
 

Wavelength

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I'm a huge fan of villains (and anti-villains) who are self-aware, in a funny kind of way.

The type who straight-up knows what they're doing is wrong, they know that you know what they're doing is wrong, and they still have the nerve to make a funny one-liner about something trivial they're hoping to get out of their heinous deeds. :D
 

Redeye

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The Best:
  • Villains that actually have a personality. The very first criteria that makes or breaks literally any villain is FUN FACTOR. This is mainly why I consider Thanos to be one of the most boring villains in the MCU.
  • Villains that demand respect. I'm talking about those villains that are both super charismatic and incredibly terrifying at the same time, e.g. Tywin Lannister.
  • Villains that are competent and scary as f***. The types of villains that make the viewer go "Oh S***" every time they show up. The ones that you know that they're about to do something absolutely heinous and you likely won't be able to stop them in time, hence why the next biggest criteria of a good villain is INTIMIDATION FACTOR.
  • This is a bias of mine, but I like sexy villains. I'm tired of the antagonists mostly being ugly b*****ds that only a mother could love. The best villains are the ones that have style.
  • On the other hand, I like antagonists with good intentions, with either a bad execution (the reason why the protagonists even oppose them in the first place), or a conflict of ideals with the protagonists. Not to be confused with those dumb villains that "kinda have a point", but their "point" is usually wrong and makes the writer look like an edgy teen.
  • This is more of a story thing, but I like it when there's in-fighting between the antagonists (in-fighting between the protagonists is also cool (see Captain America: Civil War), too, within reason).
  • Antagonists that turn to the dark side due to reasons beyond their control, such as the consequences of the deeds of the protagonists, or the doing of a bigger villain pulling the strings.
The Worst:
  • Cultists that worship your Evil God for the sake of having human minions for a supernatural being of pure evil. Why the hell would someone ever worship such a thing? Granted, one of my own stories features a "Death Cult" as one of the religions, but they have their nuances. A.) They're not the antagonists. B.) They don't actually worship the subject in question (the subject being the man-eating undead creatures that roam the world), they're just nihilists that welcome death and chaos as an inevitability (Although there ARE some morons among the cult that misinterpret its teachings). C.) They're never actually taken seriously and are often ridiculed.
  • Villains that do nothing and are presented as a "mystery", and their identities aren't revealed until the final act, and you never fight them until the final battle.
  • Also, Villains that are barely referenced and never show up until the second half of the game. *cough* *cough* BARTHANDELUS.
  • Those generic Corrupt Priest villains who really only exist to push the dev's beliefs of "hurr durr religion bad".
  • Those hypocritical, self-righteous villains who view all of humanity as irredeemable filth because A.) Their mommy died, and B.) "hurr durr humans are the real evil"
  • When your villain is the only minority rep in the story, which gives off some really malicious implications.
  • Redemption Arcs for villains that already went past the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Dark Lords. Stop it.
  • Demon Gods that were sealed away a thousand years ago. Stop it.
 

Kupotepo

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@Redeye,thank you for your time and your response. You are really funny. I am going to satire your lists. Please do not take offense, because I do not know what your personality is. I just wanted to be clear.

This is a bias of mine, but I like sexy villains. I'm tired of the antagonists mostly being ugly b*****ds that only a mother could love. The best villains are the ones that have style.
Now the representative of the unions of demons, orcs, and ghosts are calling me to complaining on your comment which you are shaming.

It is true on the psychology that sexy or good looking people are less likely to be found guilty of crimes by the jury.

they're just nihilists that welcome death and chaos as an inevitability (Although there ARE some morons among the cult that misinterpret its teachings). C.) They're never actually taken seriously and are often ridiculed.
What is different between goths and emos? [South Park] What is difference between demons and devils?

Villains that do nothing and are presented as a "mystery", and their identities aren't revealed until the final act, and you never fight them until the final battle.
Do not spoil us of the final battle in most of Final Fantasy series.

Not to be confused with those dumb villains that "kinda have a point", but their "point" is usually wrong and makes the writer look like an edgy teen.
No seasonal villains. No villain training school.

or a conflict of ideals with the protagonists.
War of words: protaganist says yes and antagonist says no or I disagree. That is going to be a trashy battle for sure.

Antagonists that turn to the dark side due to reasons beyond their control, such as the consequences of the deeds of the protagonists, or the doing of a bigger villain pulling the strings.
You do not go want to there if you do not believe me ask @The Stranger about the last of us 2. The characters are violence because they are crazy.

@kirbwarrior, thank you for your response.

Absolute worst is the 'relatable' or 'justified' villain.
That is going to funny comment for immersion writers and players
 
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kirbwarrior

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There's honestly a lot of villains and villain-types I love. One of the major things that comes to mind is when the villain is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying. Like, there are points where you think this is a comedy then suddenly the villain reminds you why it's a big deal and why you're terrified at the idea of this person existing.

Absolute worst is the 'relatable' or 'justified' villain. It's been far too common for maybe a decade or more and this villain has never been done well. It ranges from "the worst of humankind in a way that makes you depressed that this is the life you live in" to "I don't want to deal with my coworkers, I want an actual villain". I'm perfectly okay with the "I'm evil because I'm evil!" and honestly I've seen stories use it well or at least entertainingly.
 

Kupotepo

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@kirbwarrior, that is true between bad realism and good realism. You are bringing up a good point.

The game doesn't have to be super realistic about bloodshed and body fly off. The game doesn't have to show people go bathrooms , show them eating, sleeping, or change their clothes.

this is the life you live in" to "I don't want to deal with my coworkers, I want an actual villain". I'm perfectly okay with the "I'm evil because I'm evil!"
How about you coworkers are the villains and you get to fight them.

One of the major things that comes to mind is when the villain is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.
I like both heros and villains to be funny regardless of circumstances.
 

kirbwarrior

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How about you coworkers are the villains and you get to fight them.
I guess it would depend. I also want to avoid the "World of Villains" that often comes from 'realistic' villains. Just look at any game with (fantasy or not) racism and my mind is asking "Why am I trying to save these people again?"
The game doesn't have to show people go bathrooms
That's my go to response when people ask for "realism" in games and not a particular thing they like that happens to be realistic;
"This games needs to be more realistic."
"I'll go look for hunger and toilet systems, then."
 

Kupotepo

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@kirbwarrior,
Just look at any game with (fantasy or not) racism and my mind is asking "Why am I trying to save these people again?"
I get you now. You are right the devs with an agenda of shaming the players. [I want your money, but I hate you kind of things].

We should have an RPG comedy clue in this forum website. :guffaw:

"This games needs to be more realistic."
"I'll go look for hunger and toilet systems, then."
You are too late, The Sims did that and the Simpson did that.:smile:
 
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