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Evil Counterpart Race

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Pictured: The general drow (dark elf) greeting reserved for surface elves.

Two races, one Always Lawful Good and one Always Chaotic Evil, which are specifically counterparts of each other. Essentially an Evil Counterpart on a species wide scale, and related to Cain and Abel and other sibling rivalry tropes.

While Elves vs. Dwarves is about Harmony Versus Discipline, this is about good and evil, at least from the elves' point of view. Often subverted by a Defector from Decadence or deconstructed when it's discovered that the 'good' race is not so harmless, or the evil one has a case of My Species Doth Protest Too Much (or is merely dark and not evil).



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    Comic Books 
  • Green Martians like the Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onnz are wise, peaceful, and obscenely powerful (with one exception: Omnicidal Maniac and Evil Cripple Malefic). White Martians have all the powers of their green cousins, but are monstrously evil (also with, to date, a single exception). No, the respective exceptions are not in any meaningful way counterparts. However, this depends on the incarnation; in some versions, the White Martians are simply subject to a prejudice.
  • Daxamites are descended from Kryptonian colonists, and gain the same powers at the same levels when exposed to the light of a yellow sun (though they're vulnerable to lead instead of kryptonite). Unlike Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl and other Kryptonian heroes, though, Daxamites are rabidly xenophobic, to the point of murdering an alien who accidentally crashed on their planet. When a Korugarian Green Lantern helped liberate them from an alien conqueror, they merely demanded she leave the planet rather than killing her, as a show of gratitude. While there have been individual Daxamites who bucked this trend (Lar-Gand, "Julia" & Sodam Yat) they end up disowned for it. This really bit them in their collective asses when the Sinestro Corps invaded.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 3: In an effort to keep Zeus from being quite as horrific as he has been acting Athena requests that he act as the Amazon's guardian for her on her deathbed. This backfires horribly as Zeus finds the Amazons too "rebellious" and independent so goes about creating the Gargareans to replace them with. The Gargareans are the zombie-like raised army of ancient male Heroes who cannot be killed by traditional means which Zeus has slaughter their way through any humans who have an army, weapons or any defensive capabilities whatsoever as Zeus sees this as men trying to become gods and spurning him. The very, very few Gargareans who manage to hold onto part of their former sentience do resist Zeus, which lets them go back to their rest in Hades.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Presumably what the dark elves of the Dark underworld are, to the normal elves of the Light surface.

  • The urRu (the "Mystics") and the Skeksis of The Dark Crystal. They're actually the good and evil halves of the UrSkeks, brought about by the species's attempt to purify themselves through use of the Dark Crystal.
  • The Smurfs 2 has Gargamel creating the Naughties, who are two Chaotic Evil grey-skinned Smurf-like beings.

