Antagonist Abilities YKTTW Discussion
These powers are unfair, which is why the Antagonist has them.
Antagonist Abilities are "unfair" powers which inherently prevent The Hero from fighting the villain on equal terms, forcing them to use an Outside-the-Box Tactic. Antagonist Abilities are almost always an antithesis to Heroic Spirit. The pattern is simple: where the Protagonist needs to take risks and be brave, the antagonist's abilities are safe and secure. If the hero worked hard to be powerful, the antagonist's ability makes their hard work worthless. Where the hero struggles and suffers for his power, there is little to no downside at all for the antagonist. One clear example is when the antagonist's power turns the protagonist's against them, or makes them unable to use it effectively. Powers of this nature primarily serve as a Foil for the aforementioned Heroic Spirit. It's an effective way of demonstrating that Evil Is Easy, or that Misery Builds Character. It also serves as a good way to make the hero an underdog, because the Conflict is rigged from the beginning. Just to be clear, let's summarize the conditions that create this trope:
- The hero is strong or skilled, but needs a lot of effort to use it.
- The antagonist's ability does not match the hero with similar strength, skill, or effort. It prevents, detects, avoids, deflects, sabotages, steals, or otherwise compromises the hero's abilities in indirect (and often, greatly unsatisfying) ways.
- Versus Melee
- Versus Projectiles
- Versus Stealth
- Versus Optimal Range
- Versus Single Combat
- Versus Defeat Itself
- Versus Everything