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"Geh heh heh! Excellent work! As I thought, you held the keys to the Door of Time! You have lead me to the gates of the Sacred Realm... Yes, I owe it all to you, kid!"

As video game storytelling evolved, so did its caliber of villains. Voice acting, musical scores, and better writing on top of gameplay have allowed some of the most engaging, magnificent masterminds to imprint themselves upon gamers, as you will see soon.

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     A - C 
  • Asura's Wrath: Deus was the leader of the Eight Guardian Generals fighting Vlitra and the Gohma, but believed Vlitra would one day be too powerful to stop. Assassinating The Emperor, Deus framed Asura while having his wife murdered and his daughter Mithra—who could channel and amplify Mantra—kidnapped. After killing Asura, Deus renamed the Generals "The Seven Deities" and created a worldwide cult with few dissenters that believed being killed by the Deities would lead their souls to Nirvana. In truth, the souls were gathered to power the Karma Fortress’ Brahmastra to finally kill Vlitra. Trillions of souls were gathered over 12,000 years by the time Asura revived and eventually fought Deus. Only by working with his brother-in-law Yasha were they able to beat him. With absolute conviction in his power and his ideals while hating being Emperor and what he had done, Deus was Asura’s smartest enemy and one of his most sympathetic.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Baldur's Gate: Sarevok Anchev spent his childhood persecuted for his Bhaalspawn heritage until he was adopted by the merchant lord Rieltar Anchev who once had his unfaithful wife throttled in front of Sarevok as a harsh lesson. Growing up, Sarevok plots with Rieltar to become the Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate by using a campaign of subterfuge, assassination and manipulation to make his merchant house, the Iron Throne, all the more powerful. Deciding to subvert Rieltar's plan to his own ends, Sarevok plans to kick off a war and use the resultant slaughter as a way to ascend to his dead father's divinity. Even arranging for Rieltar's assassination and framing the heroes, Sarevok is stopped just before he can become Grand Duke before returning in Throne of Bhaal, using vital information to force the heroes to restore him to life, where he takes a stand to help save the world and find a place for himself.
    • Baldur's Gate II: Jon Irenicus was once an elven sorcerer named Jonoleth who attempted to become a god. Cast out of elven society with his soul stripped from him, Irenicus forms plans to steal the soul of the heroic child of Bhaal and resume his plans. Manipulating the heroes and allowing his capture with the hero's half-sister Imoen, Irenicus directs the heroes' actions through his spy, Yoshimo, and takes over the entire prison he was sent to, just as he intended. Stealing Imoen and the player's souls and escaping, Irenicus manipulates the Drow into attacking his old home of Suldanessalar and is stopped just minutes away from draining its divine tree of its power to ascend to godhood.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Gruntilda "Grunty" Winkybunion is an evil witch and the nemesis of Banjo and Kazooie. In the first game, Grunty tries to use a machine to steal the beauty of Banjo's sister and scatters the Jiggies and Jinjo people throughout the land, preventing Banjo from summoning the mighty Jinjonator to stop her. In the second game, after being resurrected, Grunty ruthlessly crushes her enemies: ripping pages from her sentient spell book for planning to betray her, and killing Bottles and the Jinjo King, leaving Banjo and Kazooie without their powerful allies to stand against her. In Grunty's Revenge, she kidnaps Kazooie and forces Banjo to travel through time to save her, coming to a Near-Villain Victory with her scheme.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Ra's Al-Ghul is the "Demon's Head" and leader of the League of Assassins. A centuries-old warlord who got his start buying Gotham City and restructuring it into the criminal-murdering "utopia" Wonder City, Ra's found and used the healing properties of the Lazarus Pit to sustain his life over the years, amassing countless resources and soldiers to his League in the process. In the present, Ra's pulls strings to begin his ideas for a mass-genocide of those he deems "unworthy" to live in his planned perfect world, and finds a concrete scheme when approached by the monstrous Hugo Strange. Fully backing Strange's plan to build a super prison called Arkham City that functions as a nightmarish concentration camp to hold thousands of prisoners until they are all wiped out, Ra's continuously tries to convince Batman to join his crusade, even betraying and murdering Strange due to a preference for Batman as his potential heir. If allowed to die in his final appearance, Ra's uses his last words to proclaim how proud he is of Batman for taking steps towards doing what is 'necessary,' and throughout the franchise holds the utmost respect for the hero no matter what animosity comes between them.
    • Basil Karlo, better known as Clayface, is a theatrical shapeshifter who enjoys manipulating others with his excellent doppelganger skills. Breaking out of Arkham Asylum by tricking a guard into thinking he is an innocent, Clayface then sneaks into the maximum security prison Arkham City, where he makes a deal with the sickly Joker to masquerade as him and keep his troops and enemies under the illusion that Joker is healthy as ever. Clayface plays the part of Joker near-flawlessly, fooling everyone including Batman himself into thinking he is the Clown Prince of Crime, and uses his position to orchestrate a variety of takeovers in the city. During his fight with Batman, Clayface gives Batman one of the hardest of his career, forcing the caped crusader into lethal force due to his deadliness. Not reserved solely to Joker, Clayface also shifts into the assassin Deadshot, gaining Penguin's trust and a stash of guns with the disguise.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series: Lady Arkham, real name of Victoria Arkham AKA "Vicki" Vale, is the charming, strategic leader of the Children of Arkham, a terrorist organization seeking absolution for the crimes committed against them by the higher society of Gotham City. A victim of abuse who lost her parents at a young age thanks to Thomas Wayne's corruption, Arkham spent her childhood plotting revenge and making schemes, and upon adulthood, puts these into action as she rallies the otherwise peaceful Children of Arkham and radicalizes them into a military force. Utilizing an insanity drug to drive mayor Harvey Dent mad—injecting the serum into the other candidate in the process as a precaution—Arkham uses her public guise to masterfully manipulate the situation to seem as though the Children of Arkham are heroes, driving Bruce Wayne himself temporarily insane and getting him thrown into Arkham Asylum. When her master plan to flood the streets with her insanity drug fails, Arkham initiates her backup plan to raid Arkham Asylum and free the dozens of inmates as a final "justice" against the corrupt Asylum's checkered past.
  • BioShock Infinite: The Luteces are two mysterious twins frequently encountered, before revealing themselves to have set the plot in motion. Encountered by Zachary Hale Comstock, Rosalind Lutece agreed to help him build his floating city, Colombia and in return Comstock would fund her research on alternate realities; with these resources she made a contraption that allowed her Alternate Self Robert Lutece to come into her world. Together, the Luteces helped Comstock kidnap Booker DeWitt's daughter, though Robert regretted his part in the kidnapping as well as the state of Colombia and the Bad Future coming after so he decides to plot against Comstock, forcing Rosalind to help him on the threat that he'll leave her if she doesn't. Though seemingly killed by Comstock, they have in fact survived and involved Booker DeWitt in their plan, guiding him throughout Colombia, while also convincing Daisy Fitzroy to ignite her revolution and let Elizabeth kill her ensuring the downfall of Colombia and Comstock. After the death of Comstock and the destruction of his city, the Luteces collaborated with Elizabeth to kill off all the other Comstocks in different realities before leaving her after killing the last Comstock in Rapture completely satisfied with their end results.
  • BlazBlue: Relius Clover, "The Puppeteer", is the brilliant alchemist and colonel of NOL. Originally known as The One, leader of the Ten Sages of Ishana, Relius dedicated his intellect to bring the world into a prosperous future. Encountered by Yuuki Terumi, he helped him create The Black Beast. Getting sucked in by The Black Beast and sent 80 years into future, Relius saw the "True Form" of the human soul and thought it to be simple. Disappointed, Relius believed the only way he could achieve his perfect world was to get rid of humans and replace them with his creations, with himself as "The Architect". He would found the NOL Military Academy for this purpose, observing the students' hidden potentials before turning them into his perfect dolls; among them were his own wife and daughter Ignis and Ada. Relius, would also manipulated Sector Seven, fellow scientist Kokonoe Mercury, and Litchi Faye-Ling to create the Nox Nyctores Nirvana and the energy core powering all his dolls. Getting betrayed by Hades Izanami, Relius changes tactics and convince his son Carl to go to the Boundary with him on the pretense he can cure his sister Ada. Upon arriving to the Boundary, Relius abandons Carl before watching with content Hades and Terumi's downfall, knowing that he himself has escaped karmic retribution and can always resume with his plan.
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!: Colonel Tungsteena Zarpedon is the Commander of the Lost Legion, and the head of the assault on Helios. After her men corner Jack and his Vault Hunters, forcing the latter to flee to Elpis, Zarpedon monitors their movements and attempts to sabotage their efforts to stop her at every opportunity, all the while showing them utmost respect and offering to help them leave Elpis should they no longer wish to fight. Zarpedon is a valorous woman who earned the love and respect of her soldiers, to the point where they will follow her cause even after she's killed, and her ultimate goal—to destroy Elpis with the Eye of Helios—is purely to prevent a worse fate from befalling the universe at large.
  • Brave Frontier:
    • Bertz "Klauser" Felker is an agent of the shadowy Abel Faction who masterfully persuades others by giving them information to target their emotional vulnerabilities, not even needing to lie by doing so. Seemingly working for his organization to stop the Summoner and their companions, Bertz in truth uses them for his own agenda. Stealing the core of a Divine Being the Abel Faction seeks, Bertz plans to use the power of the Divine Beings to save the world of Elgaia and put an end to his own nightmarish past.
    • Zamburg ruler, Cosmic Demon Amu-Yunos is an ancient, extra-dimensional being that seeks her own death to alleviate her boredom. Seeing the Summoner as a candidate for helping her end her own life, Amu-Yunos challenges them to defeat her lest she destroy Ishgria. When defeated by the Summoner, Amu-Yunos is thrilled at the excitement of death and helpfully warns the Summoner that they will have to fight another version of her. Amu-Yunos is also revealed to have made a pact with a young summoner whose comrades had been wiped out, allowing him the chance to change his destiny. Though Amu-Yunos simply seeks an entertaining end to her immortal existence, her charm and jovial nature made her to be one of the most compelling foes to be faced by the Summoner and their companions.
  • The Caligula Effect: Thorn is the leader of the Ostinato Musicians overseeing Mobius. Actually a man unable to move on from the suicide of her best friend before taking her identity inside Mobius, Thorn became the right hand of the sentient AI μ after μ denied Thorn her wish. Creating the Ostinato Musicians, a group of emotionally damaged individuals seeking to preserve their ideal lives by composing songs for μ and manipulating them as well, Thorn uses their songs to amass negative energy and slowly corrupt μ to grant her own wish. While the Go-Home Club manages to defeat the Musicians, Thorn succeeds in corrupting μ while also taking revenge on her former friend Shogo Satake by triggering his past trauma. Hiding her real intentions from both friend and foe, Thorn was the real mastermind behind the current Mobius, all in her plan to ensure the destruction of the real world.
  • Call of Duty: These brilliant masterminds exemplify badassery using ingenuity and charisma, rather than guns:
    • Black Ops series:
      • Original game: Victor Reznov is a charismatic soldier for the Russian Red Army who drove the Nazi's out of Stalingrad and lead the charge to Berlin during World War II, showing utter ruthlessness to his enemies while inspiring loyalty from his allies. After being betrayed by his superior Nikita Dragovich, Reznov would plot his revenge against Dragovich and his cohorts for killing his friends. Getting himself locked up in the Russian gulag Vorkuta, Reznov would orchestrate a prison-break and sacrifice himself so Alex Mason can escape. It would be revealed that Reznov brainwashed Alex Mason to kill all of his enemies, appearing in his mind to guide him throughout, successfully using the American soldier to complete his revenge.
      • Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Raul Menendez is the charismatic leader of Cordis Die, who worked his way up to becoming one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the world, grabbing the attention of the CIA who sent a black ops team to deal with, greatly underestimating him. Now knowing of the CIA Menendez planted moles inside, while expanding his empire to arms dealing, trading weapons to the Soviet Union and other anti-capitalist insurgents. Vowing vengeance on those who killed his sister, Menendez manipulates Frank Woods with a captive Jason Hudson into shooting, possibly killing, Alex Mason before crippling Woods and killing Hudson himself. He would use his wealth to create advance weaponry and private armies, and the Celerlium worm which he use to drain the Chinese Stock Market, pinning the deed on the United States and starting a second Cold War. He would allow himself to be captured by American Forces taking him to the U.S.S. Obama where he would have his soldiers ambush them before using the Celerlium worm to take control of the military drones, decimating the Obama fleet in the process. Using the hacked drones to distract American forces, he would then destroy them before revealing his true plan; crippling the U.S. military so all his followers in Cordis Die can wreak havoc throughout America, succeeding by goading David Mason to kill him, making Menendez a martyr.
      • Call of Duty: Black Ops III: Dolos is the demigoddess of trickery and in the "Nightmares" campaign, she proves why she earned such a title. Being brought to Earth from Malum by the SP/CORVUS experiments conducted by Coalescence in Singapore, along with her brother Deimos, she schemes against Deimos when he plans to turn all of humanity into an undead army to conquer Malum. Dolos would posses Kane and through her convince Soldier #25954 and Hendricks to kill Taylor and his team possessed by Deimos before Deimos proceeds to posses Hendricks. Upon arriving at Zurich, Dolos convinces Soldier #25954 to let Deimos open the portal to Malum before trapping them both in Malum. With Deimos now vulnerable in Malum, Dolos helps Soldier #25954 kill her brother before revealing her plan to kill off every demigod and supernatural being that opposes her, successfully persuading the soldier into helping Dolos accomplish this goal.
