A Dance with Rogues has Vico, a violent and cruel Blackguard who works for the game's criminal organization that the Princess is forced to be a part of. Although he saves the Princess' life at the beginning of the game, he also callously informs her of her family's gruesome fate, after which he rapes her as revenge for what her father did, constantly mocks her later, makes snide comments towards her, including Slut-Shaming her, and so on. In Part Two upon asking him why he raped her, Vico will blame her for it. Throughout the game it's also shown that he's incapable of normal communication, hates people for any perceived weakness and inability to protect themselves and loves fighting, killing and sex and will enjoy doing so every time he's allowed. For some reason he's apparently the most popular of the romance options. And while true that Vico has some good qualities and a Freudian Excuse past, he only reveals that if the Princess accepts his advances and will only then apologize for raping her, and only if she asks him about it. If rejected as a lover, even if still on friendly terms, he opts instead to turn on her, and even if romanced, at one point he shows he's willing to sacrifice the Princess if it means saving his own life. Choosing him as a lover also doesn't make any exceptional change in him. But because he treats her better when romanced, is apparently good at sex and even comes around to accepting that the Princess carries his baby and refuses to abandon her even so (being a well known former casanova that refused commitment and all), apparently a lot of players are willing to overlook everything else.
Assassin's Creed III has people claim that Haytham is totally heroic and cool, ignoring that he brutally murders unarmed prisoners, tries to emotionally manipulate Connor, and plans to basically create a dictatorship with him at its head.
Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning: Strangely enough, this is done to Baldi. Baldi, unlike most of the other examples on this page, isn't attractive in the slightest, being a poorly-made polygonal person with a weird face, has only a single strand of hair that sticks up on his head and no visible hands or feet. He also happens to be a deranged teacher who gets incredibly mad at students who aren't able to solve questions to a math quiz that are stupidly impossible to solve, hunts them down like some sort of monster from a horror film and even outright kills them, yet fans portray him as Troubled, but Cute.
Viconia also has quite a fanboy following, many of whom try to justify her (alluded) murderous actions. It should be noted the game gives her a Freudian Excuse already, with an eventual Love Redeems option, and as a supposedly Always Chaotic Evil Drow she is much less evil than she should be. That said, she is a willing servant of the evil goddess Shar; and attitude-wise, she is only nice to the player, and treats everyone else like dirt. She picks several fights with others out of sheer contempt or sadism, like making fun of Aerie for losing her wings, sneers at Jaheira's parentage and calls her a "crossbreed mongrel" and scoffs at Cernd's druidism (and she's not the only one, either). So she may not be a monster, but she's still a bitch.
Dr. Steinman and Sander Cohen from BioShock have tons of fangirls, in spite of them both being serial killers who horribly mutilate people for fun. Same goes for Frank Fontaine/Atlas, an amoral gangster who takes advantage of hundreds of innocent Rapture civilians by introducing them to addictive, physically disfiguring Psycho Serum, and profits off of war and conflict. Apparently, all it takes to get around any of these crimes is to look handsome in their radio message portraits.
Similarly, Daisy Fitzroy from Infinite is turned into a martyr by people who find the game and its message of non-extremism racist, despite her having tried to kill both the main characters when she no longer found any use for them and threatened her cult of personality, following it all up by trying to kill a small boy.
Daisy Fitzroy has been negated due to the revelation in Burial at Sea that she didn't want to kill Fink's son in the first place, and argued with the Luteces when they told her the plan. She only went through with it as Elizabeth killing her would cause her to develop from a girl to a woman, and even though she would not live to see the revolution succeed, she knew that Elizabeth and Booker would win.
As of Burial at Sea, Atlas has lost all love from the fandom due to crossing the Moral Event Horizon several times, his first big one by trying to do a trans-orbital lobotomy on Elizabeth, and threatening to do the same to Sally. The one that made the entire fandom turn against him was that, at the ending, he mercilessly beat Elizabeth to death with a wrench while shouting at her for information. Worse was that he didn't really kill her, causing her to suffer badly at the end.
Hazama/Terumi Yuuki from BlazBlue. Being a master Troll, snazzy dresser, and having a patronisingly nasty but funny attitude makes some people forget that he's evil per excellence and has a habit of mindrapingladiesFor the Evulz, and also quite defines It's All About Me. There are even fans who think that he's a Guile Hero who went to the extremes for a certain goal for humanity... The rest of his fans love him precisely because he's a ReconstructionCard-Carrying Villain, so yeah. When it turns out he's deconstructing the whole Gambit Pileup thing by first getting some mishaps on his plans, panicking a bit, then getting killed by Hakumen and then being revealed that his boss Izanami was just playing him off and leaving him to die, some of these 'reconstruction' fans turned their backs on him. The other 'misaimed' fans instead directed their vitriol to the resident so-called 'Mary Sue', Celica A. Mercury, for making this event possible.
Nu-13 as well. If anything's blatant, she hates everything else except Ragna, and her preferred method is 'stab everything on her path in a jealous rage, even if the world goes boom'. She's a Weapon of Mass Destruction only hell bent to get laid with Ragna and no one else shall have him. Fan reaction? Because she executes such 'love' with such adorable (if creepy) love and cute look as well as some crazy representation like 'Pirate/Valley Girl Nu', everyone thinks she's just a pitiful, lonely soul who longs Ragna's love. Never mind that she hates the world and only wants Ragna for herself.
Kokonoe is a Villain Protagonist version. Because of her physical attractiveness, snarkiness, being the offspring of two Six Heroes Jubei and Nine, and the fact her main opposition is the vile Hazama/Terumi, many of her atrocities including her treatment of Lambda, helping Relius Clover create Ignis, and having nukes trained on Kagutsuchi ready to fire as a plan B if her revenge gambit backfires, are glossed over (though to be fair, she actually felt bad about those first two and wanted to atone in her own way). Since this goal was so 'important', she also usually gets excused for not helping Litchi save Arakune despite her soft spot on Litchi (and her being Forced into Evil is treated like it's never Kokonoe's fault), and going every way to ensure Bullet will never get the information she wants or get near Tager (and even gave Tager the order to kill Bullet for whatever reason). The story seems to pander it up to as up until Chronophantasma, although she received several calling outs, the storytailoredit that no one becomes sickened enough of her to boot her from the team lest she removes the 'Villain' part on the Villain Protagonist on her and no other 'great genius with better morals' popped up so Kokonoe will always be protagonistic and always treated as a Face. A portion of fans finally turned against her when she attempted to liberally used Celica A. Mercury, her aunt, as the source of a doomsday machine to destroy another doomsday machine, but the admirers of Kokonoe's DILP still remain at large, not helped with the fact that the reaction to Celica in general isn't...pleasant.
Ghost Widow of City of Heroes generally has her fanatical loyalty to Arachnos (more of an inescapable obligation), along with the fact that she's physically bound to its existence, downplayed when discussing her, mostly because "She's so pretty...". It helps that the storyline which shows the less pleasant side of her nature requires unlocking quite early in the game, so most players don't get to see how she treats her employees.
It is revealed in one mission arc that she is incapable of not being compassionate. Her last living emotion was compassion toward Paolo, now named Wretch and however evil, however vicious she may get, she feels that compassion 24 hours a day. Indeed, the first time the player actually meets her she asks them to help Wretch because she cares about him.
There is a mission chain that requires the player to betray her. Many players refuse to even begin those missions. Some choose to turn hero instead.
Tyrant, the Praetorian counterpart to Statesman, gets some of this treatment, though thus far it is more of the Misaimed Fandom variety than quasi-romantic.
Kane, the leader of the Brotherhood of Nod in the Command & Conquer series. It doesn't help that his motivations seem to change every game, or that the developers themselves seem infected with Evil Is Cool.
At one point in the first game, he tells the player that "people believe what the media tells them to believe... and I tell the media what to believe". Quite fitting that this is exactly what happens among the fandom - another cutscene has Kane MST the "origin of Tiberium" scene from the GDI campaign, interrupting it at one point to explain that, as opposed to Dr. Mobius finding it and naming it after the Tiber River the first meteor crashed near, Kane himself actually discovered it first and named it after the Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar. Now, if one were to look up Tiberium on Google, almost every result except the C&C Wiki won't even mention Mobius' version of its discovery and naming, much less assume that that's how it actually was discovered.
