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Evil Hero

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"I know what it means to be a hero, Commander. And trust me - you are no hero."
Robin, to Commander Uehara, Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

You might be thinking, "What are you talking about?" or "How does that even make sense?", which is very reasonable. It does sound like an oxymoron doesn't it? Everybody knows what a hero is, and everybody loves a hero. In fact, a hero, by definition, is a good guy, the one who saves the innocent from the forces of evil, showing children of all ages what a hero does for them, encouraging them to not live in fear, to one day stand up tall and become the next hero everybody looks up to for protection. All of that is nothing an evil villain would do, right?

Here's the thing. There are professions that people almost instantly identify with heroism: police officers, soldiers, park rangers, doctors, presidents and the like, viewing them as the kind of humans that they would want their kids to grow up to be, so they can live successful and promising lives and still be seen as heroes (no powers recommended).

But that is not always the case.

Sometimes, the bad guy comes in the form of a familiar friendly face, one that people are meant to see without any worry and think that they are safe. Until they get a closer look.

This is what happens when Nominal Hero meets Villain with Good Publicity: a definite bad guy works as a cop or even a so called "firefighter", and, despite their actions, whether due to ignorance on The Government's part, or the fact that they simply didn't get fired or resign yet, or haven't been caught yet, still qualify as such. In short, a bad guy with a "good guy" job.

Unfortunately, this allows them to do their evil behind the scenes, disgracing the name of the position they wear, and either people don't notice, or they can't do anything about it. It is during these times that people wait for and cheer when a true hero, of whatever size, comes to the rescue and demonstrates how a hero really does it.

An extreme example of Fake Ultimate Hero.

May or may not overlap with Pragmatic Villainy or Noble Demon, as they might actually do their job accordingly every now and then, but the reasons for them are less likely because Even Evil Has Standards, and more to just maintain the facade.

Compare Designated Hero, Fake Ultimate Hero, Hero Antagonist and Villain with Good Publicity.

Contrast Hidden Heart of Gold and A True Hero.

