PDA

View Full Version : What makes a good villain?


jb0000612
December 23rd, 2007, 08:34 PM
Sine I'm working on PMD2, I would like to know what readers want in a bad guy. So I'll reveal a tad bit of spoilers on the main villains:

#1
Is a power control freak, believes Pokemon have no right to govern themselves in a world of happiness and freedom. He wishes to replace that world with one of power and order. Cruel and menacing, he only has one evil companion who he confides in and trusts.

#2
Appears to be a respectable person, but is actually a traitor and a callous liar. Agrees with his friend's principles on the running of the world, and has no mercy for even the poorest of souls. Using manipulation and lies, he rises to power by selfish means.

And those are the bad guys.

So compare. Do you prefer a villain with a truly evil and venom-filled heart, or an emotionless tyrant who cares only for his own gains? Keep in mind, I will consider your suggestions and add it in.

txteclipse
December 23rd, 2007, 11:32 PM
I have a few more to add.

One is a person who should be a good guy but is actually rather bad (like Denethor from the third installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy). While not necessarily intentionally evil, they can hold back and/or oppose the protagonist, and do a lot of damage in the process.

Another villain type I'm thinking of is hard to describe, but I would call it "omnipresent evil". It would be a dark force that is always around and always opposes the protagonist. The One Ring in the LOTR books (seeing a trend here?) is a good example, but I would also group entities like Big Brother from 1984 into this category.

Of these four, I would probably choose either the thoroughly evil person or the "omnipresent evil" I described.

Alter Ego
December 24th, 2007, 09:43 AM
Umm...why did you start a new topic about this when precisely this topic was discussed in the lounge just a couple of days ago? :\ Just look at the responses and you should get a pretty good view of what is and isn't liked.

Looking at the responses, a couple of prominent ones are:

1. The true psycho villain (Think Hannibal Lecter), the kind that is intelligent but utterly twisted at the same time so there's no telling what they'll do or to whom.

2. The deceptive, manipulative villain, the kind which everyone (preferably audience included) thinks of as a good person and trusts but who, in reality, is manipulating the protagonist and antagonist alike for his/her own ends.

3. The understandable antagonist, one who is not so much evil in the stereotypical sense as just acting under a different set of morals or different impression of what is good. (I.e. they're, morally speaking, on pretty much equal grounds with the protagonists) For this type of villain, it's very important to have their points make sense. So something like Archie's 'more water for all' does not really work because the notion that drowning the world would somehow be good is a bit out of there. o.O Yeah, sensible motivations for these.


As for the stuff people don't like to see...the bumbling idiot villains and stereotypical mua-ha-haists who blurt out their entire plot to the hero and always make stupid mistakes to let them save the day didn't get much love. Comic relief villains are one thing, but the big ones should be villains that a reader can take seriously.

Of those two you described, number two looks like the more promising one. The first seems a bit too much like the stereotypical 'I do evil things because-because I'm EVIL!' type, and those are pretty boring.

Avey
December 24th, 2007, 10:15 AM
And don't forget the misunderstood villain. The one that didn't get the proper childhood or whatever and always sees his wrongdoing at the end of the story.

Also, for the record, you can't 'classify' types of villains, that is impossible. After all, every writer is different, every character is different.

Orange_Flaaffy
December 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM
3. The understandable antagonist, one who is not so much evil in the stereotypical sense as just acting under a different set of morals or different impression of what is good. (I.e. they're, morally speaking, on pretty much equal grounds with the protagonists) For this type of villain, it's very important to have their points make sense. So something like Archie's 'more water for all' does not really work because the notion that drowning the world would somehow be good is a bit out of there. o.O Yeah, sensible motivations for these.

Unless your villain is a mix of this :)...
1. The true psycho villain (Think Hannibal Lecter), the kind that is intelligent but utterly twisted at the same time so there's no telling what they'll do or to whom.
and this, which mine is :). Morals and views of the world over time can get twisted and still seem sensible to a villain...

Incinermyn
December 24th, 2007, 11:14 AM
The best villians are always the ones who you never really suspect. Personally, I love ones who slowly show signs of dissension as the fic progresses or someone who already questioned his or her purpose in life and you learn about the stuff that happened to them a couple times throughout the fic. Example, a character that appears in the later parts of my fic Biohazard has a history that's deeply involved with that type of stuff.

Apotheosis
December 24th, 2007, 01:57 PM
The one who seems unbelievably cruel at first, then you/the protagonist get to know something about his past/himself, that makes you AND the protagonist sympathize with him. BUT the villain keeps acting evil and cruel, and no matter how much you DO want to sympathize with him, and wish that he would "come over to the good side", his actions constantly make you hate him, even if you don't want to. And he never turns good.
Kinda like Wataru in Pokémon Special ^^

Also, the villain who occasionally shows signs of kindness or empathy, though he doesn't mean to. Eventually he might be turned to the good side more or less completely, but if not so, he can't be the villain he was before.
Kinda like Piccolo in Dragon Ball ^^

Oh, I'm SO for the sentimental types. They're hard to come up with, though. I often end up with making the at-first-random-bad-guy into a misunderstood-important-impact-on-the-plot-good-guy. Result: my stories get almost too many characters about halfway through. Heh.

Grovyle42(Griff8416)
December 24th, 2007, 02:07 PM
Does villain necessarily have to be like "the head honcho" so to say? Can it just be a simple antagonist?

