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Complete Monster or not?
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Total posts: [22]
1

Complete Monster or not?:

 1 Nick The Swing, Mon, 25th Oct '10 8:09:54 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
I have one character from an rp a long while ago, he basically became a heavily divisive subject, even after the 5 part rp finished. His name was Raize. He basically starts as a Lawful Good teenage swordsman who wants to fight "for good, glory, and light." He is fighting the supposedly Always Chaotic Evil demons who are wreaking havoc all over the place.

The demons showed evidence of being Always Chaotic Evil, but at the same time, there were a great many noble demons, and several who were outright protagonists.

However, his girlfriend "dies" to the local Manipulative Bastard, who uses this event to push him over the edge. He had stress issues already, and said girl "dying" made him go on a Roaring Rampage Of Revenge against demons, or even semi-demonic characters who are still sympathetic, like The Staff Chick, who he had previously been his friend. He decided to go after Caliburn, a legendary enchanted sword he thinks will make him invincible. Turns out Caliburn is really Zero Edge, an Evil Weapon that gives the user very strong An Ice Person powers...and a rather iced up slipping off the slippery slope.

His Roaring Rampage goes on, and he even recruits the undead, who don't like the demons much either. These are led by Lich Lord Vallegrave, but Raize betrays Vallegrave and absorbs his powers, including immortality, letting Vallegrave melt away. The one thing he did that everyone, aside from me who still viewed him as a Knight Templar instance of Good Is Not Nice, viewed as his Moral Event Horizon: one too many snarks from the Meta Guy got said Meta Guy chopped in half.

Aside from that, he manipulated people, outright killed anyone who was in the way, and even offed his father when it was revealed dear old dad helped the other hero, Allan, who was revealed to be semi demonic. "He has aided the demons who plague our realm, who slaughter my people. I did my duty as King. He is not my father...not anymore."

So, the question is: what is this guy? He does a heavy mix of good things and bad things, he was the outright hero and had a great share of C Mo A's before his Face-Heel Turn.
 2 OOZE, Mon, 25th Oct '10 8:16:21 PM from Transsexual,Transylvania
Don't feed the plants!
Once again-if you have to ask, it will be for some portion of your readers.
I'm feeling strangely happy now, contented and serene. Oh don't you see, finally I'll be, somewhere that's green...
 3 Nick The Swing, Mon, 25th Oct '10 8:17:24 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
um, this character was a part of an old rp. Its finished, and I was just looking for a review of whether or not he qualifies for Complete Monster.
An accurate depiction
I wouldn't peg him as a complete monster just yet- although it depends on how his actions are handled. Perhaps close to the line, but still more misguided type than Complete Monster.
This is this.
 5 Nick The Swing, Mon, 25th Oct '10 8:37:17 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
yeah, complicating the issue, he got an Alas, Poor Villain death scene.
 6 doorhandle, Tue, 26th Oct '10 3:12:11 AM from Space Australia!
Hmmm.... he does sound pretty monstrous, and he is definitely near the horizon if not a Complete Monster.

I would say no, but he is far from likable, and would infuriate some people much like Miko from Order Of The Stick

 7 Nick The Swing, Tue, 26th Oct '10 11:53:03 AM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
yeah, I can see why...
He's in that space between Moral Event Horizon and Complete Monster. Despite the name, theoretically someone can repent of an MEH. It's when they are beyond redemption that they become CM.
 
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Incorrect. At the point of crossing the Moral Event Horizon, you are irredeemable. Any examples that state otherwise are Trope Decay. However, there are other criteria for a Complete Monster:

  • The character must personally engage in a series of truly horrendous acts by the standards of the setting, and the story makes no attempt to gloss these over or present them in a positive light. Acts concealed behind a Villainy Discretion Shot or by a distant Mook don't count. The Complete Monster usually starts at the Moral Event Horizon and keeps on running, though nothing excludes them becoming one through Character Development.
  • The character's terribleness must be played seriously at all times, evoking fear, revulsion and/or hatred from the other characters in the story. If there are other villains around who aren't this trope, they are afraid of/dislike this person, too — Even Evil Has Standards, after all (and in particularly disturbing stories with particularly evil villains, even lesser Complete Monsters may fear such a character). If they're Played for Laughs, the character is just Evilly Affable, at worst, but can still be one if done right. If the character is not taken seriously at all, they fail to qualify.
  • There is no adequate justification or Freudian Excuse to balance out the misdeeds.
  • The character must show no regret or remorse for their actions, however terrible. It's better if they obviously enjoy it, but complete lack of emotion or caring will suffice.
  • Most importantly, the character must have no chance of redemption without being considered a Karma Houdini. The only way the story could come to anything resembling a happy ending is if they die or are otherwise removed. A Heel-Face Turn is out of the question, and nobody would believe it if it happened. There can be no satisfying Redemption Equals Death for this character, and no Fate Worse Than Death is too extreme.

