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Big Bad
aka: The Big Bad

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"I've learned that, in every story, there is a big, bad something. An evil force that, no matter the size, corrupts the world of the story, and tries its best to destroy the hero."

The cause of all bad happenings in a story. A Big Bad could be a character with Evil Plans or it could be an omnipresent situation, such as a comet heading towards the Earth. In a serial story, the Big Bad exerts an effect across a number of episodes, even an entire season.

This trope is not a catch-all term for the biggest, ugliest villain of any given story. In fact, it doesn't have to be a villain at all, as we just said. If it is a villain, though, it should be identified correctly; the badass leader of the outlaw gang that causes the most personal trouble is not the Big Bad. The railroad tycoon who is using the gang as muscle is the Big Bad. The Man Behind the Man is very common for this trope, leaving the reveal of the big bad as The Chessmaster behind it all and proving themselves far more clever and resourceful than the Villain of the Week. Sometimes the Big Bad is the grand enemy of an entire franchise as an Overarching Villain. At other times, the Big Bad is an Arc Villain who causes trouble for a period of time only to be replaced by another Big Bad.


When you look at a season-long story or a major Story Arc and you can identify one problem being the cause of everything, that is the Big Bad. In its most general form, a Big Bad will be at the center of the Myth Arc rather than just any Story Arc.

The term "Big Bad" was popularized in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was characteristic of Buffy's Big Bads for their identity or nature, or even the fact that they are the Big Bad at all, to remain unclear for a considerable time. Occasionally, characters would even refer to themselves as "the Big Bad". Whether or not they were, though, this is a Big Bad Wannabe. The structure of Buffy placed the Big Bad as being crucial to the Half-Arc Season, half the episodes are filler dealing with unrelated enemies while the other half involved the ongoing Myth Arc with the Big Bad. Each season can easily be defined by who the Big Bad was.


If a show has a series of Big Bad jeopardies, they can function like a series of Monsters of the Week that take more than one week to finish off. If there is a Legion of Doom, you can expect the Big Bad to be involved somehow. They're probably sorted by power, with the strongest for last, following the Sorting Algorithm of Evil.

Evil Overlord, Diabolical Mastermind, The Chessmaster, Arch-Enemy, The Man Behind the Man, and often Manipulative Bastard are specific types of villains who are liable to show up as Big Bads. If they're a Magnificent Bastard or Hero Killer, the good guys are in big trouble. The heroic counterpart of this character is the Big Good, who will very often be the focus of this character's attention over The Hero at the beginning of a series. If a work of fiction is conspicuously lacking a Big Bad, it may be a case of No Antagonist.

See also Big Bad Duumvirate for two (or more) Big Bads working together. Sometimes a Big Bad will get their start as a servant to another villain — if that's the case, they're a Dragon Ascendant. If the character who fills the role of Big Bad in most meaningful ways is nominally subordinate to someone else (someone significantly less menacing by comparison), they are a Dragon-in-Chief. If the story has many Big Bads at once who don't work together, see Big-Bad Ensemble. The Big Bad Shuffle occurs when there are multiple candidates for the Big Bad position. If the Big Bad doesn't start out as bad but develops over the course of the story, it's Big Bad Slippage. If the Big Bad of one section of a work doesn't die on being defeated and stays around as a character in a different plot role (reformed or not), that's Ex-Big Bad.

The Big Bad of a story is not always the most powerful or oldest existing evil force. Perhaps an evil presence along the lines of an Eldritch Abomination overshadows the work's setting, but is mainly divorced from the story's events — that would be the Greater-Scope Villain.

It is one of the most well-known tropes on the TV Tropes community, being the first to have over forty thousand wicks, and is the most wicked trope. This is probably because it's incredibly common.


