This trope comes into play when the supreme deity of a given setting is not just a mere jerkass — he/she/it is actively malevolent, a jealous, callous, sadistic, monstrous tyrant who created the world or universe to be such a miserable Crapsack World, preparing Disproportionate Retribution and an Easy Road to Hell for everybody else.
The classic problem of evil tends to be invoked in this trope, along with the irrationality of religious extremism. People foolish enough to try a Religious Russian Roulette to get a god like this to answer their prayers are unlikely to like the result.
In some works, this being is the supreme deity of a Fantasy Pantheon, while in others, the being is a powerful monotheistic deity, with some works casting the Big Guy himself — or his nearest fantasy analogue — in the role. Sometimes, the being calling itself a god (or the God) isn't one (often to lessen the offense that religious readers might obviously feel when this trope comes in play); its powers are just so close to omnipotentnote that it makes no difference.
Narratives about a God that is both omnipotent and malevolent, and how we puny humans can cope with its abominable existence, can result in a Cosmic Horror Story, which is based on the complete helplessness and despair of us Puny Earthlings under the powers of an alien reality-warping madness-inducing entity. But while the Eldritch Abominations of your average Cosmic Horror Story will at least leave you alone if you don't seek them out, a malevolent supreme god can be an absolute nightmare, scrutinizing our every thought and toying with us against our will, with us having little to no hope in doing anything about it.
The video game variants of this trope, however, lean on Lovecraft Lite and Rage Against the Heavens, offering a hope of the ability to kill this "omnipotent", probably thanks to narrativium that somehow serves to negate the Omnipotent's omnipotence, or with help from a good opposite. If God Is Evil, then The Anti-God may well be the Big Good.
In settings that take the controversial stance of God being evil, it is not uncommon for his infernal opposite to be good. Or for his Son to be way cool. Other times, Satan may simply be The Starscream. This isn't strictly necessary, however, especially in darker Crapsack Worlds whose authors take a more humanistic and/or existential stance on things.
Ninety-eight times out of one hundred, where an evil supreme god is in charge of things, you will also find a Knight Templar. Whether or not that person (or group) follows this evil supreme deity is entirely dependent on the Knight's alignment.
Truth in Television: This viewpoint is Older Than Feudalism. Already Greek philosophers considered the Olympian deities to be nothing but malevolent bullies. Lucian (2nd C) wrote a lengthy essay on why the Greco-Roman deities were evil, to boot. Likewise, the Norse sagas were full of description of Vikings who were goðlauss (godless)-they actively disdained the Norse deities, instead relying on themselves.
This trope can also be called dystheism, or maltheism; these are beliefs that a monotheistic god is, respectively, not wholly good or outright evil. This trope is often found in Rage Against the Heavens plots (and will likely invoke misotheism — hatred of God or the gods), and is a common belief of Nay Theists.
Compare and contrast Gnosticism,note Everybody Hates Hades, God of Evil, God Is Inept, God Is Flawed, Order Is Not Good. The flip side is Satan Is Good. See Also: God and Satan Are Both Jerks, Devil, but No God, Neglectful Precursors, Jerkass Gods for when the deities are not really evil but just neglectful, Abusive Precursors for when this so called creator is beyond just guilty. Definitely the polar opposite of God Is Good.
- Morganna from .hack. She manifests as a godlike being; a disembodied voice and psychic presence.
- Angel Sanctuary. Technically a spoiler, but between the state of Heaven and the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, it's pretty obvious.
- Go Nagai did this all the time in his works.
- The God of Demon Lord Dante was an evil space being who demanded that the humans living on Earth worship him. When they didn't, he torched their cities, inadvertently turning the entire human race into demonic beings by having God's energy merge them with various objects (the main character merges with a jet plane and dinosaurs to turn into a giant demon), and split himself up into pieces and inserted himself into apes, becoming modern man as a result. He further becomes even more of a bastard when it is revealed at the end that the entire war between God and demons was done on purpose just because it was entertaining to him.
- Devilman implies that God exterminated and sealed away the demons because he disapproved of the way his first shot at creating life turned out. And he's basically an Eldritch Abomination that turns humans into pillars of salt from merely looking upon him. Interestingly enough, however, in the original manga and the original manga alone, God wasn't really portrayed as evil in the Devilman Universe (or at least a completely and utterly irredeemable asshole yet). He originally created the world, left for a while, then found the Demons, who were not part of his plans, and considered them abominations. And in all brutal fairness, it's very easy to see why he hated them, even if he's in the wrong for hating them just because it wasn't part of the plan, but seemed content to just let the tides of fate roll out once they began to free their icy prison. In what could have been seen as a massive Pet the Dog and even Hope Spot for humanity in such a Crapsack World, God personally intervened in the story saving the human race by a nuclear holocaust launched by a Demon possessing the president of Russia, who had launched Russia's entire nuclear payload in an attempt to destroy all of humanity, albeit at the cost of turning every last human in Moscow into salt with his mere presence. He may not have been friendly, but at least it might have seemed like he actually wanted the human race to win and survive the conflict against the Demons. But then...
- In AMON: Apocalypse of Devilman, it's revealed that God has put the entire world into a time loop so all humans and demons live and die for nothing over and over, just to make Satan suffer the loss of his beloved repeatedly for all eternity. Just in case we weren't already aware of how much of a dick he is. This also makes it likely his aforementioned Pet the Dog for humanity was likely only done to prolong the end of the world as Satan had yet to loss his beloved at this point, thus prolonging his suffering.
- Light Yagami in Death Note deems himself a god trying to kill criminals so he may create a better place for all of mankind... but is also willing to kill thousands of innocent people to do so.
- Dragon Ball Super introduces Zamasu, an apprentice Supreme Kai, and one of the evilest characters in the series.
- Princess Tutu has the eccentric sadist Drosselmeyer to contend with: a dead writer whose influence, and love of tragedy, still haunt Kinkan Town.
- The last episode of Yondemasu Yo Azazel San seems to indicate that in the universe of that series, the god of the Bible rules, and he is clearly depicted as every bit as loathsome as atheists usually contend that he is; vengeful and petty, with unreasonable standards and demands on others. He also likes to subject people to really, really bad dirty jokes, but since he surrounds himself by irredeemable toadies who pretend that his jokes are funny, isn't aware that they aren't.
- Digimon Tamers has Zhuqiaomon, a phoenix god who is one of the four Holy Beasts that rule the Digital World. He sent his servants, the Devas, to the human world, to wreak havoc and eventually kidnap one of the heroes' friends, a small Digimon with the power to trigger evolution. However, this trope is inverted once the other Holy Beasts intervene, and explain that Zhuqiaomon was only trying to use their friend's special powers to fight the D-Reaper. Of course, Zhuqiaomon really dislikes humans as it is and isn't very apologetic to the children, so while not evil per se, he's still kind of an ass.
- Another Digimon god is Yggdrasil, a master computer that, in some incarnations of the Digital World, created the world and controls it. In every media it appeared it, whether it is the X-Evolution movie or the Digimon Savers anime, it always ends up trying to destroy its own creation (and in the case of Digimon Savers, the human world as well). He has a highly variable morality though-in X-Evolution, he's an enigmatic terror who has motives no one knows, in Digimon Savers he's an Anti-Villain with a easily justifiable hatred of humanity, and in NEXT, he's a victim of Demonic Possession.
- Berserk: In a semi-decanonized chapter, which was removed for reasons of revealing too much, God was revealed to be behind everything that happens in Berserk's Crapsack World, and it was created because to humanity's desire for there to be an ultimate reason to blame for human suffering; which resulted in the creation of the Idea of Evil, a grimdark version of Plato's Theory of Forms, whose purpose in life was to literally be responsible for everybody suffering so much. And it's very good at it, having conspired to drive Griffith into his ascension as the fifth Godhand, Femto, through the workings of Causality, which leads to the series theme of Fighting Fate. It can be seen as an inversion though; in this case, evil is God.
- One Piece:
- In a "not quite" case, the Straw Hat crew travels to another society in the sky and is forced to battle a lightning-flinging man identifying himself as god; his subjects even have (seemingly nonfunctional) wings! Turns out in this society "God" is just the title given to their ruler...
- While the aforementioned 'god' had the power level to back it up, later on the Celestial Dragons are revealed. They see themselves as living gods with an Omniscient Morality License. Thankfully they are much more punchable, if you can avoid the consequences.
- The motivating idea behind all of the Millennium Earl's actions in D.Gray-Man. Considering that said God seemingly allows the existence of someone as monstrously malevolent as the Earl, he may have a point.
- Deus Ex Machina from Future Diary. Sure, he's about to die and is taking the world down with him, but picking his successor by forcing mostly innocent people to fight a battle royale for the lulz? Not to mention telling a 4-year-old to kill (semi)-innocent people.
- Many of the various gods in Kurohime and one of its central themes. When we finally meet the creator of man (not the Big Bad by the way, just some goddess lazing around), she abandons her creations outright to kill the titular heroine. She fails of course, which brings up ANOTHER of the manga's central themes.
- God in Cat Soup is pretty much only concerned about eating, even fucking up with time and space to do so.
- Of all places, this appears in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's in the form of Z-One, the last human of the Bad Future. He somehow got divine powers and he's worshipped by Yliaster. After losing hope and his friends, Z-One sends android copies of his friends to the past to correct the past, but some of their actions made things worse and didn't bring the results he hoped for. After several failures, he decides as his final plan to destroy the entirety of Neo-Domino City to prevent the Bad Future from happening, even at the cost of thousands of lives.
- In Legend of Galactic Heroes, while he never exhibited overt religiosity, Oskar von Reuenthal mused during the occasion where he was framed for the second time that if a Creator exists, He must be a malicious one.
- In Sword Art Online, while he's only a "god" in the sense that he created the cybernetic world of Aincrad, Akihiko Kayaba's god complex causes him to trap ten thousand people in his world, where if they die they're dead in real life as well, just so that he could rule over a world of his own creation.
- Played with a curious case with Ryuunosuke. He believes that God loves good and evil, therefore he thinks that God loves his mass-murdering. In his eyes, why else would God allow crimes and wars to keep happening and make blood and guts so pretty?
- The central conflict of the story rests around priests and magi trying to gain control of the Holy Grail, which will grant their greatest wish. It turns out towards the end that the Grail has a will of its own and may do anything from twist your wish to outright refuse it. That said, the church has their doubts that this artifact is actually the Grail (according to background materials, it is not), and other works in the Nasuverse establish that the Grail has been corrupted ever since the entity Angra Mainyu was sealed in it. So, it may be an aversion.
- A major plot point in episode 9 of Seven Mortal Sins revealed that God plans on purging both Earth and Hell and banished Lucifer after she protested against it.
- Patton Oswalt talks about an Evil God in his Christmas Shoes routine. Also one with the Jesus isn't evil variety.
God: What's this? Someone in a bad mood on my son's birthday? Bullshit! Give that kid's mom cancer! Make sure he's in front of him in line, make him seven cents short for the shoes! This guy'll buy them, then he'll be in a good mood!Jesus: I don't think we need to give the mother cancer...God: You shut the fuck up! This is gonna be the best birthday you ever had!
- Garth Ennis' The Punisher: "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God."
- In Preacher (also by Ennis), God is shown to be a pathetic creature who has a pathological need to be loved, and is willing to destroy anyone who turns their back on Him. As it turns out, He isn't even omnipotent; it's His throne that gives Him limitless power, and in the final issue he's tricked into leaving it and ends up reaped by his own Grim Reaper, who as it turns out Was Once a Man whom God had massively screwed over in his mortal life so that he'd replace the current Angel of Death.
"I am a Loving God, Tulip... But don't push it."
- What started the plot in the first place? God created a creature as powerful as Himself... so he could be loved by it. He actually gets a kick out of people worshipping him despite the craptastic nature of the world, and actively makes it worse for that reason.
- In the comic book Hellblazer (which Ennis did a lot of writing for), The First of the Fallen (a leader of Hell) tells John Constantine that God is completely insane. John also works out that The First is actually God's conscience, removed at the dawn of creation because he kept nagging at Him. God himself never appears, but from what little is seen of His work through the Angels doesnt exactly paint Him in the best light. For example, the Archangel Michael himself assisted in the creation of Jesus by raping Mary, and commited genocide against the first-born of Egypt, all on God's orders. You can probably tell that Ennis isnt crazy about Christianity.
