aka: Evil Wizard
"Within the navel of this hideous wood,
Immured in cypress shades, a sorcerer dwells,
Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
Deep skilled in all his mother's witcheries,
And here to every thirsty wanderer
By sly enticement gives his baneful cup,
With many murmurs mixed, whose pleasing poison
The visage quite transforms of him that drinks,
And the inglorious likeness of a beast
Fixes instead, unmoulding reason's mintage
Charactered in the face."
The Evil Sorcerer is the living (or occasionally undead
) proof of the maxim that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
He, or sometimes she, is the mage who has delved too deeply into Things Man Was Not Meant to Know
and mastered The Dark Arts
. He has achieved great power, but at the expense of his soul
. He deals in Black Magic
and might well have made a Deal with the Devil
. Evil Sorcerers are very dangerous foes, as they are creative as well as clever. From them, one can expect anything; hordes of demonic Mooks
as the bluntest tool, More Than Mind Control
as the subtlest one, and anything between those two and beyond. He will probably be a Sorcerous Overlord
, dwelling in an Evil Tower of Ominousness
and ruling the land with an iron - but also magical - fist, though he may also show up as an Evil Chancellor
, using his powers to subvert the throne more subtly.
The Evil Sorcerer nearly always gets top billing as a villain, as one of his most common traits is pride
. Where he is a second-stringer, he's likely to only be one-upped by a demonic bargain
gone wrong — probably because he cheated. This makes him prone to learning the painful lesson that Evil Is Not a Toy
. He might also be upstaged by a God of Evil
- but then, the most powerful Evil Sorcerers often have ambitions on godhood themselves
. In a villainous hierarchy, he'll most likely be the Big Bad
, The Dragon
, or the Evil Genius
(though he could also be The Man Behind the Man
or, if he has little loyalty to any particular faction, the Wild Card
). Killing the Evil Sorcerer is one way to stop his Keystone Army
The Evil Sorcerer can be at several levels of the Super Weight
scale (depending on how strong magic is in a given setting) but he'll almost always be far more powerful than the heroes (unless they manage to get physical with him
), and will probably be at least superficially stronger than his good counterparts (owing to possessing powers
that they can't or won't use). If he's an Evil Archmage
should watch out.
It's likely that every sorcerer will be this if Magic is Evil
. Compare the Wicked Witch
and (for the more modern descendant) Mad Scientist
. An undead Evil Sorcerer will probably be called a Lich
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The first movie of Cardcaptor Sakura had Clow Reed's former student Madoushi, particularly in the dub (where she was also his girlfriend at one point).
- Babidi and his late father Bibidi from Dragon Ball Z.
- Precia Testarossa of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, who also has Mad Scientist leanings thanks to the Magitek setting.
- The Mage of Beginnings from Mahou Sensei Negima!, the resident Big Bad during the days of Nagi's Ala Rubra.
- In-story, most mages think Evangeline is like this, but those who have actually met her know that she's really not so bad.
- Wagnard from Record of Lodoss War. He starts off as a normal man who's just a little too eager to gain arcane knowledge, but decades of dealing with the forces of darkness eventually turn him into a fiendish figure with pointed ears and claws. The wizard Groder edges on this trope since he ostensibly serves Wagnard, but he's more of a sympathetic Anti-Villain due to his loyalty to Ashram. Two minor characters, the evil cleric Gaberra and dark elf shaman Astar, also fit the bill.
- In Magi - Labyrinth of Magic, many members of Al-Sarmen qualify as this, but the most notable example is Judar.
- In The DCU:
- Dark Opal and Fire Jade from Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld.
- In the Marvel Universe:
- Baron Mordo, arch-rival of Doctor Strange.
- His daughter Astrid Mordo, who tried to kill both her father and Strange.
- Dormammu, Strange's archenemy and Mordo's sometime master, is a demon who is also an evil sorcerer.
- Belasco, foe of Ka-Zar and the X-Men.
- Master Pandemonium, enemy of The Avengers.
- Master Khan, enemy of Iron Fist and Namor.
- Kaluu, another foe/occasional ally of Doctor Strange (as Sorcerer Supreme he tends to attract these).
- Nicholas Scratch, enemy of the Fantastic Four.
- And, arguably, their other enemy Diablo, who is an evil immortal alchemist.
- Gravemoss, foe of Excalibur.
- Doctor Doom. A rare example of one who is also a Mad Scientist.