Not to be confused with Villain Protagonist, although a Villain Protagonist could have such a job.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Lovely Angels in Dirty Pair are considered heroic in their own reality (and their constant claim that "It's not our fault!" is readily believed) despite the fact that they've committed planet-wide genocide multiple times (the series Crosses the Line Twice rather often). Compared to most of the examples above and below them, they're not really that bad if they do show some restraint in their actions.
  • Go, Go, Loser Ranger!: The Dragon Keepers, a Power Rangers-esque organization of heroes who fight to repel an alien invasion. At least that’s what they’ve set things up to look like. The truth is that the Invaders were supposedly long defeated and the Keepers are now just milking the fame by keeping the remaining and harmless Dusters as slaves for them to continue beating every Sunday and still be seen as heroes in the eyes of their fans, with the facade having been held up for over a decade. Any Duster that refuses to play along or breaks the Keepers’ rules are obliterated by their Divine Tools. The worst out of the Keepers is their leader Red, who is sociopathic enough to not be above killing even his own protégé over any kind of slight. However, as time goes on, the situation is a lot more complex than initially presented; while there are quite a few heartless Rangers among the lower ranks and the top brass, there are just as many good Rangers who are only there to protect the weak or make a name for themselves. D realizing this makes him realize that he doesn't want to be on anyone's side but his own.
  • Akoya Seishu from Kengan Ashura is a well-respected cop, and also an extreme Vigilante Man who murders anyone he deems "evil", but cannot legally bring to justice for one reason or another. His desire to exterminate the evil often extends to the innocent relatives of those he's slain (claiming that their shared blood means that they also carry the "evil" seed despite not having done anything worthy of punishment). His definition of "evil" seems really arbitrary too, as he also considers people like Wakatsuki and Cosmo "evil", even though they are nice guys outside of their participation in the Kengan Matches.
  • Heroism is an industry in My Hero Academia, and not all heroes are worthy of the title. Most don't go farther than money-grubbing and scene stealing, but before All-Might's retirement, the #2 hero Enji "Endeavor" Todoroki was a Jerkass Abusive Parent. Bakugou was on the road to becoming one of these, but fortunately he snapped out of it in time.
  • Most otherworlders in No Longer Allowed in Another World tend to be this, using their powers for personal gain and to bully the helpless residents of their world. Both Annette and Ysha lose their faith after having so many corrupt individuals, hoping one of them would be worthy enough to defeat the Dark Lord once and for all. After seeing Sensei's "Storyteller" ability in action, Ysha believes that he was summoned specifically to rectify this problem.
  • One Piece: The Marines are generally considered a 'good' organization, given that their job involves stopping dangerous pirates from wreaking havoc (and for every generally harmless crew like the Straw Hats, there's a dozen villainous ones), but in practice, there's a lot of them that don't live up to it, though there are also genuinely heroic marines. They are the military force of the political regime that also runs Impel Down (a prison where torturing inmates is routine) and lets the World Nobles do whatever they want, after all.
    • The very first Marine we see is Ax-Hand Morgan, a brutish bully who demanded to have a statue, paid by the taxes of the coerced citizens of Shells Town, erected to show how great he was.
    • The most prominent 'bad Marine' is Admiral Akainu, whose brutal philosophy of Absolute Justice means that he's willing to kill people for being pirates, being associated with pirates, fleeing from pirates (despite said pirates being massively stronger than them), and being normal people who might possibly know about the Void Century. And after a brutal fight with Admiral Aoikiji, he's the Fleet Admiral.
    • Other examples include Vice-Admiral Onigumo, who was one of the acting Vice-Admirals during the Buster Call on Enies Lobby. When his own men try to question the order or run away, he flat-out kills them himself.
  • Momon the Dark Hero in Overlord is hailed as the greatest warrior adventurer in the vicinity of the city of E-Rantel, and possibly the whole Re-Estize kingdom, rivaling warrior-captain Gazef Stronoff in power and virtue... And it's all a lie, as he's actually Ainz Ooal Gown, Elder Lich and Evil Sorcerous Overlord of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, who's using the alias as a convenient way to gather intel on the New World, garner glory and public trust, getting people to owe him one, and stretch his legs, all without attracting too much attention towards his true self.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, while there are a few in the Holy Knights who are heroic and there are those that see the group as a whole as such, many of its members are evil.
  • A variant occurs in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, where the name possibly originates: when Judai/Jaden becomes Drunk on the Dark Side, the evil that's affecting him also affects his deck, turning his Elemental HEROes into, literally, Evil HEROes, basically the same Elemental HEROes, now with darker and deadlier appearances and powers. In the dub, Axel even expresses shock that "two good guys equal one bad guy", which in a nutshell, is what Judai does to summon them.

