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Good Powers, Bad People

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The power over life... to bring death.

"Zhe healing is not as rewarding as zhe hurting."
The Medic, Team Fortress 2

You should never trust anyone with "Bad Powers"; more often than not they're villains, and at best will be dark but not evil. Instead, you should completely trust that lovely person dressed all in white with the happy Light based powers, like granting life to the fallen and raining down beams of judgement from the heavens... which they're using to raise an army of undead and sic 'em on some innocent villagers to tear and lick the flesh clean from their bones...


Believe it or not, good powers do not necessarily make you a good person. Whether it's the Empathic Healer, Barrier Warrior, someone with powers fueled by love, light, or other traditionally positive Elemental Powers, it's ultimately personality and choice that determine whether the character is good or evil. And boy, have they ever chosen to be evil. In many ways this makes them worse than villains with "bad" powers; whereas the evil applications of say, a death touch or the ability to summon demons are obvious, someone with "good" powers has had to sit down and carefully think of ways to use their naturally beneficial powers to harmful ends.

Maybe they create and release a virus then ask for money in exchange for healing, or outright extort villagers for payment in order to "solve their problem". Beyond this merely mercenary outlook, a Bad Person with Good Powers might use their powers for outright evil or to aid evildoers, or find a way of twisting their previously squeaky clean power (say, Psychic Surgery) into a squicky mean torture. A not-so-savory peep with Healing Hands may be more interested in prolonging Cold-Blooded Torture by beating and mutilating their victims to a bloody, still-living pulp, then reversing their wounds to go back to square one, then rinse and repeat at their twisted leisure. Lastly, any Knight Templar with "Holy" powers might be so dogmatic in their belief that they twist their holy mandate into things like ethnic cleansing of "Always Chaotic Evil" races.

This can be considered a form of What the Hell, Hero? (well, villain), with the evil of using powers to make money varying by writer. To put it another way, it's like a personified version of a Crapsaccharine World, as the initial vision of someone whose powers seem well-meaning belie more heinous intent.

The opposite of Bad Powers, Good People.

Compare Yin-Yang Bomb, Cut Lex Luthor a Check, Light Is Not Good, Power Perversion Potential. Contrast No Cure for Evil. See also Lethal Harmless Powers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Doctor of Black Cat. He can heal people of injuries, even going so far as to reattach severed limbs. What does he do with this power? Serves as Creed Diskenth's primary healer and resident Evil Genius, going so far as to actually outdo his master in the scope of his depravity.
  • Licht from Black Clover uses Light Magic, which can heal himself and others and was used by the first Wizard King who saved the Clover Kingdom from a demon. However, he leads a band of rogue mages intent on killing all humans and destroying the kingdom.
  • Noi from Dorohedoro is a kind, friendly, and cheerful woman with powerful healing powers... which doesn't stop her from working as a "Cleaner", which involves killing people, who mess with mafia. Her magic can't hurt people but allows her to quickly recover from life-threatening injuries, which, coupled with her enormous strength makes her a truly terrifying opponent.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • While he normally just uses his power for pure destruction, Majin Buu of Dragon Ball Z is shown at several points to be just as adept at healing as he is at killing. He even manages to give sight to a boy who is suggested to have been blind from birth. Which makes sense since it is implied that those powers come from the Kais he absorbed.
    • In the Dragon Ball Super manga, Future Zamasu is shown to possess Healing Hands. Simply put, this Zamasu isn't the nicest guy around, so don't expect him to use that power on anybody but himself or Goku Black, who's basically himself anyway.
  • One of the main antagonists of Drifters is the Black King, a Dark Messiah (heavily implied to be the actual Messiah) who has power over life. Specifically, he can multiply organic things, such as turning a small amount of food into enough to feed thousands and a bit of wood into a full lumberyard of timbers, or healing someone by sparking cell regrowth. However, being the main antagonist, he mostly uses this power to help build his army and nation-state. He's also used his healing power to give an insubordinate dragon cancer.
  • Fran Madaraki from Franken Fran is an Obliviously Evil version of this. She has implausible skills as a surgeon and considers saving lives her first priority. Unfortunately for her patients, she has no idea what acceptable quality of life means. Her sister Veronica calls her out on this in Chapter 14.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • Inuyasha: Sesshomaru gets Tenseiga, a sword that can bring the dead back to life. As he is on a quest to make himself as powerful as possible, having a sword that cannot kill infuriates him. That the sword is willing to choose him as its master baffles everyone who knows him until it becomes clear over time that he's developing compassion.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency: Kars gains powers based around Creating Life once he becomes the Ultimate Lifeform, but he is a ruthless, sadistic, and megalomaniacal individual who destroyed his own civilization just because they disagreed with his plan of making them the strongest beings on the planet... Case in point, one of the first things he does with his powers is turning one of his hands into an adorable squirrel, who proceeds to befriend another squirrel before brutally devouring it.
  • My Hero Academia: Chisaki Kai/Overhaul has the ability to disassemble and reassemble anything he touches, including people, which makes him the best healer in the series, capable of curing any injury or illness in seconds. Unfortunately, not only is the process extremely painful, he much prefers using said ability for murder rather than healing by ripping people apart without putting them back together afterwards.
  • Naruto:
    • Yakushi Kabuto is a medic; he is also the Dragon Ascendant to the first major big bad, "biologist" Orochimaru, and one of his specialties is using "healing" powers to kill.
    • The Rinnegan is able to (among many other things) resurrect people without any real drawbacks, but the wielder of the Rinnegan is the Big Bad of an arc and loses it to The Man Behind the Man for the series.
  • One Piece: Aramaki, AKA Admiral Ryokugyu, has Green Thumb powers, but is a thoroughly evil Marine who mostly uses his powers for violence. Even within an organization full of Knight Templars, Aramaki stands out as the worst of the worst, being a diehard supporter of the World Nobles and their actions (their most infamous ones being slavery and genocide) and feels he has a right to kill anyone not aligned with the World Government.
  • Lance of the Elite Four in Pokémon Adventures. He has the power to understand the hearts of Pokemon, to heal them by laying his hands on them, and he's plotting the complete genocide of all humans on Earth.
  • Redo of Healer: Keyaru's "healing" is full-on biokinesis, able to restore a person from anything short of actual death. However, since he's a Maddened Into Misanthropy character in a Crapsack World, even being his "friend" (read: useful) can't completely protect anyone.
  • Spunky Knight has Delfas, who theoretically could be the ultimate doctor due to his Healing Hands and mad scientist-level of technology in an RPG-like world, however, he uses such abilities to craft the ultimate sex slaves right down to being able to speed up a pregnant woman's gestation period with the intention of her giving birth on the auction block. To date, Phaia was the only one to survive the process.
  • Witch Hat Atelier: The reason why healing magic no longer exists in the present day is that the medical witches who specialized in it were accused of using their knowledge and skills to perform grotesque human experimentation, and so were destroyed and the entire corpus of healing magic expunged. Healing magic remains forbidden for any witch to study due to the stigma associated with medical witches.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Poison Ivy may be a Poisonous Person, but those aren't the only powers she has- she can also grow plants and any other vegetation on her command, even when the soil around her isn't at all conducive to plant life, such as deserts and ruined soil. This is the kind of power that could be used in fabulously heroic ways, but unfortunately, like most Batman villains, Ivy is insane. She would rather spend her time trying to kill humanity to protect nature.
  • Beyond the ubiquitous telepathy, individuals with a magical talent are rare in ElfQuest, but the most well-known sort among all tribes are healers. The series's Big Bad, Winnowill, is the most powerful healer alive; while most with this talent only know one way to apply it (lay on hands, subject gets better), Winnowill takes great pleasure in using her powers to twist and deform organisms, subjecting them to unimaginable tortures.
  • In Hellboy, a young man named Humbert T. Jones became known as the Miracle Boy who could heal anything with just a touch. As you would imagine, he became a worshipper of an Eldritch Abomination and caused the Frog men to come into being.
  • Hitman (1993) has a single-arc villain called Scarlet Rose who has the power to make roses grow. She mostly uses it to horribly kill people by making roses grow inside their bodies.
  • Similarly to Dr. Light below, the Iron Man villain Living Laser is a guy with the power, well, to turn into a being made of pure light, and he is pretty much a bad guy.
  • Dr. Light (a.k.a. Arthur Light), a villain from Justice League of America, is a guy using a suit that grants him light-based powers. Turns out he also is a rapist and a villain so vicious that the Justice League ended up mind-wiping him so he wouldn't be dangerous anymore, as revealed in Identity Crisis (2004). Ironically, the JLA comics also have a female superhero named Dr. Light, who is pretty much a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and has occasionally fought her evil counterpart.
  • Elixir, a healer from New X-Men: Academy X, wavers between good and bad. A lot of his problems are caused by tragedies in his life, though, and getting drafted into X-Force was Wolverine's attempt to help.
  • Deconstructed in Thunderbolts; the gemstone that grants Karla Sofen her powers was originally crafted for a Kree space hero, and it's imbued with a portion of their heroic instinct, which began to come out while working with the Thunderbolts, particularly when Hawkeye came around. However, this personified largely by giving her a conscience and a sense of empathy, two things that were completely alien to her and confused the hell out of her. The dichotomy of having an "artificial" conscience while being a natural sociopath caused a great deal of mental instability, and nearly drove her insane. Later, it succeeded.

