Who are your favourite videogame villains? And why?

Dalph

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The title says it all.
Since I've played a huge amount of videogames (mostly rpgs) and I usually have more sympathy towards the villains than the usual heroes, I would like to ask to you guys, who are your favorite videogame villains and why?
 
Feel free to add "under an appropriate Spoiler Tag" some pics of the villains (or just their description if you're lazy), the name of the game they're from, and "if you want" say why you particularly liked those characters.
 
Even under the Spoiler Tags, try to be polite, and don't spoiler too much about the games (to not ruin the experience for those poor mortals that haven't played them), talk only about the villain and his\her attitude. Thank you.

Here's my top 3:

3rd - Luca Blight (from Suikoden 2)
medium_montage_luca_blight.jpg

Why I liked Luca Blight? Let's just say that in terms of ruthlessness I have seen only a few like him.
He's a born leader, a sadistic, a murderous and cruel psychopath, but mostly overall a well developed villain (the player will for sure hate him for his actions).
He's better developed than many FF villains to me.

2nd - Ghaleon (from the Lunar series)
ghaleon2.jpg

The Magic Emperor! He's a badass! I mean, come on, who actually dislikes Ghaleon and his role of hero\anti-hero\ and insane villain? He's so badass to be able to afford three different roles in the Lunar series. He's an arrogant and manipulative master of trickery (he fools everyone) and also a charming villain.
 
1st - Krelian (from Xenogears)

Why Krelian is my favourite videogame villain of all time? As you may know, Xenogears is my favourite videogame but obviously this is not the reason.Krelian is a complex character, he may not even be seen as a real villain in the game, but he has a troubled past, and the motives that led him to his evil actions are more than reasonable.

We can say that he has a neither good nor bad attitude, he's seemingly emotionless and determined on his goal and that's what makes him so special.

At the end, his troubled past, his non-stereotypical characterization, and the be able to understand the consequences or severity of his actions makes him an unique character, and the best villain ever created to me.
That's my top 3, now let me know about yours (I'm curious).

And please keep in mind that mentioning the classical and overused "Kefka" and "Sephiroth" is boring (you can do better than that, trust me). :p

EDIT: 

I just realized that maybe this isn't exactly the right section to post this topic (or it is?), maybe talking about different videogame villains and their temper can help us in the development of ours (in our RM games).
 
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Alexander Amnell

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Hmm...favorite villains, let's see.

http://wallpapersanctuary.homestead.com/files/TheLegendofDragoon/LoD_wp_Lloyd.jpg

   Lloyd from legend of dragoon: It's been so long since I played this game I might not be remembering everything correctly, but this guys position as a villain always struck me as better than a lot of other games in that he didn't have a god-complex, wasn't blindly obeying and didn't seek to destroy the world or anything like that. He was more or less driven by revenge for his people, like a lot of heroes before him. Not only that but when he finds out he's been double-crossed he deals with it in his own way, none of that "I'll just switch sides then because for some reason the heroes will allow that even though I tried to kill them half a dozen times" crap. He does end up helping you in the very end which is cool, but at that point everything has gone to hell.

http://lparchive.org/Final-Fantasy-Tactics/Update%2068/9-capture_04032011_082342.png

   Dycedarg from Final Fantasy Tactics: He has got to be one of my favorite villains of all time, simply because there is nothing inhuman about him. Dycedarg is a manipulative politician who plays any side necessary to see himself come out on top. In fact, any animosity he has towards Ramza is arguably caused by Ramza himself and not Dycedarg. From his perspective his little brother betrayed him and their family and he merely reacts to that betrayal, morality aside it's Ramza's actions that cause the family to break apart, while Dycedarg vainly struggles to hold it together as the powerful pillar of aristocracy it once was.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080917204526/finalfantasy/images/c/c2/Wiegraf%27s_Challenge.jpg