    • Modern Warfare: General Hershel von Shepherd is the commander of the US forces and the true Big Bad of the second instalment. Having lost 30,000 soldiers from a nuke detonated from the Middle East, Shepherd felt that the free people has taken the military's sacrifices for granted. Vowing to remind the world of the cost of their freedom, Shepherd collaborated with Vladmir Makarov in creating World War III, giving him the identity of Pvt. Joseph Allen, resulting in Makarov killing the private in the middle of the airport massacre. This resulted in America being invaded by Russian Armies in which the U.S. has given Shepherd command of millions of soldiers, while he leads Task Force 141 to search for Makarov. Encountering Captain Price during the manhunt, Price would launch a submarine nuke, which Shepherd would pin this act on Makarov and receive a blank check to aid the search. Pin-pointing Markarov's whereabouts to two locations Shepherd splits the Task Force into two before sending the Shadow Company to kill them off once they served their purpose. When Shepherd learns that Price and Soap are in his base, he arranges said base to self-destruct. Even when Price and Soap survive the attempt and go after him, Shepherd isn't afraid to die because he'll be remembered as a war hero while they will be branded as fugitives wanted for killing him.
  • Castlevania:
    • Original series:
      • Dracula was once a genius strategist named Matthias Cronqvist. Enraged at God when the love of his life died, Matthias manipulated his best friend Leon into defeating the vampire Walter Bernhard by having Leon's fiancee kidnapped and eventually sacrificed to create the Vampire Killer. Stealing Walter's soul and taking the name Dracula, the new lord of the undead proved his mastery over the night until he lost his second wife Lisa at the hands of the humans. Continuing his war with the Belmont Clan and his and Lisa's heroic son Alucard for centuries, Dracula constantly shows himself a brilliant schemer, who tenaciously returns to life again and again while never losing his charm or style.
      • Death is Dracula’s right-hand and just as devious as his master. Posing as Walter Bernhard’s servant, Death steals his soul for Matthias Cronqvist. When Dracula was killed by Trevor and friends, Death posed as mild mannered priest Zead, guiding reformed Devil Forgemaster Hector on his quest for revenge, succeeding in reviving Dracula’s castle and almost making Hector the vessel for Dracula’s resurrection. Returning time and again, Death frequently employed trickery and was skilled in playing enemies off each other to revive his master, such as when he had Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin defeat the usurper Brauner so Death could finish him off and revive Dracula. Completely loyal to his master, when Alucard, Dracula’s son, confronted Death, the Reaper tried to convince him to return to his father. As clever and as stylish as Dracula, Death has remained a consistent threat throughout the series and all Hunters of the Night know his reputation.
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Dracula was once the heroic Gabriel Belmont, a champion of the light who succumbed to the darkness. Deciding to remake the world, Dracula completely crushes the Brotherhood of Light and destroys their champion, which leads to his confronting and killing his own son Trevor unknowingly, which later causes Trevor to rise as the vampire Alucard. Playing the villain to strengthen his grandson Simon, Dracula later enacts a plan with Alucard to destroy their enemies, the evil Lord of Shadow Zobek and Satan himself: allowing himself to be impaled and placed in hibernation for centuries, Dracula knows Zobek will awaken him to destroy Satan, and when Dracula regains his memory, he and Alucard can destroy both. Even at the end, Dracula shows why he is the supreme lord of darkness and chosen of God simultaneously by destroying Zobek and even fooling Satan in the final battle before finishing him for good.
  • Chronicles of Tsufanubra: Veryl manipulates everyone in the game like fiddles. As the "savior" of the Kjrn he seeks to end the Fantastic Racism and will do anything to achieve this goal. He raises Celes to be the new goddess so he could have her as a part of his ambitions as a god. He also manipulates Vladimir to help him, sending him to Celes' group when he doesn't need him before annihilating the kingdom. Revealing his desire to become god and save his kind Veryl gives Celes a chance to join her before dying in the battle with her group fighting for his race.
  • Chrono Trigger: Magus was once Janus, prince of the Kingdom of Zeal in Antiquity, until Lavos destroyed the kingdom and sent Janus forward in time to the Middle Ages. There, choosing the name Magus, he became the leader of the non-humans, deceiving them and declaring war on the Kingdom of Guardia. By doing so, he sought to gain enough power to summon and kill Lavos. When Crono and the party disrupt this plan, Magus is sent back in time to the Kingdom of Zeal before Lavos destroyed it. Disguising himself as a Prophet, Magus used his knowledge of history to gain the favour of Queen Zeal, positioning himself to kill Lavos when it surfaces. When this fails, Magus can be recruited as a Party Member, recognising he cannot kill Lavos himself. If recruited, he leaves the party to try to find his missing sister. Selfish and never truly turning good, Magus was nevertheless a brilliant, powerful and determined sorcerer that defied the Evil Overlord archetype with Hidden Depths.
  • Command & Conquer: Kane, the unshakable, powerful and charismatic master of the Brothrhood of Nod. Kane's manipulations go back all the way to Red Alert when he plays the Soviets perfectly toward his end goals. In the present, Kane betrays his second in command and manipulates the entire GDI to play to his own ends. Kane later even starts the Third Tiberium War just to trick the GDI into launching an Ion Cannon strike on Temple Prime and detonating a liquid Tiberium bomb so he can call the Scrin to earth and hijack one of their gates to leave the earth and ascend. In Kane's Wrath. Not only does Kane manipulate the fractured Brotherhood into reunifying in the wake of Firestorm, he also engineers the rise of Redmond Boyle, who he wants to be in charge of GDI so he can manipulate him into using the Ion Cannon on Temple Prime. And he does all this while constructing LEGION, the ultimate strategic AI to interface with the Tacitus and bring him and Nod one step closer to ascension, ending by achieving every goal he sets out for.

     D - I 
  • Dark Rose Valkyrie: The Director of Anti-Chimera Incercept Division (ACID), Taiki Shinohara is the mastermind behind all the atrocities. Seeking a female chimera capable of reproduction known as "EVE" to advance "Project Messiah", he manipulates all of the factions to work with the pro-chimera evolution group, Quo Vadis, for his own end goal. Using Valkyrie System technology to find the perfect EVE, he stops the Valkyrie Force captain from interfering with his plans by leaving a chimera to fend them off, leaving to personally have ACID headquarters utterly decimated with his own chimera army. Though eventually defeated, he graciously accepts his loss, allowing the Valkyrie Captain his own research notes to return the afflicted back to normal. Although a man of relentless methods, Taiki shows positive qualities in genuine gratitude towards his best friend, even as he kills him and disgust towards a country for discriminating against his foreign creator.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Dark Souls I:
      • Kingseeker Frampt is Lord Gwyn's closest confidante and a key piece in his master's plan to save the Age of Fire, despite seeming like no more than a theatrical, sleepy serpent. Gwyn's plan entails a false prophecy of an Undead who would succeed him, drawing the worthy and gullible into ringing the Bells of Awakening. Once rung by the Chosen Undead, Frampt rises from his slumber and appears in Firelink Shrine to guide them, giving them concise instructions on how to proceed with their quest. As Frampt boasts of the Chosen Undead's destiny to take Gwyn's place, rarely dropping his hammy demeanor, he intentionally leaves out a crucial detail - to link the First Flame and save the Age of Fire, one must burn in fire for all eternity, something the Chosen Undead can learn the hard way.
      • Dark Sun Gwyndolin is Gwyn's youngest son, the sole remaining god of Anor Londo, and the other major player in his father's plan. Dutiful to his family despite Gwyn's blatant lack of care for him, Gwyndolin hides the sorry state of Anor Londo with an illusion of radiance and life, while having his Darkmoon Blades assassinate any who learn of its true nature. When the Chosen Undead surpasses the trials of Anor Londo, Gwyndolin uses an image of his sister Gwynevere to grant them the Lordvessel and give them further instructions on how to enter the Kiln of the First Flame. While the nature of the game means that Gwyndolin can be undone, he ultimately succeeds in tricking the Chosen Undead into linking the fire and survives the events of the story, choosing to continue his personal mission to protect Anor Londo and his family's legacy.
    • Dark Souls III: The soft-spoken and enigmatic Yuria of Londor is the potential architect of the Age of Dark, pledging her loyalty to the Ashen One once they obtain 5 Dark Sigils from the pilgrim Yoel. Set on making you into a Dark Lord, Yuria uses a proxy to manipulate Anri of Astora into joining you in wedlock, granting the Ashen One the remaining Dark Sigils they need to become the Lord of Hollows. Instructing them to usurp the First Flame, one of the potential endings of the game sees the Ashen One bringing forth a new world of darkness, one where mankind can potentially thrive, just as Yuria desires.
  • Darksiders:
    • Debuting in the first game, Samael is the most powerful demon around and loyal only to his own mysterious agenda. Imprisoned for 'disapproving of the company' his former master keeps, Samael encounters War and steadily guides him to destroy the Destroyer's Chosen to recover their hearts with the promise it will gain War entry into the Black Throne to take his revenge on the Destroyer. In truth, the hearts simply bind Samael and he tricks War into freeing him perfectly. Once achieved, Samael holds to his own unique code of honor and refuses to kill War, departing as a deal is a deal.
    • Darksiders III: The true villain of the game, Envy, possesses Fury's Watcher and spends the entire game steadily manipulating her to Envy's own ends. Having Fury eliminate all the Seven Deadly Sins, Envy emerges when Pride has been defeated to usurp all their power and defeats Fury effortlessly. Declaring that the world will be hers, Envy proceeds to storm over to the Charred Council and nearly erases them herself to achieve her own ends, showcasing a brilliant and cunning mind underneath her selfishness and deadliness.
  • Demon Legacy
    • Shadar "The Malevolent Shadow" was once a prince of a wiped out kingdom who after merging with a sword manages to make himself a figure of fear and he uses his position to murder all criminals, as well as anyone who gets in his way. Shadar keeps up with Deimos and Apollo, and manages to thwart some of their plans. He also manages to thwart Faust and Abel's attempts to force to kill him as Shadar tries to kill Slade, his goal being to murder people to keep the balance all without needing to use his One-Winged Angel form.
    • Abel started as a nobody, but after getting a magical eye, he trained Slade and pretended to be killed after revealing his agenda trying to kill Khan in Slade's mind, only being stopped by Shadar. He later returns by murdering Apollo, a Manipulative Bastard himself, and came dangerously close to wiping out the world. Even in the face of death, Abel tries to muster himself to die with dignity.
  • Destiny series:
    • Original game: Mara Sov is the Queen of the Reef and one of the most influential figures of the Solar System. Wishing Riven to construct the Dreaming City for her people, The Awoken, Mara would then trap Riven inside the city, fully aware of the Ahamkara's deceitful nature. She would then have the Fallen House of Wolves submit to her rule by killing their Kell herself. Encountering the Guardian and their Ghost, she would help them find the Black Garden, while they would owe her a favor; that favor would be paid when she has them kill and imprison members of the House Of Wolves that rebelled against her. Allowing herself to be killed by Oryx The Taken King, she would be able to access the Ascendant realm and gain Oryx's powers where she would then give Petra Venji and The Guardian the means to enter the Dreaming City, kill Riven, and rid the city of Taken influence.
    • Destiny 2: The Spider is the cleaver and charismatic head of the Fallen crime syndicate that rules the otherwise lawless Tangled Shore. Coming to contact with the Guardian and Petra Venji, The Spider would exploit their desire to avenge Cayde-6 death to rid himself of the Scorn infesting the Tangled Shore. The Spider would place bounties on criminals for the Guardian to kill and allow him to regain control of the Tangle Shore and in return he would give them the locations of the Scorn Barons and their leader Uldren Sov, all of whom played a part in Cayde-6's murder. When The Spider learns that his brother Siviks stole all the weaponry from the Black Armory, he has the Guardian kill him to establish business relations with the Black Armory, making The Spider the Guardian's most unscrupulous ally.
  • Detroit: Become Human: Elijah Kamski is a brilliant cybernetics engineer and the founder of Cyberlife, having developed the line of androids that are now ubiquitous throughout society before withdrawing from public life. Curious to see whether his creations could develop the potential for independence, Kamski sets the stage for an android rebellion by designing Markus and gifting him to a friend of his. He also tests Connor's capacity for empathy by goading him to kill one of his first androids, then provides him with clues on how to prevent being reprogrammed by Amanda in the Zen Garden, an artificial intelligence which Kamski himself based on his former teacher. In the event that all three protagonists are killed off before the finale, Kamski will take back control over Cyberlife in order to study his robots and rebuild their code from the ground up. A cordial and philosophical man in person, Kamski seems concerned only with observing the events he set in motion without interfering, content to let the chips fall where they may no matter how many android or human lives might be lost in the process.