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    Asian Animation 
  • The main antagonist of Motu Patlu is John the Don, who always tries (and fails) to harm Motu and Patlu. John is assisted by two minions named Number One and Number Two.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf features Wolffy, the main antagonist of the entire show. His goal is to successfully catch and eat the goats. He often works with his wife Wolnie and the other wolves.
  • ViR: The Robot Boy features Mad Max, who always tries to capture and destroy Vir with the help of his minion Timbaktoon.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Pharaoh in the Book of Exodus, enslaving the Israelites and doing everything he can to defy the will of God, even after accepting defeat. Serving as the greatest opposition to Moses and God outside of the personal flaws of the people of Israel, the horrid Pharaoh serves as the Ur-Example of the Big Bad, predating most examples of the trope by centuries or millennia. The age shows, as the Pharaoh is killed long before the end of Exodus, which details the travels of the Israelites from the Red Sea and God's revelation of the Mosaic Law, as opposed to more contemporary Big Bads who tend to provide conflict for the entire work.
    • Haman in the Book of Esther, who tries to convince the Persian Emperor to wipe out the Jews.
    • Satan in the Book of Job and the Book of Revelation. In the former, Satan attempts to get Job to denounce his faith and strips away all his fortune from him. In the latter, Satan (as the dragon with seven crowns) corrupts the world with the Whore of Babylon, attempts to get people to worship the Beast from the sea, is revealed to be the Serpent from Genesis and ultimately, battles the armies of Heaven until he is thrown into the Lake of Fire.
    • The Pharisees in The Four Gospels, who try to challenge Jesus at every turn and are the only people who Jesus gets mad at throughout his travels. Notably averted with Satan, who is a background character with minimal involvement in what happens.

  • Sequinox has the Sky/Night Queen, who rules the stars and has exterminated all other life in the galaxy. She sends her stars and constellations out across the galaxy to do so, and when they arrive on Earth, they meet resistance in the form of the titular Magical Girl Warrior team, Sequinox.

  • Big Finish Doctor Who has a few of its own.
    • The villains for the Eighth Doctor's stories before the Divergent Universe Arc are the Neverpeople, then Rassilon. The villain for the Divergent Universe arc seem to be the Divergents, working through the Kro'ka. However by the finale it turns out the Divergents have died and Rassilon is really the Kro'ka's boss.
    • The Headhunter in the "New Eighth Doctor Adventures" Series 1, though Mr Hulbert, who hired her, could be considered this.
    • The Meddling Monk in the New Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 4, though at the end he is eclipsed by the Daleks, led by the Dalek Time Controller.
    • Then the Dalek Time Controller becomes this for "Dark Eyes", though Kotris may hold this role.
    • In "Dark Eyes 2" the Eminence, who are so dangerous the Doctor even works with the Dalek Time Controller against them. However the Master could also be considered this.

  • Destroy the Godmodder has a fairly obvious one. The Godmodder. This isn't completely the case in the second one, where some of the screwiness seems to have a little grounding outside of the Godmodder's influence, but everything in the first game was at least indirectly the Godmodder's fault.
  • Outpost Defenders has Clark, the leader of Cordis Die. Almost all of the events in the story are about taking him or one of his major minions down.
  • Pokémon: Rise of the Rockets started out with Sleight, the ultimate ruler of Team Rocket, as the primary Big Bad. As time has gone on, however, it has shifted to the point where John Ford can be considered the Big Bad of the entire conflict. That being said, there is almost always more than one Big Bad operating at a time, creating a continuous Big-Bad Ensemble across the story.
  • In Roll To Dodge: Savral, the Witch Cathy, the in-game persona of the game master, acts as the ultimate villain, given that she destroyed the previous game master's world and de-powered all the other player characters. In Savral's past, she turned the northern half of the world into a barren wasteland, sicced a horde of man-eating elves on the rest of the world, and caused mass-genocide. She's also responsible for creating the game's demonic, trolling unicorns, which cause never-ending problems for the player characters and wreak havoc on the world as a whole.

