Follow TV Tropes


To Create a Playground for Evil

Go To
"You can steal, destroy, injure, and murder! No one will stop you! Evil shall be unfettered!"

"Now, the world shall be my plaything! I shall bring about an age of fear and chaos! And it shall be glorious!"
Dr. Eggman Nega, Sonic Rush Adventure

Evil Overlords want to Take Over the World, and Omnicidal Maniacs want to destroy the world, but these villains just want to change the world. Rather than conquer it, blow it up, or kill everyone on it, they are much more content to simply turn it into the most horrible and messed up place possible — their own personal playground, in other words. Villains who intend on this goal are likely doing it For the Evulz. Naturally, the common criminals who inhabit the world would like this guy, and they'll welcome him as their liberator..

Compare Dystopia Justifies the Means, which is when a bad guy wants to make a deliberately oppressive government, Anarcho-Tyranny, where the tyrant is intentionally allowing or inducing some lawless anarchy for his advantage, and Infernal Paradise, where the hellish playground is rooted in Blue-and-Orange Morality rather than simple malice.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott, Director of Deus Ex Machina Industries, in Date A Live plays with this. His desire is to make the whole world upside down, in order to fill the world with pure chaos, destruction, panic and fear for his "fun" and "self-satisfaction".
  • Dragon Ball:
    • King Piccolo in Dragon Ball overthrows the world's government entirely for the purpose of making Earth a chaotic mess:
      "First, I will tell you the two words I hate the most. They are 'justice' and 'peace'. Let me just say that I do not plan to bind you all into slavery or anything like that. Not at all. In fact, I want you to do anything you want. I'm going to abolish every law enforcement agency. You can steal, destroy, injure, and murder! No one will stop you! Evil shall be unfettered! Those who brandish the sword of justice shall be exterminated by my demons! This will be a glorious world of terror and hate!"
    • Androids 17 and 18 in the Bad Future of Dragon Ball Z had similar motivations, as they destroyed civilization, performing mass murder and robberies indiscriminately purely because they were bored. In the mainstream timeline For Want of a Nail kicks in and they're much less destructive, not going out of their way to hurt anyone but still doing whatever they please and planning to kill Goku just because.
  • Tendou Jigoku at the end of Flame of Recca intends to (upon gaining complete immortality) kill most of the humans on the planet, but leave enough alive for them to repopulate. And then start killing again, leading to an endless cycle of slaughter.
  • The Major in Hellsing wants a world of perpetual warfare. "Gentlemen... I love war."
  • This is essentially the Big Bad Friday Monday's goal in Madlax, since he sees all humans as evil deep inside and actively tries to bring out their "true natures".
  • Ali Al-Saachez from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 wants to help create a world of endless warfare, so that his slaughter will never end.
  • One Piece: Kaido's plan to become Pirate King involves turning the country of Wano into a lawless paradise for pirates, where they will be protected from the Marines by its geographical isolation. And after turning the entire country into his base of operations, he'll grow his forces until he becomes unstoppable, eventually turning the whole world into his playground.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Knights of the Old Republic Game Mod Brotherhood of Shadow has this as the motive of Daemon Drexel, the former captain of the smuggling ship Orion. A former Republic officer who later served Revan's Sith forces, he was disillusioned with both. He decided that a better option would be to steal a derelict warship (the Orion) and turn pirate, siding with the criminal underworld as a force to try and make a place in the galaxy where those who refused to bow to any authority would be able to indulge their desires.
  • Megami no Hanabira has an interesting example with Shusui Naito, the Chaos representative. While he aims to unleash the Demon Summoning Program to the masses and turn the world into a huge free-for-all of violence, he's not just doing it For the Evulz: he's The Social Darwinist, who believes that said Playground for Evil will weed out the weak and the worthless individuals who cheated their way into power and use money to command authority rather than competence, while attracting strong, capable people to unleash their ambitions and fight for the throne. He fully intends for the Playground for Evil to eventually give way to a Golden Age once the weak are culled and the world is brought under control by an ‹bermensch: a temporary Crapsack Dystopia for the sake of a Utopia later down the line.
  • In the Pony POV Series, this is the endgame of Discord and his allies in the Finale Arc. They rewrite reality so that all rumors are true (yes, even the contradictory ones) and every Grimdark story is happening all at once, thus creating a living hell for everyone else for their enjoyment.