    Comic Books 
  • Most of the "superheroes" in The Boys are anything but heroes. The most notable are The Seven (who are twisted parodies of the Justice League), who are all a bunch of self-centered hedonistic assholes, with Homelander being the worst. The Boys themselves aren't the most pleasant bunch themselves, ranging from cynical burn-outs with a score to settle to just in it because they like violence and want a guilt-free outlet, but are still the closest thing the comic has to the good guys because the bar for "least awful people in the superheroics business" is just that low.
  • The Punisher is usually depicted as a very dark Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain as the story demands, but there are writers who go the extra mile and portray him as nothing more than a sadistic murderer who kills For the Evulz and uses the death of his family as an excuse to engage in another war, finding peace to be alien to his true nature. Even the nicer versions of the character, though, have zero problem executing criminals in cold blood or engaging in kidnapping and torture to achieve their ruthless goals.
  • The Upward Path from Runaways were a gang of religious bigots and strike-breakers (as in, people who beat up workers who attempted to go on strike) who professed to be heroes upholding law and order.
  • The Alliance from The Red Ten are an expy of the Justice League. In reality, barring two members, they were a bunch of murderers, a liar, a pedophile and a junkie.
  • One variety of recurring opponents in Italian superhero Disney Mouse and Duck Comics are villains that try and neutralize Duckburg or Mouseton's defenders by acting as superheroes themselves and outperforming the real deal until they retire:
    • Paperinik (Donald's superhero alter ego) is a frequent victim of this scheme, with the most notable being Pap-Man, a Batman-like figure that would arrest the criminals because they were his accomplices and convinced the mayor of Duckburg to rent Paperinik to a country village before he broke his accomplices out and they sacked the city. Paperinik eventually dealt with him with a wrench to the head the moment he had dropped his gadgets, and, not being a saint himself, sent part of the loot away as charity to give Duckburg a lesson.
    • Super Goof (that is, Goofy with Superman's powers) once dealt with Megatop, a Superman-like hero sponsored by Emil Eagle that got him to retire through sheer annoyance. Not knowing he had already obtained the desired result, Emil had Megatop challenge Super Goof to a fight that ended with Megatop revealed as a robot and forcefully dismantled.
  • Dark Avengers: The very premise was a team of supervillains acting as the Avengers, with many of them taking up the identities of their heroic counterparts: Norman Osborn as the Iron Patriot, a blend between Captain America and Iron Man; Venom (Mac Gargan) using the symbiote to masquerade as Black Suit Spider-Man; Moonstone as Ms. Marvel; Bullseye as Hawkeye; Daken as Wolverine; Marvel Boy as Captain Marvel; Ares; and the Sentry.
  • The AXIS event saw a number of heroes and villains undergo an alignment switch, with heroes becoming more villainous and vice-versa.
    • Carnage and Sabretooth becomes superheroes, although they prove to be unintentionally terrifying ones. Carnage still has his murderous urges and considers supporting the Red Skull in his bid for world domination, but ends up rejecting both and fighting for the side of good.
    • Hobgoblin turns his villain persona into a franchise and makes a financial killing instead of committing crimes for profit.
    • The X-Men become mutant supremacists and essentially adopt the ideology of Magneto, who in turn becomes more heroic and ends up clashing with them over this very issue, although as a more morally grey character he still feels somewhat torn on the issue.
    • Iron Man becomes an amoral businessman and war profiteer, selling highly addictive and dangerous items at exorbitant daily fees, which prompt those who buy it to turn to crime in order to pay. He's motivated entirely by fun, attention and profit and while he does continue to act as a generous philanthropist as before, this time it is nothing but a ruse to more easily exploit and manipulate people for his own selfish ends.
  • Supercrooks: The Praetorian is a corrupt superhero who is under the employ of The Bastard. His first scene in the book establishes that he was charged with 57 accounts of abusing his authority, all of which he was acquitted for.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): Circe steals Diana, Donna and Cassie's powers using a magic spell and then takes a spin as the new Wonder Woman. While she does actually save many lives, her focus is on helping women and she brutally murders any men who try to stop her. Diana is annoyed that the press reaction to this is mixed given what a pariah she became for killing a single murderer as a last resort, while there are people approving of Circe's methods.

    Fan Works 
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: It's theorized in the setting guide that this is why Corona's fall into madness left such a deep and lasting scar on pony psychology. When the very one whom you trust to protect you from the monsters herself becomes the greatest monster of them all, what hope remains?
  • No More Heroes 3: Alternate Struggles shows four of Prince FU's lieutenants living up to this trope to the fullest as GODDAMN SUPERHEROES by turning in criminals to the proper authorities (for a bounty), performing the odd Mercy Kill (on targets they themselves lobotomized), and "saving" innocent civilians from plane crashes (by shooting them in the head before they hit the ground). Paradox Bandit takes up his own category though as a disgraced cosmic champion who killed all his other Masters of Explosion in the hopes of rebooting his universe in such a way that he will remain its uncontested hero safe from the dangers of being deconstructed or dethroned.
  • In Scarlet Lady, the titular Ladybug hero (Chloe Bourgeois if she got the Ladybug Miraculous) is technically a superhero, but the fame very much went to her head and quickly lead to a drop from Nominal Hero to downright sociopath- among other things, she refuses to rescue hostages and actively abuses people so they'll become Akumas for her to fight.

