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SatoshiBakura
topic
08:51:19 AM Aug 21st 2014
edited by 71.171.109.182
I think I found a good image to be the page image, but the image pickin' thread is closed. It's from Red vs. Blue and it shows The Meta (Big Bad) and Sigma (Bigger Bad). What should I do?

Edit: Here's the image in question (plus a caption):

SeptimusHeap
09:29:15 AM Aug 21st 2014
That is rather heavily caption-reliant. Also, spoiler tags ought not to be in a caption, since it's above the example line.
SatoshiBakura
09:38:39 AM Aug 21st 2014
edited by 71.171.109.182
I changed the caption. I hope it's better.

Edit: Also, I know it's caption reliant, but it's the best picture of a Bigger Bad I could find.

Edit: Made picture larger so you can see Sigma better.
Larkmarn
12:48:54 PM Aug 21st 2014
It's textbook JAFAAC. Not to mention it's not even an example at the time, since Sigma's directly involved with the plot at the moment. Not to mention he's not gone bad at all yet. I don't think Sigma even really qualifies, to be honest... he's the Man Behind the Man to the Meta (though really, he is the Meta... part of it, at least).
SatoshiBakura
06:31:45 PM Aug 21st 2014
Sigma is the Bigger Bad for two reasons.
  • One, he is only part of the Meta. The Meta is a collective conscious of the AI's gathered so far, and Sigma is the one who started the collecting. But by the time we get to the Recollection Trilogy, Sigma is not fully in control anymore.
  • Two, he dies at the end of Reconstruction, so even if he's not the Bigger Bad of Reconstruction, he is the Bigger Bad of Recreation of Revelation.
Also, the picture shows (admittedly not well) the influence that Sigma had that caused the Meta's Start of Darkness. So while at the time he is directly involved, it is only in the past, showing that his influence on the Meta made him insane.
SeptimusHeap
01:11:20 AM Aug 22nd 2014
It's a weak picture in my mind that relies a lot on the caption and looks somewhat foggy to me. I'll have to thumb it down.
SatoshiBakura
03:14:11 AM Aug 22nd 2014
edited by 71.171.109.182
You know what, I don't actually think my picture is that good anymore. I thought it was good at first, but I was wrong. I decide reject my own picture.
bigfatcarp93
topic
02:50:34 PM Jul 7th 2014
A LOT of these "examples" are actually examples of Man Behind the Man. Someone really needs to sort this out.
MyFinalEdits
05:24:38 PM Jul 7th 2014
It's still not an excuse to add a piece of natter saying "both of the above examples are wrong". I'm afraid that was inappropiate.
MasterGhandalf
05:30:22 PM Jul 7th 2014
I cut a bunch of bad examples (and the offending natter) just now.
Austin
topic
05:50:45 PM Mar 12th 2014
I tried trimming some of the examples, mostly ones where the supposed Bigger Bad is actually fought by the heroes, since most of the description talks about how they don't take an active role in the plot. But then I noticed that after it says that a Big Bad can become a Bigger Bad, the reverse can also happen. So my question is, exactly how involved in the action can a Bigger Bad be before it's no longer fits the definition of the trope? Does it still count if we don't hear about the BB until the exact point in the story where it's unleashed? Can a Bigger Bad become the Big Bad in a self contained story like a movie, or only in a series made up of installments where each one has a different baddie? And I know the description talks about how the Bigger Bad can be the one behind the main villain's evil, but was this trope meant to be used for say, abusive family members who are otherwise completely mundane people? It seems a little overdramatic.

I'm trying to be helpful, but I'm not sure I understand all the nuances of this trope.
MasterGhandalf
10:15:17 AM Mar 18th 2014
Trope launcher here. When a character moves from Big Bad to Bigger Bad or the reverse, I generally interpret it as requiring different stories that share a setting, rather than something that happens in a single continuous narrative (if you've got a story where the apparent Big Bad is actually working for someone/something else, that's The Man Behind the Man; if you've got a story where the apparent Big Bad is later upstaged by a more threatening but unrelated character, that's Big Bad Ensemble where one member is more threatening than the other(s)).