Higgs from Death Stranding. He's a leader of a terrorist group who kill people and leave them to necrotize, causing them to blow up and leave craters. He also attacks Sam, the protagonist on multiple ocasions, risking not only his life, but also the lifes of people who would get caught be a voidout nearby. He also spies on Sam, made his old friend and co worker run through timefall (rain that ages everything it touches) naked to ruin her body and taunts her about it. He also tried to nuke a whole city, with population of about 40k people, TWICE and shoots the pod strapped to Sam's chest that has a living baby in it. In fanon he's often potrayed more as a troll, who likes to push Sam's buttons and is obsessed with pizza (there's a questline that involves more and more absurd deliveries of pizza to his lair). Some works also use the Freudian Excuse in the form of his canon backstory: he used to be raised by an abusive uncle who beat him and forbode him from leaving their bunker. Higgs killed him in self defense when he was a teen. Some people also belive he got swayed by Amelie, whos power left him insane, and he had no desire to hurt people before. Slashfics often take place post canon, leaving him without powers, making him mostly snarky and cute, in a way, totally ignoring his bloodthirsty tendencies and delusions of grandeour.
Vergil in Devil May Cry 3, although he is not as egregious as some other examples. His lust for power might be enough to make him villainous and the nature to excuse that because he's such an aloof badass is certainly there but his character has more nuances that skew towards Anti-Villain (namely that his driving motivation is the Dark and Troubled Past of demonic forces killing his mother, much the same as his brother, who simply chose a more heroic outlet in pursuit of the same goal of making demonkind pay for it).
Loghain mac Tir of Dragon Age: Origins gets the Leather Pants treatment, both in terms of fans who excuse his every horrendous action and those who actually lust after him. It's due in part to Loghain's literal Pet the Dog moments if you recruit him to the Grey Wardens and his backstory in the prequel novels seem to encourage it. But even aside from that, a lot of fans like to insist that he is actually the true hero of the story. This usually involves insisting he was right to abandon the unwinnable Battle of Ostagar and suggesting the Orlesians would have taken over Ferelden if he had allowed them into the country. It doesn't help that Wordof God confirmed that Cailan's plan was to ditch Anora after Ostagar in favor of the Empress of Orlais, which would have united the two rival nations. This makes Loghain's paranoia less insane. A lot of the actions that can't really be justified (selling citizens as slaves, torturing dissenters, slaughtering entire families) get blamed on Arl Howe, who is somehow the only one responsible for these things despite the fact that he is working for Loghain (and despite the fact that Loghain outright admits responsibility for some of it, then scoffs in the Warden's face if they try to call him on it later).
Word of God also added some retroactive whitewashing, i.e. claiming that while he did arrange for the poisoning of Arl Eamon, he didn't mean to poison him to death (though the poisoning was apparently so effective that it could only be cured by a miraculous relic).
Anders in Dragon Age II became possessed by a spirit of Justice/Vengeance, and blows up a chantry, but some extreme fans excuse and absolve his actions. Some of this is due to the damage from Anders' bombing being rather ambigious. The fact that he is a love interest for a male or female protagonist in the second game doesn't help matters either - it is popular to pair Nathaniel Howe and Fenris (who hates him) with Anders for some reason. These fans apparently forget that Anders' method of dealing with a problem is to run away or destroy it, and also that Anders being bisexual and a mage doesn't absolve his crimes. The general Grey-and-Gray Morality doesn't really help, nor does the fact that, well, he's being possessed. That being said, just like with Loghain, there are those who fit him for leather pants, and then there are those who ignore all of his points and just paint him as irredeemable. Depending on the World-State, Hawke can state in Inquisition that both extremes are a serious oversimplification of who Anders is.
Samson from Dragon Age: Inquisition is now getting this treatment. Despite committing horrendous atrocities for Corypheus, many buy into his excuse that the Chantry had abused templars for centuries by using their lyrium dependency as a means to control them. Despite his unflattering looks, some also insist that he's quite attractive - which is no doubt helped out by him being voiced by Gideon Emery. Also, he's one of the most mage-sympathetic templar antagonists; in his initial appearance in Dragon Age II he was living on the streets after being drummed out of the Order for passing a mage's love letters, and he's still looking after the now-Tranquil mage in Inquisition. This goes hand-in-hand with a view of Commander Cullen as Ron the Death Eater and alleged Creator's Pet, as some of Samson's fans find the differing treatment of their lyrium addiction and actions (or inaction) in the previous game to be Moral Dissonance.
A lesser example in Inquisition comes from Thom Rainier, a.k.a. "Blackwall". While their guilt over their past actions is a large part of their character, some fans still minimize some of their deeds, for example arguing that he was entirely unaware of the family he had inadvertently ordered his men to kill.
Vivec is an interesting case. A man who, along with Almalexia and Sotha Sil, betrayed and murdered their patron Lord Nerevar (assuming Dagoth Ur didn't do it), used ancient technology to become a living god and illegally ruled over Morrowind, presiding over a regime rife with slavery and inequity.
Almalexia. Not particularly surprising with her being a red-headed, gold-skinned, Stripperificliteral goddess. Her appearance as a Quest Giver and one of the leaders of the Ebonheart Pact in The Elder Scrolls Online has brought new growth for her in this regard.
While we don't know much about Sotha Sil, Almalexia seems to be the only one from the Tribunal that can really be considered unambiguously "villainous" (at least during the time of the game). Vivec is no paragon of virtue, but unlike most examples of this trope, he's more black and gray, and a case can be made in his favor. He's done good for Morrowind and its people over the millennia, and he does protect his people...as long as they worship and love him.
Lucien Lachance. Evil? Yes. Creepy stalker? Certainly. The Dragon to a death-cult of assassins who kill people mostly just to appease a cosmic entity that probably doesn't even care? Obviously. Perhaps the greatest Mr. Fanservice in the game? Oh yes. And it doesn't stop at the fans — since the Dark Brotherhood, to whom Lachance belongs, is a joinable faction for a Villain Protagonist character, his status as the player's mentor makes him widely praised even though he is an acknowledged avid supporter of all the atrocities commited by the Dark Brotherhood and encourages the player to carry these out. Lucien is popular enough that, come Skyrim, he's back as a summonable spirit.
The Blackwood Company, the rival guild of mercenaries to the Fighters' Guild and the main antagonists to the Fighters' Guild questline. They appear as merely slightly more unscrupulous, edgier mercenaries than the Guild for much of the questline, until you're asked to infiltrate and discover that the Blackwood Company keep a tree known for its hallucinogenic sap in the basement of their headquarters, bottle the sap, and give it out to new members during the initiation ceremony, making them hallucinate monsters and unknowingly slaughter innocent civilians. Which you get to experience firsthand. But does this do anything to stop the fans from wishing they could join the Company for real? No. Maybe it's because of the uniforms.
For the most part, the Thalmor came off exactly the way the devs intended. One commentator noted that most people hate the Nazi elves more than they hate Alduin, the dragon-god trying to eat the world. And yet some fans inexplicably like them. Maybe it's the uniforms again, or maybe they're just being contrary. Surely they don't support religious persecution, genocide and purges, or forcing a treaty at the point of a sword.
Then you have those people who wish they could Take a Third Option and join the Forsworn, the Breton natives of the Reach who have been driven off their land by the Nords, who use them for slave labour, and seek to reclaim it for themselves as an independent kingdom. Oh, and they also plan to commit genocide against the Nords if they do get their way, and the game heavily implies that the bulk of their fighting force is made up of Psychos For Hire who eat their victims and wear their skin as clothing. No points for guessing what part of that description most people tend to bring up, and what part they don't.
Alva, the vampire lady in Morthal. Put that one down to Evil Is Sexy.
Cicero. A creepy, babbling madman wearing a jester costume in the employ of the Dark Brotherhood Assassins. He's an Ax-Crazy murderer for hire, who giggles and sings about killing people, admires a serial killer, and mutters frequently about oiling the Night Mother in "all the hard to reach places". Yet many fanfics turn him into a misunderstood Broken Bird with many sympathetic qualities and ramped up sexiness and sensuality, often paired romantically with a Dark Brotherhood aligned Dragonborn. While his journals reveal a somewhat sympathetic backstory behind his madness, it should be noted that he was already an assassin for hire long before he went insane.
The Evil Within has Ruvik. Even before the game made it to shelves, the disfigured madman who rules the Dark World, had a substantial legion of fans. After release, they only multiplied. His attiredoesn't help either. And this is all whilst fully acknowledging his physical disfigurement and love of dissecting things.
Fable II and III: Oh, Reaver. You kill people who speak against you, destroyed all of Oakvale, you're a complete Jerkass, and you have no morals. At all. So why, why do the fans paint you as a broken, tragic soul whose sociopathic, self-centered behavior is only a mask to hide the poor, sweet soul underneath? Why is your entire personality ignored? Could it have something to do with being voiced by Stephen Fry?
Colonel Autumn of Fallout 3 has legions of fans. Nevermind that he's part of a racist, genocidal fascist group. Nevermind that he murders an innocent woman in cold blood and drives the player character's father to Heroic Sacrifice. Nevermind that even at the end, the only difference between his and Eden's plan is that he doesn't plan to commit genocide, but still intends to use his control over Project Purity to turn the Wasteland into an oppresive, iron-fisted fascist dystopia...