- God in The Chronicles of Wormwood (by ...you guessed it, Garth Ennis) is another example, as He's apparently insane or severely mentally deficient. Also of note: This version of God seems to really, really, really love masturbating (something of a Running Gag in Ennis' works).
- Cerebus the Aardvark crossed the line into First And Ten Syndrome when its author began proposing such theories through the mouth of his barbarian-turned-intellectual main character. To be more precise (and yet dumb down the theories), Sim's argument isn't that God is evil, it's that the YHWH of the Old Testament and God are two separate entities, and the conflict between them stems from the YHWH having a massive inferiority complex.
- In Warren Ellis's comic The Authority, the main superhero team actually fight "God," which turns out to be a gigantic pyramid-like entity which created the Earth as a "retirement home" (unfortunately, its home environment looks like Mordor crossed with a Xenomorph hive) and is bugged when it returns to find humanity has since evolved (life on Earth was a total accident caused by a random meteor strike billions of years ago) and intends to keep on living there. They end up frying its brains out, assuring the civilization of sentient intestinal parasites living in it that only the higher brain functions will be affected, letting them survive. Unusual for this trope, this alien "God" has nothing to do with humans, just with planet Earth itself.
- In Ghost Rider, and thus the Marvel Universe as a whole, the evil angel Zadkiel finally succeeded in his violent coup to seize the throne of Heaven. The horrors of a Heaven run by Zadkiel are so great that many who are in the know would sooner kill themselves and take their chances in Hell.
- The Doom Patrol once battled Red Jack, a sadistic and utterly psychotic Humanoid Abomination who claimed to be both the Supreme God and Jack the Ripper. Although as he/it/whatever was clearly batshit crazy neither of these were necessarily true.
- The premise of the post-Rapture graphic novel Therefore, Repent!.
- Eppy Thatcher from Grendel subscribes to this trope, and has "God hates me" as his Catch-Phrase. Then again, this is a guy who's so messed up that he believes he killed God at the end of his run as Grendel.
- Darkseid of the New Gods is the "God of Evil" and revels in it. He runs a hellish planet dedicated to this with all his lieutenants being other evil gods.
- And by Final Crisis, when he's the only New God left, he gives us this little gem (as well as ample proof of statement):
- Loki of The Mighty Thor is often called and self-titled the "god of evil." Other gods or godlike beings from the Marvel Universe are very much about evil including Seth and the elder god Chthon. However, the actual highest being of the Marvel Universe is almost certainly benevolent, and is usually referred to as The-One-Above-All, though it's debatable if he's ever actually been seen (though an entity that may or may not have been Him bore a striking similarity to Jack Kirby). His higher subordinates (whom all three of the above characters would be like dust mites to) have been known to drift into Jerkass Lawful Neutral on occasion, though.
- The times when Thanos of Titan has acquired omnipotence (Heart of the Universe, Infinity Gauntlet, the Cosmic Cube) the situation is similar to this. "How can you cope with a universe where God is truly mad."
- Ironically, the Thor villain Gorr the God-Butcher both believes this, being a Hollywood Atheist with a Trauma Conga Line background, and is this, as he's empowered by an uber-divine god-killing weapon that he uses to take Rage Against the Heavens to the level of hunting down, torturing and murdering every god he can find.
- In Spawn, God and Satan are portrayed as, though not exactly "evil," essentially the cosmic equivalent of spoiled teenagers who enjoy breaking each other's stuff. It's the fact that this includes us that causes this to become a problem. Oh, and He's not actually the Creator.
- There was an arc of The Spectre that featured God apparently going completely insane and cannibalizing the Archangel Michael in a scene right out of a Goya painting. However, it's eventually revealed that a). God Is Good, b). Michael was in on it, and c). the entire thing was a Secret Test of Character for the Spectre.
- In the "World's End" storyline in The Sandman, one of the nested stories is a take on Prez: First Teenage President. In this version when Prez Rickard dies, Death takes him to meet the Prince of the World (although she says he didn't create the world, he just "runs the local franchise"). Prez is horrified to discover this is Boss Smiley, the corrupt politician he's been fighting against his whole career. Instead of taking his place at Smiley's right hand, he goes off to find other Americas with Morpheus.
- Clive Barker's Next Testament has Wick, the Father of Colors. He's petty, he seeps the life force out of people, levitates them and let's them plummet to their death, makes their heads explode, forces them to build monuments in his honor and ultimately decides to Kill 'em All. Also, he fucking hates free will.
- O'ne the Creator in The Great Power of Chninkel. The Almighty Creator is willing to annihilate an entire planet and its life but not willing to just kill the three warring immortals Itself. O'ne actually does kill almost all life (save a few tawals living underground) by raining fire on the planet's surface. The reason? The heretic king N'om called It out on Its dickery and how everything was a conspiracy to make everyone worship It for all eternity. Though at the very least he kept his promise not to destroy Darr.
- Nameless by Grant Morrison: An Eldritch Abomination Made of Evil imprisoned on an asteroid is directly responsible for the very concept of God in the human psyche.
- Red Sonja - Wrath of the Gods depicts Odin from Norse Mythology at its most villainous, being a genocidal tyrant out to exterminate a pacifist tribe out of pure racism and intends to reassert Norse Pantheon dominance over Hyboria once more. Loki serves him as The Dragon and they were both responsible for slaughtering Thor's human family after hearing of a prophecy that he would one day dethrone him. And as if that wasn't bad enough, he is also a Dirty Old Man that tries to claim Sonja as his own.
- Windfall and Twister have something of a heart to heart in an issue of Suicide Squad.
Windfall: Excuse me—you're a nun, right?Twister: Oh yes. Sister Mary Ignatius. They used to call me Twister. And you're Windfall. We're going to do God's work together.Windfall: Do you mind if I ask you a question about God, Sister?Twister: Of course not, child!Windfall: Why—why does God hate me?Twister: Oh, Windfall! God doesn't hate just you! God hates everybody.Windfall: ... What?!Twister: Well, look at me! Look at you! Look at the state of the world! Do you see the loving hand of a kindly God or somebody's idea of a sick joke? Don't take it personally.
- Titan from The Immortal Game. Imagine O'Brien from Nineteen Eighty-Four with the powers of an elder god. And his wife/daughter Terra is almost as bad.
- Notch in Yognapped is a petty Jerkass who murdered his fellow gods — his brother and sister, no less — and covered it up from the people of Minecraftia, rubs shoulders with a constantly smiling, sociopathic demigod, and uses his holy Amazon Brigade to hunt down anyone who knows how bad he is. He has his reasons, though.
- The Games We Play: Malkuth might not actually be omnipotent or omniscient, but he's close enough to it that there's little practical difference as far as the Huntsman on the ground is concerned... and unfortunately for all, he's a massive dick. The massive dick, in fact, being the creator of the Grimm and all.
- This story, in which an Israelite soldier sees what he and his people are doing to God's enemies, and strives to put an end to it.
- The Shape of the Nightmare to Come, a Warhammer 40,000 fic, has a particularly horrifying take on the "Star Child" theory: the Astronomicon fails and the Emperor dies, causing his immensely powerful soul to go into the Warp and become the so-called Star Father, a Chaos God. Of Order. The Star Father is so ridiculously powerful that with his birth it took the combined efforts of the other four Chaos Gods just to stop him from crushing them all outright, and he has a vast army of Angyls with the ascended head of the Grey Knights, Kaldor Draigo at its head. Also, his Catch-Phrase: "OBEY!!"
- The Devil's Advocate (though, as given by Satan):
"Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it: he gives man INSTINCTS. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does he do - I swear, for his own amusement, his own private cosmic gag reel - he sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all-time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste! Taste; don't swallow. And while you're jumping from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughing his SICK, FUCKING ASS OFF! He's a tight ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? Never!"
- Quoted from Riddick in Pitch Black when questioned about his belief in God;
"Think someone could spend half their life in a slam with a horse bit in their mouth and not believe? Think he could start out in some liquor-store trash bin with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and not believe? Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... And I absolutely hate the fucker."
- In the 2010 film, Legion, God comes to the conclusion that the human race is no longer worthy of Him, and decides to end their existence. Archangel Michael fights the angelic army, and tells Archangel Gabriel that he (Michael) did what God needed, not what God wanted, thus giving humanity another chance. The weird thing about that is that the baby the pregnant woman is carrying is implied (if not outright stated) to be the second coming of Christ. Who is God. Who is trying to end the world. By stopping himself from being born and saving the world...
- The Black Comedy A Serious Man implies that God may be malicious and/or utterly incomprehensible.
- In Fight Club the narrator and Tyler Durden discuss this when Tyler tries to 'enlighten' the narrator by means of burning his hand with lye.
Tyler Durden: Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God?Narrator: No, no, I... don't...Tyler Durden: Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, He hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen.Narrator: It isn't?Tyler Durden: We don't need Him!
- God On Trial features a group of prisoners at Auschwitz putting God on trial for a breach of covenant. While several of the Jews defend God until literally their end, at least some of the prisoners come to the conclusion that God is evil. The final monologue features one prisoner listing out the crimes God has committed, and forcing the Jews to think of the victims of God's wrath as people rather than just characters in a story, by comparing their slaughter to what is happening to them. Surprisingly the movie was written by a Catholic, in a very impressive case of Devil's Advocate.
- They eventually conclude, God has indeed broken his own covenant, and formed a new one with the Nazis. The one prisoner who testifies is filled with dread at that revelation, not just because they've been forsaken, but he knows God will soon abandon the Nazis as well. The cycle of human suffering and misery will go on endlessly.
- The Devil's Carnival implies and The Devil's Carnival: Alleluia! outright depicts their version of God as being petty, lustful, and wrathful, and with Heaven as his seemingly-cheerful personal dictatorship. He even sings about causing one of the worst dust storms in U.S. history. The Devil and his Carnival are only little better...maybe.
- Played with in The LEGO Movie: "The Man Upstairs", who is revered as a god among the Master Builders, is actually the father of Finn, the child who played with his dad's Legos against his constant instructions to leave them be so he can keep all of his Lego sets seperate. In the story that Finn weaves, he bases the villain Lord Business on his father. Thankfully, "The Man Upstairs", and by extension Lord Business, has a change of heart and decides to let Finn build whatever he likes with his Legos.
- The Rapture: Sharon comes to believe this. The film indicates otherwise though, since not only believers but atheists get a chance to enter heaven if they simply accept God. Sharon is only left out by her own choice.
- The rather demented twist ending to Urge reveals that the "designer drug" that is causing everyone to go insane and kill each other and themselves was created and distributed by God... played by Pierce Brosnan.
- The Architect in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions: Not only is he named "The Architect" (the name that Freemasons use for God), he sits in a throne, watching everything that happens in his realm and is an old man with a white beard and a deep voice. Clearly an allusion. He's also incapable of empathy (he creates the program Oracle for that) and feels no love at all for the humans. His sole purpose is to facilitate the proper functioning of the Matrix by manipulating the Resistance indirectly. He might not be the creator of the humans or the universe outside the Matrix, but is a very similar concept of God that certain religions have like the Demiurge in Gnosticism or the role of Brahma in Buddhism (Buddhist and Gnostic themes are prevalent in the films).
- Manhunter: Lektor insists this is the case, along with A God Am I.
Lektor: Did you really feel depressed after you shot Mr. Garrett Jacob Hobbes to death? I think you probably did. But it wasn't the act that got to you. Didn't you feel so bad, because killing him felt so good? And why shouldn't it feel good? It must feel good to God. He does it all the time. God's terrific! He dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshipers in Texas last Wednesday night, just as they were groveling through a hymn to his majesty. Don't you think that felt good?Will: Why does it feel good, Dr. Lektor?Lektor: It feels good because God has power. If one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is. God's a champ. He always stays ahead. He got 140 Filipinos in one plane crash last year. Remember that earthquake in Italy last spring?
- The Voorman Problem: Voorman, a crazed prison inmate interviewed by psychiatrist Dr. Williams, turns out to actually be God. He tells Williams that wars amuse him. At the end he switches places with Williams, leaving to have sex with Williams's wife while Williams is locked in prison. Oh, and he literally wipes Belgium off the map.