  • Annie: Daniel "Rooster" Hannigan and Lily St. Regis
  • The Crucible: Abigail Williams manipulates the girls of Salem into obeying her and gets them all to help accuse others of witchcraft, condemning innocent men and women to imprisonment and death in order to escape punishment for her own evils.
  • Faust: Mephistopheles
  • Gypsy: "Mama" Rose Hovick
  • Into the Woods: Subverted, as there is no official main villain in the show. The Witch might come off as the villain at first, but as the show progresses, we learn that her actions are very much justifiable, and eventually, she becomes extremely sympathetic ( mainly after Rapunzel's death). The Giantess, while being a major antagonistic force, simply wanted justice for the death of her husband, and the chaos and death that she had caused are often portrayed as accidents (considering that she was near sighted and had lost her glasses). The only character to be truly evil and despicable is the Wolf, and even he's given a hint of sympathetic light ("Ask a wolf's mother!").
  • Les Misérables: Inspector Javert. Being one of the only lawful characters in the entire show, he naturally opposes and antagonizes every main character: he tries to arrest Valjean multiple times, he defends Fantine's rapist by having her arrested instead, he threatens Eponine and the Thenardiers with arrest (and is presumably already familiar with the latters' antics), and spies on and directly opposes Marius and Enjolras's revolution. Curiously, despite being the main villain, he is not the most evil character in the show: that honor goes to the Thenardiers, who are full-blown Chaotic Evil compared to Javert's Lawful Neutral, and worst of all, get away with it all.
  • William Shakespeare has various antagonists in his plays. The comedies tend to lack them though; if a major antagonist is present in a comedy, they will rarely be legitimately evil. note 
    • Hamlet: Claudius usurped the throne that rightfully belongs to Prince Hamlet, who spends the play plotting to kill Claudius.
    • Othello: Iago misleads every character in the play so he can ruin the life of the title character.
    • Macbeth: The title character himself kills the good king Duncan and ruins Scotland with his corrupt reign, acting as the main villain despite being the protagonist of the story.
    • The Taming of the Shrew: Baptista Minola, whose ruling that Katherina must marry before Bianca is the cause of the play's conflict.
    • Titus Andronicus: Aaron the Moor is the one who tips the various revenge schemes over the edge by instigating a rape and murder, framing innocent parties and causing their execution, and manipulating just about everyone in the play out of a desire to do evil in his life.
    • Romeo and Juliet: The heads of the Montague and Capulet families, whose feud is what causes Romeo and Juliet to hide their relationship, though Tybalt is the most antagonistic, pursuing vendettas against the younger Montagues and challenging Romeo to a duel which is what precipitates the final tragedy. He dies about halfway through, though.
  • Julius Caesar: Cassius, who convinces Brutus to become part of the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar, making him largely responsible for the bloodshed that ensues.

  • BIONICLE has Makuta Teridax, the arch-enemy of the Big Good, Mata Nui, and he's about as much of a Chessmaster as Palpatine or Voldemort. It's worth noting that he actually wins and usurps the "god" of the world and gains control of the universe.
    "Little Toa, you have not yet begun to see even the barest outlines of my plans. I have schemes within schemes that would boggle your feeble mind. You may counter one, but there are a thousand more of which you know nothing. Even my ... setbacks ... are planned for, and so I shall win in the end."

