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Doing villains well can be tricky. Sure, its easy enough to throw evil characters into a game with a dastardly plan, the sorts of villains who are bad for the sake of being bad. The mustache twirling villains, who flaunt their evilness in the hero’s face can get the job done, but it can also be a wasted opportunity.
The most interesting villains have a laser-focused belief in what they are doing, and truly believe what they’re doing is right thing. Even to the point of seeing themselves as the hero. When this is done well, it often leave’s us feeling sympathetic towards said villain, perhaps even to the point of pulling for them. Lets take a look at five gaming villains, who have often set out with the best of intentions, but have, in some cases, got a little lost along the way, in others happen to be standing between the hero and their objective.

Pagan Min (Far Cry 4)

pagan_min_king_of_kyrat_far_cry_4-1280x720‘Wait right here’. He tells your character straight up, just hang here a sec. If you choose to wait there, as he says, he will eventually return, take you to scatter you mothers ashes, and the story is done. Even if you don’t hang around, and choose to start the game properly, going on a rampage across Kyrat, he again presents you with the opportunity to act in a civil manner when you reach the end of the game. Again, if you choose not to shoot Pagan, he will take you to scatter your mothers ashes, before leaving Kyrat in a helicopter.
Now, this may be flattering Pagan a little. Sure, he has no beef with you directly, however as you progress through the game you learn of some pretty atrocious acts carried out by Pagan. So perhaps ultimately he deserves the ending he meets the majority of players games. But still, you just had to wait right there.

Revolver/Liquid Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid Series)

Liquid_OcelotDon’t worry, we won’t be spoiling and MGSV here. The man originally known as Revolver Ocelot (well, Adam to his mother) motivations and allegiance is constantly changing throughout the Metal Gear Solid series. Even before having his personality taken over by Liquid, Ocelot was often portrayed as a double, or even triple agent. It is however his consistent loyalty to Big Boss that provides his motivation while his mind is still his own.
Then of course, his arm, and eventually his entire personality is taken over by Liquid Snake, and we get Liquid Ocelot. A man bent on taking over the world, a far cry from Ocelot’s core beliefs. Luckily he is able to enjoy a moment of clarity, before dying after a pretty epic fist fight with Solid Snake.

Andrew Ryan (Bioshock)

Andrew_RyanIn a similar fashion as Pagan Min (with less pink suits), we’re not denying that Andrew Ryan has done some pretty awful things, many of which are fleshed out through audio diaries. However, the man is undoubtedly a visionary. Constructing an entire under-water city, where he was free to impose his beliefs upon its inhabitants, free from outside interference. Granted, it was the same vision that ultimately led to rebellion, and the ultimate downfall of Rapture at the hands of an opportunist.
When we finally catch up with Ryan, holed up in his office, it is his task to drop some truth on the player. Revealing that Atlas, the man guiding you through Rapture, is in fact Frank Fontaine, and has been using your sub-conscious to control from the start. Then he asks you if you would be kind enough to cave his skull in with a golf club.

Colossi (Shadow of the Colossus)

shadow-of-the-colossusThe poor Colossi. They have done nothing to you, or anyone for that matter. Yet you are tasked with killing sixteen of them. Indeed, calling them villains at all is probably inaccurate. They have no real motivation or goal, all they want is not to die at the hands of the hands of Wander, the games protagonist.
Indeed, if it were not for his desire to save the life of the one he loves, it could almost be argued that Wander is the villain of the piece. Going from Colossi to Colossi and mercilessly killing them.

The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3)

thebossThe second Metal Gear Solid character to make the list is the very definition of a misunderstood villain, in more ways than one. As we all know now, The Boss’ supposed turn to the dark side in MGS3 was a ruse, carried out by the US in order to obtain the legacy. With the final part of the plan calling for The Boss to die as a ‘traitor’ at the hands of the man who would go on to be named Big Boss.
Though she may not be a villain, she certainly proved to be misunderstood. Her death triggering a moral power vacuum, with both Big Boss and Zero/The Patriots, carrying out some horrendous acts, under the misguided belief that they were carrying out her will. In the end, it was only during the final moments of Big Boss’ life (shown post-credits in MGS4) that he realized the futility of his life, that he and Zero had both wandered far from The Boss’ vision of the world.

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