Follow TV Tropes

Following

Evil Versus Evil / Video Games

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/16693.jpg

Advertisement:
  • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
    • The war between UPEO, the corporations, and Ouroboros turns out to be this, as the UPEO gets taken over by Gilbert Park for his own ambitions, General Resource had killed a number of their staff to hide the existence of a powerful superweapon, and Ouroboros were the ones who instigated the war. Neucom is the closest to being the good guys, but even their hands aren’t clean due to their For Science! mentality.
    • The Omega Ending reveals that the real evil vs evil is actually between Simon Orestes Cohen and Abyssal Dision. Both want to avenge Yoko Martha Inoue, but where as Dision’s target is the entire world, Simon’s target is Dision, because of how he blames him for Yoko’s death.
  • Assassin's Creed Origins: Has this with the modern day storyline, which once again give the series a main character, instead of no-named abstergo employees like the last couple of entries before Origins. You play a female ex-abstergo employee who is mad that her genius work (creating a mobile version of the Animus, you can take with you) didn't give her the praise and respect that she wanted, but instead made her a threat to the higher ups for being too smart. She has no interest in being a hero and fighting the Templars and even purposely sought them out in the beginning wanting to join them. She just wants to keep her technology out of their hands not for the greater good, but because she wants all the rights and profits, and she knows they will kill her anyway.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine:
      Advertisement:
    • When Sammy Lawrence attempts to sacrifice Henry to Bendy in Chapter 2, the first thing Bendy does is murder Sammy.
    • Susie Alice hates Bendy. She can't actually go up against him, but Chapter 3 reveals that she destroys his cut-outs enough to know that he hates it - and to tell Henry such after she sends him to destroy several cut-outs. On occasion however, she does give Henry weapons and legitimate advice to keep him safe until he finishes her errands. She may also have a role in the existence of the Little Miracle Stations, in which people like Henry can hide from monsters like Bendy.
    • In Chapter 4, Bendy rescues Henry from the Projectionist.
  • In Eternal Darkness, the human species is fighting against an ancient Eldritch Abomination which seeks to enslave humanity. However, the only way to defeat it is to summon ANOTHER ancient Eldritch Abomination which seeks to enslave humanity to fight the other one. And the closest thing to a Big Good that is guiding the heroes is yet ANOTHER eldritch horror who is even more ancient than the others and may actually be worse.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series. The Fridge Brilliance is that all the protagonists and antagonists are murderers and criminals trapped in a world of murderers and criminals. Sometimes, the protagonist does things almost as atrocious as the things the antagonist does, and many of them seem to be worse than their enemies. Here, in fact, the white morality doesn't exist.
      Advertisement:
    • Tommy Vercetti of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City got the most characterization as a villain. Although he appears to be criminal out of necessity in the beginning, he's not just punching a clock; he's been a lifelong career killer, never wanted to be anything else, and has no Freudian Excuse behind it. He has no standards beneath him and doesn't appear to be any better than any of his enemies, yet still manages to be the most Affably Evil character in the series. Not to mention one of the toughest. Dude takes some serious punishment whenever he ain't dishing it out in cutscenes. There are some very good reasons why he became sort of the 'unofficial face' of the franchise, especially to non-players.
    • Another good example would be the scene of the Grove Street Families vs. the C.R.A.S.H. from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. While the Grove Street Families and Ballas are rival gangs, C.R.A.S.H. is supposedly a group of cops who claim that their approach to work is about "percentages" and they really want to manipulate bands and eliminates. But in reality the group C.R.A.S.H. is corrupt at the core and terrorize gang leaders in much the same way as they would a street gang. Even the very leaders of this group (Tenpenny and Pulaski) are guilty of various crimes.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog:
    • The game has a path pitting the Affably Evil Doctor Eggman against Black Doom. You also have Shadow taking on both of them, but whether if he's evil or just an Anti-Villain, it all depends on the player.
      Eggman: How can I take over the city and begin building the Eggman Empire if there IS no city?!
    • Notably, one of the stages offers the mission of helping Eggman (to help destroy Black Doom's floating stone battleships) as the HERO mission. The Neutral mission is to ignore both sides, and the Dark mission is to destroy Eggman's fleet and keep the alien ships afloat. Yes, fighting against Eggman in this case is treated as the more evil option.
  • Syndicate. Set in a future where human life is cheap (and entire populated areas are subject to "lunchtime nuclear testing"), corrupt syndicates vie for control of the world, with no qualms whatsoever about the idea of killing civilians in the process. Or just brainwashing their enemies into doing their bidding if violence is too much of a hassle. In the 2012 remake, this continues, but also throws in the Downzone Subverters, who are Bomb-Throwing Anarchists. One background conversation has someone say that the Subverters haven't done anything for the average Downzoners, whereas the syndicates at least kept things clean.
  • Played for Laughs in Overlord. You play as the reincarnation of an Evil Overlord seeking revenge on the heroes who defeated you. Conveniently, all seven of them have become so corrupted in the meantime that they rival you in evilness, are now virtual embodiments of the Seven Deadly Sins and enable you to still become a Villain with Good Publicity while killing them if you play your cards right. In fact, the seventh hero is possessed by the actual Evil Overlord, and is the one that corrupted the others. Surprise! You're not the real Overlord, you're a Tomato in the Mirror. And in the sequel you play as the previous Overlord's son fighting against an oppressive Empire that seeks to eradicate all magical beings (that would include the new Overlord and his minions too). Also, the Big Bad is the power-mad Emperor seeking godhood willing to summon a man-eating Eldritch Abomination to accomplish his goal. Compared to that, the Overlord looks almost heroic! Key word: almost.
  • Mass Effect 2 has a few instances where this occurs. In Omega, the Blue Suns mercenary band fought off against the invading Blood Pack in the slum districts.
