Main Designated Villain Discussion

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02:50:18 AM Dec 17th 2017
  • Most of the antagonists in Christian Humber Reloaded. If you're not familiar with the source material, they hardly seem evil compared to Vash, since apart from marshaling their forces to attack the good guys, their canon misdeeds are rarely described in detail. This especially goes for one group of "snobs" that Vash attacks, killing thousands and doing trillions of dollars worth of damage in the course of doing so. And while there is no apparent reason for this, they are apparently meant to be seen as evil enough to deserve it.

Yeah, well here's a thing. This is a FANFIC. Most Fanfic Writers Are Fans. Most of the time reading fic when you don't know the source material isn't exacly a good idea and just because you haven't read the parts where it happen doesn't mean it didn't happen. Unless the fic as an AU where these events didn't happen in the first place(and judging from description it's not) then this is hardly the case.

  • Final Fantasy VII has Rufus Shinra, who the group actively oppose for the simple fact the he's the ex-president's son. Though his father was a tyrant responsible for the deaths of everyone in Sector 7, Rufus never actually kills anyone. In fact, he turns out to be a pretty fair ruler, who's only act of antagonism is preparing to have Tifa and Barrett executed to throw off all the blame. Justified in that they're terrorists, and he's hoping to quell public fears by having them killed. Rufus also launches an attack against Sapphire Weapon, successfully destroying it, then plans to use the Giant Materia to destroy Meteor. Cloud and the gang deliberately intercept his attempts by grabbing the materia for themselves, making them seem like glory hogging jerks in comparison. Granted, Rufus' plan wouldn't have worked, but Cloud didn't know that at the time.

Yeah, well, Rufus's first meeting with Cloud's group involved him giving a speech about how he'll rule the world with fear. There is also the small fact that Shinra's Mako reactors are literally killing the Planet (Which is why Avalanche is fighting Shinra in the first place) and Rufus doesn't seem to have any intention of stopping it. He hasn't really crossed Moral Event Horizon, which is why he can be roughly a good guy in the Advent Children, but that doesn't mean he did nothing wrong (or at least didn't mean to).
11:13:11 AM Aug 17th 2017
  • A common complaint about Crest of the Stars is that the United Humankind Alliance is this, as the author is blatantly favoring The Empire of Space Elves that tricks or conquers through military force any human world it encounters in order to strip them of any capacities for interstellar travel that are not dependent on the Abh to run them. Grey and Gray Morality is involved (the United Humankind Alliance, whilst it does only accept worlds that request to join, is a lot more politically/culturally meddlesome than the Abh), the Abh are still pretty obviously Designated Heroes.
Haven't seen it but from what i know the story runs on Gray and Grey Morality which means thast neither side is good or evil, they just have different perspectives. so may favor alliance, some may favor the empire, but are they really considered villains?
05:54:33 AM Nov 15th 2016
Why Linkara quote? Do most tropers enjoy his stereotype-embodying nasal whine?
05:27:56 AM Apr 21st 2016
  • Age of Wonders. We're told that the Elves, Halflings, and Dwarves are good, and the Orcs, Goblins, and Dark Elves are evil. While the good races are described briefly as having peaceful, wholesome habits and the evil races are supposed to be violent and aggressive, we don't really see any of this in action. In gameplay, the difference doesn't show up at all: both sides are equally warlike, and have the option of fighting or buying off neutral races. Furthermore, a central gameplay mechanic is the ability to repopulate captured cities with a population of a friendly race; it's plain cultural imperialism at best and the good and evil races do this with equal impunity.
That seems more fitting for Gameplay and Story Segregation. While we don't see dark races doing anything evil in gameplay their unit descriptions are rife with Offscreen Villainy. In terms of actual story characters are NOT treated as good or bad depending on their race but on actual actions and there are good and bad people among both light and dark races.
10:51:00 AM Nov 26th 2015
Moved this here:

  • In1408 the hotel manager is portrayed as very sinister and unethical. His crime? Trying to stop the protagonist from staying in the titular room, despite the fact that over 50 people have died there and that the entire horrific events of the film would have been avoided had he not have done so. As stubborn as he is and the lengths that he's willing to go to (such as bribing the protagonist with a rare and very aged bottle of wine) nothing he does could be considered wrong or harms anyone.

