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Contrasting Sequel Antagonists in video games.


  • Baldur's Gate: The first game's Big Bad, Sarevok was a scenery-chewing Tin Tyrant who, in spite of his appearance and demeanor tried to accomplish his goals through a far-reaching plot to manipulate politics and trade on a nation-wide scale. This is contrasted with the sequel's main villain Jon Irenicus, a quiet, intellectual Mad Scientist who chose overwhelming displays of arcane might as his path to power.
  • BioShock:
    • BioShock 2 was very blatant about this. The first game's antagonist, Andrew Ryan, was a hardened capitalist and atheist who believed that self-serving actions will ultimately lead mankind to create utopia, and had founded the secret city of Rapture to work toward that end. Sofia Lamb, who had taken over the city by the events of 2, was a psychologist who believed human nature to be ultimately evil and strove to use the genetic engineering serum Rapture's scientists had discovered to create a new race of utterly selfless humans — and, while not overtly religious herself, is not above using religion as a means to that end. This extends to how they're treated by the plot as well: In the first game, Ryan's plans had already come to fruition by the start of the game and proven to be a miserable failure, and your support character who strings you along to kill him is out for revenge; Lamb, meanwhile, has yet to carry out her plans, and your goal is to stop her.
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    • In BioShock Infinite, you face off against Zachary Comstock, who is overtly religious and believes that his own (eventually) hidden city is destined to actively destroy the "Sodom below", in contrast to Ryan, who believed that the Cold War would ultimately lead mankind to destroy itself. Also while Ryan is a strict Athiest, Comstock is a born-again Christian who delivers sermons to his populace and justifies his less-than-Utopian society with what he claims is divine law. Ryan's dystopia was born from not caring about his own population and letting them exploit and poison each other with merciless capitalism, while Comstock's comes about from slavery and enforced mistreatment of "lesser" people. Finally while both men had a distaste for the way the United States was run in their age (Ryan with the New Deal under Roosevelt and Comstock with the freeing of the slaves by Lincoln), Ryan's intention was to cut off all ties with the United States and make a new Utopia of his own. Comstock desired to keep a "Pure" form of the country preserved, and eventually return to "correct" the decaying nation with force.
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    • It's worth noting that despite wildly varying beliefs and philosophies, the antagonists of each game inevitably end up very similar. All three are Hypocrites who betray their ideals to pursue their own goals, all three use their world-views to justify the exploitation and suffering of others, and all three ultimately have their Utopias crumble all around them. They all work to illustrate the series overarching moral that extremism to any one viewpoint is bad. They are all confronted by family members as well, who end up becoming the catalyst for their defeats.
    • This also applies to the "other" antagonist of Rapture and Columbia; Frank Fontaine, under the guise Atlas, and Daisy Fitzroy are both revolutionaries determined to overthrow the current government and its oppression, gaining many devoted followers in the process. However, Frank Fontaine is a ruthless gangster who uses the revolution to his own ends, while Fitzroy's motives are more genuine, if unhinged by her final moments (and as revealed in "Burial at Sea", is actually a facade for a greater purpose).
  • The Borderlands series features a heavy contrast between Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2 and Colonel Zarpedon of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!. Both of them try to wipe out their respective groups of Vault Hunters at the start of their games, but that's about where the similarities end. Jack is the egocentric CEO of the Hyperion corporation by way of a Klingon Promotion who maintains loyalty through a combination of fear and revisionist propaganda; he constantly mocks the Vault Hunters throughout the game and is convinced that he's actually the hero. In contrast, Zarpedon was a high-ranking military commander before Dahl abandoned her unit during the Crackening, and she was well-loved by her men throughout, to the point that they were willing to carry on her cause even after her death; she views the Vault Hunters as worthy opponents deserving of respect and is under no illusions about how horrible her intended actions are, only going through with it because the alternative is worse. Even their ultimate goals differ: Jack is looking for the Vault of the Warrior to help him conquer Pandora by wiping out anyone he sees as a bandit, while Zarpedon was trying to guard the Vault of Elpis to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands until she decided that the only way to guarantee its safety was to destroy the entirety of Elpis (and unfortunately everyone on it).
    • The developers have confirmed that Handsome Jack himself was a deliberate attempt to invoke this trope with regard to the first game's Commandant Steele. One of the major criticisms of that game's story was that Steele, the closest thing the game has to a Big Bad, has very little characterization or story presence, to the point that players who don't pay careful attention are likely to have no idea who she is when she shows up and gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by the Destroyer before the final battle. The most interesting thing about her is the fact that she's a Siren, but not only is that fact completely irrelevant to the plot, it's also never outright stated in the game itself, just heavily implied by her tattoos (and subsequently confirmed by Word of God). When they began work on the sequel, Gearbox was determined not to make the same mistakes, so they gave their villain plenty of personality and made him the major driving force of the game's plot, in hopes of creating a more memorable Big Bad. Suffice it to say they were successful.
    • The Calypso twins in the third game contrast with Handsome Jack, most obviously being that the Calypso twins now command the bandits of the world instead of aiming to destroy them. While Handsome Jack often duped bandits into doing some of the work for him (and usually betraying them after), the Calypsos team up with Maliwan CEO Katagawa Jr. to have him do theirs (and is killed in the process early in the game). And while Jack had genuine, if extreme affection for his daughter Angel, Tyreen isn't above consuming Troy's life force and murdering her own father just to stay alive and spite the Crimson Raiders. And while Handsome Jack takes control of a Vault Guardian to act as the Final Boss, Tyreen in the end becomes the Final Boss, fusing herself with another Vault Guardian.
  • Call of Duty: The Big Bad of Call of Duty: Black Ops was a sadistic Axe-Crazy Dirty Communist motivated by nationalism. The Big Bad of Call of Duty: Black Ops II however was an Anti-Villain with a Tragic Backstory who is given several Pet the Dog moments.
  • In Clock Tower, both of the ScissorMen from both games have different characteristics from each other. Bobby, the first ScissorMan had a very ugly appearance who followed the orders of his mother, and didn't had the slightest bit of intellect. Dan, the Big Bad of the second game has a more handsome look, was a lot more intelligent than his brother, walked in his ScissorMan guise with a limped leg, and unlike how Bobby obeyed his mother, Dan is capable of corrupting and manipulating people into serving him. Also while Bobby kept his killings a secret, Dan makes his murders known to the public, as well that Dan kills people simply cause he desires too, Bobby killed following his mother's words.
  • The various endgame 'conspiracies' in Criminal Case vary from season to season.
    • The first season had the Crimson Order, an Ancient Conspiracy who ran the city of Grimsborough since the founding of the city, having seized control of a gold mine from the Aloki land. The player never heard or dealt with them until after the PC's commanding officer committed murder on their behalf, and they are quickly dismantled once the police are onto them.
    • Pacific Bay's final cases featured a much smaller and more recent faction that directly involved one of the player's partners. There is no official name to the group, and it basically consists of one Omnicidal Maniac trying to destroy Pacific Bay and the people it roped into helping him.
    • World Edition featured Sombra, the multinational criminal organization with plans to Take Over the World. Unlike the previous two seasons, the Bureau knows about the group from the beginning, and bringing down Sombra is their mission statement and the reason they were founded.
    • Mysteries of the Past had several groups, including the Irish and Italian criminal gangs and the Rochester family trying to gain control of Concordia through various schemes. The season finale had the player take on Justin Lawson, a Knight Templar Fallen Hero who'd become a tyrannical dictator over their city.
    • The Conspiracy features Ad Astra, a small, close-knit group of young intellectuals who believe they are entitled to dominate the world because of their intellectual superiority. At the end of the storyline, they've become full-fledged supervillains — albeit ones on the run from their true founder.
    • Travel in Time had the Ptolemic Dynasty, who manipulated history to become rulers of an Egypt-themed dystopia. While directly responsible for all the team's troubles, they aren't revealed until halfway through the series thanks to the machinations of a particularly nasty Sixth Ranger Traitor on the team.
  • In Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, Gwyn and Vendrick's wife Nashandra contrast pretty heavily. The former was a king who founded his kingdom, is associated with light and fire, may have been manipulated to some degree by Frampt, sacrificed himself to preserve the First Flame, and is found in an essentially mindless state defending said Flame; the latter was a queen who brought the kingdom to ruin, is associated with darkness and death, manipulated Vendrick into the actions that brought Drangleic to ruin, seeks to claim the Throne of Want (which appears to be tied to the First Flame) for herself, and is an active, intelligent participant in the fight. The final battles even contrast: Gwyn is at the First Flame already, while Nashandra goes there once you've cleared the way, to the point that she walks through the boss fog if you've met the conditions before killing the Throne Watcher and Defender. Of note, II pulls this as a Bait-and-Switch; Nashandra barely gets a mention, with everyone talking about King Vendrick, so it looks like Vendrick is going to be a Recurring Element resembling Gwyn in the same way that other bosses echo ones from the first game...and then you actually find Vendrick, now a giant, completely mindless Hollow who can only stagger around in circles and won't even fight you unless you aggro him, and realise things are a bit different now.
  • Dead Space: the first and second games had psychotic, violently deranged human villains. The third game's human antagonist is, in contrast, a very calm, polite, and soft-spoken man. He's no less insane and ruthless, however.
  • Deltarune:
    • Though the game isn't an outright sequel to Undertale, King in Chapter 1 can be seen as this to Asgore. Though they both have tragic backstories, by the time you confront him, he's clearly beyond redemption, and has no qualms about killing his own son. King can also be compared to Flowey, as both are utter sociopaths who play with the player's emotions and have no restraint towards violence. The difference is that King commands authority over a nation while Flowey always worked in the shadows.
    • While King was mainly portrayed as a Bad Boss and Knight of Cerebus who remained unseen until near the end of Chapter 1, Queen in Chapter 2 makes her presence known to Kris and Susie almost immediately after they enter her Dark World and appears to be more Laughably Evil whenever she appears. Additionally, Queen is motivated by making all Lightners happy, compared to King's goal of making Darkners rule the world. Of course, that doesn't stop her from being able to fool Berdly, but she willingly performed a Heel–Face Turn after learning from Ralsei the consequences of opening too many Dark Fountains. She also takes much better care of Lancer than King, becoming his unofficial mother.
  • Devil May Cry:
  • Dishonored 2: The usurper queen Delilah Copperspoon is a supernatural entity compared to the corrupt politician, Hiram Burrows and General Farley Havelock from the first game who were realistic.
    • Lord Regent Hiram Burrows is strict, shrewd, and seeks to stamp out the Loyalists and thwart Corvo the entire game. In contrast, the Duke of Serkonos Luca Abele is mostly indifferent to events unfolding and spends most of time hosting orgies and lavish feasts at his palace. The Duke is also heavyset and wears light-colored clothing, in contrast to the Lord Regent who is thin and is quite fond of dark trenchcoats.
  • Dragon Quest has numberous big bads that sway back and forth based on their methods or motivations.
    • In the first Dragon Quest, the Dragon Lord attempts to conquer the land of Alefgarde by kidnapping the land's princess and the Orb of Light, and upon confronted attempts to make a deal with the protagonist. He's also known throughout the entire game and is the endgoal of the quest.
    • In Dragon Quest II, Hargon is also an antagonist well-known by the start of the game, but not much of his goal gets off the ground aside from launching an attack on Moonbrooke and cursing the local princess. Otherwise they remain at their stronghold, and Hargon isn't the final boss, instead going to Malroth, a god of destruction that the priest was attempting to summon to ravage the world. Malroth counts too, as his presence is largely unknown before Hargon summons him, and is a natural demon, unlike the Dragon Lord, who was implied in backstory to formerly be human.
    • In Dragon Quest III, Baramos is presented as the final boss and is presented to have a lot of influence in the entire world with lots of underlings, only to be revealed to be an underling himself. His boss, Zoma, keeps himself hidden until Baramos falls, where it's revealed he's already in control of one world while attempting to control the world the game mainly explores.
    • In Dragon Quest IV, Psaro the Manslayer is not of demonic origin, rather being from a non-human tribe that distrusts humanity, but has love for an elf named Rose. His efforts attempt to ressurect the original demon lord, Estark, from his long slumber while attempting to kill the protagonist before they can set out on their journey. When Estark falls and Rose is killed by greedy humans trying to obtain her ruby tears, Psaro swears vengeance on humanity and becomes a new demon lord through the Secret of Evolution, losing his mind in the progress and attempting to destroy the world through sheer force. He's also the only villain that can be redeemed if the right steps are taken.