The Enclave in general gets this treatment with a fanbase trying to spin them into having some sort of noble intentions. The Enclave were a shadow government organization that instigated a nuclear war they assumed only they would be prepared for to wipe everyone out. They are anti-mutant, but their definition of "mutant" is anyone that isn't pure bred Enclave. Their ultimate goal is mass genocide and their largest detractors tend to be former members of the Enclave.
John Henry Eden gets this as well. Though in this tropes defense, he does genuinely seem to not be malicious in the game, and as a machine, may not even be capable of wishing people ill-will. A lot of the fandom will, however, completely ignore or downplay his genocidal plans.
Mr. Burke, due in large part to having exactly the same voice as Lucien Lachance from Oblivion. It's no coincidence that a lot of female PCs take the Black Widow perk around the same time they enter Megaton.
Caesar. According to many players he's simply a perfectly lovely fellow who's only using the Legion's brutality to bring order to the Wasteland. This convientantly misses the slight quibble of him wiping out an entire city and attempting to extermiante a further two tribes simply to spite Joshua Graham. Or his blunt admission that he enjoys murdering his enemies. Or his scolding the Courier for not enjoying violence for the Hell of it if you try to save Benny. Or him threatening to torture you to death for his enjoyment if you quit the Legion. Or making thinly veiled death threats if you ask about his defeat at Hoover Dam. And then there is the whole issue of him running a giant empire where slavery, human sacrifice, sadism and the extermination of the elderly, ill and homosexuals are accepted practices.
Much of the treatment of Legion characters goes to the heavy Grey-and-Grey Morality of New Vegas; no faction path is truly bloodless and every side ends up with a bit of an Inferred Holocaust on their hands. Even then, though, Caesar's Legion has by far the fewest moments of sympathy, and the wasteland under their control offers seemingly very few advantages over any other path. Funnily, this is probably closer to the original intention, where the Legion were intended to be more sympathetic but suffered from having a lot of content cut, but this doesn't much change the Legion ingame.
In a few cases, many players felt this effect about themselves after they acted in a way that they felt was right, but didn't gel with what Word of God held to be. A notable case is Roy, a ghoul victimized by prejudice in Tenpenny Tower and wanting revenge. The policy certainly comes off as unjust, and indeed, the ruler of Tenpenny Tower is very evil and killing him is treated as good. Roy's revenge scheme, however, is letting legimitely-insane ghouls in to slaughter all of the occupants, including one who once had a beloved heroic ghoul as a friend. Yet the game treats killing him as evil, and most players unsurprisingly disagree. Similarly, the game heaps scorn on players for going against Ashur in The Pitt, despite the fact that the game never gave any hint that he had a sympathetic side until after the fact.
This isn't helped by the fact that even when the situation is resolved with getting both sides to live together peacefully, Roy still ends up leading a revolt and slaughtering all the human residents of the Tower.
Final Fantasy has pretty boys in leather pants to spare, not surprising given the poster child.
Final Fantasy VII's post-meltdown Sephiroth was a sociopathic madman who killed Aerith, burned down Cloud's hometown, betrayed his trust in a glorious way, and led him on a wild goose chase all across the Planet simply to manipulate him into bringing him a magical Doomsday Device, which he then used to attempt to destroy the world. There isn't even the faintest hint of sympathy portrayed for him by any of the game's characters. However, this doesn't stop the fandom declaring him to be a Hive Mind puppet of Jenova, and relegating him to the level of innocence commonly reserved for The Woobie — even though this theory was never implied in the game, and was blatantly disproven by Word of God and the supplemental materials.note In fact, it's the opposite. Sephiroth is controlling Jenova. This seems purely an effect of his good looks as similarly bad but creepy villains in the story get no such sympathy, though it might also be due to remembering the Pre-meltdown version and trying 'badly' to merge the two personas.
Crisis Core Genesis to a far lesser extent has fans who will rabidly defend him as the victim, in spite of all of the terrible things he did. His injury was his own fault from getting reckless, trying to KILL (or at the very least injure) Sephiroth and not stopping when Angeal tried to stop him. He didn't really get any character development and he would recite Loveless obsessively (some fans argue this was from him going mad as his death drew nearer), he told Sephiroth what they were at the Nibelheim reactor and if it is made canon, it's his fault, which just fuels Sephiroth fangirls' attempts make him more sympathetic. Some like to ship him with Tifa for Love Redeems in fanfiction. On top of that, in the end, he gets no real punishment. His injury is healed and the degeneration stops and he survives for Dirge of Cerberus.
Kuja from Final Fantasy IX is a smug bastard that manipulates people to gain power, kills the princess' mother, taunts Vivi on how he was manufactured instead of being a real person, and throws a cosmic tantrum when he finds out that his life span is short, so he destroys a planet and seeks to end all forms of life as a response. Many fans view Kuja as a poor sympathetic guy who is brainwashed to destroy and just needs some affection. While he gets an Alas, Poor Villain death, this assessment is inaccurate.
Seymour Guado from Final Fantasy X also receives plenty of sympathy from fans despite the fact he murdered his father in cold blood, tried to kill the daughter of Braska, murdered two fellow maesters to go One-Winged Angel, and tried to merge with the destructive force that is Sin just so he could destroy Spira and "save" it. While he does have a legitimate excuse, he nonetheless is whitewashed by many fans acting like he never did anything wrong and gloss over his crimes just because he looks good much like Sephiroth, Seifer, and Kuja below and ship him with Yuna even though it was very clear Yuna hated the guy.
Gaius van Baelsar is seen as the most sympathetic villain in the whole game. He's a commander for The Empire and imposes their views and justifications on the people of Eorzea no matter what their stance is. Gaius has no qualms with having beastmen being slaughtered left and right to prevent them from summoning the aether sucking primals, even if some of the beastmen are innocent. Gaius also believes that only a powerful man is fit to be a ruler and that he (or at least the empire itself) is fit to rule over Eorzea since the people are nothing but "savages" that should be subjugated by the empire to quell the chaos and disorder in the land. Anyone that doesn't surrender to the empire is either killed or forced to serve in the empire's army. Despite everything that Gaius does or says that should paint him as immoral or at least questionable, a lot of fans wish they were given the option to join him since they believe he is not completely wrong in how Eorzea is chaotic and a mess with irredeemable qualities. Even after Gaius supposedly died in an explosion at the end of 2.0, fans refused to believe that he actually died, since his body was never shown and they feel that he is too much of a badass to die. This eventually turned out to be the case, with Gaius making a formal return as a sort-of ally late in Stormblood's patch cycle.
Zenos, another Garlean commander, was written to be as unlikable as possible for his debut in the Stormblood story. He casually kills off his soldiers when they fail him, had two of his soldiers undergo horrific experiments, treats the death of rebels he killed as if it were just another Tuesday, and only gains interest in the player character because they eventually match him in raw power and he needed someone to give him a rush in battle. Even Lyse calls Zenos out using the war as an excuse to be able to feel something besides boredom. The last thing that Zenos says to the player before killing himself is "Farewell my first friend, my enemy." That single line alone sparked a surge of fans rushing in to defend and sympathize with Zenos, claiming that he was a Tragic Villain who didn't have anyone to confide in and how he was abused by The Empire.
Yotsuyu, the acting Viceroy for Zenos in Doma, is portrayed as a cruel, twisted, and sadistic woman that gets pleasure from watching people squirm and suffer under her heel; at a fishing village in the Ruby Sea, she orders a man to shoot another village on the suspicion that he was a rebel. After he kills him, she then orders the guy to kill his parents just because they were too old to be of any use to the empire (he aims to shoot Yotsuyu instead, but is quickly shot and killed by her guards). In another scene, she has some Kojin beastmen killed for failing her and then she flat out admits that killing beastmen doesn't give her the same pleasure as killing a Doman citizen. When she is confronted by the heroes for the last time, she breaks down into a Motive Rant, stating that she enjoyed torturing Domans since she was abused by them (physically and sexually) since childhood. Even though Yotsuyu was shown to clearly be in the wrong, many fans feel that her actions were totally justified.
Emet-Selch, an Ascian with serious Super Supremacist personality who doesn't even consider the inhabitants of the 14 shards to be alive, created the Garlean Empire solely for the purpose of causing Calamities, and was also the mastermind behind the Allagan Empire, thus making him responsible for causing two Calamities and most of the other tragedies in both lore and game. In Shadowbringers, while he tries to integrate into the Scion's circle, its revealed that he was behind the creation of Vauthry, the twisted lord of a decadent, hedonic "paradise" that had a serve class system and fed its people grounded-upSin Eaters, all in order to cause the Eight Umbral Calamity, and later backstabs the Scions by shooting and capturing the Crystal Exarch in order to ensure that his backup plan to turn the Warrior of Light into the Prime Lightwarden of all of Norvrandt works, and subsequently kickstart the Eight Calamity anyways. And yet people can say "Emet-Selch did nothing wrong" because of his tragic past and wish to save his race from a cruel fate that destroyed everything that he held dear.