    Fan Works 
By source material: By title:

  • The killer in Midnight Movie is an empath who uses his power to track his fleeing and hiding victims.
  • The "Stitcher" in Push. An icy aristocratic Englishwoman with the power to heal. She seemed to enjoy the pain the healing process caused, and when paid to, had no problem undoing the healing on Nick (they can reverse their repair by touch) and trying to kill him.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, John Harrison cures a terminally ill nine-year-old girl... to coerce her father, Star Fleet officer Section 31 Agent Thomas Harewood, into bombing a Star Fleet archive claiming 42 lives, including Harewood himself. Harrison's blood has regenerative properties. He is actually Khan Noonian Singh.
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Plagueis was supposedly able to "keep those he loved from dying" through the unique abilities he had developed by mastering the Dark Side of the Force. The fact that he still had people he loved after becoming a Sith Lord was unusual in and of itself, although an alternative is that Palpatine was lying in order to ensnare Anakin. In the Expanded Universe book Darth Plagueis, it's stated that those who he kept alive were mostly his test subjects.
    • Count Dooku, even as a Sith Lord, still exclusively uses Form II lightsaber style: an elegant, efficient combat style that is designed specifically to combat other lightsaber users and is an almost entirely defensive style that focuses on using parrys and feints to disarm an opponent rather than the wholesale overwhelming power and aggression used by other Sith.