- Author Philip K. Dick used this at least twice, in the short story "Faith of Our Fathers" and the novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
- In El Conquistador there are many of this evil gods. Huitzilopotchli is maybe the more omnipresent god of sacrifices in the Aztec empire, but also Jehová, Jesus and all his family and prophets are depicted that way.
- In The Gadfly the protagonist, Arthur, a discouraged Christian turned atheist, is arrested for smuggling weapons into Italy for a revolution. Before his execution, a cardinal named Montanelli visits him, who happens to be his childhood mentor and the man he once revered. Arthur proposes to reconcile with Montanelli if he abandons Christianity and helps Arthur escape from prison. Montanelli chooses his faith over Arthur and the next morning, when Arthur is executed, he lays in Montanelli's arms and remarks how his death was like a sacrifice to the Christian God.
- The His Dark Materials trilogy takes this route at first, but it's eventually revealed that "the Authority" is just a feeble, senile old man who has been usurped by a more malevolent foe, and he's not even really the creator of the universe anyway, making it closer to Gnosticism.
- The novel The Jehovah Contract portray both God and Satan as bratty, spoiled sibling rivals, while the Mother Goddess is portrayed as the real Creator who now has to win Her own creation back.
- Steven Brust's novel To Reign in Hell doesn't have God as being necessarily evil as much as a bit thick and egotistical. Of course, that same novel has Satan as an indecisive schlep until it's too late. The whole split between them seems to be an easily-avoidable mistake.
- In Dean Koontz's earlier works, God Is Evil or at least God is Insane, as seen in Fear That Man and A Darkness in My Soul. In Dragon Tears, the villain seeks to become the New God and his plans for the world are also as horrific as this trope can imagine.
- Harlan Ellison® addressed this in a few of his short stories:
- I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream features the computer AM with a severe God complex. Originally named the Allied Mastercomputer, subsequently renamed Aggressive Menace when it developed intelligence, it killed almost the entire population of Earth. It then used its near omnipotence and omniscience to give the five surviving humans immortality, so that it may continue to physically and psychologically torture them indefinitely.
- In "Hitler Painted Roses," God, (or, at least the Godhead that appears) is concerned only with maintaining the status quo of Heaven, and thus refuses to let a wrongly damned soul free herself from Hell.
- "The Death Bird" portrays the "Satan" character as a misunderstood savior and "God" as a malevolent alien bent on control. The main character, a reincarnation of Adam, is revived and sent to defeat "God" in order to bring Earth to an end and achieve rest for himself and humanity.
- Lester del Rey's short story "For I Am a Jealous People" has God's Chosen Aliens doing unto Earth what God's Chosen People used to do to other humans.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Job: A Comedy of Justice (inspired by the Biblical book of the same name, see below), both God and Satan are revealed to be equal players in a much greater game, several ranks below the true Supreme Being, and God is the jerk of the two, who insists on worship and relies upon inconsistent and unkind rules to rein in his creations.
- The Bartleby Tales series (NSFW, registration required) has this as its main trope: God is actually everything the most stereotypical religious zealots preach him to be, and even tossing his own Son in Hell for preaching the complete opposite of what he intended. Likewise, Satan's a lot more altruistic, using a loophole in his contract as Lord of Hell to change the first two circles into the closest he could come to what Heaven should be (though appropriately twisted; this is Hell, after all). Eventually, it starts its own Rage Against the Heavens subplot, though it's yet to actually delve into it.
- Part of the backstory of Clive Barker's novel Imajica is that ages ago, the one, singular male god named "Hapexamendios" defeated all the various separate minor female goddesses and became the God of all realms. Hapexamendios has been trying to bring about "The Reconciliation" which will reconnect Earth to the other four "Dominions" which will then allow him to destroy them all.
- William Blake, beginning with his The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell and elaborated in his poem about Milton, turned the tables to posit that mistakes are innocent and perfection is villainous. C.S.Lewis actually wrote a response to Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell called The Great Divorce, in which denizens of Hell actually always have the chance to go to Heaven, but very few of them want to stay there — the nature of an evil person is such that the damned, each for a different reason of his own, find the perfection of Heaven repugnant. Those who do decide to stay find in retrospect that Hell, for them, was merely Purgatory.
- William Blake was a bit of an odd one. While he was devoutly religious, he hated the authority and moral dictates of church. His mythopoeiaic character Urizen strongly resembles the traditional Demiurge (Blake was heavily influenced by Gnosticism), and is often used to represent the oppressive God of the Church. It's no surprise Philip Pullman cites Blake as one of his biggest influences.
- In Charles Stross's Singularity Sky series, there is a God-like entity called the Eschaton, which spread humanity over three thousand years of space and responds to any attempts at Time Travel by almost completely destroying the offending planet. Slightly subverted, however, because the Eschaton specifically states that it is not God. Also, the Eschaton is not evil - it acts only from self-preservation (ensuring that the timeline leading to its own creation takes place correctly), not from sadism. This doesn't stop some people in-Universe from seeing it as evil, but they tend to the villains in-story.
- In Nick Perumov's Keeper Of The Swords series of books, the local Crystal Dragon Jesus, called "The Saviour", is evil. And, he is depicted very similar to the actual Jesus. Creepy.
- In Alan Campbell's Deepgate Codex, the local god, Ulcis, is raising a zombie army made out of the corpses of his worshipers to take over the world, so he can (personally) eat everyone.
- Stephen King's:
"You said 'God is cruel' the way a person who's lived his whole life on Tahiti might say 'Snow is cold.' You knew, but you didn't understand. Do you know how cruel your God can be, David? How fantastically cruel? Sometimes he makes us live."
- Desperation, God is not exactly evil, but very cruel. He sends David Carver, an eleven-year-old boy against the Big Bad; his family is killed one by one; when he wishes to die, and the Big Bad needs to be defeated with a suicidal mission, God sends somebody else, who says to David:
- The Stand also has some elements of this near the end, with many protagonists' deaths being likened to sacrifices to God so He'll personally interfere with Randall Flagg's plans (in a way that kills virtually all his "followers", including children whose only fault was being with adults who went to Flagg's side). One character gets so fed up with this that she cusses out God when she hears that her Love Interest has a divine mandate to go on what is likely a suicide mission to stop Flagg.
- God himself doesn't put in an appearance in the Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett collaboration Good Omens, but the forces of heaven do. They aren't evil, precisely, but rather indifferent to human suffering in the face of carrying out the Divine Plan. One of the cases where God Is Evil does not necessitate Satan Is Good; the demons mostly aren't terribly sympathetic either.
- In Karen Miller's Godspeaker Trilogy, the God of the Mijaki is portrayed in this way. Except it's actually a dark power that they believe to be a god.
- Uniquely subverted by Larry Niven in Known Space with the Kzinti, in that radical heretics among them had come to believe that God is exactly what the human race believes Him to be ... and hence, is on our side, rather than theirs, in the Man/Kzin Wars. Their "religion" consists of wearing masks of human skin and aping human prayers, in hopes that the Kzin-hating Deity will mistake them for humans and hence show them mercy.
- Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, one of the great classics of science fiction, paints a portrait of God, or as he's referred to in the book the "Star Maker," who creates universes more out of a sense of aesthetics than anything else. Once he's done with one, he'll discard it and move on to another (no Heaven here, folks). The book gives fleeting descriptions of the final, perfect universe that will perfectly fulfill the Star Maker; even (or especially) in this universe, there will be beings who exist in a perfect state of eternal suffering and horror, without which the universe as a whole could not be perfect. Ugh.
- God in Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil. Maybe. We only have what Memnoch showed Lestat to go on.
- In Unseen Academicals, Lord Vetinari subscribes to this school of thought.
Lord Vetinari: If there is any kind of supreme being, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
- K.J Parker: The Scavenger Trilogy- If you have to pray, pray the god Poldarn isn't real. You don't want his special salvation.
- This is a staple of many of weird fiction author Thomas Ligotti's stories, especially "Nethescurial", "The Tsalal","The Shadow, The Darkness", and the Great Black Swine from My Work Is Not Yet Done. "The Sect of the Idiot" actually opens with a quote regarding Azathoth (see above).note
- In Catch-22, Yossarian's rant against God starts out as God Is Inept and goes to God Is Evil:
"And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways," Yossarian continued. ..."There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?"
- Mark Twain:
- The Mysterious Stranger features Satan, the sinless nephew of that Satan, delivering a speech stating that reality is a dream, because a world where God does such evil things and is still worshiped as good is clearly the nonsensical creation of an unconscious mind. Part of this speech can be found in the Quotes section of this very page.
- Letters From The Earth, which depicts God as a megalomaniacal hypocrite who, among other things, not only punishes sinners for minor offenses, but also innocents simply because they were part of the same civilization as the sinners. All of this is narrated by Satan, who was thrown out of Heaven for asking too many questions about the contradictions of God's law.
- There are two Gods in Letters From the Earth. God - Real God - is mostly unconcerned with humanity and thinks of them all as an amusing experiment. He is short with Satan for Satan mouthing off and has a temper. However, Real God is not evil. Satan writes about the Biblical God as a totem invented by small tribe of men - and describes Him as one depraved monster.
- In Matthew Stover's Jericho Moon, the Hebrews are portrayed as having made a Deal with the Devil with Yahweh. In fact Joshua tells one of his followers that his job, and Moses' before him, is to protect their people from the wrath of Yahweh and that's the only reason they enforce obedience to Him. However if God Is Evil, Goddess is apparently Good.
- The perceived viewpoint of Jesus and God within The Other Light faction in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come, who believes that God Is Evil because He won't let "naturals" in the Millennial Kingdom live past 100 years of age as unbelievers, and end up passing their teachings to the next generation of converts so that the generations that does get to confront God and Jesus at the end of the Millennium will be "assured victory" when Satan is released. Unfortunately for them, it didn't go as they hoped.
- H.P. Lovecraft's mythos draws most of its horror from this trope. There is no benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God shepherding humanity. Instead, humanity exists on a bubble of foam in an endless cosmic ocean of darkness, surrounded by predators so horrific, that their appearance alone drives their prey insane. The gods who rule this cold, hostile universe are omniscient and omnipotent. But their scale and their knowledge make them utterly alien and impersonal. The greatest of them barely notices humanity at all. As for the ones who do take an interest...
- The actual creator of the Universe, Azatoth, is not even sentient, and is refered to as the Blind Idiot God, and exists as a formless mass of chaos outside reality.
- Nyarlathotep, the "Crawling Chaos", is the closest to what humans would understand as a divine being. Unfortunately, he's more of a sadistic, malevolent Trickster God than anything else, and has some nebulous purpose for humanity.
- Finally, there's Yog-Sothoth, who even the Old Ones view as a God (he is also the "grandfather of Cthulhu), and, like God's, has spawned hybrid offspring on Earth with human worshippers.
- Eloat in Storm Constantine's Burying the Shadow is an alternate-world interpretation of God that has gone power mad and refuses to give up power to his heir Sammael.
- Paul Kidd's Greyhawk trilogy ends with Queen Of The Demonweb Pits, in which two characters convince the rest that all the gods are, at best, really morally dubious. It is obvious that gods like Lolth (whom they spend most of the book working on killing) are evil, supposedly good gods like Thoth are proven to be right bastards as well, since Thoth enslaves the souls of his worshipers to operate his temple, library, and farms, intentionally mind-wiping them and keeping them ignorant so they don't think if rebelling.
- In Ted Chiangs story "Hell Is The Absence of God" God isn't evil so much as operating on Blue and Orange Morality. His angels dispence curses and blessings without apparent rhyme or reason or for that matter any apparent awareness that their passage through the terrestrial plane causes such things and He sends a person to Hell (which actually isn't such a bad place for most of its inhabitants) after guaranteeing that person will love Him unconditionally and want nothing more than to be in His presence.
- In Jericho Moon Yaweh is portrayed to be a life-hating entity who enslaves the Hebrews and drives them to to the genocide of other peoples for reasons known only to him.
- In Victor Koman's Jehovah Contract and exploration of the nature of God, Goddess and the Devil through the eyes of a man hired to kill God by the Devil both of them are shown as equally negative.
