Creating great villains is a lot harder than creating great heroes. A hero is an everyman, someone the viewer/player can associate with, and as such you can almost leave them a blank slate and the player/viewer can still think they’re awesome.

But villains need motivations. And since stopping them is the whole point of the game, villains need plans.

Today, we look at games from the villain’s point of view! I actually had to search long and hard for games that had better villain motivations than, “I want money”, “I want revenge”, and “All things must obey me”…which is probably a testament to the quality of video game writing.

So, name of the villain and the game he does his nefarious deeds in, please!

1. Our glorious country will soon feel the jackboot of another. I’ve defended her to the best of my ability but I’ve failed and the enemy will soon be here. There is one man who is most responsible for the enemy’s technological superiority…if I travel back in time and eliminate him I can save my beloved country. What could possibly go wrong?

2. I’ve perfected a system that allows human augmentation using nanotechnology in a way never seen before. My two test subjects even work as secret agents for the United Nations! And the world is in shambles – corrupt governments, incurable diseases, full of people with no hope. (It’s entirely possible I had a hand in all this but, hey, omelets and such.) If I merge with the artificial intelligence that now controls all communications, I can remake the world into a much better place than it ever was before! So why is one of my proteges now trying to kill me?!

3. I’m a cop, and I’m good at what I do. I’m in charge of controlling the gangs in this city, and I’ve discovered that the best way to do that is to manipulate them into killing each other. But there was this other cop who didn’t see things my way and…well, it didn’t have to end the way it did, but it did. But I know there’s a criminal coming back to town after hiding out on the other side of the country for five years. I’ll pin the crime on him, which will put me in the clear and also get him under my thumb. Just so I can keep doing my job for the good of everyone, of course. What could possibly go wrong?

4. Four thousand years ago, we exiled an alien species to a remote sector of the galaxy for their crimes; part of their punishment was that they were never again to use spaceflight. Now we have just discovered an FTL energy signature coming from one of their colonies. After arriving at the colony and inflicting the appropriate punishment (the destruction of every living thing on the planet’s surface), the aliens return in their spaceflight-capable ship and drive us off, then attack us at every opportunity, which surely proves their guilt!

5. I used to be able to travel between two parallel dimensions, but now I’m stuck in the wrong one. Also, the people here have kind of figured out that I’m not a nice guy. But I’ve discovered that there’s another person who can jump between the dimensions! If I switch bodies with him, I can both assume a new identity and go back to my home dimension! What could possibly go wrong?

6. I’m a galactic entity, and I’m dead. I was killed many years ago by another galactic entity and torn into pieces, each of which was hidden in a different part of the world. But that was many thousands of years ago, and I’ve discovered that I can influence the humans near my “parts”. Every time a human seeks out one of my parts I can possess them with that part. Eventually enough of them will get together to resurrect me, and there’s no way that the Power of Love could ever possibly stop me!


Good luck and have fun!