  • In H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, the pilot of a prototype time machine discovers himself in AD 802,701, where humans have apparently evolved into two species, the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi are childlike, harmless people preyed upon by the subterranean, predatory Morlocks.
    • In the original novel this was depicted as necessary symbiosis, since the Eloi can't live without the Morlocks running the machinery that keeps their home so idyllic. It's a major Take That! at the late Victorian society where few aristocrats could enjoy luxuries of "natural" lifestyle at the cost of thousands of workers living in squalid, artifical conditions for all their lives. Today, similar comparisons could be drawn between the developed countries and the Third World.
    • The Eloi incidentally aren't "good", but useless and childish, beautiful but meaningless. The morlocks, in contrast, are hideous brutes technologically advanced enough to turn the surface world into a paradise for their cattle, and build and maintain an extensive underground civilization powered by incomprehensibly advanced and vast machinery. This has been heavily flanderized in the subsequent adaptions that omit the Downer Ending, to the point of Disneyfication and even inversion of Wells' intended message that the morlocks were the real Ubermenschen, for better or worse.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, because 'the Enemy cannot make, he can only mock', some villainous races are literally bad counterfeits of good ones, such as Orcs of Elves and Trolls of Ents. There does not appear to be a set for Dwarves and Men, presumably because the Enemy was able to corrupt some of them directly, though some characters speculate that Saruman's 'goblin-men' Uruk-hai represent a blending of the races of Orcs and Men.
  • Not races but rather nations, the Honor Harrington series has the two worlds which follow "The Church of Humanity Unchained:" Grayson, which is mostly just "heavily conservative", and Masada, which is violently misogynistic. It was an ugly schism.
    • In the same series, Beowulf and Mesa. The parallels with Grayson and Masada are lampshaded.
  • In the Firebird Trilogy, the Shuhr are originally presented as the evil counterpart to the Sentinels. Brennen Caldwell, a high level Sentinel, even remarks once that the Shuhr provide a prime example of what the Sentinels would be like if not for the Sentinel's strictly enforced self-imposed moral and ethical codes. However, the trope is played with in the earlier books, as we see both Face Heel Turns and a Heel–Face Turn, and ultimately subverted in Wind and Shadow, where it is shown that only the upper level of the Shuhr were despicable, with the rest of the people being normal.
  • From The Mortal Instruments, the "Endarkened" Shadowhunters that Sebastian Morgenstern creates using the Infernal Cup and Lilith's blood. They are stronger and faster than regular Shadowhunters, but cannot use their Runes or angelically aligned weapons. They are given demonic equivalents.
  • Each of the Angarak nations in David Eddings' The Belgariad map quite well as the evil equivalents of one of the Alorn kingdoms:
    • The Thulls are evil counterparts to the Sendars, as they're both the dedicated peasant race of each faction.
    • The Murgos are evil Algars, their Kings are Arch Enemies, both cultures prize horses, they're the two sides that come into conflict most often, and they both use a fake city to deceive their enemies: the Algars have a giant fortified city to act as Shmuck Bait, and the Murgos built Rak Goska to look like a normal city and create the illusion that the Murgos weren't a race of soldiers planning to attack the West at any moment.
    • Nadraks are evil Drasnians, they're both sneaky, mercantile-oriented and the most secular faction on each side (the evil thing is downplayed in that the Nadraks end up going over to the side of the good guys in the Belgariad itself).
    • The Mallorean Empire acts as a counterpart to both the Chereks, as the "original" Angaraks and Alorns respectively, and to the Rivans, since the Mallorean Emperor and Rivan King are each generally considered the rulers of the East and the West.
  • Subverted in Vampire Academy. The Moroi are presented as a good race of vampires and the Strigoi as their evil counterparts. Goes along with the Moroi having nature-friendly powers and a pacifistic philosophy, while the Strigoi are predators and are abhorred by nature itself. But the Moroi themselves turn out to be a not Always Lawful Good race. They have their share of cruel individuals and outright villains.
  • A somewhat unusual case in The Wheel of Time series is of the Darkhounds, aka The Wild Hunt, which are the specific counterpart of ordinary wolves. While wolves are not exactly good by human standards, they are absolute enemies of the Shadow and fight on the side of Light in the Last Battle.
  • A rare intentional sci-fi example happens in Seveneves: Each of the titular seven "Eves" picks certain traits they want to be engineered into their descendants. Aida, the pariah, is the youngest and will produce the most offspring in her life, which allows her to pick traits in each subsequent child to counters that chosen by another Eve. The trope doubles back, when Moira, the Eve who is doing the genetic engineering, recognizes Aida's goal and creates a counterpart to her counterparts by giving her own offspring "adaptability" as their hat via the ability to rapidly and radically under go an "epigenetic shift" (like a reserved academic who's never been in a fight before going through a short coma and emerging a fearsome natural fighter with incredible reflexes and ferocious instincts)

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is an extreme case where Bele acts as if Lokai is a member of an Always Chaotic Evil race, despite it clearly being a case of Grey-and-Gray Morality from the crew's point of view.
    • Also in Star Trek, the Romulans to the Vulcans.
    • In the Original Series, the Klingons to Humans.
    • Also in the Original Series, the Terran Empire to the Federation. Which technically is the Federation, in a way.
    • In the later series, the Cardassians to Humans. Cardassian history matches Earth's pretty well- they were both poverty stricken and war torn but dragged themselves up into an ordered and unified society at the center of a galactic superpower. The parallels are even closer when you consider that The Federation and especially Earth have a clear democratic socialist philosophy, and the Cardassians are a totalitarian communist state.
    • Within The Federation's Evil Counterpart, The Dominion.
      • The Changelings to The Prophets
      • The Vorta to Bajorans
      • The Jem'hadar to the Klingons.
      • The Dominion arc also introduced two profit driven races, the Dosi, evil counterparts to the Ferengi, and the Karemma, who are good counterparts!
    • Not forgetting the Pah-wraiths to the Prophets.
  • Stargate SG-1 had the Goa'uld vs. Tok'ra and the Ori vs. Ancients. In both cases the good race operated behind the scenes (the Tok'ra worked as spies and saboteurs since they lacked the numbers and the means to replenish them, and only a couple Ancients even tried to circumvent their self-imposed non-interference laws) while the bad race went around shouting "Worship me!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • The original concept for the Cybermen made them Evil Counterparts to humans. Their home planet Mondas was literally Earth's twin planet, and their gradual slide into becoming cyborg monsters was as a result of the most human instinct possible: survival at any cost. This aspect of them faded over time, but the Revival brought it back to the fore, with the Cybermen essentially being positioned as humanity's collective Arch-Enemy, and almost every story depicting them as a result of people giving in to desperation or fear of death.
    • The Daleks were initially positioned as this to the Thals, however, "Genesis of the Daleks" subverted this and made it clear that during the War, they were just as bad as each other.
    • Similarly, the Revival initially upgraded the Daleks into this for the Time Lords, their equals in power and enemies during the Time War, but "The End of Time" demonstrated that the Time Lords had gladly sunk to their level.