- In Sandman Slim God is portrayed not somuch as evil as absentee. His angels on the other hand are elitist dicks.
- A variation occurs in Lands of Ice and Mice. The Manupataq religion believes that Jesus Christ is actually the bringer of plagues. They do actually use crosses to mark villages that are under quarantine.
- The protagonist of Joe Hill's Horns concludes that the reason why God allowed his ex-girlfriend to be raped and killed is because he is actually not very fond of humans, and detests women in particular, because they, like him, can create life and also because they can redefine love as they see fit. He also compares him to a gangster, only offering his protection in exchange for blind faith and worship.
- The Northern Church in Wise Phuul believes in a malign monotheistic Creator God. They conclude that God must be fought at every opportunity.
- The White Queen in The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign. She's seen as all-powerful and benevolent, but only the former is true. She's actually an incredible Yandere for Kyousuke, the main character, and doesn't care for anyone else. Unlike other examples of this trope, she doesn't hate humanity... but she's willing to do anything to make Kyousuke love her again, including endangering the entire world, so there's effectively no difference.
- Arthur C. Clarke's short story The Star implies this. The protagonists investigate a supernova remnant, where they find a tiny planet with the ruins of a civilization that got destroyed when their sun went supernova. As they investigate the age of the supernova, they find out that it's the Bethlehem Star.
- The Spiral Dance makes an interesting case for the Abrahamic god being a jerk.
- The Confessions makes the case that as contradictory as this trope it is, it applies to The Aeneid. St. Augustine's hatred for the education system in part stemmed from having to endlessly memorize the works of Classical Mythology, where Jupiter somehow ruled as the god of justice and cheated on his wife every week. Calling such a villain divine is self-contradictory and serves as a sign that the Greek myths are fictions made by men hoping to give a godly excuse for their evils.
- On the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, the One God not only allows its worshipers to go on genocidal rampages, but it actually appears to take actions to prompt individuals to carry out actions that will ensure the perpetual cycle of human/Cylon conflict. The Messenger beings that supposedly represent it appear to specific people to make sure certain things happen. Most notably, one of the Messengers guides Zoe Graystone in creating the software needed to create artificial intelligence, which will later make the Cylons of the Twelve Colonies sentient.
- Game of Thrones: Davos accuses the Lord of Light of being evil when he lashes out at Melisandre. Assuming that her acts (including human sacrifices) are something that the Lord approves of, he may be right.
- God is a cruel, capricious being who is subjecting the protagonists (not to mention the rest of the world) to pain, horror and bad writing for his own sadistic entertainment. He said so himself.
- Due to the Season 6 finale, Castiel also falls into this category, since a combination of well-intentioned extremism and phenomenal cosmic power seems to have made him more than a little prideful/nuts. Though in season 7 it turned out that this was at least partly due to The Corruption, and by the time he truly goes off the deep end he's fallen victim to a full-blown Demonic Possession.
- The season 10 finale introduces the Darkness, "a horribly destructive amoral force" that existed before God and would later act as The Corruption on Lucifer himself, possibly reducing the blame on God as it means evil was not his creation.
- Dewey in Malcolm in the Middle suggests that God is merely indifferent instead of outright evil. He even suggests that people should enjoy themselves and stop fighting over trivial things such as religion, since it hardly matters when God can simply whip out a magnifying glass at anytime?!
- On Hannibal, this is Lecter's view: "Killing must feel good to God too-he does it all the time."
- Later, he speculates whether, if God exists, his killing people could actually be called "good" or "evil".
- In "Ko No Mono" Hannibal also states that his own "modest actions" pale in comparison with God's.
- Discussed once again in "Tome-Wan", where Hannibal speculates that to God innocence is offensive, thereby explaining the suffering of innocents.
- Hand of God: Pernell rants that God is malicious and sadistic after PJ doesn't come out of his coma.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The First Evil is older than the universe as exists since before the Big Bang. This is the reason why creepy serial murderer priest Caleb considers it to be God.
- In "How Do You Do?" Shakira has an honest conversation with God about His cruelties. However, she forgives Him.
- This trope, when applied to the Big Guy Himself, is a main source of Religion Rant Songs of the Type 1 variety.
- Pretty much the entirety of Gary Numan's musical catalogue from the album "Sacrifice" onwards (1994-) has dealt with his own image of God's cruelty, His servants' horrid actions and the barren, dead wasteland that is heaven.
- Depeche Mode did not want to start any blasphemous rumours, but they think that God has a sick sense of humour (and when they die, they expect to find him... laughing).
- The song "Father, You're Not a Father" by the Death Metal band Immolation is about God being a rapist and a betrayer of men.
- God in Fireaxe's four hour epic "Food for the Gods" depicts how his influence on the world creates numerous wars and atrocities which culminates with Satan leading the demons of hell (and humans who were condemned there) to storming and destroying heaven. There Satan puts it best when Jesus proclaims how he suffered for Humanity's sins.
You may have suffered for the sins of man, but I have suffered for the sins of God.
- As might be surmised from the name, every other song by Death Metal band Deicide deals with how much they hate God. It is somewhat unclear whether they believe God exists or not.
- Alice in Chains was responsible for the song "God Am," in which lead singer Layne Staley vents about how much God has abandoned him. Staley was once reported to have said of God, "I didn't make me. I would've done a better job." There's also a line in the Alice in Chains song "Man In The Box" that says, "Jesus Christ (Deny Your Maker)." The first couple lines being "I'm the man in the box, buried in my shit, won't you come and save me". Apparently someone crying out to God and their cries are met with silence?
- The song "War is my Destiny" by rapper Ill Bill implies that the Devil (not that one — when the War in Heaven ended, the Fallen Angels dethroned Satan and crowned a new leader in his place) convinced humanity that he was God and proceeded to make their lives miserable. Whenever God sent prophets to save the people (yes, there were multiple messiahs), the fallen angels hunted them down and burned them. Eventually God unleashed the Flood and destroyed the kingdoms of the fallen. After the flood, the Devil allowed the prophets to live, only so he could twist the word of God and humanity would worship him once again, thinking they were worshipping God. Basically what it boils down to is that while God Is Good, the guy that everyone thinks is God is very, very evil.
- "Smithereens" by rapper El-P features the line "Why should I be sober when God is so clearly dusted out his mind?/With cherubs puffin' a bundle, trying to remember why he even tried"
- Sage Francis has a song called "Sun vs Moon", where he sings "God's not a woman/He's a big white guy in the sky/In the desert, saw reflections of his eyes/He doesn't cry for us/But when he does, it's cause he's drunk."
- XTC's "Dear God" from Skylarking: "Did you make disease...", "You're always letting us humans down/The wars you bring, the babes you drown..."
- IAMX's I Salute You Christopher - which is dedicated to Christopher Hitchens - "Control yourselves,/ 'cause the man in the sky is a tyrant and a lonely psychopath/ Dreamed up to steal your minds."
- "Remnant (March of the Undead IV)" by Machinae Supremacy uses a Zombie Apocalypse as a metaphor to criticize religious followers who insist that God is benevolent despite doing nothing to keep horrible things from happening. The song even implies that God enjoys watching the destruction he causes through inaction.
- "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)" by Randy Newman has several verses sung from God's perspective which show him to be quite cruel toward humans. As is typical with Newman songs though, it's not entirely clear how serious he's being (since Newman is a "devout atheist" it's possibly serious). God in the song seemingly despises humanity ("I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee/From the squalor and the filth and the misery"), and likes that living in these conditions makes people turn to him.
I burn down your cities-how blind you must be
I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
You all must be crazy to put your faith in me
That's why I love mankind
You really need me
That's why I love mankind
- Extremely common in Black Metal songs. Deathspell Omega in particular has basically made a career of this (though it should be noted that this does not mean they think Satan Is Good). Some black metal groups go even further - straight into Refuge in Audacity territory - by portraying God as weak and pathetic, and writing songs about humiliating Him.
- The Dragonland Chronicles storyline by power metal band Dragonland details how "The Gods" pit the Armies of the Light (Humans, Elves and Dwarves) against the Hordes of the Night (Orcs, Goblins and Trolls) in a semi-apocalyptic battle once every century for entertainment; if the Light Side wins, the Hordes of the Night are driven back to whatever unholy place they crawled out of and peace endures until the next Battle of the Ivory Plains. If the Dark Side wins, Dragonland is plunged into a century of darkness and pestilence. One century after the triumph of the Dark Side, a hero emerges to defeat the Hordes of the Night decisively, ascends to the Heavens to slay The Gods who have been driven mad with power, and proceeds to become "one with the universe", achieving apotheosis and becoming the new, benevolent God of known existence.
- A frequent theme in progressive sludge metal group The Ocean's lyrics. They even dedicated two albums to tearing down Christianity. Just look at some of their lyrics:
"A world with God would be even more disturbing than a universe without himFor if He tolerates atrocitiesIf he condones such crueltyWho would want to worship such a maker anyway?"Roots & Locusts
- Several theological and philosophical concepts involve a belief in an evil, incompetent or indifferent God:
- Maltheism (from mal, meaning bad/sickness and theism meaning theism) is the belief that a God or Gods exist, but they are malevolent or incompetent. Few religions have a wholly maltheistic view of the world, though several include maltheistic strands - for example, gods of evil, such as Ate (the Goddess of Evil, Folly, and Destruction) in Hellenistic mythology. Abrahamic belief in the Devil can be seen as a variant - although the exact nature (or even his existence) of the devil is not universally agreed on in Abrahamic theology, he is often construed as a supernatural agency with malicious intentions for humans. A related concept is Hypothetical Maltheism, used as a criticism of religion by agnostics and atheists, which holds that, if God exists, he would be unworthy of worship due to the Problem of Evil (which asks how and why a benevolent, omnipotent God even allows evil to exist) and the Problem of Hell (which addresses Hell and questions the justice and necessity of eternal torment as punishment for the sins of a single mortal lifetime). Unsurprisingly, several religious responses exist to such a line of thought.
- Misotheism ("hatred of Gods") is a related concept to Maltheism, but is more active in its meaning — rather than mere belief in a malevolent God, misotheism is an outright hatred of said God, regardless of its actual nature (i.e. it can be that God Is Good, and yet is hated by a particular person despite or even because of said goodness). Older Than Feudalism, maltheistic positions and characters appear in Icelandic sagas and in some Hellenistic sagas. It is distinct from maltheism in the sense that, whilst maltheism is the position that God is unworthy of worship, misotheism is active hatred for God. Frequently leads to Hollywood atheism. Several Norse saga characters, e.g. Hrafnkell on Hrafnkell's saga were called goðlauss (godless) because of their disdain of the Norse deities and rather relying on themselves.
The Punisher: There are times I'd like to get my hands on God.
- Dystheism ("ungodly") is the belief that God is not wholly good, and possibly (though not necessarily) evil. It differs from maltheism in that it draws no conclusions about whether said God is worthy of worship - a maltheist is always a dystheist but a dystheist is not always a maltheist. Many ancient religions were dystheistic in nature-Hellenistic and Norse mythology, with jealous Gods who interfere in mortal affairs (and mortal bedrooms) but who still demanded respect and sacrifice being the best-known examples. Since World War II, more specifically the Holocaust, some Jewish theologians have proposed a dystheistic approach to God. Compare Deism.
- Gnosticism holds that the God of the material universe, a being that the Gnostics call the Demiurge, is a petty, self-centered tyrant who believes himself to be the absolute God, when he's in fact the creation of a greater (and more benevolent) being known as Sophia, who is herself a wayward angelic servant of the true God of the spiritual universe. Of course, opinions differ somewhat on whether the Demiurge *really* qualifies for this or The Devil Is a Loser, and whether he can be qualified as truly malicious rather than just really, really misguided and really, really, really stupid.
- Luciferianism holds very similar believes to Gnosticism; Basically Luciferians think that Lucifer is the true God of Light, the bringer of Wisdom (Light) and pure spirituality, and superior to the evil and materialistic god Yaveh who is only another deity, or sometimes even inferior to Lucifer like the Gnostic Demiurge. In some versions both the Serpent in the Garden of Evil is Lucifer bringing knowledge to Humanity to spite Yaveh, and Jesus himself if actually Lucifer in disguise or Lucifer's son also trying to bring down the Demiurge's religion. Is essentially Gnosticism but with a more active and less abstract "God of Light".