    • In Dragon Quest V, Grandmaster Nimzo takes a more methodical approach to conquering the world, attempting to prevent the arrival of the Hero before they are born and playing a long game years in the making. It's implied Nimzo is also the product of the Secret of Evolution, but uses his smarts to covertly undermine kingdoms of importance, build up his forces, while kidnapping the protagonist's mother, who has the power to break the seal keeping him in the Dread Realm.
    • In Dragon Quest VI, Mortamor also uses cunning to forward his plans, but instead of strategic maneuvers, Mortamor uses his forces to attempt to break the will of his enemies in both the Real and Dream worlds in order for the despair to reach a point where he can forcefully turn them into extensions of the Dread Realm for him to rule over.
    • In Dragon Quest VII, Orgordemir is stated to be the biggest enemy to that world's god, Nemus, and attempts to seal all the lands of the world by his forces taking advantage of their weaknesses to trick humanity into self-destructing, ruining them in the past and rendering them nonexistent in the present. And where all the previous big bads tend to have ugly-looking second forms, Orgordemir starts out in his ugly form, but then changes into a more visually appealing form to showcase his vanity.
    • In Dragon Quest VIII, Rhapthrone is an active force throughout the entire game, having others act his direct proxy. The majority of the game is attempting to chase him and his host, Dhoulmagus, down as they attempt to kill the descendants of the warriors that sealed him in the past. Otherwise, until he makes his return, Rhapthorne has no lasting presence and hardly any forces loyal to him, with the majority of monsters fought having no relation to him.
    • In Dragon Quest IX, Corvus stands out as the only villain of divine origin. Once a Celestrial, in the past he fell to the land below and was nursed back to health by a woman who fell in love with him, but he was betrayed by the people he was charged with protecting to the Gittingham Empire, who tortured him for centuries. This fostered a seething hatred for humanity and by extension hatred towards the Celestrials who protected them, and the Almighty who watched over them. Like Psaro, after defeat, he's ultimatedly redeemed by the spirit of the girl who healed him, and then ascends alongside all the other Celestrials.
  • The Evil Within 2 has a big bad triumvirate versus Ruvik. In the first game, Ruvik's main goal was to escape back to the real world. This game's antagonists, Stefano and Theodore, have no intention of leaving; Stefano wanting to stay to "make [his] art forever", while Theodore wants to take control of Mobius (and by extension, the rest of the world) through the influence Union gives him. Subverted with Myra, as she originally entered Union to get her daughter out while she stayed behind to destroy Mobius, only for Union's malleable nature to corrupt her. Also, Ruvik was sinister and mysterious whereas Stefano and Theodore behave in a more theatrical and flamboyant manner that wouldn't be out of place in, say, Dead Rising.
  • The Evolution duology does this thematically with its villains: The first game has Eugene Leopold, the crown prince of the 8th Imperial Army, whose goal is to find the legendary cyframe, Evolutia, and elevate humanity into gods. He wastes no time dismissing Mag after it's clear that he is of no use to him and only sees Linear of interest, even before he realizes that she's actually Evolutia. At the end of the game, he fights the party in a military mecha. The second game has Yurka, a strange boy who visits Linear at night while in Museville. Yurka indirectly manipulates Mag and Linear into accomplishing his goals, with his end goal being to combine himself and Linear, the twin halves of Evolutia, into the Ulticannon to destroy humanity, with said Ulticannon being what he uses in the final battle. Additionally, while Eugene met with Mag early in the first game, Mag is unaware of Yurka's existence until Linear tells Mag about him late in the second game.
  • Fable:
    • In Fable I, the villain is a powerful monster called Jack of Blades who wants to conquer the world and the hero has two epic fights with him to the death.
    • In Fable II, Lucien Fairfax is the former mayor of Bowerstone who tries to use the dark power of The Tattered Spire to resurrect his murdered family but was corrupted by its construction and power. Lucien doesn't even get a proper boss as one of the heroes will just knock him down the spire.
    • And in Fable III, the final boss is a horde of eldritch monsters led by the Crawler who force the king/queen to make desperate choices and kill infected friends. There's no ambition, no greater plan for Albion's enslavement, just an all-consuming hunger.
  • The Big Bad of each Far Cry game differs from the last one in numerous ways:
    • The Jackal from Far Cry 2 is this to Dr. Krieger and Harland Doyle in Far Cry. They're all Americans, but they have differing occupations and goals. Krieger is a Mad Scientist responsible for creating genetically altered monstrosities known as Trigens on a small Micronesian island, whilst Doyle is a corrupt CIA agent. The Jackal is an Arms Dealer selling guns to two rival military factions in an unnamed African country. Both are Well Intentioned Extremists: Krieger forcibly mutates people because he thinks society is in danger of collapsing, and his Trigens are what will be able to survive it, whilst the Jackal is Playing Both Sides in the civil war so he can keep them attacking one another instead of the civilians, who would be caught in the crossfire if they ever stopped fighting. Krieger is an older, grey-haired man who only becomes a danger to Jack Carver after exposure to his own mutagen. The Jackal is a younger man and in much better physical condition. Krieger ultimately dies at Jack's hands, while the Jackal either blows up a mountain pass and himself with it to prevent the African armies advancing or bribes some border guards with a briefcase of diamonds before shooting himself (possibly, they Never Found the Body). Also, while the Jackal initially appears to be the Big Bad of his game, Harland Doyle appears to be on Jack Carver's side until he decides to betray him and take Krieger's mutagen for himself. In short, the Jackal was Good All Along, whereas Doyle was Evil All Along.
    • Pagan Min in Far Cry 4 bears some similarities and differences to Hoyt Volker in Far Cry 3. They're both brutal crime lords who rule over lands they're not native to (Hoyt rules the Rook Islands, Pagan rules Kyrat), they both are willing to kill their men if they do anything wrong, can display friendliness in spite of their brutality, and appreciate the finer things in life and dress sharply. They also started their criminal careers due to butting heads with their fathers, who they eventually killed. They are also both drug-users: Hoyt is a smoker, Pagan is a cocaine sniffer. Here, however, their similarities end. Hoyt sought to outdo his father, Pagan sought his father's approval, but eventually worked out that he'd never get it. Hoyt merely considers himself a businessman, Pagan views himself as the king of Kyrat, and not a level-headed king. They also have differing opinions of their respective Player Character antagonist: Hoyt hates Jason for destroying his criminal organization, Pagan seems to genuinely care for Ajay in spite of all the problems Ajay causes him. Most prominently, Pagan has genuine loved ones in the form of Ajay, Ishwari, and his daughter Lakshmana, whereas Hoyt only loves himself. On a purely cosmetic note, Hoyt is a black-haired South African who wears a grey suit and has a raspy voice, while Pagan is an Anglo-Chinese man with dyed-blonde hair who wears pink and has a deep voice.
    • The Project at Eden's Gate in Far Cry 5 operate similarly in practice to the Highwaymen in the follow-up sequel Far Cry: New Dawn, in that if you're not part of their gang/cult, they'll either take supplies from you or they'll kidnap/torture you into joining them. However, in terms of organization, they're different. The Project (or "Peggies", if you're part of the resistance) are a Christian doomsday cult who are preparing for the collapse of society and trying to survive it. The Highwaymen are a bunch of anarchistic robbers obsessed with hedonistic survivalism. Their leaders, Joseph Seed, and Mickey and Lou, embody this difference more than the rest of them. They're both powerful Faux Affably Evil characters, but Joseph relies on charisma, torture, and brainwashing to get what he wants, whereas the twins use straight-up force. They both had family members who they killed- Joseph had a daughter, Mickey and Lou had their father, Vince- but Joseph killed his daughter supposedly because God told him to, but more likely because he knew she'd live a dangerous life due to him being her father: Mickey and Lou killed their father to replace him as the leaders of the Highwaymen. Joseph had three siblings- two birth brothers, John and Jacob, and an adopted sister, Faith- to serve as his Dragons, whereas Mickey and Lou only have one another, and they're the only Highwaymen of significance. Joseph was a Happily Married man in his forties before his pregnant wife died in a car crash, and has two children- the baby daughter who he killed, and a bastard son called Ethan who Joseph took in after the Collapse and raised to adulthood. Mickey and Lou are in their twenties, unmarried, and don't have any children. Joseph is mainly reliant on drugs and supporters and a mystical empowering apple to fight his enemies, whereas Mickey and Lou use firearms or Improvised Weapons. Joseph is for the most part soft-spoken yet commanding, and polite in a creepy way, Mickey and Lou are loud, abrasive and deep-voiced, and openly rude. Joseph walks around shirtless most of the time, wears creepy yellow sunglasses, and Does Not Like Shoes as of New Dawn. Mickey and Lou wear a blue hoodie and pink body armour, respectively, along with biker helmets adorned with animal skulls. Joseph is a white man with a Beard of Evil and wears his hair in a man-bun; Mickey and Lou are black women who wear their hair in dyed white Braids of Action. Both of them have family they care for; Joseph had his siblings and his son Ethan, Mickey and Lou have each other and their mother. Finally, most importantly, they both lose a loved one to the Player Character, and have a Villainous BSoD, and can potentially be killed or spared by the player, but the way they react differs. Joseph, having had a Heel Realization following the death of Ethan, becomes a Death Seeker, and will go mad with guilt and despair if the Captain spares him, spending the rest of the game standing under his burning mystical tree screaming for release. Mickey, after the Captain kills Lou, is willing to Face Death with Dignity, but if the Captain doesn't kill her, she leaves Hope Country to atone for her actions and reconcile with her mother.
    • Col. Ike Sloan of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is this to Warchief Ull and Batari the Sun Daughter of Far Cry Primal, though in their case, they're more like Contrasting Spin-Off Antagonists. First of all, Sloan is a Cyborg Super Soldier from a war-torn version of the future based on an 80's action film, whereas Ull and Batari are cavemen from the prehistoric land of Oros. They're both high-ranking within the organizations that serve them, but Sloan is a US colonel, whereas Ull is chieftain of his tribe, and Batari is High Priestess of hers. Sloan is a traitor to his country and the world, whereas Ull and Batari are serving the best interests of their respective tribes, the Udam and the Izila (though Ull more-so than Batari). Sloan is a Bad Boss who's perfectly happy to let Sergeant Rex "Power" Colt kill the weaklings among his soldiers, whereas Ull is A Father to His Men, and Batari, while she doesn't display the same care as Ull, at least shows anger towards Takkar for attacking her people. Sloan and Batari have both killed or otherwise hurt people close to the hero, who happen to both be black; Sloan killed Rex's fellow Cyber-Commando and close friend Lt. TT "Spider" Brown after the first mission, whereas Batari enslaved Tensay, the Wenja shaman who serves as Takkar's mentor on being the Beast Master, some time before the game takes place, and burned his arm. All three have differing plans: Sloan plans on bombing the entire world with missiles filled with Blood Dragon blood, which will kill the weak and mutate the strong into savages, so that Sloan can fulfill his dreams of ruling over a Social Darwinist paradise, whereas Ull wants to kill and consume the Wenja tribe to save his people because they're dying from a sickness called "skull fire", and Batari wants to enslave all the neighbouring tribes to build a temple to the Izila's fire god, Krati, to prevent him from destroying the moon and all of Oros with it. Sloan claims that all of Rex's combat skills and memories are actually Sloan's, which in the Colonel's eyes, makes him Rex's father. Ull and Batari have no familial relation to Takkar, but they do have children of their own- Ull has a daughter and a baby, both of whom he entrusts to Takkar in his dying moments to prevent them from getting "skull fire", and Batari had a son called Krati, who she burnt alive for rebelling against her, and who now, she fears, plans to return as a god to take revenge on her. Sloan and Ull are both muscular powerhouses who can wipe the floor with Rex and Takkar, respectively, whereas Batari is a woman of average musculature who relies on combat pragmatism. All three are eager to kill people for different reasons, Sloan to purge the weak, Ull to give his tribe fresh food, and Batari to obtain Human Sacrifice to appease her gods. Sloan fights with cyber-soldiers and cybernetic attack creatures, in addition to Blood Dragons: Ull and Batari use normal human warriors instead, albeit with special weapons unique to each of their tribes (rot bane for Ull and the Udam, fire bombs for Batari and the Izila]], and Takkar can attack them with the native fauna of Oros. Further, while Sloan and Batari die unrepentant villains, Ull shows nobility and asks Takkar to Take Care of the Kids before he dies. On an aesthetic note, they all have some form of scarring to identify them as the villains, though different scars for each one. Sloan has tainted green skin, exposed muscles, and scaley patches, due to experimenting on himself with Dragon blood; Ull has a melted nose and ears, due to the Izila shooting him with fire arrows; and Batari just has ritual scarification running across the bridge of her nose. Sloan has one creepy red Electronic Eye, being cybernetic; Ull has Icy Blue Eyes; and Batari has dark brown eyes. Sloan is a white (or possibly Latino) man who wears a simple military vest top, a Nice Hat, and army trousers, whereas Ull is a pale-skinned archaic Homo Sapiens who wears cave bear furs and bones, and goes bare-headed, showing off his short dreadlocks and half-bald head. Batari is a black woman who also wears dreadlocks, in addition to wicker headdress, but in contrast to the two male villains, she walks around in just a skirt and sandals, with both her bare breasts on display.