- Loki, God of Mischief and archenemy of his brother The Mighty Thor, is perhaps the most powerful sorcerer in all of Asgard, rivalled only by an evil sorceress Karnilla.
- Boneyard from the Mantra series in the Malibu Universe.
- Kulan Gath, foe of Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja.
- Magica de Spell from the Uncle Scrooge comics, who also appeared in DuckTales.
- Magica is also an interesting case as, at least in early appearance, she depended on magical artifacts and theatrics, having no real innate powers of her own.
- Sulimon Canto from Ironwood.
- Natch from the XXXenophile story "Heart of Stone".
- The Phantom Blot takes on this role in Wizards Of Mickey
- Matthew Patel has this role among the 7 Evil Exes in Scott Pilgrim
- Rasputin in Hellboy.
- Mr. Gone started off as this in The Maxx, but later claimed that his magic powers were limited to knowing a few "loopholes". And then later it turned out that he had no power at all and was just an ordinary dude who everyone else consensually hallucinated was an evil sorcerer. Or something.
- Darkhell and his rival Skroa from Légendaires. Interestingly, Skroa is also a demon.
- Morgan le Fay in Camelot 3000
- In The Grateful Beasts, Ferko's brothers slander him, claiming he's this.
- Aladdin is sent into the cave by one.
- And then his brother (the sorcerer's, not Aladdin's) who's also an Evil Sorcerer shows up.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Queen Bavmorda from Willow.
- Profion from the Dungeons & Dragons movie.
- The title character from the Warlock series of movies is a servant of Satan, tries to destroy the world, and kills and mutilates innocent people for fun.
- Prince Loki in Thor.
- Rasputin in the film adaptation of Hellboy.
- Given that the movies are Heroic Fantasy in a Space Opera setting, The Emperor of Star Wars could be described as one of these. This is a major temptation for Anakin Skywalker as well. Essentially, the Sith come in two flavors: those who are the Evil Counterpart of the Jedi, with an emphasis on lightsaber fighting and visceral use of the force, and those who are Evil Sorcerers, who tend more to the "create horrible twisted mockeries of nature" end of the Dark Side spectrum.
- Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child.
- Subverted in the new Sherlock Holmes film- Lord Blackwood is a practicing occultist, highly ranked member of an Ancient Conspiracy, and has designs on the British crown, but all his "powers" are just smoke and mirrors.
- Gallian in In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Interestingly, the king's own magus Merick is surprised that Gallian has any magic at all, as a magus's power comes from serving a king. However, Gallian has managed to find a loophole. He has named himself the king of the beastly Krug (after magically uplifting them) and, thus, serves himself. It's implied that only a twisted mind like Gallian's could have accepted this enough to allow this to work.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard is one of these, presented as a master practitioner of Hollywood Voodoo capable ofcreating zombies, exercising Mind over Matter power over ships, shrinking captured ships to keep in bottles as trophies, and creating voodoo dolls.
- Mestema of The Dungeonmaster uses his powers to bring the hero and his girlfriend from Earth to his dimension.
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice has the Morganians, who are an entire group of sorcerer's who follow Morgana's teachings. The key among them, besides Morgana herself, is Maxim Horvath, who is one of Merlin's apprentices until he chose to serve Morgana. Morganians are opposed by Merlinians, the followers of Merlin's teachings that magic is to be used to serve humanity. The film only shows three of them (Balthazar, Veronica, and Dave) and no indication is made that more are (or were) present.
- The Shadow has Shiwan Khan, the last descendant of Genghis Khan, who was taught by the same teacher (whom Shiwan then killed) as Lamont. In fact, Shiwan is strong enough to cloud the minds of all New Yorkers by making them not see a huge building in the middle of the city. In the end, Lamont proves himself more than a match for Shiwan and has a surgeon friend of his removes Shiwan's Psychic Powers through brain surgery.
- In Lord Of Illusions, Nix was an evil wizard who had actual magical powers and deemed himself a god. He sees it as his mission to turn the world into a graveyard. He becomes a lich after his cultists revive him.
- Thulsa Doom from the Kull The Conqueror stories by Robert E. Howard.
- Thugra Khotan in the Conan story "Black Colossus," who also goes by the name of Natohk.
- Azrael de Gray from War of the Dreaming.