  • Used in Bones of Faerie. Liza must learn that the magic of the faerie is not evil in its nature, but how it is used.
  • In The Daevabad Trilogy, the Nahid dynasty were gifted with powerful healing abilities, both Healing Factor and the ability to heal others. By the end of their rule over Daevabad, the Nahids were brutal overlords, ruthlessly oppressed and murdered the part-human shafit, and used their healing abilities to conduct horrifying medical experiments. The founder of the Qahtani dynasty led his rebellion against them for very good reasons.
  • Done in great depth in The Dresden Files. However, its inverse is subverted: using powers for evil means you believe that's justified and it makes you believe even more that it's justified. That feedback reaction is why Warlocks are almost invariably killed, because having started down the wrong path, it's incredibly hard to come back. There are only two known examples; an enigmatic Necromancer who used her powers to keep someone alive long enough to receive medical attention, and the Blackstaff, the White Council's super-secret break-the-laws-of-magic enforcer. But as Harry keeps agonizing over, even mostly-good people can use good powers for evil and start down that slippery slope.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar universe, Empathy is a power associated with MindHealers, who deal with mental illness and trauma. Empaths are nearly always good and ethical people, for good reason: twisted Empaths are among the most horrifying people in Velgarth. Also, while a good person, Talia uses her own Empathy in equally frightening ways when pushed too far.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon's mother Selena is described as having once killed a dozen highly trained soldiers; her only weapon was knowledge of a healing spell. How did she do this? Well, she "healed" the assailants of everything that drove them to kill... and then slit their throats with their own daggers. This works because the Language of Magic runs on Exact Words.
  • Into The Broken Lands: Exploring the Death World left behind by a war between power-mad mages, the main characters find an artificial "minotaur" torturously assembled from human and animal parts; The Medic Arianna is horrified to realize that it could only have been created by a masterful healer.
  • In Kraken, the Chaos Nazis use their swastika as a healing symbol in order to keep their victims alive and in agony through what would normally be fatal torture.
  • Lives of the Mayfair Witches: Many of the Mayfair women were widely known as healers but did horrible things in the background, like performing experiments on the stolen corpses of stillborn babies, or giving their attendant spirit free rein to possess their disabled relatives.
  • Lupusregina Beta from Overlord (2012) is a White Mage with Healing Hands and can recover wounds as long as they aren't too severe. She's also a bonified Sadist and Torture Technician whose favorite pastime is tormenting humans, and she uses her healing powers so that her Cold-Blooded Torture sessions last longer.
  • In Paratime, narco-hypnosis can be used by those who are trained in it, like Dalla Hadron, for things like retrieving lost memories or easing grief over a loved one. It can also be used by agents for intertemporal criminal gangs to program assassins.
  • In Perdido Street Station and other novels in that universe, there are professional magic users, thaumaturges, some of have impressive healing powers as well as the ability to perform transplants/surgery without risk of harming a patient. Unfortunately, this is a Crapsack World, and many thaumaturges with such powers are vile sadists. Instead of using their powers to heal, they play a role in the legal system, Remaking criminals as punishment for their crimes (i.e., painfully turning them into horribly disfigured biological or technological mash-ups).
  • The Raven Tower: One Physical God is famous for granting Healing and inventing Miracle Food. It's also perfectly willing to condemn whole groups of slaves to a slow death by malnutrition so it can study the effects of different nutrient deficiencies on their bodies. It's also perfectly willing to trick or force other gods into death by Vampiric Draining.
  • Rezo of Slayers studied up on healing magic and got himself a wonderful reputation in the search for a cure for his blindness before Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • Additive and Subtractive magic aren't inherently good or evil in Sword of Truth, but because nobody was being born with Subtractive magic, the only people who have it were ones who had made deals with the Keeper, and they are evil.
  • Touch (2017) has Father, a pretty thoroughly creepy man standing in the lead of a brainwashed cult/criminal empire. His power? Happiness aura.
  • Cytherea, at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. As the avatar (or reincarnation or something) of Aphrodite, she has the powers of the goddess of love. Which she uses to manipulate men, get herself out of trouble when she gets caught doing bad things, avoid work, cheat in her classes, etc... which is, of course, entirely true to most portrayals of the original Aphrodite as well.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Semirhage (one of the female Forsaken) was a master healer, but got off on torturing people with it. Another evil healer in the series has a signature habit of using her talents to stop hearts and boil blood. Likewise, Graendal (another female Forsaken) is so good at Mind Control because she was a psychotherapist (though unlike Semi, she used to be a nice, if annoyingly ascetic, person).
    • Perverted talent is rather a big thing among the Forsaken. Mesaana started out as an excellent teacher until she went bad (after being refused some kind of prestigious research appointment), at which point she used her talents to instruct children in acts that make the most fanatic of the Hitler Youth look like amateurs. Ishamael had an unrivaled knowledge of philosophy as it applied to the battle between Light and Dark, and used it extensively after joining the latter. While the ability to access the World of Dreams is used extensively by the Aiel Wise Ones for positive ends, the Forsaken Lanfear and Moghedien prefer to stalk people, give them nightmares, and possibly enslave people's minds... and Ishamael may or may not have used it to destroy some poor sap's soul.
  • Worm uses this along with all the various related tropes to drive home its divorce between powers and the person's moral nature.
    • Probably best seen in Bonesaw of the Slaughterhouse Nine, who is young, cute, and has implausible science powers in seemingly any biological field. She can perform impossible surgeries and even bring the dead back to life if their body is intact. Unfortunately, she has no apparent sense of morality and her idea of fun and interesting is... bad. Very bad.
    • Panacea is terrified that she is doomed to become this despite — or perhaps because of the psychological strain of — her Healing Hands power, which is actually just one manifestation of her ability to completely reshape biology with a touch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gideon from Charmed (1998) is a healer and a well-respected Elder. Unfortunately, he turned evil and tried to kill Wyatt and managed to kill Chris. He didn't so much turn evil as become a Well-Intentioned Extremist—Wyatt was set to become the Evil Overlord of Earth in the future, after all. As it turns out, only because of Gideon's intervention.