- There is a particular branch of Satanism (which in most variants has little to nothing to do with THAT Satan despite stereotypes) known as Theistic Satanism which takes this view in regard to the Adam & Eve story. The interpretation here is that God deliberately forbade eating from the Tree of Knowledge to keep humanity blinded, ignorant, and subservient, while the serpent freed them from this and thus gave humans the capacity for knowledge, learning, science, higher thought and true sentience. Of course, the cost of humanity's higher knowledge (and morality, sentience, deeper consciousness, complex thought processes, science and technology, and all the other baggage that comes with it) may or may not have been worth it.
- Rene Descartes' conceptual Evil Genius counts, given that Descartes questioned whether he was responsible for creating the world and all its strange drudgery as an illusory plane of existence with the sole purpose of deluding people like him. He then argued that God is good based on first principles to dismiss this possibility, though not everyone buys his argument, naturally.
- There's a certain tribe in Africa who believe that their supreme god created humanity because he was bored and wanted something to torture. There's good news, though: you can rebel against him, and in fact it is the right and duty of every human to do so.
- Maybe not evil per se but clearly misguided according to some Buddhists; in Buddhist cosmology Brahma is the King of Devas and as such the most powerful being in the material Universe (Samsara) other than, of course, Boddhisatvas. Some believe that Brahma mistakenly thinks he is a Creator and is the inspiration of the monotheistic religions. Nevertheless, this may contradict certain Buddhists scriptures that say that Brahma actually accepted Buddha’s supremacy and teachings. Should be notice that Devas in Buddhist cosmology are very powerful beings often praise as gods by many cultures but in any case divine or eternal, just another life form like humans and animals.
- Practically every Dungeons & Dragons setting features evil deities, though most settings primarily have those evil deities in conflict with good deities. Some settings, on the other hand, only have evil gods. Although it's unclear if they're gods or not, the Dark Powers of Ravenloft are either out-and-out evil, or so inscrutable and/or indifferent to the innocents caught up in their playground that they might as well be.
- The concept of the game Midnight is fighting hopelessly against the Evil God Izrador who rules the world. However, Izrador is not the Creator, but merely the evil member of a pantheon exiled to the mortal world. The rest of his pantheon are definitely jerks for choosing the mortal world as Izrador's prison and locking everyone else in with him with no help, though.
It was never intended that mortals be locked up the way they are with Izrador. Izrador, being a god of chaos and corruption, screwed up the seal that locked him into the world. Instead of being a world where every being except Izrador could enter and leave at will (by normal Dungeons & Dragons standards), nobody is free to enter or leave, not even the other gods of the pantheon. Maybe the other gods should have seen something like that coming, but it's otherwise a bit harsh to call them jerks when they're actively prevented from doing anything in the world.
- Creation is also used as a prison for evil gods in Monte Cook's d20 setting Ptolus. At least there, the Chaos Gods are also sealed away in a pocket dimension contained within our larger universe, thus making mankind not involuntary fellow inmates but instead involuntary prison guards.
- God in White Wolf's Demon: The Fallen is made out to be a psychotically ungrateful megalomaniac. Then again, the entire point of that RPG is that Lucifer is a sympathetic protagonist. What the Demons say about God in that game comes from an obviously biased source. God's actual intentions and motivations are far more ambiguous in the game as a whole; the whole Reconciler faction of Demons believes that God must have been good after all, mysterious as His ways may seem... and Lucifer himself expresses doubts about his rebellion and a desperate desire to be reconciled with God at the end of the Time of Judgment game fiction.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- All WH40K gods are evil. In WH40K the only really relevant gods (as in, the ones controlling the endless hordes of ravenous daemons and who have the ability to spread their "blessings" liberally upon their mortal followers as opposed to simply being a generally ineffectual focus of worship) literally embody the worst parts of sentience.
- Disturbingly, the Gods of Chaos also embody positive qualities:
- Khorne is the embodiment of rage, so both berserkers and honorable warriors fall under his purview. Trying to gain favor with him by slaughtering the defenseless is not going to get you a lot of points.
- Slaanesh is desire incarnate, and while hedonists are the most represented among his followers, artists and musicians can follow him as well.
- The disease ridden Nurgle loves all life equally; a bacterium is loved as much as a veteran of fifty years.
- Then there is Tzeentch, a God of Manipulative Bastards...who is the Warhammer universe's God of Hope.
- The Gods of Chaos are entities created by the Warp, which is psychically connected to the minds of sentient species throughout the universe (not all of them, but several enough). The Warhammer universe is a Crapsack World at best, outright Dystopia at worst, a place of perpetual ultraviolent warfare and every second alien race is Always Chaotic Evil- even the three "good" factions (Imperium, Eldar and Tau) are each an unhealthy mixture of Absolute Xenophobe, Manipulative Bastard, Scary Dogmatic Aliens / Humans and Moral Myopia on an intergalactic scale, all perfectly willing to eradicate entire planets and races that get in their way (or just on principle). So, essentially, this is a cosmic case of Create Your Own Villain- the reason the Gods of Chaos are evil is because they are shaped by the emotions of the peoples of the universe at large, and the universe at large is Hell. In a nicer Warhammer verse, Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh might actually be somewhat benevolent- of course, since they arent, the universe is even worse that it normally would be, making this and its consequences a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy to boot.
- There is/was also Malal/Malice who is considered too dangerous even by Chaos Gods.
- Gork and Mork, who are slightly less bad. Slightly. Since they are Gods of Orks, it by default means strong homicidal tendencies. However, in fact they don't actually do much, save for protecting the souls of Orks in the Warp and occasionally butting heads with Chaos Gods. So from the Ork point of view, even by human standards they look almost benevolent. They're more active in Fantasy, and not nearly as nice there.
- The C'Tan? They're arguably not real gods (they're just hideously powerful Energy Beings with the power of gods, to whom the laws of physics aren't even guidelines), but they're active at the moment... and make the Chaos Gods look good by comparison. The Chaos Gods at least have positive traits even if they're, at the moment, almost totally overshadowed by vile evil. The C'Tan are a bunch of self-serving, duplicitous, genocidal bastards who want to wipe out all life in the galaxy because life energy tastes better than stars. Also, they reduced their entire race of worshipers into near-mindless
cyborgundead robotic slaves. There are four of them left: the Nightbringer, the personification of death who burned his image into the psyche of virtually all life (big exception: the Orks) as such and made life be afraid of death; the Deceiver, Chessmaster par excellence; the Outsider, currently batshit bonkers and locked away in a cosmic prison; and the Void Dragon, currently napping. Information on the Void Dragon is sketchy, but he is said to be the most powerful C'Tan of them all, is believed to have total control over machines of all sorts, lightning, and may be the Machine God worshipped by the Adeptus Mechanicus — conveniently assumed to be sleeping under Mars.
- The Deceiver in particular is one of the only entities so nasty that he's evil in both Canon Warhammer 40k and the fan-made Mirror Universe Brighthammer 40k. In the latter, he's known as the Soothsayer, and specializes in telling dangerous and harmful truths, and dispelling even the most harmless or beneficial lies.
- The Eldar used to have a nice, normal, stable pantheon with many nice gods. Guess which ones survived the Fall? Khaine the Bloody-Handed and Cegorach the God of Dirty Tricks.
- And Isha the god of fertility and love, who seems to be the only total avertion in the series. Of course, she's kind of busy being held prisoner and tortured by the Chaos God Nurgle, who is otherwise a rather Affably Evil god.
- What about the God-Emperor of Man? OK, he wasn't as bad as several of the above examples, but he regularly ordered Exterminantus of entire planets, including human planets that refused to join the Imperium on his terms or just weren't human enough, all in the name of reuniting the fragmented human empire and creating utopia. And of course, the fact that half the Primarchs fell to Chaos in the first place can be directly traced to his complete ineptitude at seeing them as anything but tools in his conquest of the galaxy. Did we mention that a thousand humans are sacrificed to him every day to keep him alive?
- Funnily enough, He actually knew about this trope and tried to fight it by banning any and all forms of religion. But since the Chaos gods are made of emotion, not faith, this backfired spectacularly.
- The more powerful Daemon Princes reach Physical God levels, making them this trope to their enemies (though they depend on their patron god not changing their mind if they're killed).
- While Warhammer Fantasy has the same Chaos gods, many of its other gods are much more benevolent, if a bit more subtle. They tend to act more by creating or empowering a champion to fight back chaos, most recently Voltan.
- Though the Fantasy version of Khaine has no redeeming qualities at all.
- In WHFB, the gods are not necessarily outright evil as in WH40K; they are much more subtle. Chaos deities, however, are completely immoral. Likewise, goodness does not equate niceness - The Empire professes all the decandent, fanatic, militaristic and intolerant ingredients of the historical Holy Roman Empire, while Bretonnia is a feodalistic hellhole. Even so, the world of Warhammer is a world half empty, and its deities reflect that.
- Even the Chaos Gods could be called misunderstood on a good day. Ever since his ascension, however, Nagash has become a god of death and has not a single ounce of goodness or morality in his undead bones.
- In the Gothic Horror/splatterpunk RPG KULT, the Demiurge / Creator put the curse of death on mankind, stripping away their immortality and most of their powers. Then, he disappeared, and Astaroth / Satan is looking for him, since the Demiurge is the only one who gave his life some sense. The devil is quite alone in this search - nobody else wants God to come back. It is also stated that God did NOT create the true world, and it's implied that it was a great place to live in until God came along and ruined it.
- In Exalted, all the major gods are addicted to the Games of Divinity. What the Games are is left up to the individual ST but it is known that they are incredibly addictive, with only the original makers of the world, the Primordials, immune. Thus a common Internet meme states "The Unconquered Sun is on Celestial Crack". Then again, so are Luna, the Five Maidens, several of the head divisions, many God-Blooded (children of major gods, minor Gods don't get access) and even anyone who has seen the Games of Divinity Form of the Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Style of Sidereal Martial Arts.
- In Scion, the PCs are the half-human offspring of various deities from (mostly) abandoned mythologies. While their divine parents have an aspect of all-too-human dickery about them (the game is quite faithful to how mythology originally presented them), only a couple of them are outright evil. The Abrahamic deity is not explicitly present, but the sole avatar of one of the evil Titanic Primordial Forces is a shining bearded guy who wants everything in existence to sacrifice their free will and be absolutely devoted to him. Scion Companion presents, as a possible antagonist, a group of people who are manipulating Fate to force all gods into an Abrahamic mold. It's heavily suggested that if they pulled it off, it would fit this trope.
- The Dark Eye at first glance has a "gods = good; demons = evil" divide. Apart from the Nameless God, who was a traitor to the good gods. Then you find out about some more obscure (demi)gods, particularly the bloodthirsty Kor, who is the patron of mercenaries and likes to get cut off fingers of slain foes as sacrifice. Of course the fact that some misguided people worship demons as gods doesn't mean anything. Until you get deeper into the ancient history/mythology and find out that at least some of the Archdemons that rule Hell used to be gods, and are only demons now because their number of worshippers diminished and they were supplanted by newer, more popular gods. Or they just did it For the Evulz.
- Plus, the gods really only care about the existence of creation. Mortals are only interesting for them for their effect on creation and for reaping their souls (every god gets the souls of mortals that live by his ideals) to strengthen the armies of creation in the last battle when the aforementioned Nameless God rips the outer sphere open, letting in the hordes of uncreated demons. Some of them seem to be curious about mortals that live by their ideals, like Phex (essentially god of tricksters) or Hesinde (goddess of wisdom and art), but that could be a ruse to get more souls. Others, the hard liners, were ready to nuke a region to stop a renegade from damning all mortals (signing their souls over to the demons), even if it meant reaping tens of thousands of souls prematurely. Luckily the largest army of mortals in the last age stopped the renegade before that
- The "evil" (demi)gods are implied to be falling gods, going over to the demon side. The Nameless God didn't go over to the demons' side, he just weakened creation, letting the demons in more easily, gaining control of some of them, and taking creation for himself.
- In Magic: The Gathering, the gods that are worshipped by the people of Zendikar — Cosi, Ula, and Emeria — were actually inspired by distorted memories of Kozilek, Ulamog, and Emrakul, the three Eldrazi titans. One cleric has a crisis of faith when the truth is revealed.