    Films — Animated 
  • Lord Kuruku in Unico in the Island of Magic wants to (and almost does) turn every living thing into "Living Puppets" to be his slaves, building material, rocket skateboards, etc.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The cult in "The Call of Cthulhu" seems to have aspects of this:
    Then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and reveling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.
  • In The Dresden Files, when Harry visits one of the White Court's nightclubs, he muses that this would be their ultimate goal if they ever had the chance:
    The music, the light, the sweat, the smoke, the booze, the drugs—it all combined into a wet, desperate miasma that was full of needs that could never be sated.
    That's why the place was called Zero, I realized. Zero limits. Zero inhibitions. Zero restraint. It was a place of perfect, focused abandon, of indulgence, and it was intriguing and hideous, nauseating and viscerally
    Zero fulfillment.
    I felt a shudder run through me. This was the world as created by the White Court. This is what they would make of it, if they were given the chance. Planet Zero.
  • Blood Meridian: This appears to be Judge Holden's ultimate goal for the world as he sees it, given his habits of both performing absolutely heinous (and sometimes petty) acts and goading other members of the Glanton Gang to do likewise.
    "At a young age, said the judge, they should be put in a pit with wild dogs. They should be set to puzzle out from their proper clues the one of three doors that does not harbor wild lions. They should be made to run naked in the desert until..."
    "Hold on now," said Tobin. "The question was put in all earnestness."
    "And the answer, man," said the judge. "If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind, would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet?"
  • The creature in It does this with the town of Derry. IT seems to encourage violent and sadistic tendencies in some of the townsfolk, especially the local Barbaric Bully, while messing with the adults' heads so that they are basically useless. This helps isolate the town's children, his preferred prey.
  • Satan seeks to do this to the world in Paradise Lost in order to get Revenge by Proxy against its Creator.
  • Two of the possible Bad Futures that the Dark One shows that might happen if it wins are like this in The Wheel of Time; the first is close to a literal Hell on Earth, while the second is more subtle, with humanity altered to all be completely devoid of conscience or empathy (just like the Dark One itself), but also rendered completely unaware that anything is wrong. The third possibility is void.note  Of course, in none of these visions do the bulk of the Dark One's human followers actually get what they want.
  • Marquis de Sade sometimes had his libertine characters express their wish for creating a dictatorship solely to have free rein for murdering, raping and torturing people (at least those unneeded to maintain things), without any fear of punishment with them in charge.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • Presumably the Beast's motive for blocking out the sun. His boss, on the other hand, was just using the chaos created as a distraction. Amusingly, the forces of evil get bored of their playground rather quickly, with one of them noting (while bowling with human heads) that evil's just not as much fun without a challenge.
    • Holland Manners of Wolfram & Hart claims that the world is already this and always has been since the first caveman clubbed his neighbor, and that is the source of Wolfram and Hart's power. The law firm's purpose is to make sure the world stays that way.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Several villains want to open the Hellmouth for reasons somewhere between this and worship of the True Demons sealed inside.
    • Also, the reason Sunnydale was deliberately built on top of the Hellmouth — the founder (who's still the Mayor a century later) made a lot of deals to get to where he is and providing demons with an all-you-can-eat buffet is part of his payment.
    • Toward the end of Season 2, the vampire Spike decides to help Buffy stop the Omnicidal Maniac Angelus from releasing a demon that will suck the world into Hell because he believes the world is already a playground of evil for vampires with humans being "little happy meals on legs", and thus destroying the human world would mean destroying the world for vampires too.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • In Kamen Rider Kuuga, the ultimate goal of N-Daguva-Zeba is to unleash an "ultimate darkness" that would make humanity become as violent and bloodthirsty as he and the other Grongi are.
    • Bugsters, the video game antagonists of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid have this among their goals. They plan to launch VR game Kamen Rider Chronicle and lure humans into playing, thus creating an all-you-can-kill buffet for themselves.
    • Evolt's ultimate goal in Kamen Rider Build is to create a "new world" for himself, by destroying everyone and everything else in it, leaving only him.
    • Kamen Rider Saber: Isaac's end goal involves recreating the Almighty Book and using its power to remake the world. He doesn't get much into the specifics of the world he plans to create, but the few hints he drops imply it wouldn't be an especially pleasant one.
      Isaac: I'm simply creating a world free of conflict. The screams of humans will replace the birds chirping at dawn. Doesn't that sound nice?
  • Particularly ambitious Power Rangers and/or Super Sentai villains may strive for some version of this.