I persoanally like the Misguided antagonist, the revenge-seeking antagonist, and the misunderstood antagonist. I'd say one of my favorite villains of all time is David Xanatos from the 90's animated series "Gargoyles", if anyone is familiar with that.

Waker of Chaos
December 24th, 2007, 02:42 PM
In the Final Fantasy series, the greatest villains are Kefka, Sephiroth, and Kuja.

Kefka's the manipulative one (Final Fantasy VI), who pretended to be a good guy, and basically got handed godly powers on a silver platter, with which he proceeded to suddenly attack and dominate the world until defeated.

Sephiroth's the insane one (Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II), who was fine until he learned about his origins. Not only is he insane in mind, but also in power. Even Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda games, who holds the Triforce of Power, can't stand up to Sephiroth. I'm not saying Cloud got lucky, beating Sephiroth twice, however. Cloud was able to match and exceed Sephiroth's power by remembering the bond he had with his friends, especially Aeris.

Kuja (Final Fantasy IX) is your classic stage villain who sees no purpose in life whatsoever, and thus believes it shouldn't exist at all. He manipulates the queen of Alexandria, then kills her and moves on. Then he tries to destroy the source of all life, memory, and everything else: the Crystal. Naturally, your job is to stop him. At the very end, about ten seconds before he dies, he finally sees his error.

These three are heralded as some of the greatest video game villains of all time, but there are others that are on par with them. One of them is Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. His evil is very human. He despises his family for not being pure, and thus despises himself as well. He has this gigantic rage inside him that he doesn't bother even trying to control. He doesn't even have a full soul, thanks to how many times he split it to become immortal, via his Horcruxes. He lurked in the shadows, and with him reigning from the dark, you couldn't afford to trust anybody. For all you'd know, your own mother was a slave to his will. And there are some who followed him willingly, known as Death Eaters.

All of these villains have a certain element to them that makes them intimidating, creepy, or otherwise unnerving. If you can capture that element, then your villain will be pretty much perfect. To find it, just research them. How do they think? How do they act? What strategies would they use in certain situations?

Knowing how a villain thinks is the first step towards creating your own, unique one.

jb0000612
December 29th, 2007, 07:29 AM
I just made up two new bad guys!

Villain #3

Has had a terrible past and was mocked and mericlessly teased by other Pokemon for his lack of strength and uneffective battle skills. Now that he's evolved, he intends to help create the Planet Cessation in order to cause just as much suffering as he endured.

Villain #4

A fierce rival of one of Treasure Town's business owners. After being beaten in their younger years by him, the rival suffered humiliation and disrespect. He evolved so he could challenge his rival again, but the evil leader of the Temporal Thieves forced him to become a member for his awesome power. Now bound in an unofficial contract, the rival-turned villain now seeks to somehow break free from his slavery, but does not hold back when a job needs to be done.

liveletlove_Mix
January 1st, 2008, 02:10 PM
Just give them motive.


Motive is REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY important.


A guy can't just pop up and do bad things "cause I wanna be evil."


I lurve anti-heroes, who do bad things for what they think is good.



~Mix

Saffire Persian
January 1st, 2008, 05:26 PM
One of the greatest villains I can really think of would be Johan from the anime/manga Monster - which is extremely good, but very, very dark and mature if you're into reading/watching that kind of thing. You never really question the fact that what Johan does is wrong, and his motives skewed and evil, however, you end up developing this... sympathy for him. Normally, a character like him you'd end up despising, with this one, you feel pity (and heck, even end up rooting for him along with the good guy) at many points during the story, even if he is corrupt and wrong.

That's the kind of villain I love reading about, though they're so desperately hard to write and weave believably. Another villain I like is one where there's not really a "evil guy" at all. Not every fantasy novel needs a powerful demon overlord to be good. In these stories, there's no "good" or "evil" just two sides who happen to be opposing one another because of differing values - values which may seem "wrong" to each side, but is not inherently evil. If you want an example of that I'd watch the high-quality anime Seirei no Moribito.

That's just my take, however.

Arrmegedden
January 22nd, 2008, 05:27 PM
evil laughter lightning when they enter the scean and evil goons

JX Valentine
January 22nd, 2008, 06:31 PM
evil laughter lightning when they enter the scean and evil goons

For parody fic, yes. For serious fic, not really, as it's a cliche. Cliches -- the melodramatic sort that you expect to be hiding in an evil lair -- may work for James Bond, but it might not be believable anywhere else.

And that's really the key to making any sort of character. The more believable they are, the better. They have to have a reason for doing what they're doing (the motive liveletlove_Mix was talking about), and it has to be a good reason. Additionally, just because they're evil doesn't mean they need to set off the blaring alarms of minions, evil laughter, and lightning. In fact, subtlety is just fine too. They need to be developed characters themselves, possibly just deviating in methods or beliefs. It was once said, for example, that a bad guy is just a good guy with a few added details. That is, if you can make a protagonist, all you need is a different motivation or a different set of methods, and you can easily make an antagonist.

And, really, avoid using cliches like lightning or evil laughter. They really don't make beings as dastardly as characters who rely just on who they are, rather than abuses of ambiance.