    • The Illusive Man in said game is also an example, inasmuch as he's the leader of a human supremacist terrorist organization with a whole lot of really horrifying skeletons in its closet who backs Shepard and their crew in the fight against the Collectors and Reapers, who in turn want to wipe out all sentient organic life. This becomes mostly a moot point in the third game, when he becomes indoctrinated, and the closest thing that game has to a human Big Bad.
    • There's also Zaeed Massani's loyalty mission, which sees him pitted against fellow Blue Suns mercenary group founder Vido Santiago. Zaeed wants to kill Vido for betraying him and taking control of the Blue Suns, and is more than happy to allow innocent bystanders to die if they get in his way. Vido, meanwhile, is depicted as being just evil enough that Zaeed is still the sympathetic party, no matter what path you take during that mission.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Harbinger will send Reaper troops to attack a major Cerberus facility near the end of the game. One of your companions will remark that it's about time they tried to kill each other.
    • In 3, you can help Aria, leader of the Wretched Hive Omega, take control of the three main antagonistic criminal organizations (Blood Pack, Blue Suns and Eclipse) so she can help you fight the Reapers — and increase her own power.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda has Sloan Kelly, ruthless gang-boss / overlord of Kadara Port versus the kett. Sloan got her name among the locals by driving the kett out of Kadara, and finding out any are still around would be bad for her. If she lives to the final act, she even helps the Initiative fight the Archon solely to kill more kett.
      • Also, there's the Outcasts (Sloan's gang) versus the Collective, who are slightly less evil than them. It's up to the player which one ends up in control of Kadara.
  • Star Wars swims in this trope — most conspicuously in the video games, Dark Siders fight each other if anything more intensely than they fight anyone else.
    • In Knights of the Old Republic, taking the Dark Side path means fighting Darth Malak for control of his/your war machine, with the conquest of the Republic covered in the epilogue. Additionally, a Dark Sider in KOTOR 2 will face Darth Nihilus, who draws his power from the same source as the player character. Evil Counterpart to a good character, he becomes Not So Different for an evil one.
    • Ditto for Jedi Knight, Jedi Academy, and any other game that gives you a Dark Side path...
    • Also ditto for the films and the Expanded Universe, which has been a very colorful place since Palpatine was overthrown in favor of the New Republic. The New Republic has completely collapsed in favor of some kind of uneasy coalition of monarchical Imperial factions, independent core planets, and alien invaders by this point, and most of the Skywalker family is back on the Dark Side — and this without being a deliberate Crapsack World.)
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Playing a dark side character, regardless of faction, will inevitably and almost by definition result in this trope. As a Republic hero, you can sometimes get a letter (and credits) from a Sith thanking you for taking out the competition after killing (or otherwise defeating) a Force-user. Playing as a Empire character, particularly a sith, you will end up fighting other Empire aligned characters just as much, if not more so, than Republic ones.
    • Bounty Hunter offers another take on this, with a bit of Mêlée à Trois thrown into the mix. The first faction is the Bando Gora, a cult lead by the fallen Jedi Komari Vosa who uses it to run a drug empire which turns its users into zombie-like slaves which she controls, ultimately hoping to extend her influence throughout the galaxy. The other main antagonist is Montross, a bounty hunter who kills all his bounties for sport (even when it would pay more to take them alive) and eventually wishes to kill Vosa and take control of the Bando Gora himself to spread chaos and anarchy throughout the galaxy. Their opposition is protagonist Jango Fett, hired by Count Dooku under orders from Darth Sidious, who is driven purely by greed, and is only made A Lighter Shade of Black due to the fact that he's not nearly as ruthless or twisted as the villains he faces. None the less, he still ultimately works for a Sith Lord and couldn't care less as long as he gets payed.
  • City of Villains is a good example of why this trope exists. The few truly evil contacts (Westin Phipps in particular) produce a good deal of controversy about whether they're "too evil." Thus, more than half the game's missions could very easily be rewritten for heroes. Many contacts have forced unethical traits and selfish motives written in for why you're stopping a villainous organization from realizing their plans. You spend more time fighting your "patron" organization of Arachnos than you spend fighting Wyvern or Legacy Chain (Longbow are like cockroaches, though…).
  • God of War:
    • Probably the only way Kratos could seem even remotely sympathetic is making the Greek pantheon out to be gigantic bastards, especially Zeus. To be perfectly fair, one glance at mythology will tell you this isn't far off... Most of the Greek Pantheon has few, if any, redeeming qualities aside from the fact that they replaced something that could be considered worse from the Ancient Greek point of view.
    • The gods of Olympus actually invoke this trope by sending Kratos, a Sociopathic Hero, to battle other monsters that nobody else can defeat. Kratos utterly slaughters each one, then moves on to the next. He even becomes powerful enough to kill Ares, the eponymous God of War, and takes his place.
    • The creators of the game have stated that the reason they didn't go with a more traditional Greek hero is because they felt that such a character wouldn't last five seconds in the world they were trying to create. There are actually several minor characters in both games who embody various versions of those iconic heroes, and they are usually killed horribly within seconds of their appearance. Perseus lasts the longest, but even he is not immune. Still, if the creators had read the original myths a little more closely, they would have realized that the only thing separating Kratos from those so-called "heroes" is that Kratos doesn't even try to justify his actions by calling them noble. He just kills things. A lot of things.
    • Kratos is actually a traditional Greek hero in every sense of the word. In Greek folklore and mythology, a 'hero' was originally a demigod. Cue the big reveal of God Of War 2.
  • Some parts of Dungeon Keeper pit you against rival keepers, but these events are mostly incidental; the main focus of the plot is still about fighting heroes.
    • Far more focus on this in the unofficial expansion pack Ancient Keeper, in which the focus is on proving that you're tough enough, vicious enough, and (above all else) clever enough to take your place among the ancients of your kind. You still fight heroic forces constantly, but crushing other candidates for the title (often on their home turf) and surviving the current ancients' tests is the goal.
    • Dungeon Keeper 2 gives you an ongoing rival keeper named Nemesis, who commands all of the other rival keepers you face. Again, the primary goal is killing the heroes, though this time it's to take the Portal Gems they guard, some of which have already been looted by the other keepers.