    Mythology & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Ebon Dragon's ultimate goal in Exalted is basically to screw over reality in such a way that his will determines reality, by usurping the position of the shinma that defines existence. It remains to be seen whether he actually can or if it's just another excuse for him to be a dick.
  • Freedom City: The Elseworld setting Crime City is one where all the heroes from Freedom City are instead criminals who've taken over and made everything pro-criminal. There's some weird Fridge Logic involved in this — apparently, it still has things like criminal trials in which lawyers use dishonest means to get their clients off instead of simply having the outcome predetermined or not arresting supervillains in the first place.
  • The followers of Chaos in Warhammer want to turn the whole world into another Realm of Chaos, a very messed up Chaotic Evil Eldritch Location.
    • In Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos Gods sparked the Horus Heresy to turn the materium into a tortured hellscape so that they could laugh and feast upon the agony of all sentient life. They succeeded.
    • Getting the gods' favor to the point where they bestow daemonhood is the endgoal of just about every single servant of Chaos. Daemon Princehood comes with transforming the planet into a Daemon World, a place where the Warp and reality coexist, where they can indulge their whims for eternity.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Triatic Wyrm wants to conquer and corrupt all of Gaia, and in one Time of Judgment scenario, it succeeds. Averted with the original Wyrm of Balance, which simply wants to escape from the Weaver's web.

    Video Games 
  • At the end of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma's early trailer, it's revealed that our resident Troll Big Bad, Yuuki Terumi, now with the pesky time loops out of the way, intends to erase the distinction between Omnicidal Mania and Evil Playground Architecture. In other words, he wants to kill everyone, but not the old-fashioned personal way where he does all the killing himself — no, he wants to make the world a place where everyone kills each other for his amusement. That's his kind of playground.
  • Deathloop: The way the "Groundhog Day" Loop encompassing Blackreef was supposed to work out was a fun place of eternal life where everybody understood what was going on and could enjoy resetting everyday with full memories after doing whatever they wished. Unfortunately what happens instead is that, due to a variety of circumstances, the only person who remembers the loops until Colt starts remembering is Julianna, who has engineered the loop to basically be her personal playground where she has all the information and power, and thus can do whatever she wants to everyone else without consequences. "Whatever she wants" usually translating to whatever sadistic whim she fancies at the moment. And she's determined to keep it that way.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2: Towa's ultimate plan is to merge the Demon Realm with the main universe; she knows this will result in chaos, and delights in it.
    Towa: Can't you imagine it? A garden of evil blooming with rage and pain? So beautiful.
  • In Hero Mode of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, the Big Bad used the Dragon Balls to make the world a hellhole, purely for his own amusement. At one point, your character meets the Androids, who like the world as a hellhole and in fact are looking for the Dragon Balls so they can make it even worse.
  • Shao Kahn of Mortal Kombat wants nothing more than absorb all Realms into his multiversal, hellish empire. In his Arcade Ladder ending in Mortal Kombat 11, he achieves this by conquering time and space and entertains himself by hosting unending Mortal Kombat tournaments with himself as the obviously undefeated champion.
  • The Big Bad of Mother 3, King Porky Minch, wants to use his Pigmask Army to turn the Nowhere Islands into a world of debauchery and dirtiness, and for people to embrace his philosophy that Humans Are Bastards. And then blow it up.
  • In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Dr. Nefarious has noticed that The Good Guys Always Win, and he's tired of it. He wants to use The Great Clock not just to reverse his own defeats, but the defeats of every villain who's ever lived.
    Dr. Nefarious: With the clock under my control, I'll be able to wrong all the rights in the universe. Every villain who has ever stumbled will get a do-over. Every protagonist's triumph will be reversed! Until finally, a new present is created, in which the heroes ALWAYS LOSE! [Evil Laugh]
  • This is the goal of Lucifer in Shin Megami Tensei. Throughout the main series he acts as a Bomb Throwing Anarchist trying to convince humanity to turn their backs on God who in this setting is even worse and do whatever the hell they want, which usually results in a bloody Social Darwinist dystopia. His motivations differ between games, as sometimes he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist genuinely trying to do what he thinks is best for everyone, and other times he's simply Chaotic Evil and manipulating the humans in his quest for revenge against God.
  • Silent Hill's cult fits the bill; they're convinced that the only way to create a Goddess of Good who will vanquish Evil is if people teach her (hands-on) what Evil actually is, through constant acts of murder and mutilation unconstrained by any order. They call it Paradise.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has Darth Jadus, possibly the most frighteningly lucid of all of the Sith Empire's ruling council. His ultimate goal is to unify the Empire by striking fear and terror into the hearts of every citizen. He goes so far as to fake his own death to accomplish this, something unheard of in the immensely prideful Sith culture. Though he's still stricken by the universal Sith megalomania.
  • Some of M. Bison's win-quotes in Street Fighter games such as Super Street Fighter IV claim things like "When I control this planet, I shall purge it of all hope!"
  • Dimentio of Super Paper Mario wants to create a perfect world under his rule. What his idea of "perfect" could be is anyone's guess, but given his Ax-Crazy personality, it would likely not be a paradise for anyone but himself.
  • Super Robot Wars:
  • The Dragon Lord from Trials of Mana has his own reason for wanting to become a god, and that's so he can, in his words, "bring havoc and ruin to the world and usher in a new age of darkness" and entertain himself by slaughtering people as sacrifices to himself.