- All literal sorcerers in The Dresden Files, as the term means a spellcaster whose magical abilities are limited to mostly destructive uses, lacking the subtlety of a true wizard. Most of their abilities also involve breaking one or more of the Laws of Wizardry, each of which carries a death penalty. Most notably Victor Sells from the first book, and Kravos from the third. Two full wizards who also fit this trope are Harry's former mentor Justin DuMorne and Cowl, a recurring enemy.
- Saruman from The Lord of the Rings. He's actually The Mole, attempting to subvert the White Council of good wizards and sages while simultaneously making deals with the Dark Lord Sauron.
- In the movies, he makes deals. In the books, he thinks that he can be the Dark Lord himself. Gandalf even points out that Saruman had turned Orthanc into a Poor-man's Barad-dűr.
- Oh, he thinks he can be the Dark Lord in the films, too. He just tries (and arguably fails) to be craftier about it.
- He also claims that he has created an army equal to Mordor, except that army numbers in 10,000, while the forces of Mordor are at least 20 times that.
- In The Hobbit, we're led to believe that the vile Necromancer is an Evil Sorcerer. In The Lord of the Rings, it's revealed that it's actually Sauron himself.
- Though he's actually a Physical God, Sauron is called a sorcerer in The Silmarillion as well, probably due to the largely mystical/spiritual nature of his particular power set. The Nazgűl all are also called sorcerers, though it's unclear whether they had their powers before getting their rings.
- Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter novels. Bellatrix Lestrange also counts. Or anyone who regularly uses the Dark Arts.
- Pryrates from the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn books, who gets to be a trifecta: evil priest, Evil Sorcerer, and Evil Chancellor.
- Theleb K'aarna, Yyrkoon and Jagreen Lern in Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné stories.
- Raistlin of the Dragonlance series (after his Face-Heel Turn), as well as Fistandantilus.
- Clark Ashton Smith had lots of these in his short stories. They include Eibon, Malygris, Namirrha, Dwerulas, Ossaru, Azédarac, Mmatmuor and Sodosma, Abnon-Tha, Vacharn and his sons, Sarcand, and Maal Dweb. Some of them are Villain Protagonists.
- Kasreyn of the Gyre in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
- Arawn Deathlord and Queen Achren from The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander.
- Morda in Taran Wanderer also fits the trope clearly.
- In fact, he's in some ways a forerunner of Lord Voldemort: "Scornful of humanity", using Soul Jars, barely human anymore...
- Loraan in the Dragaera series.
- In-series, Sethra Lavode is considered by many to be an Evil Sorceress. On the one hand, everything we've seen of her from Vlad's first-person Point of View indicates she's not that bad a person. On the other hand, every once in a while a member of the House of Dzur will go off to slay her, and none of these people are ever heard from again...
- Joseph Curwen from H.P. Lovecraft's The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and Old Man Whateley from The Dunwich Horror.
- The Warlock Lord, Brona, from Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara and its prequel First King of Shannara. He is actually described by Bremen to be things like "no longer a man" and "a dark creature." He is said to no longer have human thoughts, but to act completely on instinct. He has given himself to the darkness so completely, when he's in his tent, Risca tries to sneak inside and finish him off only to realize that... he's not there. He's become the darkness around him, and it gets to the point that it seems that even taking the form of a vague cloaked figure is somewhat of an annoyance to him and not actually necessary. He IS sorcery.
- All hail the Crimson King, who orders his servants to drink rat poison so he can watch them die. And could just as easily force them to.
- The sinister and power-hungry Euron Greyjoy in A Song of Ice and Fire, whose secret arcane knowledge and ominous presence frighten his enemies and subjects alike. The priestess Melisandre, who assassinates her enemies with spirit children that live inside her womb, is another, possibly more frightening example.
- The Death Gate Cycle is full of magic-using characters, but while several of them are villains, most are given sympathetic backstories and motivation. There are, however, two definite examples of this trope- Sinistrad and Kleitus.
- Vadim Maur from the Tairen Soul series is a standard example of this trope, and manages to be quite frightening despite (or rather because) he is such an Obviously Evil Card-Carrying Villain.
- Parodied in Discworld with Dr Hix of the Unseen University's Department of Post-Mortem Communication (and certainly not necromancy), who is officially the University's Bad Person, and is therefore permitted to perform mild acts of "evil", such as practical jokes or saying what everyone else is thinking. The thinking is that, PMC being what it is, it's better to have someone sensible playing a rolenote than run the risk of an actual Evil Sorcerer taking the position.