  • Halo:
    • In the later parts of Halo: Combat Evolved, one can simply sit back and watch the three-way battles between the parasitic Flood, the zealous Covenant, and the protocol-enforcing Sentinels until one faction kills the others and start actively hunting you.
    • The Covenant itself falls into a big Enemy Civil War in Halo 2, with both sides still hostile to the Chief. Lampshaded in "Gravemind": You can either fight your way up the catwalk to the Tomb of the Arbiter, or rush in headlong. The Covenant on said catwalk will follow you inside... and join in on the Covie-on-Covie violence already going on in there.
    Cortana: You might want to try sitting this one out.
    • In Halo 3, at one point the Prophet of Truth is about to activate the Halo Array and unleash destruction upon the galaxy. Nobody wants that, not even the parasitic Flood, so for one brief moment you must fight alongside Flood combatants and decimate Truth's bodyguards. Like in the example above, you can even hang back and let the unstoppable hulks do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Excluding the Protoss campaign, you play as a commander in an evil force throughout StarCraft Brood War. This is even lampshaded by the Queen Bitch of the Universe herself.
    Duran: Do you think they suspect anything, my queen?
    Kerrigan: Of course, Duran. They're simply siding with the evil they know over the evil they don't. They just don't realize exactly what it will cost them.
  • Several scenes in the Half-Life series feature the human enemies and alien enemies fighting each other. In Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, Combine troops, Antlions, and Headcrabs/Zombies all willingly attack each other. After an epic battle between a mob of Zombies, a swarm of Antlions, and Freeman and his Vortigaunt ally, the Vortigaunt comments on how the Antlions and Zombies continue to fight even after the two had escaped.
  • GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is a prime example. The only real difference from being Bond is that you can use human shields.
  • In Saints Row 2, the player character is a total sociopath, but so are the leaders of the rival gangs.
  • Wizardry sums it up this way: a good man helps an old lady across the street. A neutral man crosses the street and helps an old lady across while he's doing so. An "evil" male PC helps a young lady across the street. Your enemies help an old lady halfway across the street.
  • Team Fortress 2: Two teams of ruthless, bloodthirsty mercenaries gleefully blasting the shit out of each other, with only the flimsiest justification. They're being led by two identical twins who have hated each other since birth, and are being secretly manipulated by their weapons supplier to provide her a constant source of money. Forever and ever.
    • In an interesting twist, Mann Vs Machine has a trailer showing both sides putting their differences off for later because a robot army is coming to bulldoze them.
  • Fable will always pit the Hero against the villain Jack of Blades. However, the "Hero" can be evil himself if he so chooses, so his motivation is left up to the player to pick: is he fighting Jack to avenge his loved ones and save the world, or to keep Jack from conquering the world so that he can conquer it himself?
  • Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy features this near the end of the Legion of the Damned's saga. It turns out that Uther isn't really the reincarnation of the Legion's god, but just some evil brat siphoning his power and slowly killing him. Since you're one of the god's loyal servants, you have to fight him in the end. This has the odd effect of giving demons from hell the surprisingly sympathetic motivation of trying to save their god.
    • One of the BEST campaign twists in known history. Added bonus? The fight against Demon Uther is quite possibly the toughest boss in the game.
    • Really, any fight between the Legions of the Damned and the Undead Hordes.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], we have the sociopathic, nigh unstoppable monster who eats people. He's the player character, and the closest thing to a hero we have (he very slowly develops something akin to a conscience). Then we have the BlackWatch, a secret military organization who created the viral threat in the first place (to target racial minorities), tested it on civilians, and are planning on nuking Manhattan to stop its spread. Then we have Elizabeth Greene and her viral mutants, who essentially intends to unleash a Zombie Apocalypse because she can. The man-eating dude wins. Yay?
    • Amusingly it's also shown that The Blacklight Virus, the new Alex Mercer, has far and away more of a conscience than the original ever did. Which pushes him a little further to the grey side at least.
  • Warcraft likes this trope. We have the demons of the Burning Legion heavily at odds with the Undead Scourge even though the magic they use and their ultimate aim is almost identical (and the Scourge used to be part of the Legion). Being the original "owners" of Azeroth, the Lovecraftian Old Gods are at odds with both the Legion and the Scourge although they are implied to have a degree of influence on both of these factions. Illidan's motley crew of (evil) Blood Elves, demons and Naga are engaged in heavy fighting against the Legion due to Illidan's failure in taking out the Undead Scourge for the Legion.
    • In addition, The Frozen Throne featured the Plaguelands Civil War, a four-way war within the Scourge between the loyalists of Arthas, the loyalists of the Legion, the Forsaken (undead who broke regained their free will but are by and large still quite prone to malevolence), and the remaining Alliance forces (who are generally good guys but are led by a racist Jerkass Lord Garithos).
    • The Dark Iron dwarves initially fought in the service of Ragnaros against the Blackrock Orcs, who served the Black Dragonflight. In Cataclysm, however, Ragnaros joins forces with Deathwing.
    • The main opposition to the gronn-ruled ogres of Outland, which prove a threat to the Alliance and Horde's Outland allies, happens to be the Always Chaotic Evil Black Dragonflight, which is seeking to avenge the deaths of many of its members at the hands of Gruul the Dragonkiller.
    • In Wrath of the Lich King, the Scourge conquered the Nerubians and almost conquered the Drakkari ice trolls, both of which are quite evil (the ice trolls especially so, even compared to the evil and barbaric majority of the non-playable trolls). In Drak'Tharon Keep, both the living trolls and their allies, and the undead trolls and other Scourge members attack the party as they make their way up the keep.
