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=MECH= "I unite people by forcing them to fight me"

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10/23/2009 1:08:20   
Argeus the Paladin

The idea of a Big Bad turning out to be seeking to unite a world of conflict by standing out as the vilest of threats, so as to force sides to set aside their differences to work together against him. This usually doesn't turn out well for the Big Bad or his reputation, or both. Not to mention the various henchmen he uses on his quest may have other ideas...

Tried and true:

- Lulu the Lamp (Or, in proper, Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia of the Code Geass universe.)
- The Celestials who messes up with Gundam 00's world.
- Treize Kushrenada and Milliardo Peacecraft.
- Last but most importantly, THE DEVOURER. Who is pretty much THE only one to get away scotch-free so far because he's a god.\

What do you think about this model?

DF  Post #: 1
10/23/2009 1:50:31   

I think it's noble and righteous in its own way. I also would totally hate to write it; I just can't put myself in their shoes.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 2
10/23/2009 5:08:34   

Its a very interesting concept. People can do it wittingly or unwittingly, and it makes for very good writing. In fact, you've given me a idea...
AQ DF  Post #: 3
10/23/2009 5:35:28   

Sounds utterly brilliant when first seen/heard (Remembers Code Geass and Gundam 00), yet becomes a "Oh-please, not that again D:" when seen again.

Though, it's kinda similar to the concept of "Destroy the world so that it will be finally in peace." In order to achieve something good, you'll have to counter it to initiate its progression.


Can you see the Visions?
AQ DF  Post #: 4
10/23/2009 13:36:35   
Prator the Legendary

Getting away scotch-free? Are you referring to the whiskey, or the brand of tape? Or perhaps hop-scotch? Why would you want to be free of any of those things?

I think it's an interesting idea, but it's not one that I'd likely use for any of my own villains, mainly because there's usually some alternatives which work better and don't involve as much personal risk. For example:

1. Making an Enemy: Quite simply, you pick ANY group you can find that is idealogically opposed to your/your country's/your group's values, and then declare war on them, claiming that their very existence is a threat to you/your country/your group (bonus points if you can make it look like they perpetrated some act of war on you first). Try to unite as many other factions as you can against this one faction. The main problems with this approach is that your newly-made enemies will likely respond with the same tactics, and if you ever WIN the war, your united world might divide again without a common enemy. Cold War, anybody?

2. Unite by Force: The Roman approach to conquest (I believe the early Persian and Islamic empires did this too...). In a nutshell, you gather an army and take over another country/group, and then conscript the newly conquered people into your army so you can fight more/larger foes. It's extremely effective if you have time to let the new guys settle in, but you can't really run a blitzkrieg war this way.

3. Unite by Dogma: The classic kind of Jihad, which the early Islamic Caliphates were very famous for. Your goal is to unite everyone, and you approach this goal from two directions. First, there is a war of information: develop a religion or other ideology that large numbers of people will want to get behind, and attempt to spread it by word of mouth and other means. When simple conversion fails, you may proceed to conversion by the sword. Again, this approach requires time to work. Also, you find that people will try to counter you using #1.

...Uniting everyone by making YOURSELF a common enemy to all is unlikely to work if you can't do it properly and extremely dangerous even when you do it perfectly. The only circumstances in which I can see a person justifying that means of unification are those where there is an immediate threat to humanity that demands a swift and cohesive response... but if you have an immediate threat, why not resort to #1?
AQ  Post #: 5
10/23/2009 16:26:41   

That happened in Watchmen. (Spoiler warning.) The "bad guy" made omnipotent guy look like some world-destroyer to unite the etast and west.
AQ DF  Post #: 6
10/24/2009 19:23:27   

yeah unite people to kick your butt=bad idea
oblitearating them when they are confused=good idea

it's sad but that is one of the most overused plot themes and i doubt i would write like that

well it is in the books that i have read

< Message edited by Shadowlord9k -- 11/12/2009 14:03:43 >
AQ DF AQW Epic  Post #: 7
10/25/2009 18:46:42   

One of the most overused plot themes? Please! Most Big Bads are still the "Kill! Destroy! For power! For the lulz!" type. It's actually a good /break/ to see a Big Bad who does mean well. I won't go listing all the major fantasy villains like I did in another post, but really, anti-villains don't make up a fifth of the actual villain precentage and people are already hailing them as cliche. In my opinion, that just proves how too many people just enjoy traditional villains.

