Playing With / The Man Behind the Man

Basic Trope: The true Big Bad is revealed after the Disc-One Final Boss is defeated.
  • Straight: Lord Bad is defeated, but Emperor Evulz is the real villain all along.
  • Exaggerated: Lord Bad was a flunky to Baron Cruel, the Big Bad... who was a flunky to the Bigger Bad Count Dastardly... who was a flunky to the Even Bigger Bad Duke Egregious... who was a flunky to the Rediculously Big Bad King Overly Long Gag... who was a flunky to the Biggest Bad, Emperor Evulz.
  • Downplayed: Lord Bad was a flunky to Emperor Evulz... who either turns out to be an Anti-Climax Boss (relative to Bad) or is taken in by the Supporting Leader offscreen.
  • Justified:
    • Lord Bad is commanding Emperor Evulz's forces in the region as the Emperor has matters to deal with elsewhere.
    • Lord Bad is bigger goals in mind but smart enough not to try to try to overthrow Evulz.
    • Lord Bad is a puppet ruler to Emperor Evulz. The latter can't rule directly and the former is happy being the face of power.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Emperor Evulz is not the real villain despite the heroes suspecting this trope.
  • Double Subverted: Except for the fact that he's just pretending to confuse the hero.
  • Parodied: Lord Bad is an actual puppet, with Emperor Evulz being its literal puppetmaster as well.
  • Zig Zagged: After defeating Emperor Evulz, if is revealed that Lord Bad was in control of Emperor Evulz. Defeating him, it is revealed Emperor Evulz was in control of Lord Bad. Both are controlling each other.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: "Ah. You have beaten me. But dying here is a boon compared to having to report my failure to my master..."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Emperor Evulz is killed by Lord Bad before the heroes find out about him.
  • Discussed: "Is he the real Big Bad? I don't know why, but it looks like he could be the pawn of a greater evil..."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Emperor Evulz and his minions are so wrapped up in a web of schemes that nobody knows who's really in charge.
  • Reconstructed: Emperor Evulz remembers that he is, not his minions.

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