  • In Avatar, Colonel Miles Quaritch and the miners are, admittedly, doing their job: whatever the CEO of RDA on Pandora orders them to do, which is protecting prospectors from the hostile wildlife and the occasionally hostile Navi; but, said CEO couldn't care less about a bunch of 'blue monkeys', only using diplomacy to avoid a political controversy, and is clearly more interested in his precious Unobtainium, and the soldiers show a little too much pleasure in gunning down alien wildlife and indigenous people trying to protect their homes (with Quaritch hinting at personal reasons for attacking the Navi).
  • While Alex from A Clockwork Orange is no angel himself, the fact that The Government would be willing to use nausea-enducing Pavlov-related torture, basically stripping free will from the brain, on any human being makes you wonder if there are any real heroes left in the future world.
    • How about the revelation that, in his absence, Alex's own "droogs" have somehow become cops, cops that have no second thoughts about nearly drowning a comrade that they abandoned to the authorities in the first place, and getting away with it.
  • The main protagonist of The Crow: Salvation, Alex, was framed for the murder of his girlfriend, and executed for it, by her true killers: a group of cops who apparently rape and murder for kicks on a regular basis.
  • Another Karma Houdini example is Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, who psychologically tortures patients at a mental hospital, who are in no way dangerous, to the point of preventing any opportunity to watch a baseball game, and becoming annoyed when they find a slight way around that, and driving one of her patients to suicide; all while looking like a normal nurse doing her job in the eyes of the public.
  • The villains of Magnum Force are a group of young motorcycle cops, led by a corrupt older officer, who are going out of their way to murder criminals rather than just arrest them, and have zero problem killing innocent bystanders or witnesses to that end either. It is implied that the younger ones are doing this as much for the thrill and the attention as anything else, while the older leader is shown to regard all of them as expendable and willing to send them to certain death in order to cover his own tracks too. They all insist that they are cleaning the streets of scumbags and making the city a better place, but it is clear they are really just power mad killers with self-serving delusions of grandeur who will kill anyone who tries to stop them.
  • A more comedic example would be Ron Fox, from Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. As a Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, his job is to protect the United States from any perceived threat from a foreign country. Unfortunately, he's so neurotic and bigoted, he pretty much views anyone who isn't white or Catholic as a potential threat, and is convinced beyond reasoning that Harold and Kumar are in-league with Al Qaeda and North Korea, simply because of their ethnicity.
  • Armano Salazar from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a pirate hunter whose goal is to "purify" the seas by ridding them of piracy forever. Even in a series where the pirates are the protagonists such a job would be a heroic one, as unlike the East India Trading Company from the earlier films the motive behind it isn't just a simple "destroy the competition" one. However, Salazar himself is so cruelly obsessed with revenge and driven by such an irrational hatred of all pirates that he's clearly an evil piece of work even before he became an undead monster, as he regards pirates as less than human and won't even show mercy to defeated foes. It's not even made clear if his "kill everyone in his path to get to the pirates" mentality is the result of spending a cursed suffering decade trapped in the Devil's Triangle or if that's always how he acted.
  • The Suicide Squad's Peacemaker is dedicated to peace at any cost, whether that be justice or even innocent lives. He's still delusional that he's a hero even after being thrown in jail and put on the titular Squad with other homicidal maniacs, and even they are disgusted by his behavior.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Like the comic it's based on, The Boys (2019) stars super "heroes" who tend to be at best corrupt self-serving assholes and at worst sociopathic serial killers and actual, literal Nazis. Even the two nicest and genuinely well-intentioned heroes are Queen Maeve, a broken, condescending asshole who's given up on ever being a real hero, and Starlight, who despite doing nothing but trying to do the right thing still manages to have innocent blood on her hands. At the other end of the spectrum are The Boys, the titular group who is actively resisting the "heroes" but still consists of complete assholes, criminals, murderers, and Hughie, and pretty much the only nice thing you can say about them is they're trying to stop the crimes of the "heroes".
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki is the Trope Maker within the franchise, featuring a battle royale between 13 Kamen Riders of varied moral status. Previously Kamen Riders had been portrayed as Ideal Heroes - those who received the power of monsters, but retained their humanity and fought for justice. In Ryuki however, retaining your humanity means keeping both the noble desires and the selfish ones, just because two people are motivated by justice doesn't mean they agree on what justice is, and you don't need to literally lose your humanity to be a Complete Monster.
    • In Kamen Rider Drive, Captain Mitsuhide Nira is an unpleasant bully who enjoys mocking the protagonist and his team (who are a group of Bunny Ears Lawyers). It's later learnt that to reach his current rank he often took shortcuts and even committed murder. There's also the little fact that he was aware of the Roidmudes (the cybernetic villains of the story), and had been working for one for years.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Defied in EMLL with El Santo. Back when Tarzán López was the main tecnico, Santo was supposed to be one of the opposing rudos. In this case, the inherent contradiction of an evil Saint was one fans didn't buy, and Santo became the most popular tecnico of his time and quite possibly of all time. EMLL later had a straight example in the malicious Dr. Wagner, however.