Despite being absolutely horrifying, the animatronics are often portrayed as being much goofier and/or cuter in fan works. This may be due to the characters the robots are supposed to represent, rather than the bots themselves. It also doesn't help that the actual protagonists of the game tend to be of the featureless variety, so people feel more compelled to make art relating to the much more memorable, colorful animatronics, but the "mindless Killer Robot" characterization does not give one much to work with.
Foxy gets to wear the leather pants more than any of the main animatronics due to his popularity with furries, as well as the initial belief that he was the one that committed The Bite of 87 and therefore caused Pirate Cove to be closed to the public. There is even a theory that he is even a good guy in universe: according to this theory he becomes worried about Mike if he notices his camera hasn't been checked for a while and runs to the office to make sure the guard is okay, only for a malfunctioning voicebox to trigger a heart attack which kills Mike. In fairness, he is the only robot in the original game who does not get in the player's face when attacking; instead the Game Over is caused by him "leaning" into the office through the door, almost as if he's just popping up to pass Mike a message. Was later jossed.
There's also the implications through the series that the animatronics are tragic villains, which was eventually confirmed by Five Nights at Freddy's 3. They're haunted by children who were murdered by a man dressed as one of the mascots. But at the same time, they're also vengeful spirits who distrust and hunt adults, believing them to be the same killer.
And then there's the theory which gives William a Freudian Excuse and makes him a Tragic Villain. He is the father of the Child (which is later heavily implied, if not outright confirmed to be the case) and after the Child's death, he fell in despair and started killing children so everyone will feel what he felt. Some even go so far to say he killed the Child's four murderers, one of them being his own son. Was later jossed, showing that Afton is an abusive father that couldn't give a shit about his kids.
Among the animatronics, Springtrap rivals Foxy in terms of leather pants-wearing, with many interpreting him as a remorseful anti villain of some kind, despite being just as deadly as — if not more than — the other animatronics and being haunted by Afton.
Kratos of God of War, whose badassery is enough that fans make excuses for his more evil actions. Some people say that his actions were somewhat justified because the Greek gods messed with his life; of course, a list of people whose lives were ruined in actualGreek Mythology because the Greek gods "messed with their lives" (compared to, say, Heracles, Kratos was lucky) would fill a very large book, and lots of them turned out to be far more benign than he was. Granted, he Took a Level in Kindness by the time of the fourth game, but not even Kratos feels his actions were justified.
Apart from Kratos, his father Zeus also gets some sympathy from the fans, largely from those who found Kratos too callous to sympathise with by the time of the third game. Never mind the fact that he separated Kratos from his brother for years, put a curse on Kratos' mother to turn her into a monster if she ever tried to reveal his father's identity to him, or that he took his son Hephaestus' surrogate daughter Pandora prisoner and beat Hephaestus up to the point of deforming him. Or that he abandoned Athena- the mythological Zeus' favorite daughter- to die on Kratos' sword, despite the fact that her sacrifice saved his life. It doesn't help that the majority of Zeus' atrocities take place off-screen (apart from when he destroys Sparta in God of War II), or that the whole reason he turned on Kratos and tried to kill him was because Kratos infected him with Fear from Pandora's Box after opening it in the first game. Additionally, right after stripping Kratos of his divinity, Zeus gives a Strawman Has a Point moment to Kratos: Kratos was directly posing a danger to Olympus itself, so he was the one who would betray Zeus, not the reverse.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: Lance Vance, thanks to his charismatically smooth demeanor, has received this from his fans who actually justified his betrayal of Tommy as the reason being that they felt Tommy was mistreating him throughout the storyline and not giving him a fair slice when in reality, Tommy has only berated Lance for his mistakes twice (once for his impulsive attempt to murder Diaz and the other for lazing around the job), and the fans completely ignore the fact that Lance has done very little to help out Tommy and acts incredibly childish when he is chastised for his indolence instead of simply owning up to his mistake and promising to better himself in the future.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Surprisingly enough, Catalinaofallcharacters has even gotten this by the fans of the game who actually like her. They often ignore the fact that she's a psychopathic murderer who only likes to kill and rob because it amuses her by pointing out how lovely they think she looks, and when they do acknowledge it, they try to pass it off as her having a bad childhood. Sure her mentioning a stepdaughter being poorly fed by her stepfather while her stepbrother is giving a much healthier feast might give away a hint, but it doesn't prove that this has actually happened to Catalina herself since her childhood is never explained in either of her appearances, and it still doesn't excuse her treatment of CJ throughout her missions in the storyline.
While definetly not to the extent of Trevor, people also tend to downplay Michael's negative qualities. While yes, he wants to change for the better, he betrayed his gang to be with his girlfriendnote While this is completely understandable if he had no other choice, he was onboard with the idea of them dying in the process, despite knowing he'd be in witness protection regardless cheated on said girlfriend before the events of the game, complains when she cheats on him for revenge, ignores his kids, and has It's All About Me mentalitynote Most noticeably, he makes Franklin work for someone so he'd get to work at his dream job. He does get better, but only after his family leaves him.
On the other hand, there's also a lot of people who try to paint Amanda as an innocent victim of Michael's psychotic impulses, when she's basically as bad as him aside from not being murderous. She cheats frequently (even beyond the one time she cheated on him "for revenge"), disregards her husband's incredibly generous ground rules for said cheating (like not doing it in his house, or with anyone he has to pay for the privilege), and blames every problem in her life on Michael even if he had nothing to do with it, or no choice in the matter. She also seems to think not being a murderer makes her morally superior to him and gives her full license to hypocritically ridicule every aspect of his life. Even in "Reuniting the family" it's clear she still doesn't feel she should be held responsible for her share of the friction in their marriage.
The Origami Killer (a.k.a. Scott Shelby) in Heavy Rain Not only is he the most badass player character in the game, he also has numerous Pet the Dog moments long, long before The Reveal. This is compounded when you see how crappy his childhood was, and that he's doing all this to get back at fathers that don't love their kids. The problem? He's murdering children. By the time the game starts, he's already killed at least eight people, not counting the parents that vanished trying to save their sons. Even if you find Shaun, he'll gladly shoot you in the back and let your son drown.
Many of the Hunters from Identity V are likely to become less scary and more attractive in fan art, especially if it has to do with shipping. Jack, The Ripper; Joker/Smiley Face; and Wu Changnote Who doesn't even need to be redesigned because fans think they're handsome enough are among the most noble examples.
As for Identity V, we have Joseph the Photographer. A very handsome, young-looking Frenchman with Occult Blue Eyes - who also happens to have a rather freaky-looking alternative form and traps people in photographs. Naturally, fans (especially Rule 34 artists) usually ignore the latter form and his lore all because of his appearance.
Organization XIII act to regain their hearts so they can become complete. People tend to forget that, in pursuit of this goal, they manipulated Sora and erased his memories, they tried to corrupt Riku, they kidnapped Kairi, they unleashed The Heartless, and they messed with many worlds. This attitude is still the same even after a game specifically about the Organization was released, with said game showing that the members of the Organization do not give a damn about each other and are complete assholes. The only one who did was Roxas, who is clearly noted to be a special case.
It has been revealed that the Organization were lied to about the state of their hearts and were pawns for Xemnas's Evil Plan. While they do start out as heartless, their hearts can be restored through connections with people, which happened to Axel, Roxas and Namine. Xemnas and Xigbar were misleading them and manipulating them to keep them from making connections so they could become vessels for Xehanort's heart. This, however, does not change the fact that they were outright antagonistic towards Sora and company and were putting lives in danger.
Axel, despite showing very few admirable qualities in Chain of Memories and only helping Sora out as part of his own agenda, gained an immense following due to his striking good looks and badass charisma. That, combined with his general coolness, lead to his role being tweaked in Kingdom Hearts II and the character becoming an Anti-Villain. Early trailers (like at 1:36 here and 1:12 here) shows Axel looking much more evil than he was in the finished product. He has, like Riku, undergone a genuine HeelFace Turn in later games, but it doesn't change what he did.
The Eldritch Abomination Zero of the Kirby series has some fans rationalizing that it wants to spread misery as a result of jealousy towards those who experience positive emotions, or rather that it's just lonely and wants friends. This stems from an old Japanese Kirby encyclopedia, which gave Dark Matter the latter exact Freudian Excusenote though a Nintendo Dream inverview confirmed much later that HAL did take that backstory into account during development, but Zero wasn't introduced until Kirby's Dream Land 3, yet the fanbase usually applies the guide's words to only Zero and not the rest of Dark Matter.
