Protagonists. Pah! Always in the spotlight. They are always getting all the women attention. Ooooh, look at me with my spikey hair and roguish good looks. Look at my stupid power that nobody else has. Ooooh, watch me butcher thousands of defenceless creatures on my quest for more attention. I wanted to give some antagonists a bit of love and attention for once. As I find the video game villains are often far more interesting than the heroes and heroines we play as.
Fear not! There will be no generic clickbait surrounding these video game villains. There will be no Sephirophs, no pyramid heads, no tyrants, or other grandiose enemies that everyone has heard of. Please do not hold me accountable for any spoilers you may find about games you have not yet finished.
Hell House – Final Fantasy VII Remake
The Amityville Horror would have played out much differently if the characters had access to a buster sword it seems. The Hell House is exactly what it sounds like. It is a house, with more murderous intent than all of Alcatraz Prison inmates put together. I went into this boss fight myself completely under-levelled and had my entire party wiped out before I had a chance to figure out why the hell I was even fighting a damn house to begin with. Having never played the original game, this took me completely by surprise.
I found this enemy to be totally different to everything I have gone up against in any game so far. Overcoming this trial was one of sheer elation. More so because I had to use my healer to defeat it solo. Which took me somewhere close to the two hours mark.
Egg Thief – Spyro The Dragon
Here is an absolute classic! Fans of the original games and the remastered trilogy will likely have equal parts love and hate for these mischievously arrogant little annoyances. Oooh if this were not a family-friendly platform, I would have more colourful words for these video game villains!
At a quick glance, you would simply take these little devils at face value. Just little thieves that try and steal the most precious things they can find. But looking more closely; what kind of sick individual would steal the unhatched offspring of a mythical being, taunt a child over it, then proceed to run in circles whilst continuing to gloat? I mean, what if they wanted to take the eggs so that they could eat them!? What if they actually managed to steal some? Spyro would never know! We would never know! Maybe we do not want to know!
The Whispering Hillock Spirit – The Witcher 3
Have you ever been tested on the trolley dilemma? If you see a runaway trolley/train hurtling down the tracks and there are 5 workers on the rails about to be crushed, would you pull the lever in front of you to change the track direction? But doing this would crush 1 worker. Would you allow events to play out as they would, or intervene and be solely responsible for someone’s death? The main quest that this spirit appears in is a moral dilemma such as this.
When you first play the game, it seems like an obvious choice. If you free the spirit, then a group of children will be spared the gruesome fate of being eaten by a group of ancient creatures known as the crones, but an innocent woman will pay the ultimate price. Kill the spirit, the children get eaten but the woman survives. Easy choice, just the lesser of two evils, right? Just let the children live.
When you do some digging into the lore of the spirit, things become more complicated. The crones tell you it is evil. But it was originally their mother, the one who created the crones. It was the immortal ruler of all the land who let nature flourish. It cared not for individual life, but for the sustaining of nature. The crones grant the people boons, ensure good crop growth, protection from monsters etc in return for children. Food for food. Unleashing the spirit will spell doom for all the people who live in the area, but the children will be spared.
I could write entire pages on the lore from this game, but I find this ‘enemy’ particularly interesting.
Yurt the Silent Chief – Demon’s Souls
From Software enjoys giving us random characters that need to be freed from some sort of prison. From Big Hat Logan in Dark Souls to Cornyx Of The Great Swamp in Dark souls 3, we have become accustomed to freeing NPCs from imprisonment in order to give us access to new vendors and teachers of different magic schools and pyromancies. Those of us who stumbled our way through the original Demon’s Souls back on PS3 will know better when it comes to Yurt The Silent Chief.
Yurt is another character in need of freeing. After you free him, he will be found in the Nexus with the rest of the NPCs you collect along your adventures. Seemingly there to seek refuge like all the others. But you have essentially given him exactly what he wants. Every time you kill a boss, one of your other NPC characters will be found dead. Forever. Cutting you off from unique spells and items etc. You do not instantly suspect Yurt as the killer, as he is seemingly just another NPC. There is not much lore on Yurt, but he is described as an assassin. But why is he killing off the other NPCs? We will never know.