This seems like misuse, because I really can't recall this character being portrayed as "sinister" or "unethical". The movie stresses that he was right all along but the protagonist ignored his sincere pleas.

11:01:26 AM Nov 26th 2015
Agreed. I haven't watched the movie in a while, but I don't remember the hotel manager being portrayed as an antagonist either.
09:21:29 PM Sep 28th 2014
Which episode of Linkara does the page quote come from?
12:57:27 PM Oct 7th 2016
Bit of a late reply here, but it's from his Speed Steer #5 review.
02:40:40 PM Sep 22nd 2014
Can anyone find the Doctor Who fic that was mentioned? I've been looking myself and can't find it. Can whoever put the example up post a link?
03:02:24 PM Sep 22nd 2014
I guess it's this one.
05:59:25 PM Sep 29th 2014
Thank you.
02:27:41 PM Dec 22nd 2013
Under Theatre:

  • In the play Alcestis, King Admetus is the villain. He wins the favor of Apollo so that when it's time for him to die, another may take his place. The only person willing though was his wife Alcestis so that her children will know him and not be fatherless. Since she is the one dying for a noble cause, he is the de facto villain.

I don't see how this fits the trope at all (and Admetus isn't portrayed as the villain in the play). It seems more like it should go under Designated Hero.
05:40:54 PM Apr 5th 2013
edited by Kid
The current page quote (from Richard III) doesn't seem to really fit. The trope is for times when a villain isn't really all that bad; Richard III, on the other hand, goes on to do truly villainous things in the play. Seems to me like the page quote might've been chosen because it's the trope name taken literally (someone "designating" themselves the villain), but it doesn't fit the standards of the trope and doesn't really exemplify it. Can anyone think of a better one?
05:56:03 AM Apr 13th 2013
Agreed. I think it fits better under Historical Villain Upgrade.
08:43:47 AM Oct 12th 2012
Maybe there's a point in these, but it's lost in a blatant US libertarian slant which, to say the least, isn't a universal value set. I'd like to know in which values set a "slushee bar" qualifies as "progress" though.

  • The Odyssey episode of Wishbone dealt with the main characters wanting to save a park from being bulldozed by a developer who wanted to build a slushee bar. The developer was labeled a greedy bastard for daring to pave the way for progress. He was not a good, honest person because the sign announcing the bulldozing wasn't in plain sight. (When really, there are numerous explanations as to why that sign could have been on the ground.) At the end of the day, the tree was saved, the developer had been humiliated in court. Many of the villains in the original work were like this, though it's doubtful that played into the original considerations.
  • Heartland had a rather idiotic example in their Christmas movie. We're supposed to cheer for the heroes who, among other things, rallied a town against the old man who's trying to stop them from rescuing a bunch of horses trapped by a landslide, while they mount a rescue effort. Except, the old man owns the horses in question, so he IS entitled to tell them to piss off, and he DOES have the right to shoot the sick horses to put them out of their misery! At the end, they are even wondering if they should let him have them after he has his change of heart?! To sum up those points, a bunch of strangers come into town, get themselves involved in his business, get everyone against him, deny his basic right to do what he wants with his property, and actually consider rustling them for themselves. They were going for a Broken Aesop, right?
02:43:30 PM Apr 7th 2013
The second one is an utterly ridiculous example. Owning them or not, he still tried to kill a bunch of horses. The first one is a little bit more arguable, but still too controversial to put on the page.
07:45:37 AM May 22nd 2013
edited by
The poster of the horse-killer example probably sees kill animals as Felony Misdemeanor, similar to the posters of some Western Animation examples(Sylvester, Wile E.Coyote...). Look, it is an ymmv. I do not agree with the poster, but they have the right of put it here.
08:23:25 PM Oct 10th 2012
edited by Candi
In the movie Twister, Bill specifically accuses Jonas of 'stealing his design' (for Dorothy), to which Jonas replies that the design was 'unrealized'. (Jonas also renamed his gadget.) This definitely puts the whole 'realizing' into a grey area, but there is the point that apparently Bill never took a patent out on it (stupid) or really explored it much further. It was others, both on Jonas' team, and on Bill's old team, who developed the idea into something workable. At that point, the rights to the idea of Dorothy will go to whoever gets it to work. (I was curious about who did have the rights to Dorothy, and researched it. US Patent law has the applicable legalities.)