  • Before he got into mini-games, Wario of Super Mario Bros. came up with the idea of stealing money from other bad guys. This has worked out rather well for him. It hasn't stopped other bad guys from stealing money from him.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story pits Bowser up against Fawful, who's taken over the Mushroom Kingdom and booted him out of his own castle. Again. This time, however, the Super Mario brothers, for the most part, play a supporting role in the game, powering up his body when necessary (including making him a giant in order to Megaton Punch castles). Later on after Fawful and the Dark Star go One-Winged Angel it's up to Bowser to save the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • If you take the evil path in the vast majority of RPGs, you're still going to have to fight the same evil Big Bad. In a BioWare game, your quest will be close to the same regardless of your alignment, including a struggle against the minions of the Big Bad; maybe, at the end, you'll be given an option to join them instead of fighting them; otherwise, you'll just prove to be Eviler Than Thou.
  • In The Godfather, your character Aldo Trapani runs a protection racket for the Corleones, doesn't hesitate to cause property damage or (threaten to) brutalise shopkeepers in his extortion attempts and can kill people in a wide variety of ways. Every copper in NYC is a Dirty Cop who at best never turns down a bribe and at worst is a rapist. The other Families don't have the moral high ground, though, as their members are always itching for a fight, rule their turfs with iron fists and don't shy from shooting up civilians blocking their line of fire to you.
  • Any enemy in Doom that either has a gun or throws a different type of fireball can cause monster infighting. The "former humans" are most prone to this, as they're the only enemies in the game whose weapons can hurt others of their own kind. The Arch-Viles can be humorous with this, as they can resurrect an enemy who they just killed and then get into another fight with them, and repeat the process.
    • The Cacodemons and Barons of Hell are also good examples of this. Dead Cacodemon corpses can be found in "Baron halls" and wall images of crucified Barons of Hell can be found in some areas where Cacodemons are the predominant enemies. This feud between the Barons of Hell and Cacodemons is also in the expanded universe Doom books. Cacodemons crucified Barons, despite lacking hands or anything resembling tool-manipulators. That's some serious hate.
    • Invulnerability code in Doom II. Last level, Icon of Sin. More fun than actual cockfighting, especially when the Arch-Viles and Pain Elementals are spawned. Shame there's no easy in-game way to eliminate corpses, it gets somewhat crashy after a few hours of this carnage.
    • There's a level in Doom II with a room that only has a Cyberdemon and a Spider Mastermind in it. They're each trapped on little platforms and the whole exercise does little but allow you to pit these two fearsome creatures against one another by coaxing a monster infight between them.
    • Mostly averted in DOOM (2016): You'll find at least one instance of infighting, where a gang of imps and zombies is trying (badly) to take down a Baron. But Doom Guy is so utterly feared in-universe that every demon in the area will instantly focus on him before he slaughters them all.
  • Super Robot Wars has this as a thing that can be done in the game provided there are 2 sets of enemy forces on a battlefield, Primary Enemies (Red) and Neutral/Secondary (Yellow) despite them usually targeting you, they will go for each other if they are in range at times, firing shots and destroying each other, which in larger levels can make life a tad easier. Different villains from various anime are often pitted against each other, with additional original villains throw in.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne this occurs between Chiaki, Isamu, and Hikawa and depending on which ending the Demi-Fiend as well. The ongoing battle throughout the Shin Megami Tensei series between Lucifer and YHWH counts as well.
  • Uram and Hokan of Spellforce.
  • Modern Warfare 2. General Shepherd's Shadow Company vs. Makarov's Ultranationalists. And you in the middle. How fun! Although it only lasts a mission but it's far easier just to make the fight as even as possible then sit back and watch the carnage.
  • BioShock. The idealist objectivist turned bitter despot Andrew Ryan versus the sleazy power-hungry smuggler and rebel Frank Fontaine, both with hordes of insane, vicious mutated Splicers at their command. And you're a mind-controlled test tube baby used by Fontaine (under the guise of Atlas, a noble rebel and family man) to kill Ryan, then he turns on you. He dies. Only you and Tenenbaum, a Jewish Nazi collaborateur and The Atoner, survive the events of the story.
  • In the third Rampage the only reason you don't destroy humanity is that aliens trying to take over the world provide a distraction.
  • Hexen II's sparse story becomes this if you play as the assassin or necromancer. The assassin wants to kill Eidolon to prove she's the best assassin of all time, and the necromancer wants to kill Eidolon so people fear him again.
  • Traffic Department 2192 has evil versus evil versus evil, with evil and evil thrown in for laughs. The final faction initially looks benevolent, since it's composed of Actual Pacifists—nope, they're all Manipulative Bastards, and they're evil too! The protagonist is also the most beneficial, wiping everyone else out so the few decent people can take charge.
  • Street Fighter IV has Vega/M. Bison pitted against Seth, both of whom are power-hungry villains who want to Take Over the World for themselves.
  • The war between Mishima Zaibatsu and G Corporation in Tekken.
  • If an enemy in any Marathon game accidentally shoots another enemy, they will fight it out while you stand and watch. In the second game the native f'likta fight the phfor as long as you're lying low. In Infinity the A.I. Tycho controls the pfhor hunters, fighters and you, using his forces to fight against the phfor enforcers, compilers, and Durandal's humans planned by you to keep a monster under wraps.
  • In Myth: The Fallen Lords the dark leaders, the fallen lords, hate each other more then they hate you. In one level you sit back for most of the level and let the two forces fight each other, then pick off the pitiful remnants.
  • Legacy of Kain: Protagonist Kain is a Magnificent Bastard Villain Protagonist Evil Overlord. He's the hero of the games mainly because his enemies are Knight Templar Omnicidal Maniacs who are even worse than he is.
    • The overall story developed through the Soul Reaver games, and then Defiance, reveals another case of this: the original vampire race believed that they served a benevolent and good deity and the original vampires themselves may have thought themselves well-intentioned toward humanity, but unbeknownst to them their God Is Evil, which caused them to wage a holy war against the Hylden, a decidedly cruel race bent on domination and destruction of all other races.