- Several villains from The Saga of the Noble Dead practice sorcery, notably Chane, a vampiric Psycho for Hire and Magic Knight, and his partner Welstiel, who specializes in crafting magical items. The character from the series who most fits the stereotypes, though, is Ubad- Necromancer, old, Black Cloak, pact with the dark forces, etc. Not a guy to cross.
- In Lord Dunsany's The Charwoman's Shadow, the magician does not tell the hero what taking his shadow entails and describes, elegantly, how honored great magicians are in Hell.
- Ucteberi in Shadows of the Apt.
- The Belgariad has Zedar, Ctuchik, Urvon, Zandramas, Asharak, and every single Morindim magician.
- In The Dragon Hoard the appropriately named Awful. There's also Stamp-Weed, several unnamed-sorcerers and plenty of evil sorceresses.
- In Heart's Blood Nechtan, Anluan’s great-grandfather, summons The Host (an army of spirits from purgatory)
- Many of the Canim Ritualists from Codex Alera, most notably Sarl. The Ritualists as a whole are considered to be this (even by most of their own people) until they get fleshed out more in the last book, which reveals how they were once incredibly respected before gradually becoming corrupt over several generations; Master Marok, a sympathetic old-school Ritualist, is also introduced.
- Berys/Malior of Tales of Kolmar is one of these, a powerful demon master.
- A theme in The Saga of Hrolf Kraki, where three of the four main villains are evil sorcerers: the wicked stepmother-witch Queen Hvit, the devious King Adils, and the half-elven necromancer Skuld.
- The Immortals, a trio of evil immortal sorcerers in The Extraordinaires.
- Numerous backwoods examples appear in Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories.
- Arunis Wytterscorm, the BloodMage of Gurishal, chief advisor to the Shaggat Ness and true power behind his throne, millennia-old body snatcher and most prominent of the several Big Bads of The Chathrand Voyages. Generally a real nasty piece of work. The third and fourth books of the series introduce Macadra the White Raven, head of the Raven Society and de facto ruler of Bali Adro. She's Arunis's contemporary in age, power, and wickedness, and his on-and-off ally and perpetual rival. She's also his sister.
- In The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, the evil formerly-human immortals (the ones who weren't human fall into Physical God or Eldritch Abomination) are basically evil sorcerers. John Dee and Niccolo Machiavelli are the best examples. (Yes, those are the actual historical figures.)
- Many in the works of John Bellairs, starting with Isaac and Selena Izzard in The House With a Clock in its Walls.
- The Wheel of Time:
- Any Shadow-affiliated channeler qualifies, the most infamous of these being the thirteen Forsaken imprisoned with the Dark One at Shayol Ghul. Of the Forsaken, Ishamael/Moridin is the most powerful and feared, and one of the few able to access the Dark One's own form of magic, the True Power, which is extremely addictive and can cause madness.
- Recurring villain Padan Fain is not a channeler, but after merging with a malevolent spirit known as Mordeth he acquired access to some other form of dark power that allowed him a number of nasty tricks, including infecting others with madness, summoning killer fog, and reanimating the dead as his mindless drones. Before long, though, he's no longer really human as much as a collection of dark powers (barely) contained in a human body.
- Angel: Cyrus Vail from The Circle of the Black Thorn, a frail, elderly, incredibly powerful warlock.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Mayor Richard Wilkins III and Ethan Rayne.
- And there are several hints that Giles used to be one as well. Ethan frequently remarks that he never got even close to his old friend in both power and depravity.
- In Season 8 of Buffy (which crosses over with Fray) it is revealed that Willow will eventually become a female version in the distant future. She is unaware of this, though she tries to stay away from black magic to prevent this.
- The Master is one, though his magical abilities are more pronounced in supplementary material than the actual series.
- Rumplestiltskin from Once Upon a Time, who is also known as 'The Dark One'.
- Turok and Rumina from The Adventures Of Sinbad.
- Maldis from Farscape.
- Andre Linoge in the Stephen King miniseries Storm Of The Century is either one of these, or an actual devil.
- Pacha Camac in Blood Ties is an Incan priest who has himself mummified so that he can be resurrected in the future.
- Vern and Omen in Dark Oracle. Subverted by Doyle; he's creepy and neurotic, and it is repeatedly suggested that he is the real cause of all the twins' problems. He remains one of the good guys until the end though, becoming a semi-Mentor to the main cast.
- Blaze and Violet are borderline cases. They definitely have magic of some sort, and ally with Omen and Vern at various points, but said magic is rarely shown.
