Created By: GAvillainJanuary 24, 2013
Nuked

Xemnas Complex

The Big Bad from the first installment gets upstaged and downgraded to make the Big Bad of the second installment look threatening

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Trope
So the hero has spent the entire first installment fighting the main villains, and, now that the series has recieved a second installment, the hero is ready to go for round two with their archenemy... until a new, Bigger Bad shows up. The new villain wastes no time in humiliating/defeating the old villain and completely usurping their role as the Big Bad. And you know they mean business because they've just proven themselves to be more powerful than the villain that the heroes were fighting for the entire first installment.

The troper namer for this trope is Xemnas from Kingdom Hearts II. Xemnas pulled a Xemnas Complex over on Disney's Mistress of All Evil herself, Maleficent, through his Dragon, Saix, defeating her in Hollow Bastion and his mooks proving themselves to be superior to Maleficent's mooks.

This trope can be good or bad depending on how the writers use it. Typically, though, it doesn't go over particularly well with the fans because, more often than not, they're already attached to the original main villain. However, a competent writers can employ it to set up interesting character developments for both the original villain and the hero.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • January 24, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    As much as i like Kingdom Hearts I feel that the title is wrong for a number of reasons:

    1): Trope Namer Syndrome 2): He and Xehanort's Heartless were a victim of this trope in Dream Drop Distance.
  • January 25, 2013
    Arutema
    Needs a work-neutral name.

    Anyway, example:
  • January 25, 2013
    Astaroth
  • January 25, 2013
    Arivne
    We already have this as Make Way For The New Villains.
  • January 25, 2013
    MetaFour
  • January 26, 2013
    GAvillain
    Just as bit of clarifying here: with the Xemnas Complex, while it is similar to the tropes listed, it is slightly different as it requires the Worf Effect and Bring in the New Villains both to be used in conjuction. In addition, it also requires the creation of two rival villain teams where one side (the one of the original villain) is constantly being upstaged. It's not necessarily Sorting Algorithm of Evil because to be a Xemnas Complex, it does not necessarily require that the new villain is stronger than the original villain.
  • January 26, 2013
    GAvillain
    Also, some examples:

    • Xemnas pulls this over on Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts II.
    • The Machine Empire does this to Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa in Power Rangers Zeo. However, by the end of the season, Zedd and Rita turn right back around and use this tyrope against the Machine Empire.
    • The 2002 He-Man series utilizes this with King Hiss usurping the position from Skeletor.
    • In the Aladdin episode "The Book of Khartoum", the title villain does this to Mozenrath.
    • During the "Six Forgotten Warriors" saga of the 90's Spider-Man series, this happens to Kingpin at the hands of Red Skull. However, it's not long before it happens again, this time with Electro usurping the position from Red Skull.
    • In the G.I. Joe cartoon, Cobra Commander has this happen to him when Serpentor arrives on the show.
  • January 26, 2013
    GAvillain
    Also, I'm not fully attached to the name. If anyone has a better suggestion for the name, I'd be happy to hear it out.
  • January 26, 2013
    Larkmarn
    This is way too similar... really don't need it...
  • January 26, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
  • January 26, 2013
    captainpat
    Yea being "slightly different" doesn't seem like a good enough difference. Please remember Tropes Are Flexible.
  • February 11, 2013
    TheBlackPhoenix100
    I think that this trope could work. Here's my argument. Look at Magnificent Bastard. That's a trope where different tropes, such as The Chessmaster and Manipulative Bastard, are put together to make single one. I think that this one can do that as well. But, as Morning Star 1337 pointed out, the trope namer fell victim to another employer of this trope as well, so we should probably name this the Xehanort Complex, because not only did Xehanort pull this on Xemnas, but he was arguably the one who's been pulling it the whole time in the franchise, what with Xemnas being Xehanort's Nobody. Any concurrences, disagreements, anything of the sort?
  • February 12, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    As has been stated already, this is exactly the same as Make Way For The New Villains.
  • February 12, 2013
    thewriter
    Have to agree that this is just The Same But More Specific Make Way For The New Villains. Motion to discard?

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