  • Big Bubba Rogers, an evil security guard bought with the money of Jim Cornette's mother. Later became known as Big Boss Man, an evil prison correctional officer.
  • Brother Love, an evil televangelist who professed to love everyone, including you, and educated viewers about the good news and values of loving each other. But as he'd be quick to remind you, just because he loved you did not necessarily mean he liked you. He'd often use his position as a preacher to justify the misdeeds of several miscreants and sometimes even actively aid them in their misdoings.
  • Back when Vince Jr. was giving every other wrestler a second job, Jacques Rougeau Jr. was saddled with The Mountie gimmick and feuded with Big Boss Man, who had underwent a Heel–Face Turn and became a "good" lawman foil. This proved so offensive the real Royal Canadian Mounted Police sent out cease and desist letters.
  • AAA is rather infamous allowing evil to thrive in the ranks of those meekest of creatures, the lucha libre referee. Other lucha feds such as CMLL have also used this to a lesser extent but AAA is the place where men like Hijo del Tirantes are not only known by name but still trusted to do their jobs after years to decades of proving unfit for them.
  • Border Control is a recurring pro wrestling example, with All Pro Wrestling perhaps getting the most mileage out of it, usually in the form of wrestlers who work for AAA such as Brian Cage or Oliver John not seeing the irony in trying to keep the Mexicans out, but special mention to the USWA Tag Team, who operated in Tennessee where there was no border in need of patrolling(indeed, lack of talent from outside the state in its later years ended up doing USWA in)
  • Invoked when Kodo Fuyuki took over FMW with Team No Respect, took Hayabusa's mask and put it on Mr. Gannosuke. Fuyuki's reasoning was that Hayabusa was a super hero, which he did not want in his promotion, but rather than simply get rid of Hayabusa he wanted to ruin Hayabusa's reputation.
  • CM Punk, an evil straight edge activist. He also lead The Second City Saints, which consisted of Ace Steel, Colt Cabana and Lucy Furr. While they weren't supposed to be literal saints, they were followers of the Ring of Honor code, or at least claimed to be. For Punk in particular his Knight Templar cult Straight Edge Society took this trope to its logical conclusion as he set out to use his television time to "save" the masses.
  • Simon Dean, an evil infomercial salesmen waging war against obesity in the United States. His "Simon System" did work as advertised, for the most part, the problems being his ware was just other people's products with his name sellotaped over their brand, and Dean himself wasn't even dedicated to his own fitness message, having a strange aversion to walking. The Simon System's biggest selling point was Maven's physique, which Maven already had before he started using it. In short, Dean was a fraud.
  • Someone associated with TNA continued to send wrestlers, some of whom were admittedly Ax-Crazy like Abyss and Daffney, to Dr Stevie after it became pretty clear that contrary to his word he did not have his patient's best interests at heart.(Daffney's case he thought the best therapy to her violent thoughts was giving her a way to enact them on people she didn't like and in Abyss's case he came to the conclusion the man could not be saved and must be destroyed)
  • Pepper Parks is kind of like combining the anti drug activism of CM Punk with healthy living message of Simon Dean, while never delving into the cult levels of the former and lacking the self serving fraud of the latter. If you think that makes the health guru a good person, there are many a CZW fan who will disagree with you. He cares about what other people do with their bodies but has absolutely no problem mutilating them himself.
  • CZW also had Drew Gulak, an evil public relations manager who was concerned with correcting the Combat Zone's Garbage Wrestler, Lowest Common Denominator, No Budget, Wretched Hive reputation. While this at first seemed like a well meaning, if misguided effort, time made it clear Gulak cared first and foremost about taking over, with the PR campaign about making himself look like something greater than the overlord of a low class wasteland. And he'd destroy anyone, be it their reputation or their physical body, be they with, against or indifferent to him, to take control.
  • Nikki Cross as Nikki A.S.H, since turning heel. Her "Almost a Superhero" gimmick remains, but her characterization is more of a Heroic Wannabe like Homelander.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Part of the setting's theme is that there are no real heroes; just evil factions that are capable of goodness, as opposed to the Always Chaotic Evil ones (Chaos is a Religion of Evil, the Necrons are The Soulless, and Orks are hard-wired to fight everything in sight and most things that aren't). The Imperium of Man is the most common protagonist faction because they're human, but they're also a horribly brutal, fascistic, and xenophobic blend of the worst cultures in human history. The Craftworld Eldar fight Chaos and for the most part just want their Dying Race to survive, but they're even more racist than the Imperium and have a superiority complex the size of the Eye of Terror—they're more likely to ally with the Dark Eldar (Probably the worst faction in the game, and considering the competition that's saying something!) than they are with the other 'reasonable' factions. The Tau are generally the most diplomatic and least violent race, but they also make widespread use of forced sterilizations and Brainwashing for the Greater Good.
  • Chronicles of Darkness:
    • Beast: The Primordial literally has these as the primary antagonists; the titual Beasts of this game are Necessarily Evil and representing Humanity's fear as a meant to learn and grow, while their counterparts, Heroes, are supposed to keep them in check when they go too far and help humanity grow without resorting to such drastic methods. By the time the game takes place, however, Heroes have suffered a massive case of Motive Decay, and most of them have devolved into sociopathic Knight Templars obsessed with slaying Beasts and with no concern for collateral damages.
    • Hunter: The Vigil: While primarily about humans taking harms to fight the various monsters of the game who prey on mankind in the dark, the game makes a major point of showing that just because you fight monsters doesn't, in fact, makes you the good guy:
      • The Ashwood Abbey are a bunch of depraved bored rich people and aristocrats who essentially use What Measure Is a Non-Human? as an excuse to freely fulfill all their depraved fantasies with monsters, including murder, torture, and rape. Even others hunters generally look down to them as a bunch of sickos.
      • The Cheiron Group are Corrupt Corporate Executives and Mad Scientists with little regard for human rights and extreme Bad Boss tendencies who capture supernaturals so they can dissect them and make medical products out of their organs. Which, by the way, they aren't doing out of kindness; they are Only in It for the Money.
      • The Cainite Heresy are a Cult of fanatics with a very unhealthy obsession for vampires (who they see as the responsible for all the bad things in the world) and who have very little care for collateral damages.
      • The Promethean Conspiracy are a league of Green Eyed Monsters who are kidnapping Mages so they can sacrifically kill them and steal their powers.
      • Fan-made supplement Hunter: The Vigil – Dark and Light has the Magisters of Economie, a Hunter Conspiracy of rich benevolent businessmen with magical powers who fight to protect humanity from the many monsters in the setting. They also happen to get their powers from a really disturbing source: they are kidnapping Princesses (the one type of supernatural in this setting to be unambiguously good) to trap them inside a Lotus-Eater Machine through a Rite and steal their abilities, essentially keeping their Comatose body as a batteries. They are also using this Rite to brainwash regular humans into their slaves, since they believe in The Evils of Free Will. Oh, and the way they acquired this Rite? By bargaining with the Wardens, beings who happens to literally be agents of the Darkness.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: Yuuki Terumi was the Token Evil Teammate among the Six Heroes, and with a good reason. He's the creator of the Black Beast, the monster that destroyed most of humanity. Since the heroes needed Terumi's usefulness to fight the Black Beast, Nine used Mind Control on him to make him fight alongside the others. The defeat of the Black Beast earned them the title of Six Heroes, even though Terumi was still evil through and through. He eventually would betray them soon enough and became the franchise's Big Bad. It's pretty much the reason why Terumi is referred to as a "dark hero".
  • Caim from Drakengard is one. He's heroically fighting to save his Cosmic Keystone sister and defend his country from an evil empire, but he's only doing so because he's a bloodthirsty psychopath who loves killing as many people as he can on the battlefield.
  • Several games in the Disgaea feature antagonists like this, fitting with the protagonists being literal Noble Demons.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Saber Alter is a version of Saber who has been corrupted into a ruthless and cynical tyrant by Aŋra Mainiiu's black ooze during the Heaven's Feel route. However, in an interview Kinoko Nasu and Gen Urobuchi have stated that she's not an outright villain, but a dark hero.
    • Gilgamesh's canon Character Alignment is Lawful Good. But as established early on, alignments in the Nasuverse don't mean a thing—
  • Your character is still officially a Hero in Fable even if they end up on the evil end of the Karma Meter, with the Heroes' Guild not only still allowing them entry, but allowing them access to quests that allow them to continue more evil deeds!
    • This trope ends up getting deconstructed in Fable II's backstory. Turns out the citizens of Albion did not care for Heroes being able to just casually take on evil quests from the Heroes' Guild without taking consideration of the people they were supposed to protect. All that talk of the old Guildmaster giving Heroes freedom to choose? Apparently that freedom isn't extended to normal people. Once guns were invented they quickly armed themselves and attacked the Guild, destroying it and killing everyone inside.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, it's revealed that Saturos and Menardi, the villains of the first game, were actually on a quest to save not only their home town but also the entire world. The key thing that keeps them firmly as villains, even when this is revealed, is that they're such Dog-Kicking Card Carrying Villains who gleefully do needlessly evil or cruel things for no reason other than For the Evulz or because it amused them. Even when it would behoove them to do good they'll waste time being evil like pushing some cursed immobile humans into the river to die (and they do if you don't save them) or slaughtering helpless scholars along with soldiers in Venus Lighthouse. Even the Elder of Prox, who sent them on their journey, is completely understanding of Issac and his allies for killing them, and even implies the only reason he sent them is because they were the two most powerful warriors Prox had to offer and they were the only ones who could reasonably pull it off.
  • There are zero redeeming qualities about the main character of Grezzo 2, being a vulgar, cruel, depraved, sadistic, misanthropic, unhinged, bigoted, and unstable psychopath who engages in rape, kidnapping cannibalism, mutilation, slaughter of innocent civilians, the deposing of God for very petty reasons, and constant usage of drugs. All played for laughs.
  • Wandersong: Audrey Redheart turns out to be this. She is the Hero chosen by the goddess Eya, but is an arrogant and violent Narcissist who was specifically chosen to destroy the world rather than save it.