- A few from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Lord Zedd, his father-in-law Master Vile, and his son Thrax.
- Baron de Belleme from Robin of Sherwood.
- Legend of the Seeker has Darken Rahl, the Big Bad of the first season, who has some magical abilities, not that we see many of those. The one we see several times is his ability to do an Offscreen Teleportation during sword battles to stab the opponent in the back. He also has many sorcerers serving him, including a Wizard of the Second Order named Giller. The Bad Future season finale also features Nicholas Rahl, the son of Darken Rahl and Kahlen Amnell, combining his parents abilities to become an even worse tyrant than his father.
- Kreel in The Legend Of William Tell.
Myth And Legend
- Morgan le Fey is portrayed this way in most versions of the King Arthur legend.
- Koschei the Deathless in Russian folklore.
- Dungeons & Dragons loves this trope. By campaign setting:
- Dragonlance: As mentioned above, Raistlin and Fistandantilus.
- And Dalamar, Maladar, Galan Dracos, most Renegades, and the Order of the Black Robes (though the latter are admittedly often Affably Evil Anti Villains or Anti Heroes, as most are more self-serving and amoral).
- Forgotten Realms: Halaster Blackcloak, Manshoon(s), the ruling council of the city of Shade, Szass Tam and the rest of the Red Wizards of Thay. And these are just the most notable/infamous. There's probably hundreds of 'em.
- Greyhawk: Vecna (who eventually ascends to godhood), Rary the Traitor, the infamous Acererak.
- There is also Iggwilv the Witch Queen, who is considered to be the greatest expert on demons who ever lived. One of her sons is the child of a powerful demon lord and accended to divinity. Even though she's hundreds of years old, she looks not a day older than 40 at most.
- Mystara: Bargle the Infamous.
- Ravenloft: Azalin Rex, a Tragic Villain example.
- Eberron gives us Erandis Vol, an undead half-elf/half-dragon sorceress who founded a cult dedicated to her worship. She is a Dark Messiah who was supposed to bring an end to an ancient war between elves and dragons. It worked, but not the way intended: both races considered her an abomination and joined forces to destroy her family. Vol's mother turned her into a lich, allowing her to survive and seek her revenge.
- Planescape gave us a few, including Alhison Nilesia, the cruel mistress of the wretched Prison of Sigil, Lothar the Master of Bones, Komosahl Trevant, Alluvius Ruskin, and even a few demons and devils that had taken up wizardry, such as A'kin and Shemeshka. Every Night Hag counts as well, being a race of giant soul-stealing crone witches.
- Subverted with Factol Skall, who is technically a neutral evil lich, though he is only evil to the extent that his philosophy is that life is irrelevant. He does not kill, but persuades others to accept true death as a release from the woes of life.
- And of course there are the many, many diabolic powers such as Orcus and Asmodeus, the various gods who can certainly fall into this role, and so on.
- ...and Magic: The Gathering loves it almost as much. The most prominent is Lim-Dul, the Necromancer, whose hordes of undead and demons plagued the continent of Terisiare during the Ice Age; Lim-Dul is later revealed to be another Evil Sorcerer, Mairsil the Pretender, whose soul had been trapped and possessed an innocent man years later. Lim-Dul was followed shortly after by Heidar of Rimewind, a mad ice wizard who wanted to return the world to a second Ice Age. There's also Lord Dralnu, the Lich-Lord of Urborg, a zombie wizard with whom the forces of good were forced to ally against the invading Phyrexians; Memnarch, an evil artificial being with powerful magical abilities; and Virot Maglan, the Cabal Patriarch, who runs a sorcerous mafia.
- Big Bad Nicol Bolas takes it Up to Eleven, being an Evil Sorcerer Dragon. He is the oldest and the last of the Elder Dragons in a setting where dragons become more powerful and dangerous with age. While he was originally represented in-game as an "ordinary" legend type creature card (with a special ability that has him Mind Rape the opponent instead of dealing damage), he is now a planeswalker. As in a Physical God.
- Pathfinder, being a retooled Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, loves this trope oh-so-much. Nex, Geb, Tar-Barphon, Karzoug and six other Runelords, Adivion Adrissant, The Splatter Man, Arazni the Harlot Queen, Areelu Vorlesh, Vordakai, and dozens more are in the setting, filling out the same roles as this trope did in Dungeons & Dragons. It's rare for an adventure not to have at least one, even if they aren't the primary antagonist, and as of late 2013 almost a hundred adventure books (modules and Adventure Paths) have been written.