    Visual Novels 
  • Each Ace Attorney game is split up into multiple cases, so there often isn’t a single villain behind everything, but each game’s prosecutor usually acts as the closest thing to a main antagonist to Phoenix and Co. in addition to a mastermind who is often behind them and the last culprit.
    • Two of the games in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy have their own Big Bad, with the second game not having an overarching antagonist.
      • In the first game, Miles Edgeworth is a ruthless and legendary “Demon Prosecutor” who will do anything for a guilty verdict, bringing him into conflict with Phoenix Wright, but it is his mentor, Manfred von Karma, who essentially set the entire series into motion with the murder of Edgeworth's father. A murder in the present that was orchestrated by him to get back at Edgeworth ultimately results in his comeuppance.
      • Police Chief Damon Gant is revealed as the true murderer of Bruce Goodman and Neil Marshall in the bonus case, Rise From The Ashes, from the first Ace Attorney. Gant eventually admits to being responsible for controlling Lana Skye, the High Prosecutor who in turn was responsible for "helping" Edgeworth with cases, which resulted in the rumors of Edgeworth's backhanded deals and forgeries that DIDN'T already come about from Edgeworth's already established relationship with Manfred von Karma.
      • Franziska von Karma is the main enemy of most of the cases in Justice for All, and her motive is revenge that would be achieved by defeating Phoenix Wright because she blamed Phoenix for causing Miles Edgeworth to disappear even though the real culprit for that was Damon Gant, and she planned to achieve her vengeance by defeating the lawyer that Miles Edgeworth was unable to defeat. This motive, rather than prosecuting for justice, makes her a villain. However, she is displaced as the main villain in the final case by Matt Engarde, a famous actor who paid Shelly de Killer to kill Juan Corrida, his rival, to preserve his image. He’s also Phoenix’s client who has Maya kidnapped to force the lawyer to defend him.
      • The third game has Godot (aka Diego Armando), a mysterious, white-haired, masked new prosecutor. His main motive for going up against Phoenix is to get revenge on him because he blames Phoenix for the murder of Mia Fey rather than for justice and is the game’s final culprit. However, the one who poisoned him, both literally and metaphorically, is Dahlia Hawthorne, who on top of essentially being Morgan Fey's Dragon-in-Chief during the final case for her own purposes, is the Big Bad for the game as a whole because of all the murders she conducted that had to be cleaned up by the end of the game, resulting in finally facing her spirit in court.
    • Apollo Justice faces off against Klavier Gavin in court, but he’s a Nice Guy and Hero Antagonist who is friends with Apollo. Instead the Big Bad is his brother Kristoph Gavin, who uses every trick in the book, from forged evidence to outright murder, to take down Phoenix Wright and keep everyone quiet about it. He's even convicted of murder in the game's first episode, but the full extent of his crimes aren't revealed until the final episode.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth has Edgeworth pursuing the Yatagarasu, rumored to be head of an international crime syndicate/smuggling ring. It turns out to be Calisto Yew, The Mole in the otherwise heroic Yatagarasu trio, but she is working for Ambassador of Allebhast Quercus Alba, who is quite possibly the first ever Ace Attorney villain to be the The Man Behind the Man to nearly all the other murderers in the game. The lone exception is the culprit of the third case, and even then it's the criminal's father who has a connection to Alba's syndicate.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations 2 has the distinction of having both a Big-Bad Ensemble and a Greater-Scope Villain. The latter is the Fake President of Zheng Fa and his minions, who controlled both Zheng Fa and the prison and legal systems of Japan/USA. The former are the Conductor/Blaise Debeste, the chief prosecutor, who is behind much of the series events and sends Courtney and Sebastian to obstruct Edgeworth, preventing him from uncovering his crimes, and the Mastermind/Simon Keyes, who killed his former best friend and the aforementioned president for personal reasons, tricked the president's cohorts into committing murder to get them imprisoned, and is the Final Boss of the game after effortlessly out-gambiting Blaise.
    • Dual Destinies has the phantom, the man who bombed the space center seven years ago and again during the game, among other things brought on by trying to keep these crimes hidden, and plunged the courts into the Dark Age of the Law by getting an innocent convicted in his place. His identity was unknown for a while, but eventually, a man named Simon Blackquill is caught and convicted for it. Unfortunately, he’s the game’s prosecutor. Also unfortunately (but also fortunately), he’s not the phantom- he was the guy framed for it. The real phantom is impersonating Detective Bobby Fullbright after killing him a year before the game, trying to lead the case away from himself. Even though he is arrested, his true identity remains unknown even to himself.
