History Main / NonActionBigBad

2nd Sep '17 9:29:58 AM MJC
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** Memorably subverted with TheEmperor, who projects an image (both to the audience and to Luke) of being a helpless feeble old man who needs [[TheDragon Darth Vader]] to fight for him. Then he busts out the [[ShockAndAwe Force Lightning]].

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** Memorably subverted with TheEmperor, who projects an image (both to the audience and to Luke) of being a helpless feeble old (even using a cane that [[ObfuscatingDisability he doesn't need]]) man who needs [[TheDragon Darth Vader]] to fight for him. Then he busts out the [[ShockAndAwe Force Lightning]]. The same applies in the prequels (which take place before he was the Emperor), where he manipulates things behind the scenes and lets his subordinates do the actual fighting. When he's forced to actually get into a fight, however, he's shown to be a LightingBruiser able to kill several Jedi masters in seconds, even without using Force Lighting.
22nd Jul '17 5:50:41 PM LadyJaneGrey
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* Also in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, when the Elders of the Universe plot some evil scheme, the Astronomer usually orchestrates the plot and acts as leader. While many of the Elders have incredible superhuman powers and/or incredible technology at their disposal, the Astronomer does not seem to have any powers that are useful in a fight, and always teleports away if trouble starts.
19th Jul '17 3:11:34 PM johnnye
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The BigBad, as everybody knows, is the source of conflict in a work of fiction, with their defeat being the main goal of TheHero which brings an end to that StoryArc. But, what exactly makes them such a threatening villain? Is it because they're [[TheChessmaster cunning]]? [[EvilerThanThou Eviler than anybody else]]? Or maybe because [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking they're powerful?]] In many works of fiction centered around action, the latter is the case but not all of them. Enter the Non-Action Big Bad.

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The BigBad, as everybody knows, is the source of conflict in a work of fiction, with their defeat being the main goal of TheHero which brings an end to that StoryArc. But, what exactly makes them such a threatening villain? Is it because they're AsskickingEqualsAuthority (and AuthorityEqualsAsskicking)? If the protagonist is an ActionHero, he must be up against an unbeatable Action Villain, right? Well, not always. They could be extremely [[TheChessmaster cunning]]? cunning]], and able to {{manipulat|ivebastard}}e others to do their bidding. They might be simply [[EvilerThanThou Eviler eviler]] than anybody else]]? Or maybe because [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking they're powerful?]] In many works of fiction centered around action, the latter is the case but not all of them. Enter the Non-Action Big Bad.else, willing to go to lengths others shy away from.



[[NoRealLifeExamplesPlease While we can't name examples]] this is partly TruthInTelevision, as usually commanders are usually more well known for being a MagnificentBastard, and even real life badasses aren't the OneManArmy [[RealityEnsues that fiction tends to be.]]

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[[NoRealLifeExamplesPlease While we can't name examples]] this is partly TruthInTelevision, as usually commanders are usually more well known for being a MagnificentBastard, and even real life badasses aren't the OneManArmy [[RealityEnsues that fiction tends to be.suggest.]]
18th Jul '17 5:33:49 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* Joffery Baratheon from ''Series/GameOfThrones''. Notorious for being a cruel sociopath and one of the biggest assholes on the show, he can't fight worth squat, and isn't a good strategist either. At first glance, being as young as he is might be considered an excuse, but given the setting (younger ''female'' characters were skilled at swordplay) it can only truly be attributed to laziness.
16th Jul '17 5:15:02 AM TheNerevarine
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* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'': Sebastien [=LaCroix=] is the Camarilla Prince of Los Angeles, the guy who bosses other vampires around and [[spoiler:one of the game's main villains]]. Despite being 200-years old, he is never seen in combat and would rather send you on errands (if you [[ButThouMust don't obey]], he uses [[CharmPerson Dominate]] to compel you), though its implied he is capable of combat since he is a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. In one of the games' endings where[[spoiler:you actually confront him, he doesn't even put up a fight, its his [[TheDragon Sheriff]] who serves as FinalBoss. He is instead reduced to a grovelling wreck at the end or if you chose to attack him, he goes down in two stabs, despite your character being a fledgling vampire and should be all rights be much weaker than [=LaCroix=].]]
15th Jul '17 11:40:45 PM GoblinCipher
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** The Daleks were occasionally depicted in this way in stories such as ''Frontier in Space'' in which the Master was said to be working with the Daleks as silent partners, where they only appeared at the end. In ''The Daleks Master Plan'', the more visible and active BigBad was Mavic Chen and even included an appearance by the Meddling Monk.
13th Jul '17 12:45:26 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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** Helmut Zemo from ''CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. While he's certainly a capable fighter and a trained soldier, he's GenreSavvy enough not to go toe-to-toe with the Avengers. Instead he manipulates them into fighting ''each other''.

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** Helmut Zemo from ''CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. While he's certainly a capable fighter and a trained soldier, he's GenreSavvy enough not to go he never goes toe-to-toe with the Avengers. Instead he manipulates them into fighting ''each other''.
10th Jul '17 12:02:37 PM infernape612
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* The alien brain in ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' does absolutely nothing but sit in its underground base, waiting for someone to shoot it. The Great Dreamer (''VideoGame/XComTerroFromTheDeep'') is no better.

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* The alien brain in ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' does absolutely nothing but sit in its underground base, waiting for someone to shoot it. The Great Dreamer (''VideoGame/XComTerroFromTheDeep'') (''VideoGame/XComTerrorFromTheDeep'') is no better.



* Katherine Marlowe from ''Videogame/Uncharted3DrakesDeception'' never directly attacks Nathan Drake, mainly due to her old age (although she [[spoiler: ''does'' [[WouldHurtaChild slap young!Drake during a flashback]]]]). To make up for this, she's the head of an AncientConspiracy that employs armies of loyal agents to dispose of Drake. Later, Marlowe then hires [[RuthlessModernPirates a crew of Indian Ocean pirates]] to do the same.

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* Katherine Marlowe from ''Videogame/Uncharted3DrakesDeception'' ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}} 3: Drake's Deception'' never directly attacks Nathan Drake, mainly due to her old age (although she [[spoiler: ''does'' [[WouldHurtaChild slap young!Drake young Drake during a flashback]]]]). To make up for this, she's the head of an AncientConspiracy that employs armies of loyal agents to dispose of Drake. Later, Marlowe then hires [[RuthlessModernPirates a crew of Indian Ocean pirates]] to do the same.
18th Jun '17 11:04:03 AM TheNerevarine
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** Bolivar Trask in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', though its extra-justified by him being suffering dwarfism.

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** Bolivar Trask in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', though its extra-justified by due to him being suffering dwarfism.
18th Jun '17 11:03:17 AM TheNerevarine
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* Much like the comics, ''Franchise/XMenFilmSeries'' follows suit with their human villains:
** William Stryker is the most recurring BigBad in the series and he has military background unlike his comic counterpart. With that said he almost never takes on any of the mutant heroes, either because of his advanced age or couldn't possibly match them in a fight, even in his prime, he decides to ran away rather than face them head on. The only instance where he takes action is in ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' when he shoots Wolverine with adamantium bullets.
** Bolivar Trask in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', though its extra-justified by him being suffering dwarfism.
** Zander Rice in ''Film/{{Logan}}'' is a MadScientist just like Trask, but unlike his predecessors [[spoiler:he successfully engineered the extinction of mutantkind through genetically modified food-stuff]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NonActionBigBad