- Iuchiban in Legend of the Five Rings.
- Daigotsu was raised from birth to be the embodiment of this trope. I mean, the guy serves an evil god willingly...
- Drachenfells, Nagash, Heinrich "the Lichemaster" Kemmler and Ergrimm Von Horstmann from Warhammer. Also, all Chaos sorcerers, necromancers, Vampire lords, Dark Elf warlocks, Tomb King liche priests and Skaven grey seers also count. No, it's not a happy place; whoever gave you THAT idea?
- Feng Shui's 69 AD juncture is ruled by the Eaters of the Lotus, a sinister cabal of evil eunuch sorcerers and their human and demonic servants. The Four Monarchs, banished to the Netherworld, are another example, except for the smartest one of the lot who's not so bad anymore for someone who ruled 1/4th of the world for centuries with absolute power.
- Lots of people in Warhammer 40,000, since all the factions are mostly evil, and most of them use sorcery to some extent. Chaos Space Marine sorcerers are the most glaring example, being seven foot tall genetically engineered warriors in power armour, AND having the protection of evil gods, and they hate everybody and want unlimited power. However, they pay a price, suffering ever-increasing madness and horrible mutations such as extra limbs, heads, eyes inside their mouths, etc.
- The best part about the price they pay? They either don't care or they think it's awesome.
- The Spirit Of The Century supplement Spirit Of The Season brings magic more fully into the game, and naturally has a couple of magical villains, including Salomon Mizrahi, a evil kabbalist who is convinced he is a Tzadikim Nistarim, one of the 36 Righteous People whose existence supports that of the world. Interestingly, he's actually better at Science! than he is at magic, making him particularly dangerous.
- His mentor (and general Big Bad of SotC) Dr. Methusala may be considered to fall under this trope with his mastery of the 10 equations and ability to radically alter reality, and blur the line between science and magic (then again, SotC treats magic as being answerable to science, just not till it's properly studied).
- Almost all magic users in Call of Cthulhu will turn into this, spend the rest of their lives eating bugs in an insane asylum, or else die so horribly that seeing their remains could cause Sanity loss on the Sanity Meter. The "or" in the proceeding sentence is not an exclusive or, and you can bet the head of a cult will fit this trope well. Magic is Evil here.
- Unknown Armies plays with this trope. Magic is not inherently evil, but it draws peoples whose values are so alien to normal that they can't really be expected to uphold normal human ethics. As a consequence, this trope shows up, but much less than you expect from a modern horror game. When one adept gets power from subverting their sexuality to a porn star, another from having money (not using it, just having it), and a third from collecting (but not studying) old books, you can't expect these people to be terribly sane, can you?
- Mage: The Ascension plays with this trope. The main adversary of most Player Characters, the Technocratic Union, use Magitek, and are corrupt but generally not evil. They conflict with the Traditions mostly over worldview, turning the conflict into one of Grayand Grey Morality where it's Romanticism vs. Enlightenment tragically fighting it out. But then the Nephandi, mages who have sworn themselves into the service of one Eldritch Abomination or another, are this trope personified.
- It is also certainly possible for a Tremere or Giovanni in Vampire: The Masquerade to be a vampiric version of this trope. The Baali are this by way of demon-worship, and the Devil-Tigers can play this trope by way of Asian myths of hungry ghosts if built correctly.
- Changeling: The Dreaming fae can mix this trope with the Fair Folk in some forms.
- The Sorcerer sourcebook detailed many ways to play this trope out without being a full Mage from Mage: The Ascension, though Sorcerers were not inherently evil.
- Mage: The Awakening offers the Seers of the Throne, a group of mages seeking to enforce their masters' control over reality while advancing themselves in the process, and the Scelesti, mages who seek to give reality over to the Abyss, which embodies everything antithetical to existence.
- One of the earliest LEGO minifigures was actually called Evil Wizard.
- Most of the Society of the Black Cloak from King's Quest.
- The Summoner from Diablo 2, who used to be the Sorcerer from the first game before being driven mad by Diablo.
- Many, many examples in The Elder Scrolls series. Jagar Tharn from the first game, being the most cliche example.
- Ganon, especially in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, his chronologically first appearance.
- The final villain in the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy, simply called "The Sorceress."
- Arguably, ALL of the absolutely major Spyro Villains are variations on this except the very first one, Gnasty Gnorc.
- Nasira from Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge.