Bay Alexison
January 22nd, 2008, 08:11 PM
Well, this is what I posted back at the lounge when there's a topic of villians:

As for villians I like to see: developed ones. What I mean by that is villians who are going towards their goals but also kind of iffy about it. They are not one hundred percent sure if everything will be right because of the protagonists going for him/her, his/her assistants aren't doing their jobs, there were some plans that suddenly didn't worked out, etc. Eventually the villian will realise there were some things that have to change if he/she wanted to make her plans work.

To add a bit more explanation/substance of that, one example is one of the fics in Serebii by The Great Butler (Nando here). He has the main villian doing whatever it takes to get her plans working but at the same time she questioned herself why she's doing it.


Yeah, I love it when characters have motives but at the same time I love it too when they're unsure about it. I don't know, I feel that there are more human and will be taken more seriously then just the cliche villian laughing and saying they're evil because they are, as Jax has put it. Meh, maybe it's also just me thinking there's goodness in everyone. XD

Cloud_85
January 22nd, 2008, 08:25 PM
I like the villains that not allways where evils:Like Sephiroth. And people that have good plans not stupid ideas like a lot of guy's

lordledge
January 26th, 2008, 11:11 AM
There are lots of different breads of villains there's the psychical ones who go for more of the bullying approach and there are the smart ones who go for subtle more long term effects. You rarely get a mix between the two but being able to mix and match at time makes a good villain for one there are a few boxes you need to tick:

1) They have to think their cause is 'for the great good'.

2) They have to be scary

3) They have to be interesting

4) They have to be relatable

5) They must have charisma and be very well mannered to simply make them seem more twisted

6) A backstory is a good touch

7) A hunger for power works well

Incinermyn
January 31st, 2008, 07:07 AM
I just thought of a few things for good villians. But first, a back comment, I just love Final Fantasy's villians. In fact, some of my better ones were inspired by Final Fantasies IV, VI, and to a lesser extent III (the most inspiring ones being Zeromus and Kefka, powerful/godlike monsters that are meant to terrify). Anyways, this has to do with what I'm about to say. If you want a good villian, make it truly someone who is invincible. Someone the hero truly can't beat no matter how they attack or approach him or her. I mean, no one ever said that the hero actually has to accomplish his or her goal, and it makes you and your audience wonder what the world would be like if said villian were to accomplish their goal.

On a slight tangent from this, you could try the self-made villian. Someone who only pulls strings and never faces the hero once. Again, who ever said that the hero actually accomplishes his or her goal. Ultimately, the protagonist could just fail and call it quits. I mean, in the real world, good doesn't always prevail.

But anyways, this stuff probably would apply more to setting up sequels, dark fics, or tragedies than anything else, but I thought that'd be good if you wanted some kind of truly unexpected turn.

Firemaker
February 2nd, 2008, 01:27 PM
A strong villain needs lots of henchmen and possibly a link to the hero in the past, such as going to school together. They might've been best friends but then a fight brought them apart.

D3L3T3D
February 20th, 2008, 10:17 PM
The compassionate bad guy is, in my opinion, by far the best villain. The guy whose emans are seen as entirely evil,b ut he only wants the ebst for himself and thosewho follow.

Take the movie The Rock for a good example. Ed Harris' character, before taking over Alcatraz, asks the children on a field trip there to ask their teacher to round up all of the students and return to the boat. To me, this displays a soft-hearted side to an otherwise cold character.

kingkoopa
March 3rd, 2008, 05:37 PM
Umm...why did you start a new topic about this when precisely this topic was discussed in the lounge just a couple of days ago? :\ Just look at the responses and you should get a pretty good view of what is and isn't liked.

Looking at the responses, a couple of prominent ones are:

1. The true psycho villain (Think Hannibal Lecter), the kind that is intelligent but utterly twisted at the same time so there's no telling what they'll do or to whom.

2. The deceptive, manipulative villain, the kind which everyone (preferably audience included) thinks of as a good person and trusts but who, in reality, is manipulating the protagonist and antagonist alike for his/her own ends.

3. The understandable antagonist, one who is not so much evil in the stereotypical sense as just acting under a different set of morals or different impression of what is good. (I.e. they're, morally speaking, on pretty much equal grounds with the protagonists) For this type of villain, it's very important to have their points make sense. So something like Archie's 'more water for all' does not really work because the notion that drowning the world would somehow be good is a bit out of there. o.O Yeah, sensible motivations for these.


As for the stuff people don't like to see...the bumbling idiot villains and stereotypical mua-ha-haists who blurt out their entire plot to the hero and always make stupid mistakes to let them save the day didn't get much love. Comic relief villains are one thing, but the big ones should be villains that a reader can take seriously.

Of those two you described, number two looks like the more promising one. The first seems a bit too much like the stereotypical 'I do evil things because-because I'm EVIL!' type, and those are pretty boring.


yup dat about sums it up good read

Astinus
March 3rd, 2008, 06:21 PM
yup dat about sums it up good read
Yeup. That there be spam.

Cut the spam. Add more to your post. Don't just quote another's post and say that it's good. Add to the discussion.

There was no need to post that. Read the rules, and the next time you get caught posting spam, it's a warning.

ze_gobou
March 13th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Maybe it's just because I've watched too much cartoons, but I tend to think that "misunderstood villains", as you seem to call them, are a bit clichéd. At least, nearly all the villains of that kind that I've seen (or read about) were. I just don't believed in what they said, and thought "oh noes, that kind of villains again...".
Do you know how to write such a villain while not making him clichéd ?