To use an example of a character who is sometimes a Big Bad and sometimes a Bigger Bad, let's look at Morgoth from Middle-earth. Morgoth is, very explicitly, the most evil being in the universe, and the second most powerful. During most of The Silmarillion, he's either the bad guy at hand or giving the marching orders to the bad guy at hand. Then he gets defeated and turned into a Sealed Evil in a Can until the world ends, and his former Dragon Sauron takes over as the main villain, carrying out his own plans that aren't really related to Morgoth. This works because there are several distinct chunks of the Middle-earth mythos, and distinct narratives going on there. If you take the story of the world as a whole, then Morgoth is Big Bad. If you're just looking at Lord of the Rings, he's an ominous name that gets dropped every so often, but has essentially no direct relevance to the story at hand, which is concerned with Sauron. Sauron's Big Bad, Morgoth's Bigger. Worth noting that Sauron himself sometimes gets to be Bigger Bad too; The Hobbit is about thirteen dwarves and a hobbit trying to reclaim a mountain kingdom full of treasure from a dragon; Sauron (as "the Necromancer") is mentioned several times as the greatest evil power active in the world, but he has absolutely nothing to do with the story beyond worldbuilding and establishing a good reason for Gandalf to go running off partway through.

Basically, I feel like there need to be several stories or levels of story going on in a setting for the Big Bad / Bigger Bad line to be permeable, with each dealing with the character in question on a different level and with different degrees of involvement. In one continuous narrative, the line probably isn't going to change that much, unless what was previously assumed to be a distant Bigger Bad starts unexpectedly taking a more direct hand. Does this all make sense, or am I just rambling incoherently?
Austin
06:58:26 AM Apr 27th 2014
I think so. Thank you.
IndirectActiveTransport
topic
07:11:12 PM Feb 9th 2014
This page is way too long winded and narrow. "Villain not under the big bad" should not be limited to "greater evils" nor take that many words to explain. I suggest sending it back to you know that thing where until it gets five hats.
SeptimusHeap
01:40:59 AM Feb 10th 2014
It was launched nearly 4 years ago and has more than 2500 wicks, so that is definitively not going to happen. A forum discussion might be more suitable.
MasterGhandalf
07:39:42 AM Mar 19th 2014
I'm the trope launcher, and "villain not under the big bad" is not and never was what this is. "Greater evil not directly involved in the story" is what this is. Honestly, I wanted to call it "Ultimate Evil", but that, alas, was taken.
IndirectActiveTransport
01:03:19 PM Jun 17th 2014
I never argued about what it is but what it should be. There are a lot of possibilities for villains not unconnected to the big bad of the story and they don't all need different pages. Hannibal Lecter in Red Dragon is not the Big Bad, nor a "bigger bad" but he a bad guy who acted independently of the big bad. Sometimes a character might be doing bad things out of view, instead of Hero of Another Story it would be villain of another story. He wouldn't need to be "greater" than the big bad, just separate. Shinichiro is the big bad of C'mon Digimon but just cameos in Digimon V-Tamer 01. On the whole, he's a much lesser threat than Demon but he's also totally unconnected and you wouldn't even know he's a villain just reading V-tamer. Two that do have separate pages are Diabolus Ex Nihilo and Giant Space Flea from Nowhere but honestly I have to question those two even having different pages since they are the same trope. I suppose they could be different from this one, the big bad could be revealed with no build up, but I think those duplicates get across why I find this page too narrow.

Now I didn't realize there was no hat system in You Know That Thing Where at the time of launching. I was just generally going through tropes with only one hat I did not feel had not been discussed sufficiently before launch.
Larkmarn
01:31:00 PM Jun 17th 2014
Personally, I do think that this could stand to go to TRS but I just don't have the energy for it. It sees a comical amount of misuse as The Man Behind the Man.
MasterGhandalf
11:37:15 AM Jun 20th 2014
Lots of people add bad examples for this one; I try to trim them out when I see them, but unfortunately many of them are from works I'm not familiar with (I watch very little anime, for example, and have next to no familiarity with anything with Hannibal Lecter in it). Expanding the trope to include villains who aren't the big bad but aren't "bigger" seems like a waste of time, however, though I'm admittedly biased. If a character isn't a greater evil largely disconnected from the plot at hand, then IMHO they shouldn't be on this page and you should find some other trope for the examples you bring up that are "separate, not greater" (which seems like it would just be Big Bad Ensemble to me, but that' speaking as somebody who knows none of the works Indirect Active Transport brought up).
Larkmarn
11:39:32 AM Jun 20th 2014
I don't think an expansion is the answer, but more of a rename. I agree, this is a trope in its own right for sure, but the name lends people to think it's "The Guy Who's Stronger Than The Big Bad" which is usually The Man Behind the Man, Eviler than Thou, or Make Way For New Villains.
MasterGhandalf
11:44:02 AM Jun 20th 2014
Honestly, when I came up with the name, I never intended to launch the trope under it - like I said, I wanted "Ultimate Evil", but it was already taken. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a better one that wasn't horribly bland or technical.
TwinBird
topic
10:41:48 PM Sep 22nd 2013
I'm confused - isn't this just The Dragon?
Larkmarn
05:26:00 AM Sep 23rd 2013
Huh? This is almost the opposite of The Dragon.