  • Linderman from Heroes has the power to heal, but his goal is to blow up New York. He usually uses his power to manipulate or control people by giving, withholding, or revoking healing.
  • Lost Girl features a Dark Fae who's a Landwight. They are nature spirits who take over a plot of land, and anyone who eats the food that grows there will gain incredibly good luck. Being a Dark Fae, though, means that this Landwight has no compunctions about using humans as plant food.
  • In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deanna Troi meets a man who is a quarter Betazoid, which makes him empathic like her (Troi is half Betazoid), which he uses to win in political and economic negotiations. Troi calls him out on it, but he fires back that he's just using his natural abilities, that in his case all he's dealing with are property transactions, and that it is Troi who has an ethical problem because she uses her abilities to help her ship defeat enemy vessels and kill people.
  • The angels of Supernatural possess the ability to not only heal but outright resurrect, depending on the situation. While sympathetic angels like Castiel do use those powers for good, being able to heal and resurrect also means you can put a victim through particularly inventive torture. At one point, a character is so miserable doing what the angels want that he suggests killing himself, but the angel he's talking to points out that they'll just resurrect him — and they can keep doing so, regardless of what he wants.
  • Alec McCullough, the main villain of Wu Assassins, has the powers of the "wood wu", which include the ability to empower himself and others, as well as magical control over plant growth. Unfortunately, his healing powers don't extend to his only one non-evil goal: bring his family back to life.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In The Dark Eye, the sadistic too-evil-for-the-black-guild School of Pains had healing magic as its main subject — certainly helpful when studying the physical and mental limits of living beings or performing vivisections.
  • One of the possible weapon enchantments in Dungeons & Dragons is "merciful", which causes a weapon to deal a little more damage, but all of it nonlethal. Some sourcebooks recommend merciful weapons as torture devices since they still hurt but don't leave scars or cause lasting harm. And the enchantment requires the Cure Light Wounds spell.
    • Belial, the father of the lady of the fourth hell (Fierna), was originally known as Belial the Merciful and appeared to use his healing powers for good. What he was actually doing, and still does, is torturing and raping people then healing them and repeating the process until he had cracked their minds and made them his willing slaves.
    • One of Ravenloft's Darklords, Sodo, had this as a side effect of his Dark Powers' Provided Curse: take a guy (or doppelganger, in this case) who loves murdering via strangulation with his own hands, then make his touch not only healing but also one of the few minimum-risk means to resurrect someone. (The victims usually come to thinking they woke up from a nightmare)
    • With some work, a healer can create a link to the elemental plane of positive energy on the material world that not only heals someone past full but eventually causes them to explode from life energy. It's worth noting that this isn't a perversion of positive energy or anything, it's just what happens when a living thing is exposed to the plane.
    • Where in earlier editions paladins and clerics were expected to stay within the boundaries set by alignment and the strictures of their faith on penalty of potentially losing their powers by straying too far, 4th edition does away with this by making being invested with the power to work divine magic very much a one-time event that the god(s) in question can't then simply take back at whim. This makes it entirely possible for divinely-powered characters to eventually stray from their faith in any direction while keeping (and possibly expanding on) their old powers, at least until their former fellow followers take sufficient exception to do something about them in person.
    • By that same note 4th edition paladins were not Always Lawful Good like in previous edition but could be any alignment (usually the same as whatever god they worshipped). Despite this, almost all the paladin powers were things like light(this) and holy(that). One book did note that the DM could change the name and theme of an evil paladin's powers if they didn't like this sort of thing.
    • The Spelljammer expansion takes this a bit further. In one of the crystal sphere settings, a natural anomaly connects with the Positive Energy plane, and can cure characters of any injury, ailment, or disease, but has a cumulative chance of creating incurable, disfiguring tumors. It is guarded and worshiped by a Cult of Bane, a "dead" evil god.
    • In 3rd edition, any divine spellcaster was capable of using healing magic, though good clerics could convert any prepared spell to a healing spell there was also nothing stopping an evil cleric from preparing healing spells, averting No Cure for Evil.
    • The most literal form of the trope is actually averted. Repeatedly and deliberately using spells with the Good or Evil descriptor will influence a character's alignment, and can cause a character to fall if they're not careful with spellcasting choices.
  • This is one of many potential elements of Exalted. There's absolutely nothing preventing a person from becoming exactly this, and in fact, there are mechanics that make it a likely conclusion for most, as exalts fall prey to power and hubris... or start that way. Even Solar Exaltation has as its only requirements that the human in question be (usually) physically fit to wield power, inclined to use the full power granted by Exaltation, and not want the complete destruction of Creation. You don't have to be at all good — just usable.
  • Badders in Gamma World are badgerfolk who are innately able to sense people's emotions. In a darkly parodic twist, they picked up on humanity's negative emotions and two-faced nature and became a race of nasty cynics.
  • Genius: The Transgression has Thulian Revanchists, who have access to the improving and healing Axiom of Exelixi. No Cure for Evil does not apply.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, a major Big Bad, Yawgmoth of Phyrexia, was once one of the greatest healers in existence. In the prequel tie-in book that his origin is covered in, we find that he was actually a great surgeon, not someone using healing magic, and the distinction is made clear from very early on. That being said, surgery is still (usually) considered a healing art. He was also a con-man, prone to introducing plagues specifically so he could heal them, and prone to fishing for sympathy based on the fact that surgeons were persecuted as scapegoats for a recent war. If he was a typical surgeon, they probably were responsible for starting the war.
  • Warhammer has Aekold Helbrass. His special ability is the breath of life, and he has the ability to heal himself and others around him. The catch is he's a champion of Tzeentch, who kills people with devotion and glee.

