Hello, humble residents of Cystia.
I have been reading various stories and comics, each with different types of villains or antagonists. Some are ruthless and intimidating while others seem to be cunning and mischievous.
To you, what makes a good villain? What do you believe is the staple trait in an antagonist? What kind of villain do you like to see?
Villains. I love a juicy, good villain who sees the good in themselves. They have to realize that once they were good. I'd like to see a villain's inner conflict between good and evil, like that one guy in Star Wars.
Ah, nice. So a villain with emotional conflict?
I forgot his name, but I knew it had to do something with a bird. You know, Ren and Wren.
How could you...? ;_;
It's just a little ridiculous that Kylo Ren had to have an inner conflict. Why reveal it at the beginning of the movie? He should be the evillest of the evil until the very end where he reveals his conflict and begs the hero for mercy...
Because, that's his character. He's supposed to be emotional. It shows that he isn't the hardcore dark lord he wants to be. Darth Vader is his idol, the most powerful Sith He knows of. But even Vader had a soft side.
So, in conclusion, Kylo was meant to be a emo space lord.
Nobody really liked him anyway. I picture him as a pessimistic five year old.
I like him.
Ok. I'm chill with that. *shameless promotion* Go check out my motivational thread! ^-^
Yes mistress. *walks out of thread*
I thought it was the dumbest, most stupid scene ever when he killed his father. He was all crying and then like "nana nana" and stabbed him, sending him off a cliff.
I thought he was cool until he removed his helmet, much less the scene above.
I agree. He has a bit of a baby face.
Sorry if I'm being offensive, I just think they should've kept the helmet on. I mean, it also kind of demeans his striking evil and Sith Lord attitude. I mean, Darth Vader only took off his helmet a few times, and those were very key and emotional parts, and those had a role. He just didn't walk around with his helmet off (part of it that he needs it, he was destroyed and is now a cyborg).
Since this is apparently Star Wars chat now, Kylo Ren is not Darth Vader. That's kind of the entire point.
He's a pathetic kid who cosplays as his idol and is torn up inside and throws temper tantrums because he's afraid he'll never be able to live up to him or be taken seriously. I mean the movie contains scenes literally spelling that out, people were just too distracted getting mad about not getting another generic dark lord and missed it I guess.
Whatever brand of villainy Kylo finally takes on, it's one he'll have to grow into. He and Poe are being set up to have parallel arcs as they develop their powers.
Dude, what the fuck even? Kylo Ren was great. He actually has legitimate depth, instead of being a one note villain. Sure, characters like Sidious and Darth Maul have their places, but it's interesting to see a change every now and again, especially when the movies are generally so black and white.
You're free to like him, but Bucky is hardly alone in his opinion. A lot of people hated him and found him too ... whiny and awkward, I suppose? Personally, I found the whole movie rather funny.
A lot of people hated him and found him too ... whiny and awkward.
That's the whole point. He's Anakin 2.0, but with good writing and acting.
He is, indeed, Anakin 2.0 ... and do you know how many people hated Anakin? Also, "good writing and acting" is debatable. Besides, that's another complaint lobbied at this movie: "we've seen this all before"
I don’t think the problem was with the concept of Kylo so much as he was just played by shitty actor that looked like Big Bird.
I mean I don’t mind the concept that behind the mask isn’t a “monster” and is just some regular looking dude. But there’s a difference between regular nondescript guy to just plain goofy looking guy.
I guess maybe it was a commentary on internet “badasses” masked behind the computer are really a bunch of funny looking dorks that everyone laughs at in real life.
Lol... fair point. Maybe it wasn't his acting, so much as it was the actor.
He looks much better with a beard (well moustache + beard, I guess) than he does clean shaven.
He's also Kit Harrington's long lost twin brother.
Ah, yep, much better. (Facial hair... some people really do need it.) Think they'll let him keep it for the sequel?
My wife kept saying "he's Adam from Girls. I can't stop thinking of him as Adam from Girls."
I'm on the side of it was ridiculous how easily Rey beat him in that fight. Force or not. (And yes there was practically a neon sign screaming "she's Luke's daughter!")
Which would make her & kylo cousins. Which is not as interesting as siblings. One can only hope it was false foreshadowing.