    • Spirit of Justice has, for its overarching plot, several candidates who seem to be responsible for the corruption of the Kingdom of Khura’in: Prosecutor Nahuyta Sahdmahi, a Knight Templar who hates defense attorneys and antagonizes the heroes; Dhurke, shadowy leader of the Defiant Dragons; Inga Karkhuul Khura’in, the Justice Minister who enforces the DC Act that criminalizes defense attorneys; and eventually Queen Amara Sigatar Khura’in. In the end, the one that comes out on top is none of them. Nahuyta was Forced into Evil, Dhurke is Good All Along, Inga is killed by the real villain, and Amara was Taking the Heat. The true mastermind is Queen Ga'ran Sigatar Khura’in, who staged a fake assassination attempt on her sister which resulted in the death of Apollo's father and the disgrace of Dhurke. She would later hold her sister's daughter Reyfa hostage while raising Reyfa as her own and would later kill two of the victims in the final case. She was also responsible for the DC Act that killed and imprisoned so many lawyers. Her husband Inga comes close, being behind the villains of 6-1, 6-3, and the beginning of 6-5, as well as killing another of the victims in the final case, but is ultimately killed by Ga'ran when discovered.
    • Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken has a Big-Bad Ensemble. On one side, you have Cosney Megundal and Rubert Crogley leaking top secret British governmental information. On the other, you have Hart Vortex's machinations and schemes that have placed him in power as Chief Justice of London and spread the rumor of the "curse" of the "Death Bringer", Barok van Zieks.
  • Atlach=Nacha has Hatsune Hirasaka as a Villain Protagonist, having infiltrated Yaesaka High School for the purpose of eating/raping the female students to replenish her strength and prepare herself to battle her nemesis Shirogane. However, Hatsune can be played as a Nominal Hero, and it turns out Shirogane himself is actually the true Big Bad, who not only makes his presence known at the end of the game, but is responsible for turning Hatsune into what she is now.
  • Corpse Party: In Blood Covered and Book Of Shadows, Yoshikazu Yanagihori, once a beloved elementary school teacher, went insane and became known as the murderer of three children in an incident from Heavenly Host elementary’s past. After his death, he haunted the school looking for more victims, and the children’s killer is now the master of the Alternate Dimension school keeping everyone trapped inside. The real killer, that is: Yoshikazu was framed for the crime by Sachiko the Girl in Red, who is the incarnation of Sachiko Shinozaki’s hatred after being killed horribly.
  • Chaos;Head: The mysterious old man in a wheelchair, known only as 'Shogun/The General', is the one stalking and haunting Takumi Nishijou, and is using the Demon Girl to perpetrate the New Gen murders gripping Shibuya, all for some hidden purpose. Except their malevolence is all in Takumi’s head. Both Rimi and Shogun are innocent, and trying to train Takumi to fight the real villain- Genichi Norose, president of the NOZOMI group who created the superpowered gigalomaniacs (through Mind Rape) and used them to power Noah II. He masterminded the murders with the goal of psychologically tormenting Takumi into awakening as a gigalomaniac, then extracting his CODE sample to perfect Noah II and use it to essentially control the world through Mass Hypnosis.
  • The Danganronpa series has Monokuma/Monobear, also known as The Ultimate Despair and The Mastermind, who is the despair-obsessed, self-appointed headmaster of Hope’s Peak Academy and the one who traps the students in a Deadly Game. He is also a little black-and-white teddy bear who is being controlled by Ultimate Fashionista Junko Enoshima.
  • Death Room: Depending on the route, Dominic, Evie, and/or You will end up trying to kill everyone else to escape the room. The captors, on the other hand, are never revealed, making them a Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Demonbane has Master Therion. He is the founder and leader of the Black Lodge, the Beast of the Antichrist, and happens to be the world’s most powerful sorcerer. Except he turns out to be a pawn of Nya, AKA Nyarlathotep.
  • Divi-Dead: The PE teacher Sano-sensei, aka the real Nishizaki, is revealed to be the leader of the cult operating in Asao Private School, with the goal of reviving the “divine child” via a Human Sacrifice.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: The club president Monika does her damndest to steal the player’s affection and keep him away from the other love interests; to that end, she is responsible for the other club member's deaths, all so she can have the Player (the player themselves instead of the player character) to herself. The Downer Ending reveals that the game itself corrupts whoever becomes President of the Literature Club, giving them the knowledge they're in a game and making them fall in love with the player.