    Visual Novels 


    Western Animation 
  • Darkwing Duck: Negaduck's plan in the "Just-Us Justice Ducks" two-parter is turning Saint Canard into a playground for evil for his gang, the Fearsome Five, giving one fourth of the city to each of his minions while he keeps the loot. Negaduck has already turned his home dimension, the Negaverse, into his own playground.
  • Gravity Falls: Bill Cipher's ultimate plan is to merge the Nightmare Realm with reality so he and his buddies can escape and cause havoc, or as he puts it, "teach your realm how to party!" While he claims at one point that this is to free people from the rules and restrictions of reality, it's pretty clear that all he wants is to create a world where he and his fellow Eldtrich Abominations can endlessly indulge in their sadism and insanity.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Harley prefers that Gotham City be plunged into chaos rather than any person ruling it. She refuses to try to rule in the anarchic wasteland when given the chance and encourages the goons of the various villains battling for power to do evil for their own sake rather than a boss.
  • Inspector Gadget: Some of Dr. Claw's more subtle plans concern this. In "The Infiltration", he has an impersonator take Inspector Gadget's place at a law-enforcement conference. The goal: keep MAD ahead of the police's plans for a full year and "make the world safe for crime".
  • In the Grand Finale of Jackie Chan Adventures, Drago reveals that his goal after obtaining the chi powers of his uncles and aunts is to "turn the world inside out" by releasing his fellow demons from the Netherworld.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: When Discord is unleashed in "The Return of Harmony" Parts 1 and 2, he turns the world into a chaotic mess of inverted gravity, roads of soap, and cotton candy clouds raining chocolate milk. Then he claims that these are only his first changes, and if the stained-glass image of him throwing ponies into the flames is anything to go by...
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In the episode "Bought and Scold", Princess Morebucks has her dad buy Townsville from the Mayor for her and immediately declares that "crime is legal" and the only felony is to prevent other people from committing crimes. She does this purely to spite the Powerpuff Girls and put them out of business, but the effect is this trope nevertheless. It's undone in the end when the Girls give Morebucks a taste of her own medicine and rob her home blind, since she never thought making crime legal would mean crime would be committed against her.
  • The agenda of Aku in Samurai Jack is partly this and partly Dystopia Justifies the Means. There are dystopian cities made in the demon's image, but most of the world consists of violent wastelands plagued by various malevolent aliens whom Aku actively encourages to immigrate to Earth as a place where they can easily wreak havoc.
  • SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron: Dark Kat's ultimate goal is to turn Megakat City into Dark Kat City, his "capitol of crime", "where lawlessness is the law of the land!"