The Stained Glass Demon – MediEvil
Medieval is not exactly a game that dishes out much information of any sort on characters or enemies. So, the Stained Glass Demon is interesting to me purely on a design basis alone. I have never come across an enemy in any other game that is made of shards of stained glass. I love seeing characters that have been designed with a unique twist like this. It just makes smacking it around with your un-socketed arm all the more fun. And yes, you read that correctly.
Komoshida – Persona 5
Komoshida is the first big boss of Persona 5 (and Persona 5 Royal). I always thought it was very brave of Atlus to include a perverted and abusive gym coach as a target in this game. It tackles a very delicate story arc. The arc itself explores mental and physical abuse, it subtly references how inappropriate Komoshida is towards female students, and how all of this can result in someone trying to take their own life.
It makes taking him down all the more satisfying of course knowing how deranged he is. I just find it interesting to know that Atlus are willing to take on the responsibility of writing a storyline that involves such a character. Having such a heavy story to follow really drives the progression well with the determination to put a stop to his abusive ways.
Monokuma – Danganronpa Trilogy
Monokuma has it all. From an enigmatic origin, a sadistic craving for death, a flair for sexual innuendos, and the need to mentally torture his victims by making them kill each other. In each game, the premise follows a repetitive pattern of students being unwillingly imprisoned in some sort of location, and only being allowed out if they get away with murder.
Monokuma is the overarching antagonist throughout the series, without ever truly revealing what he is, where he comes from or why he is so intent on murder. Is he a stuffed bear brought to life through witchcraft and voodoo? Or is he an animatronic mastermind being controlled remotely by a disturbed individual? Is he a mass-produced homicidal weapon of war? Many things are alluded to, but we never truly know for sure.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki – Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
In a world where you can channel the very energy of the world itself to shape it into techniques both beautiful and devastating, there are always going to be those who warp it for nefarious purposes. In the world of Naruto, there are certainly plenty of those to talk about. But Kaguya is different from most.
How would you feel if the entire civilisation you have lived in, the entire history you learn about was all just an elaborate propagation system to cultivate more of the very natural energy you have grown so accustomed to?
And how would you feel if the progenitor of that cultivation system appeared one day to reap in the harvest? To have the entire population and world absorbed by the inter-dimensional god who planted the seed to your entire world’s history? This is who Kaguya is. She is the mother of all, an abhorrently immortal god who creates life in an endless cycle to absorb it all back when it comes to fruition. Who wants to fight her first? Anyone?
Yourself – Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1&2
I know what you are thinking. This must surely be some sort of joke entry? Right? YOU WOULD BE WRONG!
What kind of up and honest citizen would go around vandalising police cars, smashing through windows, destroying fire hydrants, harassing the homeless and breaking into schools etc? None! Exactly, you are nothing but a petty hoodlum in Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1&2. We are all our worst video game villains!
Simone – Nier: Automata
I love when a game allows you to piece together some of the law for yourself. And doing so in Nier: Automata will make this boss encounter all the richer. When you first encounter Simone, she will simply be a deranged operatic robot that has been killing androids. It is a simple case of taking her down before she takes you down.
It is not until your second playthrough, and only if you completed a certain side quest during your first, that the history of Simone clicks into place for you. During a certain side quest, you meet a philosophical robot, seemingly on the quest of discovery, with no interest in anything but pondering the very meaning of life. A lot of the female robots are madly in love with him, following the very human trend of teenage girls being interested in disinterested guys.
When fighting Simone again, you start to listen more to what she is saying and making the connections. She is also madly in love with the philosophical robot and is trying desperately to garner his attention. She is frantically rebuilding herself to be more desirable in his eyes. You discover she has tried any urban myth to try and make herself more beautiful. From training herself to sing to using her friends’ body parts as decorations to becoming cannibalistic. She is lost in her madness to pursue love.
How far would you go for love?
And there we have it. Ten of the most interesting video game villains I have encountered in my gaming travels. Stay tuned for ten more!