JX Valentine
March 13th, 2008, 09:24 AM
Maybe it's just because I've watched too much cartoons, but I tend to think that "misunderstood villains", as you seem to call them, are a bit clichéd. At least, nearly all the villains of that kind that I've seen (or read about) were. I just don't believed in what they said, and thought "oh noes, that kind of villains again...".

Curiosity speaking, but which cartoons have you been watching? O.o Nearly all of the ones I've seen feature villains who are either bumbling idiots but still consider themselves to be evil (a la Jessie, James, and Meowth) or are purely evil and bent on taking over/destroying the world. The misunderstood villain (a la Maxie or Archie, I assume) didn't come up quite as frequently, I thought. Then again, I'm used to superhero cartoons and 90's anime, where that sort of thing isn't as big an archetype.

Unless you actually meant something else by the term "misunderstood villain." (Alter Ego's #2 instead of #3?)

DubHalo
March 13th, 2008, 10:17 PM
what makes a good villain is the robe the look the scar and the laugh u gotta have the evil laugh xD

Astinus
March 14th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Wrong. It's the motive. If you wanted to be really cheesy and have a villain from some lame 80's cartoon show (I'm thinking He-Man here) and if you didn't want anyone to take your fic seriously, then you can have the robe, scar, and evil laugh.

"Mine is an evil laugh!"

Heck, in all my nineteen years of reading and watching television, I can only think of one villain who wore a robe, had an evil laugh, and was sickly. But that wasn't what made him a villain. What made him a villain was his motive: he wanted to become a god, and he was willing to step on anyone who got in his way, including his twin brother.

It was the motive that made him evil. And it was the way that the writers set him up. They kept readers guessing if he was the evil member of the group, but he was actually one of the most loyal to his friends. It wasn't until he got the power that he turned evil.

Vulpid
March 14th, 2008, 01:18 PM
I'd say the Evil Laugh, and the Sad, yet Evil Past.

Astinus
March 14th, 2008, 01:38 PM
But the "Mine is an evil laugh" is lame, and something done in little kid cartoons to show that this person is evil and mean. Heck, I think in the show LazyTown the evil character laughed with a "mwahahaha!" laugh to show that he was evil. But I can't be sure, since I don't watch a lot of little kid shows anymore, and I only saw LazyTown once.

But as the audience changes, they begin to roll their eyes at the evil-laughing villains. At least I do. I want to see the villains that aren't clear-cut. You can't point at them when they are first introduced and go "See, they're evil!" It makes it more interesting to question whether or not the person is evil. Like in the example I gave. In the first two books of the series, no one could really guess if he was evil or not.

Besides, there are also the villains that are internal. The dark inner demons, if you will. And you don't see them with an evil laugh.

Yamato-san
March 14th, 2008, 06:23 PM
But the "Mine is an evil laugh" is lame, and something done in little kid cartoons to show that this person is evil and mean. Heck, I think in the show LazyTown the evil character laughed with a "mwahahaha!" laugh to show that he was evil. But I can't be sure, since I don't watch a lot of little kid shows anymore, and I only saw LazyTown once.

But as the audience changes, they begin to roll their eyes at the evil-laughing villains. At least I do.

you shouldn't roll your eyes at them.... it really depends on whether or not the type of villain fits the story. Recently, I watched the DVD sets for both The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. Aside from the nice nostalgic trip, I was reminded what a nice antagonist King Koopa was (I speak of the cartoon's version.... though, the Bowser from the games could probably work in this context as well). I couldn't say he was all that great at being evil, because several of his plans were pretty out there, and he'd constantly mention how much he loves being nasty (which is about as far as one could possibly get to understanding "why" he's an antagonist). However, the show hardly seemed to take itself seriously, and for that reason, I think King Koopa really worked. He was a comic relief villain, fitting towards an often comedic cartoon.

I guess Dick Dastardly from Wacky Racers would be one of the more famous examples of what I'm getting at. And you can't honestly consider LazyTown (or practically any little kids' show) to be some sort of serious epic, can you? So why condemn him for being the "evil-laughing type" (especially when said evil-laughing is more than likely intended to seem exaggeratedly forced)? Now, if you've got a story that presents itself more seriously, then you can probably expect the villains to be more cold, cunning, badass, and/or deep. There may still be an occasional comic-relief villain, but if they serve their purpose of providing some laughs in the midst of a dark story, then you probably shouldn't roll your eyes at them neither (although, if said comic-relief types actually succeeded at something, like killing off a protagonist or taking over a nation, that should serve as a huge shock factor, albeit it gets harder to view them as comic relief once they've shown themselves to be perfectly competent and cold-blooded killers).

Astinus
March 14th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Because I was going along the lines of writing a serious fic. Sure, if the fic wasn't going to take itself seriously and go along the lines of being comedic, then the evil laughing villains would fit in wonderfully. But if the fic was written to be serious, then some eyes would be rolling on the part of some readers who expected a serious villain in a serious fic. It would be rather jarring to suddenly see some villain in a serious fic belt out a cheesy cliched laugh.

And I wasn't implying that LazyTown was some epic worthy of every bloody award out there. It was the only little kid show that I could think of that had an evil character who had an evil laugh. That's what I was implying and I was using examples that I could think of. It was to show that evil laughter is used to make it blatantly obvious that that character is evil. And perhaps some people don't like having everything handed to them on a silver platter and made obvious to them in the first five seconds? Perhaps some people enjoy guessing?