  • Devil May Cry 5: V, the human half of Vergil, is a charming, William Blake-poetry loving man with a penchant for getting people to do what he wants even when they are suspicious of him. Introduced in the prequel novel having mugged a man to hire Dante, V seeks to defeat the Demon King he has dubbed Urizen while secretly planning to merge with him when he is beaten. V falls back on numerous insurance policies when things don't go his way, namely bringing Nero to back up Dante against Urizen and seeking the Devil Sword Sparda as a trump card. Persevering even as his body falls apart, V has Nero bring him to Urizen as his dying request, succeeding in his plan and "recompleting" Vergil, being more than happy to kill his brother Dante in one last duel. While often ruthless in his plans, V is genuinely remorseful over his past actions and develops into a better person by the end of the game.
  • Dishonored:
    • Delilah Copperspoon, master of the Brigamore Witches ia a brilliant, determined witch and the illegitimate sister of former Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. Once cast into the streets, Delilah clawed her way tot he top, even earning the attention and Mark of the godlike Outsider himself. Seeking the throne, Delilah builds the Brigamore coven and proceeds to enact a scheme where she will replace Jessamine's daughter Emily's soul with her own, sending her strongest witches against the assassin Daud just to insure they won't be around to betray her when she replaces her niece. When this fails, Delilah is cast into the void but by sheer force of will she returns and assists her old allies to restore her to the material plane before launching a coup against her niece, effectively usurping the Kaldwin throne. Not satisfied, Delilah plots to even usurp the Outsider himself, a scheme the Outsider fears Delilah is completely capable of enacting. Ruthlessly dedicated to her own advancement and hell bent on forcing her vision upon the world, Delilah demonstrates just how high a once penniless urchin can rise with sheer force of will and hatred within her.
    • Daud himself, the Knife of Dunwall is a genius assassin who even attracted the notice of The Outsider. Forming The Whalers, Daud performed daring assassinations for the benefit of the corrupt, before accepting and completing a job on Empress Jessamine. Feeling true remorse when he saw what his deeds had done, Daud later dismantles the Brigamore Witch cult and tricks Delilah into being trapped in the void. Returning years later, Daud even puts together a plan to destroy the Outsider himself, using his one true friend Billie Lurk to carry it out.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Kind, helpful Solas is in actuality Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf of elven myth. Having once banished the tyrannical elven gods and raised the veil, Solas deeply regrets the damage this has done to the elven peoples and seeks to correct his actions. Manipulating the entire Inquisition and the Inquisitor against the evil sorcerer Corypheus, Solas conceals his own role in Corypheus's rise and when the battle is done drains the witch Flemeth of her powers, before helping thwart an invasion of the Qunari. Solas then reveals his plan is to tear down the veil itself, which will kill millions of innocents, even if he has no desire to do so. Seeing no other way, Solas accepts the Inquisitor will hunt him to kill him or show him a better way, stating he would cherish a chance to be proven wrong in his current course.
  • Drawn to Life: Wilfre, a Raposa corrupted by his attempt to use the Book of Life and upstage the Creator, starts out as a vicious Smug Snake in the first game before graduating in The Next Chapter. A self-styled savior of the Raposa world, Wilfre fosters all the misery of the game by manipulating and deceiving the leader of the Raposa villages, while secretly simultaneously masqeurading as the thief Salem and the heroes' own friend Sock, betraying them when it's too late for them to do anything about it. Wilfre finally manages to break Mari's will solely by telling her the truth about the world; all of it is a mere dream caused by a car accident that sent Token Human Mike into a coma, with all of Wilfre's efforts a sincere but deluded effort to preserve the world no matter what.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Hermaeus Mora is the Daedric Prince of knowledge whose monstrous, formless appearance belies a mind possibly more cunning than any other Daedric Prince in existence. Constantly seeking to hoard knowledge of all sorts to fill the shelves of his arcane library Apocrypha through gambits atop of gambits, Mora bargains with servitors seeking Mora's secrets, rewarding those who are earnest and horribly punishing those who renege on his gifts. in the Dragonborn expansion to Skyrim, Mora realizes his current servant, the Dragonborn Miraak, is attempting to betray him, Mora executes a plan to manipulate the Last Dragonborn into killing and replacing him, simultaneously using them to wrest the long-held secrets of the Skaal by refusing to grant them the last Word of Power necessary to defeat Miraak until they do so. Ultimately, Mora ends up completely untouchable in the end, musing that all the Last Dragonborn has and will do is according to his grand design.
  • Empire at War: Tyber Zann, once Grand Admiral Thrawn's most capable student at the academy, before Thrawn had him expelled for stealing weapons. The expansion describes how Zann carves out a criminal empire: the Zann Consorcium, that rivals that of Jabba the Hutt and manipulates Thrawn himself into executing Xizor, the leader of a rival syndicate, for him. While Thrawn is able to outwit Zann at least once by bribing a mercenary in Zann's employ, Zann comes out on top in that battle, forcing Thrawn to flee. At the end of the campaign, Zann plays the Empire and the Rebellion against one another while he moves in to capture the most powerful ship in the Empire's arsenal—as far as he knows at the time—turning its powerful weapons against both fleets. For the record, the part where Thrawn is able to outwit Zann by bribing Bossk into giving him Zann's holocron was also planned by Zann. Zann planted a homing beacon on the artifact to lead him to his true goal: the Imperial Archives. Thrawn firmly believed that the fleet he left to defeat Zann would easily win. Zann surprised him by bring out his newest Aggressor-class Star Destroyers and obliterating the force Thrawn left.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Robert Edwin House is the multi-billionaire leader of New Vegas and one of the major factions vying for control of the Mojave Wasteland. Mr. House created the Strip, an oasis in the wasteland where people can gamble, drink, and bang as long as they have the cash for it, and took advantage of the situation with the NCR and the Legion to bolster his own defenses and revenue, while keeping his agenda hidden. If the Courier chooses to help him, House enacts his plans; he activates his Securitron army, deals with potential problems via their destruction or cooperation, tries to save NCR President Aaron Kimball from assassination to use him as a political scapegoat later, and holds the NCR at gunpoint to accept the terms of surrender he made for them. Through it all, House is suave, ruthless, and deeply pragmatic, while showing his benevolent side during his interactions with the Courier.
    • Ulysses is the darkly philosophical overarching antagonist of the game's DLC chapters. Long before the events of the game, Ulysses discovered the Divide, a settlement that closely resembled the Old World, one that he loved and could pledge his loyalty to. After the Courier inadvertently caused its destruction, however, Ulysses would recognize the impact a single person could have in the Wasteland, and sought to replicate it for himself. During his journey, Ulysses effortlessly manipulates the Think Tank with an Armor-Piercing Question into giving him nuclear firepower, and tricks the malevolent Father Elijah into hunting for the Sierra Madre, knowing it'll be his undoing. In the Lonesome Road content, Ulysses goads the Courier into confronting him at the end of the Divide to showcase his master plan—to end the Mojave conflict with nukes so that a new civilization can rise from the fire—while setting up their climatic battle so that he almost always comes out on top.
  • Far Cry 4: Pagan Min is the charismatic dictator of Kyrat, who started off as the son of a mid-level crime boss. Inheriting his late father's resources and taking the name "Pagan Min", his ambitions led him to Kyrat, helping the Royalists drive out the Nationalists before killing the Royalists' heir and taking Kyrat for himself. Seducing the Golden Path's spy, Ishwari, the two fell in love and sired a daughter, Lakshmana, resulting in Golden Path leader, Mohan Ghale, killing Lakshmana, Ishwari then killing Mohan in retribution. When Ishwari's son, Ajay Ghale, arrives in Kyrat to place her ashes next to Lakshmana, Pagan Min warmly welcomes Ajay before exposing Darpan as a Golden Path Spy. He also has his body double travel throughout Kyrat, to distract the Golden Path into killing him, while he would later appear live on television to discredit them and expose the traitorous Yuma Lau's whereabouts so they can kill her for him. When Ajay confronts Pagan Min, the latter offers him a choice; he can kill him or allow Pagan take his mother's ashes to Lakshmana. Should Ajay choose the latter Pagan Min tells him about the Golden Path's atrocities and gives Ajay Kyrat before making his exit.
  • Fatal Fury: Geese Howard is the infamous crime boss of Southtown and the most prolific villain in the SNK library. Desiring power at a young age, Geese trained at the Hakkyokuseiken school of martial arts, while steadily developing connections to Southtown's mafia through bribery and intimidation tactics, culminating in him overthrowing reigning kingpin Mr. Big and becoming the police chief of the city, with every cop and politician in his pocket. He then began hosting the King of Fighters tournament series to find worthy henchmen, strong-armed renowned martial artist Takuma Sakazaki into working for him, and vengefully murdered his rival Jeff Bogard. Despite suffering setbacks due to defeats at the hands of Ryo Sakazaki and Terry Bogard, Geese always recovers, and when Terry finally beats him for good and tries to save him from plummeting to his death, Geese chooses to fall as a final act of spite, laughing all the way down. For all his misdeeds, Geese never loses his trademark swagger, and so great is his popularity that in an alternate timeline, he survives and continues to plot behind the scenes.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Professor James Moriarty, self-proclaimed dapper gentleman and Arch-Enemy to Sherlock Holmes, serves as the Arc Villain of Epic of Remnant's Shinjuku chapter. Conspiring with the Demon Pillar Bael, Moriarty splits himself into a good and an evil half that, when combined at the right moment, will carry out their final gambit under everyone's suspicion. His good half cavorts with the Protagonist and allies, earning their trust and friendship, while his evil half commands the Phantom Troupe and runs Shinjuku. Claiming to have calculated every move to the decimal, all eventually leads to a confrontation at the top of the Barrel. Here, Moriarty's Memory Gambit pays off, and he strikes down Holmes before revealing a meteor is attracted to the Barrel because of his friendship with the Protagonist. Aspiring to commit the "perfect crime" of destroying the world, it is the very emotions he used to nearly win that became his undoing.
    • Yan Qing is a chipper yet psychotic member of the aforementioned Phantom Troupe. Retaining his charm from his days as a Gentleman Thief, Yan Qing stands out as a clever Masterof Disguise who impersonates Cursed Arm Hassan, an ally from the Camelot Singularity, convincingly drops the Protagonist's guard, and separates them from their Servants to take them hostage. His actions forced a hidden Sherlock Holmes to rescue the Protagonist and thus expose him to the Phantom Troupe. Outed as a threat because of his speed and craftiness, the Protagonist and company infilitrate a lucrative party held a disguised Yan Qing. Despite Holmes and the good Moriarty seeing his final attempt at a subterfuge, Yan Qing's clever acts advanced the Phantom Troupe's, and thus the evil Moriarty's, ulterior plans farther than the rest.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location: Circus Baby, the mascot of Circus Baby's Pizza World, is one of the few animatronics with the ability to think. Upon becoming possessed by the spirit of William Afton's daughter and getting locked away and abandoned, Circus Baby forms an escape plan convincing the other Funtime animatronics to meld their exoskeletons together to create Ennard. To this end, she poses as the helpful guide for the player, gradually manipulating them into following her instructions culminating in the player getting lured into the Scooping Room to be disemboweled. Despite the horrific nature of her plan, Circus Baby takes no sadistic pleasure in it, earnestly apologizing to the player for misleading them and assuring them that they wouldn't be in pain for long.
  • For Honor: The ruthless, terrifying, armored warrior Apollyon, master of the Black Legion, desires war as the true state of mankind, dreaming of a world where only the strong survive. Recruiting only the strongest for her armies, Apollyon also attacks the Vikings and manipulates a greater conflict while forcing them to fight among themselves so only the strong will survive. Turning her eyes to the east against the samurai who call themselves the Chosen, Apollyon invades and with a series of brilliant gambits, subdues them as well, also uniting the knight legions and remaining Chosen against her. Even as they oppose her, Apollyon plans it so that with her death, the Vikings will invade, destroying the fragile alliance and kicking off a massive war that continues years after her demise. Combining a dark charisma with an endless hunger for war, Apollyon shows why she is possibly the most terrifying figure to ever lift a sword on the battlefield.
  • FreeSpace: Main antagonist Aken Bosch spends the entirety of the game attempting to ally with the Destroyers, AKA the Shivans whom he believes are unstoppable and will never be defeated regardless of the GTVA's efforts. When the players are tasked with a squadron to intercept and disable his ship, he openly sends a communication channel to the player and taunts them, questioning the competence of their commanders as he warps out of the system, well before the players have any chance at hitting him, just before a Shivan fleet ambushes the player's squadron. He frequently outsmarts the entire GTVA command in his capital ship, and when it looks like he's finally been caught when his ship is disabled and boarded, it's found out that he had planned a ruse which included the capture of his ship and all of his crew all along, and he had actually used the confusion to escape alone on-board a Shivan transport, showing more ingenuity and unpredictability than even the inscrutable alien race.
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus: Persephone, Goddess of Spring and unwilling Queen of the Dead, was forced into marrying Hades. Disillusioned with the gods that abandoned her and mortals for their selfishness, Persephone decided to destroy the world and return it all to Chaos. Freeing the Titan Atlas, she sent him to kidnap Helios, causing the sun to fall and Morpheus' influence to spread, putting the gods to sleep, neutralizing them. She then sent Atlas to break the pillar that held the world up while at the same time using a vision of Kratos' daughter to lead him to her. Playing on his love for his daughter and his apathy towards humanity, Persephone tricks him into giving up his powers to purge his sins so he can join his daughter in Elysium, scorning him afterwards for how selfish he is. Driven to nihilism by the fate thrust upon her, Persephone came close to destroying the whole world.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Mike Toreno is an enigmatic government agent who engages in several illegal ventures to further US interests. Originally running the Loco syndicate to traffic drugs into Los Santos, Toreno fakes his death before revealing to Carl "CJ" Johnson his true allegiances, forcing the reluctant criminal to assist Toreno in running black ops against enemies of the state and rival agencies. Toreno has CJ engage in missions such as boarding a cargo plane during take-off and bombing it in mid-flight, stealing an experimental jetpack from a research base to attack a military train convoy, and infiltrating an aircraft carrier to steal a Harrier Jump Jet and assassinate protected targets elsewhere in the state. A witty and affable man through and through despite his shady nature, Toreno ultimately keeps his promise to release Carl's brother Sweet from prison by calling in some favors.