Dark Matter itself counts really. While it does have a sympathetic backstory, it tried to flood Pop Star with dark clouds and possessed King Dedede. A Japanese Kirby's Dream Land 3 guide even suggests that it's the same Dark Matter that fights Kirby and Gooey in the Hyper Zone, showing that it's perfectly willing to serve its boss to whatever end. Some fanart even portrays it as being friendly with Gooey despite Gooey being thrown into a sack along with Kirby's friends by its minions (Dream Land 2) and being outright attacked by it (Dream Land 3).
Two other villains who constantly get this treatment are Marx from Kirby Super Star and Magolor from Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Many fans ignore or refuse to accept the fact that these two are Manipulative Bastards that tricked Kirby into helping them take over Pop Star (Marx) and the entire universe (Magolor). A lot of fanart for these two portray them as cute innocent guys who mean no harm instead of being evil. It doesn't help that both of them do look pretty cute.
The Cult of the Jamba Heart from Kirby Star Allies get this treatment. Even Lord Hyness, who treats the mage generals like garbage, is sometimes portrayed as a Nice Guy that regrets his abusive behavior and wants to be friends with Kirby. Speaking of the mage generals, they aren't exactly innocent either. Yes, what Hyness does to them is messed up, but keep in mind that they are part of a cult.When Hyness summons them after getting his hood knocked off during his fight, the generals can be heard cheerfully giggling before he drains their life energy, implying that they're willing to be used as tools if it means they can finally kill Kirby and proceed with their mission. Regardless of whichever members deserve redemption, it doesn't change the fact that all four of them are guilty of attempting to murder Kirby and his friends, reviving an eldritch horror that's hellbent on destroying the universe and being presumably so dangerous that they were not only banished, but nearly had all proof of their existence erased.
As of the 4.0 update this has been retroactively Justified in Heroes in Another Dimension with the Jambastion mages pulling a HeelFace Turn (or at the very least, not being as hateful and vengance-driven) with Hyness heavily implied to follow suit.
The infected in Left 4 Dead. There is a disturbing amount of shipping works starring them, and the Witch is often branded The Woobie, because she's always crying. The Hunter, on the other hand, is often depicted as an attractive young man beneath his hood despite how decayed his face looks in the actual game.
While Kain of Legacy of Kain isn't without sympathetic qualities and somewhat noble motivations, he is still a vicious Evil Overlord who will kill anyone who gets in his way and laughs in amusement as he drinks the blood from helpless prisoners chained to walls who beg him for help. Many fans, both those trying to justify his evil because he's such a badass and those trying to justify their Perverse Sexual Lust for him, try to gloss over his less heroic aspects and focus on the fact he's trying to save the world, ignoring the fact that he's trying to save the world so he can rule it and enslave humanity. Of course, there is a large section of the fanbase that not only acknowledges the evil side of the character, but love him for it. He also strides around in a pair of actual leather pants.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has Crow Armbrust, also known as "C", Big Bad of the first game as the leader of the terrorist group Imperial Liberation Front. His crimes he and his subordinates have done involve kidnapping the royal princess (and the protagonist's adopted little sister), nearly starting a war with Erebonia and the Calvard Republic (two nations that have a lot of friction with each other), hijacking the empire's most powerful fortress and attempting to fire the railway guns stationed at said fortress to bombard the internation trade conference for all of the nations of Western Zemuria at Crossbell (which wasnever going to happen because the guns were fired at a later time), raiding the mines owned by the royal family, attempted assassination at the Evil Chancellor in broad daylight (while the chancellor was giving a speech about needing to start a war with Crossbell due to the events of Ao) which then starts a civil war in Erebonia between nobles and commoners, and putting Rean in a coma for an entire month after he curb stomped the latter in the final boss fight of the first game. While fans don't necessarily forget his crimes, they still forgive him thanks to his backstory of wanting revenge against the chancellor for driving his grandfather to die due to his hometown becoming a part of the empire (though not because of invasion but rather its citizens wanting to be a part of the empire because of all the money trade they have made with the empire). This isn't helped by the fact that Rean is willing to forgive him a little bit too much and really wants to bring him back to school.
Ganondorf is a complicated example as he is almost always depicted as a thoroughly unrepentant and power-hungry villain except for one entry which cast him as a remorseful and melancholic figure. The typical Ganon kills innocent people, plans hostile coups, makes people suffer, and generally passes the villain test with flying colors. However, he has his fans, due to his rugged good looks, high intelligence, and charisma, though most of them don't go as far as excusing his actions.
Given that Ocarina of Time already showed a very clear and decidedly bad outcome if Ganondorf were ever to acquire the power he's after, it just means that he's either legitimately less arrogant having already failed once before, hiding behind a more humble facade since his powers aren't restored until late in the plot, or he sincerely believes that he won't unleash a flood of evil once he acquires the complete Triforce this time.
Nathan Prescott from Life Is Strange gets a lot of this treatment. Many of his fans tend to excuse every awful thing he's done by saying he was driven to it by his mental illness and the abuse his fatherand Mark Jefferson inflicted on him. Regardless, he still kills a girl (or two, depending on your choice ingame), kidnaps Kate Marsh, drugs and sexually abuses Chloe, physically attacks several students, throws a handful of misogynistic and homophobic slurs throughout the game, and several other actions that seems to go unnoticed by a large portion of the fandom.
Mass Effect has plenty of examples, some played straight and some even deliberately exploiting the trope.
Saren Arterius of Mass Effect is occasionally a subject of this. While the ending has him being convinced by Shepard that he screwed up on trying to contain the Reapers and only made everything worse because he fell to their indoctrination, and it is even possible to get him to shoot himself in the head and end his cooperation with Sovereign, this does in no way negate the fact that he was a very horrible person with thousands of bystanders as casualties when on missions for the Council, only to prove his racist points.
In the second game, he's evidently considered this in-universe as the Shadow Broker DLC reveals that there exists a documentary entitled Saren: A Hero Betrayed. Watching this (amongst other things) apparently drove Captain Anderson into drinking.
Cerberus and its leader, the Illusive Man, are initially the only ones who believe Shepard about the Reapers and provide them with an enormous amount to tools to aid in the fight against them, including literally bringing them back from the dead. Indeed, the galaxy would have been screwed without them. They're also a human supremacistterrorist organization that want to secure human dominance in the galaxy by any means necessary, including experimenting on children, attacking the Quarian flotilla, and collecting Reaper technology. Inevitably, there are some who ignore the latter in favor of focusing on the former.
In fact, this is deliberately invoked in-game. As Shepard will learn in the subsequent game that the Illusive Man made sure Shepard's crew consisted of the people who knew the least about Cerberus' true agenda and whose attitudes were most in line with Shepard's which makes player sympathy for Cerberus almost inevitable. Not only that, two of Shepard's squadmates saw this coming, but their point was lost due to Cerberus invoking the opposite trope on them.
Kai Leng, a xenophobe who tortured and killed various aliens (and a human) in horrific ways. It helps that he looks like a cross between Raiden and a Final Fantasy character.
Bizarrely enough, the Reapers themselves. Some fans attempt to justify their unfathomable acts of repeated mass genocide, Mind Rape and torture through the Reapers' own insane and easily disprovable reasoning for their actions, even arguing that allowing the galaxy to fall under their rule or supervision is somehow a good thing.
Mass Effect 2 introduces Secret Character Morinth, who is an Asari "Ardat Yakshi", or "vampiricspace succubus" whose own mother describes her as a monster. She's a sociopath who is quite literally addicted to killing people by overloading their nervous systems during her Mind Link Sex, favors preying on the emotionally weak and vulnerable, and will gladly sacrifice entire villages to cover her tracks. Despite this, she gets a lot of supporters who defend her actions because "she didn't ask to be born an Ardat Yakshi" (she inherited the genes from her mother as a result of her mating with other Asari) and because of the rather draconian measures Asari take to keep Ardat Yakshi under control (enforced chastity and imprisonment in a monastery-colony for the rest of her life, or execution). Her own mother sadly praising her as the "brightest and best of my daughters" only fuels the flames.
Vile from Mega Man X. Fans like to pair him with X, forgetting that he loathes X in canon and tried to kill him. Repeatedly. Later though, Maverick Hunter X made Vile a playable character and changed the story to accomodate him as a Nominal Hero instead of completely evil (though he still hates X).