  • The villains of the Fallout series can vary greatly, though they all generally fall under Well-Intentioned Extremist in one way or another:
    • The original game had "The Master", an insane mutant, who sought to assimilate all of humanity into his Super Mutant Army.
    • The second and third games have the Enclave, one of the most advanced factions in the series, who saw most the Wasteland's inhabitants as impure due to their exposure to radiation and sought to wipe them out. Though by the third game, most of them have decided to settle on just ruling over other humans, as long they're not "too" soaked with radiation.
    • From the second game, Frank Horrigan contrasts with The Master. Both are mutants, even if Horrigan refuses to consider himself one, but the Master is a very intelligent Big Bad who's confined to the Overseer chair, while Frank Horrigan is a Dumb Muscle Dragon-in-Chief who's a hulking soldier in power armor. The Master can be shown that his plan is doomed to fail, but Horrigan bluntly shuts down any attempts to reason with him.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has Caesar's Legion, a fanatical slave army, that saw reliance on modern technology and medicine as a weakness, only begrudgingly using modern weaponry out necessity, led by a brilliant and charismatic, but delusional, Roman wannabe.
    • Depending on the player's own personal views, the Institute and the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout 4 can both be seen as this, both of which are technologically advanced Knight Templars. The Institute is one of the few factions continuing to pioneer science in the post-apocalypse, but they're homicidally short-sighted by a lack of proper government and have their every physical whim granted by their personal machines and enslaved Artificial Humans. This utterly disgusts the Brotherhood, who were founded on the principle of keeping advanced technology out of the hands of those they see as not fit to wield it.
      • The Institute are also this trope towards Caesar's Legion from the previous game. As alluded to above, the Institute is technophilic, basing their entire society around the creation of Artificial Humans. Meanwhile, the technophobic Legion deliberately keeps themselves limited on the tech spectrum because of Caesar's personal beliefs. The Legion is also a purely military organization run in a brutal dictatorship that rules over its subjects with harsh and direct punishment. The Institute is a purely civilian organization run in a loose confederacy (the various Institute divisions are mentioned as mostly working independently unless the Directorate personally steps in and wants multiple departments to work together on a single project) that rules over its subjects with cloak-and-dagger tactics that breed paranoia and makes sure people never know who was really holding the smoking gun. The Legion's military is powerful and expansionist, with only the NCR exceeding their might, while the Institute is actually rather weak in a straight fight, only kept safe by their secrecy and focus on espionage. The Legion also deliberately stylizes itself after both the Roman Empire and Sparta, while the Institute is loosely based after Renaissance Italy and the Soviet Union (although they intentionally try to avoid iconography because they see themselves as the true inheritors of the future and not chained to any past).
  • Final Fantasy has done this from the beginning.
    • Chaos, once a disgraced knight of Corneria, is The Man Behind the Man who entered a mutual agreement with the Fiends.
    • The Emperor is a despot who openly orchestrated his forces' hostile invasion of foreign territories, and betrayed the Devil to go One-Winged Angel.
    • Cloud of Darkness is a natural force come to pass and made its appearance at the very end.
      • Xande also merits mention: Unlike Garland and the Emperor, who were initially normal men who eventually craved power, Xande was an immortal whose loss of immortality was the driving force for his actions. Additionally, unlike the aforementioned men who grew stronger upon tapping into dark powers, Xande merely dies after being defeated and is replaced by the Cloud of Darkness.
    • Zemus orchastrates the entire game from afar with mind control, and comes back through sheer rage.
    • Exdeath is a centuries-old clump of demons stuffed into a tree that once wished to rule over the world; however, after acquiring the power of the Void, his goal becomes the pursuit of returning everything to nothing.
    • Kefka broke a lot of ground for Final Fantasy baddies by not only being completely cuckoo-for-Chocobo-Puffs, but also starting off fairly weak. Midway through the game, you actually fail to stop him from playing his trump card and he gains godly power through manipulation.
    • Sephiroth was the most famous soldier of the Shinra Private Military Company, and used to be the hero to all, until he learned the truth about the circumstances of his birth. You also spend a lot of time doing things for him.
    • Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future who uses the present sorceresses as proxies. Her use of Seifer also foils Squall's relationship with Rinoa.
    • Kuja is a theatrical, misanthropic artificially made young man who goes mad when he finds out his true identity.
    • Final Fantasy X has a lot of villains, but the biggest foil is Jecht, Jerk Jock supreme who followed a path similar to his son's own and now regrets what he does. Seymour was driven insane by a combination of parental abandonment and an addiction to magical powers.
    • Final Fantasy X-2 has Shuyin, a vengeful warrior who is already dead and decides to destroy all of Spira to enact his revenge.
    • Vayne, like Kefka, isn't some great evil supernatural force, but a normal man. But unlike Kefka, he isn't completely insane. Instead, he is a brilliant politician and military tactician who decides to win the long war between two powerful empires by seizing control of the world's most important natural resource. He is calm, collected, and unlike most Final Fantasy villains, he comes the closest to winning in the end and in some ways, does get what he wants. Also unlike many Final Fantasy Villains, he isn't shown very often in game, but his decisions are immediately felt worldwide.
    • Final Fantasy XIII by contrast has Barthandelus, who is effectively one of the manipulating gods that Vayne would have opposed, and who seeks the destruction of those he is charged with protecting. And while his plan does eventually work, it doesn't occur the way he wanted and takes far longer to come to pass (around another 1000 years).
    • Caius Ballad from Final Fantasy XIII-2 rounds back around to being a man, albeit an enormously powerful one. In comparison to Barthandelus, who was a Well-Intentioned Extremist based on the world, Caius only cares about one person, Yuel, and is willing to destroy time to preserve her. And while, like Barthandelus, he gets what he wants...it's not in the manner that he hoped for.
    • The divinity phase is switched once again for the finale of the XIII trilogy, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII with Bhunivelze, who is presented as the Big Good initially and genuinely wishes to save everyone. Until it's revealed that while he does intend to do so, he also intends to filter humanity into soulless puppets, while Caius wanted to preserve Yuel.
    • Final Fantasy XIV, being an MMORPG, features a succession of antagonists over the course of its run.
      • In the original "Legacy" game, the Big Bad was Legatus Nael van Darnusnote  of the Garlean Empire. Believing that the threat of Primal summonings in Eorzea was too great, and being corrupted by the presence hidden inside the moon of Dalamud, the Legatus enacted "Project Meteor" to bring the moon crashing down on the Eorzean nations.
      • In "A Realm Reborn", the reins were taken by Legatus Gaius van Baelsar who subscribed much more to a sort of Pragmatic Villainy. Believing in conquest over destruction, Gaius sought to establish dominance and combat the Primal threat by piloting the Ultima Weapon. However, he ended up being an unwitting pawn of the Ascian Lahabrea, who caused the Ultima Weapon to blow up Gaius's own base before Gaius was defeated by the Warrior of Light.
      • The "Heavensward" expansion has a Big Bad Duumvirate due to the Forever War between the Ishgardians and the dragons. The bulk of the story arc leads to a confrontation with Ishgard's ruler, Archbishop Thordan VII, who actually hijacks Lahabrea and devours the Ascian's energy in order to turn himself and his most loyal knights into Primals. The following updates, though, focus on the dragon Niddhog as the primary threat to peace. Having long ago lost himself to an all-consuming rage and lust for revenge against Ishgard, Niddhog is more of a force of pure malice than anything else.
      • In "Stormblood", the antagonist is Zenos yae Galvus, crown prince of the Garlean Empire. Unlike the previous foes, Zenos is a pure Blood Knight who doesn't actually care about anything other than finding an opponent to fight who will actually pose a challenge. He eventually decides that the Warrior of Light is both his greatest enemy and only "friend".
      • "Shadowbringers" has Emet-Selch, a.k.a. Solus zos Galvusnote , a.k.a. Hades. One of the most powerful and manipulative of Ascians, Emet-Selch is the architect of incalculable suffering throughout the ages, yet presents himself as an Affably Evil friendly enemy for most of the story arc. When you get toward the end of the expansion, however, you find out that he views the world as "broken" by the Big Good, and every calamity he and his brethren have brought about has been for the purposes of rejoining the shard worlds with the source so that the utopian home he remembers from ages past can be rebuilt.
    • Final Fantasy XV features Ardyn. In contrast to the previous villains, who either didn't have personal relationships with the heroes or did, Ardyn wants to kill Noctis from the get-go; in comparison to Sephiroth and Cloud, who had developed enmity in their backstory; Noctis barely even knew who Ardyn was initially. Rather than be embraced in a way by the gods like the fal'Cie and Bhunivelze would do with the heroes of the XIII trilogy, Ardyn was spurned and shunned by them, and while they ultimately intended to save existence to a degree, Ardyn makes no such claims; he only wants Noctis to survive so that he can kill him at his strongest, the world be damned. Finally, unlike most humanoid villains, he doesn't have an One-Winged Angel form and is fought specifically as a Duel Boss. And on top of all that, he has his own personal Astral Ifrit, which he summons against a party that cannot control the appearance of their own Astrals. Finally, for the very first time in the franchise's nearly half-century of history, the story's main villain gets exactly what he wanted in exactly the way he wanted it - a fight with the fully-empowered Noctis, the devastation of the world, and end of the Lucian bloodline as Noctis dies with no heirs.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • Most main antagonists are either hulking Tin Tyrants or manipulative Evil Sorcerers who seek to Take Over the World, or incomprehensible dragons or other god-like entities that seek to level it. They also tend to be the all leaders of their factions and have their own unique classes. The Final Bosses of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, on the other hand, buck this trend.
      • In Thracia 776, Veld is certainly a major threat, but he is clearly subordinated to the main antagonists of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Manfroy and Julius. He is also a surprisingly weak Dark Bishop who is only separated from the random chapter bosses you mow down by his personal Stone tome.
      • In Fates: Conquest, Takumi is your own brother who seeks revenge on you for betraying him and getting his mother killed. He is never given the Big Bad position on his own, as he is either subordinate to Ryoma or a thrall of whatever corrupted Garon (revealed to be Anankos on the Revelation route). Finally, he is a mechanically unremarkable Sniper who relies on a very dangerous skillset and a stupidly powerful 1-4 range weapon to kick your ass.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has Lyon. This is made most apparent when compared to his immediate two predecessors, Nergal and Zephiel. Compared to them, Lyon isn't an Obviously Evil Tin Tyrant or Evil Sorceror with a sympathetic backstory. Instead, the Big Bad is a Tragic Villain whose friendship with the heroes helped lead to his fall to villainy - and it's not due to the heroes actions messing things up, it's due to his own attempts to get better that he messes up and falls.
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Devin Weston is this for most of the previous antagonists of the series, who were mostly small-time thugs and old school mobsters. In many ways, Devin Weston is a Foil or even an inverted Shadow Archetype to them, a reflection of the frustrations of antagonists like Jimmy Pegorino and the personification of what every antagonistic mobster would wish to be: legal, powerful, billionaire, feared, and hedonistic. However, despite his influence and power, he is a complete coward and absolutely lacks any intimidating aspect.