Among other things, this means that they must have committed multiple acts each worthy of a crossing on their own, and that even if someone who has crossed the Moral Event Horizon cannot find redemption by definition, any regret or remorse they feel will exclude them from being a true Complete Monster.

As for this guy? I think he fails Point Three. He didn't jump so much as he was pushed, subjected to so much deliberate psychological trauma that his original personality was effectively destroyed. Now, he's a rabid dog - somewhat scary, in desperate need of putting down... but mostly pitiable.

edited 28th Oct '10 4:42:12 AM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 10 Edmania, Thu, 28th Oct '10 4:43:49 AM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
There is no adequate justification or Freudian Excuse to balance out the misdeeds.

This actually isn't necessary— it's just encouraged for there to be none.
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
I must disagree.

Either make it so that Moral Event Horizon is redeemable, or else combine it and Complete Monster into one trope since, if you are right, they should be one and the same. There shouldn't be a bunch of fancy schmancy qualifications for being a Complete Monster, merely being irredeemable should be enough.
 
I think Complete Monster should just be scrapped. It's way too subjective. Personally, I have never seen a Complete Monster character - even the ones on that list don't elicit that reaction from me. Particularly the following:

"•Most importantly, the character must have no chance of redemption without being considered a Karma Houdini. The only way the story could come to anything resembling a happy ending is if they die or are otherwise removed. A Heel Face Turn is out of the question, and nobody would believe it if it happened. There can be no satisfying Redemption Equals Death for this character, and no Fate Worse Than Death is too extreme."

As far as I'm concerned, anyone can be redeemed. It may be extremely hard, and take a lot of Character Development, but I do not believe in irredeemable evil.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Oh it does exist. In real life. Sociopathy and Psychopathy are psychological and there's no medicine for it.

However...in a setting like D&D, can't you just use a Wish spell or perhaps even a Helm of Alignment Change to stop them?
 
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
@Ed: That's the trope description. Examples that do not meet the trope description are bad examples.

I will note, though, that the presence of a Freudian Excuse is still allowed by the description. It's just that it can't be an adequate justification for his actions.

@Haseo: It is quite possible that anyone may be redeemed in real life. However, fiction is not real life, and there, a character can be deliberately written to be irredeemable within the context of the story. That's why the Complete Monster is a fiction-exclusive trope.

Also, why should being irredeemable alone be enough? Lots of villains are written as irredeemable, so that the audience can cheer when they get their unpleasant comeuppance. Complete Monster is more exclusive than that - a specific trope for continuously, unremittingly, and gleefully vile antagonists. The Moral Event Horizon is a one-time event - the Complete Monster is someone who makes a hobby of such deeds.

edited 28th Oct '10 11:05:36 AM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 15 Edmania, Thu, 28th Oct '10 1:03:16 PM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
@Ed: That's the trope description

Seems someone changed it very recently.

It had this before:

It takes more than being a Card-Carrying Villain, Serial Killer, Psycho for Hire, Ax-Crazy, or even Omnicidal Maniac to be a Complete Monster. While most Complete Monster villains are Obviously Evil, not everyone who is Obviously Evil is a Complete Monster. To qualify, most - preferably all - of the following MUST apply:

Oh wait but this means Johan Liebert(person in the picture there) is no longer an example...

edited 28th Oct '10 1:03:59 PM by Edmania

If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
Well that's the thing...why should a one time event make someone irredeemable?
 
 17 Nick The Swing, Thu, 28th Oct '10 6:06:17 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
I am adding him to an RP, just to test things out.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Take it to the trope discussion page, Ed.