  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater, to almost absurd degrees. He's a member of the Light Warriors and (technically) helps to bring an end to the world ending threat, but those are the limits to his status as a hero. He has comitted murder, genocide, traumatized children, sacrificed to dark gods, and betrayed his allies numerous times. And he doesn't even try to hide it, though some people still see him as a Warrior of Light. And his allies, the amoral power-seeker, the greed-fuelled scoundrel, and the genuinely noble moron who can't pick up on any of this, are ultimately not much better.
  • Most of the bosses from the various Metal Gear series who appear in The Last Days Of Fox Hound are this, being groups of bloodthirsty batshit-crazy maniacs with weird powers who the government basically throws at a threat and hopes it goes away. Pretty much the only who aren't are Octopus, only by virtue of never actually having killed anyone and even he remarks how he's still indirectly responsible for hundreds of deaths merely by association, and Wolf who manages to be fairly nice in spite of her profession.
  • In the Bravoman Webcomic when our hero gets set to a reverse world where everyone's personalities are just slightly off and Anti-Bravoman never existed, leading to an apocalyptic scenario where his counterpart leads a super serious resistance. Or that's how it appears at first. What he discovers is more disturbing, Reverse Anti-Bravoman, rather than being an anti-hero who's terrible at it for a lack of competence, is a Heroic Wannabe who's terrible at it for lack of moral fibre, having stolen the costume and name of Bravoman from Salaryman and running both sides of the war so he can act out as a hero free from meta humor.
  • The Property of Hate has Click, a tin soldier who when first encountered is an Arc Villain who hunts down RGB and Hero in an attempt to kill them (and for vengeance against RGB for what the former did to him in the past). In a later chapter, it turns out Click was the second hero after RGB himself. As a human, he was a police officer and it's implied that Click was already on the path to destruction, when RGB recruited him, being a violent sociopath who has a tendency to lose his temper.