- Xemnas & his Heartless counterpart from Kingdom Hearts seem to be this.
- Though Xemnas, taking a page from his physical predecessor is much more of a Magic Knight since he actually favors to use his Aerial Blades(Lightsabers) along with magic. His counterpart is more of a pure Mage though, as he usually lets his Guardian attack you.
- In Knights of the Old Republic it's suggested that falling victim to this trope was the underlying cause of Revan's fall to the dark side. In the sequel, Atris embodies it, and in somewhat more rounded fashion, Darth Traya does as well.
- Shang Tsung and Quan Chi of Mortal Kombat embody this trope very well. Shao Kahn and Shinnok pull this off as well, while also overlapping with God of Evil.
- This is a recurring villain archetype in the Final Fantasy series:
- First Evil Sorcerer in the Final Fantasy series is The Emperor of Final Fantasy II.
- Golbez from Final Fantasy IV, who also doubles as a Tin Tyrant. In the sequel, he goes the other way, picking up a BFS and becoming a Big Damn Hero.
- Exdeath in Final Fantasy V is first made to be one of these when the player doesn't know him very well. Then, he's hinted to be a Humanoid Abomination. Finally, he's revealed to be... an evil tree.
- Kefka Palazzo starts as this, but ends up becoming something much, much worse.
- Sorceress Ultimecia from Final Fantasy VIII is very much an evil sorceress. Her goal is to compress time so that all creation would be centered around her, thus making her a goddess to reshape reality as she sees fit.
- Adel is also one as well. We don't get to know much about it (Ambiguous Gender, but presumably female) and in the fight against it, it says nothing. But you do find out small bits of info about it.
- Kuja from Final Fantasy IX: Evil Sorcerer, Agent Peacock, The Starscream and the eventual Big Bad.
- Several in the Warcraft universe. Examples include Kel'thuzad, Medivh (after being possessed by Sargeras), prince Kael'thas (after joining forces with the Legion), and archmage Arugal. The playable warlock class has this vibe going on, too.
- Baldur's Gate: Jon Irenicus. Evil by reason of having no soul and a resultant fascination with playing around with innards. Although at one point he was just your regular "driven by overpassionate love and misplaced pride" sort of evil. You could have some understanding for his situation, if he wasn't so smug about his superiority. You WILL hate him.
- Malkil from Wizards And Warriors.
- Windy of Suikoden I, one of the more Obviously Evil villains in the series.
- Rashidi of Ogre Battle and his apprentices.
- ADOM: Keethrax, the Black Druid; Nonnak the necromancer; Yulgash, the Master Summoner; Nuurag Vaarn, the Chaos Archmage; Gaab'Bay, the old crone.
- Oh, and if you live long enough to see them all, you'll also meet liches, necromancers, dark sages, black wizards, chaos wizards, the skeletal king, a variety of wyrms (which can cast spells), and possibly an evil god. Also, depending on your choices, you.
- Many Super Mario Bros. villains. Foremost being Kamek, but to an extent King Boo and Bowser himself (original NES game had him using Black Magic to take over). As well as quite a few RPG villains that have traces of this (Fawful, Grodus and Smithy are Technopath variants, The Shadow Queen in Paper Mario 2 is this kind of thing played straight).
- Several Fire Emblem antagonists such as Gharnef, Nergal and Validar. Some may overlap with Sinister Minister.
- The Dragonlord from Dragon Quest, Hargon from Dragon Quest II, Dhoulmagus from Dragon Quest VIII (though for him it's mostly a case of Demonic Possession by the true Big Bad).
- World of Mana
- The Archmage from Grim Grimoire.
- The Lotus Clan from Battle Realms is ruled by a cabal of immortal Warlocks. In-game the Warlock (which consist of lesser members of the cabal) is one of their higher-tier units and the leaders of the cabal are their hero units.
- The Tevinter Magisters of Dragon Age, which is much more pronounced in the sequel. In fact, according to the lore the Tevinter Imperium was responsible for creating the Darkspawn after using magic to try and reach the equivalent of heaven, only for it to go horribly horribly wrong. They're still around, mostly seen as slavers or maniacal and powerhungry blood mages.
- Origins makes it seem like they're little more than a Vestigial Empire. The sequel reveals that, while they've suffered from the rebellion in the Southern lands (e.g. Ferelden, Orlais) and the never-ending war with the Qunari, the Imperium is still strong and has large holdings in the North. They're also slowly recovering and may threaten the Southern kingdoms in the future.