Dynamo, who admittedly has a cool design, a double-sided beam saber and awesome boss music. Too bad fans forget that he tried to drop a colony on the planet, was creepily subservient to Sigma, tried to stop the heroes from saving the planet, and had a cheerily fun time doing it. Yet people like to write him as a lovable goofy prankster who joins the Hunters.
Vamp. Fan Fic writers tend to treat him as this utterly tragic figure who just wants to be loved, all the while conveniently forgetting that he's a terrorist and a blood-drinking murderer who killed an innocent, defenseless girl for no discernible reason. This treatment seems to be the result of his bisexuality and the massive amounts of Foe Yay he has with Raiden.
Colonel Volgin, a mass murderer, gets a surprising amount of leeway from many fans purely because of his Morality Pet lover Raikov.
Big Boss himself, although his is a special case. His backstory in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater revealed him to be a genuinely sympathetic character, causing fans to go so far as to excuse, if not outright defend his less-than-admirable actions in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Some have even gone so far as to call Big Boss the true hero of the series for his intention to rebel against the Patriots' control, never mind Big Boss himself calling his son, Solid Snake, a better man than he ever would be.
Fangirls of Metro: Last Light are sometimes a bit too fond of Pavel. Yes, he's something of an Anti-Villain who's more honorable than his fellow Red Line soldiers, but they all too easily forget the fact that he unrepentantly stabbed Artyom in the back and betrayed him to the Reds, doing nothing to stop his subsequent torture and interrogation, and from there proceeds to carry out his part in Korbut's genocidal plan without a single hint of hesitation. Yes, he shows some remorse when fighting Artyom in Red Square, but in spite of all his talk of mercy, he never actually stops doing any of the nasty stuff he does. As far as his fans are concerned, all it takes to absolve all of that is a pretty face and a sexy Russian accent.
However, the absolute king of this is Eddie Gluskin, who is more or less the Big Bad of the Whistleblower DLC due to being the Variant with the longest interaction with the player. This individual is the only named Variant confirmed as having been a case of Insane Equals Violent even before the twisted experiments, having originally been a misogynistic Serial Killer who abducted, tortured and murdered women as part of his obsessive quest to find a "perfect" women to become his bride. A psychological report on him that you can find in-game notes that he's an attention whore who refuses to acknowledge things he doesn't want to and will tell anyone whatever he thinks they want to hear in a transparent attempt to manipulate them. During the events of the Mount Massive Massacre, he takes to assaulting random inmates; as transmisogynistic as he is misogynistic, he's become fixated upon the idea that he can turn men into his ideal woman. Such unfortunates are shaven clean before he brutally hacks off their genitalia in an attempt to "make" himself a vagina to use, which of course kills them. The player character Waylon Park narrowly avoids taking a circular saw to the crotch during a prolonged scene of Controlled Helplessness and has to play a cat-and-mouse game with Gluskin throughout the penultimate chapter, listening to him alternatively cajole the player to become "his woman"note Waylon is canonically a straight man, Happily Married, with two sons and spouting misogynistic slurs. In the end, he gets a Karmic Death when he ends up impaling himself painfully through the guts whilst trying to hang Waylon. And yet he has a huge fandom amongst female players and especially amongst the Yaoi Fangirls, to the point that Eddie/Waylon romances make up the vast majority of Outlast fanfiction, approached only by Eddie/female original character romances. Why? Because of his stated goal to be an old-fashioned chivalric loving father and husband, his politeness (when not spewing slurs like "whore" at you for evading him), for being a cute guy who remains Ugly Cute after being turned into a Variantnote his Facial Horror is mostly a case of Red Eyes, Take Warning, running around in a sharp tuxedo outfit (albeit one covered in blood from his victims), the fact he begs Waylon for help in the prelude of the game, and his Dark and Troubled Past, which involves being raped by his father and his uncle and which he denies ever happened.
Really, the Leather Pantsing is so extreme that not only is Waylon Park sometimes outright slapped with Ron the Death Eater treatment due to "rejecting poor, sweet Eddie's love" or refusing to help him at the start, the biggest Broken Base is between Eddie's adoring fangirls and the irate fans who despise the idea of giving him such treatment, given he's canonically one of the sickest individuals in the series.
The mostly hopeful tone of Overwatch's lore generally adheres to the principle that evil is cultivated, not born, which means even the game's vilest bad guys have some measure of humanity to be found in them, if even just a vestige. Naturally, some fans take a mile when given an inch and see this as an invitation to excuse or justify any wrongdoing committed by their favorite character, even if they're part of a warmongering cabal of terrorists with a history of murdering civilians. Reaper and Widowmaker in particular have fans who tend to focus so much on their sympathetic backstories that they either forget or ignore how they've both acclimatized to their new roles as sadistic killers who take pleasure in making innocent people suffer and who are both actively abetting a plot to start a meaningless world war.
Roadhog and Junkrat are both violent murderers, but still entertaining and a bit lovable (mostly Junkrat). But fan perception often turns them from insane murderers into a pair of harmless jokers with a propensity for cuddling (mainly Roadhog, who canonically views his partner more like a client than a friend and doesn't even seem to like him very much).
The traitor, Tohru Adachi, of Persona 4. Keep in mind that he threatened Nanako to get to the main characters, and arranged for her appearance on the Midnight Channel so Namatame would abduct her, which would have killed her if they didn't catch him in time. Many fans like to take the fact that he seems to turn around in the end as a sign that he's not as evil as he seems.
Mitsuo Kubo, whose nihilism fits well with some of the people who think he is much cooler since he rejected his shadow completely, and then there are the people who feel sorry for him because they find him so pathetic. The drastic lengths he goes to just for attention, his Shadow, and the extreme ostracization he's implied to have gone through make him a Jerkass Woobie taken to the extreme.
GLaDOS sometimes gets this. While most of her fans embrace her evilness and love her for it, there are also those who completely ignore her murderousness and reduce her to a somewhat bitchy, but ultimately goodhearted, Deadpan Snarker. This is often done in the name of making their favorite ships more plausible.
Cave Johnson provides the series' entry on Misaimed Fandom, and for good reason. Some players see him as a Crazy Awesome industrialist, as opposed to the man who ran Aperture Science into the ground and casually killed untold numbers of people through product testing, and who ultimately had his best friend and secretary uploaded into a computer against her will.
Aran Ryan in Punch-Out Wii. Just take a look in deviantART and see him turn from "Complete Lunatic" into "Irish Hottie".
William Birkin from the Resident Evil series. Never mind the fact that he (and Albert Wesker) killed a fellow scientist just so he could take over his research, never mind that he conducted inhumane experiments on human test subjects and was responsible for the creation of several monsters (he was the one who created the Hunters), never mind the fact that he injected himself with his own creation (the G-Virus) and tries to mutate his own daughter into another G-Mutant (granted only after he turned into a mindless monster).... all the fans really care about is that he's a Tragic Monster. It doesn't hurt that he was a loving husband and father as well.
Wesker himself. This is a man who has betrayed and tried to kill the main characters, subjected innocent civilians to an experimental zombie outbreak, abducted and brainwashed Jill Valentine, and tried to wipe out the majority of life on Earth via bio-terrorism so he can play God. But due to his intelligence and voice actor, there are fans who legitimately think he should get to take over the world. It was lampshaded in Resident Evil 5 with Excella, who fetishized every screwed-up thing he did and acted like they were destined to be together. Not only does Wesker not care about her advances, but he turns her into a monster to slow down the good guys.
Some players of Shadow Hearts: From the New World claim that the villains are the most sympathetic people in the game. Said villains are Lady, a soulless mass of evil trying to destroy the world and killing almost anyone standing in her way, and Killer, a serial killer with no motivation beyond sadism and loyalty to Lady.
Lucifer. People forget that he's the premier Fallen Angel, a Magnificent and Manipulative Bastard, whose goals, when viewed logically, wouldn't look out of place in Warhammer 40,000 - the ultimate destruction of all worldly law and order, the release of all the madness and chaos of the human heart. He's literally Chaos incarnate - and while he honestly wants Humanity to survive, it's because the human spirit is the key to everything in the SMT'verse. He's vicious and ruthless, calmly planning a Z-Class Apocalypse Howone day, popping up for a test match the next, tampering with established history tomorrow and playing with some humans for fun some other day.
Walter Sullivan of Silent Hill 4 is most certainly screwed up beyond all reason, but his fans have an unsettlingly common habit of ignoring the nearly two dozen innocent people he brutally murdered, two of them children. It's just hard to hate a guy whose dying action is to reach for the sky and sadly ask for his mother. Part of the problem probably stems from the fact that the game portrays his child self and adult self as two separate characters. As a child, he was extremely sympathetic. He was abandoned by his parents and raised by an abusive and demonic cult. Of course, such a messed up childhood did not create a sane adult. It's likely that since the child appears regularly, a lot of people are given the impression that it still represents who he is, when it more accurately represents who he thinks he is.