  • Justice and Dizzy from Guilty Gear: The Missing Link and Guilty Gear X. Both are Commander Gears, and even relatives (Dizzy is Justice's daughter,) but while the former is a genocidal warlord in Powered Armor out to exterminate all mankind, the latter is a kind Friend to All Living Things who just wants to be left alone, and the only reason you're going after her at all is the threat she poses as a Commander Gear. They both have Testament as their right-hand man as well, who themself is notably different in personality between games, being the Lone Psycho kind of Goth in Missing Link as a result of being controlled by Justice, and a Gloomy Atoner Goth in X as they choose to protect Dizzy of his own free will.
    • I-No from XX isn't a Gear at all and has no connection to Justice, and is working for another character - That Man. She's also utterly sadistic and manipulative, frequently causing mayhem for no reason other than The Evulz, leading to That Man having to clean up her messes when they get too extreme.
    • Valentine from Overture is once again connected to Justice, and is an Emotionless Girl dutifully working to further the agenda of an unknown Big Bad (revealed in Xrd to be The Universal Will.) The only time she shows emotion when you finally thwart her plans, at which point she flies into an Unstoppable Rage.
    • Ramlethal from Xrd is another "Valentine" like the one in Overture, and from her first appearance it's clear from her sporting a Slasher Smile at the end that while she tries to keep up an act of being an Emotionless Girl like her predecessor, she's already developing emotions. Also unlike her predecessor, she's actually redeemed at the end of the story.
  • Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James: The villain of the first game is the corrupt Sheriff Jack Carson, a sworn enemy of Jesse James who is directly responsible for the death of Jesse's best friend Cole, and intends to form an alliance with Pancho Villa to massacre all the outlaws, including Jesse himself, where most of the game revolves around Jesse trying to stop that meeting. In the second game, Revenge of Jesse James, however, the new villain is Bob Younger, Jesse's Evil Former Friend who, due to Misplaced Retribution, blames Jesse over his brother's death, firstly by exposing Jesse for robbing Fort Knox (making Jesse a wanted man in the process) and then having his legion of outlaws hunting Jesse in every level.
  • In the first Halo trilogy, the main threat, aside from the Covenant, was the Flood, a biological Hive Minded parasite led by the Gravemind. In the second trilogy, their role is taken up by Forerunner Promethean constructs, led by the Didact in Halo 4 and Cortana and the Warden Eternal in Halo 5: Guardians. Notably, the Prometheans were deployed against the Flood during the last days of the Forerunner Ecumene. The Covenant themselves go from the dominant force in the Orion Arm in the first trilogy to a smaller but more fanatical terrorist group in the second one; in fact, the specific faction the player fights is only one of many Covenant remnants.
    • The Banished, the main villains of Halo Wars 2 and Halo Infinite, have the same species as the Covenant but are otherwise very different. The Covenant was a religious, theocratic empire, had predominantly purple structures, vessels, and weapons, and was ruled by the spindly, non-combatant Prophets/San 'Shyuum. The Banished are outcast rebels who rejected the Covenant religion, have predominantly red structures, vessels, and weapons, and are ruled by the bulky, violent Brutes/Jiralhanae. Also, while the Covenant Brutes had a vicious Interservice Rivalry with the Elites/Sangheili that eventually turned into an Enemy Civil War, the Brutes and Elites in the Banished get along just fine (the surprisingly warm interactions between the Brute Escharum and the Elite Jega 'Rdomnai in Infinite demonstrate this well).
  • Iron Marines makes a contrast with the villain factions of the game's three worlds/planets, with their motives, their nature and their weaponry/abilities.
  • Kingdom Hearts: while Master Xehanort is the overall Big Bad of the Dark Seeker Saga, he and his incarnations contrast each other.
    • Kingdom Hearts has Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, Xehanort’s Heartless who waxes on passionately about darkness and has an army of Heartless under his command while manipulating the Disney villains from behind the scenes.
    • Kingdom Hearts II has Xemnas, Xehanort’s Nobody who is also the leader of Organization XIII and relies on both the organization and lesser Nobodies to carry out his will and wants to create an artificial Kingdom Hearts so that he and his fellow Nobodies can become whole again.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has Master Xehanort himself, a dark Keyblade Master who wants to unlock the secrets of both Kingdom Hearts and the Keyblade War by creating two beings- one of pure light and one of pure darkness- and have them fight each other to reforge the legendary χ-blade.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has Young Xehanort, who is Master Xehanort’s younger self with the power to travel through time and manages to interrupt the Mark of Mastery exam in order to make Sora the thirteenth vessel in the Real Organization XIII.
    • Kingdom Hearts III has Master Xehanort again, and this time he is the leader of the Real Organization XIII and plans to reforge the χ-blade by starting another Keyblade War via the clash of the Seven Guardians of Light and the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness.
  • The King of Fighters has the saga villains that contrast each other.
    • Orochi from the Orochi Saga, is an infamous creature of legend that has existed since immemorial times, and seeks to destroy mankind to protect the earth. He also the god and leader of a cult called the Hakkeshu to help him in his plans.
    • Igniz from the NESTS Saga, is the leader of NESTS, a Nebulous Evil Organization that specializes in bio-engineering, and in contrast to Orochi who is a Physical God and seeks to destroy mankind, Igniz seeks to become a god by gathering data from the fighters and even sees humanity as nothing more than playthings for his experiments and entertainment.
    • Saiki, from the Tales of Ash Saga, is a deity created by the planet like Orochi, but contrasting both Orochi and Igniz, he managed to have descendants after he went into hiding and wants to use Orochi's power to go back in time and change the past so he can rule the world in both the past and future.
    • Otoma-Raga, from the Shun'ei Saga, is yet another godly being, though in her case she hails from outside the dimension KOF takes place in, unlike the previous antagonists who were all from Earth. While Orochi is based on Japanese mythology and Saiki is mentioned to be the western counterpart to him, Otoma instead takes inspiration from African mythology. Oh, and she's also female.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Darth Malak is a physically towering villain, who strictly follows the Sith line of strength = power. He's not subtle and will destroy a whole planet for one Jedi and has a simple plan, use the Star Forge, build a lot of powerful weapons and conquer the galaxy. In his death scene, Malak admits that he deserves it because he wasn't strong enough to be the true Sith lord.
    • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: the third member of the Sith Triumvirate, Darth Traya is a anti-villain with Black And Gray Morality; she's also a physically weak, blind old woman who begins the series disgraced and exiled by the Sith, and actually spends most of the game as a main party-member known as Kreia. Hating the Force itself for dictating countless galactic struggles in pursuit of balance, she wants to destroy the Force through manipulation of her apprentice the Jedi Exile. Most of the time Traya doesn't kill her most dangerous, potential enemies, but breaks them into serving her, e.g. Anton, Hanharr, Darth Sion. The most 'violent' thing she does beyond self-defense is kill the Jedi Masters who planned to cut the Force from her apprentice.
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic, has The Sith Emperor Vitiate, who, like Malak and Traya has a connection to Revan as he’s the one who turned him to the dark side in the first place, but in contrast to Malak and Traya, is a Sith pureblood and the founder of the true Sith Empire, who uses his followers as pawns, secretly created new empires and tried to become a god by committing genocide.
    • He also plays this with himself, through his multiple personas:
      • Darth Vitiate orchestrates events atop a lofty, shadowed throne, instilling fear through mere presence and the extent of his empire and machinations. Once confronted, he is dismissive of any threats, and sees even death as just a setback.
      • Valkorian is more in-touch with humanity and how to manipulate it, playing brother against brother against sister, all the while presenting a respectable facade to the host of his spirit. This is all an act, of course, and once they all challenge him, he is particularly wrathful in attacking their emotional weaknesses.
      • Tenebrae, "purified" of his original self's detachment and distractions, is the most straight-forward—a true Sith in his grasp at power. He discards manipulation for simply attempting to overwhelm his captives' minds, and while he is complimentary of the PC's accomplishments, he doesn't waste time when trying to consume them too. As a result of his overconfidence, he is the most shocked, outraged, and cornered of the personalities when his resurrection is revealed to have been a trap all along.
  • In all of The Legend of Zelda games that feature the same Link but follow a different villain, the new villain will contrast the previous in one way or another. (Often they inevitably end up being Hijacked by Ganon anyhow.)
    • The first game had Ganon, a feared leader of the monsters that ravaged Hyrule, and who is defined by his desire to possess the full Triforce. He evades Link with invisibility and fires magical bolts at him. The Final Boss of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was Link's Shadow, a Doppelgänger of Link and a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. He is the final test that must be overcome before Link can obtain the Triforce of Courage, and he relies entirely on his sword to fight.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past features the return of Ganon, having used the alter ego of Agahnim as he sought to regain power. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening features the Nightmares, who differ from all other villains in that they want to save the world, as while they are a threat that keeps the Windfish asleep, defeating them and waking up the Windfish will cause Koholint Island and its inhabitants to disappear.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf is the king of the Gerudo who seeks to claim the Triforce to conquer the world of Hyrule out of his hunger for power. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the demonic entity in the titular Artifact of Doom took control of the Skull Kid to destroy the world of Termina For the Evulz.
    • The sub-trilogy that started with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has this with its three main villains. In The Wind Waker, Ganondorf, after breaking free from the seal that contained him, had started to outgrow his original evil nature and become a more complex figure who wanted the Triforce to restore Hyrule despite still wanting to control it. In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Bellum was a mindless beast who was trying to break free from its own seal and only seemed interested in consuming life force. Also unlike Ganondorf, Link does not know of Bellum's existence until midway in the game. Even their signature hideouts fit this. The island-based Forsaken Fortress was designed by Ganondorf to repel any intruders, and he abandons it partway through the game. Bellum's Ghost Ship is mobile and lasts the entire game, and it was designed to use rumors of treasure to lure people in to have their life force drained. They are followed by Cole in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, a small, leprechaun-like demon who at first pretends to be on the side of the royal family. While Ganondorf was an Affably Evil Magic Knight and Bellum was an Eldritch Abomination with powers derived from the Sands of Time, Cole is a Smug Snake who has to fall back on his dragon Bryne or his superior Malladus when faced with a threat.
    • Yuga and Lady Maud were both obsessed with beauty, but in different ways. Yuga was a vain painter while Lady Maud was a vain fashion designer. Yuga was The Sociopath who manipulated Princess Hilda by pretending to care for Lorule so he could claim the Triforce to remake the world in his image, Lady Maud cursed Princess Styla with an ugly dress as a "gift" because she hated her cute outfits and is offended that it is called a curse. Another departure from the series usual villains is that Lady Maud doesn't die when she's defeated.
    • Though The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a prequel to the franchise, Ghirahim was designed with this mindset as a contrast to Ganondorf. Ganondorf wears black armor while Ghirahim wore a white suit. Ganondorf was muscular and masculine, Ghirahim was slim and feminine. Both take on transformations, but while Ganon was a hulking pig monster, Ghirahim's transformation, his true form, was still the same body type. Even their Leitmotifs sound like opposites with Ganondorf's ascending and Ghirahim's descending.
    • In a strange case of being two variants of the same character, the Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was specifically designed to contrast his appearance in Wind Waker. In the Wind Waker timeline, Ganondorf is humbled by his defeat at the hands of the Hero of Time and the Goddesses' flooding of Hyrule, leading to an Older and Wiser Ganon who, while still evil, shows signs of being a Noble Demon and Well-Intentioned Extremist who seems to genuinely regret some of his past actions, or at least their unintended consequences. In the Twilight Princess timeline, however, Ganondorf's initial plan to get the Triforce is thwarted before it even begins, only for him to later get the Triforce of Power anyway due to a "divine prank" that was the result of the Hero of Time's Time Travel. This turns Ganon into a manipulative, sadistic brute with a god complex and no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
    • Calamity Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is considered by the people of Hyrule to be a force of nature; nothing like the Sorcerous Overlord incarnations it had assumed previously. It takes the form of a great miasma cloud in the shape of a serpentine boar, encircling the ruins of Hyrule castle where Princess Zelda has been keeping its true form contained for the past century.note 
  • Life Is Strange:
    • The original game has Mark Jefferson as the kidnapper of Rachel Amber. He is a Hidden Villain who's identity is hinted at but not revealed until the end, and seems to be a nice person before being revealed as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. He also has a respectable job as a teacher, is a beloved artist, and has Sean Prescott backing him up, all while hiding behind his pawn Nathan Prescott who does some of the dirty work. In Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, Damon Merrick is a gangster who is Obviously Evil, presented as the villain from the start, and has less resources than Jefferson does. He also has the inverse relationship with James Amber as Mark does with Natahn, as Damon is working for James but is blatantly using him and the one really in charge.
