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Where Have All the Villains Gone?

posted on January 25th, 2007 by matt

Is it me, or is there a huge lack of crazy and demented villains running amok in our games? I mean, where have all the Sephiroths gone? Is the world filled with shiny, happy people now or something?

Seriously, there are no more fiendishly awesome villains anymore. Most villains nowadays only show up as bosses at the end of the game. A villain to me is someone that continually ravages the game’s universe throughout the entire adventure. He/she also has to be evil in every sense of the word. Some would even say that they are eeeeeevil. And you have to be scared of what they will do next. That’s where the real fear comes from. Sephiroth was completely insane. He was on a rampage for most of that game.

In my mind, there’s really only a few villains that fit that bill. You have Liquid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 1, Sepiroth from FFVII, Kefka from FFVI, Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2, and I would probably say von Karma from the first Phoenix Wright. I’ll be a real man and say that I definitely peed my pants when I first heard von Karma yell out “Objection!” with that deep, raspy voice.

Does anyone have any examples of some good villains that they’ve come across and subsequently vanquished in their games? Give me some hope, people.


  1. Billy said on January 25, 2007:

    General RAAM was a pretty kickass villain.

  2. Christian said on January 25, 2007:

    Shin Akuma; you know he’s going to kick your ass.  

  3. tony said on January 25, 2007:

    The Dahaka from Prince of Persia.  Dr. Doom is pretty bad-ass in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.  Darth Malak from KOTOR II.  And perhaps best of all … the Rabbids from Rayman.

  4. Stefan said on January 25, 2007:

    Shodan from System Shock and the Taiidan from Homeworld both left me feeling like I was living in their world (or galaxy), and I could be casually destroyed at any moment.   You start to fear even their notice, because it will bring death.Evil Otto – the memory of waiting for that invincible bouncing smiley face still gets my pulse racing nervously. I consider Lan Di in Shenmue to be a fantastic villain, primarily because he starts off as seemingly quite evil, but as the series progresses you start to realize your own capacity to become like him, which is the real threat he represents to you. The Mad Hatter in Alice – wandering through the mirrored halls populated with the mad and mechanically twisted children discarded from his experiments, waiting for him or a flesh-and-clockwork minion to crash through a mirror at any time, I was scared and disturbed. And if we’re mentioning FF villains, Kefka deserves a line.  He was actually scariest before he became all-powerful, I think.  You got the impression that no matter what you did, it was playing into his hands.  (Not that a linear jrpg like FF actually gave you a choice) I also hold a soft spot of Karras and the Trickster from the Thief games. Of course, none of those are from recent games.  Recently, the best I’ve encountered is Zant, and he didn’t really grab me as much as I’d have liked. 

  5. Matt said on January 25, 2007:

    Yeah, I heard the system shock villain was particularly freaky, in a 2001: A Space Odyssey kind of way. I was thinking Lan Di, but it took a damn long time to come into contact with him, especially when considering it spanned 2 full games. Still pretty powerful though. I mean, he did kill your father in front of your eyes. I also hoped Zant would bring something crazy to the table, but basically stopped showing up half-way through the game. Awesome beginning presentation, but tapered off. And Gen. RAAM was not in the game enough for me to say he was a complete villain. He just seemed to be thrown in for effect rather than general fear. He was awesome, especially the knife he had, but was only shown 3 times in the entire game.

  6. GoldenJew said on January 26, 2007:

    As an MMO gamer, my only villain I fear is myself.  That aside, Kerrigan from SC is creepy to me cause she goes from so good to so evil.  Any sort of borg/scourge type villain disturbs me, especially when they were once good people.  

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