- Ba Rouryuu, the Big Bad of the Girls Love Visual Novel Aoi Shiro. If no one stops him, a tsunami of unbelievable magnitude will hit all of Japan in no time.
- Druaga in The Tower of Druaga.
- The Nihilist Priesthood in Lusternia is a whole church full of Evil Sorcerers. They worship extradimensional Demon Lords, practice Necromancy and wage a veritable war against the Three Fates (since the Nihilists regard predestination as slavery, and undead immortality as the path to freedom from it).
- Seath the Scaleless in Dark Souls is a dragon credited with inventing sorcery. He's an insane wreck in the present after vainly trying to solve the mystery of the scales of immortality that every dragon but him possessed.
- At one point in his campaign, Gauldoth Half-Dead of Heroes IV lampshades the tendency for necromancers to become the evil Take Over the World overreaching villain. That said, it's not that common an affliction: over the course of the six games taking place on Enroth, a grand total of one character (Sandro) fitting this trope shows up, and he survives the ordeal and aims for more modest goals after that.
- Werdna from the Wizardry series.
- Simon the Sorcerer has Sordid, the Big Bad of the series.
- The text-based Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls has the Big Bad and Evil Sorcerer turn out to be the protagonist's abusive stepfather.
- The Big Bad Great Zaroff of The Night Of The Rabbit.
- The Order of the Stick. Xykon. He's also a literal sorcerer; a spellcaster who was born with his powers rather than learning magic through study.
- Vaarsuvius were also in danger of becoming this, thanks to his/her obsession with ultimate power. Whether or whether not s/he will eventually succumb remains to be seen.
- Technically Nale is this as well, but as it's not his only character class (and he's much weaker than either of the above) it's not played up as much as his being Elan's brother and leader of the Linear Guild.
- Lord Dragos from The Beast Legion is probably one of the most sadistic Evil sorcerers around, if not the most sadistic.
- Wanda, the croakamancer from Erfworld.
- Black Mage is this mixed with The Chew Toy and Villain Protagonist. Sarda is a straighter example.
- Mozenrath, Caliph Kapok and Khartoum from Aladdin: The Series.
- Eli Pandarus from American Dragon Jake Long.
- Hex from Ben 10.
- No Heart from Care Bears.
- King Sombra from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, combined with Evil Overlord and Sorcerous Overlord. Also, while not discussed in the episode, Word of God states that the villain of the series premiere, Nightmare Moon, was the result of Princess Luna being corrupted by dark magic, making her an earlier example.
- Wrath-Amon and Ram-Amon from Conan The Adventurer, the latter being an obvious expy of the Conan books' Thoth-Amon.
- Malsquando, Princess Irmoplotz and Queen Zonthara from Dave the Barbarian.
- Mr Crocker becomes one of these in The Fairly OddParents episode "Timmy the Barbarian".
- The Archmage from Gargoyles. Demona, the primary Big Bad of the series, was formerly his apprentice and though not as powerful (she makes up for it by being physically tougher and tech-savvy), she often uses magic in her plots.
- Skeletor in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) is a borderline sympathetic variant on this.
- Also Evil-Lyn.
- He's somewhat more competent, dangerous and evil in the recent remake series; we also get to see two other Big Bads who fit the bill: King Hiss and Hordak. Unfortunately, the new series was cancelled before we could get to see Hordak really strut his stuff outside of the Back Story and flash backs, as he gave every indication of being far more Badass than his She-Ra: Princess of Power incarnation.
- As mentioned above, Felix Faust and Tala from Justice League.
- Warlock from The New Adventures of Superman.
- The evil magician who created Rubik, the Amazing Cube.
- Gargamel from The Smurfs is called an evil wizard but he comes across as more of a crazy hermit, down on his luck alchemist.
- Any wizard from Thundarr the Barbarian, though some of them tend to cross over into Mad Scientist territory.
- Thundercats and Thundercats 2011 have Mumm-Ra, THE EVER-LIVING!!!
- Both Big Bads from W.I.T.C.H. - Prince Phobos is a Sorcerous Overlord, while Nerissa augments her innate Guardian powers with learned (or stolen) magic. In a series full of powerfully magical characters, they sit near the top.
- Blackwolf in Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. He's the Evil Twin of Avatar.
- Carl the Evil Cockroach Wizard from Yin Yang Yo.
- Shadow Weaver from She-Ra: Princess of Power.
- SkullMaster from Mighty Max.