Our intrepid heroes have fought long and hard to make their way to this point. They’ve devastated every mook and lieutenant that’s been thrown at them; they’ve exploited every single flaw they could find in the antagonist’s machinations, and they have, for all intents and purposes, emerged victorious.
Well, except for one tiny, troublesome detail: the villain wanted them to succeed.
I’ve always loved intelligent villains, because they’re so much more fun than the foes which succeed through raw power alone. A cunning chess-master can almost always do more damage than a big, angry demon; a tactical genius can easily trounce a villain used to solving problems with the point of their blade, and a master manipulator often won’t even bother to fight – they’ll simply turn their enemies against one another, and then mop up whoever’s left after the dust settles.
Here’s a tribute to a few of the most manipulative, most intelligent, and most effective villains from throughout video game history.
Ghetsis (Pokemon Black/White):
Revolver Ocelot and Liquid Snake (Metal Gear Solid):
Ocelot shares this spot with Liquid, since he actually managed to suppress Liquid’s personality after the latter took control of his body, and spent most of his life working as a double or even a triple agent. Couple that with the fact that he’s pretty much one of the best gunfighters in the series, and it’s easy to see why he’s such a beloved villain.
Maleficent (Kingdom Hearts):
Kane (Command & Conquer):
Albert Wesker (Resident Evil):
The Templars (Assassin’s Creed):
Kreia (KOTOR II):
Amelyssan (Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal):
The Illusive Man (Mass Effect):
Plus, y’know…Martin Sheen.
Hojo(Final Fantasy VII):
The true magnificent bastard of the FF7 universe (and one of the vilest villains ever created by Square-Enix) is Shin-Ra’s Professor Hojo. He created Sephiroth the SOLDIER project, and the JENOVA through ethically questionable means (experimenting on his own bloody wife and son). He was more or less directly responsible for Zack’s death, and Sephiroth’s descent into madness, and thinks nothing of destroying entire cities if it helps him achieve his goals.
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