    Video Games 
  • In Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, as if to contrast Sabata and his dark powers, is Red Durathor. She's a Plant Person with the power to grow trees and plants on a whim, and the only boss of all three games to be affiliated with the Sol property and who is actually weak to the powers of darkness, yet she is also an Immortal who serves as The Dragon to the Big Bad and is responsible for strangling San Miguel with evil plants and choking out the Solar Tree with the roots of her own Darkness Tree.
  • Bravely Default:
    • Holly Whyte of the Eternian Sky Knights is a haughty, cruel, and sadistic woman who happens to be a White Mage. She assures Tiz that Agnès's life will be spared if she comes quietly... as she intends to torture her within an inch of her life, heal her, and do it all over and over until her mind snaps. She's also revealed to be in a romantic relationship with Barras Lehr, the Monk who is obsessed with smashing and needs no tactics beyond "frontal assault", and Holly is more than willing to keep him alive and kicking while he wreaks his havoc.
    • Qada manages to combine this with Bad Powers, Bad People, as the Salve-Maker's repertoire of concoctions includes poison and debilitation as well as restoration and enhancement. Qada unashamedly prefers the former arsenal, having created a toxic weapon of mass destruction, but he is also an exceptional healer; the author of D's Journal mentions Qada having kept him alive in the entry after he falls into a lava pool, and eventually bringing him all the way back up to fighting fit... after Qada was found torturing said author under the guise of treatment. He also does exceptional work in the medical bay at Starkfort, even healing captured enemies - so that he has clean slates to test his toxins on.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter plays with this. The final Scripted Battle is against Chetyre, the dragon trying to keep people from leaving their underground society. If enough turns go by, he uses Kaiser Breath against you, a power that was the hero's signature attack in the second, third, and fourth games.
  • In pretty much all the Metroidvania-style games in the Castlevania series, a few monsters deal and/or resist Holy/Light damage (Fallen Angels and creatures posing as/mocking God or other religious figures are often the ones that do this). May catch players off-guard when they first appear, since Holy is otherwise effective against a good chunk of the other monsters in the castle, and is rarely an element the player needs to worry about.
  • The big twist of the Destiny 2 expansion The Witch Queen is the discovery that Savathûn, the titular Witch Queen, has somehow tapped into the Light, the reality-warping force granted to The Chosen Many by the Traveler to defend humanity, and given it to (her faction of) the Hive, a swarm of genocidal monsters dead set on destroying humanity (and normally empowered by the Darkness, a force diametrically opposed to the Light). Between fighting off Savathûn's new Lucent Hive, the storyline deals with investigating just how she was able to steal the Light from the Traveler, ultimately leading to the revelation that it wasn't stolen at all — the Traveler gave it to her for its own inscrutable reasons.
  • Exdeath is the Barrier Warrior of Dissidia Final Fantasy. He's also the villain of the game he originates from, using his barriers here to block almost any attack and subsequently counter with his own attacks, which would otherwise be exceedingly slow to execute. He's quite firmly Neutral Evil, what with his desire to send everything to THE VOID.
  • Genlock Emissaries from Dragon Age have three Creation-school healing spells in addition to their stock of Black Magic.
  • Dungeon Keeper lets you cast Heal on your torture victims. Nothing breaks a do-gooder's spirit better than the knowledge he can't just bear the torture until he dies from it. You can also bless them with resistance to damage and increased speed... both of which are likewise not blessings in that situation.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: In most cases, it's debatable whether player characters in a game like Skyrim could count for this trope since they can be built however the player wants. Still, one particular playstyle brings this trope to mind: the Necromage Vampire. The Necromage perk improves the effect of all spells on undead creatures by 25% and their duration by 50%, but if the player is a vampire, then they're flagged as undead as well, meaning self-targeting spellsnote  get the above-stated bonuses. Necromage is an expert-level Restoration perk, meaning a vampire player who wants to take advantage of this has to specialize in the school of magic that encompasses things like healing, magical shields, and Stendarr-related spells. Of course, given that Dark Is Not Evil, nothing really compels a vampire player to actually be evil, though Dawnguard's vampire storyline — and, in the vanilla game, the fact that all NPCs turn hostile if you go five days without feeding on human blood — encourages you to.
  • Kirei Kotomine in Fate/stay night is the Big Bad of two routes and mostly responsible for the third. He's in it For the Evulz, throws swords around, kicks puppies, tries to use the Token Mini-Moe to destroy the world, and is a member of both the Church and the Magi's association, which is apparently a supreme heresy for both organizations or something. Oh, and the only magic he has any talent for whatsoever is healing wounds, as well as possessing the ability to exorcise unnatural entities. He's very good at healing people. In fact, he saves Sakura's life in Heaven's Feel because he knows she's essentially 'pregnant' with the devil and that if he saves her, Shirou will probably protect her and then she will unleash Angra Mainyu on the world and destroy it.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 have the Deadlord Canis, a zombie who specializes in light magic. In Thracia 776, if Sara is killed or not recruited, her corpse is used to create Canis.
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade has the minor bosses Orlo, Windham, and Martel, all Bishops. Orlo in particular is a Sinister Minister who believes that anything he does can be excused since he serves the gods.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, one of the bosses you face is a light magic user by the name of Kenneth, an ex-bishop who denies the existence of all gods.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Riev is clearly this trope. Despite that he obviously looks evil, has been excommunicated from his country for practicing demon worship, and is The Dragon to the Big Bad, when you fight him both times (one of which is actually optional), he uses Aura, a high-level light magic tome.
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Oliver uses light magic exclusively and is probably one of the most repulsive villains in the game.
