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What makes a 'Big Bad'

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1/26/2018 22:25:27   

As many of you know, Artix posted a few concept pictures of potential villains in one of his latest design notes. Many of you commented, stating your opinions, and I was no different, saying:

Hmmm, honestly, I think you guys are slipping in terms of villainy lately. The only one I'd say, as it stands, appears to be a major villian is V1, and that's more in a pretender aspect, later to be overthrown by a worthy villian.
In Dragonfable, Akanthus gives much the same impression. He is large and powerfull, and wears a massive set of armor that should, logically, impede him. In comparison, Sepulchure stands tall, yet not by much more than the hero himself. He is powerfully built, but it is more a lean build you'd expect from a swordfighter than a massive bulk. His armor, while heavy, is simple and sacrifices coverage and elegance for mobility. In all, he gives the impression of an able leader, a powerfull warrior, and a man that is believable rather than being larger than life. Akanthus, however, looks like a man who would rather hide behind his heavy armor and silver tongue and have others sacrifice themselves for him than take on the enemy himself. With some alterations, I think V1 could capture that "big bad" look your looking for, but at the moment he looks more like a general or something than the actual Dark Lord.

This got me thinking, however: What exactly is the anatomy of a Dark Lord? They come in many flavors- Magneto, Thanos, Apocolypse, Darkseid, Mongul, the Lich King, Deathwing, Sauron, Darth Vader, the Borg queen, Megatron, Unicron, Zarkon, Sepulchure, The'Galin...I could go on for days.

So, tell me: What makes a Dark Lord, to you? What is it about those mentioned so far that tells, you, the first time you see them, that they aren't just a villian, they are THE villian? Is it their size and stature, their clothes? What would it take to make a villian YOU would realize was a force to be reckoned with upon first logging in?

< Message edited by brotherinlaw -- 1/26/2018 22:26:42 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 1
1/26/2018 23:43:58   
Iron Volvametal

I wouldn't count Magneto, he actually has some morals. Same could be said about Vader.

I believe a Dark Lord to be someone who seeks nothing but their goal(usually power) & not care about the consequences of their actions to others. Also usually involves the death of many living things.

Dark powers like immortality via stealing it from other people, having people do stuff against their will, enslaving a race/country/planet, brainwashed followers, etc.

Also can't forget wielding a forbidden power or using a stolen artifact for their self benefits.
AQW  Post #: 2
2/2/2018 5:14:00   

Well, the major villian doesn't have to be THE Big Bad. A villian might act out the will of their master while fulfilling their own goals as well - willingly or unwillingly. Their are villains in that list that were servants of even higher and darker powers. Vader's master was Palpatine, Sauron's was Morgoth, Sepulchure's was the Stranger.

A villian could be the product of a powerful individual and the corruption of an older and sinister force. And if the writing is good enough, the servant/pawn/successor can be made more memorable than the original Big Bad.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 3
8/9/2018 19:34:19   

To me, the best "Big Bads" in fiction are the ones who are unshakably confident, totally committed to their goal (whether they are a hero in their own mind or a fully-embraced, card-carrying villain), hammy and melodramatic as all Heck (all of the scenery should have their teeth marks on it), and have a killer evil laugh. My favorite "Big Bad" in all of fiction, actually, is Ghaleon from the Lunar franchise. He's basically all of these things to a tee.

< Message edited by Yaminokiba -- 8/10/2018 3:20:01 >
AQ DF  Post #: 4
8/14/2018 13:10:11   

Wow, just when you think your thread is dead....

Recently, my mind tends to wander towards Ganandorf on this subject. Arguably gaming's most iconic villian, what about him makes him THE big bad?

He's just so...charismatic? Personable? Powerfull? What is it about him, I wonder? I feel like deciphering that mystery is the key to this entire discussion.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 5
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