It's a matter of differing opinions. It's part of talking to other people. Some people might not think the same as you. It's just a fact of life? Now if you could kindly stop pointing out everything you disagree with in my posts, I'd appreciate that. Especially since I don't recall anything I ever did to offend you other than post on the forum.

Isaac Gravity
March 14th, 2008, 07:28 PM
If I may...? About the laughter part... (EDIT: All posts centering around laughter)

Not all villains who laugh are made for comedic purposes or are lame. Sometimes it just molds how greedy/psychotic/deeply sure of themselves they are. Hell some of them have "final boss" written on them It's just how its done is done and the story in question itself.

I mean for those cool/collected types might be just that but when close (ridiculously close) to their achieving their goals their greedy side would sometimes appear. Laughing insanely/victorious as they can no longer contain their usual atmosphere since their long sought after prize is right in front of them. (Though I'm more of a fan for the smirkers in this kind of villainous arch-type. I do have a soft spot for those who go "Fu fu")

Then there's those villains that are just... crazy. They get a sick kick out of bringing others pain and just love twisting the arms of "avengers" out for them. Depending on overall representation you get various laughters, but usually you get more sickening laughter from them (ki ki) and many do it often and love it, they know it'll be a divination day in the final circle of hell before they're stopped.

And of course its all about their mentality. Those who are plain psychotic are enjoying killing too much to care if there's pain (on either end. Though depending on the writer and the theme their trying to carry, if finally beaten they may finally realize their position.) The more intelligent ones are definitely what I consider the more blood-boiling because they'll even recollect how they killed the person just to see you pissed/or want to remember for whatever sick enjoyment they see in it. All in all, these types can either be top ranks, villian of the week or sometimes the big boss depending on their aptitude. And there's nothing funny or cheesy about them... They know what makes you tick.

Then there's those boisterous laughter villains/enemies. As cheesy as they are (to most) these guys back their laugh. They can either be (or be driven) psychotic or deeply sure of their awesome power. Their might and the lives they hurt/destroyed/almost ruined if the protagonist and co. didn't come along (be it physical or in mental manipulation) shows they're no joke. They're only laughing at the ant their about to squash and their pitiful fate as they slowly but surely whittle down the confidence of those they face before crushing them with overwhelming force.

Their laughter along with position and personality vary. The most cheesy laughter you'd hear is the "Oh ho ho." from feminine/high-class female villain. Or "BWA HA HA!" from powerful generals/enemies pushed to blood-lusting insanity but it really fits.

And for 80's cartoons there's always Mum-Ra from ThunderCats. Sure he's an 80's villain but he sure as hell beats the crap out of most villains these days--Ah, right, well Mum-Ra is those cheesy laughing villains but Mum-Ra himself was nothing to take lightly. He always gave Lion-O and the rest of the ThunderCats a run for their lives and was always the closest to actually wiping them off until beaten. (Hell sometimes things got so bad a plot device had to come and save the day)

I only remember seeing Mum-Ra humorously twice but those eps--- Right! Well in any case, it's not just personal opinion but how they're represented too. Some guys represented as "final boss" from the get go serious story or not, the situation is there right? (Just enjoy the ride) Or that's what you think but they were just an agent for something greater and he/she's a total badass-- GAH! It's all just how it's done...

Yamato-san
March 14th, 2008, 11:32 PM
Because I was going along the lines of writing a serious fic. Sure, if the fic wasn't going to take itself seriously and go along the lines of being comedic, then the evil laughing villains would fit in wonderfully. But if the fic was written to be serious, then some eyes would be rolling on the part of some readers who expected a serious villain in a serious fic. It would be rather jarring to suddenly see some villain in a serious fic belt out a cheesy cliched laugh.

And I wasn't implying that LazyTown was some epic worthy of every bloody award out there. It was the only little kid show that I could think of that had an evil character who had an evil laugh. That's what I was implying and I was using examples that I could think of. It was to show that evil laughter is used to make it blatantly obvious that that character is evil. And perhaps some people don't like having everything handed to them on a silver platter and made obvious to them in the first five seconds? Perhaps some people enjoy guessing?

It's a matter of differing opinions. It's part of talking to other people. Some people might not think the same as you. It's just a fact of life? Now if you could kindly stop pointing out everything you disagree with in my posts, I'd appreciate that. Especially since I don't recall anything I ever did to offend you other than post on the forum.

OK, you need to chill the hell out. God, what kind of mod do you think you are jumping to rabid conclusions like you do?

First of all, how was I supposed to know you were writing a serious fanfic (or any fanfic for that matter)? Second of all, aside from pointing out that you shouldn't be judging comic relief villains for all the wrong reasons, at which point do I sound offended or disagreeing? Third of all, would "not handing stuff on a silver platter" even matter if you're talking about a non-serious show with a heavily episodic formula (such as LazyTown, and a lot of American cartoons for that matter)? It's not as if said show builds itself on drama and suspense.

Now if you could kindly stop pointing out everything you disagree with in my posts, I'd appreciate that.