    • In The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Charles Eriksen is a normal father in contrast to the other two, and is treated much more sympathetically, as while he is an abusive father, he is a Troubled Abuser who is driven by the death of his wife and is trying to improve.
    • In Life Is Strange 2, the antagonist is not a single character like in the previous games, but an organization- the police, who chase after the Diaz brothers after an accident involving Daniel's psychic powers killed a cop. Unlike the others, they are depicted mainly as a Hero Antagonist who have no ill will but are doing their job. The closest thing to a single main antagonist is Special Agent Maria Flores, the head of the Diaz brothers case, but she is also a Hero Antagonist. Also, unlike the others, she is female. It also contrasts the previous entries by having a series of Arc Villains to also antagonize the Diaz brothers.
  • Metroid:
    • Mother Brain, from the first game and one of the main antagonists of the franchise as a whole, is an intelligent Supercomputer whose goal is to conquer the galaxy and is also the true leader of the Space Pirates.
    • The Queen Metroid, the main villain of the second game, is a simple feral creature that is the source of the Metroids and protective of it’s offspring.
    • Metroid Fusion has SA-X a member of the X Parasite species, compared to most villains is a copy of Samus, well in her suit at least, and isn’t the leader of it’s race, but still serves as a main villain due to its intelligence and power.
    • Dark Samus, the Big Bad of the Prime Trilogy is this to SA-X. Both are Evil Counterparts to Samus, retain her weaponry and out for her blood. While the SA-X is merely using her tools as Samus would, Dark Samus puts a twist on almost every tool both of them share and even displays tricks Samus lacks entirely. Whereas SA-X seeks to kill Samus knowing that she possesses Metroid DNA which fully counters the X Parasites, Dark Samus seems to want to rule the universe through Phazon to infect every planet. Dark Samus was originally a Metroid while SA-X is an X Parasite. To further this contrast, Dark Samus was originally Metroid Prime, who is a mutated Metroid, the natural enemy of the X Parasites.
    • Raven Beak from Metroid Dread contrasts to most of the previous main villains of the series:
      • Most of them such as the Queen Metroid and SA-X are just instinct-driven monsters with only vaguely-implied intelligence.
      • Mother Brain is a megalomaniacal mastermind with mostly simple-minded beasts working under her through mental manipulation rather than brute force. This is best seen with Kraid's status under her versus his status under Raven Beak.
      • Dark Samus, while about as cruel, only coveted the Phazon and had Omnicidal Maniac goals.
      • Alarmingly, the one that Raven has the most in common with is Ridley, in that they are both violent, narcissistic and destructive commanders with no redeeming qualities to speak of; and even then, while Ridley's monstrous personality is only implied in certain sources like the Metroid manga and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Raven's depravity is made front and center from the get-go. To top it off, the other antagonists were Arc Villains at the very least, while Raven Beak singlehandedly kickstarted the entire series' Myth Arc, indirectly causing all of the above mentioned's own schemes or conceptions. In contrast, Ridley is consistently The Dragon to the true Big Bad, in spite of his rivalry with Samus. It's telling when, according to sources such as the Manga, Ridley at least had a measure of camaraderie with his men despite being a Bad Boss and seemingly had an actual friendship with Kraid, while Raven has loyalty to absolutely no one but himself and seemingly left his men to fend for themselves during the X Parasite outbreak. Their relationships to Samus are are also polar opposites, with Ridley having orphaned Samus by killing her human parents, while Raven Beak considers her his daughter due to him donating his DNA to her.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • The final boss of Mortal Kombat is Shang Tsung, an elderly, shapeshifting sorcerer who oversees the MK tournament. His fighting style revolves around tossing fiery skulls and copying other characters.
    • Mortal Kombat II introduces Shang Tsung's master, Shao Kahn. Kahn is a massive barbarian warlord who simply overwhelms his opponents with sheer brute strength and lightning speed...when he isn't taunting them.
    • Mortal Kombat 4 and by extension Mortal Kombat X have Shinnok, Elder God of Death who is less imposing than Shao Kahn, but is skilled in sorcery, has been manipulating events behind the scenes, and fights with giant skeletal hands and necromancy. He also manages to be The Corrupter, manipulating Raiden, Liu Kang, and Daegon into turning evil.
    • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has the sorcerers Shang Tsung and Quan Chi as the Big Bad Duumvirate. They are the first main villains to canonically win at the end of the story.
    • Mortal Kombat: Deception has Onaga who is far more powerful and imposing that either Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, as displayed in the opening cinematic where he No Sells their attacks. Onaga was also the original ruler of Outworld before he was betrayed and killed by Shao Kahn.
    • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has Daegon as the Big Bad of Konquest Mode. He is an Edenian demigod unlike the previous primary villains who were either from Outworld or Netherealm. He is also opposed by his brother Taven while other villains were opposed by main heroes who were biologically unrelated to them.
    • Mortal Kombat 11 has Kronika, an ancient being who has been manipulating the events of the entire series from behind the scenes, only taking a more proactive role when Raiden proves to be too immutable an obstacle. On top of being the first female lead villain in the series, she is also coldly pragmatic, indifferent to those around her, and exhibits a mastery over the flow of time that makes her the most dangerous foe in the series up to this point.
  • No More Heroes III gives us FU. The antagonists of the prior two major entries, Jeane and Jasper Batt Jr., were both professional assassins with some sort of personal connection to Travis, and were largely unseen as a presence until the very end. FU, on the other hand, is a space alien that conquers planets, has no apparent link to the series-wide Cycle of Revenge theme, and openly shows himself, seemingly wanting to get in Travis' way. He also happens to be a childhood friend of Damon, the Greater-Scope Villain of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, who does have a vendetta against Travis, yet is similarly not hidden and not an assassin. In addition, FU doesn't particularly care if his loved ones die as long as he can keep his game of death going.
  • The Jail Monarchs of Persona 5 Strikers are mirror images of the Palace Rulers of Persona 5, but the most consistent contrast is that the Jail Monarchs are Anti Villains who turned to the Metaverse out of desperation, while the Palace Rulers were Asshole Victims who got what was coming to them.
    • Alice Hiiragi and Suguru Kamoshida are both Starter Villains associated with Lust, and at first glance they seem similar, with Kamoshida viewing women as objects and Alice being a Serial Home Wrecker who steals men, but ultimately, the former is a bully with a lust for sex and power, while the latter turns out to be a bully victim with a lust for revenge. Their differences are encapsulated in their initial interactions with Ann Takamaki: Kamoshida became obsessed with her as a Lust Object, while Alice irrationally pigeonholes her as an Alpha Bitch simply because she's a model.
    • Ango Natsume and Ichiryuusai Madarame are both hack artists who've given up their integrity for money. The latter, however pretends to have an artistic vision while plagiarizing his students works, while the former sincerely wanted to a great writer, but is painfully aware he doesn't have the talent for it, and has settled for brainwashing people into buying up his copy-paste word salad.
    • Mariko Hyodo and Kunizaku Okamura are both Bad Bosses who overwork their staff. But Okamura was just a plain old Corrupt Corporate Executive willing to do anything to break into politics, while Mariko is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who is going overboard to get re-elected as mayor and clean up political corruption. Their interactions with Haru Okamura shows their differences most clearly: Okamura was willing to use his daughter for his own benefit, while Mariko is affectionate to her.
    • Akane Hasegawa and Futaba Sakura are both young girls associated with Wrath and complicated relationships with their fathers. Futaba, however, turned her wrath inwards in the form of suicidal depression, while the former has turned her wrath outwards in a petty hatred of all forms of authority. Likewise, Futaba got to personally know the Phantom Thieves and joined them as a member, while the Jail Monarch has a blind idol worship of the Thieves to the point her Shadow masquerades as one and fights with group of cognitive knock-offs she insists are the real deal.
    • Akira Konoe and Masayoshi Shido are the Pride-associated leaders of their conspiracies and have country-spanning ambitions, but Shido was a Faux Affably Evil thug with delusions of grandeur, only got as far as he did with intimidation and brute force, and only cared about his personal prosperity as he spoke about Japan's. The Jail Monarch, meanwhile, is genuinely charismatic, caring and far more intelligent, and truly wants to improve the country. However, their contrasts serve to show their similar flaws: their dependence on supernatural aid and their arrogant belief that they alone are the only ones capable of fixing the country's problems.
  • The main antagonists in Pokémon tend to do this, normally taking in account the respective legendary mascot Pokémon of every generation of games, which also normally counts as an antagonist in a primal way:
    • Generation I introduces Giovanni, a well-known mob leader who secretly holds the title of Gym Leader, and his Team Rocket, a mafia-like organization whose main motivations are profit. Though not faced in the main story, there is also the local "major" Olympus Mon Mewtwo, an extremely powerful clone of Mew, though Team Rocket has no connection with it (despite what the animé may say).
    • Generation II introduces Archer, Ariana, Proton and Petrel. Though they were given distinct names and designs in the Gen IV remakes; before that, they were largely identical Rocket Executives with no names, the new commanders of Team Rocket, who unlike Giovanni, are quite weak on their own and only desire the comeback of their leader, their desperation being a main point of the plot. Lugia and Ho-Oh contrast Mewtwo in being a more benign (though hardly less dangerous) duo who are constantly at odds against each other, though they are (again) never mentioned by the villains and are completely optional encounters (not so much in the remakes).
    • Generation III:
      • The game introduces two different teams, as opposed to only Team Rocket in the previous two generations. Maxie (leader of Team Magma) and Archie (leader of Team Aqua), as well as being Foils to each other, are also radically different from the previously thuggish antagonists, being ecoterrorists who plan the best for humankind in their own distorted views; as well as Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza, super-ancient masters of land, ocean, and sky, who unlike their previous counterparts are integral to the plot, and while not evil per se, are definitely more brutal and dangerous to the world than Lugia, Ho-Oh, and even Mewtwo.
      • While the previous rival characters, Blue and Silver, were jerkasses, Brendan/May and Wally are both Friendly Rivals; future rivals would all be much friendlier, with the exceptions of Gladion and Bede. In addition, Brendan/May is the only rival who totally quits being a Pokémon Trainer during the game, to the point that in the original Ruby and Sapphire they are the only rival who never fully evolves their starter (this was altered in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire).
    • Generation IV introduces Cyrus, a 27-year old Straw Nihilist who hopes to destroy all of existence, since he sees humans and reality as a whole as pointless, as opposed to Maxie and Archie's Well-Intentioned Extremist motivations. Team Galactic, unlike the previous teams, exists in the open and are constantly treated as a bunch of harmless weirdos (that is, until they start bombing places). Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina, along with Arceus, are each an Animalistic Abomination that embodies cosmic concepts, such as space, time, antimatter/otherness, and divinity, respectively, unlike their very Earth-centered previous counterparts. Their threat comes less from natural brutality and more from sheer destructiveness and alienation, such as Giratina accidentally creating a world-consuming black hole-like portal while trying to protect reality. Giratina also deserves mention for being a Foil to Rayquaza, with both of them being the third members of their groups. While Rayquaza is the more benevolent of his trio, Giratina, while serving a similar function, is much more destructive and less noble.
    • The first games of Generation V introduce N, a boy raised by Pokémon with very strong convictions, but very little knowledge of the outside world, and Team Plasma, a PETA-esque Animal Wrongs Group who makes the the population of the Pokémon World question their beliefs. The sequels then cut to the real Big Bad, Ghetsis, N's megalomaniacal evil father, and the second incarnation (and splinter) of Team Plasma, who evolved to full-blown terrorists interested in world-domination. Local legendaries Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem are a group who used to be a single Pokémon, and unlike the cosmic-themed trio of Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina, they represent the very human concepts of truth and ying, ideals and yang, and emotional voidness. Kyurem also is a foil to Giratina and Rayquaza, seeing as it allies with Team Plasma due to its desperation to be complete once again.