What Jonas did was unethical, but developing an idea that someone else abandoned is a mainstay of tech and science.

Jonas did have an Idiot Ball moment, when he refused to listen to Bill telling him that the Dorothy spheres weren't working the way they should. And then he got splatted before he had a chance to think about it and realize, 'guy might have a point.' Jonas was an arrogant snot, but not stupid.

Anyone else feel sorry for Bill's fiancee? I felt bad about what she had to go through, until she dumped Bill and walked out. (And I don't really blame her, even without Helen Hunt.) Yet, somehow she's supposed to be a bitch.
11:55:19 AM Mar 21st 2012
Considering a lot of the landlords in NYC and Phila are effectively slumlords who require lawsuits just to apply the codes I find it hard to take the "poor villain" nonsense on top of the page.
08:03:41 PM Oct 10th 2012
Depends on the landlord. Some are very nice people who have to deal with nasty folks. I lived in an apartment complex about ten years ago. (100 units or so.) A soldier was deployed out, and he and the manager agreed to let a friend of his stay in the apartment, watch his stuff, pay the bills and rent, so the soldier wouldn't have to hunt for a new place when he got back.

Within FOUR MONTHS, the 'friend' was booted. He'd been dealing drugs out of the place (mind you, there were many families with small children in this complex, including mine), had paid none of the bills, none of the rent, trashed the place, and sold most of the soldier's stuff.

It's hard to argue in Real Life that the evicted jerk didn't deserve the eviction or the arrest, but in a movie, the landlord, manager, and other tenants would probably be vilified as evil people with closed minds and no regard for an open and free lifestyle. (They probably wouldn't have the manager eight months pregnant while dealing with that crap, either.)
10:14:19 PM Oct 15th 2011
edited by moonytheloony
I deleted this from the main page due to Justifying Edits:

  • Danzo, one of the most notable ones, was a Designated Villain because he actually wanted to uphold the law of Leaf Village by ordering a hit on known traitor and criminal Sasuke Uchiha, who just so happened to be the main character's best friend (from Naruto's perspective. Sasuke wanted nothing to do with him).
    • No, he was a villain (or at best, a Well Intentioned Extremist) because he trained little children to become his emotionless tools, sabotage the Leaf Village defense for his own gains, mind controlled the Fire Daimyo and believed that he can do any vile thing he want to gain power and influence due to the believe that he and only he can save the world. Even the kill order on Sasuke was less about the law and more with his desire to obtain his eyes.
    • False. He trained children to become emotionless tools, true, however that is expected of most ninja especially ANBU in the Narutoverse. We don't know if he used Kotoamatsukami on the Fire Daimyo (hell, the bureaucrat could have been convinced by anything). The kill order on Sasuke was because Sasuke is a Missing Ninja, and now had become an international criminal by attacking Kumo to get Killer Bee. Kakashi himself said that the stint Sasuke was without being labeled a Missing Ninja at least was due to Naruto's influence on Tsunade. And finally, he wanted to kill Sasuke to prevent Orochimaru from gaining a new, strong Uchiha body.
    • Danzo trained children to become emotionless tools by making them be friends with other children and then forcing them to kill each other. He was fully willing to massacre an entire clan (because obviously everybody of them was irredeemably evil), kill innocent children and didn't even try to negotiate with them. Also he assisted Orochimaru in his experiments and apparently didn't care about the snake's other innocent victims at all, killed the messenger frog from contacting Naruto (although he had a good reason to do so, did he really need to kill it?) and didn't help protecting the village from Pain. Finally he plucked the eyes out of the men and women he ordered to massacre and fought with the stolen eyes against the sole survivor of the clan who's gone completely insane because of him. Well-Intentioned Extremist or not... there's a line and Danzo crossed it long ago.
10:03:46 AM Feb 3rd 2016
I don't know if this discussion will ever lead to anything but just in case i'll throw in my opinion. Designated Villain is designated because of his lack of vilainous actions, and Danzo clearly did some villainy. In at least my eyes he went beyond Moral Event Horizon when he sabotaged the defence of Konoha for political gain and furtherly position of Hokage at cost of increased casualties. Yes, his order to take care of Sasuke would be reasonable in any story without Protagonist-Centered Morality, but his other villainy is real, and his battle with Sasuke may come acros as Black And Black Morality(it certainly seems that way for me).
02:09:22 AM May 23rd 2011
Is Designated Antagonist really a good redirect? Villains and Antagonists are not the same character-type. Best examples are Hero Antagonists — they're designated to be antagonists, but clearly meant to be the good guys. If there's no good reason to keep this, I'll put it on the cutlist.
02:44:38 PM Apr 7th 2013
They're close enough that it doesn't matter.
02:07:43 PM May 5th 2011
  • X-Men Evolution set up Avalanche as a villainous character on his first appearance, despite the fact he was quite obviously just a troubled teen with a few too many berserk buttons but a more or less genuine good heart. In the second season, he even had some straight-up admirable qualities (he did get some recognition with a relationship of sorts with Kitty Pryde).
    • The epilogue suggests he left the Brotherhood and joined SHIELD instead.
    • Also, most of the "Evil" the Brotherhood did, aside from their initial Kick the Dog moments, paled in comparison to their comic counterparts (who were legitimate villains). Aside from being Mystique's errand boys, the Brotherhood mostly seemed interested in Wacky Fratboy Hijinks.

The Brotherhood Were not this. Toad, Avalanche and whichever female is currently with them, were mildly sympathetic at times, and even there, Avalanche only became sympathetic after Character Derailment took away his Unsympathic characteristics, leaving behind his only, and even there only recently added, characteristic of having the hots for Kitty. Yeah, they had less villainous moments after the first season, but that's because season two was the only time they did act like Designated Villains (not even that, they weren't treated as villains, just another group) and Season three and four they were Out of Focus as the Acolytes and later Apocalypse replaced them as the villains. Being a former archnemesis out of Focus and being a Designated Villain are completely different things. When they did do 'Wacky Fratboy Hijinks', such as trying to steal a device and essentially doom Kurt to life in another dimension, cause a riot and try to reveal mutants to the world, and then pretend to act heroic to get money. yeah, totally just Wacky Hijinks, I do it all the time. Remember, that these are the things they did when they weren't being instructed by Mystique or Magneto, when they were working for Mystique, that was most definatly not simple. When they compare them to their comic selves, people forget that in Comics, they can do things their Cartoon selves can't do. On a kids show, you're not allowed to commit acts of Terrorism, you can't do things that they did in the comics. Lastly, the note about the ending. While it shows them aparently joining SHIELD, Xavier doesn't sound as if its a good thing "And some people, never change", they don't look too heroic (Toad has a Slasher Smile, Blob, Pyro, Wanda and Avlanche looks just like himself only old, only Pietro looks even remotly heroic but we all know that isn't true). If I'm not mistaken, I remember reading something about the series director saying they join form Freedom Force, essentially working for the goverment to hunt down other mutants who aren't registered on the Mutant Registration Act in order to avoid jail term (Imagine Osborn's Thunderbolts only for mutants), which of course means they're not heroic. So to sum it up, Avalanche and the Brotherhood went through Villain Decay and Character Derailment before slipping Out of Focus, they were NOT Designated Villains and after a while stopped being considered villains anyway.
07:05:16 PM Jan 16th 2011
"Remember that you can't have a Designated Villain without a Designated Hero, but the opposite isn't true."

