A friend recently told me that he took a “Which Comic Book Villain Are You?” His result was one that he did not agree with – The Red Skull. “Me? A tyrant? I don’t want to rule anyone! …You would be Scarecrow because you can’t fight so you do that.” And I said “Look less at what they’re doing and more at why they’re doing it.”
Because of course I can’t fight. Of course he doesn’t aspire to be a tyrant. We’re not super villains. We don’t desire any of that currently. What we’d want to focus on is what would motivate a person to go from being a normal (or… you know…. psychopathic) kid and turn into a Ganondorf. Or a Big Boss. Or a Darth Malak (you expected Vader, didn’t you? WELL HAH!)
You don’t always get an incredible motive, and that’s okay too – as long as the villains are cool and you can just tell that it’s because they’re too b/a for rules (I don’t particularly remember Malak’s motives, but you know… he’s evil Sith. That’s enough!). It happens a lot in video games, I notice. Of all the RPGs I’ve played or watched be played (by my brothers or Justin or friends), I actually can’t clearly remember anyone’s motives. Ganondorf didn’t like how the Gerudo were treated, I think? Or he was just cocky? Umm… Sephiroth… thought he should conquer the planet because he’s… part alien? Shuji Ikutsuki (Persona 3) wants the end of the world to come for… some… reason…
Now, I’m sure there exists people that can tell me all about these motives, but the fact is that video games are not expository by nature. They don’t take long departures from the current plot line to expound on the details of a character’s life (I mean… unless they’re by Hideo Kojima). Or at least, I really hope that they wouldn’t because you watch a movie or read a book for that kind of description. You play a video game to play. And play you shall in the Lotus War!
It’s for that reason that Justin and I have decided to produce a comic to help expound on the motives of the main villain. A sort of prequel to flesh out the world and villain even further.
We definitely intend for the video game to be able to carry the story all on its own, with a slow-build and a piecing together of plot throughout the entire game play. But if the story piques your interest, I hope that the comic adds another level of depth and perhaps helps create a villain that is believable – one whose motive can be seen as one that would turn even a nice guy into a villain.
What are some of your favorite video game villains? What kind of motives did they have?