Are you familiar with the term "debate" at all? I saw your description of evil-laughing villains as being something worth rolling ones eyes at to be flawed logic. I present points to counter said logic. I fail to see what I did wrong. Also, I really don't wanna play the "mod abusing their power" card, but your way of italicizing "my" really makes you come off as a high-and-mighty, self-centered *****. You may have the power to ban people and close threads, but don't forget that you can be right or wrong as much as any other user.

bobandbill
March 15th, 2008, 01:06 AM
IMO, there's not too much that restricts a character on whether they are a villian or now. A good villian needs, like any character, a good personality, that makes you love him (or her) or hate him, and probably a motive as well, I have to say. Otherwise they would probably be classified as 'arrogant ner-do-weller that likes to cause dispair for the heck of it', rather than a villian.

However, from there, it's all the author's twists on the character - how they shape him, what is their purpose, how they go about it, or just how much of a villian they really are. That would probably go for the evil laugh as well - they either have it, or they don't - it's not nesserary, but many a good villian has both had or haven't had a evil laugh.

Take, oh, say, Pokemon Colosseum - Nascour, and Miror B. Nascour is the dark, pure-evil type villian - gets what he wants without caring about the consequences, motive is to gain world domination (obviously...), and cares about it deeply, gaining top-ish status in Cipher.
Miror B, however... he's a villian of sorts (kidnaps a Pokemon to turn it Shadow, also wanted to capture a 'problem' of Cipher's), but really isn't that much of one inside - not as much as, say, music or dancing, and is an easy-going sort of character. Both have a motive, and a personality, were decent villians (in my opinion at least, and Miror B more than Nascour...), but are quite different from each other in other attributes, as well as personalities and motives as well.

And obviously, a villian HAS to do something 'evil', or 'villian-ness', either directly or not-so directly otherwise, they're not a villian, right?

EmeraldSky
March 15th, 2008, 05:29 AM
A villian needs development just as the hero/ine does...such as why s/he wants to take over the world or kill the hero/ine. Just wanting to take over the world/kill the hero/ine just because isn't enough.

Scarlet Weather
March 15th, 2008, 07:26 AM
Here's something to satisfy all: in my fanfic, the main villain is planned to be a robe-wearing, scar-faced psycho who everyone thinks is a good guy but has an evil laugh and plans to destroy the world in order to feed starving children in Hungary on the remains of the dead while he laughs maniacally and possesses god-like powers and/or a Latin theme song. *MEGA-SHOT'ED*

Okay, so maybe not that. But seriously, a good villain does depend on the setting. If the show is supposed to be silly, you don't want a demon overlord as a villain. Seriously, if YGOTAS had Anubis acting serious and actually causing serious damage to the main cast it wouldn't be much of a parody. Well, maybe it would be if everyone else acted the same. I dunno. 0_o

Virtual Chatot
March 15th, 2008, 08:23 AM
It's obviously a curly mustache and evil lair of course xD

ze_gobou
March 17th, 2008, 08:14 AM
Jax Malcolm -> I've watched French cartoons :'( Maybe English/American ones are better. And by the way, I mean children's cartoons, not serious things.
By "misunderstood villain", I mean, those who had a dark childhood, or whose ideas and projects were misunderstood, and who after some years have decided to revenge... like, for instance, crazy scientists...
The "crazy scientists" (don't know if it is the right phrase) are quite an archetype, but I was wondering whether it was possible or not to come up with a deep character with such a profile.

JX Valentine
March 17th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Maybe English/American ones are better. And by the way, I mean children's cartoons, not serious things.

I wouldn't say they're better than French cartoons, but yeah, children's cartoons over here usually have the mindless villain who's just evil for the sake of being evil. XD There's no particular depth to them, and if there is, it's usually added as an afterthought. (So, uh, in that case, maybe it's French cartoons that are better than the American stuff. Or at least the American stuff that I watched as a kid.)

txteclipse
March 18th, 2008, 10:35 PM
Would anyone mind if I asked for villain advice here? If yes, this can be removed. I won't mind too much >.<

Anyways, I'm having trouble deciding on motives for my villains. If you read (or are going to read) the Eon Chronicles (my fic), I must warn you that here there be massive spoilers. Seriously, hardcore-ly gigantinormous spoilers. Oh, and this will be long, so buckle your seatbelts.

Alright. I have three sort of major villains in mind, and three very different motives. First up, we have Giratina (if you're reading my fic and decided to open this up anyways, I hope you're happy that you've blown the surprise for yourself). Giratina's easy, as he wants to basically merge his realm with the "normal" world, effectively tainting everything with evil. This in turn causes everyone in the normal world to live in fear. Giratina then literally harvests that fear to sustain himself and grow in power, allowing him to become stronger and create "Fears" (may change to something less obvious and cheesy), which are dark copies of the creatures he harvests fear from. All of this is done to take power from Arceus, who had attempted to seal him away forever in an indestructible crystal using his own body.

Now for some harder villains. The first one I will describe is the more difficult one to create a motive for. Enter Darkrai, who is in fact a man in the beginning. He is part of the Elite Four (who guard and advise the king in my fic, as it's medieval times). At first, the reader thinks he is good, although they are perturbed by the name. Darkrai helps Latios and Latias find the Eon Chronicles, which they need to unlock a power to counteract a growing evil. The ironic thing is, the Latis do not know who or what this evil is for almost the entirety of the book, until it turns out to be Darkrai himself. The reader learns that he has been tainted by Giratina (who is still sealed in the crystal at this point, but can speak to people's minds). The reader also learns that it was Darkrai who taught Latios from the Eon Chronicles (which has to be done before a Lati can hatch in my fic). Therefore, Latios is also inderectly tainted by Giratina, and therefore falls under Darkrai's control. This leads to Darkrai gaining access to the Soul Dew (the hidden power), which allows him to create a sword that can cut through literally anything (this includes air, spirit, and lots more insubstantial stuff as well as physical things). With this sword, Darkrai frees Giratina and sets the union of the dark and light worlds into motion. However, since he has used the Soul Dew for evil, it consumes him and he becomes the actual pokemon Darkrai. *Whew*