This is about a force worse than the Big Bad in the setting, but usually doesn't directly interact with the plot. The Dragon is a minion of the Big Bad (who usually drives the plot MORE directly).
marston
topic
05:28:22 PM Jun 8th 2013
Would Skynet from the first two Terminator films count as a Bigger Bad? It get's more involved in the later sequels, and it's resbonsible for the whole future war in the first place, but in the first two movies it doesn't have any direct involvement in the plot and instead relies on two of it's creations {Who are the main antagonist's of the first movie and the second movie retrospectivly} to kill Sarah Conner and later on her son as well.
Werebazs
01:59:43 PM Jul 12th 2013
No. While the Skynet doesn't appear in those movies, it still was the reason behind the whole conflict: it wanted to eliminate the threat to it's existence, and tried to achive this through the terminators who were it's dragons, and The Heavies of their respective movies.
VVK
topic
03:18:27 AM Feb 3rd 2013
edited by VVK
I removed this page quote:

"He's the one who started all of this, y'know? The Freelancers, and the AIs, and the Meta. I mean, when you think about it, he's the reason why we're here."
Simmons, talking about the Director, Red vs. Blue

...Because that is illustrative of a Big Bad, not a Bigger Bad. Just see the very beginning of the description for this trope: "As the page description for Big Bad notes, that character may be the one who is directly responsible for the plot, but is not necessarily the most powerful or significant evil presence in the setting. That's where this trope comes in - the setting has a villainous presence that is more significant than the Big Bad in the setting as a whole, but isn't causing the conflict of the story (and may have little to do with it at all)."
VVK
03:24:03 AM Feb 3rd 2013
edited by VVK
I put in an H.P. Lovecraft quote about Azathoth instead. I'm not saying it's perfect, but I think it illustrates the concept. Opinions?

"[O]utside the ordered universe [is] that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity — the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes."
foxmccloud4387
06:51:50 PM Feb 7th 2013
...That actually works much better. Thanks.
Larkmarn
09:38:59 PM Feb 7th 2013
The Red vs. Blue quote did illustrate the Bigger Bad... the Director wasn't really the Big Bad of any of the seasons, but it eventually became apparent that everything was his fault (he wasn't even a character until the sixth season, and even then the Big Bad slot would've gone to the Meta).

But the quote is no good because of the spoilered text. Doesn't make sense to me to have a quote with that much spoilered out.

And the HP Lovecraft one is too.. wordy.
foxmccloud4387
10:14:59 PM Feb 7th 2013
So will it be OK if the Director himself is spoilered out, but not "the Freelancers, and the AIs, and the Meta"?
VVK
12:56:30 AM Feb 8th 2013
edited by VVK
Yes. Well. I've noticed there's a missing trope here. What the quote was illustrating was something like "Retired Big Bad". The Bigger Bad is supposed to be someone who's the most powerful force of evil and just is not behind the conflict. The old quote and a number of the examples are about someone who is behind the conflict even more so than the active Big Bads but is no longer active. The latter is still a Sub-Trope of Big Bad, I guess, and it's definitely not what the definition says this is about, although some parts of the description are ambiguous in this respect (like the "test whether this character could be replaced with an impersonal force"). Saying that this is not a Man Behind the Man doesn't seem to capture all the nuances.

Someone should just make the new trope for the second trope, which I'm mentally calling Retired Big Bad now. (Edit: Actually, Backstory Big Bad would be better.) I would if I had the time.