  • Angels and fallen angels/demons in a lot of works, though traditionally in Christianity they're the same species, just on different sides.
  • Subverted in Islam. The Devil (called 'Iblis') and humankind are fated to be enemies, but the descendants of the Devil —the Djinns— have free will just like humans, they can choose to be good or to be evil, thus they aren't human's Evil Counterpart Race. Of note is that they aren't counterpart to angels either, because Iblis was never an angel to begin with.
  • Jotuns have a similar role in Norse mythology as an evil counterpart of the Aesir.
  • Devas and Asuras in Buddhist and Hindu cosmologies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a habit of doing this for everyone, creating evil (and occasionally good) counterpart races for just about everything:
    • Elves vs. drow.
    • Dwarves vs. derro and duergar.
    • Aasimar and tieflings from Planescape onwards, being the descendants of humans and angels and of humans and fiends, respectively.
    • The Githzerai and Githyanki — though that's more like "paranoid neutral isolationists" and their evil counterpart.
    • Chromatic (evil) and metallic (good) dragons in many D&D settings — especially Dragonlance, where the chromatic dragons were corrupted versions of the original good dragons.
    • Subverted with the Svirfneblin, the Deep Gnomes from the Underdark, the home of the drow. They aren't evil (generally neutral, actually), but certainly can be considered "dark gnomes". Played straight with the gnomes and kobolds, due to the fact that their gods hate each other.
    • "The Book of Vile Darkness" gives us Jerren for Halflings (they used to be halflings, but then their ancestors got more and more corrupted with malevolence and evil magic in their efforts to fight their war with goblins) and Vashar, who are a race of purely evil humans (human prototypes, to be exact; they're the first crack the gods made at creating humanity, killed and put away when it tried to kill them and revived by infernal influences).
  • Warhammer Fantasy has both High Elves vs. Dark Elves (with both being highly magical naval oriented empires who hate each others guts...) Oh, and incidentally humans usually can't tell them apart... And the dwarfish counterpart Chaos Dwarves (who are even more greedy than the regular variant) arguably the Vampire Counts also serve as a twisted reflection of Empire society, and the Beastmen serve a similar role for the Wood Elves.
    • The bit about humans' difficulty in telling High and Dark Elves apart is odd, because their visual designs pretty much scream good guys and bad guys respectively. Of course they are the same race, the design differences are completely down to wearing different clothes.
    • In Elfslayer, a particularly naive High Elf couldn't tell a Dark Elf was a Dark Elf (and was severely reprimanded by his bodyguard for that). Then again, Dark Elf cultists frequently infiltrate High Elf society, so it's not just naive High Elves who can't tell them apart.
  • Dark Eldar in Warhammer 40,000. While the Craftworld Eldar aren't exactly nice guys either, being xenophobic and self-interested, they mostly just want to be left alone and will even willingly work with other sapients if it's in their interests. Meanwhile the Dark Eldar are an entire civilization of Card Carrying Villains whose entire culture is based around Rape, Pillage, and Burn + Cold-Blooded Torture. The Craftworld and Dark Eldar occasionally fight one another, with the Dark Eldar often taking Craftworld or Exodite Eldar in slave raids, though these conflicts are rarely sustained (a notable exception would be the mutually costly Webway War between the Craftworld of Ulthwe and the Dark Eldar Kabal of the Jade Knife). Humans sometimes have trouble telling them apart (they are the same species after all).