  • The Mega Man Legends Spinoff The Misadventures Of Tron Bonne have you controlling one member of the main series' Goldfish Poop Gang and her Adorable Evil Minions trying to pay her brother's ransom. Sure, the main antagonist is an evil bastard trying to rule the world and your motive is quite noble...but you still accomplish it by robbing livestock from a farm, stealing containers from the docks, and blowing up a bank while fighting the police.
    • Legends itself has shades of this trope. The Bonne family are a group of pirates who are trying to steal some treasure from the island, and who have no problems with destroying residential areas or the mayor's office with giant robots, but they still go against Juno by freeing Megaman from his trap. Also a case of Even Evil Has Standards, given that they're obviously disturbed by Juno's plan to kill the entire population of the island.
  • In Fahrenheit you have two factions fighting over one little girl who could give them the power to rule the world. First you have the Orange Clan, an ancient organization who already control the world, but wish to expand their power. The second is the Purple Clan a group of artificial intelligences who wish to use the girl's power to create a new ice age, killing humanity, and becoming the new dominate race. In between these two you have the hero, Lucas Kane, the Unwitting Pawn of both groups, who has power over The Force, and later gets killed, and brought back as The Undead.
  • The Command & Conquer games love this trope. In the main Tiberium series, expect to fight CABAL and the Scrin as the Brotherhood of Nod.
  • A good many of the members in the Organization of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories are working against each other in order to further their own individual evil agendas. Then in Kingdom Hearts II, Maleficent and the Heartless take on the Organization and the Nobodies. When the Organization takes control of the Heartless, Maleficent then has to pull an Enemy Mine with the main heroes.
  • In Baldur's Gate II:
    • Throne of Bhaal, one part of the Watcher's Keep involves a maze with three stones needed to escape, and two factions of warring demons, on opposite sides of the Blood War, hold one stone each. You can kill one of the factions and claim one stone off them while taking the other as a reward, or you can kill both of them. If you are a good-aligned character, you will have no choice but to kill them all — the leaders of both sides will sense your innate goodness and try to kill you.
    • The main story line of the game allows you to pick an evil character and do horrible things on your quest to achieve ultimate power and rule the universe with an iron fist, tormenting mortals.
  • Shogo: Mobile Armor Division features conflict between the CMC, the Fallen, and Shogo Industries over control of Cronus. The UCA is mostly good, but has the potential to become an antagonist in one path of the game when Admiral Akkaraju plans on using the Kato Cannon to destroy Avernus to eliminate the Fallen, playing into Ryo's plans.
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and remakes have a borderline case, with the two terrorist teams, Team Aqua and Team Magma. It's borderline because the teams are something of well-intentioned extremists, wanting to expand the sea and land for the sake of Pokémon (or so they say), respectively, and are in direct opposition to each other. However, in Ruby, Team Aqua are actually allies (and vice-versa regarding Magma and Sapphire), but it's played straight in the third game, Emerald, where both teams were portrayed as antagonists to the player while still warring against each other.
  • Dragon Age:
    • While Dragon Age II is mostly Grey and Gray Morality, the final conflict between the Templars and the Circle of Magi in Kirkwall devolves into Evil Versus Evil. The leaders of both factions give into their (figurative) inner demons and nearly drag the rest of their members down with them. No matter which side you initially pick, you end up killing both of the leaders to achieve a cease-fire.
    • Although it takes places offscreen, and the status of both parties as "evil" is debatable, the nations of Tevinter and the Qun have been at war for centuries due to the former's refusal to sign a peace treaty that ended all other human hostilities towards the Qunari. Tevinter is a land of greedy, amoral, power-hungry evil mages who practice slavery, while the Qun is an extreme religious system that aims to spread throughout Thedas by any means necessary.
  • Probably more 'grotesque monstrosity versus grotesque monstrosity,' but Killing Floor occasionally has instances of zeds fighting each other. This is sometimes relatively even (a Siren versus a Bloat), and sometimes comically one sided (a Clot standing in the way of a Fleshpound). Notable for the fact that, if left alone, they will gladly spend quite some time attacking each other and will often ignore players, even those who are two steps away and pointing a rocket launcher at them.
  • The scrolling shmup Terra Diver makes players mercenaries working for a greedy megacorp of resources around Earth against its rival corporations with the story of eco-terrorist threat as a cover-up of the disastrous war of greed.
  • Can easily happen in Dwarf Fortress - All the nasty creatures and evil factions are only alike in their hatred of the Dwarves, so if two of them happen to arrive at your fort at the same time, expect them to tear each other to pieces. The dwarves themselves are occasionally not any better - what with drowning the world in magma at the slightest provocations and the completely insane experiments occasionally committed by the player community For Science!
    • Weaponizing various "evil" forces/creatures to send against invading goblin sieges is a popular pastime.
  • No More Heroes is this. Travis isn't really such a great guy, and is tearing through mobs of mooks and taking assassination side jobs on possible not so evil people all for the sake of getting laid. Once. Although a few of the other assassins are much worse than he is. Like Destroyman. And Bad Girl.
  • killer7 takes this trope, mixes it up, and paints a pretty psychedelic picture with it. Some of the villains are just so awful, but a few of them are probably better than the main characters who are only doing any of this for the sake of a paycheck. Or maybe not. Some of the members of Killer7 are assholes or cowards. Barely anything makes any sense in the plot of that game.
  • Though one could hardly think of the title character as evil, the page describes the premise of Sly Cooper almost perfectly: a Gentleman Thief who steals from other criminals.
  • Breath of Fire IV features a Supporting Leader, the noble if heavy-handed literal God-Emperor Fou-Lu being betrayed and abused by The Empire that he helped to found, eventually resulting in a massive Face–Heel Turn that sees him become a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Said empire has an extremely selfish evil leader and a loathsome bad guy at the head of its science department turning people into Body Horrors purely because science thought it'd be lulzy.
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves's second half of the game sees Lazaravic's soldiers fight the Guardians Of Shambala.