  • Guilty Gear: The mysterious "That Man", also known as the Gearmaker and by his real name, Asuka R. Kreutz shows a great deal of power as Sol Badguy and Baiken unsuccessfully attempt to strike him down for his deeds. In Anji's ending he invites him to his side and later in XX Accent Core Plus hires him to track down and punish one of his Co-Dragons I-No for all the trouble she's stirring up. He knows that Sol's ability to use Dragon Install could very well one day help to save mankind from a possible future threat. Despite his horrible deeds, That Man is truly remorseful for what he's done and genuinely believes he is doing what is best for mankind, something ultimately confirmed in the Xrd games where it is revealed he is one of the creators of Gears. Manipulating the fighters by forcing them to fight, destroying things around them to make them get stronger and encouraging them to use the Gears to destroy threats to humanity, That Man remains one of Guilty Gear's most brilliant and inscrutable characters.
  • Dot Hack GU: Ovan was once an ordinary hacker playing The World who had the misfortune of getting possessed by AIDA, who forced him to put his sister Aina and other players into comas, becoming the notorious PKer Tri-Edge. To save Aina and the other Lost Ones, Ovan conspired to trigger the Rebirth by manipulating Haseo into fighting and defeating the seven other epitath users, including Ovan himself. Ovan effortlessly manipulates Haseo, the cruelly ambitious Sakaki, system administrators, the World's AI guardians, and even the AIDA possessing him, without revealing his identiy as Tri-Edge until he desires it. His plan to trigger the Rebirth goes off without a hitch and Ovan saves Aina and the Lost Ones at the cost of falling into a coma himself.
  • Half-Life: The G-Man is an enigmatic bureaucrat who uses his supernatural abilities to carry out the whims of his "employers". Always watching from afar, the G-Man monitors people who exhibit great survival instincts to employ them under his cause. Responsible for bringing the crystal sample that cause the Black Mesa Incident, the G-Man went against the orders of his superiors to rescue Alyx Vance and Adrian Shephard for his own purposes. The G-Man would rearm a nuclear warhead to destroy the entire facility to cover-up his tracks. When Gordon Freeman killed the Nihilanth, the G-Man recruited him as Xen was now under the control of his employers. Twenty years later, he sent Gordon to City 17 to help overthrow the rule of the Combine. Although he was held back by the powers of the Vortigaunts, the G-Man waited until they were distracted to order Alyx to warn her father about the Borealis. With motives known only to himself, the G-Man removes any sense of choice from the people he manipulates.
  • Halo: The surprisingly eloquent and crafty Gravemind is the Lord of the Flood. A genius who nearly defeated the Forerunners with its strategy and power, Gravemind even managed to use its force of will and a Breaking Speech to turn a loyal AI to Gravemind's own side while instituting a Logic Bomb on the other AI. After being defeated and returning in the current day, Gravemind manipulates the Master Chief and Arbiter into fighting for it to handle its enemies as it prepares the Flood to take over all else, even employing its clever strategy to spread itself, such as when it takes over a ship and crashes it to take over a populated city. Even in defeat, Gravemind proclaims that besting it for the moment is simply added time to "a sentence I never deserved, but you imposed", truly believing that peace will be gained when the Flood dominate the galaxy.
  • Hitman: Agent 47 himself is the iron-willed, stoic hitman of the series. Easily the greatest assassin in the world, 47 weaves through assignment after assignment, eliminating his targets and escaping with the world never becoming aware of his existence. Often coming up with schemes to eliminate a target to make it look like an a complete accident, 47 often finds himself entangled in broader conspiracies or threats that he inevitably brings down and destroys completely on his own with the same stylistic flourishes that he brings to his assignments. Agent 47 repeatedly shows why he is worthy of the title of the best hitman in the world, often bringing nothing less than justice on some of the most corrupt people in the world for the right price.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The brilliant, manipulative Sylens discovered the rogue AI HADES, repairing it and assisting it in exchange for HADES' knowledge on the Old World, even helping to form the Cult of the Eclipse. Growing wary of the increasingly vicious HADES, Sylens revealed he had not been foolish enough to ever trust the AI and managed to escape. Upon later making contact with the young scavenger Aloy, Sylens feeds her information while leading into her fighting Eclipse and HADES, leading to her eliminating Sylens' enemies for him, eventually even saving Aloy before she can be executed by the ruthless Eclipse leader Helis. Guiding Aloy to HADES' defeat, Sylens ends the game by trapping HADES' essence, intending on taking all of HADES' secrets for himself.
  • The House of the Dead: Caleb Goldman is the founder of the DBR Organization and secretly funded Dr. Curien's research into creating zombies and monsters. An expert in the Genome theory himself, Goldman carried on the late Curien's work to create a being to rule over humanity and revert it to his natural state. Unleashing the hoards on Venice and inviting his AMS "friends" to his office, Goldman explained that humans had upset the Life Cycle and needed to be culled. After his Emperor is defeated, Goldman chooses death over being apprehended, promising a "successor" will come. Three years later, Goldman's back up plan came into effect. Zombies were unleashed once more and messages left by the deceased Goldman reveal to James Taylor and Kate Green a countdown for a nuclear launch – which turns out to be a hoax. Goldman leads the duo to his office while providing tests of strength to destroy The World, a monster he made that had become too powerful. Goldman also promises that he did not intend to destroy humanity and specifically made sure people could live in the North, remarking that "hope is such a splendid thing."
  • inFAMOUS series:
    • Original game: Kessler is a version of Cole MacGrath from the future where he lost his entire family from The Beast's rampage. Traveling back in time he forcibly took control of the First Sons where he had them create the Ray Sphere and then giving it to Cole MacGrath, resulting in the latter getting his powers, as well as causing massive collateral damage to Empire City and its eventual quarantine. Setting himself as Cole's nemesis, he tricks Cole into believing he had cause the grim future, manipulates Cole's best friend Zeke into joining his side, and giving Cole a series of Sadistic Choices leading to the death of Cole's girlfriend Trish. Successfully causing Cole to seek vengeance on Kessler, he gives Cole the Ray Sphere to use, before fighting him head on. Upon being defeated, Kessler then reveals to Cole his true identity, as well the existence of The Beast and the destruction he'll bring, admitting that his actions against Cole was to make him stronger so that he'll be able to succeed at stopping The Beast where Kessler himself failed.
    • Infamous Second Son: Brooke Augustine is the director of the Department Of Unified Protection, or DUP, who founded the organization to hunt down and imprison the super-powered Conduits on the pretense of protecting normal humans, though her true motives are to keep conduits safe from the violence and discrimination caused by humans. With the DUP, she manages to hunt down and imprison nearly every conduit in America having them endure experimentation and training to make them stronger while she manipulates them for her own ends. When the government decides to shut down the DUP and have Augustine hand over her captive conduits, she gives Henry "Hank" Daughtry the means to escape prison transportation allowing him and the other conduits escape, create mass panic in Seattle, and causing the government to continue funding the DUP while giving Augustine complete control of Seattle. When Delsin Rowe interferes with Augustine's plans she has Hank lure him and his brother Reggie to a trap where she kills Reggie and nearly kills Delsin. Depending on Delsin's Karma Meter Augustine can persuade Delsin to use his heroic status to promote the DUP or declare that his infamy has cause everyone to support the DUP, before fighting him.

     J - R 
  • Jade Empire: Sun Li, the Glorious Strategist, orchestrated the downfall of the Spirit Monks and upon failing to overthrow his evil brother, Emperor Sun Hai, kills the guardian of the last Spirit Monk and becomes his caretaker in the wilderness. Training the Spirit Monk to defeat Sun Hai one day, Sun Li uses him to defeat his brother and leave the throne of the Jade Empire open before revealing he trained his student with a flaw in his fighting style so Sun Li could exploit it and kill him, before claiming the throne. Taking over, Sun Li plans to conquer all he can, repeatedly showing himself worthy of the title "Glorious Strategist".
  • Jak X Combat Racing: Rayn is the daughter of Krew and far more charming and clever than he ever was. Enacting her deceased father’s plan to flush out rival gangster Mizo and take his assets by winning a racing bet, Rayn poisons Jak and friends, faking her own poisoning to gain their trust. Only by winning the racing tournament will they be given the antidote. Playing the part of the innocent daughter, Rayn never breaks character, even as Ashelin—the only person to doubt Rayn—threatens her. Carefully stringing along the heroes by exposing parts of Krew’s plan while acting surprised, Rayn even decides to race and put herself in harm’s way to ensure nothing is left to chance. After Mizo is defeated, she fulfils her part of the bargain, providing the antidote to the poison. She also leaves behind a message from Krew to come clean to everyone and as a new crime boss orders that Jak and the others—whom she now considers friends—are not to be harmed. Winning and getting away with everything, Rayn is one of the series’ most affable and cunning scoundrels.
  • Killzone: Mercenary: Blackjack is an Arms Dealer with no loyalty to either the ISA or the Helghast and whose primary motive is profit, yet is affable, charming and with a code of honour, morally objecting to the creation and use of a virus that could wipe out all life on a planet. Assisting Danner throughout the campaign, even when Danner is falsely labelled a traitor to Vekta and forced to work for Colonel Vyktor Kratek, Blackjack continues to sell him weapons and tools and eventually saves the day by hijacking Danner's comms, leading him and the boy Justus to safety and orchestrating to destruction of the virus. Ending the game by wiping out records of Danner's and Justus' pasts to help them evade capture, Blackjack will continue to profit from the war between Vekta and Helghan.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Xemnas, the Nobody of Xehanort, founded Organization XIII to find worthy vessels for his own Heart. In doing so, he lied to its members into believing that they had lost their Hearts forever, in the hopes of keeping them empty and under his control. To fill them with his essence, Xemnas sought to create Kingdom Hearts by stealing the Hearts Sora released with his Keyblade. When Sora created a Nobody called Roxas, Xemnas recruited him and cloned him to create Xion so he could exploit Sora’s power as much as possible. Even when Roxas and Xion defected, Xemnas simply went back to relying on a revived Sora to collect Hearts for him. Ultimately foiled only because of Ansem the Wise’s intervention, Xemnas later returns thanks to Time Travel, becoming a key member of the Real Organization XIII. Staving off usurpers at every turn with a ruthless lack of emotion, Xemnas is finally defeated for good, lamenting that his first emotion in years was loneliness. In his final words, he expresses admiration for Sora for having the strength to bear the "pain" of having a Heart. A brilliant mind with a stoic yet affable demeanour, Xemnas proves himself a deadly and devious adversary.
    • Axel, the Nobody of Lea and number VIII of Organization XIII, is a quick-witted and smooth-spoken "fixer" for the Organization responsible for silencing those who try to betray Xemnas. Axel acts as a mole for Larxene and Marluxia's scheme, killing loose ends like Vexen and Zexion with an impenetrable smile on his face, while manipulating Sora's group, Namine, and the Riku Replica, eventually dismantling Marluxia's scheme in preparation for his and Saïx's own attempt to seize power from Xemnas. Axel shows humanity and depth unique for a Nobody far earlier than most of his comrades, bonding fiercely with Xion and Roxas, and once his love for them overrides his loyalty to the Organization, Axel goes turncoat. When his attempt to take Roxas from Sora back fails, Axel decides to help him instead, sacrificing his own life to save Sora and paving the way for Lea to ally with the heroes against Xehanort's overlapping scheme. Always ready with a quip and a smile for any occasion, Axel leaves little room for wonder as to how the fandom memorized his name so universally.
  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land: Upon crash landing in Dream Land, Magolor plays the innocent victim to persuade Kirby and his friends into repairing his ship, traveling with him to Halcandra, and defeating the dragon Landia, whereupon he seizes the Master Crown and sets his sights in conquering the rest of the universe, starting with Pop Star. What separates Magolor from the other one-shot villains of the series is his personable and talkative personality, going so far as to earnestly thank Kirby for his help even as he betrays him. Future games would have Magolor change for the better, and ever since his introduction most of the franchise's antagonists have dropped the Generic Doomsday Villain shtick just to meet the bar he set.
  • Knack: Katrina is Viktor's right hand woman, both seeking to open a locked door containing countless Massive Relics that they want to use to revolutionise the world. Katrina is the brains of the operation, coming up with just about all the strategies. Believing Knack to be the key, she suggests Vitor kidnaps him. When that doesn’t work, Katrina suggests they simply let Knack and crew investigate the door themselves, correctly predicting they’d also be fascinated by it. Later managing to bug a memento of kid sidekick Lucas, Katrina is able to ascertain where the real key is, managing to snatch it from right under the heroes’ noses. Through acrobatics and strategy Katrina was able to go toe to toe with the much stronger Knack and when Knack outsmarted her, she went into training and accepted Viktor's gift of a mech and poisoned relics to even the odds. Even after being defeated and reforming Katrina creates her own successful company focused on private security. Almost always one step ahead, Katrina was Knack’s most likable and devious antagonist.
