What Makes a Good Video Game Villain?

Joey Davidson:

In today’s landscape, gaming is more than just filling wasted time with virtual inactivity. It’s about building wonderful narratives around swathes of interesting characters.

Typically, among the horde of personas in a single campaign, gamers find two particular sets of character types: heroes and villains.

The TechnoBuffalo gaming staff decided it was time to get together and suss out what makes a good gaming hero and villain. You’re reading the second entry in this two part feature. The hero side of this segment can be found here.

Below, Joey, Eric and Ron will each discuss, in their own words, what makes a great, heinous villain. Watch as they disagree completely.

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QuodEratDemonstrandm2233d ago

Motive is important. Whether the villain knows he's evil or not, he has to have a reason for wanting to use his chemical weapon/nuke/massive death ray/neutron bomb/bioweapon. Even if it is just for giggles.
He has to be a very real threat, even if it's just to the hero and/or his closest friends. It's pointless pursuing a villain if he can't do any real damage.
Don't underestimate the usefulness of the rival. A person with the same motive, but different means. It worked in National Treasure.
These days a big ugly monster just isn't enough. Neither is a guy with bad hair and a pointy mustache.

TheLyonKing2233d ago

Easy, he has to be hated but he needs a good back story.

I have to want to get the villian taken down at the end so summary:

Be hated for what he/she does
A good back story
Also personal involvement (villian to have affect my characters life in some way)

MacDonagh2233d ago

Does anyone know why Sephiroth makes the top ten list of gaming villains? It's not that he's just an evil fellow with a huge ass sword and hair gel. It's his absence in the FF7 early stages which make him iconic; the player/Cloud following the destruction that has been wrought by Sephiroth and building up to the first encounter with him.

That's a great way of making a game villain.

QuodEratDemonstrandm2233d ago

Mystery. You knew there was a seriously evil bat-rastard out there, but had no idea who he was. Look at Kevin Spacey's character in Se7en.

MacDonagh2233d ago

OK. Take for instance in FF7 where Cloud talks about his encounter with Sephiroth where Cloud's hometown Nibelheim was burned to the ground after Sephiroth went insane when he found out about his origins. Now when he learnt of a rumour about someone matching Sephiroth's description; the party set out to find him and after a while; you get into constant random battles with these things called Midgar Zoloms. These snake things were pretty difficult to beat with three people and as you approach the mine's entrance; you notice an impaled Midgar Zolom. You then continually try to track him down throughout the world and soon find out what his main objective is. All of these things were all done with main antagonist being absent which helps to bring up some tension and dread. That's the way I see it anyway.

GaryOak2233d ago

It's too bad he was so weak when you fight him at the end.I think he is the weakest final boss in JRPG history.At least he put up a fight on Kingdom Hearts but on FF7 he was a squash match.And I don't mean the fight were you have to Omnislash him.