   Wiegraf from Final Fantasy Tactics: This guy is a good villain to because at the start of the game he is more of a hero then the protagonist of the game is. In fact, by the end of the first chapter Ramza basically takes up Wiegraf's views and embraces his ideals for the rest of the game. While this is happening Wiegraf, grieving the loss of his sister, is slowly changed and becomes obsessed with revenge to the point that he never seems to realize that somewhere along the way the two of them have switched roles. I didn't fully grasp this dynamic until I'd played the game over a few times but it's one of the most inventive outcomes I've seen in a game.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_q6_k0MU_cjg/TC4VZkB9-pI/AAAAAAAAAU8/Yq4YeH6CTl4/s1600/lynx.jpg

   Lynx/Serge from Chrono Cross: It's confusing as hell I know but once you get everything sorted out the way the game throws you midpoint into the role of the main villain you've been chasing and suddenly you have to run from your own friends was a really interesting gameplay mechanic.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100901190328/devilmaycry/images/4/41/Jackpot.jpg

   Vergil from Dmc3: I know as far as games go dmc is far removed from being the greatest narrative wise, however Vergil has all the right qualities to make a near-perfect intimidating antagonist and the game provides just enough back story to keep it interesting.
 
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Alkorri

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@Dalph - Kefka is a villain?!! *flails*  ;)

Hey, I feel for villains too, as I do in nearly any movie/show *coughsLokiSylarRaDrHorribleSpikecough* Sad to say I don't know any of the villains you mentioned since I am mostly a PC Gamer, but here goes, spoiler lite

3rd - Transcendant One from Planescape Torment

Now here is a guy who is seriously pissed off. You're the Nameless One, a dude who is immortal and has no memories of his past, who keeps dying only to revive again. And the Transcendant One keeps sending enemies after you across the planes. Why? You'll find out only at the very last scene.

What made him a favourite is that you could actually resolve his 'boss battle' through dialogue. That and he's cool and dignified and has a personal and justifiable stake in messing with you.

2nd - SHODAN from System Shock 2

Who doesn't love a megalomaniac AI? Other than the fact she looks like she could fit right in an Alien movie (look at that faaace), SHODAN will be one of my favourite villains for making my character "pant and sweat" as I ran through her corridors from zombiiieeeeees and euw-what-the-heck-is-that monsters.  

She's merciless, cruel, taunts and insults you throughout the game that, really, the only reason you don't crawl somewhere and hide is because you badly want to spank her.

1st - Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

The game turned out to be underwhelming for me but what really stood out was this character. Kreia is your first party member and acts throughout most of the game as a 'motherly' figure who clearly only believed in tough love (she actually chides you for helping people because she says helping people weakens them).

Thanks to her excellent voice acting, she had a way of getting into your head, seducing you to her way of thinking and questioning everything you thought was right and wrong. To me that's an amazing villain, because she believed she was utterly right and you almost felt guilty for defying her.
As a study in villains, it turns out my favourites are the ones who mess with your mind while remaining sympathetic. SHODAN is an exemption in which she is pure malevolence that was absolutely fun to watch. The ideal villain I create would be something a cross between the two  :)
 
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DustyCat Media

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*drum roll*

its....

1. LUCA BLIGHT from Suikoden 2(PSX)!

- I will always remember how he skewered the 3 6-man party I assembled to defeat him. I will always remember the frustration that battle caused me.

And i will always remember in horror how he made a woman act like a pig who wanted to live, but he still killed her.  "DIE, PIG!"

But what is striking about him is that he is not evil, for the sake of being evil. He had reasons why he turned evil. He witnessed the rape of his mother by bandits, and how his  father abandoned them when they were ambushed. It truly was heartbreaking for a young boy like him. But it amazes me how he retained a bit of his humanity when it involved his sister, Sara Blight. Sara reminded him of their mother, despite she product of their mother's rape.

He is a well-fleshed out villain. Scary. Memorable. At least for me. 

2. IRWIN from Legend of Mana (PSX)

    The half-demon half-human who stole the elemental powers of his beloved to save her from misery---only to use those powers to destroy the world.  

He loved his childhood friend, Matilda. But society was against a relationship between a "holy woman" and a "half-breed" like him. He saw Matilda suffer from the dictates of their Elders and wanted to liberate her.

So he stole her powers and subjected her to deteriorate at a rapid pace. Irwin would live in the Land of Faeries and grow stronger almost becoming a full-demon.