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Original game: Prior to being mindwiped into a blank slate, Darth Revan brought the Republic to its knees. Once a bold, dynamic young Jedi commander who singlehandedly won the Mandalorian Wars for the Republic, Revan slipped to the Dark Side and sacrificed many of the troops whose loyalties he was unsure of. Becoming aware of the True Sith Empire, led by the monstrous Emperor Vitiate, Revan embraced Sith teachings and launched a campaign that crippled the Republic, leaving its infrastructure intact so he may one day harness it as a weapon against Vitiate and his empire. Revan executes a multitude of brilliant, perfect strategies, converting other Jedi to his cause, seeking to both conquer and save the galaxy all at once.
    • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Kreia, formerly Darth Traya, is a former Jedi historian turned Sith Lord. Upon meeting the Exile after being stripped of power and position, Kreia spends the entire game manipulating the Exile into serving her plans, while having her form bonds with her comrades so Kreia can exploit them while also blackmailing and manipulating their companions as well. In order to eliminate her former student Darth Nihilius, Kreia has him drawn to the world of Telos so the Exile, the only one capable, is able to destroy him. Reclaiming the mantle of Darth Traya, Kreia takes over the Sith once again with sheer force of will and her immense strength, revealing her plan is to kill the Force itself while also strengthening the Exile to change the course of the galaxy. Even upon defeat, Kreia accepts her loss with grace, while giving the Exile the final pieces necessary to confront the True Sith Empire past the unknown regions.
  • The Last Remnant: The Conqueror is a brutal, ruthless, godlike man whose strength is rivaled only by his keen strategic mind and whose presence is felt in every scene he's in. A Warden of the Remnants and a sort of Remnant himself, The Conqueror deceives Duke Wilfred Hermeien, manipulating him into thinking he's in control of The Conqueror while The Conqueror himself attacks various settlements and steals their Remnants. One notable conquest has him lead the armies of Athlum away from their city with his own troops so he could single handedly attack it, fighting and killing Emma Honeywell and stealing the Remnant Valeria Heart. Betraying Hermeien, he forces him to be a test subject by infusing him with power to see what would happen to the world if he released Remnants. Seeing that the result would be the death of humanity, The Conqueror sees this as a reasonable price to pay, believing that human exploitation of Remnants would destroy all of reality. Defeated by Rush Sykes' Heroic Sacrifice, the last we hear of The Conqueror is him speaking with Rush in post credit dialogue, affably asking him if he is going to return to the world. With an iron will and a cause he believes to be noble, The Conqueror is a simple yet electrifying antagonist.
  • Last Scenario: Augustus works himself to the top so he can become the Empire's minister and seeks to prove that even commoners can achieve the throne. He effortlessly manipulates Felgorn into murdering the Emperor so that the Spoiled Brat princess Helga can take over. He then lets her run the Empire into the ground so that when he covertly assassinates her, the Empire's citizen rejoice and appoint him Emperor. When Felgorn finally wises up and turns on him, Augustus allows Felgorn to kill him, stating before dying that he is content and that, with his desire fulfilled, he has already won.
  • Legacy of Kain:
    • Once a petty noble in the world of Nosgoth, murdered and revived as a vampire, Kain has chafed at the tyranny of fate. Establishing a vampire monarchy, but wishing for a way to save the world without sacrificing his own life, Kain condemns his right-hand man Raziel to the Abyss, knowing Raziel will survive and return as a wraith, allowing Kain to manipulate him, the one being with true free will, into changing fate to the point of even averting his own predestined death, as well as saving Raziel from his own fate of being consumed by the Reaver. Kain proceeds to overcome a multitude of dangers with his wit and skill, constantly able to keep pace with the most powerful players in Nosgoth to the point he is able to even defeat the monstrous Eldritch Abomination, the Elder God, who has been responsible for all the bloodshed and horror Nosgoth has endured for eons, while never losing his sardonic wit or dark charm.
    • The Necromancer Mortanius of the Pillar of Death helped to lead a rebellion that overthrew the vampires before he became aware of the Hylden being held back by the Pillars of Balance. Possessed by the Hylen leader, the Unspoken, and used to murder the Guardian of Balance, Mortanius sets the events of the series in motion by having the petty noble and heir to Balance, Kain, murdered and revives him as a vampire to kill the brigands who slew him to begin with. Once this is achieve, Mortanus manipulates Kain to steadily purge the Circle, ending with Kain killing him as well, all with the intent of returning the Pillars to vampire ownership.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ganondorf Dragmire ("Ganon" in his bestial form) is the king of the Gerudo, the reincarnation of Demise's hatred, and the eternal nemesis of Link, Zelda, and all who carry their names. Initially coveting the Triforce to bring prosperity to his people, Ganondorf would be overcome by his own lust for power, and abuses his intellect and strength to gain it by any means. In his first chronological appearance, he manipulates and exploits his situation to gain the Triforce of Power, and takes the steps to ensure no one can end his rule. He also uses Link to bait Zelda into a trap, and challenges Link himself so that he can gather all three of the Triforce in one place. In all three timelines he is undone, but he always bounces back in some way, whether by manipulating an aspiring usurper, cutting off the Master Sword's power, or disguising himself to befriend and betray Hyrule's king. Stylish, smart, strong, and sometimes tragic, Ganondorf has forever solidified himself as one of gaming's most celebrated villains.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star: Big Bad Magic Emperor Ghaleon was once one of the four great heroes who becomes disillusioned with the world after the supposed death of his best friend Dyne. Ghaleon decides the world cannot function without gods, feeling betrayed by the goddess Altena's decision to be reborn as a mortal and seeks to either supplant her or force her to resume her role. Ghaleon manipulates the heroes into assisting him in his goals, capturing four great dragons to harness their energy to pull his plans off. Ghaleon remains one step ahead of everyone, even capturing Altena's human form Luna and almost succeeds in his ultimate goal. In Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, Ghaleon is revived, seemingly as a minion of the God of Destruction Zophar, but having grown repentant for his actions, Ghaleon instead works against Zophar and assists the heroes, becoming a Stealth Mentor to the young warrior Hiro before peacefully passing into the afterlife once he tests Hiro's strength enough.
  • Marvel Heroes: Doctor Doom is the ruler of Latveria, and the first Big Bad of the story. Hacking into Tony Stark's archives, Doom discovers the existence of the Cosmic Cube, and seeks to harness its reality-warping powers for himself. Doom employs various supervillains to keep the heroes occupied while he continues with his plans behind the scenes, using both sides to gather various powerful artifacts for him. Once he has gathered all the artifacts, Doom promptly destroys them to ensure that they would not be used against him. He also employs Mister Sinister to clone the mutant Bishop, utilising the mutant's energy absorption powers as a conduit to safely harness the Cube's energy. With the Cube's powers, Doom intends to reshape the world in his own image. Returning from his defeat, Doom exposes the Skrull's secret invasion of Earth and forms an Enemy Mine with the heroes to stop them. A cold and taciturn schemer, Doom always stayed one step ahead of the heroes, and came close to attaining the power he had long sought.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance:
    • Doctor Doom is the charismatic leader of the Masters of Evil. Before the events of the game, Doom stole top secret information from S.H.I.E.L.D. on how to deal with Asgard should it ever become a threat. Doom then refined the plan as a way to steal the All-Father Odin's godly powers for himself. Through a series of clever diversionary tactics, Doom constantly stays one step ahead of the heroes as he gathers all the necessary tools he needs to defeat Odin. Colluding with the God of Mischief Loki, Doom successfully conquers Asgard and defeats Odin in battle. Not wanting to share Odin's power with his lieutenants, Doom implements a series of Uriah Gambits to have the heroes take out his lieutenants for him. He quickly consolidates his control over the entire world, using his newfound powers to crush any form of resistance, and brainwashing the remainder of Earth's heroes into his loyal servants. A brilliant mastermind who managed to ascend to godhood, Doom establishes himself as a truly diabolical genius.
    • Loki is a member of the aforementioned Doctor Doom's Masters of Evil, seizing an opportunity in the Masters to fulfil his dream of conquering Asgard. Despite being its newest member, Loki manages to quickly ingratiate himself into Doom's inner circle as his Number Two. Disguising himself as the traitorous Mandarin, Loki frames him for the chaos the Masters had caused in Atlantis. The deception worked, giving the Masters the necessary distraction to carry on with their plans undeterred. Loki then leads an invasion on Asgard with an army of super-soldiers and overthrows Odin as King of Asgard. Even as the heroes turn the tide, Loki has one final trump card — the Destroyer Armor. Supposedly defeated, Loki disguises himself as Nick Fury, tricking the heroes into freeing the armor from its prison for him. Upon revealing his deception he proceeds to hijack control over the Destroyer Armor and attempts to crush the heroes once and for all. A master of deception, Loki proves himself to be Doctor Doom's most invaluable ally.
  • Mary Skelter: Nightmares: Dawn Liberation Force leader, Professor Tohjima who is revealed to be The King of Nightmares, Snark, comes to Earth with the intent to destroy the world and remake it in his own image. Planting seeds of the Genius Loci "Jail" across Earth, Snark also raises girls as the "Blood Maidens" and manipulates them to destroy the Jail cores. Poisoning the religious leader of the Order of the Sun, Snark replaces her with his own servant to string them along to working towards his own purpose before slaughtering them. Even when Protagonist Jack discovers his true identity, Snark manages to create a convincing cover story and evades suspicion from others by dismantling Jack's argument. Even if the Order of the Sun followers are saved from him killing them, Snark sacrifices his followers, the Marchens, as a backup plan to see his goal of becoming God come true. Ruthless yet intelligent and in possession of an unshakable facade of politeness, Snark cements himself as the most dangerous adversary seen in the game.
  • Max Payne: Vladimir "Vlad" Lem is a friendly Russian mobster, quick with a joke and a smile and refers to everyone as the "dearest of all his friends". In truth, Vlad is a member of the Inner Circle who was manipulating Max from the start. Using his own professional assassin crew, the Cleaners, Vlad has the rest of the Inner Circle steadily eliminated while playing the NYPD and Max to do his work for him, even planning on having Max killed by Vlad's lover Detective Winterson, whose blind son Vlad is truly loving and affectionate with. When exposed by his former mentor, Alfred Woden, Vlad plans to manipulate Max and his hitwoman lover Mona into killing one another while never losing his pleasant smile or friendliness.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • Big Boss himself helped found the Patriots AIs, only to have them spiral out of control on the side of his former best friend Major Zero. Slowly playing the government from the inside, Big Boss planned to create a world of war to honor soldiers forever. Having a loyal soldier who took the name Venom Snake used as a double to believe he truly was Big Boss, Big Boss used the man and his plans as a diversion while he focused on building his own nation, effortlessly playing his enemies for years and decades while forming Outer Heaven and later the nation of Zanzibar Land. Even surviving his own supposed death, big Boss returns to find his plans have come to fruition to bring down the Patriots and makes amends with his son and clone Solid Snake before peacefully passing away by the grave of his mentor, The Boss.
    • Revolver Ocelot, also known as Shalashaska was born to the infamous Boss as Adamska and spent his youth as a double agent for the CIA and NSA while undercover. After managing to deliver the Philosopher's Legacy to the US, Ocelot begins to despise the puppet masters of the world, the Patriots, and seeks to bring them down. Betraying and manipulating every side he joins, Ocelot even uses drugs and psychotherapy to make everyone think he is possessed by the spirit of Liquid Snake, knowing what the Liquid persona will do to allow him to destroy the Patriots, eventually hijacking the plans of Solidus Snake and forming his own group. Even when defeated, Ocelot still achieves his goal of defeating the Patriots and ends his life in a final battle with his archenemy, Solid Snake, having been only loyal to the dream of his mother's successor Big Boss to the end.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: Senator Steven Armstrong seeks to get elected using war as a business so he can end war as a business. Having manipulated the political system to give his company more power in his state of Colorado and getting elected, Armstrong forms the group Desperado to initiate more conflicts so he can raise his approval ratings. Armstrong decides to have the President assassinated in Pakistan to capitalize and start a war to restart the war economy to pull America from its economic slump. When Raiden interferes, Armstrong just works his involvement into his plans and decides the damage already done is enough for his plans. While defeated by Raiden, Armstrong reveals he truly believes in creating a world of the strong surviving for the sake of freedom and happily acknowledges Raiden as his successor, telling him to carve his own path while letting nothing stand in his way.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Celebrimbor, the Bright Lord, is the one who forged the One Ring for Sauron, before realizing Sauron's true nature. Briefly overcoming Sauron and losing thanks to the wiles of the Ring itself, Celebrimbor returns as The Wraith in the present, manipulating the revived ranger Talion into slowly taking over parts of Mordor and establishing the kingdom of the Bright Lord, crushing the wills of the uruks to serve him to steadily supplant Sauron himself. Finally raising an army to challenge Sauron, Celebrimbor promptly abandons Talion for a host he believes to be stronger and even shows himself capable of challenging Sauron in a duel.
  • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance: Nitara is a vampire whose Realm was conquered by Shao Kahn. Seeking to free it, she finds an Orb which, if destroyed, will free her Realm. It being submerged in lava, she decided she needed the cyborg Cyrax to obtain it. Earning Reptile's loyalty with a Saurian artifact, she has him damage Cyrax's teleportation device. Nitara, having the means to travel the Realms, offers to send Cyrax home if he retrieves the Orb for her. He agrees and she keeps her word, afterwards destroying the Orb. One of the few to save her Realm from Shao Kahn — all by her own cunning — Nitara was willing to use underhanded means to save her home and people.
  • Need for Speed: Carbon: Darius is the leader of the notorious Stacked Deck street racing crew in Palmont City. Bailing the Player Character out, Darius has him race other crew leaders so he can take control of their territories and sells the player out to the bounty hunter, Nathan Cross, once he is of no use to him. It's been revealed that Darius caused the event that tarnished the player's reputation by tipping off the police of a street race the player was participating in, switched the money bag, and letting the player escape Palmont. When Darius learns that Nikki made a deal with Cross to free the player, he recruits the fallen crew leaders to Stacked Deck and has them race the player before racing him personally. With his cunning only matched by his racing skills, Darius nearly defeats the player on the track before accepting his defeat with grace merely telling the player to enjoy his victory while it last as there's always someone out there who's a little faster than him and eventually they're gonna catch up.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Mepistopheles is the Archduke of the Eighth Hell Cania who has been roped into the service of an ambitious drow sorceress, the Valsharess. Wishing to free himself, Mephistopheles subtly draws the Player Character into conflict with the Valsharess, as they own a relic of his that binds them to Mephistopheles. When the Valsharess tries to order the Devil to strike the player down, Mephistopheles is able to break their covenant and turn on her. Banishing the player to Cania in his place, Mephistopheles begins his conquest of Toril with the intent to turn it into the Tenth Hell, lowering it below the Ninth Hell ruled by Asmodeus so Mephistopheles may be the most powerful Devil in the planes. Witty, charismatic, diabolical, and always staying one step ahead of everyone else in his schemes, Mephistopheles is the very definition of a Devil.
  • Nioh:
    • Tokugawa Ieyasu, in spite of being the Big Good, is a ruthless man out to unify Japan to put an end to the eras of war and bloodshed. Recruiting William Adams so William will handle the dirty work for him, Ieyasu manipulates the fraught political situation while gaining more power as he crushes the Toyotomi forces, even sacrificing his own allies to secure an advantage. Ending by defeating the Toyotomi at Sekigahara, Ieyasu orders William's death to bury the truth of the Amrita crisis, only to reveal he knows William is actually alive before having a good laugh over it.
    • Lady Maria is a charming spy from Spain who arrives in Japan, whereupon she ingratiates herself to Date Masamune and helps him kick off a rebellion, creating a new war so she may harvest Amrita for the betterment of Spain. Later repeating the same action with Sanada Yukimura at his castle, Maria manipulates Lady Yodo at Osaka Castle to continue the conflicts, allowing her to slip off completely free and clear of any punishment no less than three times, all for the betterment of Spain and revenge against England for stealing her kingdom's golden age.
  • Orwell: Juliet Kerrington is a member of the activist group, Thought, and the true mastermind behind the bombings throughout Bonton. Finding out about Orwell through Abraham Goldfels, the deceased leader of Thought, Juliet plots to shutdown the program. While impersonating Goldfels, Juliet convinces Nina to plant bombs throughout Bonton. Later, she sends the investigator and Symes on a goose chae by making them believe that Goldfels is the mastermind behind the bombings before later leading them to find out that Goldfels died months prior to the bombings, letting them know that Orwell leads the government to make rash decisions before getting the full story. On the final day, Juliet argues to the investigator about how flawed a system Orwell is as it easily leads to innocent people being wrongly convicted, pointing out how the investigator saw its flaws first hand. Depending on player choices, Juliet potentially succeeds in convincing the investigator to lead to Orwell being shut down, leading Thought to be promoted to a major political party within The Nation.
  • Overwatch:
    • Akande Ogundimu, the third Doomfist, is a hulking man with an idea to strengthen humanity through conflict. Murdering his greedy teacher for his lack of vision, Doomfist ascended to the inner circle of Talon's leadership through his political skill, intending to start the war that would change the world. Even when locked away by Overwatch, Doomfist simply bided his time, keeping tabs on the outside world until Talon was ready to free him. Once they did, Doomfist orchestrated a plan to sack the money-grubbing acting leader Vialli and his cohorts, bringing Talon back to its Darwin-esque roots, ready to bring forth the bloodiest battle the world's ever seen.
    • The sassy, enigmatic Sombra, born Olivia Colomar, was a former member of the Los Muertos gang, where she used her penchant for manipulation and hacking to play various corrupt Mexican officials to her whims, with her escapades making her a local hero to the town of Dorado. After a power trip gone wrong where she unwittingly ended up noticed by a terrifying secret global organization, she purged all records of her existence and decided to increase the scale of her hacking schemes. Emerging under Talon's employ, Sombra properly introduces herself in the "Infiltration" short, working behind Reaper's back to save Katya Volskaya from Talon's assassination attempt, only to blackmail her by threatening to expose her shady dealings with Omnics. When Katya tries to beat her at her own game by sending Zarya after her, Sombra quickly bounces back by revealing she knew she was being hunted and rigged her base to explode to make her escape.
  • Perdition: Tanas is the AI responsible for returning sapience to the androids. Having once served as a conscience to the tyrannical Gomadi, he began his existence independent of him after being cast down into the abyss and devising a plot to overthrow his crueler half by granting the androids their sapience back and encouraging them into acts of violence against the executioners and the blind androids, then ensnaring them in his battery network to siphon their battery life until he becomes strong enough to take on Gomadi. If The Protagonist Eve kills him, he will simply request that she climbs to the heavens and to oust Gomadi from his position of power and free the androids from their suffering.
  • Pillars of Eternity: Thaos Ix Arkannon, the immortal grandmaster of the Leaden Key. Millenia ago, Thaos led an Inquisition that tortured and executed anyone who refused to worship Thaos's gods. When one heretic named Iovara led a rebellion against Thaos, he convinced a close acquaintance of Iovara, to lead her into a trap so she could be tortured and executed. Thaos later formed the Leaden Key, a secret society dedicated to hiding the gods' secrets. Thaos manipulated the entire world for millenia, with only a handful of people being aware that he exists. When the animancers in the Dyrwood come close to learning the gods' secrets, Thaos resolves to discredit and ban animancy. He uses soul manipulating machines to cause nearly all children in the Dyrwood to be Hollowborn, making it appear to be divine retribution for the death of the god Eothas. He prepares to feed the stolen souls to the godess Woedica, so she can use the new power to hide the gods' secrets. He sabotages high profile animancy experiments, in one case causing a zombie outbreak in a major city. Eventually, Duc Aevar, ruler of the Dyrwood holds a hearing to discuss banning animancy. The Watcher takes the opportunity to expose Thaos and the Leaden Key. However, Thaos possesses an animancer into murdering Aevar, causing horrific anti-animancy riots to break out. This usually ends with animancy banned in the Dyrwood.
  • Pony Island: Asmodeus.exe describes himself as more sophisticated than the other daemon programs, and lives up to his boast very well. Asmodeus challenges the player to a simple game: Don't leave the game window, and answer his questions correctly. Once it starts, Asmodeus steadily begins to employ a series of clever, fourth-wall breaking tricks to either ruin the player's focus or dupe them into tabbing out, ranging from taking the guise of somebody on their Steam friends list, to faking a game crash. Once beaten, Asmodeus congratulates the player for their performance, and accepts his death with pride.
  • Portal: GLaDOS is computer created by Cave Johnson to run Aperture Science after his death. Once activated, GLaDOS proceeded to kill most of the scientists with neurotoxin and took over the Enrichment Center to conduct tests at her own leisure. In the present, GLaDOS put Chell through a series of potential lethal tests before trying to murder her. Defeated and shutdown by Chell in retaliation, GLaDOS is accidentally awoken years later by Wheatley. Throwing Chell back into more tests, she is eventually overthrown by Wheatley thanks to Chell's actions. With Wheatley threatening to destroy the facility with his own stupidity, GLaDOS convinces Chell to help her take Aperture back from Wheatley, and in turn lets Chell go when that is done. Switching focus toward Cooperative Testing, GLaDOS uses the robots Atlas and P-body to secure control over the lower parts of the facility and eventually give her access to more human test subjects. When a mysterious hacker (actually a mother bird on a keyboard) forces her hand, resulting in the deaths of her human test subjects, GLaDOS sends the robots after it before adopting the baby birds to raise as killers.
  • Ruiner: The mysterious, nameless hacker "HER" becomes an ally of The Protagonist, helping him rescue his kidnapped brother. Utterly ruthless in aiding him, she uses extreme methods: blackmailing and even using Electric Torture to extract information from their enemies. Revealed to have fabricated the kidnapping of the non-existent "brother", HER used the protagonist like an attack dog to remove enemies of the organization, HEAVEN, planning to betray and kill the leader of the organization. Although she is unrelenting in her methods, HER's masterplan is to destroy HEAVEN to free the countless innocents they have trapped in a nightmarish virtual reality and will not be taken from her noble goal.
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  • Shadow of the Colossus: Dormin is a dark entity trapped in the Forbidden Lands. Meeting Wander and learning of his desires to revive Mono, Dormin tells Wander they can revive her if Wander slays the sixteen Colossi keeping them imprisoned, but also warns Wander that he would suffer a heavy price. Released from their prison and confronted by Lord Emon, Dormin possesses Wander's body and uses him in their attempt to kill Emon and his men. When Emon survives and leaves the Forbidden Lands, Dormin reveals to have survived and fuse themselves with Wander becoming a horned infant and revive Mono as promised.
  • Shantae: Risky Boots is the self-proclaimed Queen of the Seven Seas and Shantae’s Arch-Enemy. Seeking power and riches, Risky has made a habit of letting Shantae do the hard work before reaping the rewards. She has managed to disguise herself as a Guardian Genie to trick Shantae into giving her the Elemental Stones and kidnapped her uncle Mimic to force Shantae to give her the Magic Seals she needed to steal Shantae’s power and make an evil copy of her. When the Pirate Master returned, Risky enacted a bold scheme by teaming up with Shantae and manipulating her into regaining her powers without anyone knowing so she could destroy the Pirate Master for good. Returning to her ambitions of conquest, Risky feigns defeat so she could leave Shantae a blueprint she stole but had secretly tampered with which uncle Mimic uses to build a machine that corrupts genies. While suffering occasional bouts of anger, Risky always bounces back as fierce and cunning as ever and is feared for good reason.
  • Shining Resonance:
    • Excella Noa Aura, Princess of Lombardia, will do anything to save her father and the Empire. Conspiring with Beowulf's top scientist, Joachim Reubens, Excella uses his research to gain knowledge regarding the souls of the four World Dragons. Ever wary of the movement of her second-in-command, Georg, who began to act suspiciously, Excella sends the dark elf Beatrice to spy on the latter. Sending her soldiers allegedly to attack the Astoria Captial City, Excella uses the diversion to negotiate with an enemy king to prevent both sides from suffering massive casualties, critically wounding him when he refuses. Obtaining a soul of one of the World Dragons, Excella tries to persuade the hero, Yuma Ilvern, to save her dying father. Despite the sheer amount of unlucky experiences she goes through during the final arc, Excella regains her confidence and eventually reclaims her rightful place aside Yuma. Treasuring her subordinates and viewing her enemies as Worthy Opponents, Excella shows, time and again, what a resourceful and gracious antagonist she is.
    • Jinas Aeon is a lone traveler who tries to atone for his sins in the past due to his uncontrollable powers as the previous vessel of "The Shining Dragon" which decimated his own village. To this end, he performs several strategies, such as attempting to collect several Armonics in order to perform the "Last Song", manipulating both the hero and villain factions to do his own bidding, and even participates in the resurrection of the evil sealed god known as Deus in order to end the ultimate disaster, known as Ragnarok, that will be caused by Deus, once and for all. Although seemingly defeated by the evil knight Georg Zalbard, who tries to use Deus to suit his own whims, Jinas helps the heroes in order to defeat Georg once and for all and after his business is done, Jinas decides to travel across the world to prevent another apocalypse that will happen in the future.
  • Spider-Man: Faking a Heel–Face Turn to present a heroic face to the world, Dr. Otto Octavius plots to force humanity's advancement through the symbiotes. Using proxy criminals to create distractions, Octavius steals vital technology to blanket New York in fog and unleash the symbiotes. Mastering the symbiotes and even keeping the unstable Carnage on a leash, Octavius manages to infest much of New York, nearly pulling off his plane right under Spider-Man's nose while escaping suspicion.
  • Spider-Man (PS4):
    • Felicia Hardy, the current Black Cat, is a brilliant master thief that steals for the thrill of it – but only choosing to rob those who can afford it or those that "deserve" it. In the main game proper, Cat leads Spidey on a hunt for her Cat Dolls challenging him to stop her from stealing $50 million dollars worth of loot. This was all a ruse, with the loot being a lure to distract Spidey while her Dolls shut down the police department's security systems, allowing Cat to recover her confiscated equipment. In The Heist DLC, Black Cat is working to steal Maggia drives that contain financial information for Hammerhead, telling Spidey that he has her son hostage and letting Spidey believe he might be the father. This was a lie so that she could recruit Spidey's help in stealing the drives for herself and she promptly fakes her own death, only resurfacing one last time to save Spidey from Hammerhead and give him information on how to take down the Mob boss for good. A thief at heart, Felicia nonetheless has a strong conscience while still loving Spider-Man, while fully using this to her ruthless advantage.