  • inFAMOUS can have the player invoke this - if the player takes Cole down the villainous path, the final battle with Kessler becomes this until The Reveal that Kessler's actually Cole from an alternate future, who became a Well-Intentioned Extremist & travelled back in time to ensure that Cole was prepared for & able to avert the tragedy that would set him on this path in the first place. So with that in mind, it's more of a subversion.
    • inFAMOUS 2 features anti-Conduit fascist rednecks taking on mutants who happen to be created by the conduit power of the aforementioned anti-Conduit fascist rednecks. But it escalates even further than that, as after a third of the game another faction - mercenaries with ice powers - enter the fray, and like its predecessor, the player can invoke this by taking Cole along the villainous path.
  • In Fallout 3, the cruel Talon Company (see ruthless mercs) go toe to toe with super-mutants.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, The Courier can easily invoke this when facing off against Caesar's Legion if they've built a lot of evil karma. Even more so with Ulysses in Lonesome Road as his dialog changes depending on your reputation and accomplishments, allowing him to call you out on your past actions.
  • The backstory of Fallout was this. The Alternate History starting after World War II had Middle Eastern powers go to war with Europe. This caused a huge economic crisis. Europe collapsed and became a war torn hell hole, and the US and China tried to solve their oil problems by invading their neighbors (in the US's case, Canada). Eventually, these last two functional governments went to war, which started in Alaska and spread to the Chinese mainland, causing China and the US to nuke one another and bring about The End of the World as We Know It. At the time of the war, China was an imperialistic, aggressive, tyrannical nation with an army of Sociopathic Soldiers. The United States was the exact same, except ruled by a puppet government controlled by a Nazi-esque Ancient Conspiracy called The Enclave in addition to all of that.
    • The Enclave's very existence speaks volumes about how bad the US got. The risk of nuclear war over the world's remaining oil was considered high enough to create the Enclave for continuity of government. This means the pre-war government considered billions of lives an acceptable thing to gamble for some dead dinosaurs, and this is after they'd developed fusion power anyway.
    • Hints present in the newer games paint a more horrific picture of how bad the United States got near the end. Reverence of capitalism and anti-communist sentiment meant that all workers rights were scrapped, trade unions were completely illegal, health and safety was such a joke that the in-universe equivalent to Disney World proudly boast in their advertising that they meet only minimal safety requirements, peaceful protests were often put down brutally by soldiers with Powered Armor and laser gatlings, and lacklustre quality control meant everything and anything could kill you; the robot worker in your office might snap, or the pie you eat for dinner might be addictive and radioactive. Paranoid, corrupt and insane corporate leaders had effectively unlimited power in society; RobCo collaborated with the US Government to transfer the brains of executed prison inmates into robots for military and civilian applications, H&H Tools forced their employees to undergo screening tests for the "traitor gene" and banned them from speaking any language other than English on pain of death, and Hallucigen was a biochemical research company who kidnapped people off the street to test mind-altering chemicals on them - in one experiment where a field decontaminant proved fatal to all people exposed to it, they simply rebranded and sold it as a weapon to recoup money.
  • Somewhat deconstructed in Planescape: Torment, where the Blood War between the devils and the demons inevitably gets mentioned. You might think it's okay for the very, very nearly always lawful/chaotic evil beings to slaughter each other, but the suffering the war causes around the multiverse is so great that the Knight Templar angel Trias thinks allowing it to continue is an act of supreme passive evil on part of his fellow Celestials.
  • A late-game quest becomes this in Might and Magic VII if one goes for the evil path. You work with/for guys who want to take over the planet through force of superior weapons technology, and who find nothing wrong with mad laughter (and your personal chronicler finds the discovery of left-over torture instruments from a previous occupant of your castle to be a happy surprise). You still get sent to kill the Kreegans' King Xenofex, though, because the Kreegans are Planet Looters and a big threat in general.
  • Both sides of the civil war in Far Cry 2 talk a good talk about how they're making their country a better place, but both are willing to commit war crimes for tactical advantages or petty vengeance. Some of the mercenaries profess idealistic motives, but all of them except the protagonist choose money over decency. The Underground is well-intentioned, but completely ineffectual, repeatedly requiring the protagonist's help to wipe out hostile mercenaries. The closest thing to a heroic figure is the arms dealer supplying both sides, and that's only because he wants them to wipe each other out.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain seems to be shaping up to be this, as the story will deal will Big Boss' fall from grace from the noble soldier he was in Snake Eater, Portable Ops, Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes, into a broken warmonger out for nothing but Revenge, going against XOF, the organization that took everything away from him on Ground Zeroes, as well as Cipher (aka The Patriots).
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has three enemy factions that all want the Phazon on planet Aether to themselves: The Ing, the Space Pirates, and Dark Samus. The Pirates are the butt monkeys, most of the ones that aren't killed by Samus are either possessed by Ing or killed defending their Phazon from Dark Samus. At first it's unclear if the Ing and Dark Samus are allies or enemies, but a scene just before the second fight against Dark Samus shows her killing a group of Dark Pirate Troopers (Ing-possessed Pirate Troopers) and taking their Phazon, creating emnity between her and the Ing.
  • In Metroid Fusion, the X parasites and Metroids REALLY don't like each other. Put them in the same room, and they'll both ignore Samus and go right for each others' throats (or the nearest anatomical equivalent). This is because the Chozo created the Metroids specifically as predators for the X, to keep it from spreading to other worlds. After absorbing Samus' abilities, the X can now fight back.
  • In Odin Sphere, most of the villains are fighting against each other and the heroes are either third parties or unwitting pawns. Ingway is running a complicated scheme of deceit and backstabbing intended partly to prevent his own cursed death. Odin wages war on the other nations of Erion and wants to claim the power of the Crystallization Cauldron for his own benefit; Fairy Queen Titania wants to keep the Cauldron out of the hands of Odin or anyone else, and both monarchs have ambitious would-be usurpers scheming within their respective courts. Queen Odette of the netherworld wants to claim Oswald's soul and punish those who dare to come and go from her realm while still alive (which is basically the entire cast). Fire King Onyx wants Gwendolyn for his wife and is willing to resort to abduction and murdering the hypotenuse in order to make it happen. The Three Wise Men seek to bring about the end of the world and release the monstrous King Gallon from the Netherworld in order to take power in the new age that follows. King Valentine is batshit insane and trying to end the world in an effort to end his own suffering, and practically every last one of them wants revenge on Odin for one reason or another.