But for this particular discussion, no, the previous quote did not illustrate the concept. My argument for that in the first post (and repeated here) has not been refuted. Well, I suppose it's slightly ambiguous if you think about "isn't causing the conflict of the story," but I don't think it can be sensible disambiguated more than one way.

And I think the Lovecraft quote's wordiness serves to emphasize just how much BIGGER, so to speak, which is the real point.
Larkmarn
05:38:18 AM Feb 8th 2013
You never made an argument in the first post, just quoted the article. Kinda hard to refute what doesn't exist.
foxmccloud4387
06:14:33 PM Feb 23rd 2013
So what are we gonna do about the quote?
VVK
06:17:32 AM Mar 9th 2013
edited by VVK
I say keep the one I put in.

I considered that it was enough of a proof of my point to quote the article saying "This trope is about round things" and also quote the quote that went "Boy, he sure is square" to show that they're not talking about the same thing. Putting it in my own words would have involved saying much the same things.

Well, if you want it explicated, the argument is: The trope description says this is about a thing that is not behind the plot. The quote is about someone who is behind the plot, just further back behind. These are not the same thing and are in fact contradictory. Therefore, the quote is not illustrative.
foxmccloud4387
12:23:33 AM Mar 14th 2013
edited by foxmccloud4387
Very well. Reasoning sounds solid.
foxmccloud4387
11:10:55 PM Mar 21st 2013
Actually, I personally think your quote is kinda wordy, and doesn't exactly help illustrate the trope as well. I think we should just revert this to being a quoteless article.
VVK
01:11:10 AM Mar 24th 2013
Well, that would be better than having the wrong kind of quote. But anything in the lines of "This is the biggest evil force there is, but it just sits there." seems like a good way to illustrate the point.
marston
topic
09:01:31 PM Dec 12th 2012
Isn't Thanos from The Avengers film more of The Man Behind the Man, not a Bigger Bad?
MithrandirOlorin
11:00:11 PM Dec 16th 2012
A character can be both of those.
MagBas
01:33:13 PM Dec 30th 2012
A Man Behind the Man is necessarily a Big Bad- or, at least, in the villain hierarchy to a specific plot. A Bigger Bad, in contrast, can not be the Big Bad.
MasterGhandalf
06:54:58 PM Jan 4th 2013
You could make a case for Thanos as the Bigger Bad for the MCU as a whole- after all, he's the most powerful villain we know to be out there and wasn't really interested in Earth at all until the end of Avengers- but for Avengers itself, he's clearly The Man Behind the Man (since Loki's running the invasion, the Other is running Loki, and Thanos is running him). Of course, with it looking like Thanos will be taking a more direct role in Phase 2, in the long run he'll probably end up the closest thing the MCU overall has to a Big Bad, not this trope.
Werebazs
topic
04:35:09 AM Nov 22nd 2012
edited by Werebazs
I think these examples should be removed, because they have nothing to do with the trope:

Anime and Manga:

foxmccloud4387
topic
04:49:52 PM Nov 14th 2012
Will this quote from Red vs. Blue work as the page quote?

"He's the one who started all of this, y'know? The Freelancers, and the AIs, and the Meta. I mean, when you think about it, he's the reason why we're here."
Simmons, talking about the Director, Red vs. Blue
Rondomi
10:53:59 PM Nov 20th 2012
Yes, it will. But it's kind of spoilerriffic.
foxmccloud4387
04:04:51 PM Dec 1st 2012
Ok, thanks. I'll put a whited-out version on the page.
MasterGhandalf
topic
05:58:46 PM Nov 1st 2012
To whoever posted the Palpatine image, I must protest. Palpatine is very much the Big Bad, as all the other villains in the Star Wars Original Trilogy are ultimately taking their orders from him or take their orders from people who work for him (with the exception of Jabba). Were he a Bigger Bad, he would be a villain beyond the scope of the series, not the one you have to beat to end the story. Unless I hear some really good reasons not to, I'm taking it down tomorrow morning.
Telcontar
moderator
03:56:31 AM Nov 2nd 2012
Image changes and removals should always go through the Image Pickin' forum; start a thread and explain that it isn't an example. Personally, I think it's still a good image, since Darth Vader is widely known to be bad and the darkness and black clothing emphasises this. It is then clear that he's taking orders from someone who must be the Bigger Bad.
MasterGhandalf
07:07:20 AM Nov 2nd 2012
Except... that's not what Bigger Bad is. The Bigger Bad is what you get when the most powerful villain in a given setting is beyond the scope of the story while a less powerful villain actually functions as Big Bad. Many Big Bads have nothing to do with their respective Bigger Bad, if one exists, or may only pay lip service to them. Vader is The Dragon to Palpatine's Big Bad.
Telcontar
moderator
07:20:27 AM Nov 2nd 2012
Fair enough; that makes sense. Thanks for starting the thread!
MithrandirOlorin
topic
10:39:58 AM Oct 16th 2012
edited by MithrandirOlorin
I'm the one who today added the Paul Féval entry under Literature. I'm openly asking here is anyone feel I should be corrected on anything?