Anyway, also the mega Death Star made science cry. & im not even all that knowledgeable re:astronomy/physics. Even ignoring the "star killing" idiocy; Light from the sun takes 8 1/2 minutes to reach the earth. How the fuck does the sun laser take less than 30 seconds to fly through space & attack another planet? While everyone around the Galaxy on all the planets sees it at the same time?
Is this gonna be like phantom menace, where at the time everyone liked it, but now they all claim they always thought it was terrible?
Oh I can definitely say I liked it better than Phantom Menace. I wouldn't have even minded Phantom if Jar Jar hadn't been in it. Remove him and it was about the same level as this one.
Attack of the Clones or Vader's Creek was the one I found to be complete shit with no redeeming qualities.
Everything about the whole Starkiller concept made me cringe. 'It's like the Death Star, but bigger! It'll wipe out more planets! With only a fraction of the impact, because the characters barely remark on it and the audiences aren't even entirely clear on what just happened! And if they are paying attention, they'll hate it because it's ridiculous even by Star Wars science standards!'
It's like...yes, yes this is a great thing to waste screen time and a chunk of the budget on. A fantastic idea. Ugh.
I had more of problem with the villains thinking a super Death Star was still a good idea.
If the space Nazis just used their resources to build more capital ships and train their storm troopers to hit worth a shit they would be much better off.
I think Cynical's point was this was more Anakin as Anakin should've been done. In Anakin we had an annoying little kid growing up to be a bland cardboard cut out who didn't like sand, there was just no buying the transition there from that to Vader and they dragged us through three painfully bad movies for the sake of it.
Awkward and whiny or not, Ken's done some horrible shit and will continue to do so. Going with the whole 'parents' nightmare' theme, he's already been established as a school shooter, and personality-wise is far more believable as someone who would do that IRL than Anakin ever was. And a grown man throwing tantrums like a toddler is laughable until you realize how dangerous he is to everyone around him. At that point he basically becomes a toddler throwing a tantrum while holding a loaded gun.
I don't know what direction they're planning to take with Kylo, but with every attempt at a generically evil Sith Lord they've attempted since Vader being such a failure I'm just glad they're going with something a little different here. And the new Star Wars, for all its faults, is at least fun to watch. But then I never went into it planning to hold it up to the originals for comparison; the prequel trilogy was the last time Star Wars was in theaters, and that was all it had to beat.
I don't think they did a horrible role in Kylo, just as an antagonist it kind of spiraled down. I thought like many he was pretty pathetic, but his character is almost redeemable.
"Besides, Kylo isn't the big bad."
Neither was Vader, but I actually don't think he's going to redeem himself.
I remember reading a discussion somewhere where it was pointed out that at the big reveal of Vader's relationship to Luke he was presented as a nightmare father figure, stern and frightening and making demands that couldn't be satisfied. Fast forward a few decades, and a couple generations of adults that saw the originals as kids are now being presented with the parents' worst nightmare; the ungrateful brat that despite having every advantage and you doing everything you could, loathes you and everything that matters to you.
If they keep on this vein of opposites I'd be surprised if he was redeemed too. He started out as someone who might've been, but pretty decisively blew that chance with Han, and with that uncertainty out of the way we may see him growing more confident and dangerous once he completes his training.
For everyone (Bucky!!) saying Kylo was a wuss in the fight with Poe, keep in mind he's not even a fully trained Sith, he had just been severely injured by the bowcaster that was shown absolutely destroying people throughout the movie, and still managed to put a trained fighter in a coma and didn't exactly give an easy victory to Poe.
It was established she had a strong natural ability in the Force, and she'll probably turn out to be Luke's daughter or something so I don't know, I think they work pretty well as a hero/villain pair. It's not some kid up against an unstoppable dark lord this time and that's a good thing because that's become a cliche, these are more evenly matched and each are going to be training and getting more formiddable as they go along.
Really, the movie's major misstep with their villains was having the Nazi stand ins vaporize all those planets for the lulz, without it being given more than a second or two of attention for any kind of impact. Such a big moment in the original, just utterly cheapened here for no real reason other than to make sure audiences understand that Nazis are bad.