(Note that I'm not directing this at anyone. Just the reading public in general)

I agree with the concept that it is noble in its own way, but these people are still very much villains, nowhere near heroes. Why? Think of how many lives they sacrificed, how many innocents they manipulated, just to achieve this "peace." Lelouch is one of the best-crafted characters in anime (though not my favourite), but he was not a hero. An anti-hero, at best (and that's only because everyone else in Code Geass is worse. Even Suzaku, who is very heroic in personality but oh-so-wrong in terms of ideals).

Do I have a particular preference for it? Not really. Do I mind it? No. Is it preferable to the complete monster villains like Voldemort and Darken Rahl? Absolutely. Do I write it? Hmm, I do have one character who is /implied/ to have done this, but it is only the hero's belief. It's never stated or proven, so the audience can interpret it as straight villainry. I usually have villains trying to bring about peace by controlling the world, though it's more because of plot requirement than personal taste.
AQ  Post #: 8
10/25/2009 20:41:21   
Prator the Legendary


That happened in Watchmen. (Spoiler warning.) The "bad guy" made omnipotent guy look like some world-destroyer to unite the etast and west.
Actually, no. He didn't make all the world's governments want to fight HIM, he just gave them a new target for their aggression and paranoia besides each other (and the new target was NOT Dr. Manhattan). He went to great lengths to ensure that he personally would never be implicated, even to the point of murdering several people who were clearly loyal to him.

< Message edited by Prator the Legendary -- 10/25/2009 20:42:30 >
AQ  Post #: 9
10/29/2009 12:51:26   

Mail Moogle of AdventureQuest

Eh, it may work in theory, but let's talk long term. So the people who experienced the enemy won't want wars and whatnot, but what happens a couple generations later, when he's just another name in the history book? It's a temporary solution, but I'm not seeing it work in the long run. :/
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 10
11/2/2009 19:47:58   
Sir Nicholas

I think that its not so much a philosophy as it is a tactic: Its done in the name of the Greater Good. The ones who utilize this tactic are in fact the ones who can see (With clarity) in the grand scheme of things.

Lelouch Vi Britannia- Portrayed himself as a tyrant, focusing all of the hatred in the world upon himself and then gave the people the satisfaction of watching his death. This gave the people a reason to look forward, further, to prevent such a (Perceived) tyranny from ever occuring again by showing off the power of democracy.

The Devourer- His duty is NOT to destroy, so much as it is to reform. What I think is that, He, by his very nature is to travel around the universe, setting Creation's (Well, creations) back on the proper course when they go astray. He left Lore a stronger, more united place when he left. Didn't anyone notice how we stopped fighting each other, during that great final battle?

Its like I've been saying: The greater good. You ALMOST never fail with that one.

If only we could achieve such an enlightened state without bloodshed and senseless violence.


We are the pure among the corrupt.
We are the innocent among the guilty.
We are the sword and shield of the Divine, and forever shall we serve.
AQ  Post #: 11
12/4/2009 0:20:40   

Well, I've seen it used briefly, to vary effect. Say there are two people fighting (pulling from a recent RPG for examples). And they're getting into a senseless arguement that may end up with either or both killed and it's wasting valuable time because the person you care about it trying to break it up, and she may get hurt in the process and then her usefulness could be halved. So this person put himself in the way- he effectively attacked all parties at once, in an attempt to give them a common reason to drop the fight. The warring factions mostly ignored it, but a bit later another person came along and created a fictional common enemy, a more dangerous foe than the one presented to them earlier. It's ironic that the danger presented by this fictional foe may be great enough to force them to run away, thus forcing the warring parties to stop fighting long enough to give the girl the breathing space she needs to smooth the grounds.

Make sense? So, maybe, if there are two people you need to briefly get along, introduce a common need/enemy/cause that they can agree to react to long enough to release some of the tension. I don't know as it's work in the long term... eventually the novelty would wear off and they'd find a way to bicker while fighting this foe... fight each other while fighting the enemy, in effect. So you'd have to have a pretty darn good peacemaker in there, or just forcibly seperate them.
AQ DF  Post #: 12
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