One of the 4 works of his I reference I haven't actually read yet, that being Mysteries of London (Only the Stage adaptation is available in English currently). I keep changing my mind which trope to Pot Hole to in reference to it's Anti-Villain's motives.

Knight Templar Well-Intentioned Extremist Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters and other related tropes

What makes the first work best is that his plan is a traditional Revolution at all. But it's still not exactly a standard type of Knight Templar motivation/method.
MithrandirOlorin
06:10:10 AM Oct 17th 2012
I've gone and made the page for John Devil
Craver357
topic
07:12:36 AM Aug 13th 2012
Does Ryuk from Death Note counts as a Bigger Bad or is he just a death god who's Neutral Evil?
Werebazs
03:58:28 AM Oct 20th 2012
I think the Death Note itself is the Bigger Bad, because as Light put it, it's mere presence and existence temps people to just try and see if it's real, and also Near said that it was the Death Note's power that corrupted Light. Ryuk is merely the intermediere.
MarqFJA
topic
07:30:13 PM May 1st 2012
A few questions: The status of Bigger Bad can be applied on a Story Arc basis instead of on a whole story one, right? That is, can a villain be the Bigger Bad of one or more arcs, but eventually become the Big Bad of the following arc(s)?

Also, regarding the definition... Would I be mistaken in interpreting the trope as "villain who is indirectly/impersonally responsible for the plot's current conflict (whether over the whole work or just in the current Story Arc), but whose defeat is not actually necessary for resolving said conflict"? I mean, you are counting Adolf Hitler as the Bigger Bad in stories set in WW2, apparently for the simple reason that he was personally responsible for starting off said war, without which none of the specific, much smaller-scale (and thus not directly influenced by Hitler himself) conflicts of those works (e.g. Zaytsev's repetitive clashes with Major Konig after rising to fame in Enemy at the Gates) would have happened in the first place.
MagBas
07:44:08 PM May 1st 2012
Actually, the description of the trope, given in the first paragraph, is "the setting has a villainous presence that is more significant than the Big Bad in the setting as a whole, but isn't causing the conflict of the story (and may have little to do with it at all)."
MarqFJA
06:00:04 AM May 2nd 2012
And the sentence right before that part implies that the trope contrasts Big Bad's "directly responsible for the plot, but is not necessarily the most powerful or significant evil presence in the setting" nature, i.e. the trope is "indirectly responsible for the plot (if at all), and is also the most powerful or significant evil presence in the setting".
MagBas
06:45:01 AM May 2nd 2012
Actually, the first phrase implies the Big Bad is "directly responsible for the plot" and the Bigger Bad is "the most powerful or significant evil presence in the setting". In other words a Bigger Bad is not behind the plot and is most powerful/significant than the Big Bad.
MarqFJA
03:28:31 PM May 2nd 2012
If "the most powerful or significant evil presence in the setting" is the defining trait of Bigger Bad, then that doesn't prohibit the Bigger Bad from being indirectly responsible for the conflict.
MagBas
03:45:09 PM May 2nd 2012
edited by MagBas
The Bigger Bad is, necessarily, most powerful or significant than the Big Bad. And Big Bad is- following the description of the trope- "is behind all of the other bad happenings", "Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The Badass leader of the outlaw gang that the heroes face once or twice is not the Big Bad. The railroad tycoon who turns out to be using the gang as muscle is the Big Bad. In general, if there is a constant Man Behind the Man story going on in order to reveal the big bad, then whoever is behind it all is the Big Bad, not every major villain in the lead-up." The second paragraph to Bigger Bad says a similar thing. By the way, i not watched Enemy at the Gates, but, based in the description in this wiki, the true Big Bad in the history are the guys what given the orders to kill Vasily.
MarqFJA
07:10:38 PM May 2nd 2012
edited by MarqFJA
Yes, I knew that already; my issue now is that you seem to be implying that every Bigger Bad has to be divorced from any degree of even indirect control or responsibility for the conflict, which clashes with several of the listed examples (like Adolf Hitler; see the Multiple Media folder).