      • Villainous priests and bishops in the Fire Emblem games tend to be "skewed" iterations of the classic healer, switching out normal light magic for variations that steal HP, or poison. They also use Berserk or Sleep staves rather than healing ones.
      • It's worth noting that Oliver undergoes a... sort-of-Heel–Face Turn in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, wherein he joins Ike and instead defends the Herons. Essentially, he's a Joke Character, really, and this doesn't exactly excuse him from the stuff he did. Meanwhile, the other Begnion senators fit this trope a lot better, especially Lekain. The only exception is Hetzel, who thinks the Begnion senators passed the Moral Event Horizon but was too afraid to step up and fight against them.
  • In Guild Wars, we have General Bayel. He is very Obviously Evil, of course, especially given his backstory, but when you see him in cutscenes, you'll notice he's got caster weapons. When you fight him, he actually is a monk. A smite monk, but a monk nonetheless. There are also a lot of enemy monks as well, such as margonites, demons, Mursaat, and White Mantle.
  • Hero King Quest: Peacemaker Prologue: Besides tanking skills, the Hero Prince can also use recovery and defensive magic. However, he's a racist and sexist Evil Prince who wants to conquer the Dark Realm.
  • Killer7 plays with this trope, as the two main supernatural antagonists are both basically "Gods". However, Kun Lan, armed with the "good" power of life, uses it to create heaven smiles, hideous monsters used as living bombs, while Harman Smith, armed with the "evil" power of death, uses this to empower his assassins to destroy manifestations of evil in the world (said heaven smiles). The ending implies that the two sometimes switch which of them is "good" and "evil", which leads to the other tropes.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Agahnim's powers saved Hyrule from drought and pestilence. Too bad he is an evil sorcerer who murdered the King, brainwashed the soldiers into obedience, and kidnapped Seven Maidens to bring Ganon back to life.
  • Nintendo Wars: Clone Andy from Advance Wars shares Andy's Hyper-Repair CO Power, which lets him heal his entire army by 20% of their max HP. He's also responsible for launching hostile invasions against multiple nations on Sturm's orders, whilst framing the real Andy for all his crimes.
  • Tech User, Techmaster, and Dark Witch enemies from Phantasy Star IV are known to heal their allies in battle.
  • Soma Union: Despite having nothing but destructive intentions, Absolution is capable of infusing life to reincarnate people and even create new life. It can also be used to warp reality in ways that can benefit others, such as erecting structures and bringing the fragments of Soma back together.
  • Tales Series:
    • Elraine in Tales of Destiny 2. She's a holy priestess and healer for the goddess Fortuna (who's gone insane) and is determined to provide "happiness" to humans, even if it means rendering them completely subservient to her will and stripping them of individuality.
    • The Four Seraphim, and the angels in general, in Tales of Symphonia. Subverted with the Doctor in Flanoir who demands to be paid in full and in advance before he'll help Altessa. When Lloyd calls him on this, he calmly points out that being a doctor is his job and it's how he makes his living.
  • The Medic from Team Fortress 2 can heal his teammates, make them invincible, and cure them of most ailments. He only really does this to pay the bills, but it still rewards his sheer bloodlust and his desire to kill everyone through the violence his patients cause. The manual even states that the healing effect of his device is actually an unexpected and unintended side effect of whatever the hell that thing was supposed to do to people.
  • The cast of Touhou Project is composed primarily of jerkasses, so a weak version of this applies to most people who have "good" powers.
    • One of the strongest examples would be Yuuka, the flower youkai, who is, depending on the game, anywhere from extraordinarily creepy to an outright Omnicidal Maniac.
    • One might argue that Yuuka is at least apathetic, even if extremely dangerous. Junko, on the other hand, has the power of "purifying anything", which could be just as benefical as it sounds, but her two uses in-game of said power are purifying fairies into an army capable of defeating the Lunarians and purifying herself into a being best described as a living, breathing grudge whose sole purpose is to kill.
  • In Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2, Adel Tulba, under the brain-altering effects of Neo-GUILT, notes that the Healing Touch, meant to aid the surgeon in saving a patient, can also be used to kill people (by immobilizing them before going in for the kill), like what they try to do to Derek and Angie.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has an example of this: Bernkastel, aka the Witch of Miracles, who can make ''anything'' happen as long as the possibility of the event occurring is greater than 0. She starts out seeming to be good, or at least neutral. Then she reveals what's Beneath the Mask and reminds the audience that she never said that her miracles had to be good or bad. Guess which ones she favors?
  • The Scarlet Crusade/Onslaught in Warcraft 'verse are also fond of healing their torture victims to prepare them for the next session.
    • Sir Zeliek of the four horsemen of Naxxramas is also an example - sort of. It's really more good powers, good-person-controlled-by-bad-person, so by extension, it's Zeliek's good powers being used by a bad person (the Lich King).
    • Arguably, any healer in an evil organization (unless they use shadow-based heals such as Dark Mending, like most undead healers tend to do) is one of these. While there tend not to be a lot of true evil paladins around (though some pseudo-paladin knockoffs do exist) except in the aforementioned Scarlet Crusade, evil priests, shamans, and druids with holy or natural based healing power are present for most evil races and factions.
    • Note that the Warcraft universe uses the All Myths Are True system, so it's especially true that Light Is Not Good. The Church of the Holy Light is almost Buddhist in its lack of belief in a personal god; the holy powers of priests and paladins is channeled via meditation and inner peace rather than the involvement of God. Anyone can use the Light's power, even really horrible people like Knight Templars who are long past the slippery slope of morality or having holy priests among the Forsaken Undead, as long as they have the necessary training and sincere belief.
    • In Warcraft III, Paladins have Divine Shield (a barrier of positive energy that makes them invulnerable) and Devotion Aura (strengthens the resolve of nearby units, increasing their armor). The other unit with those spells? The Bandit Lord.
  • The World Ends with You: Joshua's skillset consists of raining down holy beams of light on his enemies, reviving the dead, and judging said souls of the dead. He also was planning on using his abilities to wipe out everyone in Shibuya before ultimately changing his mind.