@Haseo: It's the act that marks their point of no return within the context of the story. Again, this is not Real Life.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Let's see, would he by the definition of Complete Monster qualify? It takes more than being a Card Carrying Villain, Serial Killer, Psycho For Hire, Ax Crazy, or even Omnicidal Maniac to be a Complete Monster. While most Complete Monster villains are Obviously Evil, not everyone who is Obviously Evil is a Complete Monster. To qualify, ALL of the following MUST apply
  • The character must personally engage in a series of truly horrendous acts by the standards of the setting, and the story makes no attempt to gloss these over or present them in a positive light. Acts concealed behind a Villainy Discretion Shot or by a distant Mook don't count. The Complete Monster usually starts at the Moral Event Horizon and keeps on running, though nothing excludes them becoming one through Character Development.

He might have started off sumpathetically but after he jumped off the slippery slope he has done a lot of nasty stuff to other people, including killing his staff wielding friend and the meta guy. He also had no problems with manipulating and killing anyone who was in the way as you metioned as well as his father. So in my opinion would the first point be ticked despite the fact he didn't start off unsympathetically? Yes.

  • The character's terribleness must be played seriously at all times, evoking fear, revulsion and/or hatred from the other characters in the story. If there are other villains around who aren't this trope, they are afraid of/dislike this person, too — Even Evil Has Standards, after all (and in particularly disturbing stories with particularly evil villains, even lesser Complete Monsters may fear such a character). If they're Played For Laughs, the character is just Evilly Affable, at worst, but can still be one if done right. If the character is not taken seriously at all, they fail to qualify.

Hmm... I can't really say whether or not he is treated as especially horrible by other people seeing as you didn't mention the attitude of other people, victims and villains, so I'll probably assume that no, he doesn't qualify for this point and so far isn't a Complete Monster.

  • There is no adequate justification or Freudian Excuse to balance out the misdeeds.

Depends.. whislt one person might see your character as a twisted variation of a Woobie, others might feel there is no excuse for what your character did and that he deserves no sympathy, let alone mercy.

  • The character must show no regret or remorse for their actions, however terrible. It's better if they obviously enjoy it, but complete lack of emotion or caring will suffice.

Yes, he certainly doesn't seem to care at all anymore

  • Most importantly, the character must have no chance of redemption without being considered a Karma Houdini. The only way the story could come to anything resembling a happy ending is if they die or are otherwise removed. A Heel Face Turn is out of the question, and nobody would believe it if it happened. There can be no satisfying Redemption Equals Death for this character, and no Fate Worse Than Death is too extreme.

See what I said above about Freudian Excuse.

So in conclusion, is your character a Complete Monster? Well technicaly no seeing as you didn't specifically mention anything about other characters's views on Raize, such as hypothetical villains being morally disgusted at Raize's actions.

 20 Nick The Swing, Sat, 30th Oct '10 4:57:43 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
Here are a few conversations.

Raize and Staff Chick have a confrontation

Lillian: Raize, why did you...why did you burn down a whole village? Just because there were demonic humans living there...

Raize: I did what I had to do, as the Once and Future King, I must have no qualms about erasing the demons from our realm.

Lillian: You are no King, Raize, you are sick is what you are.

Raize draws his sword. Lillian backs away, and manages, "Brother...I'm sorry...your murderer was right in front of me..."

Lillian is never seen again, though it is outright stated she was killed.

Several villains expressed their disgust for him, Ardol Markreins calling his "Army of the Sun" a "truer blight than anything we demons could offer."

Whether Raize cares is a complex thing, even though he still does all this, he beats himself up about it. After killing his father, he had a Heel Realization into Ignored Epiphany. Something like Oh God What Have I Done...I really am a monster, Lillian...well...I suppose I am too far gone now. Best to pursue my path to the end.

edited 30th Oct '10 4:57:57 PM by NickTheSwing

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
  • The character must show no regret or remorse for their actions, however terrible. It's better if they obviously enjoy it, but complete lack of emotion or caring will suffice.

Boom. Point Four. He's out.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
I'm thinking about doing a quiz like a Mary Sue quiz for this....

here.

edited 31st Oct '10 4:02:13 PM by FrodoGoofballCoTV

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Total posts: 22
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