  • LEGO's Mixels has the titular characters opposed by the Nixels, who represent conformity juxtaposed to the Mixels representing creativity. This is apparent in their black and white blocky appearance and their base looking completely blank inside.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect:
    • There are two factions of geth: "true" geth and "heretic" geth. While the true geth are mostly neutral towards other species (if aggressively isolationist for most of the series), the heretic geth are an Omnicidal Maniac faction that decided to join the Reapers to advance themselves, and have integrated Reaper technology into their own as a result. Mass Effect 3 reveals that geth controlled by Reaper code and those without it are also quite different at the software level, meaning they could be considered different "races" at that point.
    • Humans and batarians. The batarians are arguably the most human-like aliens in the setting, and both species overall are ambitious middle powers trying to play at the level of the big boys. But while the humans are (mostly) devoted to doing this via diplomacy and integration, with their galactic representative being the Systems Alliance, the batarians are a slavocratic statist society who attempt to leverage themselves through sabotage, terrorism, subversion, and military aggression (when they can get away with it). The two species have had a lot of conflicts.
    • The Reapers, similar to the dark lord in Lord of the Rings, tend to corrupt factions of other species through temptation of power or just straight indoctrination before using said factions disposable mooks. Javik talks about it happening in the Prothean cycle (the descendants of that faction may have become the Collectors), and it happens with humans too in the present via groups like Cerberus.
    • The Kett Empire to Citadel Space, in a similar manner as the Dominion and Federation mentioned above. Citadel Space is The Federation of integrated species in liberal, free market, borderline post-scarcity utopia, united for economic cooperation and defense. It values its diversity and all species and races can participate in it while maintaining their own independence. The Kett Empire is a feudalistic theocracy that conquers other races, including pre-FTL ones that can't possibly pose a threat. A few other parallels exist between them. For example, the Kett forcefully genetically modify conquered races to better serve as soldiers, while the Citadel has voluntary and near-universal genetic and cybernetic augments. The Citadel's first reaction to a pre-FTL species was to offer economic and tech aid, while the Kett decided to just slaughter the angara while faking friendship. The Citadel is a mostly rational society with a high-tech aesthetic, while the Kett are religious fanatics with an Organic Techbology aestheric. So on and so forth.
  • Initiating a black hole reset in Evolve Idle allows the player to create an Evil Universe. Most races from normal universes are present but evil, slaughtering the weak for their bones instead of using wood, for example.
  • Warcraft
    • Gnomes vs. goblins, and humans vs. orcs. The gnomes vs. goblins is more of a rivalry than outright hostility, though.
    • Zigzagged with the Elves. Only specific factions of Blood Elves (those who followed Kael'Thas) and Night Elves (Highborne) have any claim to being evil. It's all a matter of perspective, otherwise. Night Elves are, at the very least, the most aggressive of the three races, while Blood Elves are High Elf survivors who resorted to demonic magics in order to survive.
    • There are also specific subraces like the Dark Iron dwarves (generally same look but black skin) or the several kinds of trolls opposing the Darkspear tribe that belongs to the Horde. And in Northrend there are several races heavily implied or outright stated to be the original of the player races, which developed on their own over time.
    • Way back in Warcraft II trolls served as the Evil Counterpart Race for the elves (before the high elf/blood elf split and before we knew of the night elves), both races providing the main ranged unit and light naval craft for their respective factions. The series' lore has them as ancient rivals as well. There are even pretty clear hints, though modern Elves would be loathe to admit it, that the Elven race may actually be descended from ancient Trolls who were exposed to (and/or experimented with) powerful arcane energies over a prolonged period.
  • The Warlords games, as well as having High Elves and Dark Elves, has Dwarves and Dark Dwarves, the former being the typical ale-swilling axe-bearers, the latter being industrial Mad Scientists.
  • In Dragon Age, The Darkspawn are created when a female of a race -Human, Elf, Qunari or Dwarf- is captured and turned into a Broodmother and spawns them. Each race has a Darkspawn equivalent that is born of the Broodmother of that race- Human Broodmothers produce Hurlocks, Dwarves produce Genlocks, Elves produce Shrieks, and Qunari produce Ogres. Darkspawn, indeed.
  • A lot of Digimon species are Evil Counterparts to other species:
    • Devimon to Angemon.
    • Deathmon and Demon to Seraphimon
    • Lilithmon to Ophanimon
    • Kuwagamon to Kabuterimon
    • Tsukaimon to Patamon
    • And, of course, the innumerable examples of cases where the evil counterpart's name is the good version's name plus the word 'black' (and coloring alterations to match), such as BlackAgumon, BlackTailmon, BlackToyAgumon, BlackWarGreymon, etc. Justified in that they are intended according to the fluff to literally have originally been of the respective good race, but were transformed by computer viruses.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Goombas to Toads. Both mushroom folk, but with the Goombas being the quintessential Mario Mook and... well... The Goomba. There are games however where friendly Goombas show up, such as the Paper Mario series, but there are yet to be any outright evil Toads.
    • An even clearer example for the Toads are the Shroobs of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, an alien race led by an Evil Counterpart of Princess Peach herself. Whereas the Toads are a peaceful, kind folk, the Shroobs are warlike and cruel.
  • Subverted in the Splatoon series. The humanoid-squid Inklings and humanoid-octopus Octarians are counterparts, with the former being more self-indulgent and fun-loving and the latter being more hard-working and serious. But the latter's antagonist role in the main campaigns of the first two games is the result of desperation rather than evil; the Octarians lost a territory war with the Inklings a century prior, forcing them to live underground where all their infrastructure is implied to now be collapsing on top of them. When talking about the second game's "Octo Expansion" DLC, which features an Octoling protagonist and made them playable in multiplayer, the producer made a point to note that the Inklings aren't "defenders of justice" or "good guys" whatsoever.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Kokiri and the Deku Scrubs. Both are forest-based races with connections to the Great Deku Tree, but while the former are more human-like children who generally get along well with the few non-Kokiri with whom they interact, the latter are more plant-like monsters who spit seeds at anyone who approaches them.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has the Nejirons, Rock Monsters that are basically meaner-looking Gorons that try to roll into you and blow up. Their name is even the Japanese word "Neji" meaning "twisted" combined with "-ron."
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, the Maiamai are an inversion, being a good counterpart to the Octoroks. Both resemble land-based cephalopods with tube-like mouths, but while Octoroks suck in and spit out objects to hurt Link, Mother Maiamai sucks in and spits out objects to upgrade them for Link.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Lizalfos have been redesigned into one for the Zoras. Both are gangly swimmers who prefer spears to other weapons and like eating fish. Water-based Lizalfos will even spit bursts of water at Link in a manner similar to the previously evil Zoras from the 2D games.