I think one of the big problems is they unmasked Kylo twice in the movie. They should have only done it once before he kills Han. It would have at least had more impact.
When he unmasked the second time, it’s like yeah we already know there is some gawky looking dude under there.
she'll probably turn out to be Luke's daughter or something so I don't know.
Fuck, I really hope they don't do this. Not everyone has to be a force sensitive or a relative of the the big three (Luke, Leia, and Han). I just hate the fact that every big theory for this new trilogy is one of those, and that at least one is going to become canon.
Fucking spoilers Jesus Christ.
Sorry. I think the assumption was if you're the kind of person cares enough about Star Wars for that to matter, you've already seen it.
Well I don't care enough yet, but I might later.
I like the kind of villain that is almighty and plays God. He likes trick and throw tiny things at the Hero, testing him mainly for fun until the Hero secretly finds a magical item that can defeat him, and before it's too late he kills the Villian.
Pulling this out from my ventures into anime with an example from Re:Zero.
A trait that I sadly find lacking from the media (aside from the horror genre in general) I watch or read is the sense of dread. Villains are supposed to be terrifying in their own way, and I do enjoy fearing for the protagonist when they meet just as much as I enjoy connecting with the villain.
The main antagonist from Re:Zero, Elsa, does a good job at this. The sense of dread when you finally meet her, the fear you share with the protagonist when they both end up fighting, and the terror of being hunted down by an unknown predator is very refreshing to me.
One that fights for a reasonable cause, not blowing up the world, but one you could side with if circumstances were different.
Oh, blowing up the world can be made to sound like a reasonable cause if you do it right.
I like a villain whose self aware and doesn't try to justify the things they do. Like one whose really snarky and eccentric, someone like.. Roman Torchwick from Rwby actually, he fits my description well.
Not a fan of Roman. I like Adam Taurus more.
Adam? I think he has a pretty nice character design. I expected him to be much more stotic, I was pleasantly surprised that he wasn't.
His iaijutsu style and his katana remind me of Jetstream Sam from Metal Gear Rising. Both have similar fighting style.
Interesting that you say that. Um, for me however, he gave me a bit of Vergil from DMC vibes.
Yeah. But he's more Jetstream Sam-ish.
Not sure which one will win in a fight though. Jetstream Sam or Adam Taurus? Vergil will crush them both since he's largely superior.
Someone like Revolver or Liquid Ocelot, Darth Vader, Liquid Snake, Lex Luthor, guys like that.
I prefer a villain allowed to show enough humanity that you can empathize with them on some level, but I'm not a fan of the whole 'maybe they're not so bad, maybe it was us who were the real monsters all along' thing that takes it to its extreme. For an effective villain, you can understand what they're doing and why, but it's still abundantly clear that they need to be stopped.
Of course, that's more of a general thing. What makes a good villain on a story by story basis really depends a lot on the specifics of the conflict and the main character. Their purpose is often to act as a foil or twisted reflection of the hero(es).
Good villains have motives that make sense. I mean, even if they're insane, there has to be at least some kind of moon-logic reason that they're doing what they're doing. Villains who do shit for no reason just seem overly edgy and not very interesting, imo.
Really, I’d rather the villain just get on with it. More baby eating and less emo break downs of not getting enough hamburger helper as a child.
So unless this is a villain protagonist and the story is basically from his perspective, I don’t need a back story of him not getting enough hugs or too many hugs when he was little.
I'm sure there's a trope or something about the villain joining up with the good guys to fight a worse villain, but it's my very favorite plot of all time, in all fiction, and I have a really difficult time not making every single thing I write be about that.
Do you mean this trope, Mizal?
A complete and utter fruit cake, Ruthless, cunning, and as likely to skin you and wear your face as shake your hand. Or like the guy from the book Red Dragon.
I feel as if the villain ought to be understandable, and maybe even partially justified. They shouldn't just be presented as a big, evil dude.
For me, the ideal villain is something akin to Roy Batty from Blade Runner.
All kinds of villains can work well if you execute them right. A crazy, insane, just plain evil villain can work if the acting and story is good.