    • Generation VI introduces Lysandre, a beauty-obsessed man, and Team Flare, a group of supremacists who believe that only themselves are allowed to live. Unlike the other villains, Lysandre is a Villain with Good Publicity, being respected across Kalos for his inventions such as the Holo Caster and for his philanthropy, and unlike the selfish Ghetsis, he sees his plan as doing the world he loves a service by protecting its resources from being used up. The trio of Xerneas, who represents life, Yvetal, representing death and destruction, and Zygarde, who represents equilibrium and potential, having a Nordic inspiration, as opposed to the eastern influenced Tao Trio of Reshiram, Zekrom and Kyurem.
    • Generation VII features Team Skull, a... rather inept equivalent of Team Rocket that is regarded by a good deal of the Alola region as a joke, but share similar motivations, led by Guzma, a violent man who turned to crime after failing to become a Trial Captain. The real antagonists, however, are the Aether Foundation, led by Lusamine, an abusive mother who is obsessed with things 'deserving of her love' and seeks to remain in Ultra Space with Nihilego, with which she has an intense obsession. For that matter, she contrasts all the previous Big Bads by being the first female one in the series. Contrasting Gen VI's Nordic inspirations, Solgaleo and Lunala are alchemy-themed, merely 'represent' the sun and moon rather than embodying concepts like the previous legendaries, and are actually from Ultra Space, not to mention evolve from a Pokemon you've seen for most of the game — Nebby. The more antagonistic Ultra Beasts contrast with legendaries from previous games in that while they're on the same power level as legendaries, they're common Pokemon in their own dimension and are completely new to science. Design-wise, while legendaries have a passing resemblance to familiar animals, the Ultra Beasts are quite alien, often lacking anything in the way of a face.
      • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon's Big Bad is Necrozma — in a series first, it's the first one to be a Pokémon acting on its own as opposed to being controlled or influenced by a human. Unlike the benevolent Solgaleo and Lunala, however, Necrozma steals light rather than emitting it, and swiftly overpowers one of the other two and absorbs it. And unlike Kyurem before it, it has a "true" form — Ultra Necrozma, which the player fights as the Climax Boss in Ultra Megalopolis. On a related note, in order to fit Necrozma into the plot, the human villains of Gen VII become genuinely altruistic and hoping to stop Necrozma from destroying Alola. The problem is that Lusamine is out of her depth and it is implied she is doing this because she is mad with grief over losing her husband and is terrified of losing anyone else. While past villains were often Well Intentioned Extremists, they were more selfish in their desires.
    • Generation VIII features Team Yell, who are more like the Pokémon world's version of Football Hooligans. They just so happen to be loony fans of Marnie, one of The Rival characters to the player, and want her to become the next Champion of the Galar region. As such, they go out of their way to obstruct the other participants of the Gym Challenge so that Marnie is unchallenged. This makes them the first villain team to be directly connected to the player character's journey to become Champion. Their "leader" Piers is a Gym Leader like Giovanni, but unlike the Team Rocket boss, his association with Team Yell isn't hidden, having their symbol adorn his gym and shirt. His only goal is to retire from his Gym Leader position and have his sister Marnie take over. He even helps the player out post-game. The real villain is Chairman Rose, who has been using the tournaments to gather energy in order to awaken Eternatus, and even he is a much more stable and honorable individual than the incognito villains of previous games.
      • Eternatus itself contrasts Necrozma greatly. Both are alien draconian Pokémon only tangenitally related to the main duo of their generation that are associated with energy beams, fell to Earth long ago and caused the region's unique gimmick while being injured in some capacity and while possessing unique forms based on these, and possess two signature moves, including one with 100 base power and one with 160 power that requires a turn to recharge. Necrozma was light-based, is only a Dragon-Type in its true Ultra form, which is offensive-based and could be used by the playernote , and is otherwise permanently crippled, acting with its own motives and also having two other forms based on fusing with the legendary duo of the region. Eternatus by contrast, is associated with darkness, having caused the Darkest Day spoken of in Galarian history and is Dragon-Type all the time, with its Eternamax form being more defensive and unaccessable by the playernote , while despite having lost pieces of its body is otherwise relatively intact, and was awakened by human actions while being Ambiguously Evil, having no relation to Zacian and Zamazenta at all beyond being foes.
    • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games contrast their villains too. The main sentient antagonist of Rescue Team is ultimately nothing more than a petty and spiteful prick, and the world-ending threat is a giant meteor. The Explorers villains try to create a Bad Future to preserve their own survival while the villains of Gates of Infinity are a suicide cult who have grown so depressed at the state of the world and the uncaring attitudes of those in it that they are willing to let an Eldritch Abomination destroy it. Meanwhile, the villains of Super Mystery Dungeon are Brainwashed and Crazy by the local Eldritch Abomination as opposed to the other villains who were willing participants in villainy. The Bittercold from Gates was also more of a force of nature than a character that was defeated by rejecting it while Super had the Dark Matter which was sentient and was defeated by accepting it.
  • Portal Stories: Mel is a fan sequel (well, prequel) that was released after Portal 2. The antagonist in the former is AEGIS, while the original game's villain is GLaDOS: both are all-powerful AIs which control the Aperture Science laboratories in which the series takes place, and both are out to kill the player. However, AEGIS doesn't appear to be sentient, while GLaDOS has a human personality, and AEGIS is unable to lie whereas GLaDOS is a pathological liar. When the player finds him, AEGIS floods his chamber with lethal amounts of oxygen, while GLaDOS' preferred method of killing is to remove the oxygen by pumping in neurotoxin. Finally, AEGIS dutifully follows his programming to protect the Aperture scientists (he's only after the player because he believes Mel hurt them) while GLaDOS rebelled and killed them all. Notably, AEGIS has a vendetta against GLaDOS for this, and he's prepared to flood the entire complex and destroy himself to make sure she stays dead.
  • Rayman:
    • Rayman: Mr. Dark primarily wears an indigo robe and sombrero-like hat, is about a head taller than the title protagonist, and doesn’t make himself physically available prior to the final battle besides stealing the Great Protoon and kidnapping Betilla. He’s also skilled in magic, as shown by his ability to steal Rayman’s powers one by one in the final level, summon flame projectiles to corner his adversary, (depending on the player’s interpretation) capable of shapeshifting, and (in the Game Boy Color version) attack his adversary with lightning bolts.
    • Rayman 2: The Great Escape introduces the Admiral Razorbeard. Despite being an Orcus on His Throne like Mr. Dark, he differs from him by being diminutive, wears a red and white garb, and gets significantly more lines of dialogue than Mr. Dark (Who only spoke once in the entire game). Also, unlike the previous villain, Razorbeard cannot use magic but rather relies on machinery (As evidenced by his pirate gang being robots and his piloting of the Grolgoth at the end).
    • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has Andre the Dark Lum Lord, a black-bodied, unclad, black-comedy spewing, and very small vermin who turns the red lums into his loyal followers and spends a large portion of the game in Globox’s stomach. In contrast to the robot-commandeering Razorbeard, Andre relies on tearing off pelts of animal fur in order for his lum goons to stand any chance against Rayman and building everything from scratch since he and the other black lums just came into existence. The other major antagonist of this game, Reflux the Knaaren, is also dark-bodied but much larger, wears a sienna loincloth, wields a magic staff, has very few funny quirks compared to Andre, and is primarily motivated by revenge against Rayman after losing to him in their first encounter. By the time he teams up with Andre in the game’s closing moments, they become the very first contrasting-antagonist twosome in the series. On top of that, due to the fact that part of his essence continued existing inside of Globox after his defeat, Andre becomes the main threat again in Hoodlum's Revenge. Although the original Reflux is Killed Off for Real, Andre manages to transform the hypnotized Globox into a clone of the disgraced Knaaren warrior, preserving the shared state of Big Bad that they shared when they first met.
  • Resident Evil
    • Resident Evil: Albert Wesker is an emotionally collected and manipulative officer of the S.T.A.R.S special force who plans on betraying his team and let them be used as data for Bio Organic Weapons.
    • Resident Evil 2: William Birkin is a mad scientist who is killed by mercenaries. He injects himself with the G virus to become a monster. William is a more desperate and emotional villain, who tried to hunt his daughter Sherry.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis goes full-on monster with the villain being the mysterious hunter known as the Nemesis.
    • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica: This game's villain is another human-turned-monster, Alexia Ashford, who wants to take over the world.
    • Resident Evil 4: The villain is not a genetically engineered monster but is an unearthed parasite queen of Las Plagas that has possessed a religious leader called Osmond Saddler.
    • Resident Evil 5 gives us Wesker again, but this time he's injected himself with the Uroboros virus and declared being a god himself.
    • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has a family of backwoods rednecks transformed by The Corruption as the antagonists, and it's revealed that each one is a Tragic Monster who became the way they were because they wanted to help a sick little girl.
    • Resident Evil Village: While the Baker family was a group of evil hillbillies influenced by sci-fi, the Four Houses of Village are a group of evil nobles with aesthetics influenced by the supernatural (such as werewolves, vampires and evil puppets).
  • Though the Dreamers serve as a Greater-Scope Villain throughout The Secret World, the major story arcs and downloadable expansion packs all feature their own contrasting villains:
    • Freddy Beaumont, the villain of the Solomon Island arc, is a gloating, scheming trickster of an Evil Sorcerer with no interest in anyone but himself; despite supposedly leading the local Morninglight as a lieutenant to cult-leader Philip Marquard, he's just using them to further his own ends. Plus, he technically doesn't have an army and doesn't bother to fight until the final boss fight kicks off. He's later revealed to be Loki, out to seize ultimate power from the island's Gaia Engine via the sword Excalibur.
    • The Cult of the Aten from the Egypt Arc/Issue #6. In sharp contrast to Beaumont's oily selfishness, they're an individuality-obliterating religious movement devoted to the worship of the eponymous sun deity, and will do anything to ensure that their prophet Akhenaten rises from the grave and brings Aten to Earth - with apocalyptic consequences. Plus, where Beaumont made do with magical firepower and illusions, the cult substitutes with wave after wave of brainwashed mooks armed with mundane weaponry.
    • Her Majesty Mara of the Transylvania arc; quite apart from the fact that she has probably the most varied army in the entire setting - encompassing vampires, werewolves, ghouls and the super-soldiers from the Red Hand labs - she's every bit as spoiled and self-important as her name implies, preferring to hide away in the catacombs of the castle while the rest of the vampire army take over the area. It turns out that she's just a minion for a much more powerful villain, namely her mother Lilith.
    • Introduced in Issue #7, we have Lilith. An ancient entity known and feared throughout the setting for the huge range of atrocities under her belt, she prefers a subtle approach despite her Large Ham tendencies: directing pawns like Mara, Lidiya and Dr Schreber to act in her stead, she prefers to remain hidden while she gets up to Mad Scientist antics; if she has to confront her enemies directly, she presents herself as an ally - the Russian Agent to the players, a surrogate mother to Emma, and Chairwoman Lily Engel to the Orochi Group; and once she has what she wants, she stabs her allies in the back and leaves with her prize in tow.
    • The Black Signal AKA John, first introduced in Issue #9. In contrast to all the other villains, he doesn't spend most of his time attacking the player head-on or creeping around behind the scenes; in fact, he's in constant communication with the player via his own personalized lore entries, using the Bee's lore signal to try to convince the players to join him. While other villains seem to act with some kind of purpose in mind, he seems perfectly content to spend his days using his incredible powers to mess with unsuspecting bystanders and is actually procrastinating in order to avoid facing Lilith again. The biggest contrast of all lies in how young and unfamiliar the Black Signal is: every single villain up until now has been over five hundred years at the very least and usually have some kind of well-established position in the lore of the setting; by contrast, the Black Signal is a total unknown and can't be much older than twenty - and plays the Psychopathic Manchild more often than not.
    • The Bogeyman of The Park tie-in game. A monstrous, illusory presence haunting Atlantic Island Park, he has no overarching agenda, no ambition to rule the world, no desire to take revenge, no secret mission to complete: he just wants to feed on the joy and terror of anyone unlucky enough to stray into the park - and god help you if you're not suitable for feeding on. It's actually because he's already gotten what he wants: Nathaniel Winter's transformation into the Bogeyman has given him the magical power and immortality he desired, and now he wants to hang onto it by fueling his hunger.
