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Wan_Pisu

What's the most important thing in a villain?

What's the most important thing in a villain?  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the most important thing in a villain?

    • Creative design
      23
    • Strength
      7
    • Evil look
      7
    • Mystique
      13
    • Unique powers
      11
    • Interesting motives
      34
    • Threatening actions
      19
    • Plans
      19
    • Relation to the protagonist
      16
    • Improvisation skills
      14
    • Active presence in the story
      27
    • Something else? Share below!
      7


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It's hard to say for sure,but active presence in the story is one of the most important.I'm not a big fan of Zemus or Necron type of villains who randomly show up at the end of the game,it's not a bad idea,it works fine,but I prefer the Kuja or Golbez type of villains who interact with the main characters on multiple occasions throughout the game

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I think that a villain doesn't need any one thing to be a good villain.  A villain could have any combination of things and be a good villain.  However, even if a villain has all the makings of a good villain, they could still end up being a bad villain.  Therefore, I think that the most important thing in a villain is that they are written and acted well.

Edited by Dagesh Lene

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While I think a lot of the options are important, the most crucial part for me is personality. Motives are all nice and well but if the villain has zero characterization or is generally really bland, it's not a good villain for me. I don't need a tragic backstory or a fancy design or even to relate to them. As long as their personality is interesting, it is fun to follow.

Even a villain with a good motive, a lot of presence and a good outward appearance can still be boring if there is little to them, like a lack of quirks and/or habits.

 

A motive is important as well. It can be the most cliché thing ever as long as it's there. There's nothing worse than a villain who does something for no reason in particular and without any intentions. Even if it's just to annoy the protagonist, that's fine by me if they're dedicated to it. It's a plan at least and makes the story progress.

 

I also like it if they are present on more than one occasion and don't let all the henchmen do the dirty work. Early appearances can make for nice twists and turns and an involvement in the story helps. They don't have to be there 24/7, but occasionally is probably to a narrative's advantage.

 

What I don't reqlly need is a arbitrary or pseudo-profound connection to the protagonist. Of course there will be some sort of relationship if plans are repeatedly thwarted, but there doesn't need to be some deeper secret to it other than simple interference. I actually prefer it if the villain is disconnected from the protagonist as much as possible because it usually ends up in cheap drama and conflicts for lack of more creative plot twists. The whole "the bad guy was actually my father/mother/lover/sibling all this time!" is extremely unappealing for me.

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A lot of these are important. But I think the most important are motive, personality, and an active presence in the story. I picked active presence because that's what I feel a lot of villains seem to be lacking. There's so many times where an evil henchmen has more character and is more interesting then the main bad guy. It happens a lot. Though sometimes this works depending on what the story is, but it's rare.

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While I think a lot of the options are important, the most crucial part for me is personality. Motives are all nice and well but if the villain has zero characterization or is generally really bland, it's not a good villain for me. I don't need a tragic backstory or a fancy design or even to relate to them. As long as their personality is interesting, it is fun to follow.

Even a villain with a good motive, a lot of presence and a good outward appearance can still be boring if there is little to them, like a lack of quirks and/or habits.

 

A motive is important as well. It can be the most cliché thing ever as long as it's there. There's nothing worse than a villain who does something for no reason in particular and without any intentions. Even if it's just to annoy the protagonist, that's fine by me if they're dedicated to it. It's a plan at least and makes the story progress.

 

I also like it if they are present on more than one occasion and don't let all the henchmen do the dirty work. Early appearances can make for nice twists and turns and an involvement in the story helps. They don't have to be there 24/7, but occasionally is probably to a narrative's advantage.

 

What I don't reqlly need is a arbitrary or pseudo-profound connection to the protagonist. Of course there will be some sort of relationship if plans are repeatedly thwarted, but there doesn't need to be some deeper secret to it other than simple interference. I actually prefer it if the villain is disconnected from the protagonist as much as possible because it usually ends up in cheap drama and conflicts for lack of more creative plot twists. The whole "the bad guy was actually my father/mother/lover/sibling all this time!" is extremely unappealing for me.

 

agree! thats why for me characters like batmans joker are a the perfect exampel of that. He knows he is the Star of his own TV show and he enjoys every second of it. Until batman puts him back in a straight jacket of course. And he specifically builds his plans so that batman knows it was him or to take another exampel from the arkham games he makes sure his voice is heard everywere, he wants to be seen and heard

Edited by Dustin Lübbers

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Motivation is key for me. It doesn't necessarily need to be a sympathetic motivation, but it needs to be compelling enough that it makes the villain care about succeeding, and want to see their plans through. The more characters care about the outcome of a story, the more I care as an audience member.

 

Also, personality. Give the villain something that makes them different from some other Joe Schmo in the street. That isn't to say make them exaggerated, or eccentric, or too over-the-top, but give them something that is their own, and helps them own whatever scene they are in.

 

These two reasons are also why I think Xehanort is a bad villain, incidentally. 

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Basically, eveything in this list comprises what I believe villains should have to make them compelling. All these aspects, or at least a combination of a good many of them, are ingredients that make for compelling villains, which is why I love that character type so much! Sure, a run of the mill villain can work, but I much prefer detailed, in depth, compelling villains that make me root for them just as much as the heroes, ya know?

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I'd say relation to the protagonist, motivation, and their actions.

Having a well-formed relation to the protagonist helps bolster both the hero and the villain.

Motivation helps the audience get why the villain does what he does, maybe even getting them to root for the villain.

Their actions help show the audience why it matters that the hero is going against the villain. If the villain isn't making the right actions, it's hard to take them seriously as the villain.

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