- Ayli, Kamsa cleric: I believed in a beautiful god. But this is the true face of the divine.
- Played with in Angels in America: God isn't evil per se, but he is a serious Jerk Ass who abandoned Heaven a couple decades back, leaving the Angels in disarray and despair. It takes Prior, who has had a similar bad experience recently with a man walking out on him, to knock some sense into them, and say "Screw him!".
- King Lear: "As flies to wanton boys are we to th'gods/They kill us for their sport." Though by the end of the play, Gloucester's had ANOTHER Heel–Faith Turn.
- Book Of Mormon has African villagers that blame God for all of their (legitimate) problems, such as AIDS, famine, and the tyrannical local Warlord. This is all detailed in the upbeat song Hasa Diga Eebowai.
Mafala: When the world is getting you down, there's nobody else to blame.Raise your middle finger to the sky, and curse His rotten name!
- The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Millennium Musical has the parody Gospel song "Blame it on the Lord":
Blame it on the Lord,
When all of your prayers go completely ignored.
Blame it on the Lord,
When you and your family get put to the sword.
Praise the Lord for the good he can do,
But he can take the rap for the bad crap too.
- Silent Hill has the "goddess" (actually a powerful monster) of The Order who acts as The Big Bad for a number of the games. Whether she's a true god or just another monster willed into being by delusional worshippers in anyone's guess.
- Shin Megami Tensei uses this trope faithfully; YHVH is a complete and utter megalomaniac who demands full respect and worship from man, and if they don't provide such, His wrath follows quickly. In many games, the Law path that YHVH patrons results in a variant of the World of Silence, where all creation does nothing except ceaselessly chant prayers to Him for all eternity. Lucifer is more on our side, but he's still willing to do some horrible things to "help" us. Atlus has stated that this all stems from something terribly wrong at the very core of reality. They've also claimed that they're moving away from this trope to avoid offending heavily-Christian countries now that they have a wider audience. By "move away", they apparently mean "be a touch more subtle about it".
- By the end of Shin Megami Tensei II, everyone basically wants God dead, from Lucifer to the angel Gabriel. The player takes care of this.
- The boss theme of Nocturne has the demons praying to Him for help. Lucifer also implies that God has been destroying and recreating the world multiple times over, with each new iteration meaning the deaths of everyone in the old world that is replaced, and it's implied the events of Shin Megami Tensei II didn't take and the protagonist got a Fate Worse than Death for his part in it.
- Although God Himself doesn't appear in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, those acting in His name are no better than He ever was (and while it's hinted they may not be acting on His orders, that's never confirmed). 'Sides, angels don't so much as breathe if they don't get the go-ahead to do so from their master. In addition, the Demiurge sidequest very heavily implies the Demiurge is, in fact, YHVH, and that the Demiurge fella is still very much this. While it's implied he becomes somewhat more reasonable after you defeat him and allow Metatron (actually another piece of YHVH) to merge with him, he's still more or less an Ax-Crazy Knight Templar who has you take him to Mem Aleph so he can participate in killing her in the Law Path and warns you very severely there will be consequences for not choosing his way in the other paths. He's also flat-out mentioned to have forgotten his love for humans and trampled the Goddess-worshipping world, implying he's still an attention-hungry bastard. The name is a bit of a giveaway. Then Strange Yourney Redux came out and in the New endings it turns out the Three Wise Men are in fact a depowered God (Shekinah). What do they want to do, you ask? to create the World of Law... By replacing the old one and ANNIHILATING most humans and strip from the few remaining their free will by forcing them to endlessly worship Her. Fortunately, the main character wrecks them before they can do any of its plans in all new endings (Yes, even in New Law) and takes their Cosmic Egg (Cosmic Fruit), their power source, stopping Her from coming back and using it to guarantee that the Earth won't be consumed by the Schwarzwelt. Doomguy would be proud of the MC .
- The original release of Devil Survivor implies that God is a bit less evil, given His actions on the behalf of humanity this go-round. The Updated Re-release of Devil Survivor, however, again throws doubt upon God's motivations, by revealing he deliberately set up the Abel And Cain scenario in order to create the first martyr and the first murderer. He's never shown regretting his actions or atoning for them, and ultimately any illusion of benevolence is thrown away entirely in the Chaos path. While God is certainly understandable in His fear of the Overlord and his desire to get rid of them, His methods of doing so is to threaten the people in the city into hunting you, in order to prey off of your empathy as they beg you to let them kill you so they can be spared. When that fails, he sends Metatron to flatten the city in its entirety, and when THAT fails, he's all too willing to DESTROY THE PLANET ALTOGETHER. As stated prior, the evil is still there: it's just far more subtle.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV has the DLC episode "Ancient One of the Sun" which pits the protagonist against the Ancient of Days, one of God's Names. The Ancient of Days has arrived to kill off all the inhabitants of Blasted Tokyo, effectively committing genocide so that "God's Chosen" can inherit the Earth. Of course, without the DLC episodes it is actually ambiguous about if God is evil or not, at least as far as Normal Tokyo is concerned and God's plan got derailed completely at Infernal Tokyo due to Kenji killing off the angels before God's Wrath could be unleashed.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has YHVH as the final antagonist that must be beaten in the Bonds and Massacre route to stop him from oppressing humanity. God Is Evil is a firm belief among the Divine Powers, who seek to create their own universe that will be free from YHVH's machinations. Krishna explains that Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous because of YHVH intentionally setting up the universe as a stage for a faked Forever War, but points out that order and chaos by themselves are not bad things.
- In AdventureQuest, The Stranger/Seth Cay Dhows was revealed to be a man made god known by the name Epsilon. Also, Falerin is actually an (Affably) Evil God.
- In the Crapsack World of Demon's Souls, Magic is explained as power that comes from the human (Or demon) will, and Faith is explained as a power that comes from God. For this reason, Faith-users are usually pretty rude toward ungodly mages. This is all well and good, but in multiple places in the game you can discover that the "god" that faith users actually get their power from is the world-destroying Big Bad Demon Overlord, the Old One, and that faith users are not aware of this. Whether the religion is completely wrong, or whether (even worse) the Old One actually IS God is not revealed. However, faith coming from the Old One is implied by Sage Freke in an optional conversation, and confirmed by the item description of the Talisman of Beasts.
- Spiritual successor Dark Souls also features this to a lesser extent in the form of Gwyn, whose hubris and pride lead him to condemn Humanity to the Undead Curse in order to extend his Age of Fire. He also commands his clerics to slay all the Undead as he fears the Dark Soul humans possess.
- Zeus from God of War II is particularly paranoid and vengeful, attacking Kratos for the possibility that Kratos might kill and usurp him in the future. To be fair, though, Zeus was pretty much the same way in classic Greek myth, and Kratos would probably do it. In III, it's revealed that Kratos corrupted Zeus when he opened Pandora's Box in the first game to defeat Ares. To be frank, the Gods did EVERYTHING necessary to deserve Kratos' wrath. They assumed his brother would destroy them, so they kidnapped him and made him Thanatos' prisoner. Ares then manipulates and fools him into killing his own family. After 10 years of service, Kratos kills Ares both for his revenge and their last mission, and they refuse to relieve him from his nightmares. He tries to commit suicide, but rather they turn him into the God of War. Then Kratos finds out about all Deimos, they have his mother cursed into a monster, forcing him to kill her, then finally kill his brother. Really, they EARNED their karmic punishment!
- God is the Big Bad in Makai Toshi SaGa (Final Fantasy Legend in the west). And he's a little Amish man (at least before the battle starts). The most popular way the final confrontation goes down? The heroes murder God with a chainsaw. One artist's rendering◊.
- In Alundra Melzas is actually the god who is worshipped by the citizens of Inoa, which makes him more powerful. And then he starts killing them off. What a jerk.
- A disproportionate number of Breath of Fire games use the world's leading god as their Final Boss, mostly because the Sorting Algorithm of Evil says not much else should be powerful enough to faze them by the end of the game. In some cases, like Breath of Fire III, they portray the realisation that you are going to have to fight and kill God with the weight such a goal would bring.
- Myria and Deathevan are actually more like cases of Gods of Evil because they are not the world's only deities. Ladon, the dragon god who appears throughout the game, is actually a pretty cool guy, especially in the third game where he can actually teach you some of his abilities by acting as a Master.
- The GBA port of Breath of Fire II also throws a spanner into the works by implying that Deathevn is not actually a god, despite being Myria's descendant. Rather, he's actually a draconic Eldritch Abomination that's merely posing as one because it's fun to fuck with mortals.
- Xenogears. Sort of. Deus isn't actually a "God", though it did create the branch of humanity on the planet in question. It's really just a genetically engineered planet-destroying bioweapon that's somehow become even more powerful than its job description would imply. There's also the Wave Existence/Zohar, which seems to be the "true" God of Xenogears, and late in the game it empowers the main character to become even more superhuman than he already was. This is actually a Gnostic allegory, with Deus playing the false god Demiurge and the Wave Existence playing the Source — the distant, unknowable true creator whose role Demiurge unwittingly usurped.
- Xenosaga has a subversion. While Dimitri Yuriev believes the Dimension Lord Energy Being U-DO is evil, and it does have a tendency to cause people to go insane when it touches their minds, it isn't evil, just alien.
- Xenoblade has the Big Bad Zanza, the God of Bionis; a complete and utter bastard who, after destroying the entire universe, has led the world he created to an apocalypse multiple times so that his creations, which he relies on to exist, don't leave the world and expand to the stars.
- In Shadow Hearts, "God" is a world-destroying alien monster which doesn't have any dialogue. Although, it's explained by the real Roger Bacon that it isn't truly a god, but rather something that's as far above humans as humans are above ants (or further).
- In Dragon Quest VII, when you resurrect God, he immediately begins an evil tyranical regime that confuses and subjugates the newly reunited world. However, this turns into a subversion as "God" is actually the thought-to-be-defeated Demon Lord in disguise. You eventually do fight God, but it's as a Bonus Boss outside of anything resembling the plot.
- In Dragon Quest IX, it turns out The Almighty is kind of a royal prick who tried to destroy humanity just 'cuz. He's also been dead for a while, and it's implied that the grotto Bonus Bosses you fight are fragments of his soul. Thankfully his daughter's pretty cool.
- The Elder Gods in Mortal Kombat can certainly qualify; while hiding behind a Obstructive Code of Conduct of non-interference with their own creation, they've either downright ignored imminent threats to the Realms and breaking of sacred laws (like they did with Shao Kahn's invasion of Earth in MK 3), or manipulated proxies into doing their dirty work through elaborate Gambit Roulettes that have as much of a chance of succeeding as a snowball surviving in the burning heart of Hell, with wonderful non-rewards for doing a "good job" (have pity for Scorpion and his family and clan, or Taven and his family and friends). And when one of their own does decide to interfere, they're punished violently, regardless of whether their intent was malefic or innocent. Makes you wonder why no one's gone up there to kick their deific asses, yet...
- Raiden could also qualify, depending on the game. In his Armageddon ending, he became increasingly aggressive in his protection of Earth, going as far as to destroy all other realms (both threatening and non-threatening ones) to prevent them from being a danger to Earth. And in his ending in the original game, Raiden wins the Mortal Kombat tournament, but soon becomes bored with human competition and invites other gods to participate in the tournament, which ends up destroying the planet.
- The Elder Gods are motivated less by malice and more by fear of the One Being, the true supreme being whom they rebelled against and separated into the Realms. Everything they do is meant to keep the One Being from ever coming back. The One Being would qualify as an example of this trope as well, since the reason the Elder Gods rebelled against it was because it was eating them (and would likely do the same to everything else in creation if it came back).
- Odin in Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria is ready to destroy the entire mortal world rather than face the possibility that humans will stop serving the gods unquestioningly. Lezard doesn't seem that bad all of the sudden. He is somewhat Lawful Evil in the first Valkyrie Profile, too. After all he is fine destroying the order of the mortal world by stealing its sacred treasure just to have a mighty artifact for himself and to help Lenneth to recruit more Einherjar.