He would return 10 years later to destroy the world.... just to free Matilda from her responsibilites to the world.
 

Dalph

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Oh, these are some pretty good choices guys:
 
@Alexander Amnell:

I remember Lloyd, and I agree with what you said, I personally find the whole concept about this character to be pretty cool, I only hated him for one thing (you'll probably remember what I'm talking about, but still I can't spoiler it)...
FF Tactics is a game full of interesting characters, I personally liked Delita the most, although he's more the classic anti-hero type or tragic hero, since he can basically do what he wants without care.
Everything about Chrono Cross is close enough to perfection, that game is my 2nd favourite one, right after Xenogears.
Vergil is interesting, he's basically the opposite of Dante, he uses his powers for personal purposes and wants to become like his father, he's also cold and aloof, he's a strong villain and opponent.
@Alkorri:
Oh my god, I feel like an ignorant moron here, if I know every single one of Alexander's favourite villains, I'm scared to say that I don't know anyone of yours (but I know decently well Star Wars and still consider Anakin Skywalker\Darth Vader as the best character of the whole saga). XD
Anyway, these are some pretty interesting and original villains, I have to play those games, now you got me interested. :)
-
This is Saren Arterius from the first Mass Effect (I don't know if you know him), but I personally liked a lot this character, he was basically an hero who turned out to be a villain.
What I liked the most about him is that despite his actions and methods were evil and questionable, he was only trying to do what he considered right, for the sake of the universe and all the living beings...plus, he even admits his mistakes and redeems himself towards the end of the game. That's epic!

He's basically the classic tragic hero, but still likeable and with an honour.

And I'm looking forward to see your villain, sounds awesome. ;)
@DustyCat Media:

I agree about Luca, he's memorable, and what's really awesome about him is...that he's just a man! And despite this, he's exceptionally powerful and evil (even more than all those demon scum in a lot of videogames).I'll always remember this quote:

It took hundreds to kill me, but I have killed humans by the thousands! Look at me! I am sublime! I am the true face of evil!

-Luca Blight-

That scene in Suikoden 2 with the woman snorking like a pig is legendary, and really shows how selfish and sadistic Luca Blight really is, I also liked the rivality between Riou and Jowy in that game (a truly epic story about friendship, war and sacrifice).

And yes, Irwin is awesome, he's one of my favourite characters (alongside with Larc) in Legend of Mana, his backstory is so interesting.
EDIT:

My bad, thanks for moving this in the right section. XD
 
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DustyCat Media

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@Dalph: 

If Suikoden 2 was a movie, Luca would have won a tropy for best quote! haha

And I think that by being  a simple "Man" is what makes him horrific.

he's just like one of us, except that his character is so vile.. so twisted. ugh. Kudos to the writer who created his character though :)

That pig scene was cruel, yes. That scene was made in sprites... imagine if it was made during this period, where the graphics are more realistic.

Yeah. Their tale of friendship was the best! The writer is the best! :D  
 

Milkdud

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4. Nihilanth from Half-Life

On the surface, it's a pretty standard boss fight, but probably what makes him one of my favorites is the constant implications that Nihilanth has no control of his actions and hints at the existence of the Combine in Half-Life 2. Also drops hints about that the G-Man (who you see at various areas throughout the game) is not who he really is.

3. Myrkul from Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

He isn't really the typical villain, but much of the events that happen to the player are a result of actions Myrkul did long ago. The encounter with him is also one of my favorite written characters in any game (even surpassing most of the dialogue in Planescape: Torment).

2. SHODAN from System Shock 2

Another brilliantly well written character and one of my favorite reveals in a video game. Especially making the player form an uneasy truce with an enemy that thinks so little of you. Sadly, the boss fight between SHODAN is incredibly underwhelming and the games ending is even more underwhelming.

1. Kane from Command & Conquer

I guess it's a combination of my love to the C&C series and the man crush I have on Joe Kucan, but Kane is also the first villain I've encountered in a video game too. And has a left an impact on me to this day. Mysterious, charismatic, brilliant sociopath, and seemingly immortal; the game drops many hints of Kane's ties to him and the Abrahamic figure Cain, which he also doesn't confirm nor deny and uses that status as a holy figure/messiah, making him even more interesting. That is of course, ignoring what EA has done to the C&C series since Westwood was shut down.
 