  • In Max Payne 3, Max finds himself caught between favela gangbangers, paramilitary thugs, and indiscriminately Brutal Police, none of whom have any love for each other. Or do they?
  • Bayonetta: Heaven is evil, Hell is evil, and neither cares much for humans. The only way to possibly survive the chaos if one side decides you're in the way is to make a deal with the other. No matter what you do, you're doomed unless you're immortal. You're not much better off if you are immortal... so a lot of the less strongly aligned or former humans seem to be playing a long game to get humanity in place to become a third faction. Unfortunately, the baggage they picked up in the process keeps them mostly in each others' way.
  • PAYDAY The Heist has you playing the role of four heisters who are out to make millions by stealing whatever is hot. Twice in the game, the crew go after another group of criminals because they hold something of value. In Panic Room, the crew attacks a local street gang in an apartment complex that sells drugs because the gang has a large stash of money locked in a room. In Counterfeit, there are two people who are secretly working together in making fake money with printing plates, so the crew disguise themselves as a pool repair business so they can rob the counterfeiters of the plates.
  • Gyral and Dalen of Fire Emblem Awakening, while not technically evil (just mercenaries), are still causing more trouble for the local population because of their petty squabbles. Chrom and company decide the fastest way to end the conflict is to pick a side and finish off the other group.
    • Or, you can Take a Third Option and fight both at the same time. This will cause them to Enemy Mine against you and you'll have to face a really large mercenary army against you. On the other hand, you are allowed to visit all of the villages and obtain items from them should you take this option; since taking sides in this conflict will cause some villages to close the doors on you.
  • It's by no means uncommon to find this trope in Final Fantasy games.
    • During the first half of Final Fantasy VI, the Empire is the prime villain; an oppressive, tyrannical regime experimenting on sentient beings (Espers) to gain more power. Eventual Big Bad Kefka Pelazzo is at this point seemingly a deranged, amoral coward with Starscream tendencies. This all comes to a head when Kefka turns on Emperor Gestahl, frying him with magic and kicking him off a Floating Continent.
    • In Final Fantasy VII Sephiroth's presence is first felt when he cuts a bloody path through Shinra HQ, murdering the despotic corporate Fat-Cat, President Shinra. Barret even queries if Sephiroth is a "good guy" as a result.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, we have Kuja vs. Queen Brahne after she decides she doesn't need him. She attempts to use Bahamut on him. Kuja tanks a few blasts, praises the dragon for being able to slightly wound him, then takes control of it and Brahne finds herself at the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • The Last of Us. Tess makes it clear in the beginning of the game that she and Joel are "shitty people." Joel outright tells Ellie that he has been both hunter and hunted. Essentially, you are not necessarily a hero in this game, but a merciless survivor who happens to be the protagonist of this particular story
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is mostly Grey and Gray Morality, but the conflict between the Forsworn and the Silver-Blood family is this. The Forsworn are bloodthirsty Breton guerilla fighters who worship Hagravens, rape and murder anyone unfortunate enough to get in the path of their patrols, and will reclaim The Reach even if they have to massacre every Nord in it (they openly state so). The Silver-Bloods, headed by Thonar Silver-Blood, are a corrupt crime family who bribe Markarth's city guard, murder, brutalise and imprison innocent people, use questionable business practices to remove competition, and force defeated political enemies and Forsworn prisoners to work in their prison/silver mine. It is later revealed that they have the Forsworn's king, Madanach, imprisoned in their mine, and they use him to guide the Forsworn as a deniable asset terrorist army to further their own ends. Madanach escapes along with you and some followers, cutting down quite a few bystanders and guards on their way out, and not before vowing to return with a Forsworn army to destroy the city. As one of the Forsworn NPC says, in Markarth, "there's no innocent, just the guilty and the dead".
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us; Main Universe Joker versus The Regime, except when the Joker goes rogue and is taken down by Lex Luthor (who's a good guy in the Regime universe).
  • Injustice 2 pits the Society led by Grodd against the Regime's remnants and Brainiac. Played with, in that the Society are actually minions to Brainiac and disband when its revealed that he plans to destroy Earth (they do go up against him in their respective Arcade Endings). The Regime does fight Brainiac on their own and end up turning against Batman when they disagree over whether or not to execute Brainiac.
  • Mace: The Dark Age; Not every contender for the Mace is evil, but evil is not on the side of evil. Lord Deimos, The Executioner, Al-Rashid, and Taria are all horrible people, but also all at each other's throats to take the Mace from Asmodeus, who stole it from Hell to run amok. It's very telling that Hell Knight, who is also literally from Hell himself, is in all one of the nicer characters since he only wants to take the Mace back where it came from. In fact, the worst thing that happens in his good ending has nothing to do with anything Hell Knight actually did.
  • Dragon Quest VI actually allows the player to pull this off along with an in-story use. At one point in the game, you find a castle where a demon summoning is taking place. Why? So that the demon can be ordered to kill the Big Bad. Shockingly, the demon refuses to take orders from a mortal, and nukes the castle instead. Much later, you find the Bonus Boss of the Bonus Dungeon. If you beat him in less than 20 turns, he not only recognizes your strength, but even grants you a wish, teleporting you directly to the Big Bad and utterly and completely destroying him. Then he wishes you a good day and leaves.
    • Dragon Quest XI features this actively between the Big Bad, Mordegon, and the Predecessor Villain, Calasmos. During Act 2 Mordegon shows up to prevent Calasmos' resurrection, and later in act 3 Calasmos helps you prevent Mordegon's rise to power. Both try to kill you afterwards, they just really don't want any competition for the Evil Overlord gig.