Pyramid Head gets this treatment too, because he's "sexy". Even though he's a rapist and murderer. Doesn't matter, he's "sexy".
While he's no longer a villain, many fans think the title character of Shadow the Hedgehog just needs a sympathetic hug. While he's been warming up to his partners (all two of them), his portrayal is maintained as him being utterly ruthless in his methods, consistently vengeful, violent, egotistical and chilly.
Let's not forget the Big Bad himself, Dr. Eggman. While some games (Adventure 2 most notably) alludes to his shreds of humanity, Eggman's devoted and outspoken fanbase can sometimes downplay the evil he commits, viewing him as more of a well-intentioned extremist at worst. It helps that he skirts the line between Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil, Depending on the Writer of course.
Commander Tartar sometimes gets this treatment despite being a xenophobic AI who hates both Octarians and Inklings. Despite this, some fans, jokingly or not, have commented on how it was right, even though the game portrays it as a Jerkass that only cares about its own twisted vision, even if it was initially supposed to Fling a Light into the Future.
Marina invokes this in-universe during the "Super Smash Bros Ultimate Heroes VS. Villains" Splatfest. She's on the Villain side and, according to her, villains are just misunderstood people who want to break the establishment.
From the Spyro franchise is Malefor, from The Legend of Spyro, who could easily be the runner-up to Sephiroth in this department. Fans tend to interpret him any which way, despite his in-game character being the most despicable villain in the franchise, and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Many other villains, including Ripto from the PS1/GBA games and Red from the PS2/DS games also suffer from this, but to a far lesser extent. (None of the villains from Skylanders seem to have suffered from this trope, at least so far.)
ZEX from Star Control 2 is not exactly a nice guy (he does try to add the Captain to his menagerie, and all), but a startlingly large portion of the fandom sees him as a poor, misunderstood, mistreated woobie who just wants to live happily ever after getting it on with the Captain.
The Star Wolf mercenary group in Star Fox. Leader Wolf, while honorable, is a self-centered jerkass who pined at least nine to eleven years (spanning the time frame of the series) for revenge against one guy, and tried to kill him and his group for an unclear reason beforehand; Leon is supposedly an Ax-Crazy killer, and though Panther is The Dandy and the least aggressive of the group, he still commits crimes and will kill anyone when he must. Expect all three, especially Wolf, to be painted as woobifiedBroken Birds who had the most brutal of backgrounds and are really innocent souls on the inside. Also expect them to find solace in a romance with another male member of the cast.
Bowser was heightened to this status by some, after Paper Mario confirmed that he's had a crush on Peach since the series began. What seems to be conveniently overlooked in these fantasies, however, is that he's an uncompromising brute who is seemingly incapable of expressing any feelings softer than "I get what I want or I punch your nose in," which is all part of his charm, of course. Still, in some of the latest games, he has unwittingly proved to be even slightly capable of some goodness, which is a bit contradictory for an Evil Overlord, Big Bad, or Card-Carrying Villain. The uncompromising brute he usually is is currently more of a selfish, immature Jerkass than pure villain and might not get him what he wants anymore, just likely piss off everybody.
A far, far worse offender is Dimentio. Unlike Bowser, he has absolutelynoredeemingfeatures and is probably the single most evil character in all of Mario history. This completely goes over the heads of his fangirls, who insist on portraying him in a sympathetic light or just outright forgetting that he's supposed to be a villain.
Simply being a Death Seeker is reason enough for many fans to Woobify someone like him. Just look at Shu Shirakawa, who killed countless people, helped start at least one war, and was willing to destroy the Earth to achieve his only-a-little-bit-sympathetic goals.
Amara Balshem from 2nd Super Robot Wars Original Generation. Her first appearance is shooting down the entire Huckebein series, a fan-favorite mech thanks to their likeness with the Gundam mechs, shot down Ing Egret twice, the second one being a sneak attack, and is very fanatical to her boss till he gets rid of her. The first point alone would have already marked her as The Scrappy for even thinking of killing an entire line of fan-favorite mechs. Instead, fan reaction is that the entire thing is not her fault but rather by Bandai Namco (granted, Namco Bandai have been shuffling out the Huckebein series due to likeness to Gundam since The Inspectors anime, but the act of having someone destroy it in-universe is still a pretty low blow), and true to the trope, it's because she's at least an attractive female when she's not putting up her 'fanatical' face, and being voiced by a voice actress who voiced in an anime that became something of a regular series in the mainline SRW. She became so popular that they made her into a playable character in Coffin of the End. It also helps that while her act of destroying the Huckebein series was a dick move... it's not a Moral Event Horizon, someone else has done worse.
Albel Nox from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is one of the most popular characters in the game's fandom - in great part because he's incredibly hot and is voiced by Crispin Freeman (or Isshin Chiba in the Japanese version) - despite the fact that he's a sadistic jerk who tortures some NPCs for fun and insults everyone from your party members to his own king. To his credit, the game does give you the option of having him join your party permanently, which can unlock a PA that shows he's very aware of his flaws, although he's still a ruthless prick even then. His DILP status is made all the more ironic by the Double Standard many of his fans have; they like to bash MariaTraydor for being bitchy, angsty and self-centred, even though Albel is a far more bitchy and self-centred character.
Leon Magnus in Tales of Destiny. In the first game, he is one sadistic Jerkass who even laughs in the face of death. But fans latched into him due to his cuteness and his background, and he ends up becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse who got brought back in the sequel as Judas, who had far more good qualities and far fewer bad ones than he did pre-mortem. The developers further pandered to this fanbase in the Japan-only PS2 remake, giving him a less antagonistic personality and making his death more honorable. Tropes Are Not Bad for his case, however, as this pandering made him more believable and liked than increasing his controversy.
The characters from Team Fortress 2 got this even before they showed any good tendencies (particularly The Medic and the Spy) their psychoses and enjoyment of murder being utterly removed in favor of depictions by fanfic authors as Shell-Shocked Veterans.
While Tekken's Nina Williams isn't explicitly a villain, she's described in-game as a cold-blooded and ruthless assassin. She had no problems attempting to assassinate her son (until backing out at the last moment), and in the games, she is, at best, an amoral mercenary. But because she's a gorgeous blonde and the most badass of the female characters, she's become such an ensemble darkhorse that she even got her own spin-off game.
Kazuya Mishima is another example. After apparently being Killed Off for Real, he amassed popularity enough to return. And he is still a massive bastard after resurrection, or even more. Still, he's a badass at doing his job and at least has a bad enough past and a soft spot of sorts on Jun Kazama, so there are some who justifies in making him less monstrous than he is in the game. Granted, Heihachi is more or less responsible for the utter mess that he is right now. On the other hand, Heihachi himself also gets his pass for his utter Badass Normal credentials, more visible Pet the Dog with Kuma (his pet bear) and the fact that Kazuya's practice as the head of Zaibatsu is just utterly brutal and open while Heihachi's more benevolent... never mind that in the end, those benevolent acts are just masks to cover Heihachi's own nefarious plans. So right now, Kazuya and Heihachi are competing on whose leather pants are shinier.
Chara/The Fallen Child, a young kid who ran away from their village, may or may not be this, as the game is very ambiguous about how they were like in their past life. If the interpretation that they are rotten to the core is canon, then all portrayals of Narrator Chara and other positive representations of them fall into this.
The most blatant example is Selvaria. She essentially murders some 150,000 people by feigning surrender so she'll be taken into custody, and dropping the setting-equivalent of a hydrogen bomb on a castle full of people, not including how many she killed before Ghirlandaio, and feels no remorse for any of it. She gets a pass because not only were most, if not all, of her victims, Asshole Victims, but also because of her reason for being in Maximillian's service. The moment he figured out that Selvaria was in love with him, he began subjecting her to repeated emotional manipulation and Domestic Abuse to make her do his bidding. And in the end he coldly ordered her to become a suicide bomber at Ghirlandio, which she goes through because the revelation that he saw her as nothing but a means to an end from day one causes her to cross the Despair Event Horizon.
Maximilian himself also gets this despite his Lack of Empathy and being a womanizingManipulative Bastard whose treatment of Selvaria basically amounts to Domestic Abuse. The fact that he's an unrepentant jerk is brushed off by his supporters, pointing to the fact that he "rescued" Selvaria from Imperial experimentation (ignoring that he himself uses her as a disposable weapon and coldly ordered her to become a suicide bomber after being defeated at Naggiar) and that he (apparently) objects to war crimes and punishes those who commit them (while committing several himself).