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Iris from Lufia series.  She was sent to infiltrate humanity, and evaluate them.  She then switched sides, only to go back to the Sinistrals  again.  She understood the most about humanity compared to all the other super beings and had her doubts about mass genocide, but was still able to fight.

Thanatos from Secret of Mana.  Right hand man of the Emperor and the major driving force of the world loosing it's mana.  It was his leadership that lead to using mana as a power source and resurrecting the old Mana Fortress.  

Wicked Queen from Chronotrigger.  Total control of the known world with magic and technology at her command, and still sacrifices her daughter and son along with everything else for more power.  She basically throws away the support of the three wise men forcing them into exile in other time periods who have to subvert her slowly until Chrono and his friends understand just how big the threat of Lavos goes back and where it originated.  Of all the villain's I've seen she is the only one with children she willingly threw aside.    
 

Alkorri

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Wait, Vergil is a villain?? I thought he was the brother of the main character? Arrrgh spoilers *commits seppuku!* J/K ;D

@Alkorri:

Oh my god, I feel like an ignorant moron here, if I know every single one of Alexander's favourite villains, I'm scared to say that I don't know anyone of yours (but I know decently well Star Wars and still consider Anakin Skywalker\Darth Vader as the best character of the whole saga). XD
Anyway, these are some pretty interesting and original villains, I have to play those games, now you got me interested. :)


I feel even more of a moron, everyone is talking about console games I haven't played yet ;D Yeah Saren is a good choice too. I briefly thought of him while thinking of my favourite villains. Definitely tragic, and I liked that you could take the non-violent path with him.

And glad you're tempted to try out the games! If you ever wanna play the Star Wars one, play the first Knights of the Old Republic (not II). It's one of my favourite of all time :)

@Confederacy - Yup about Shodan. I was just glad to escape ;D 
 

Mon Dez

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Hmmm... Here's my favorite villains list:
 
1. Ovan (.hack G.U.)

Ovan_Xth_Form.png

http://dothack.wikia.com/wiki/Ovan
 
I wouldn't consider him a villain, but he is definitely a antagonist that is mysterious in his own way. 
 
He is like this entity even though he's a player that plays with your mind and his voice always calm as if he knows you as a person. His boss battle was one of the hardest in terms of Tri-Edge and it was very difficult in beating him down to the last part. Ovan was pretty much Haseo's friend until he reveals himself to be Tri-Edge who killed the person he cared about. I have to say it's really difficult many times throughout the anime and video of what his intentions really are because it feels as though that even if he reveals his goal, it feels there's another goal there instead. 
 
Plus through out his boss fight I can say he had really epic lines.
 
 
2. Ansem aka Xemnas aka Xehanort
20100417220654!Master_Xehanort.png

 
I have to say in accordance to this... he is very persistant. This guy is pretty much Voldemort  who just has so many backup plans that it's insane. Calm villains that think it through until the end are usually my favorite types of villains because they beat the traditional villains that laugh and glee at the misfortunes of others and get mad at the smallest of details that the heroes use against him.
 
All in all I have to give this guy props that he has a steady goal of opening Kingdom Hearts and has many backups to keep that goal whether or not it slows him down from the loss of his heartless to his nobody. He just keeps on going.
I'll have more of a list, but so far these two are my top highest for now.
 
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Dalph

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That's a lot of stuff guys, thanks for sharing the info about these great characters, maybe I haven't played a lot of games as I always thought...ahah :D

@palladinthug:

I still prefer Magus in Chrono Trigger, even if he is more a tertiary antagonist (and later changes sides), but I agree that Queen Zeal is awesome, and obviously I can't talk about Lavos, because he's just a mindless destroyer, but there's something deeply scary about him.

@Alkorri:

I will gladly play that game soon, thanks for the suggestion. ;)

@Mon Dez:

Master Xehanort is awesome, and a total mess too, he has a lot of different incarnations, his whole biography kinda confused me at first. XD
 

Seacliff

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Very simple list for me:

3. Dr. Robotnik (Sonic)
Mostly because I've been playing sonic since I was, like, 6 years old. And Mike Pollak is one of the best English voice actors ever.

