There’s plenty of villains out there; while morality is – for the most part – conditioned into us and isn’t real, the best way to describe a villain is someone who wants to shit all over everything. Aside from the the obvious (Bowser, doing it all for the nookie; LeChuck, doing it all for the nookie), here’s a look at people who liked to shit all over everything, but in a way that didn’t involve nookie.
Andrew Ryan, Bioshock
“Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? ‘No!’ says the man in Washington, ‘it belongs to the poor.’ ‘No!’ says the man in the Vatican, ‘it belongs to God.’ ‘No!’ says the man in Moscow, ‘it belongs to everyone.’”
So says Andrew Ryan as the world of Rapture is introduced in spectacular fashion for the first time. Bioshock created an underwater society – one with free reign for science/art/commerce, and one that (not surprisingly) fucked up. Big time. The capitalist society that brought you this fantastic game shows that – as much as we may argue for a better world – humans will corrupt it wherever they can. Andrew Ryan had a vision, and like any man with power and vision, his society crumbled around him. Should I mention the deceptively clever Frank Fontaine? Probably not – wouldn’t want to spoil it for the uninitiated. Would you kindly finish the game?
Doctor Breen (a.k.a. The Administrator), Half-Life 2
“And so, whether you are here to stay, or passing through to parts unknown, welcome, to City 17. It’s safer here.”
Given only the odd mention in the original Half-Life, the Administrator of Half-Life 2 (Dr Breen) was the worst kind of villain. He was a puppet, and a bullshit merchant (as shown when you first enter City 17, propaganda blurting out from big screens and guards beating the shit out of people in this ‘safer’ place). And what does Breen do? Prevent people from having sex, by using a suppression field. So what? Well, presumably it means you can’t jerk off either. The Combine uses Dr Breen as a stepping stone to enter our universe (for those who don’t know, the Combine are inter-dimensional chodes). So what kind of villain does that make him? A pussy. And maybe even a bit of a dick and an asshole too, chuck.
Victor Zsasz, Arkham Asylum
“Sarah! Do not answer the door. Can you hear me? Do not answer the door. It’s Zsasz! He’s free.”
I’ve spoken enough about the Scarecrow on this site to bore any fan (we get it, he’s crazy), but there’s a villain I find truly disturbing. This is Victor Zsasz, a man who likes killing people – in fact, needs to kill people, and with every murder he scores a mark on his skin. And there are plenty of marks there. While Zsasz was (in my opinion) a minor villain in both Arkham games, he certainly made an impression. Not only does he slit Dr Young’s throat – if you’re too slow, that is – but his ‘work’ can be seen across the asylum, such as the dead guards neatly laid out playing cards. And let’s not forget the audio tapes. They’re creepy as hell.
GLaDOS, Portal 2
“Well done. Here are the test results: You are a horrible person. I’m serious, that’s what it says: ‘A horrible person.’ We weren’t even testing for that.”
GLaDOS is a homicidal A.I. The fact that your character killed her off in the first Portal game doesn’t help when the giant Apple device is revived near the beginning of Portal 2. She’s smart. She’s insane. She’s a she. While GLaDOS’s quips are usually humorous, there is an underlying tone that makes it just a tad bit uncomfortable as you traverse the test chambers. She could – after all – kill you at any moment, but she prefers to toy with you, as women do. When the idiotic Wheatley (a spherical droid with Stephen Merchant’s voice) becomes the new bad guy of the facility, roles are reversed and you end up carrying a rather different GLaDOS – one who (despite having been turned into a potato battery) conveys a more humanistic side. Echoes of her past, of her human side, come through as you ascend the ancient test chambers. Your shared experience with this A.I. means she won’t kill you at the end . Sure, she hates you with a passion, but she has a change of heart. A heart that gets erased, shortly after. She also sings an amazing auto-tuned song at the end of the game.
Vaas, Far Cry 3
“Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact… same fucking thing… over and over again expecting… shit to change… That. Is. Crazy.”
Vaas is a scary man; the amazing voice acting (and motion capture) of Michael Mando creates a character who seems a bit too realistic. You’ve probably met him on a drunken night out and wondered who the hell this crazy guy is following you and your friends around. A guy who’s had too many amphetamines and not enough sleep. It’s Vaas’s erratic movements, his nervous demeanour and a sense of ‘Christ, this guy could just blow my head off at any moment’ that leaves encounters with him so unnerving. And your final confrontation? All the more unnerving as you walk through a drug induced phantasmagoria. Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is?
The Illusive Man, Mass Effect series
“Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our means, but what we seek to accomplish.”
The Illusive Man, a.k.a. Charlie Sheen’s dad, is a man who pulls strings. While he wishes for the best in humanity, he also manages to bring out the worst, in the form of galactic xenophobia. The Illusive Man has seemingly endless resources, and as such he manages to bring the main protaganist – Shepard – back to life at the beginning of Mass Effect 2. Can’t be that bad, right? Hmm… there’s a lot of intrigue to this man and his disturbingly robotic eyes. The Illusive Man is, next to Andrew Ryan and a less alien orientated Dr Breen, the closest thing to a political (or should I say, galactic) nightmare. It doesn’t help that by the end of the final game, he’s been indoctrinated by the giant thunder fly-like Reapers. For how long, I can’t say, but it’s almost heartbreaking to see him try and fight it off (bang). A villain, certainly – but all villains are villains for a reason. Something must have triggered it in the first place. Unless, of course, he was just born a racist asshole.
So that’s it. Sound off below in the comments section, and let us know who your favourite/worst/funniest villain is. I’ll steal it sometime.