If anything you'd think it's the other way around. You can have a perfectly legitimate hero on paper rallying against something that isn't really evil, but I can't think of a way someone can be the designated hero when faced with a genuine evil.
01:53:05 PM Mar 9th 2011
edited by ading
11:15:13 AM May 1st 2011
edited by CaptainCrawdad
Removed this:

  • The eponymous Repo Men cut up innocent civilians for the corrupt corporation "The Union" to repossess bionic organs when their owners default on their payments. The owners are given notice months in advance to make the payments, yet the Union is to blame for trying to reclaim their own property, along with the masses of customers who live and hide underground in fear of them. The most "evil" thing one can say about The Union is their shady loan practices do not make their repo policy all that obvious but it's not their fault the victims don't pay what they agreed to pay for their expensive new organs.
    • Well, if they go around reclaiming a heart or a lung someone needs to live because they couldn't make their payment, that's pretty villainous behavior regardless of how much notice they get. Cooperations killing people because they can't afford to pay their bills usually falls on the side of immoral.
      • Therein lies the rub: they do give the customers the option of calling an ambulance to leave them on life support without the organ, so their deaths are considered an unfortunate but legal by-product. From a present-day perspective, their actions seem heinous but much of the dialogue suggests in the world Repo Men takes place in, enforcing rules and agreements no matter how unfair or gory is the only way to stave off anarchy and people regard the Union as a legitimate entity doing what's necessary to stay in business, and are no less contemptible than a bank repossessing a car or a house for non-payment. The film's stance is that organ repossession is wrong but its ok to doom scores of future customers to death by bankrupting the company that makes the organs instead of finding a cost-effective alternative to make organ repossession unnecessary in the first place.

The main character's boss explicitely tells him to try to make deals in which the customer can't pay the loans, because the company makes more money on interest and reselling the organs than when the organs are quickly paid off. The company's business model relies on exploiting dying people, killing them, and bankrupting their families. It's implied that the company doesn't need to be this ruthless, they simply can be.
03:31:57 PM May 1st 2011
Having only seen the film once (which is definitely enough), I missed that part of dialogue. You're referring to Liv Schrieber's character as Remy's boss, right?

Also, you replied to another topic; I think you meant to create this as a new one.
06:07:58 PM Dec 4th 2010
Why is this separated into "Examples" and "Sympathetic Examples"? Whether something is sympathetic or not is usually a YMMV thing, and even when it's not it has no bearing on the example. I see a lot of stuff in the examples section I find sympathetic. Could we just combine them?
06:32:13 PM Dec 4th 2010
No, we should not have that divide. If the author thinks it's a villain at all, and it isn't really, it doesn't matter whether we are supposed to sympathize or if the author themself does. If not, let's leave the antiheroes out of this,,,
11:09:33 AM Dec 11th 2010
edited by DarkNemesis
There's 2 kinds of examples at work:
  • Designated Villain is portrayed as a Jerk Ass and has the personality of an evil villain but never does anything villainous onscreen.
  • Designated Villain is really a nice guy or someone whose not portrayed onscreen as having any villainous qualities whatsoever, yet everyone else in that work of fiction makes them out to be evil or regards them as fair game for the hero's pranks.
11:11:51 AM Dec 11th 2010
edited by ading
The former is Villainy-Free Villain.
10:56:23 AM Aug 27th 2010
edited by MatthewTheRaven
Can we get a ruling on this section:

  • In the second Iron Man film, Whiplash's father would appear to be this. His father worked with Mr. Stark senior on products, but ultimately only wanted them for financial gain instead of helping mankind. Rather than recognize an inventor might want to make money off his own creations, Stark fired him and used their mutual creations to become a billionaire, and Vanko died in poverty. It's kinda easy to see why Whiplash would want Tony Stark dead. The fact that Tony occasionally comes off as a Designated Hero doesn't help.

It keeps getting removed because of the claim that Anton Vanko was a Soviet spy. Can anyone but the anonymous poster and I confirm whether or not he was spying for the USSR? I've heard it stated that Vanko was framed as a spy by Howard Stark, but the charges weren't true. It appears that, in reality, he was a sincere defector that was deported out of personal spite. The rest of the film hinges on the fact that Stark senior seriously screwed over the Vankos. If Vanko really was a spy, the entire film falls apart thematically.
12:35:28 AM Sep 14th 2010
Hi, this is person who originally added Anton on here. I haven't seen the movie since it came out, but don't recall it being mentioned anywhere Vanko-senior was a spy. That was probably something from the comics, but it's possible it was mentioned in the film and I just missed it.
01:12:00 PM Nov 17th 2010
Watched the movie again and can find nothing on Anton being a spy. I'm adding it back.
06:05:53 PM Dec 4th 2010
edited by deadguy
I remember something about him selling his work to the Russians, which would have been illegal during the cold war.
09:38:53 AM Dec 18th 2010
The way I heard it, Nick Fury strongly implies that he had a deal set up with the Russians — specifically, he says that Anton got shipped off to Siberia because the Russians were mad that he couldn't come up with the goods. The word "spy" is never spoken, but the idea is there.
01:26:50 PM Aug 12th 2010
  • The Kuhoin family of Kure-nai keep the female member of the family isolated in an area of their family estate so that they can bear the children of their brothers and other male relatives. While this does of a certain element of Squick to it. It is justified by the fact the entire family suffers from a condition that means that this is the only way *any* of them can ever have children, so really, they are just doing what that have to do in order to survive and insure the next generation of their family.
    • But if you're trying to pin anything on Benika or Shinkurou, remember that they were hired. They grew fond of the job, but still, they were hired first.
Cutting this example. Sure, the Kuhouins may need incest to survive, but that doesn't explain why the have to lock their women up and hide their existence from the outside world.
  • Final Fantasy XII: Vayne's big evil plan throughout the whole game? Stop evil gods from treating humans like puppets.
    • To be fair the heroes also want this; the problem is that Vayne also wants to conquer everything and install himself as the new, Nethicite-powered Dynast-King, which isn't really necessary. While the protagonists agree with freeing Ivalice from the Occuria, replacing one evil with another isn't quite desirable.
    • The whole point of Vayne and by extension, Venat was that he was a bloody hypocrite. Sure, the evil gods are treating humans like puppets...but the cold hard truth is that he just wants to be the puppeteer. So we go from overthrowing one set of tyrannical, enslaving beings to just one tyrannical, enslaving being. Um...yay?
Also cutting this for reasons stated right there.
09:10:54 AM Aug 1st 2010
edited by KSonik
Removed Don Jon. Just because Claudio is a Designated Hero doesn't mean that Don Jon is a designated villain. You can't have a designated villain without a designated hero but you can have a designated hero without having a designated villain
09:29:30 PM Sep 28th 2014
You can have a designated villain without having designated hero. There might simply be a case of Good vs. Good conflict that the author tries to twist into a good vs. evil conflict.
08:03:53 AM Jul 24th 2010
I always got this vibe from Tom Zarek that he really didn't give a shit about his positions, and cared more about them as a means to manipulate people.
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