More seriousness...

2. Gladius (Portal)
'dat emotional, robot voice... Sometimes it's just plan humorous, other times it's creepy

1. Lavos (Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross)
In truth, if you look at it, Lavos isn't 'evil', it's just his kind have a life cycle of draining a planet's energy then throwing spawns back into space to take more planet energy. It's the circle of life (play's Lion King's theme)
 

Dalph

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@Seacliff:

Maybe you mean GLaDOS? Anyway, I liked her too (even if Portal isn't really my kind of game). :p

Yes, Lavos isn't really evil, he does that just to feed himself, I think he's not even aware that what he's doing is wrong. I read somewhere (time ago) that his race isn't even intelligent, then I assume he's in truth just an alien parasite that seeks survival.

The Circle of Life? This one was good...lol
 
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wallacethepig

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3. Sho Minamimoto. (The World Ends With You) This guy...this guy. A math obsessed teenage litterbug with the insanity of the Joker. Yup. Yup, that about sums him up.

2. Skull Kid. (Majora's Mask) I love this lil' guy. He's got a great little story going on behind that ridiculous mask of his. 

And Number 1. The entire gang of thugs from Cave Story (Misery, Balrog, and The Doctor) What? These guys are awesome. Hey, it's a three way tie for first, they all have their strengths and weaknesses as characters.

I love all three of these games, which makes it extremely difficult to not like the villains in them. If you haven't played any of them, well...go do that.

-Wallace
 

Seacliff

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@Dalph

Yeah, I meant GLaDOS, at least you knew what I mean.One thing I hope square will do (if ever) is if the first Chrono game focused on time traveling, then the second on dimensional traveling, the third could be space traveling and you go to Lavos's planet and fight the entire race B)  
@wallacethepig

Don't forget Ballos and the Core for Cave Story.
 
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Dalph

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@Seacliff:

A third Chrono game would be beyond awesome, but I don't think it will happen, at least not soon...
I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Giygas, the main villain of Mother and Earthbound...This is for sure one of the scariest villains ever created (at least to me).
Here's a pic of it...Warning, can be kinda creepy:
 

BossGiygas.jpg
Known as: Incarnation of Evil, Cosmic Destroyer and the representation of evil and horror, this thing scared the hell out of me when I was a kid (I had a lot of nightmares), and I still consider it creepy even today.
 
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Solar

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Jon Irenicus from Baldur's Gate 2. Why?

Great voice actor too.
 
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Omega Weapon

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Judge Magister Drace... wait, even though she is on the baddies' "side", most consider her a good guy, because of the enemy-of-my-enemy thingy. Lord Larsa's surrogate mother/mentor still rocks though, even if the appeared in just two cutscenes.

If I have to choose a real villian, I'd go with Vayne. Come on, he is even offing his own allies to get his way. He planned almost everything out. Even Archadians aren't safe with him around.

When I killed him in the end, I had to refrain myself from shouting "This is for Dalmasca, Nabradia, The Empire King Raminas, Lord Rasler, the Dalmascan soldiers, Judge Gabranth, Judge Drace, Reddas and Lord Larsa!" (AKA, everyone who was against him, every major character he (indirectly) killed/wounded and I liked) on the last few hits. It was easy, compared to Yiazmat, but ex-tre-me-ly satisfying.

I play way too much FFXII(IZJS).

Not from the FF series:

The Thalmor, Dagoth Ur. Krux, Maja, Jado. Cyrus, Ghetsis. Tabuu. Zeron.

Most of them is not only for their personality, motives and such, but for the sheer satisfaction of beating them up.
 

Dalph

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@Laura Yeah Right:

I liked Vayne too, and I think he's not appreciated enough as a villain among the FF fans, he's certainly better developed than Ex-Death (which is too classical for me), but I liked the concept about the character however.

I personally found Yazmat not that hard, it was only a very long battle (like Penance in FFX), Omega Mark XII was harder to me (even if we can't even compare their huge Hp difference).
 
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