  • Batman: Arkham City... whoo, boy. First, you have three factions, lead by Two-Face, the Penguin and the Joker. All three want the other two dead, though the Joker wants to get healthy. Then, you got Mr. Freeze, who gets passed around a few times, Poison Ivy, who wants to kill humanity (and that includes those in Arkham City), and Catwoman, whose path crosses a few of these characters. This isn't even including Hugo Strange and Ra's al Ghul.
  • Far Cry 4 has the rebel group, the Golden Path, going against the evil dictator, Pagan Min. Unlike most storylines about rebels going against the status quo, however, the Golden Path are proven to be a radical terrorist organization whose founding leader was worse than Pagan Min. And the main character finds out the two leaders who took over are just as evil, in different ways: Amita turns Kyrat into a communist narco-state that forcibly recruits Child Soldiers at gunpoint (and it's also implied that she had Bhadra murdered to prevent her enemies from using her as a figurehead) while Sabal becomes a reactionary religious fundamentalist who conducts a purge of everyone not following the native Kyrati religious beliefs (which would mean most of the country as religion has been banned for over two decades under Pagan Min).
  • In Star Control II you and your allies seem to be the good guys, pitted against the mighty of both Ur-Quan subspecies, the Kzer-Za and the Kohr-Ah -the former enslaving other races and given them the options of becoming Battle Thralls or being enslaved within their worlds and the latter simply annihilating all non Ur-Quan sentient life-, right?. Not so much when in order to defeat them you must use the Dnyarri, the very same Always Chaotic Evil race that enslaved the Ur-Quan and, after using them as pawns to conquest the Sentient Milieu, split them into those two races. One can even argue you are just a pawn of the Dnyarri on its quest for revenge against them, even if he does not (fully, at least) mind control you.
  • In Gears of War The Lambent are at war with The Locusts. This is the main reason the Locusts invade the surface of Sera.
  • Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, naturally given the source materialnote . Take your pick between the fascist, oppressive and corrupt Empire, or the brutal, psychotically violent daemon-worshipping Northmen. The expansion adds the barbaric, football hooligan-inspired Orcs and the sadistic, hate-filled Dark Elves into the mix.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt definitely has this trope, even more so than the books. On one side, you have the Empire of Nilfgaard, a bunch of Nazi expys who forcefully conscript the populace into labor, execute people for the slightest infractions, murder prisoners of war for no reason, and are led by a an uncaring, power-hungry dictator note . On the other side, you have Redania, which persecutes anyone and anything magical with great fervor, back-stabbed its neighboring kingdoms in their time of need, and treats non-humans even worse than usual. It's also led by a borderline-psychopath who appears to be just as tyrannical and power hungry and Emperor Emhyr.
    • The matter is complicated though considering both sides have some redeeming qualities or persons. Most are staffed by largely Punch Clock Villains who seem to be just as war-weary and battered as the populace. Nilfgaard in particular gets a lighter portrayal than the books, as non-humans and mutants like Geralt are more accepted there, mages are not persecuted like in the north, and, at least in some areas, the conquering Empire does seem concerned about helping to govern its new citizens. Meanwhile, Redania gets kind of prone to Adaptational Villainy, as they allow Witch Hunters to roam without supervision and with such impunity that it would make the Inquisition blush and generally have fewer redeeming characters. This is a big contrast too the books, which portray Redania in a more positive light note 
    • The DLC episode called "Hearts of Stone" has Gerald in a situation where he has to help Gaunther O'Dimm, a travailing salesman who is revealed to be the in-game universe's version of Satan in completing a long standing contract for him. The subject is a ambitions man named, Olgierd von Everec, who determination to become rich and powerful makes him a ruthless person who eventually sells his soul to obtain his riches and marry the woman he loves. Everec's life doesn't turn out as grand as he though it would, however, as he become an empty person who can never be happy. He blames O'Dimm for this and has no intention of letting him get his soul. Depending on Gerald's choices, he can either help O'Dimm get Everec's soul, or decide to challenge him to save his soul.
  • Tyranny will always feature this in at least one way — the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus armies are both dark factions even aside from being the minions of the local Evil Overlord (the Disfavored being xenophobic racists who may have a sense of honor but one that not rarely would have them do something cruel, the Scarlet Chorus being a murderous, pillaging horde whose leader is seen as a monster even by most of the Chorus), and they will always fall to civil war with one another. Whether the player becomes a third evil side is up to themnote  — which also influences whether this trope is in effect in the endgame, when Kyros, the aforementioned Evil Overlord, marches new armies towards the region.
  • In addition to the innocents in Town of Salem, there will always be a group of mafia and at least one neutral killer per full game trying to murder each other, usually having to rely on quick wits and maybe the town's help to out the other.
  • The main conflict in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is between two factions in Erebonia, the Noble Alliance and the Reformist faction. The Noble Alliance consists of many openly classist nobles who resent any commoners that climb their way to the top, and want Erebonia to remain stuck in the past so they can maintain their control. On the other hand, there's the Reformists, who have absorbed several smaller nations into Erebonia, which has made the nation's foreign relations much more hostile. It's also implied that they've hired jaegers (elite mercenaries in this world) to cause chaos in these smaller nations so they can jump in and act as the "savior" of these nations and justify absorbing these nations into the empire. There's also a third evil in the form of the Imperial Liberation Front, a terrorist group that wants to kill Chancellor Osborne, the leader of the Reformist faction, yet whose actions could've killed several people unrelated to Osborne had Class VII not intervened. It's also revealed that the Imperial Liberation Front and Noble Alliance are working together because they share a common enemy in Chancellor Osborne.
  • In the Adventure Mode of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Galeem and Dharkon despise each other so much that even when they commit to an Enemy Mine at the end game to defeat the Fighters, they just can't let up the chance to take pot-shots against each other, which is a good thing for the heroes since being universe-destroying god-like entities they could annihilate the cast if they just stopped back-stabbing each other.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report