So with that out of the way, does anyone have suggestions as to why Darkrai does what he does? I was thinking of just having him be under Giratina's control, and make references as to how he is living a nightmare trapped inside his mind as his body is being controlled for evil. This nightmare would "spill" into other people's minds, which would be a nice reference to why Darkrai induces nightmares in the first place. Other than that, though, I'm drawing a blank. If you have any suggestions, PM me so that you don't have to wrap spoiler tags around everything.

Third villain (I told you this was long). He understands that the "hidden evil" is trying to obtain the soul dew by using Latios and Latias, and therefore is trying to kill them. He's the misguided hero, in a sense, as his motive is to save what and who he loves. However, what he doesn't know is that Darkrai would eventually get the soul dew on his own (the latis can sense it, which makes finding it a lot faster), and therefore if he kills Latios and Latias there will be no one to stop Giratina and Darkrai when they come to power.

...Now that I look at what I wrote, I'm finding that I actually do have a pretty good sense of what I want from my characters, lol. It helped to actually write it out, I guess. Anyways, if you have any suggestions, like to point out a gigantic cliche or to say that something won't work or to suggest a different direction, please PM me as I said before. Thanks for reading all of that, as I know it was long.

jb0000612
March 23rd, 2008, 12:27 PM
I just came up with an idea for the secondary villain. Two actually. One is that he's been a villain from the start, and does evil deeds because he believes his master is trying to do good,but when his treachery is revealed, he starts to revert to true darkness. Another is that he starts out good, but is manipulated into villainy by the main villain. I both, he ends up being a true villain.

ze_gobou
March 26th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Well, IMO the first idea will work better. Let me explain my point of view : if the secondary villain gets manipulated by the main one, the story will end up with two villains that are roughly the same type, one being the "clone" of the other.
As for the first idea, at the beginning the situation should be as I said previously, two versions of the same villain, and then, if the secondary villain gets into "true darkness" as you say, it will cause, first, the character to become deeper, and then, the story to be more enticing.

And if your story is long enough, you can make that character start out good, then he is manipulated, then he realizes he was manipulated and becomes truly evil. But well, that's maybe too much evolution for one single character.

That was my opinion. But well, it's your story, and you do what you want with it.

Alli
March 30th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Ah. A bad past that ignited their current motives...maybe along the lines of being neglected as a child, left to be raised by wolves. Or some kind of possesed villain.

But...I use no villains in my fics. So I'd go with what's been said previously. xD

Gengarchomp
April 29th, 2008, 02:35 PM
My idea of a realistic villan is a person who actually learns from mistakes, uses psychological torture as opposed to physical pain, crushes problems as soon as they arrive, and is not above screwing whomever over to further his own agenda.

txteclipse
April 29th, 2008, 10:46 PM
Well, IMO the first idea will work better. Let me explain my point of view : if the secondary villain gets manipulated by the main one, the story will end up with two villains that are roughly the same type, one being the "clone" of the other.
As for the first idea, at the beginning the situation should be as I said previously, two versions of the same villain, and then, if the secondary villain gets into "true darkness" as you say, it will cause, first, the character to become deeper, and then, the story to be more enticing.

And if your story is long enough, you can make that character start out good, then he is manipulated, then he realizes he was manipulated and becomes truly evil. But well, that's maybe too much evolution for one single character.

That was my opinion. But well, it's your story, and you do what you want with it.

Massive blast from the past: I'm going to reply to this a month late (I think you were referring to my story).

Here's the deal: the first villain has this kind of psychic hold on people. If they are around him enough, they become "tainted" and slowly slip under his control. He uses this to take over the second villain, who at first willingly helps the first villain in exchange for promised things that he is never actually given.

By the time villain B discovers that he's been had, he's already too far under villain A's control to escape. Villain A uses his psychic hold and the promise of death to control villain B from that point, and I have come up with some interesting elements concerning that.

Now: villain B won't be a clone of villain A, because his mind remains intact even though he is being controlled. Therefore, he has this kind of inside/outside personality, where he is working for villain A on the outside, but inside he is resisting him with all his strength.

So this is pretty much the direction I'm going to go, and I'd like to thank you two that responded for the help.

icomeanon6
April 30th, 2008, 04:22 AM
I'd say that the most important trait for any antagonist/villain is ambiguousness. Take for example Anakin from the last Star Wars movie. Going into the movie, everyone knew that (SPOILER!!) Anakin was going to become Darth Vader. However, what people didn't know was when they should stop "rooting" for him and recognize him as the antagonist of the story. When you leave the complex morality of a character's actions up to the reader's interpretation, your story will be much more engaging and complex.

iLike2EatPiez
May 25th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Plenty of things can make good villains. Just depends on what you're looking for and how it fits the story. For example, if you're writing a very realistic, serious fic, you wouldn't want to put in a villain that just acts evil for the heck of it, and doesn't do much more than bully the protagonist.

A good thing to keep in mind though is to keep your villains both interesting and believable. What they're doing needs to make sense, and it should always be logical. And, any unique twist you can give a villain (as long as it makes sense) can make the story a lot more fun to read.