    • The Heist DLC chapter gives us Walter Hardy, the former Black Cat, whom is just as devious as his daughter. Faking his death years ago to protect himself and his daughter from the Maggia, Hardy manages to get a hold of Spider-Man’s phone number and disguises himself as a cop right on top of a police station. Calling himself Detective Mackey, Hardy tricks Spider-Man into uncovering loot he hid years ago. When Spider-Man finishes up, Hardy leaves with his loot, knowing Spider-Man won't tell his daughter the truth because Spider-Man is a "decent guy." He also asks Spider-Man to look after Felicia. While only featured in a simple side-mission, Hardy more than lives up to his anecdotes as a brilliant criminal.
  • Starcraft II Legacy Of The Void: Alarak is a Tal'darim warrior who uses both schemes and power to climb the links of the Chain of Ascension and establish himself as an Ascendant of his people, killing rivals along the way and pitting his enemies against each other to advance his standing by proxy. When he's roped into a confrontation between the three Ascendants above him and the Highlord Ma'lash, Alarak surveils the situation and then sits things out, letting the other four kill and weaken each other until he sweeps in and cleans up what's left, leaving only Ma'lash outranking him. Alarak then reaches out to the Daelaam, who have been enemies of the Tal'darim for centuries, and makes them an ally to kill Ma'lash. As Highlord, Alarak turns his people against their traitorous God of Evil Amon and helps the Daelaam banish him back to the Void and eventually kill him. He's brutal, he's powerful, he's cunning, and he's merciless — Alarak is the pinnacle of what other Tal'darim aspire to be.
  • Suikoden series:
    • Suikoden II:
      • Jowy Atreides is The Hero Riou's best friend who defects to Highland to defeat them from within, assassinating Lady Annabelle of Muse and causing the downfall of Greenhill. Jowy proceeds to trick and poison King Agares Blight to place the psychopathic Luca Blight on the throne, before betraying and luring Luca to his death as well, ascending the throne by marrying Princess Jilia Blight. Realizing both sides hate each other two much to stop fighting, Jowy keeps the war going, even betraying his beloved former best friend and Riou's adoptive sister Nanami. Jowy keeps going to bring the war to a conclusion, planning on letting Highland and the Jowston states be absorbed into a new nation and create a new world, no matter what price he has to pay to get there.
      • Strategist Shu was once a student of the Silverberg family. After being banished, Shu becomes a cold, greedy man uninterested in the Jowston-Highland war, even forcing the heroes to beg him to join before forcing them into a challenge impossible to win. After they manage to still complete it, Shu takes charge with a series of ruthless, brilliant strategies that turn the tide against Highland, even coming up with a way of bringing down the monstrous Luca Blight. Anticipating Jowy's continuance of the war, Shu uses the little girl Pilika as a shield to force Jowy to back down from taking Hero Riou and Nanami hostage. Despite his ruthless nature, Shu is devoted to the cause of Jowston and repeatedly demonstrates why he is one of the finest strategists to ever command in the Suikoden series.
    • Suikoden III: The Masked Bishop of Harmonia, in truth Lady Leknaat's former apprentice Luc, discovered the truth that he was a clone meant to bear a True Rune. Receiving a vision of a dead future thanks to the True Runes, Luc decides to change this fate, assembling a small conspiracy and proceeding to manipulate the Grassland tribes and the knights of Zexen into war with assassinations, attacks and clever political maneuvering before also sending the Kingdom of Harmonia into the fray. Playing the sides against each other, Luc reveals his intention is to sacrifice himself to destroy his own True Wind Rune, which will annihilate the entire continent, to change the course of fate for the rest of the world.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Paper Mario: Dimentio, Count Bleck's Enigmatic Minion and a jester with a flair for the dramatic, turns out to have been playing every single character for his own benefit. Dimentio helps to engineer the destruction of all worlds through the Chaos Heart while acting the part of loyal lackey, intending to backstab Count Bleck and recreate all worlds to rule ovre them himself, while also casually manipulating the heroes and even his own allies to steer them to his ultimate goal. In the very end, Dimentio brainwashes Luigi — the Chosen One of the Light and Dark Prognosticus — to use him as a vessel, fakes his death, then uses the heroes to beat down Count Bleck before taking the powers of the Chaos Heart for himself and nearly securing godlike power for himself. Even in death, Dimentio opts to drag it all with him, his final word a spiteful but ever-stylish "ciao!"
    • Mario & Luigi: Fawful initially served as The Dragon to Cackletta in the first installment, where he brainwashes the Koopalings and other minions to work for her in Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser. After Cackletta's defeat, Fawful becomes the Big Bad of the third installment. First, he sells a sinister mushroom to the Toads of the Mushroom Kingdom, a mushroom causing the Blorbs. When the leaders of the kingdom get together to ponder the dilemma, Fawful gives the defeated Bowser a Vacuum shroom causing him to inhale everything in sight. Upon taking over Bowser's castle, Fawful brainwashes Bowser's loyal minions to take over the castle, create a theater, and fatten Bowser up; upon him reaching the castle. This is to extract Princess Peach from Bowser's body, which he uses to awaken the Dark Star giving him total control of the Mushroom Kingdom. As a last ditch effort, when Bowser finally makes it to Peach's Castle and after Bowser inhales the Dark Star, Fawful, after being defeated merges with the Dark Star and creates Dark Bowser to fight Bowser and Dark Fawful to fight the Mario Bros. In spite of conquering the Mushroom Kingdom, Fawful is a Noble Demon and has a soft spot for the baby versions of the Mario Bros.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Bian Zoldark, lord of the Divine Crusaders, is a genius scientist who sees the extraterrestrial threat on the horizon and realizes drastic action must be taken to save the world. Forming the Divine Crusaders, Bian launches a coup that nearly succeeds in overthrowing earth, with only the crew of the Hagane managing a resistance against him. Bian is worshiped by his men who he deeply respects and cares for, and at the end when defeated, he reveals his plan was to strengthen the heroes to face the threats in his place, dying with his last thoughts of his beloved daughter Lune.
    • Shu Shirakawa, archnemesis of Masaki Andoh, is from a parallel world, and a genius scientist who created the super mecha, the Granzon. Devastating the kingdom of Langan, Shu lured Masaki into fighting him while escaping to the earth and assisting Bian Zoldark in his plans. Shu is well known for manipulating many heroes, including Masaki himself, constantly arranging things to his benefits. When defeated and killed, Shu is revived by the dark god Volkruss to be his servant but later manipulates things to be free and achieve his own victory, sneering that he will allow nobody to control him. Not even a god.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of the Abyss: When Van Grants learned that the Score predicted that the world would end, he decided to avoid this fate by destroying the world, killing all of its inhabitants, and creating a replica world in its stead. To accomplish this, Van pretended to be a loyal adherent to the Score, fooling nearly everyone in the Order of Lorelei so he could advance in rank to command the Order's military. When one of Van's plans hinged on Luke surviving his death that was foretold in the Score, Van kidnapped Luke and replaced him with a replica, framing the deed on the rival empire of Malkuth. Van is incredibly charismatic, capable of making his enemies into his loyal followers and is always one step ahead of the heroes. In the end, all of the heroes can't help but respect him despite his crimes.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Richter Abend, a former scientist seeking to kill the genocidal spirit Ratatosk and to resurrect his friend Aster, who was killed by Ratatosk. To accomplish this, Richter makes a pact with the demons of Niflheim, who give Richter the strength to face Ratatosk and a promise to resurrect Aster on the condition that Richter kills Ratatosk, which will destroy the barrier stopping the demons from invading the mortal world. However, Richter devises a plan to doublecross the demons by sacrificing himself after Ratatosk is dead and Aster is revived. Exploiting the tension between the peoples of Sylvarant and Tethea'alla, Richter uses Solum's core to control Brute, the leader of the Vanguard, turning it into a violent anti-Tethe'allan movement. Richter uses this ethnic violence to cover up his quest to find and kill Ratatosk. Along the way, Richter befriends Emil and teaches him self-confidence. After Emil stops Richter's plans, Richter works together with the newly-reformed Ratatosk to hold back the demons of Niflheim for a thousand years.
  • Team Fortress 2 - Meet the Spy: The RED Spy is a suave, professional French assassin with a penchant for giving people that stabbing feeling. The Spy makes his way through the BLU team's base, picking off his opponents one by one in a mission for the intelligence briefcase. Closing in on his goal, the Spy disguises himself as the BLU Scout and hides in plain sight among his enemies, stringing them along until the Heavy and Soldier fatally turn their backs to him. As the video comes to a close, the RED Spy wades through a collection of reconnaissance photos of him taken by his BLU team counterpart, reminiscing over a picture of him on a date with the Scout's mom before seizing the briefcase and walking home free.
  • Thief: Garrett, a former Keeper, is a master thief ostensibly out for himself who is continuously roped into world-shattering events against his will and defeats the enemies against him via sheer cleverness and audacity. Encountering the wicked Trickster Constantine, who seeks to consume the city, Garrett flawlessly orchestrates Constantine's destruction and escapes the vengeance of the Pagan faction. In the second game, Garrett learns of a plot by the evil Karas to annihilate all organic life and tricks Karas into destroying only himself. In the final game of the trilogy, Deadly Shadows, Garrett manages to destroy the power of a demonic beast from legend, the Hag and leaves her to the vengeance of the Keepers. While out for himself and occasionally ruthless, Garrett is always ready to show his enemies exactly why he is the best thief alive.
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Rise of the Tomb Raider: Ana is a member of Trinity who was tasked with assassinating Richard Croft. Successful in seducing Richard, she was unable to carry out her mission solely because she herself genuinely fell in love with him. Suffering from lung cancer, Ana was determined to find the Divine Source to cure her disease and make herself immortal by having her brother Konstantin, whose life she manipulated, find it for her and uses Reverse Psychology to get Lara Croft involved in the search. Ana later has Konstantin choke herself in front of Lara to get the Divine Source’s location from her only stopping the charade when she realizes Lara doesn’t know where it is also and offers her a chance to join Trinity. When Lara refuses and escapes, Ana follows her to the Atlas’s location where she retrieves it from Lara and uses it to find the Divine Source. Though wanting to use the Divine Source to avoid death, The lengths and risks Ana is willing to go through proves her boldness and determination, eventually concluding that being killed by the Divine Source or Trinity are both better ways to go out over slowly dying from her disease.
    • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Pedro Dominguez is the Big Bad of the final installment of Lara Croft’s Origins trilogy and the Greater-Scope Villain for its entirety. Born Amaru in the secret Mayan city Paititi, he would be adopted by Trinity leader Gualtiero de Luca Dominguez who showed him life outside Paititi. Working his way up to becoming the leader of Trinity he would use their resources to make himself ruler of Paititi and the head of the Cult of Kukulkan, while removing their previous leaders from power. Befriending Richard Croft, he would have him killed when he learned of Richard Croft's intent to expose Paititi to the outside world. Learning about Key of Chak Chel and the Silver Box of Ix Chel, he would plan to use it to remake the world so that it would no longer pose a threat to Paititi having Lara Croft unknowingly retrieve both artifacts for him. Finding himself battling and losing to Lara, Dominguez uses his final moments to ask Lara to protect Paititi, showing his devotion to his beloved city to the end and gaining sympathy from the woman whose father Dominguez killed.
  • Undertale: Mettaton, the outrageously fabulous and delightfully egotistical celebrity robot, is initially roped into a scheme to help his friend Dr. Alphys befriend the Human Child. He plays the role of a murderous mechanical menace while Alphys "stops him" at every turn, but after he finds himself doing all of the heavy lifting, Mettaton gets sick of playing pretend. Deciding to steal the Child's SOUL so that he may reach the surface and stop King Asgore from exterminating humanity, Mettaton reactivates several deadly traps, hires multiple monsters to kill the Child, and caps it off by locking them into a dynamic battle on live television for the whole Underground to see. No matter what route you choose, Mettaton will always end the game on his terms, ranging from accepting defeat with pride, to sassing the player even as they're dead set on killing everyone.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Prince Maximilian Gaius Von Reginrave is the young and brilliant leader of The Empire who masterminds the invasion of Gallia. Having lost his beloved mother in an assassination attempt by another royal at a young age, Maximilian resolved to never be helpless again, ruthlessly scheming his way to the throne by eliminating his rivals. Seeking to harness the power of the Valkyrur through his right-hand woman Selvaria, Maximilian masterminds brilliant strategies and gambits against Gallia that nearly sees the nation fall multiple times. To wipe out the Gallian army, Maximilian manipulates Selvaria into sacrificing herself in a suicide attack that takes out the Gallian royal command, with the only thing stopping him being the heroine Alicia awakening her own Valkyrur powers. One of the most brilliant conquerors in the Empire's history, Maximilian is driven by the desire to control all he sees and make certain his late mother is honored forever.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: "Smiling" Jack, the Brujah former pirate and proud Anarch is manipulating the Player Character more than almost any other Kindred in the entire game. Having arranged for the transport of the mysterious Ankaran Sarcophagus, Jack cheerfully shows the main character the ropes of vampirism before clandestinely boarding the ship transporting the sarcophagus, simulating a vampire attack while secretly stealing the mummified king within and replacing it with C4. Jack proceeds to lend his aid from the shadows, manipulating the main character into fighting and dispatching all of the threats to the Anarch faction in the city, especially the smug, vile Ventrue Prince Sebastian Lacroix. Just for kicks, Jack even makes sure to leave a note for when Lacroix opens the sarcophagus reading "boom! - love Jack" as a final touch of black humor.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine: Warboss Grimskull is the initial Big Bad of the game and the master of the ork WAAAGH! besieging the Forge World. A genius by the standards of his race, Grimskull utilizes a series of ruthless tactics, disabling strategic points, seizing weaponry and disabling aircrafts to cut off the ground forces so his orks can overrun the Imperial Guard. Grimskull shows himself to be utterly tenacious, pursuing Captain Titus persistently and tirelessly to regain the planet's power source. When he recoups from any setback, Grimskull is later set upon by daemons, only to emerge without a scratch and give the true villain, the Chaos Sorcerer Lord a wide grin before declaring the one quote that sums Grimskull up perfectly: "I ain't so easy to kill!"