And no, I'd say that Enemy at the Gates has no defined Big Bad, because the conflict of the story — that is, Vasily trying to survive the ever-worsening situation in the Battle for Stalingrad — is not driven by one antagonist; he has to take down Nazi Mooks, he has to deal with Nazi artillery barrages, he has to deal with a Nazi elite soldier hellbent on taking him down in a Sniper Duel no matter what it takes (even if he had to use a little boy as a spy and, ultimately, bait), and he also has to survive the deadly jealousy of Danilov over their shared Love Interest Tania.
MasterGhandalf
09:08:00 PM May 19th 2012
To use the Hitler example I had in mind for this trope when putting that bit into the descritpion, Raiders of the Lost Ark- the bad guys in that movie are Nazis or Nazi sympathizers and they are therefore ultimately working for Hitler. But he's not there, there's no indication they're in direct contact with him, and Belloq (the most developed of the three main villains) is plainly just using the Reich's resources as part of his own plan to nab the Ark and have a chat with God. Hitler's indirect involvment adds context and depth to the premise, but really, he's not the point of the story and Indy never has to confront him in any way to resolve it. Raiders of the Lost Ark is about Indiana Jones saving the Ark of the Covenant from a specific group of Nazis and sympathizers, not about stopping Hitler or toppling the Third Reich. A Big Bad, by contrast, has to be dealt with in some fashion for the story to conclude.

In a more general sense, the Big Bad is at the heart of the story as much as The Hero is, because they're directly causing things to happen. A Bigger Bad is more of a background presence that adds depth to the setting (and in some cases foreshadows the next step up on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil) but is only tangentally involved at most with the matter at hand.
VanHohenheimOfXerxes
topic
11:49:11 AM Feb 19th 2012
Would Big Brother from 1984 count, considering that he never actually enters the story, and his underlings in the Party (like O'Brien) does most of the onscreen villainy?
MasterGhandalf
08:36:38 PM Apr 15th 2012
Probably, but the problem with troping Big Brother in general is that the novel leaves it decidedly ambiguous how much actual power he has, if it's been the same guy all along, or even if he really exists in the first place as anything but an avatar for the Party. It's an interesting question, honestly.
josephripken
topic
04:50:13 PM Jan 22nd 2012
Skyword Sword's Demon Lord Demise appears on this page and Man Behind the Man, both claiming that he serves the respective trope within the game itself.

By definition he can't be both, so which is he? If it's this one, I need to edit him out of Man Behind the Man, if he's that one, I need to edit this page and the SS main and character pages.
MithrandirOlorin
12:05:13 PM Oct 16th 2012
In Skyword Sword he's Man Behind the Man in the the latter Zelda History he's the Bigger Bad.
MagBas
topic
04:43:36 AM Nov 27th 2011

The movie gives no reason to guess Tarkin is acting by himself.
MagBas
topic
06:34:58 PM Nov 24th 2011

"Contrast: The Man Behind The Man, where a villain directly tied into the story is revealed to be controlling or manipulating the apparent Big Bad. In this case, the Man behind the Man is the actual hidden Big Bad (not a Bigger Bad)."
MagBas
topic
05:49:57 PM May 16th 2011
Clean-up.

  • Every season of 24 has a succession of Bigger Bads. For example, in the first season the preliminary antagonist is Ira Gaines, who turns out to be working for Victor Drazen. Nina turns out to be motivated by an even shadier force.

This example sounds as Man Behind the Man.