  • Aurora (2019): Life Mages have the power to both heal and horribly mutate things.
  • The Bitka Spirit Father from Dominic Deegan — the most powerful wielder of the Akta, a force for life and healing, among the orcs of Maltak. He's also a fanatical xenophobe.
  • Erfworld:
    • Olive Branch is a Florist, the caster class associated with peace and pacifism — in fact, the spell we see Olive using most often is a magical song that prevents anyone who hears it from attacking anyone else until Olive's next turn. She's also a scheming manipulator, determined to prove Flower Power's worth above all other disciplines of magic and is willing to use poison and mind control to do it while using her magic to force pacifism on anyone who tries to kill her.
    • Sister Betsy of Faq is a Healomancer, essentially the setting's equivalent of White Magic. She's also a colossal Jerkass, to the point that not even Jack Snipe likes her, and then there's that time when she linked her magic with Charlie's to Mind Rape Jillian.
  • Kore from Goblins is a paladin, which is supposed to be a paragon of Lawful Good behaviour. And yet he routinely exterminates anyone from a "monstrous" race he comes across whether or not they are harming anyone or even if they themselves are innocent. He even puts down people who have associated with monstrous races to prevent them from developing sympathies with them. Word of God has stated repeatedly that Kore is a paladin, and there's a reason he still has his powers. He uses Lay On Hands to heal Chief — in order to torture him, so Chief's screams draw the other goblins out of hiding. That said, his magical aura is a little... unusual.
  • Homestuck:
    • Her Imperious Condescension has the ability to extend life. She is also... well, herself. She uses her powers to extend the naturally short lifespan of Ψiioniic, making him live thousands of years... after he was turned into a living battery for her spaceship. The fact that she was genuinely enamored with him somehow makes it even worse.
    • In that vein, the attributes given to players don't always correlate very well to what they do with those powers once they have them, and can in fact be subverted depending on the player's class. Vriska is a sometimes sadistically cruel hero of light (although the term appears to be synonymous with luck in-universe), and her light-aspect dancestor Aranea goes from being basically good-hearted and harmless to being a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Of course, those pale in comparison to Eridan, whose class as a prince combined with his use of the hope aspect mean that he uses bright-and-shiny powers to destroy hope.
  • I Don't Want This Kind of Hero: Morae Baek has the ability of purification. As Young Jeong puts it, his power is a rare case where he essentially makes things better just by existing. It's why she wants to keep him alive at all costs.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Redcloak semi-lampshades this at the bottom of this strip. "Healing? No, they're going so they can zombify our dead. We're the bad guys, remember?" The moment where the 'good' powers of a cleric are used, however, are seen later when the clerics turn out to be entirely competent healers.
    • Like all clerics, Redcloak has the ability to heal people (though evil clerics can do so less readily than good ones). In one strip he mentions that he will have to heal his captive O-Chul... so that he can survive his daily session of torture.
    • Miko Miyazaki, a Paladin from the same series, is overzealous, prejudiced, and dangerously violent when given even a suspicion of wrongdoing. It eventually catches up to her and her gods strip her of her powers.
    • Rich Burlew describes a group of people in Start of Darkness as "good people who do bad things". He is likely referring to the Paladins' attempted genocide of the goblin people, as well as Redcloak (who ends up becoming much more malevolent by the end of the comic) and his band of goblins.
  • Penny Arcade shows how it's done.
  • In Runewriters, Jonan of Rusanne wields the Magic of Life, Necromancy and Nature Control (since it's fundamentally the same thing) but being an expert healer doesn't make this narcissistic sociopath a nicer person. He likes to use healing spells to seal shut the eyes and mouths of people who piss him off (say, by asking for his help as a healer) or steal from him. Fortunately, the spells are only temporary, lasting a week at most. Unfortunately, he never realized that people can't go without water for a week.
  • True Magic has the Priests of Lucideus, the Light Bringer. They stole his power and began a reign of terror over the land. And set people on fire.
  • White Dark Life:
    • Manny Green has the goal of becoming this by murdering Annie Belnades and taking her Healer's Necklace to obtain her Healing Hands abilities to use them for profit. Needless to say, none of the heroes are keen on this.
    • Altair and Malthus (and the latter's subordinates, the Chi Trinity) are straighter examples. Both have Holy Hand Grenade powers (Altair being an agent of Heaven while Malthus and the Chi Trinity derive their power from The Lifestream.note  Unfortunately, Altair is a deranged, Holier Than Thou Knight Templar who mercilessly exterminates demons and sinners (despite the former not being Always Chaotic Evil (and usually quite benevolent) in this 'verse, and his standard for not being a "sinner" are unreasonably strict). Altair's end goal is to exterminate all demons and obliterate hell (which is not a realm of eternal punishment in this 'verse, but rather a place where even the most horrific of sins can be redeemed through torment); achieving the destruction of hell would make the post-mortem redemption of sinners impossible and doom them to Cessation of Existence. As for Malthus and his organization, the Light Demons, they're a band of eco-terrorists who are aiming to save the planet by dramatically reducing the sapient population. Malthus is also an extremely vengeful person who will go to great lengths to exterminate not only his enemies, but all of their loved ones as well — and he tends to go after the latter first.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: One episode sees baby piglets (in cute costumes, no less) using magic wands that fire glitter and rainbows. They happen to be very, very, evil.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Firebending is obviously harmful-looking and has plenty of villains (including the Big Bad of the original series) using it since day one, while Earthbending, being the most physical of all powers, has a wide opportunity to be used for evil; while Book One of Avatar: The Last Airbender has no villain using Earthbending, Book Two introduces lots of them, and then some. As for the other two bendings:
    • Waterbending can be used for physical purposes (especially if you are in the sea, where it is downright lethal), but it is mostly used defensively or as a conduit to heal someone. There is only one villain in Avatar: The Last Airbender who uses waterbending, introduced very late in Book Three: Hama, a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing posing as a doddering old lady. Unlike other waterbenders, who bend from a visible source, Hama can waterbend even in places that do not have a visible water source. Water is everywhere, after all, and Hama takes this to its logical extreme by bending water vapor, water from plants (which kills them in the process), and blood. The last case, bloodbending, is the only bending to be considered an evil Black Magic. Even lightningbending, the most dangerous bending of them all, is still considered a legitimate and natural power compared to bloodbending.
    • The Legend of Korra disproves the above unique exception and makes the main villains of the first two books be Waterbenders. The one from Book One, Amon, is once again a Bloodbender. He can not only bloodbend, but somehow manages to take away bending virtually permanently; the only way to undo it is by having the Avatar use the Avatar State to spiritually restore it. The one from Book Two, Unalaq, has a natural affinity with spirits and specializes in a Waterbending technique used to purify and appease spirits. He tries to use this to fuse with an Eldritch Abomination so he can basically become The Antichrist.
    • Airbending is the least offensive and most spiritual of all the elemental abilities. Airbenders who are born with it are naturally pacifists. ATLA doesn't have an airbending villain, since the titular character is the last airbender. TLOK seems to play this straight too, until Book Three, which gives us Zaheer, who shows us what airbending can do in the hands of a determined villain, and it's quite horrific. Long story short, Airbending is involved in the first on-screen kill of the franchise. By sucking the air from their lungs and suffocating them.
  • Zig-zagged with Michael Morningstar in Ben 10: Alien Force. In his first appearance, he uses light-based powers characterized by a gold colour. He turned out to be a villain, but he actually gets his energy by draining energy from schoolgirls, turning them into zombies in the process. After the girls turned against him and devoured most of his energy, he is left with dark energy-based powers. He does get back the golden version whenever he drains enough energy from something, though. That surname should've been a tipoff.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In one of the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts, Vicky gets her hands on Wanda's wand, getting control of its magic. While Vicky is unaware that she has the powers, one of the reasons Cosmo, Wanda, and Timmy are desperate to get the wand from Vicky is because of the havoc she could wreak.
  • Generator Rex: Van Kleiss has the ability to control the Nanites in all of his home country and most commonly uses them to manipulate the foliage. His debut had him walking across the land with flowers springing up from his Fertile Feet. When the charade was dropped he shows all the grotesque killer plants he can unleash when he tries to kill the heroes and eventually displays the ability to mutate people with the control of life and the Nanites that he has.
  • The Star Sapphire Corps in Green Lantern: The Animated Series started out as a group of beautiful women dressed in pink who use The Power of Love. Except their conception of "Love" is to imprison their true loves in giant crystals so they won't get hurt by the outside, and put a Mercy Kill on people whose true loves are already dead. Fortunately, they get better.
  • Played with in Grossology with Kid Rot. Since everything he touches withers and dies, he initially believes himself to be a good guy with evil powers. However, he soon learns whatever he rots becomes a hyper effective compost that causes plants to grow at a ridiculously fast rate and realizes his powers are quite good given the possibilities of this. Then the source of his powers, a parasite spreading throughout his body, begins to alter his mind and turn him into a psychopath, landing him firmly in this trope.
  • Master Brightmore in Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, while not evil, is the least sympathetic of the Duel Masters, despite being the Master specialized in Light Civilisation Creatures. He turns evil at the end of Season 1.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The Miraculouses were explicitly created to empower heroes to do good, but if they fall into the hands of someone with ill intent, they can do awful things with their powers.
    • The Butterfly Miraculous grants its user the ability to sense the emotions of others and grant them superpowers. Its intended purpose is to create superheroes from strong-willed civilians, but unfortunately, its current holder is Hawk Moth, who instead uses its power to prey on people's negative emotions and turn them into supervillains.
    • In the Season 2 finale, Hawk Moth's assistant, Nathalie Sancoeur, takes another Miraculous, that of the Peacock, to save Hawk Moth when he is about to be captured by the heroes. The Peacock Miraculous creates "Sentimonsters", powerful creatures that embody a person's emotions. Like with the Butterfly Miraculous, the Sentimonsters are meant to be used for good purposes, but as Mayura, Nathalie uses the Peacock Miraculous to make monsters to serve as allies for Hawk Moth and the villains he creates.
    • In the Season 3 special, Hawk Moth gives the Eagle Miraculous to one of his akumatized villains, Techlonizer, turning him into Miraclonizer. The Eagle Miraculous grants the power of Freedom, allowing him to release any sort of restraint that may be holding someone back from their full potential. But Miraclonizer twists this to remove all the superheroes' restraints, making them run wild by removing their senses of morality. For example, Majestia no longer fears what her full power is capable of that her world and decides to test the full limits of her powers, destroying everything and even trying to drop the Moon onto the Earth; Knightowl abandons "his" code of ethics and adopts an All Crimes Are Equal policy, blowing up cars for sloppy parking and threatening to throw people in jail for not recycling; and speedster hero Mercury decides to... relax in a comfy chair.
  • Cozy Glow in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic wields The Power of Friendship (a literal power canonically capable of redeeming people as bad as Discord and Starlight Glimmer, not to mention also capable of annihilating Physical Gods) that she learned at the School of Friendship in a bid to take over Equestria, not caring at all about the fates of anyone who got in her way. She gets her psychotic little butt dumped in Tartarus for all the damage she caused.
  • Similarly to his comic counterpart, Dr. Light in Teen Titans (2003) is a villain who, while not a rapist, still has no problems abducting a super-powered teenager in one episode to exploit her as a power source for one of his machines. To add to the irony, he also suffers a traumatizing experience when he's a victim of Mind Rape... by Raven, who is a half-demon with a case of Bad Powers, Good People.


Video Example(s):


Hawk Moth

Like all miraculous, the Butterfly Miraculous was created as a tool for great heroes, but Hawk Moth intends to use it to create supervillains under his thrall.

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