Jaeger, because he's rugged and cool and has a big cool tank and he's fighting for his nation's freedom. Nevermind the fact that to achieve that freedom he's willing to sell any other nation he can down the river to the empire while being a smug idiot who thinks only his problems matter. Some also give him flack for being a passive bystander (and essentially an Accomplice by Inaction) towards Selvaria's situation. Weirdly enough, he realizes his mistakes after he's defeated and leaves.
Lezard Valeth of Valkyrie Profile. In the game itself, he's depicted as a creepy stalker, callous to everyone, needlessly cruel and murderous, and completely unethical. In fact, his appearance in the Bonus Dungeon of the original game involves him Breaking the Fourth Wall and describing all of the terrible things that the developers themselves said about him during development. However, a combination of outrageously hammy dialogue, character design that makes folks think "evil Harry Potter" and being a Purposely OverpoweredSecret Character in the bonus dungeon results in way more fanfics pairing him with the center of his stalking than there should be based on his canon personality (said personality resulted in his appearance in the second game making him into the Big BadFinal Boss).
World of Warcraft has The Lich King (more specifically Arthas), Illidan Stormrage, and Kael'thas Sunstrider. To be fair, all three of them have very sympathetic backstories, Arthas had his soul cut out and still shows signs of being a Benevolent Boss sometimes.
Both Kael'thas and Illidan have similar issues, thanks toRetCons that have essentially split both of them, particularly Kael'thas, into two completely separate characters: one pre-Burning Crusade good guy (or at least anti-hero) and one post-Burning Crusade straight up villain. That fact has even led to Blizzard vowing to bring Illidan back with a redemption story, while regretting that they already wasted their chance with Kael'thas' resurrection.
Sylvanas as well, as players tend to sympathize with her tragic backstory (her homeland gets destroyed by the Scourge, she gets killed and raised as an undead), and tend to view her as the leader and protector of a race of undead outcasts. Unfortunately, she was responsible for ordering the creation of the New Plague, (even if Putress used it at the Wrathgate and was working for Varimathras, she's still using it in Cataclysm), betrayed and killed the humans whom she promised to help retake Lordaeron (who admittedly were led by a racistAsshole Victim), and even raising the undead to give the Forsaken the manpower it needs to fight the Alliance. It doesn't help that she's one of the most beautiful female characters, even after her death, and many fans even argued that she didn't order the creation of the new plague and didn't even know it was being produced. (The theory goes that all the questgivers were either lying or misinformed when they said they were making the plague for Sylvanas. Many other fans of her character would rather have her evil than this incompetent.)
Sylvanas has also suffered from extreme Motive Decay and Flanderization as time went on. Warcraft 3 and early WoW expansions kept her fairly ambiguous, as a sympathetic if somewhat shady character who could at least be argued to have heroic motivations even if her methods were extreme, but from Cataclysm onwards, her sole motivation has been self-preservation above all else after learning she was doomed to eternal suffering if she died. This culminates in Battle for Azeroth where she orchestrates a massive world war between the Alliance and Horde, which she kicks off with an attempted genocide of the Night Elves, for the sole purpose of killing as many people as possible on both sides to increase her own power.
Garrosh Hellscream got a lot of this early on, when he appeared more sympathetic, though even after he's been firmly established as a villain, you can still find people claiming he's the best Warchief the Horde has had. Initially, Garrosh was a depressed man ashamed of his father's villainy. Thrall explained to him that his father redeemed himself and he became a major player in the Horde. It didn't take long, however, for him to be revealed to be a brash, violent person, and that recklessness even stopped the Alliance and Horde from working to contain an Eldritch Abomination (leaving the players to handle it themselves). While there were times when it seemed that his sense of honor prevented him from being truly evil, he seemed to believe that killing children was okay if you had a reason to believe they'd become your enemies in the future, and Mists of Pandaria finally revealed that his orcish sense of honor is deeply tied into his sense of orcish superiority. There are still plenty of non-orc Horde players that insist he's a hero to the Horde who just wants his citizens to have a good life with lots of land and resources, despite the fact that he is now a genocidal tyrant who wants to murder every living thing that is not an orc absolutely devoted to him. At least one short story shows a vision from a possible future that shows that if he got his way, the world would ultimately be destroyed because there would be no one but him and some orcs to stand up against all the other evils in the universe.
It didn't help as Cataclysm presented him as sympathetic or badass most of the time and that a lot of game developers actually defended his views, and even continue to do so in Mists of Pandaria, so it's very likely that Metzen himself was either dissatisfied with the character or caved in to complaints from Thrall fans and did so on their behalf.
Maiev Shadowsong at least gets a misinformed version of this, due to most World of Warcraft fans never having played Warcraft III, and having their first exposure to her being in the final fight against Illidan, where she's your ally. In Warcraft III's expansion, she was introduced as Illidan's Inspector Javert. She was responsible for keeping watch over Illidan, and did not care that it was her own queen who released him in order to help save the world. She massacred anyone who stood in her way on her search for Illidan, and expressed disgust toward her sister race, the Naganote admittedly, justified due to the fact that the Naga are the descendents of evil Night Elves who allied themselves with demons under the reign of a mad queen millennia ago, and remain loyal to her even today. Eventually, she risked the life of her own queen and religious leader by lying to Malfurion about Illidan. Fortunately, Kael'thas was able to reveal that Tyrande was probably still alive, and gave Furion and Illidan time to save her. Afterward, Maiev chased Illidan to another planet that her leaders had banished him to, and was ultimately thought to have died. Then when she reappears again in the Wolfheart novel, she searches for purpose, and ultimately turns against her own people for accepting the Highborne, Worgen, and other Alliance races into their fold. She goes on to decide that only she knows what justice is, and frames others for murder as part of a plot to assassinate many of her own people. Ultimately, most of her allies are killed and she is chased off once more. Many World of Warcraft fans called this a betrayal of her character, since they never saw how she was originally, and have been characterizing her themselves as the only sane one in a world of collaborators.
The Scarlet Crusade is a bunch of insane Knights Templar and Crazy Survivalists who have been shown killing on sight anybody who wasn't human (and even then this generally isn'tenough), burning down villages just in case they might carry the undeath plague, and routinely torturing and executing innocent civilians. But since they are enemies of the Forsaken mentioned above (among, again, everybody else), and one of their leaders is a white-haired woman with a thong-revealing outfit, this hasn't stopped many fans to argue that they never did anything wrong and are actually noble people who should join the Alliance to fight the despicable Forsaken. The same Alliance which, by the way, also wants the Crusaders dead for killing its citizens on sight.
Many Alliance fanboys try to excuse Daelin Proudmoore's actions, claiming that he was right about the horde being evil and that Jaina should have just killed them all. They ignore that Daelin's actions played a massive role in making Orcs hate the alliance, meaning that if anything the events of Garrosh's rise are at least partially DAELIN'S fault.
World of Warcraft loves this trope so much that even the OLD GODS are getting draco'd.
Albedo from the Xenosaga series has a good amount of fans who claim that he's "just misunderstood", despite the fact that he put Cute Realian Girl MOMO through horrible Mind Rape, tortures his twin brother Jr. with mind tricks and taunts, destroyed an entire Federation battalion with Proto Merkavah for a warmup, his merging with a space-time anomaly that he would put to use by wiping out the world, and the fact that he's a psychopath who's a Nietzsche Wannabe with A God Am I complex. This results in him getting paired with MOMO (albeit sometimes an older version, but sometimes not), Gaignun Kukai (a.k.a "Nigredo"), and even Jr. himself.
Yakuza: The number of people, especially new fans and especially especially yaoi fangirls, who are willing to see Goro Majima as some form of misunderstood Tragic Hero, given his tragic backstory, rippling abs, rampant and thinly veiled homoeroticism and occasional moments of genuine affection, is frightening. These things, and the fact that he generally is on the side of the heroes (such as they are), take nothing away from the fact that man is an Ax-Crazy lunatic. Majima has, on camera: Beaten a subordinate to death for not laughing when Majima was hit with a baseball. Attempted to kill another subordinate for picking a fight with the wrong person, in spite of the insulted party requesting he not, and was only stopped when someone intervened. Stalked and attacked the protagonist for no better reason than that he was bored. Held a woman hostage at knifepoint because he was bored. Beaten his subordinates because he was bored. Kidnapped a traumatised little girl in order to goad the protagonist into a fight. Beaten his wife. Driven a truck through a wall, not knowing who was on the other side. And that doesn't account for what he gets up to when the camera is somewhere else. Put simply, Majima might be one of the good guys, but he is definitely not a good guy.
Capital B in Yooka-Laylee is a big hit with the fanbase, especially female fans. Fans are attracted to his pompous mannerisms and his excellent sense of style, despite him being a fat bee man. It helps that he was eventually revealed to just be a cog in the machine to the real villains. So there are plenty of Original Characters in the fandom who are in some way connected to him.