- Odin and the other gods are also shown to be completely apathetic towards Midgard. They sit on golden thrones in magnificent castles, while the world underneath is one of the darkest, most dismal worlds you can imagine.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has Our Heroes daring to enter the Time Gate into the 4th dimension, to thwart God's plans to eradicate the Milky Way and establish independence. In the climax, it turns out that the fourth dimension is full of super-advanced apathetic humans, who created our universe as a combination of reality TV and role-playing games (Earth's mythical heroes were player characters). "God" is a corporate suit who's reformatting parts of the program, seeing humanity's attempts to practice "symbology" (programming code) as some kind of bug in the system. And what truly makes this "god" evil is that when he finds out that humans have been practicing Symbology, rather than painlessly deleting them, he sends the "angelic" hordes to wipe out humanity. Maybe he thought it would boost the ratings...
- In Drakengard, The World Is Always Doomed because God Is Evil. The gods that the hierarchs in the Crystal Dragon Jesus religion pray to for salvation are in fact the ones trying to destroy the world. When they show up towards the game's finale, they appear as giant, man-eating babies. Yeah. As far as who created the world, the debate is out whether the gods did or the dragons did.
- Drakengard 3 sheds some light on the Cult of the Watchers and exactly what it is that they're worshipping. The goddess that the cult worships is none other than the Intoner One, with the cult being started by her Opposite-Sex Clone "brother" in order to honor her after her death. While One is a benevolent individual, as an Intoner she is destined to destroy the world unless she and her sisters are killed.
- Final Fantasy X had the church of Yevon, who were blinded by lies and persecuted with a giant, indestructible Space Whale called Sin that was capable of leveling cities over the course of a thousand years. Yevon turns out to not be a benevolent god, but a deranged summoner who refused to die and used the souls of the last survivors of his civilization to summon a recreation of their city for them to live in forever - the same "dream Zanarkand" that Tidus and Jecht came from - via an Assimilation Plot. Sin was actually a hull for Yevon's spirit, created to basically demolish any civilization that became advanced enough to potentially disrupt the "dream" Zanarkand. Still, the true purpose of the church of Yevon (as founded by his daughter) was to appease him without letting him destroy the rest of the world for revenge. Suffice to say, this knowledge never made it past the church's leaders...until a certain Badass Longcoat who learned the truth refused to stay dead.
- This is touched upon in The World Ends with You, as whether or not the Composer of The Game is simply just giving a reasonable chance to everyone for their lives again or is rather a complete Jerkass sadist who likes pitting people against each other with the risk of losing their existence. At any rate, it's a rare case where the Jesus-figure is undeniably an asshole.
- Final Fantasy XII has the Occuria, a pantheon of very powerful godlike spirits who have manipulated the development of mortal life on Ivalice for centuries in an ongoing Gambit Roulette, selecting and manipulating various humans as their champions, including the player characters. Ironically, they are opposed by one of their own, a rogue Occuria who has allied with the Evil Overlord in an attempt to break the Occuria's domination over humanity in a Gambit Roulette of their own, unfortunately causing tremendous misery and destruction in their attempts to do so.
- The fal'Cie, from Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels. While some just have Blue and Orange Morality, nearly all of them doom humans by unwillingly turning them into l'Cie. Their creator isn't any better.
- This goes even further in the final game, Lightning Returns. The god Bhunivelze orders the Heroine, Lightning, to save as many souls as possible from despair, in return for her sister's resurrection from the dead. But Lightning later discovers he intends to leave everyone else behind and murder anyone he doesn't deem worthy to live in his ideal world, which leads her to defy him and try to become the new goddess whom will give all souls a second chance.
- The DS Tactical RPG Luminous Arc has this, as well as a Corrupt Church. Oddly enough, they actually oppose each other in the end.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, the final boss is a thinly disguised Expy of Jesus.
- Granted, the entire thing was essentially expanding on the Pharisee argument found in the Bible - Is Jesus' power really divine in origin, or is he meant to tempt people from the true path/faith? Pretty damn serious subject-matter for a T-rated video game, and one that could be completely missed by anyone not familiar with the subject matter.
- The above is the result of poor translation (something the PS1 version was well known for). The plot of the PSP version has the final boss as a false prophet type plotting to use Lucavi to rule the world. The Beoluve family are blood descendants of the person who stopped him the last time.
- The dominant in-universe religion, however, holds that the final boss really is a Jesus-like figure. Thus, their equivalent of the Bible is a lie, and the "god" they worship is actually a demon. Whether a true God exists in the FFT world is never specified.
- The "true god/s" of FFT would be the Occuria of ''Final Fantasy XII', as it's the same world. Their elimination is the only thing that allowed Ultima and the rest of the Lucavi to destroy the world of Ivalice in the first place. So yeah.
- The Elder Scrolls series has several types of deity, which play with this trope in different ways. To note:
- Lorkhan, the creator deity who tricked/convinced some of his fellow et'Ada ("original spirits") to create Mundus, the mortal plane, is viewed as a malevolent entity by most of the races of Mer (Elves). They consider creation a malevolent act which robbed the pre-creation spirits of their divinity and forced them into the prison of the mortal world where they experience death and suffering. (The races of Men, on the other hand, generally see Lorkhan as benevolent entity who freed the pre-creation spirits from a prison of unchanging stasis.)
- Those et'Ada who aided Lorkhan in creating Mundus would become known as the Aedra ("Our Ancestors" in Old Aldmeris). Due to being severely weakened by the act of creation, they rarely influence mortal affairs directly. They tend to be worshiped by mortals, both Men and Mer, for their contribution as the "Divines" and are mostly believed to be benevolent. One possible exception, depending on the interpretation, is Akatosh, the draconic God of Time and Top God of the Nine Divines pantheon. According to one prominent theory, the dragons, including Alduin, are fragments of his being. Dragons are beings of destruction and domination, with Alduin having the responsibility of "eating the world" at the end of every "kalpa", or cycle of time.
- The et'Ada who did not aid Lorkhan are known as the Daedra ("Not Our Ancestors"). Of them, the 17 most powerful are known as the Daedric Princes. Each has a particular sphere, which the are said to govern from their planes of Oblivion (the infinite void around Mundus) which they inhabit and rule. Though most are considered "evil," scholars are quick to point out that they are really beings Above Good and Evil who operate on their own Blue and Orange Morality. The "Good" ones only seem that way because what they seek to accomplish is generally beneficial or benevolent toward mortals, while the "Evil" ones are more likely to harm mortals with their actions. For instance, Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince of Destruction, but can be considered no more "evil" than a tidal wave or an earthquake.
- In the main quest, Big Bad Dagoth Ur is a true Physical God, having tapped into the power of the Heart of Lorkhan. He channels his power from it, and has essentially become an Eldritch Abomination. The implication is that Dagoth Ur has discovered an unspeakably dangerous middle-ground between CHIM, Amaranth and Zero-Sum where he exists in a godlike state because of his awareness of Anu's Dream but, unlike CHIM where he exists as one with it and maintains his own individuality, Amaranth where he exits the Dream to make his own, or Zero-Sum where he simply fades into the Dream, Dagoth Ur's twisted, traumatized and broken mind is being imprinted on the Dream of Anu. Naturally, the Nerevarine must sever his (and the Tribunal's) ties to the Heart in order to stop him.
- In the Tribunal expansion, the main quest ends with the Nerevarine having to kill Almalexia, one of the Tribunal gods. The loss of her divine power has driven her mad. She has already killed another Tribunal god, Sotha Sil, and wants you to die as a martyr.
- In the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion you find out that Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order, became so powerful he threatened the other Daedric Princes, and thus was cursed with madness, transforming him into Sheogorath. You then free Jyggalag and take the mantle of Sheogorath.
- Viking: Battle for Asgard: You know Freya? Yeah, she's kinda evil. The kind of evil that brings you back to life with the promise that she'll give you a chance to enter Valhalla if you kill someone for her and then realizes the benefits of having a personal assassin and promptly stabs you in the back. Skarin was not pleased and suffice it to say, it did not end well if you happened to be a God.
- In Scribblenauts, you can turn God evil. You can also give him a shotgun and a skateboard and have him fight Cthulhu.
- Although this will come as a surprise to no one, behold! The Tetris God!
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Archdemons that lead Darkspawn hordes are Old Gods of the Tevinter corrupted by the Blight. The Maker is kind of an asshole of a god, instead of just killing the Tevinter mages that attempted to breach the Golden City, he cursed them to spread devastation in their wake and sent them to destroy the mortal world.
- The Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II reveals that according to the Darkspawn Emissary Corypheus, who was once a Tevinter magister, the Golden City was already the Black City when he and his fellow magisters entered it... implying that it corrupted them rather than the other way around. Which, if the Golden City/Black City is the home of the Maker, likely implies that the Maker is evil too. Considering what a Crapsack World Thedas is, that makes a disturbing amount of sense...
- The Last Resurrection features Jesus as the Big Bad and God as Greater-Scope Villain.
- The Creator in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years turns out to be an Evilutionary Biologist who doesn't give a damn about his creations beyond their role as planetary experiments. Vaguely hinted to be the same as the creator from Final Fantasy XIII, although, since he doesn't appear in person there, it isn't very clear in the latter how much was God being evil and how much was God not programming his biological crystal robots very well.
- In the Rance universe, the creator god is a giant whale who created all of existence just to watch people fight and kill each other in wars. So Humans Are Bastards because it is Inherent in the System. And entertaining, apparently.
- Bayonetta has Jubileus, the Goddess who controls the realm of Paradiso and its Angels, and who drives the plot of the first game in that she is the story's Greater-Scope Villain, with the Big Bad's goal being to recover the two reality-shaping "Eyes of the World" to awaken her with the power to destroy and recreate the mortal world in her own image as a "perfect world". The second game makes her worse, by revealing that what she was doing was basically a power-grab; there are at least three Creator-Gods in the Bayonetta universe, one each for Paradiso, Inferno and Earth. Jubileus was basically hoping to steal the power of Aesir, the Creator-God of Earth, and use that to destroy every world that isn't Paradiso before recreating them as part of Paradiso, making her the only Creator-God to still exist.
- In Bayonetta 2, there is Loptr, who is literally the evil side of Aesir, Creator-God of the mortal world. Created when Aesir decided to divide his powers and give them to humanity so humans would have free will, he wants to take control of reality back from them by any means necessary.
- Asura's Wrath has The Golden Spider/Chakravartin. The omnipotent ruler of Gaea, he is the one responsible for the Gohma being unleashed upon Gaea and many other worlds, and makes everyone in these worlds suffer just to find his next heir. He thinks this is saintly of him, but Asura calls him out on this while punching him in the face repeatedly. The Seven Deities are a less powerful example of this. Of them, only Yasha, Deus and Augus are not outright sadistic, violent, arrogant beings who look down upon mortals and use them as they see fit, and Augus only because he cares not for domination but simply a good fight. And even Yasha and Deus was willing to be Necessarily Evil.
- It's revealed in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn that the setting's Top Goddess, Ashera, is a hypocritical Holier Than Thou Knight Templar who intends to destroy humanity in order to put an end to war (while ironically allowing the real villains behind said war to live with her blessing). She does, however, have a Freudian Excuse: aghast at accidentally destroying the world with a Great Flood millennia ago, she removed all her emotions and placed them in a separate being, leaving herself impossibly cold and uncaring. The game's Distant Finale reveals that she and the being composed of her emotions (who served as the Big Good of the game) will eventually reunite into a pure good goddess.
- In The Binding of Isaac, God orders Isaac's mom to take away all of Isaac's possessions, clothes included, and lock him in his room. He then orders Isaac's mom to kill Isaac. Finally, God kills Isaac's mom and frees Isaac. Given the game is a Whole Plot Reference to Genesis chapter 22, the subversion is rather fitting if a bit obvious.
- There are hints that the voice ordering Isaac's mother to abuse him is actually Satan in disguise, furthering the subversion.
- In Duel Savior Destiny God set up a system where the forces of Ruin would invade every thousand years and require the rise of the Messiah to stop them without any regard to the massive potential casualties. It's actually worse than this: If anything, God is directly responsible for the forces of Ruin, though he doesn't lead them. He is, in fact, trying to destroy the universe and remake it to something he can understand better. He's done it hundreds of times before.
