I Will Haunt You To The Day You Die
The defeated villain uses his parting words to threaten and belittle the hero.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-07-06 10:56:11 sponsor: Luigifan (last reply: 2013-09-25 21:18:35)

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Don't think this is the end, X! I will haunt you to the day you die...
--Vile's last words, Mega Man X 3

The Final Battle is over. The villain has lost to the hero, and they both know it. The villain might be mortally wounded, he may be backed into a corner (and/or being held at swordpoint or gunpoint), he may have just lost his good publicity, he may be getting helplessly sucked into his can... In any case, the villain has just enough time to leave the hero with a few parting words before he flees the scene or is taken to his doom. And he uses those parting words to blatantly insult the hero and promise to make him rue the day he started meddling in the villain's affairs.

This may or may not be coupled with an immediate Taking You with Me attempt, but either way, the effect is the same; not only is the villain unrepentant, he's making his hatred for the hero painfully clear, and he is going to do everything in his power to make the hero feel that pain -- even if he has to do it from within prison (or a can) or from beyond the grave. Whether or not the villain can actually carry out the threat is irrelevant, but it loses some impact if the villain really can't do anything to mess with the hero after his defeat. The trope is a lot more effective if the villain has minions who can carry his work out for him, or if he has some way to return to actively pester the hero.

This is related to Defiant to the End. Compare... well... quite a few of the Revenge Tropes, particularly Avenging the Villain, Best Served Cold, It's Personal, and This Means War!. See also Irrational Hatred and As Long as There Is Evil. As previously mentioned, this trope readily overlaps with Taking You with Me, where the villain tries to carry out his parting threat immediately. A villain who's going to pull this is also probably vicious enough to readily commit Revenge by Proxy, and Sins of Our Fathers may very well be invoked if the villain's return happens after the hero who originally bested him has already lived out the remainder of his days. This trope also naturally works hand-in-hand with the Paranoia Gambit. Contrast Villain's Dying Grace, where the villain actually helps the hero in his final moments.

This can (but does not strictly have to) be a Death Trope.

  • The Trope Namer comes from Mega Man X 3. When Vile dies -- either by being beaten in his secret lab using a weapon he's weak to, or by being defeated, period, in Dr. Doppler's fortress -- he takes his loss rather... poorly, providing the page quote as the capper to his dying speech. If he was beaten in his secret lab, he reveals that he rigged it with explosives, making it also a case of Taking You with Me as X has to reach the exit within a minute to avoid being blown to smithereens. However, Vile blows up the lab regardless of whether or not he dies in the lab fight. Vile eventually does return, too, but not until Mega Man X 8; while Vile does acknowledge that it's been a while since he and X last met, and that they're definitely going to clash again, nobody (not even Vile) specifically refers to the events of Mega Man X 3 in that game.
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