  • Eien no Aselia has Akitsuki Shun, The Rival to Yuuto and the man who (though not the official leader) controls the Sargios Empire, enemy of the Rakios Kingdom. He is also the wielder of Oath, the weapon that Yuuto, with his sword Desire, must destroy, and the game’s Final Boss. And he’s obsessed with taking Kaori for himself. However, it is actually his sword, Oath, that is controlling him, making him violent. And then there is Temuorin, Matriarch of the Law Eternals. She is not the actual final fight, or the most powerful enemy faced, either, but she is the one who was in charge all along, as she engineered the whole plot of the story.
  • Her Tears Were My Light has Nil, the dark entity/personification of nothingness that seeks to separate Space and Time. She isn’t doing it to be evil, however, but to make Time remember her, as she is the version of Space that has burned out, making her a rare example of a non-evil main antagonist.
  • The Letter has The Ghost aka the Anslem Butcher, a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl Serial Killer who haunts the Ermengarde Mansion and is said to kill anyone who reads the titular letter. All seven of the playable characters have to fight her off in their respective chapters. She is actually the fused spirit of Takako, a Japanese slave-turned-Meido, and Charlotte Ermengarde, the noble who rescued her, then tormented her until she had her executed as a witch. Takako came back and haunted Charlotte into suicide, wherein their spirits fused and became the terror of the main story.
  • Most Nasuverse works have one.
    • Angel Notes, the very first work in the Franchise and its overarching story about the struggle of humanity in the multiverse, has the Aristoteles/Ultimate Ones, Eldritch Abominations out to kill humanity. The story also introduces Gaia, the spirit that embodies Earth, as the Overarching Villain. Because humanity is growing out of their "nursery", so to speak, Mother Earth, who can't stand that Alaya (embodiment of humanity) becomes independent from her, does her best to destroy humanity's progress. In the actual story, she continues to do so despite being effectively dead by summoning her "siblings", the Aristoteles/Ultimate Ones, to aid her, making her more of a Greater-Scope Villain.
    • Araya Souren in Kara no Kyoukai manipulated all the other villains and is responsible for every single conflict Shiki faces, all in an attempt to reach the Origin so he can end the world and all its meaningless deaths. Notably, he was confronted about halfway through the series and taken out, leaving Lio Shirazumi as the Final Boss though Araya did drive Lio insane by awakening his Origin.
    • The vampire Serial Killer who targets the city in Tsukihime. At first, Shiki thinks it’s Nrvnsqr/Nero Chaos (or his friend-turned-vampire Sacchin in the Far Side Routes), but Nero is The Dragon to Michael Roa Valdamjong/SHIKI (whoever is dominant at the time). In the Far Side Routes, Yumizuka Satsuki/Sacchin was turned into a vampire by SHIKI, the “real” Shiki Tohno, but as it turns out Kohaku, Akiha’s maid, is the closest thing there is to one in the Far Side routes. The central focus of Far Side is Kohaku's plans to get revenge on the Tohno family for the abuse they heaped on her for years. Roa is killed rather quickly in these routes and it turns out SHIKI was largely controlled by Kohaku the entire time.
    • The sequel Kagetsu Tohya has Shiki Nanaya, Shiki Tohno’s Superpowered Evil Side that attempts to take over in his dream. He is eventually killed by Shiki’s concept of death, who manifests as Kouma Kishima, the one who massacred Shiki’s family; however, it is more of a Greater-Scope Villain as it is not really sentient like Nanaya.
    • Melty Blood:
    • Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero initially have a Big-Bad Ensemble between the three deadliest competitors of the Holy Grail War (Illyasviel von Einzbern, Shinji Matou, and Caster Medea in the former, Ryuunosuke Uryuu, Bluebeard/Gilles de Rais, and Tokiomi Tohsaka in the latter) but Kirei Kotomine and Gilgamesh are the organizers of the War and thus the real villains (they didn't start everything, but are lying in wait), and their enemy Zouken Matou is also working out a plan of his own. Gilgamesh, Kotomine, and Zouken are all working towards the same basic goal- while Kotomine is allied with Gilgamesh, Zouken is not. Said goal is unleashing Angra Mainyu. Kotomine simply wants to watch the world burn, Gilgamesh is helping Kotomine so that he can rule over those strong enough to survive Angra Mainyu's apocalypse, and Zouken wants to use the Grail to become immortal. Angra Mainyu wants to be resurrected by any means necessary, even attempting to use Gilgamesh as a host in Unlimited Blade Works after Shinji is rescued before its revival can be completed. Each one, in turn, is the focus of one route:
      • Despite introducing himself as a neutral overseer in Fate, Kirei emerges as the story’s main antagonist upon revealing he has secretly been using the Masters as pawns to realize his own apocalyptic agenda since the beginning of the Grail War. However, despite being the mastermind behind the story's driving source of conflict, he doesn't take center stage until the final act, while Illya is the Disc-One Final Boss. Once all but one of the Masters are defeated, he unleashes both his Servants on Shirou and Saber before brutally assaulting Tohsaka and abducting Illya to unleash the Grail's cursed contents on the world.