Tragic, emotional villains can also serve to make the story more interesting, but if it's done badly it can just make everything confusing. I like a blend of the two.
Just noticed I didn't answer my own question. >.>
To me, a good villain should have at least some backstory and a reason for why they do things. Whether it be to get revenge with the hero for harming them in the past, to satisfying their own selfish desires, or even simply wanting to watch the world burn.
The staple trait in an antagonist of any form should be the ability to cause a problem or even multiple problems for the main character(s).
Lastly, I like to see two kinds of villains; The emotional villain, and the insane/MehIFeltLikeIt Villains. I enjoy the emotional villain the most probably because they are the easiest to understand, and connect with.
The MehIFeltLikeIt villain I also enjoy due to many of these antagonists tend to be cunning, mischievous, and ruthless (often all at the same time.) These villains tend to screw around with the hero, testing their motives, morals, and strength. Although the MehIFeltLikeIt villain is somewhat uncaring, they tend to have a reason similar to "wanting to watch the world burn" (brownie points if you can get the reference).
EDIT: Also, I tend to like when the MehIFeltLikeIt villains originally seem like an ally, or neutral character and then are revealed to be something less pleasant.
Dark Knight. I win ^_^
Yes you do! ('u')
I've always loved the understandable. Not so much as the Emo, "Woe is me!" type, but the one who you can see where he's coming from. The kind that you can actually see where they're coming from. Maybe they're doing what they think is best, but a fault in their logic makes them the enemy, like someone making sacrifices for a good cause that'll never succeed, or someone who's values are similar, but opposed to yours like someone trying to sacrifice freedom for safety. Hell, the kind of guy going something awful "for the greater good" is always someone I hugely sympathize with. I think Super Evil Villains tend to be boring. I want someone who I can understand, yet also understand they need to die for the greater good.
I'm reading this mainly thru the mod's "recent activity" thread, and I just want you to know what it looked like:
What makes a good villain?
Fucking Jesus Christ
Well I think necrophilia is illegal.
A good villains knows when to break the law and get some sweet, sweet Saviour skull.
An awesome question with so many answers. The great thing about villains is that it's so much easier to make a good villain than a good hero. To be a good hero, the reader has to actually like the character. Not true with a great villain.
Of course, some of the best villains are extremely likeable. This can be for a variety of reasons:
1: They are not actually evil. They are doing whatever evil stuff they do because they personally believe it's right and take no pleasure from their actions at all.
2: They are not completely evil. While they're far from a saint, they do have a nice side, maybe a soft spot for one particular person or perhaps they're extremely loyal to their family or have a habit of rescuing kittens from trees in their spare time.
3: They're motivated by a tragic past. Make it a really, really tragic past. Murdered, absent or abusive parents is usually a safe place to go.
4: They have one quality that makes them awesome! This can be being extremely cunning, witty or just downright hilarious. Honestly, if the character's genuinely funny, you can make them as evil as you want and they'll still be likeable.
But again, the character doesn't have to be likeable to be a "good villain." You know who I consider one of the greatest villains of all time? Joffrey Baratheon! You know why? Because you couldn't make him more hateable if you tried. I mean seriously, try to think of a bad guy you hated more than Joffrey. Evil masterminds who want to destroy the world for no reason are a dime a dozen and we're bored by them, but Joffrey is like a perfect mix of every detestable trait you can find in a person, all mixed together to create the most hateable character of all time. I consider him one of the greatest fictional characters ever because he does exactly what he's supposed to do. He makes you hate him. This is a character that's so fucking hateable that the kid that played him had to give up acting because of all the hate he was getting for his portrayal of his character (poor kid.)
So I guess to sum up, there are many things that can make a good villain, but the absolute worst thing a villain can be is boring. "I'm doing evil stuff because I'm evil." Is not a character anybody wants to see. The character needs a very clear personality (even if it's a really horrible personality) and he needs some kind of motivation for why he does what he does.
Thanks Rose. I'm glad I got you thinking. :)
On the theme of ''likeable" villains, one take on them I've seen is when they seem like perfectly friendly and reasonable people, even getting along well with the protagonist...right up until someone is in their way or they're denied something they want and suddenly all bets are off.