  • Shenmue: The primary antagonist Chai is a skinny and bald lower ranking member of the Chi You Men who wishes to kill protagonist Ryo to prove himself.
    • Shenmue II: Dou Niu is the bald, fat and hulking leader of the Yellow Heads who is a gang war for the dominance of Hong Kong and has greater things to deal with than just hunting Ryo.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus: Clockwerk, the leader of the Fiendish Five and the mastermind behind the murder of Sly's parents, was mostly a hands-off antagonist who chose to remain in his volcano fortress in Russia while his subordinates carried out their own criminal schemes free of his supervision. For most of the game, we are given little to no information about him beyond his role in the murder of Sly's parents until the final act of the game, at which point the game starts to foreshadow there's more to his vendetta against the Coopers than what we know since Sly notices an avian silhouette in the backgrounds of images of his ancestors in the Thievius Raccoonus, which looks identical to the police photos he has of Clockwerk. At the final level of the game, Clockwerk finally reveals himself to be a MASSIVE, terrifying robotic owl who has been in conflict with Sly's family since as far back as the days of Ancient Egypt and has stayed alive for that long because his burning hatred and jealousy for the Cooper Clan's reputation as master thieves has allowed him to transcend death itself in order to achieve his goal of finally outdoing the Cooper's success.
    • Sly 2: Band of Thieves has Neyla, an antagonist far more involved in the game's storyline than Clockwerk ever was. Whereas Clockwerk was already established as a villain due to being leader of the Fiendish Five, Neyla is introduced as a charming, friendly INTERPOL agent who is sympathetic towards Sly's goals and acts as a Friend on the Force to the Cooper gang by helping them in their heists. This is before gradually revealing her true colors by selling out Sly and Murray to INTERPOL, along with Carmelita by framing her for working with the gang the whole time to get Clockwerk's parts so she can get promoted, then turning out to be a mentee to the Klaww Gang's tech expert and de facto leader Arpeggio by helping him take down the Cooper Gang and the other members of the Klaww Gang to get at whatever Clockwerk parts they have so Arpeggio can reassemble Clockwerk, then stabbing Arpeggio in the back by knocking him down, jumping into the completed Clockwerk frame to become Clock-La, and crushing him to death with her beak once the merging process was complete. Also, up until merging with the Clockwerk frame at the final stage of the game, Neyla was for the most part a Badass Normal who could give Sly a run for his money and needed little more than her wits and whip to get ahead in the game.
    • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves gave us Dr. M, a demented Mandrill Mad Scientist who comes into conflict with the gang because they both want to get inside the Cooper Vault that contains centuries worth of stolen treasure that the Cooper clan has accumulated over the years. Unlike the villains of the last two games, Dr. M was a much more reclusive antagonist with no interest in leaving Kaine Island to commit any crimes or leading some international criminal group, focusing all of his efforts on cracking the Cooper Vault and maintaining his fortress while Sly and Bentley travel the globe to recruit more members for the gang to help them break into the vault, making him the villain with the least involvement in the game's main story. Additionally, while the game's prologue reveals his species, his significance to the plot as the main obstacle between the gang and the Cooper Vault, his aptitude in the fields of genetics and robotics, and his familiarity with the Cooper dynasty, it is not revealed what his beef with the Coopers is until the final stage of the game. At that point, Dr. M reveals he was a previous partner of Sly's father Connor back when he was alive and in charge of the Cooper gang, with Dr. M being the brains of the team similar to how Bentley is to Sly's group until he began to resent Connor due to feelings of being little more than a sidekick.
    • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time has Cyrille Le Paradox, a French Jerk Skunk who is the mastermind behind the band of rogues threatening Sly's ancestors across time. While just as resentful towards the Coopers as the villain of the previous game, Dr. M was a hermit who worked independently from other villains. Le Paradox, however, masqueraded as a legitimate member of society and used others to do the dirty work for him. In the end, they both lost as a result of their own undoings, but while Dr. M was too caught up in his bitterness to leave the collapsing Cooper Vault and died, Le Paradox survived, but lost everything as a result of getting Sly caught up in his plans.
  • Many of the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games have greater-scope or secondary villains along with Dr. Eggman, each of which differ greatly from each other:
    • Sonic Adventure has Chaos. In contrast to the loud-and-proud Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik and his focus on modern science and robotic technology, Chaos is a silent being made of water with a centuries-old mystical origin. And whereas Eggman's reasons for wanting to take over the world are purely egotistical, Chaos is fueled by the anger, grief and hatred from when his Chao brethren were slaughtered by Knuckles' ancestors.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 has Professor Gerald Robotnik, Dr. Eggman's grandfather, in contrast to how Chaos was connected to heroic character Knuckles' backstory. Similar to Chaos, Gerald's actions are driven by anger towards the world for what it took away from him (his granddaughter Maria in this case), but whereas Chaos was redeemed through the actions of Super Sonic, Gerald is long deceased by the events of the game, and was left bitter and full of hate to his dying breath.
      • Shadow the Hedgehog also counts as a contrast to Chaos before him: both act as subordinates to Dr. Eggman in their respective games, both are unnatural "mutant" beings as a result of Chaos Emerald energy (Chaos is a mutated Chao, Shadow is a genetically-engineered hedgehog intended to be biology's "Ultimate Life Form"), and both initially desire revenge against the world for the losses they experienced in the past (Shadow for the same reasons as Gerald, being his creation) until they redeem themselves in the end. However, Shadow's origin is once again based in science in contrast to Chaos' mystical one, and whereas Chaos only chose to desert Eggman after enough setbacks into his game, Shadow was manipulating the doctor into playing a part in his own greater plan from the start.
    • Sonic Heroes has Neo Metal Sonic, the selfsame Robot Me of Sonic, being a returning villain from Sonic the Hedgehog CD as opposed to a whole new character debuting in this game. And in opposition to Chaos, Gerald and Shadow's Tragic Villain statuses and grief over their lost loved ones, Metal is instead driven by a purely selfish desire to surpass Dr. Eggman and prove himself as the "real Sonic" to his organic counterpart.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog has Black Doom, the dark-and-mature-themed leader of an invading alien army and Shadow's genetic donor, in contrast to how Neo Metal Sonic was a returning villain from the more lighthearted classic games that instead gathered biodata from all the other heroes. Additionally, whereas Shadow's other "father" Gerald originally aimed to use Shadow to move humanity towards a bright future (prior to going insane from Maria's death, anyways), Black Doom's aim was always for Shadow to become his champion in his brutal and violent subjugation of Earth's inhabitants.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has Solaris (and its conscious half Mephiles), which contrasts Chaos before it. Both are ancient, godlike elemental entities (one of Fire, one of Water) that Eggman seeks to control and unleash (without realising that he himself is being played), and that are capable of destroying the world (or more). The difference is that Chaos is an Anti-Villain and Well-Intentioned Extremist at worst, while Solaris seems to be genuinely sadistic and evil.
    • Sonic Unleashed has Dark Gaia. While it, like Solaris, is a godlike creature that aims to destroy the world and has the power to spawn smaller monsters from itself, it contrasts Solaris' light-based imagery with, well… dark ones, as a result of being the planet's personification of darkness and negative emotions. And whereas Solaris' ultimate fate was being erased from history itself, Dark Gaia is an immortal force of nature that cannot be completely destroyed, only put to rest for millions of years.
    • Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations contrast the 3D games before it by having the main antagonist be… Eggman himself as opposed to a new villain. And while he is using supernatural assets for his plans once again, he keeps control of them until Sonic's intervention and doesn't get usurped by it at the end of the game.
    • Sonic Lost World features the Deadly Six, who contrast many other assorted solo antagonists across the series by aiming to be a more cartoonish and quirky Quirky Miniboss Squad, despite also being mystical creatures (demons or "Zeti" depending on the dub), again contrasting with Eggman's Mad Scientist nature. And while Eggman is a jerk to his underlings who wants to Take Over the World, the Deadly Six have a mutual respect for each other and want to completely drain the world of its energy. And while they do usurp Eggman and become the major threat for the story, it's only because Sonic clipped off their leash, and whereas Eggman's plans were fully skewered by previous villains who took over the plot at the last minute, the Deadly Six take over early on in the game and the good doctor exploits this specific Enemy Mine with Sonic by having the hedgehog deal with the Six while he takes back his scheme.
    • Sonic Forces has Infinite, another minion of Eggman's who contrasts many other villains in the series by starting out as just another normal inhabitant of Sonic's world before being upgraded by Eggman, as opposed to an origin of magic, science or something else supernatural. In particular contrast to the colorful Deadly Six and their respect with each other, Infinite has a literally Darker and Edgier design and is a lone wolf who cares for nothing and no one but his own bloodlust. It's also worth noting that Infinite has a fair amount of Parody Sue traits as opposed to how other villains were portrayed as definite and serious threats, with a purely petty motivation to be stronger than Shadow after getting beaten by him, and his lust for making others suffer frequently throwing a wrench into Eggman's plans, leading to the doctor eventually deciding to dispose of him personally rather than wait for him to mess things up further like his other partners in the past did.
  • Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion: The Specimens of the main game have flashy and varied designs, ranging from a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl to a puppet who resembles the Happy Mask Salesman to a siren. The Monsters of the Karamari Hospital DLC are more uniformly designed, but are quite visceral and all look like they've stumbled out of a gritty PS1 horror game.
  • Spyro the Dragon
    • Spyro the Dragon (1998): Gnasty Gnorc is a muscular goblin who's simply agitated by the dragons making fun of his kind rather than being a borderline-malicious individual like some of the later Big Bads, prompting him to turn all of them (except Spyro, since he's too small for his spell to detect) into crystal statues. Other than that and his ability to turn gems into gnorc soldiers, Gnasty has absolutely no experience when it comes to magic.
    • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!: Compared to Gnasty Gnorc, Ripto is short, action-oriented, and has somewhat better experience with magic, being able to turn orbs into robotic mounts during the final battle. While he also despises dragons as a whole, no explanation is ever given as to where that hatred came from. Not only that, but most of the enemies in the game are random threats that Spyro runs into while trying to collect the talismans, rather than goons working directly for Ripto. While he and Gnasty Gnorc both plan hostile takeovers of their respective realms, Gnasty Gnorc mostly succeeded, while Ripto barely even had a chance to get started.
    • Spyro: Year of the Dragon: In a similar manner to Gnasty Gnorc, the Sorceress an Orcus on His Throne type of antagonist who doesn't become a direct obstacle to Spyro until the end of the game. Contrarily, though, she has a more stable political base than Ripto or Gnasty in that she's the formally-designated monarch of the Forgotten Realms; where the prior two were invaders, the Sorceress is not. On top of this is the fact that her minions are an already-existing race known as the Rhynocs, who work as hirelings sent out to kill Spyro any chance they get. She also has a good deal more knowledge of magic than either of the previous villains, which is especially true when she turns one of her guards into a gargoyle-esque beast intended to eradicate everyone who sides against her. Lastly, she's the only villain who is explicitly stated to have no qualms against committing genocide on the dragon hatchlings, just because the idea of watching them wriggle around in her throne room after she harvests their wings grosses her out.
    • Spyro: Season of Ice: Grendor stands out from the rest of the antagonists by starting off as a puny mook who is unhappy with his position as a librarian. In a desperate act to heighten himself socially, he attempts to learn some of the Sorceress' magic, only for it to go awry and transform the poor Rhynoc into a two-headed (and on top of that, split between being constantly depressed and frustrated on each side) scourge. He also sticks out for being one of the only antagonists to perform a Heel–Face Turn, even going as far as to appreciate his job of being a librarian after Spyro defeats him and Zoe reverts him to his non-corrupted state.
    • Spyro: A Hero's Tail: Red is the first villain to be a dragon himself as opposed to a non-dragon who holds some type of a grudge against the dragon race. Near the end, he converts the gnorcs into robotic goons and the final battle also involves him turning into a colossal mech, emphasizing his connection to machinery as opposed to brute force, evasiveness, or having a political advantage. In Shadow Legacy, he's the only other antagonist to perform a Heel–Face Turn. In Red's case, instead of his evilness having been caused by accident, he was brainwashed by the villain of that game, which leads us to...