      • In Unlimited Blade Works, Caster is the initial antagonist, but her and Kirei’s role in the Grail War is largely overshadowed by his partner Gilgamesh. Ultimately, he dies before the story’s climax, thereby allowing Gilgamesh to emerge as the undisputed Big Bad.
      • In Heaven's Feel, Zouken Matou, Sakura’s abusive grandfather, is directly or indirectly responsible for everything bad that happens in the entire route, although both Kotomine and (eventually) Dark Sakura could also be seen as this. By pressuring Sakura to embrace her darkest impulses and briefly joining forces with Shirou, Kirei ultimately out-gambits Zouken to become the Final Boss of the story's climax.
    • In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Shirou initially believes Caren Hortensia Kotomine to be the one who trapped him and everyone else in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, but the true culprit is Avenger, previously the Greater-Scope Villain, who has possessed Shirou and trapped him. Then his master Bazett betrays him and takes control of his clones, leaving her as the last opponent.
    • In Fate/EXTRA it's Twice H. Pieceman who has been conducting the War in order to realize his goal of a Forever War to strengthen humanity
    • Archimedes for Fate/Extella, though he's working on behalf of the true enemy, the Velber; the alien invaders that previously attempted to conquer the Solar System thousands of years ago.
    • Karl der Große for Fate/Extella Link as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wishes to create a utopia for all through an Assimilation Plot.
    • The first arc of Fate/Grand Order has Beast I, Goetia as the entity responsible for the time distortion that is threatening humanity’s future.
  • In both of the Romance Detective novels, the culprit behind the love brainwashing. Though initially hinted to be Rosemary, the old friend/lab co-worker of Rose’s mom, who developed a formula for this purpose, the real culprit turns out to be her daughter, the artist Leandre, who wants to create a world of love... except she herself is a pawn of Venus, the Love Goddess, who wants everyone to worship her again.
  • Secret Game: Killer Queen: In Ep 1, the Game Master who runs the Deadly Game that the characters are trapped in is Mayumi Gouda, the businesswoman who was encountered at the beginning of the episode. In Ep 2, this role is taken over by the mysterious person who is killling the other characters, who turns out to be Shikijou Yuuki, the little girl who Soichi was protecting.
  • Shining Song Starnova has Kamijou, Chief Executive Producer of the Quasar idol group and heir to Golden Calf Productions, who takes it upon himself to humiliate and destroy the much smaller and less-experienced idol group Starnova after learning that several of its personnel used to work for Golden Calf.
  • Sunrider: The leader of PACT, Veniczar S. Arcadius, aims to conquer the galaxy. His first order of business is capturing and marrying the Princess of Ryuvia to gain access to Ryuvia’s secrets. His true identity is a Hive Mind of female Artificial Humans known as the Prototypes, led by what’s currently shaping up to be a Big Bad Duumvirate between Alice Ashada, Alpha, and, of all people, Claude Treillo.
  • Policenauts: There is a Big Bad Duumvirate of Gates Becker and Joseph Sadaki Tokugawa.
  • Saya no Uta has the titular female protagonist Saya, an extradimensional being whose appearance is apparently so horrifying that anyone who looks at it will go insane. Saya spends the game killing, eating, and experimenting on innocent people, and has the mission of transforming all of humanity into members of her species. Fuminori Sakisaka sees her as a normal girl due to his extreme agnosia and grows to love her, though whether he chooses to stay by her side and grow more depraved over time depends on the player's choice, and if he does they form a Big Bad Duumvirate, working together to accomplish her horrific goal.
  • War: 13th Day: King Barium is the leader of the clan of the Vi, a mysterious clan who appeared and has essentially taken over Virgo Island. Wildfire, one of the main heroines, plots to overthrow the Vi, putting her in conflict with him. Of course, the Barium seen here is a part of Wildfire’s Dying Dream, putting into question how malevolent he really is. The true villain for the immediate story could be considered Wildfire’s murderer, aka the player.
  • When They Cry:
  • YoJinBo has Harumoto, upstart clan-leader wannabe and would-be murderer of Hatsuhime.
  • The Zero Escape trilogy has, in each game, nine people kidnapped and forced to play a Deadly Game by a mysterious person calling themselves Zero. Each game has a different Zero, and the Big Bad often turns out to be hiding among the group.

Here's some comfort.

Alternative Title(s): The Big Bad


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