The hero and the villain both going through similar formative circumstances but having drastically different responses is something I've always found interesting as a way to define them as well.
Faux Affably Evil Villains are rather charismatic.
Personally, I love a villain who does something competent/thinks like an actual person would when planning, or is whimsical and polite, but immediately switches to terrifying in the middle of the conversation, or the encounter. Or they're just utterly hammy.
Take the main Villain from Undertale. He acts polite and friendly, but if you've played Undertale, you know he's anything but that.
Or, take villains like Yellow Diamond, Invader Zim, Peridot [For part of the series, anyway.], the new version of Lex Luthor, and so forth.
Backstory's fine, but unless it manages to be utterly depressing or heartwrenching, it's not really that much substance, unless it's added onto the character.
John Wick is a fucking great villain.
Think about it. He did in over two dozen people over a fucking dog and got plenty of associates also dead in the process, so he can dedicate even more emotional attachment to people with a very small window of time in a world where living the longest usually equates to having the most skill and/or experience.
The best part is, you don't have any idea who any of his beloved companions and friends are. If some asshole hires you to kill them, you could get retaliation at any moment.
And a reminder :
He killed at least two dozen over a puppy.
Imagine what he'll do to you and everyone you know if you just happen to shoot the right person.
One that does it's job well.
A practical answer, to be sure.
There have been many villains, and some are great villains. Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort and Sauron (Just to name a few) and we also have the generic bad guy, like a robber or a thief. But we also get underated villains, like Kylo Ren, the Green Goblin, and the Joker. There are an endless supply of villains for our favorite heroes to defeat. What makes a good villain is their back story, their motivations, their desires, their conflicts, and also their hero enemy. A good villain was Eddie Brock, the Venom. He had a great back story, and motivations, also with the belief that he was better than Spider-Man, but strived to prove himself better than Spider-Man. He had emotion, even as Venom, and even had to team up with the wall crawler a few times, making him even greater of a villain. Also, like I said, It's the hero they battle (Or heroes) that make them good as well. Spider-Man is the greatest and most popular hero of all time. No kidding, look it up, he has become an idol, with more girlfriends than villains it sometimes seems. It's hard to find someone who doesn't know Spider-Man, and in turn, It's not as hard, but still hard to find someone who doesn't know Venom, or Darth Vader. I've said my piece.
Pretty much what I said but expanded, I suppose.
So yeah, guess we have the same general idea.
The Joker? What the hell are you on about? The joker's one of the greatest villains of all time and is constantly rated as one of the best. How is he underated? Also, Spider-Man is not the greatest and most popular hero.
Then who is the greatest and most popular hero? Because I sure as hell read up on my facts dude.
Superman or Batman technically speaking.
They're the most popular.
Not popular, but more well known, they've been around longer, but Spider-Man has became the highest grossing hero, and the face of Super Heroes.
Are you kidding? Batman, "not popular"?
Exactly. Superman as well.
I mean, for crying out loud, they just had a movie about them fighting eachother not long ago.
When has the last spiderman movie come out again?
Oh no, Batman is popular. I love Marvel, but when it comes to DC, Batman is the only one I like.
He's not the face of superheroes. That's ridiculous. Just because you think Spiderman's the "face" of superheroes doesn't make it so. He's barely in the top five.
Probably Batman, if not Superman.
The Joker is an amazing villain. (Loved Ledger's performance, R.I.P.)
Yes, Ledger was pretty awesome as Joker, I'm not sure about Suicide Squad's though.
Yeah, I'm not sure about him, either. He genuinely made me cringe, and not in a good way.
Is it just me, or has every main DC villain since TDKR been a cheap attempt to recreate the old Method-Actor-Crazy thing that made all the fans jizz themselves hard enough to create a million billion fanarts and ensure a slow but sure progression into the Ledger Joker becoming the new Drako for most of the late 00's? They made fucking Lex Luthor into the joker, and now the new guy's doing all that "I'm disturbed out of character too!" thing. They should've just hired David Byrne to play Joker and saved everyone the cringe and therapy sessions. At least that would keep to the theme of "DC is funny too!" that they were going for with Suicide Squad.
I think what makes a good villain is the actor who portrays the villain, and the villains personality.