  • Played with in Drowtales, as explained in the no-longer-canon guide here.

    Western Animation 
  • The Duloks as the evil counterpart of the Ewoks.
  • On The Fairly OddParents, fairies have two in the form of anti-fairies and pixies.
    • Anti-fairies, as their names imply, are the blue-skinned polar opposites of fairies in terms of both morality and their respective fairy counterpart's personality, the most notable being the Know-Nothing Know-It-All Anti-Cosmo to the ditzy Cosmo, the hillbilly Anti-Wanda to the intelligent Wanda, and the charismatic Foop to Poof. Like fairies, they can have godchildren and grant wishes, but they're only assigned to mean people and they only grant wishes with sinister results, and they have a love of spreading bad luck amongst humans, so their favorite holiday is Friday the 13th.
    • Pixies are an entire race of incredibly boring Corrupt Corporate Executives that will only grant wishes if they conform to their strict standards and often attempt to take control of Fairy World to subjugate the fun-loving fairies. Because of their reliance on the system, they're frequently undone by loopholes in their ironclad contracts.
  • The violent and warrior-like Fmeks, the Evil Counterpart of the peaceful Arquilians in Men in Black; both races of Lilliputian size that use giant (for them) suits to pass as humans.
  • The animated series the Monchhichis, based on the popular Japanese toy series of cute monkey-like creatures has the Grumplins as the evil counterpart.
  • On My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the ponies are opposed by the insectoid changelings, who are similar in appearance and feed on the large amounts of love that the former produce. Where the ponies are presently ruled by princesses, the changelings are led by a queen that wants control of Equestria, and almost succeeded in obtaining it the first time the race appeared. Season six introduced a rogue changeling named Thorax who wanted to make friends, and in the season 6 finale "To Where and Back Again", Starlight Glimmer and Thorax convince the changelings to rebel against the evil queen Chrysalis, who has been using them to hoard The Power of Love for herself.
    • The season 8 episode "Sounds of Silence" introduces the peace-loving kirin, and another race that lives in their region called the nirik, which Twilight Sparkle describes as "creatures of pure rage and fire". Subverted when it's revealed that the nirik is just another form taken by the kirin when they get angry.
  • In the animated series the Wartmongers seem to be an evil counterpart of The Smurfs.


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