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Thread: Sympathetic Villains

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Default Sympathetic Villains

    A favorite trope of many authors. I'm talking about villains who are only bad because of different circumstances that put them in opposition to your own characters. They are not necessarily evil, they are actually fighting for the benefit of others/someone but their actions and plans may cause untold calamity to many. Basically think of it as "the ends justify the means" personified. So what are some sympathetic villains with good motives but bad plans, that you like? What about ones who fall short of sympathy.

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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    Illidan after the most recent Warcraft novel and before he comes back in the new expansion.

    He was raising an army in Outland and taking it over in an attempt to learn more about the Legion to be able to attack/defend/destroy them. And we heroes came in and killed him cause he happened to look like a demon and we had bias Malfurion and Azerothians nay-saying him. All cause the legion decided to stage the original "invasion" (or burning crusade) so we'd come in and wipe him out for them.

    Poor Illy. Still a dick but not as much of a dick as we thought.

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    Happiness Hurricane!! Pike's Avatar
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    SOLAS aka Egg I will always love you bb even if you're running away to destroy the world

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    Pinkasaurus Rex Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Teo McDohl - Suikoden

    Jiao - Tales of Xillia

    I guess the opposing team of whichever story you pick in FE: Fates

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    Most of the villainous cast of Xenogears - Grahf, Ramsus and Id being the prime examples.

  6. #6
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Yeah, barring Xenoblade and possibly XCX, Gears and Saga were filled with several sympathetic antagonists as opposed to right out evil villains.

    The Masked Bishop and the Godwins from Suikoden are also pretty sympathetic once you really start to learn about their motives.

    Myria in Breath of Fire 3 is a nice shout out as well, especially amusing when she was basically chaotic evil in BoF1 and implied to not have changed much in BoF2's backstory. In fact starting with BoFIII most of the games have had sympathetic antagonists more than villains.

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    There's an argument for Kuja being a sympathetic villain. He's basically a son rebelling against daddy while trying to best his brother. He also shows remorse at the end.

  8. #8

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    Ghalleon from Lunar was one of the first and most prominent experiences of this in the genre. He didn't understand the choices made by his peers, and the consequences of their choices, so once they were gone and he was able to do what he thought would make up for their mistakes, he took action to try to do what he thought would mend the world. He did happen to get a little crazy in the process, which is really just par for the course. It's hard to write a completely sympathetic and realistically justified villain. But there are definite shades of gray in his reasoning and his intentions are generally good. He wants to bring the godess back to his people



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    Caius Ballad from Final Fantasy XIII-2.

    So much so a lot of people were rooting for him.

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    Actual cannibal Pheesh's Avatar
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    Riku. Not only are his intentions initially good but he's also just a kid which makes it even more sad to see him become corrupted by darkness.

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