- Tales of the Abyss plays with this. From the way that all life in the world is bound by a prophecy that will eventually kill all life in the world created by the local Crystal Dragon Jesus, Lorelei, it seems that God is going to be the single most horrific tyrant imaginable. Turns out that's wrong. Lorelei didn't "create" this fate of destruction at all. He merely foresaw it and clued his follower, Yulia Jue, in on it because he believed that humans were special enough to Screw Destiny and save themselves from the destruction he had foreseen. Unfortunately, in what is almost certainly a dig at religious fundamentalists, it turns out that the order set up around Lorelei completely missed the point of what he was trying to do after Yulia's death: giving the impression for 2000 years that Lorelei wanted everyone to submit to the prophetic Score rather than overturn it.
- In the Legacy of Kain games, the Elder God is in many ways the Big Bad of the series; it tells Raziel it resurrected him and that its Wheel of Fate is a force of life, but the time-travelling Raziel notices that it seems to grow as the land deteriorates, and eventually concludes that it parasitically feeds on the souls of the dead and manipulatively causes death and destruction in order to provide itself with fresh souls. However, since serious questions are raised about the full extent of its power (Raziel suspects that it might have simply been there when he recovered of his own accord and simply claimed responsibility for his survival, and it heavily relies on agents for much of its success,) it is debatable whether it can really be considered a god, especially since Kain takes the supposedly omniscient being completely by surprise and kicks its ass at the end of the series.
- The Golden Sun series subverts this. Yes, the Wise One can be a very harsh taskmaster and is not against setting people trials that would shatter lesser minds. However, it has a very good reason for being something of a Knight Templar: namely the fact that it's already seen what kind of Crapsack World Alchemy can create. As such, it wants to make damn sure that it's used for good and that nobody screws the world over again with it. Now, the actual Ancients on the other hand - who possessed even greater power, given that they created the Wise One are far more morally ambiguous given that they were the ones who ruined the world in the first place.
- Dishonored plays with this trope like pipe organ. The dominant religion of the setting is the Abbey of the Everyman, which recognizes only one deity, the Outsider, but claims that it is very evil indeed, directly responsible for all human sin and the source of all witchcraft. Corvo's experience with the Outsider, however, proves that while he is indeed the source of all magic (and most magic-users really are bad news) he is also by-and-large an observer, and that he imposes no demands on those he empowers. Apparently, he has just chosen a lot of untrustworthy people to empower, probably because power corrupts and the world is most often changed by ambitious bastards.
- Subverted in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Kreia believes the Force to be an evil god that forces the Jedi and Sith to war with each other for eternity for its own amusement. Yet all evidence in the game and other Star Wars material pretty clearly suggests that this isn't true; even if the Force is sentient (which is debatable) than it has no influence on what mortals do with its gifts. The implication builds to be that Kreia is simply unwilling to accept her own flaws and sins, so she instead chooses to pass off the blame to some vague force in the sky. Further her stated solution to this (destroying the Force) is noted to be absolutely insane and would likely kill every living being in the galaxy since there's a trace of Force presence in all life.
- In the backstory of Dwarf Fortress (insofar as a fantasy world simulator can have a backstory), the supreme deity, Armok, God of Blood, loves conflict and creates worlds in order that conflict may occur. As the world approaches stability, Armok destroys and recreates the world anew. In a meta sense, Armok is the player, who is likely to generate a new world when their current one becomes peaceful (and therefore boring).
- The cause of all the horror and dangers you face in Hollow Knight? The Radience, the god who created bugkind. The plague, the monsters you fight, and just about every other threat in the game were created by her out of spite after mortals stopped worshipping her. Yes, she’s trying to destroy her own world because it’s not paying attention to her.
- In Stickman Exodus, the Gorn-doodling teenage owner of the notebook is effectively a cruel God to the two-dimensional cast.
- In Andrew Kepple's Animutation trilogy Colin Mochrie vs. Jesus H. Christ, after saving everyone from Colin Mochrie after he gets turned into a rampaging Scotsman, Jesus takes over the world and starts persecuting characters from "fanimutations". At the end of Part 3, it turns out "Jesus" is actually Mike Brady, who starred alongside Colin in Neil Cicirega's "The Japanese Pokerap" but was jealous that Colin became a Breakout Character, and orchestrated the whole thing in order to get revenge.
- Locus: Meittron was driven to it. Nor is Sammael an Unreliable Narrator, as Word of God confirms his story.
- The titular Water Phoenix King, Yamra, and his predecessor Gurahl, though this was, and to some extent still is, a contested belief in the story. Those who benefitted under his rule consider him to have been a benevolent deity, and the opposition to be immoral for rebelling against the Natural Order of the Universe; the rebellion considered him an awful tyrant, and the order that Gurahl imposed on the universe a harmful thing — as did Lady Luck, who killed Gurahl over his binding the sun-goddess Okidesha. "Pure" Yamrans seek to restore the strict caste system, with Hadrakahn priests and knights at the top of the heap, everyone else working for them, and witches and sorcerers cast into the outer darkness...for the Good Of All, of course!
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal seems to be quite fond of this trope and frequently uses it for jokes. It varies between this, God Is Flawed and Mad God. For example, there is a strip where an atheist argues against the idea of Hell, by stating that, being omnipotent, God already knows any action a human will take in their lifetime, so it makes no sense to punish them for it. So either, Hell doesnt exist, or God is a jerk.
Satan: Struck by lightning?Atheist: Struck by lightning...
- In Wulffmorgenthaler, God and Satan agree on God being the evil one after flipping a coin.
- It's kind of hard to deny that The Brick Testament has this angle going for it; it was pretty much intended as a way of pointing out the questionable points of the Bible. The Book of Revelation in particular is stuffed to the gills with this trope, right down to sardonic titles and cutting commentary by the LEGO minifigures suffering the whole time.
- Oglaf proves the point. (SFW page on site where most pages are NSFW.)
- Also parodied with the Cult of Sithrak the Blind Gibberer, with added irony (both SFW).
- And again: "God is on their side. But I've been reading their holy book, and I think that God may be a psycho. (SFW)
- Wondermark discusses maltheism, slightly tongue-in-cheek, in a series of strips starting here.
- In Sinfest, subverted; God can seem this way to some of the characters, but is generally just obnoxious and somewhat childish, with occasional Pet the Dog moments. Even these are decreasing with the Lighter and Softer touch — most appearances now feature him playing catch with Jesus.
- Jesus, on the other hand, is an awesome guy.
- So is the Buddha. The Dragon of Eastern Religion is generally awesome also.
- One point against Sinfest's God, however, is the way the classic Problem of Evil is eventually resolved... turns out, God CREATED The Devil, and made him do what he does. Presumably just to make himself look good by comparison. When The Devil finds out, he outright quits and goes on a tropical vacation... only to then apparently forget all about it and come back, continuing where he left off. As such, all of The Devil's (unquestionably evil) deeds can be laid squarely at God's feet in this universe... or, at least, at his hand.
- In Wily's Defense features Sphere. He isn't exactly evil but he's basically a lazy, irresponsible, and petty Jerkass who shows little to control over his destructive children. He shows more concern over a random guy calling himself the "God Of Flames" than he does over the angels of death and destruction going to war with each other.
- The Morce from Space Blood has two evil sides with its two god-like incarnations being evil. It is also a bit of an inversion as the Morce is made of Evil as a case of Evil Is God.
- The Salvation War uses this as a fundamental premise. Yahweh, the entity that presented himself as the Christian god (and apparently Allah for the Islamic faith as well) is actually an immature douchebag who became drunk on the power he held over humanity until he reached the point where he became convinced of his own lie. He eventually became fed up with those parts of humanity that questioned him, and closed the gates of Heaven to mankind sometime around 1000 A.D., thereby condemning all of humanity to Hell, even the faithful. The story gets kicked off when he decides that isn't enough, and gives Satan free rein to wipe out mankind forever so Yahweh could go to a different dimension to find some other species that might be more obedient. However, by the time this happened, humanity had become very technologically advanced, while Heaven and Hell were still at the Bronze Age. You can predict what a pissed-off humanity does next.
- Even the angels are pissed off at him! The Archangel Michael is running The Plan which basically saves the heavenly host while pointing an army of absolutely enraged humans at Yahweh, and eventually kills him himself, having killed off all of Yahweh's powerful supporters by stealth or by human. Except Jesus, really called Elhmas, who is mostly presented as a stoned out of his brains idiot, until it is revealed he faked his own death and is keeping an eye on Michael to prevent him from turning into another Yahweh.
- Michael's plot was apparently not the only one either.
- Some interpretations of Mr Deity are this. He's not so much actively evil, as tremendously uncaring.
- Proven in The Nostalgia Critic's Old vs. New of The Ten Commandments vs. The Prince of Egypt, where he smites the titular character for thinking he's kind and loving.
God: You were wrong. I'm not a loving God, I'm a vengeful God. Your ass is grass.
- The Archangel from The Fear Mythos. He is the afterlife. The whole damn thing.
- The Sea Mother from The Wanderer's Library Or maybe she's just insane from feeling us moving through her “skin”.
- God in Starpocalypse is a deranged, perverted monster who gets sexually aroused by killing humans, making humans kill humans, watching humans have sex, and caused various social problems imposing arbitrary and insane rules on early humans for fun. It had a great time during the Inquisition.
- The Canadian animated series Tripping the Rift (which is definitely not for kids) actually features a few appearances by God and the Devil. Though the latter is definitely evil, the former is kind of a dick. He's depicted as wagering on the main character's soul with the Devil because he's bored and unleashing a plague of locusts on a planet because they refused to worship him (thinking he's a con artist like the ones they had dealt with earlier in the episode). However, the most blatant example of the trope is in the episode where Chode and Gus travel back to the beginning of time. Their ship accidentally collides with God and kills Him. But when they return to their own time, they discover that they've actually made things BETTER. Without God, there's no concept of good and evil, and everyone is basically decent towards each other; there's no crime or war or sexual repression. Everything is going pretty well...until Chode and Gus let the cat out of the bag and introduce the concept of sin to the universe, sending it into chaos. They travel back in time to set things right and get killed themselves, and God walks away laughing at their deaths.
- South Park:
- There was the episode where Stan asked Chef about God (because Kenny was dying... again) and their conversation went like this:
Stan: Why would God let Kenny die, Chef? Why? Kenny's my friend. Why can't God take someone else's friend?
Chef: Stan, sometimes God takes those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about himself. He is a very vengeful God, Stan. He's all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can't get over it, so he doesn't care who he takes. Children, puppies, it don't matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand?
Stan: But then, why does God give us anything to start with?
Chef: Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first you give it a lollipop. Then you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then you would have nothin' to cry about. That's like God, who gives us life and love and help just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears. You see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power.
Stan: I think I understand.
- In another episode, the local priest, during a eulogy for yet another person killed by geriatric drivers, takes the view that God just finds it funny, and leads the group in praying that God's had enough of a laugh and will stop killing people already.
- God has appeared in person a few times (for some reason, He looks like a chimpanzee with a hippo's head), and while not portrayed as outright evil, does seem rather annoyed with how whiny and needy his creations are, even Satan (who has gone from a badass rebel to a wimpy loser stuck in unhealthy relationships) and Jesus (who has completely lost his ability to inspire humanity and relies on rehashing his old teachings).
- There was the episode where Stan asked Chef about God (because Kenny was dying... again) and their conversation went like this:
- In Wonder Showzen. God appears as an evil, creepy voice. Of course, that's not surprising considering what kind of show it is...
- In Beast Machines, Megatron has pretty much become the malevolent God of Cybertron, controlling just about every aspect of existence there. Of course, the last few Maximals alive aren't going to stop until he's taken down. Towards the end, he decides to absorb all the sparks he stole, and was literally seconds away from turning Cybertron into "the perfect Technosphere" and becoming the new Primus.
- Unicron from Transformers Prime also counts. As Optimus puts it he is, metaphorically speaking, the parent of humanity and all life on Earth. He agrees with Optimus on this, and then Unicron declares all life he created as parasites unworthy of living
- Family Guy mostly uses the idea that God Is Flawed, but on a few occasions, does show him to be a real jerk, such as the revelation that for some reason, people who are handicapped on Earth remain handicapped in Heaven (which looks like a Sandals resort). He's also been shown to be rather short and annoyed with his followers.