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Chevalier vs. Rogue

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This trope is about two characters or factions that antagonize each other. The specific relationship the two of them share can vary from mere rivalry, to being sworn enemies, to just being complete opposites, but the point is that they are pretty much Foils to each others, and most likely to not be in a good relationship. Typically, their archetypes use the following rules:

  • The Chevaliers are typically Lawful, with a very strict Code of Honor and discipline. They favor heavy armor, swords, and direct fight. If good, they are most likely to be Paladins or Knights in Shining Armor; if Evil, they will usually be Knight Templars or Noble Demons.
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  • The Rogues, on the other hand, usually are Chaotic, prone to Combat Pragmatism and cunning (they may have a code of conduct as well, but it will usually be less strict than the Chevaliers'). They favor light armor (if they wear armor at all), and will use daggers, knifes, or other small weapons that are more reliable for stealth than an open fight. If evil, they will frequently be hired killers or some nebulous criminal organisation trying to scheme for domination. If not, expect people to not trust them as easily as Knights.

This trope is seen in many cultures and settings: in Japan we have Samurai (Chevaliers) and Ninjas (Rogues); if magic is present in the setting, Chevaliers will often be an Anti-Magical Faction (though exceptions do exist) and Rogues are more likely than the Chevaliers to have access to mystic abilities; in nautical settings, the Rogues may be Pirates and the Navy the Chevaliers, and so on.

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Sub-trope of Cool vs. Awesome and Order vs. Chaos. Compare Samurai in Ninja Town; Knight, Knave and Squire; Force and Finesse; Soldier vs. Warrior; Health/Damage Asymmetry. Contrast Pirates Versus Ninjas.

See also Noble Male, Roguish Male, in which the Chevalier and the Rogue are on the same side instead of fight against each other.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: Inverted. First as friends, Griffith and Guts were the stereotypes of the Chevalier and the Rogue respectively. After Guts left the Band of the Falcon, Griffith betrays his group and becomes one with the darkness converting into Femto, becoming in the now Enemy Mine of Guts.
  • Averted in Kirby of the Stars. In one episode, Meta Knight mentions that the ninjas were just as responsible as the knights for defending the world against the army of monsters.
  • One Piece: In general, the pirates are the rogues, and the Marines are the chevaliers who're trying to stop the pirates. Their morality, however, can be all over the place.

    Comic Books 
  • In some comics, Captain America and Bucky have this dynamic: Cap is the honorable one, while Bucky does the dirty work Cap can't be seen doing (and/or would refuse to do). Not to mention when they fight against each other (as Winter Soldier for the latter).
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    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean film series fit this trope if they're paired with naval law enforcers/troops, i.e the navy. Pirates being rogue, navy being chevalier.
  • Six String Samurai pits the Samurai Cowboy protagonist Buddy against Death (who looks like Slash). The former doesn't have much of a code of honour per se, but he does get upset over killing a fairly young challenger, reluctantly adopts a young orphan and fights head on. Meanwhile, Death mainly relies on letting his three minions shoot his targets (and isn't above taking a Kid Sidekick hostage to force the hero to surrender).

    Literature 
  • In the backstory of The Belgariad, Arendia spent centuries mired in a bloody civil war between the knights of Vo Mimbre and the rogues of Vo Astur.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Kung Fu, Shaolin priest Caine goes up against a ninja that a rich homesteader has in his employ. Both are contemptuous of the other.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed has it as its central concept, featuring a secret conflict between the Assassins and the Templars. Though the rule truly applies mostly in the first game; by the time of the next games, the Templars have become mostly as shadowy as the Assassins over the course of the years.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the specifically evil playable faction is the Dark Brotherhood (assassin/ninja) and the specifically good one is Knights of the Nine (knight/paladin). The rest of the playable factions are more or less neutral and can be played by both good and evil characters.
  • Zidane and Steiner from Final Fantasy IX. Zidane is a professional thief and member of Tantalus, a thieves guild posing as a travelling theatre troupe, while Steiner is leader of the Knights of Pluto and responsible for the safety of the Alexandrian Royal Family. The two come into conflict when Tantalus attempts to kidnap Princess Garnet, but eventually agree to work together for the sake of the Princess' safety.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, Snake is the ninja (ironically enough) to the knight of the Cyborg Ninja (AKA his old Friendly Enemy Grey Fox). The latter wears a suit of Powered Armour, slaughters his way through scores of enemies and follows a strict code of honour (if you use your fists in the boss fight with him, he'll likewise discard his sword). Meanwhile Snake sneaks around everywhere and is forced to hide if he's caught.
    • In Metal Gear Rising Raiden actually is a ninja (a cyborg ninja, in fact). The Rival, Jetstream Sam, is essentially a cyborg samurai (he even fights with a High Frequency Blade made from his father's antique katana). Bonus points for the fact that Raiden started the game talking about his admiration for Bushido (the samurai's code of honour) but had started to abandon it and embrace traits of his Jack the Ripper persona by that point.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: On arriving in Neverwinter, the Player Character must choose to join the Neverwinter City Watch, eventually leading to membership in the Neverwinter Nine, or the local thieves' guild, leading to membership in the Shadow Thieves.
  • In Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure we get a Phantom Thief as The Protagonist and a villain with Chevaliers.
  • One Asymmetric Multiplayer mode in some of the Splinter Cell games pits a team of agile, stealthy, but fragile agents against a team of heavily armored and armed but not particularly mobile mercenaries.
  • One the main conflicts throughout Tales of Vesperia and its prequel movie First Strike is the relationship between Yuri Lowell, our Lovable Rogue, and his Childhood Friend: the Ideal Hero, Flynn.

    Western Animation 

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