  • Wario Land: Captain Syrup, the sultry leader of the Black Sugar Gang, is Wario's chief rival and just as proficient as Wario himself. Showing her true cunning in Shake It!, Syrup seemingly puts aside her feud with Wario to help him gain the Bottomless Coin Sack from the notorious Shake King, even putting in her part to help the Merfles the King has kidnapped. After having used Wario to defeat the Shake King, Syrup doubles around to swipe the Sack for herself, revealing she negotiated it as a "finder's fee" from the Merfles behind Wario's back, driving off victorious with one more kiss blown to Wario and remaining syrupy-sweet every second of screentime.
  • Warriors Orochi: From Warriors Orochi 4:
    • Zeus is the king of Olympus and a charismatic, bold god who creates a new dimension to manipulate the warriors of the world into battle. Presiding over the chaos, Zeus turns out to have a very specific purpose: to lure the evil Omnicidal Maniac god Odin to his new dimension to destroy him. While initially killed by his son's betrayal, Zeus later returns and is able to see Ares' defeat through, revealing he also intended to manipulate his own followers and children to make them realize the importance of mortals.
    • Loki takes the form of Perseus, manipulating the heroes to steal the magical bracelets for Odin's sake. Helping to bring the heroes close to defeat by his ruthless cleverness, Loki seemingly advances Odin's goals all the while while few ever managing to suspect him. By the end however, Loki reveals his newfound care for humanity and that he manipulated Odin as well, seeking revenge for those he loved slain by Odin during Ragnarok.
  • The Witch and the Hundred Knight: The Swamp Fairy, Mani—previously known as the witch, Aguni—was used as a hostage so that the witches could kill her lover, the Eldritch Abomination Niike, millennia before the present time, before taking her own life and being reborn. Manipulating Metallia and a sentient piece of Niike, the Hundred Knight, Mani sees to it the duo destroy the pillars sealing Niike's power to resurrect her beloved and together destroy the world they despise. Killing Grand Witch Uruka to stop interference with her plans, Mani comes moments from completing her goal and even with Niike slain, chooses to fight until the bitter end.
  • The Witcher:
    • The Witcher: Jacques de Aldersberg, Grand Master of the Order of the Flaming Rose, is the mastermind behind all major events in the first game. Having made power plays with both people in high places as well as in the criminal underworld, he sets a plan in motion to destabilize the kingdom of Temeria, leading his knights on a crusade against non-humans and thus provoking the militant Scoia'tael, which ultimately ends in a bloody civil war. This puts King Foltest into a delicate situation, where he either has to give Jacques full authority to end the revolt or do nothing, making him look like a weak ruler. His knights are secretly funded by the drug money his ally, the criminal organization Salamandra, makes for him, which allows Jacques to present the order as humble heroes of the people who fulfill their needs for free. His ultimate plan is turning mankind into highly advanced mutants with the help of the stolen Witcher Secrets, and leading them southwards to survive the incoming White Frost. Throughout his conversations with Geralt, who later turns out was his former adoptive father, he tries to convince him of the righteousness of his cause, having sacrificed everything to save humanity (wether it wants it or not) in an almost flawlessly executed scheme.
    • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Letho of Gulet is a talented Witcher who joins with Nilfgaard to create a homeland for his fellow Witchers. Letho becomes the Kingslayer, a feared assassin who uses his wiles to position himself close to the rulers of the northern kingdoms and assassinates them, provoking chaotic reactions in order to weaken the north so Nilfgaard will be able to invade. Against Geralt, Letho shows himself to be a crafty, skilled fighter who even considers the White Wolf a friend worthy of the greatest respect. A brutish looking man, Letho also uses the appearance of Dumb Muscle to his advantage so none know how truly intelligent and dangerous he is until it's too late.
    • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt:
      • Gaunter O'Dimm, AKA Master Mirror or evil incarnate is the cunning devil of the Witcher-verse. Traveling and punishing the arrogant in inventive ways, Gaunter makes deals with people and takes their souls when he has fulfilled his end. A master of Exact Words, Gaunter eventually conscripts Geralt to help fulfill a bargain with the immortal swordsman Olgierd von Everec, completely tricking Olgierd before moving to claim his soul, only stopped if Geralt participates in a final contest with him. Despite being a timeless evil being, Gaunter is unmistakably charming and pleasant, willing to play to the letter of his deals and treats enemy and ally alike with unmistakable pleasantness, quick to answer any slight with retribution.
      • In the "Blood and Wine" expansion pack, Syanna is the long-lost sister of the Duchess of Toussaint Anna Henrietta. Seeking revenge on the knights who abused her as a child while they were escorting her to her exile, Syanna fakes her kidnapping to blackmail her vampire ex-lover, Dettlaff, into murdering the knights. Syanna instructs Dettlaff to murder the knights in specific ways to make it look like their deaths were divine retribution for their lack of chivalry. No one in Toussaint suspected that the deaths had a more mundane purpose before Geralt was hired to hunt Dettlaff and found the blackmail letters. When Geralt exposes Syanna's scheme to Dettlaff, she doesn't hesitate to risk (and potentially sacrifice) her life to protect Toussaint from the vampire's retribution. Throughout it all, Syanna retains her calm demeanor, even when discussing the horrific events of her past.
  • The World Ends with You:
    • Megumi Kitaniji is the true Big Bad of the game, second in power only to Joshua. Ruling the underground of Shibuya in Joshua's absence as its Conductor, Kitaniji assigns Game Masters to each week to act as his Proxy while vying for control against Joshua and seeking to give order to Shibuya through the O-Pins. Kitaniji takes non-refundable entry fees — including Neku's memories — and forces Neku to play another Game while holding Shiki as his new fee. As Neku begins the game, he takes Shiki as his entry fee knowing very well how much she meant to the boy. Kitaniji also has Joshua hunt his own friends down in an attempt to erase them. In the third week, Kitaniji brainwashes the entire town with the O-Pins and merges with Joshua to become the final threat. Even in spite of his viciousness, Kitaniji has Beat, hunt down Neku and Joshua in an attempt to erase them. Despite this he has nothing but praise for his minions and even Neku, and gracefully concedes defeat to Joshua once he's proven himself better.
    • Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu starts the game as a helpful if obnoxious partner in Week 2. In reality, he is Shibuya's UG Composer making him the Greater-Scope Villain of the Reaper's Game. Besides handing out orders from behind the scenes he fools Neku, the game's protagonist, into believing he risked his life for Neku and defeated Neku's killer. In reality, he killed Neku to use as a Proxy to win the True Game with the game's actual Big Bad Megumi Kitaniji: the Conductor. While he may have originally planned to erase Shibuya, Neku's reliance on the people around him restored his faith in humanity, convincing all the players — even the ones who didn't make it — a second chance at life. Neku monologues in the end that while he couldn't stand Joshua, he's grateful for meeting him and he trusts him, even being unable to shoot him when Joshua offers to make him the Composer through his own death. Even in the failure of his own goals of destroying Shibuya, Joshua still managed to win in the end.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Illidan Stormrage is revealed as a dark Well-Intentioned Extremist in the Legion expansion who joined the Highborne during the War Of the Ancients to bring them down from within. Upon being shown by Sargeras the Legion's true might, Illidan has realized just how dire the fight truly is. After being freed in modern day, Illidan delves into dark powers and even makes himself the Legion lord Kil'Jaeden's servant to undermine them from within, taking over Outland and putting together a group of demon hunters while striking at the Legion's own worlds and dealing them their worst defeats in eons. upon his revival, Illidan brings the world of Azeroth close to the Legion world of Argus to 'force the hand of fate' and helps lead a daring strike on the Legion, forming the strategies to crush them once and for all before electing to serve as the eternal jailer for Sargeras himself. A complex, fascinating figure to the end, Illidan has been one of Azeroth's greatest villains and greatest heroes, giving all he has to secure Sargeras's fall after ten thousand years.
    • Drakuru is an ice troll who is friendly enough to talk to the PC and actually genuinely appears to like them. He came out of nowhere, was trapped in a cage as a lowbie mob, and without leaving his cage or really telling you much of anything except he had a cool idea and wants to learn some stuff, manipulates the heroes into taking down the entire Drakkari empire. By the time you get to Zul'Drak, the trolls inside are almost all dead or killing and eating their own deities in a desperate attempt to stave off the Scourge. He is very much Affably Evil as well. When he gets his "reward" from Arthas — death and resurrection as a powerful Death Knight — he offers the heroes the same "benefit" as their reward for helping him gain the position. When they turn it down, he simply acknowledges your choice, thanks you for your help, and rewards you without further incident.
    • Orgrim Doomhammer, the second Warchief of the Horde, overthrows Gul'dan and his Shadow Council, killing their pawn Warchief Blackhand and declares himself the new master of the orcs. Devoted to his people and honorable in ways Gul'dan never was, Orgrim takes over the war and nearly brings the entire human alliance to its knees, stopped only by Gul'dan's treachery. Orgrim shows an exceptional grasp of tactics and strategy, even managing to ambush the Alliance's greatest hero, Anduin Lothar, and defeating him in single combat before being captured at the war's end. Escaping, Orgrim later resurfaces to guide the young orc Thrall to help save their people and eventually gives his life for their freedom, naming Thrall his successor as Warchief.
    • Loken was one of the Keepers tasked by the Titans to watch over Azeroth and the imprisoned Old Gods, but over time was corrupted by Yogg-Saron and betrayed the other Keepers and their allies. After accidentally killing Sif, his brother Thorim's wife, Loken framed the ice giants which started a war between Thorim and them; he then convinced Helya to turn against her father Odyn and lock him and his army away, arranged for Mimiron's 'accidental' death, subdued and captured Freya and Hodir when they were on their own, and sent the monstrous C'thraxxi to kill or scare away the rest. For his most ambitious plot, Loken took the form of the witch Lok'lira and played on the player character's Chronic Hero Syndrome by subtly guiding them into performing seemingly altruistic actions — rescuing a slave, repairing friendships, helping Thorim get through his depression — all to make Thorim brave enough to confront Loken when in fact he was being lured into a trap. Having systematically eliminated anyone who could pose a threat to him, Loken forged the Keepers' records and crowned himself Prime Designate, both to cover his crimes and to make sure that, if he were to be killed anyway, his death would send a signal telling Algalon to wipe all life on Azeroth.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: Egil is a Machina, the leader of the Mechon army, creator of the Faced Mechon, and the mastermind behind their invasion of Bionis. Egil was once friends with Arglas from Bionis with whom he discussed the idea of leaving the world of Bionis and Mechonis in search of new worlds, and of peace and coexistence. However, when Arglas was possessed by Zanza and laid waste to Mechonis, Egil swore revenge and, when both titans were put to sleep, began attacking Bionis hoping to wipe out as much life as possible on the titan so that, when Zanza returned, he would be more vulnerable to kill. Once Skulk learns of his past and confronts him in Mechonis Core, Skulk offers a chance to let go of revenge and change the world together. But thanks to Zanza's timely resurrection, Egil instead gives his life so the heroes can escape, placing his hopes they can kill the evil god without resorting to the extremes he went to.
  • Yakuza 0: Keiji Shibusawa is one of the three lieutenants of the powerful Dojima Family, and runs its business operations. Son of a disgraced political aide forced to be The Scapegoat for his boss's crimes, Shibusawa became convinced the only way to succeed in life is to rise to the top. With family Captain Shintaro Kazama's recent arrest, whoever succeeds in locating the owner of the Empty Lot, Makoto Makimura, will become the new Captain. Framing Kazama's adopted son Kiryu for murder, Shibusawa uses Kiryu an Unwitting Pawn to edge his fellow lieutenants out of the competition. Shibusawa finally emerges from the shadows as the victor in the race to get the Empty Lot, and thus wins the vacant position of family Captain. When Dojima orders Makoto killed to keep silent the existence of the Empty Lot, Shibusawa secretly begins to act against his orders and kept her as a hostage instead, planning to use her as leverage against his boss. Thwarted by Kiryu in their climactic battle, Shibusawa urges Kiryu to finish him off, hoping to turn Kiryu into a ruthless man like him as a final act of spite against his rival Kazama. Ruthless and cunning, all that matters to Shibusawa is a title — to be feared and respected by all as the first Dragon of Dojima.

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