Try recalling some antagonists from books you've read, as a lot of good literature includes plenty of unique and twisted villains. There's really no limitation with what you can do to an antagonist, or with any character for that matter.

Oh yeah, and good luck!

Dr.Ray Quaza
May 25th, 2008, 04:50 PM
some kind of strange thing about you

examples:
a scar on your face
an eyepatch
anything else in james bond
a cool cape
weird voice
being a nazi(no offense to the nazis)
being tall(no offense to the tall people it's just that i think a cool villian is tall)

JX Valentine
May 25th, 2008, 05:42 PM
a scar on your face

It's perfectly possible for a good guy to have a scar on their faces, actually. This usually indicates an antihero or someone who might've been through a fairly nasty accident. For example, Kano in Kagerou (http://www.electric-manga.com) is technically the hero of the story (actually, literally is the hero of the story), but he bears a cut on the side of his face. (Long story involving that too.)

an eyepatch

Disfigurement =/= villain in general. It's also possible for a hero to have an eye patch, as this, again, hints at the background of the character, rather than whether or not they're good or evil.

For example, Xander at the tail end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer sported an eye patch. (He continues to sport this eye patch through the comic book series, and yes, he's one of the good guys. In fact, he's one of the titular hero's best friends.)

anything else in james bond

For cliches, yes.

a cool cape

Cape =/= villain. In fact, if western comic books have taught us anything, it's that cape = hero. (Superman, Batman, Robin, et cetera, anyone?)

Not to mention a number of protagonists and heroes in the Pokemon franchise tend to wear capes. Lance, for example. Wallace and Eusine for two others.

weird voice

Define "weird."

And even then, having a weird voice doesn't mean anything except you have an unusual voice. It's not like Pokemon characters aren't strangers to the concept of the over-the-top kind of voice. *motions to her avatar*

being a nazi(no offense to the nazis)

Uh, given the fact that the Nazi party has come to be a symbolism of extreme prejudice and, you know, genocide, I would say that there's no real need to add "no offense" here. I think even the Germans agree about this one.

being tall(no offense to the tall people it's just that i think a cool villian is tall)

...Uh, que? Being tall =/= good villain. It just means you're tall. There's been plenty of tall heroes throughout media. For one, Sailor Jupiter.


In general, no, superficial traits do not make a good villain. It's the way the character acts that defines whether or not he or she is (believably) evil.

Dr.Ray Quaza
May 25th, 2008, 05:45 PM
it looks like that post took alot of time

teehee

Astinus
May 25th, 2008, 07:04 PM
How long did it take you to post that? Wonderful job of spamming, by the way. I applaud your efforts. *starts slow clap*

By the way, I'm tall, so I guess I'm just inherently evil and scary. Plus the fact that I have scars... Holy simoly, I should be arrested right now and taken down by some dashingly perfect character that's beauty will captivate all, and can use all the weapons in the universe, and has magical sparkling hair and teeth. And can paint with all the colors of the wind.

I seriously wish that people would get away from the over-the-top clichés for villains and use a better way to write them, like for instance, following the examples on this list (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html). Or is someone else going to jump onto me for forcing my opinions on them and "oppressing" them?

darkcowboy
May 26th, 2008, 01:54 AM
How long did it take you to post that? Wonderful job of spamming, by the way. I applaud your efforts. *starts slow clap*

By the way, I'm tall, so I guess I'm just inherently evil and scary. Plus the fact that I have scars... Holy simoly, I should be arrested right now and taken down by some dashingly perfect character that's beauty will captivate all, and can use all the weapons in the universe, and has magical sparkling hair and teeth. And can paint with all the colors of the wind.

I seriously wish that people would get away from the over-the-top clichés for villains and use a better way to write them, like for instance, following the examples on this list (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html). Or is someone else going to jump onto me for forcing my opinions on them and "oppressing" them?

I agree with Astinus. The best villain is one you never see coming. It's easy to assume that the villain will dress in black and have a scar over his eye, but what if your villain turns out to be the main character's own brother, or best friend.

Matt11
June 21st, 2008, 01:18 PM
I think little spammer dude was just saying what he likes about villains not that it would make a good fanfic villain as well as other ppl who wrote cliche'd ones...

superjesus
July 7th, 2011, 04:00 PM
don't worry about the spammer troll. you know as well as anyone else on this thread that a combination of motives and psychology crate a great villain. If you have played Kingdom Hearts, you will instantly recognize Riku as one of the best possible villains. he is a close friend of the protagonist who becomes an enemy through circumstance and manipulation, even though he is essentially after the same thing. all he is missing is a conscience. in the end, he is defeated and redeemed when he sacrifices himself to seal away evil. he has a clear and sympathetic personality and the player can easily relate to him, often much more than the blissfully ignorant main character. riku even has a scene where he tries to replace the main character, calling him a "delivery boy." this is what makes him a great villain and a great character.

if you would like an extra example, send me a message and I can show you a rough draft for my story, where an alternate reality Giovanni (epic originality fail) is the villain who was corrupted by power

bobandbill
July 7th, 2011, 07:41 PM
We're no longer worrying about the 'spammer troll' because the thread is over 3 years old! Please check the date of the last post in threads before posting please, as bumping threads over a month old since the last post is against the rules, never mind 3 years. =p

Closed.