The god of Discord, Chaos is the Bigger Bad or maybe Biggest Bad of the entire Final Fantasy Series Crossover in Dissidia. Eerily enough, he basically doesn't do anything except sit on his throne all day, talking to his only loyal knight/himself in the future/past/present? about silly nonsense like the dream he had last night, and maybe how he'll like to make the world a giant piece of delicious cake. Totally Weird.
  • The case could be made that the great dragon Shinryu i: he helped start the conflict of the Gods, is the one who resurrects dead warriors at the end of every cycle so they can keep fighting, and has orchestrated the whole thing to refine Chaos into the perfect weapon. The closest thing he gets to being in an actual fight is acting as an exclusive summon for Chaos.

Chaos is the Dissidia normal Big Bad, being undeniably directly responsible by the plot.

  • Darkrai during the first half of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. His role as the game's Big Bad is not revealed until after Primal Dialga is defeated.
    • However, Primal Dialga itself fills the role in the anime special, though Darkrai could still be the Big Bad there as well.

Other Man Behind the Man example.

  • In Darkwing Duck, FOWL are said to be behind almost all other villains, but rarely appear and never interact directly with Darkwing.

Man Behind the Man

  • In One Piece, whenever a Marine officer, a member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, or other World Government group, like a Cipher Pol or the staff of Impel Down, serve as a Big Bad for an arc, they serve Kong, Commander-in-Chief, and through him, the Five Elder Stars, the leaders of the World Government and the most likely final villains of the story alongside Blackbeard.

Sounds other Man Behind the Man example
allday
12:35:38 PM May 31st 2011
edited by allday
does Shinnok count as a bigger bad
Luc
topic
08:42:20 PM Dec 3rd 2010
Does Dr. Facilier's Friends On The Other Side count as a Bigger Bad?
MasterGhandalf
08:47:09 PM Dec 3rd 2010
I've seen the song, but not the whole movie- are they directly giving him orders, or are they just feeding him power with the general intention that he'll do evil with it, while he comes up with his specific schemes on his own? If the former, they're The Man Behind the Man, and if the latter, they're the Bigger Bad.
MasterGhandalf
topic
06:26:27 PM Nov 21st 2010
edited by MasterGhandalf
Let's run through the Danny Phantom examples, shall we?

  • Pariah Dark: He could have been this trope, but wasn't played that way. Had he been built up as the obscenely powerful Ghost King across several episodes without appearing before being released, I'd consider him this in a heartbeat (though, assuming Reign Storm had then played out as canon, he would have then become Big Bad for the duration of that episode). As is, he's introduced, released, battled, and deafeated directly in a single (if double-length) episode, of which he, not Vlad, is the Big Bad. He's barely mentioned again afterwards. He's just a very powerful villain.

  • Dark Danny: No Just No. He's Danny's evil future self. Replacing him with an impersonal force or keeping him at arm's length from the story would completely negate his dramatic impact. He's certainly not this trope.

  • Ecto Asteroid: Never watched that episode, so I can't judge. Anyone who did feel like weighing in?
jjjj2
06:35:40 PM Nov 21st 2010
edited by jjjj2
Pariah Dark- You are making the trope to specific. Just because we had never heard about him before does not make him this trope. He fits everything.

Dark Danny- You may have a point here however he is still one of the most powerful foes in the series, and one of the most emotionally jarring foes ever. He is also made of evil. Also that is general rule of thumb not an always true rule.

Ecto Asteroid- Actually kinda agree with you, never saw it.
MasterGhandalf
06:42:58 PM Nov 21st 2010
The trope is supposed to be about a very specific kind of character. Pariah's a borderline example- I don't personally consider him one, though I can see where you're coming from. If you want to put him back in, I won't stop you- though I also won't add him myself.

But I have to draw the line on Dark Danny. A Bigger Bad is, by definition, a distant and/or impersonal force of nature. Dark Danny is Danny's own darker nature externalized and exaggerated in a vividly disturbing way- if he'd been given the Bigger Bad treatment, he wouldn't have been nearly as creepy or effective as he was. He's not a god, not a force, not a distant evil leader- he's the hero's Enemy Without, and the episode pretty much rubs our face in it. The distance is the key feature in differentiating a Big Bad from a Bigger Bad, and Dark Danny just isn't distant. He's not this trope.
jjjj2
06:47:27 PM Nov 21st 2010
okay I thank you for compromising, and I'll allow it.
Werebazs
04:33:56 AM Nov 22nd 2012
edited by Werebazs
Sorry, clicked on the wrong button. Ignore this.
ykttw archive back to Main/BiggerBad

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