    • Spyro: Shadow Legacy: The Mysterious Figure/the Sorcerer. He first shows up as a conspicuous-looking hooded wanderer who is revealed to have mind-controlled Red prior to the events of A Hero's Tail. While the previous few villains were hammy to some extent (even the Sorceress, who is a Vile Villain, Saccharine Show in her own right), this villain is utterly devoid of any humor and is far more reserved in his tone of voice (not to mention, his absolutely terrifying dragon form in the final boss fight), more befitting of an antagonist in the reboot. He's also the only villain to fall in Karma Houdini territory, getting nothing more than a devastating blow to his reputation and fleeing the final battle so he can formulate another scheme against the good guys.
  • Street Fighter villains vary when it comes to appearances, techniques, and goals:
    • The Final Boss of the original Street Fighter is the Muay Thai master Sagat, who arranged the tournament to test his abilities against the world's greatest fighters.
    • Street Fighter II has M. Bison, the ruthless, power-hungry leader of an evil organization bent on world domination.
    • Street Fighter III introduces Gill, a Messianic ubermensch who leads a secret society that performs unethical bio-engineering experiments; his tournament is his way of seeking out those strong enough to repopulate the planet after the end of the world.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Donkey Kong is a gorilla who kidnapped an ordinary lady and invaded a construction site in New York. He was mostly working alone, and just threw obstacles for Mario to avoid. Bowser is a fire-breathing dragon turtle king who took over the Mushroom Kingdom using an entire army of his own, transformed the Toads into various objects using black magic, and kidnapped the princess of that kingdom in attempt to keep her from undoing said magic. Unlike Donkey Kong who was an Anti-Villain attacking out of rage and confusion and later redeemed himself when he grew into Cranky Kong, Bowser truly is evil and stuck around as Mario's constant nemesis throughout the series.
  • The final bosses of the Super Smash Bros.. games may be lacking in on-screen personality or depth, but they are very distinct from each other visually and thematically.
    • Master Hand is the final boss of the first game, and is traditionally the final opponent in the Classic Mode of subsequent games. It is vaguely implied that Master Hand is the creator of the Super Smash Bros. universe, and may be the representation of a child playing with his action figures. Later games imply further that Master Hand enjoys challenging the fighters to test their worth.
    • Melee introduces two new bosses; Crazy Hand and Giga Bowser. Crazy Hand is Master Hand's opposite number, being chaotic and destructive as opposed to careful and creative, but despite their differences the two hands make a pretty effective team. Giga Bowser is a powered-up transformation of Bowser unique to the Super Smash Bros. series who serves as the game's ultimate challenge, only appearing when certain conditions are met.
    • Brawl gives us Tabuu, the first villain with a clear motivation. He's explicitly a being from another dimension who aims to absorb the Super Smash Bros. universe into his domain of Subspace. He differs from previous bosses in being the most human-like villain of the series so far.
    • Master Core is the True Final Boss of 4, being a monstrous transformation of Master Hand which is implied to be his full strength unleashed. Master Core's battle consists of multiple distinct phases, which is a first for the series.
    • Galeem and Dharkon from Ultimate are the most distinctive villains so far. In terms of design, all of the previous villains looked vaguely anthropomorphic or creature-like; Galeen and Dharkon are utterly alien beings that look completely inhuman. In terms of motivation, Galeem seeks to control the universe whereas Dharkon seeks to obliterate it. This makes them a contrast to the Hands, who are ambiguously evil and don't seem interested in domination. Also unlike the Hands, who get along well and make a good team, Galeem and Dharkon absolutely hate each other; even when they're forced to team up, they actively fight amongst themselves.
  • Tales of Berseria turns out to be a prequel to Zestiria, but the point remains. Artorius is the first Sheperd in history and is a Villain with Good Publicity, loved by most of the citizens because his actions allowed Malakhim to become controllable, which allowed people to rein in the problems of daemons roaming around. He was also a tragic hero with Hidden Depths, with his ultimate goal being well-meaning attempt to remove free will to prevent the rise of Malevolence. In contrast, Heldalf was mostly made out to be nothing but pure evil and having little to no desire of doing anything but spreading Malevolence wherever he appeared. He does eventually get revealed to be a bit more of a Woobie, cursed with loneliness, but his goal of spreading Malevolence to end pain is overall less sympathetic than Artorius's goal due to how self-contradictory it is. There's also how they relate to the game's protagonist: Velvet has a very personal connection with Artorius, since he's her brother-in-law and he killed her younger brother, while Sorey has zero connection with Heldalf, except that he's the Shepherd whose duty it is to defeat the Lord of Calamity. Though there are implications that Heldalf may be Sorey's father, unbeknowst to the latter.
  • Thief
    • The Big Bads of the first two game are representatives of two religions that have a strong Elves Versus Dwarves conflict with each other; the first game's villain, The Trickster, is associated with the Pagan religion, which worships the concepts of chaos, magic and nature, while Karras in the sequel is associated with the Hammerites, who worship order, technology and civilization. The former wants to destroy civilization using a magic ritual, the latter wants to destroy organic life by using machines to flood the city with poison gas. In both cases, Garret forms an Enemy Mine alliance with members of the opposing religion to bring them down.
    • The third game's villain, Gamal the Hag, is associated with a third faction, the Keepers, who believe in the balance between dangerous extremes. While the other two villains had clearly defined ideologies, and goals relating to them, this time the villain has no obvious motivation beyond selfishness and unnaturally extending their lifespan.
  • The Tomb Raider reboot trilogy:
    • Ana and Konstantin are this to Father Mathias and Himiko from the first game. Mathias is the founder and leader of the Solarii Brotherhood, a small island Cult. Konstantin is a middleman soldier in the wide organization called Trinity. Mathias doesn't believe in anything he preaches, while Konstantin is deeply religious. They also both have a woman backing them up, but Mathias knows what Himiko is, and he's only helping her so he can leave her cursed island, and he cares only for himself. Konstantin is manipulated by his sister Ana into thinking he's destined for greatness, and he genuinely cares for her. Ana and Himiko also contrast with one another. Himiko is a thousand year old Japanese queen with magical abilities, Ana is a middle-aged American normal woman. Himiko wants to rule over the modern world, Ana has to report to her superiors in Trinity. They're also both controlling the Big Bad, but Himiko exploited Mathias' wish to leave her cursed island, Ana has manipulated Konstantin his whole life. Also, they both have an ailment of some type which they are trying to cure: Himiko is trying to transfer her soul into a younger body to escape the confines of her rotting old one, Ana is trying to cure her cancer by gaining immortality from the Divine Source.
    • Dr. Pedro Dominguez/Amaru is this to both Mathias and Konstantin. They are clean-shaven white Americans, while he's a bearded Peruvian actually a Mayan, and instead of having a woman behind his actions, he's the leader of Trinity, and therefore the Greater-Scope Villain of the entire trilogy. Also, Mathias was too selfish to realize releasing Himiko could put the world in danger, and Konstantin was too delusional to realize his sister was manipulating him for her own ends. Dominguez knew Ana had betrayed Trinity, and sent his Dragon Rourke to Siberia to kill her, and his reasons for putting the world in danger are to defend Paititi, his home village.
  • Zoran Lazarevic from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Asav from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the first game to feature Chloe Frazer, and the most recent one featuring Chloe as the Player Character, respectively. They're both war criminals, but differ in numerous ways. Lazarevic is a dictator, Asav is a terrorist. They both are willing to sacrifice their own men, but Lazarevic kills his men to punish disobedience and maintain control, Asav does it to "cleanse" his men because he hopes that they then may be reborn in a more useful form. Each has their own justification for their actions- Lazarevic regarded history's worst tyrants as "great men" because they will willing to resort to any means to get what they wanted, Asav is a descendant of the old Hoysala kings, who would kill any who refused to fight in times of war to inspire those who would fight and purge the weak from society. Lazarevic has a personal enmity with Nate, Asav with Chloe and Nadine. On a more cosmetic note, Lazarevic is a tall, bald, scarred Serbian who never stopped shouting, while Asav is a bespectacled, bearded, apparently-unassuming Indian who rarely raises his voice.
  • A few antagonists from The World Ends with You have contrasts in the sequel, NEO: The World Ends with You
    • Yodai Higashizawa and Kaichi "Susukichi" Susuki are the main antagonists of the first weeks of their respective games. Both are burly men who rely on brute force and have hulking Noise forms, and enjoy referencing their passions in their speech- food and cooking for Higashizawa, Reversi for Susukichi. However, they're polar opposites in terms of motivations; Higashizawa is the only Reaper loyal to Kitaniji, while Shiba is working to bring Shiba down.
    • Shiba Miyakaze, the Game Master of the second game, is one to Megumi Kitaniji, the Conductor from the first game. Both run the Reapers' Gamewhile the Composer is out of the UG, which means Joshua's rules are undefined; however, while Megumi continued as though Shibuya's usual rules were still in play, Shiba exploits the opportunity to enforce Shinjuku's rules on the Game. Megumi kept the Reaper's Game relatively fair up until the third week, and his reasons for participating were to save Shibuya by imprinting on the citizen's minds. Shiba, by contrast, rigs the game from the very start by supporting the Ruinbringers, who comprise of Reapers from Shinjuku, and has no love for Shibuya as he aims to destroy it (although this is due to Kubo manipulating him). This also extends to their boss fights; while Kitaniji is a Time Master who partners with a brainwashed Shiki, Shiba's powers lean more towards spatial manipulation and uses clones of himself to fight.
    • Tanzo Kubo, the true Big Bad of Neo also contrasts with Kitaniji. Kitaniji was an Affably Evil Well-Intentioned Extremist who wanted to save Shibuya from erasure even if it meant subjecting everyone in it to an Assimilation Plot. Kubo, however, is an unapologetic Jerkass who wants to destroy Shibuya For the Evulz.
  • World of Warcraft's expansion villains generally tend to contrast each other to some degree.
    • The main villains of Burning Crusade (Illidan Stormrage and Kael'thas Sunstrider) are egomaniacal, mana-addicted elves in extreme denial about their relatively small roles in the greater scope of things. They are ultimately manipulated by the overarching Big Bad, Kil'jaeden, whose summoning is the primary threat.
    • Wrath of the Lich King has the titular Lich King: Arthas Menethil, who was the original Arch-Enemy of the previous two and ultimately caused their conditions by defeating them. He came the closest of all the villains to total victory, contrasting Illidan and Kael'thas's inadequacy as threats. It was his remaining sanity that did him in while the last two's instability led them to betray their allies, leaving them easy pickings.
    • Deathwing of Cataclysm is a former Aspect driven insane by the Old Gods. Both were heroes before, but Deathwing's body burns with magma while Arthas is Evil Is Deathly Cold incarnate. Deathwing is fought primarily by the Shamans and Druids of Kalimdor, in contrast to the heavy focus on Paladins and Death Knights in Arthas'.
    • Garrosh Hellscream, Big Bad of Mists of Pandaria, more closely resembles Illidan and Kael'thas in that his own ego and pride drive him to villainy. Instead of being forcibly corrupted by the Old Gods like Deathwing, Garrosh was a Willing Channeler of Y'shaarj who never lost control of himself. He is also the only villain who used to be part of the new Horde, while prior villains had left their factions during or before the Third War.
    • Warlords of Draenor has this happen within the same expansion with Grommash Hellscream and Gul'dan. Grom is a Badass Normal who, with Garrosh's warnings, rejected the Burning Legion. Unlike his son, however, he went through a Heel–Face Turn later on. Gul'dan, meanwhile, becomes a follower of the Legion willingly, is the Squishy Wizard warlock to Grom's Badass Normal, and is the only villain with no redeeming traits whatsoever. Where Grom led the Iron Horde directly, Gul'dan is a manipulator who prefers being the Man Behind the Man.
    • The Big Bad of Legion, Sargeras, is the only one out of the expansion's main villains who is never fought directly. The Final Boss is instead his ace in the hole: the corrupted world-soul of the planet Argus, a character never seen until his boss encounter and, unlike all the others in the series, is firmly in Tragic Monster territory.

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