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Noble Demon / Video Games

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Noble Demons in video games.

  • The Ace Attorney series gives us Shelley De Killer, an assassin who serves as one of the culprits in Case 2-4. He makes it very clear that he upholds a strict code of ethics: he values the trust of his client above all else, and he always leaves his calling card at the scene of his murders so the police will know he was responsible and his client will be above suspicion. And when he discovers that his client, Matt Engarde, has betrayed him, he's more than happy to return the favor and make Engarde his next target.
    • We also have Shiran Dogen from Investigations 2. Despite being an assassin, he went out his way to save the lives of two young boys who were freezing to death in a car (Horace Knightly and Simon Keyes). Dogen was then saved by Keyes at one point and Dogen looks after him as a father figure. He also harbored no ill will toward Edgeworth as he was the one that got Dogen locked up and, after escaping from jail to later save Simon Keyes from a fellow assassin Shelly de Killer, Dogen gladly went back to jail with Keyes saying "It's their home now."
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  • Augus from Asura's Wrath, who only fights him because he fights for the strongest side, and actually treats up Asura's wounds from fighting Kalrow's space fleet before fighting him.
  • There's an actual demon in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal in the maze in Watcher's Keep who politely invites you to a non-rigged game, and gives you his part of the key after he's assured that he and his group can escape instead of just leaving you trapped. Noble Demon indeed.
  • Blazblue Chronophantasma introduces a new antagonist in the form of Azrael. He's a mass murderer and causes destruction to almost anywhere he goes, and doesn't even have any compunctions against attacking his own allies. And he loves every bit of the mayhem he causes. However, unlike Terumi or Relius, his goal is rather small scale. He just wants a Worthy Opponent he can go all out against since everyone he fights dies even when he's holding back. If he finds a potential opponent that can give him a good fight, he will genuinely compliment and praise their skill and if Azrael wins, he'll let his opponent live so they can get stronger and they can fight again. He hates cowards or people who are strong, but refuse to go all out. And in one segment, he doesn't like people weaker than him being picked on.
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  • Sabata, the, er, Dark Magical Boy in the Boktai series is like this after his Heel–Face Turn. He really believes in Darwinism, really! The Dark is superior to Light, he's just helping out for the challenge. Helping little girls recover their cats is just the result of the heroes' bad influence.
  • Magus from Chrono Trigger. Everyone thought he created Lavos to win his war in the Middle Ages. Turns out Magus was only summoning it, since Lavos has been around since at least the Prehistoric Era of 65 Million BC. Lavos destroyed Magus' home and family in the Dark Ages, and the whole war was so he'd have an army strong enough to defeat it. While in the past it's shown he's always been pretty cold, he offers your party advice on how to save Crono and his childhood pet cat follows him around very willingly.
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  • After his ship goes down with her on it, Professional Killer Gaspard in Dark Chronicle can be seen tending ally Monica's wounds. If not for his Heel–Face Door-Slam, he likely would have become an Anti-Hero, or at least a neutral party.
  • Played straight in Darksiders with Samael, who, on top of being a literal demon, states that the only reason he won't kill War is because he has his own set of moral codes.
  • Planet Eater Pyron from Darkstalkers started out as a full straight villain in his debut, but then his ending in the third game indicates that he evolved into this as he began to show curiosity and respect toward Earth and its inhabitants, and chose to not destroy it at the end.
  • Dragon halfling Halfas in Dragon Valor, who doesn't kill the player character when he has the chance. Instead he makes them "stronger" by giving them reason to hate him (either by killing someone or cursing the character), so that he'll be able face you in a fair fight. He even offers healing items to the player character before the said fight.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Thrynn of the Thieves' Guild was this when he was a bandit. When his clan's leader, Garthek, told him to kill some women and children... it didn't end well.
    Thrynn: I refused to do it, and Garthek ordered the clan to kill me as well... I left his head on a pike at the wreckage of the caravan.
  • A variation occurs in Endless Frontier. Ezel Granada is extremely civil to his enemies, including both your party and the general whose forces his army decimated in a bloody war ten years ago. He seems like a perfect candidate for this trope, until you learn that he may actually be the most outright heroic character in the game, having personally put a stop to the war and spent the last ten years shouldering the burden of protecting the Endless Frontier from the Einst. He still thinks that he deserves to be called a villain, though.
  • Fallout: New Vegas allows the player character to become this. Good Karma Couriers can, while maintaining their squeaky clean methods, set up New Vegas as the slave capital of the world under the brutal heel of a self-confessed dictator. This can shift into Well-Intentioned Extremist if the Courier (and thus, the player) truly believes the Legion's brand of civilization is the best option for post-apocalyptic America.
  • Fate/stay night has a number of these among the Servants: Rider, Assassin, Lancer, and even Saber herself when she's corrupted by the darkness in Heaven's Feel. Tohsaka Rin tries to be this to Shirou when getting him up to speed on the harsh realities of the Grail War, up until she finds herself truly allied with him.
    • Assassin/Sasaki Kojiro embraces his status as Caster's 'gate guardian' and enjoys warding off the heroes from whatever Caster's planning, but he's incredibly polite and only in it because of the good fight he gets from the heroes, without ill-wills and if they beat him fair and square, he'll congratulate them. Essentially, a Noble Demon.
  • Rubicante from Final Fantasy IV is one of the four elemental archfiends serving under Golbez. Nevertheless, he apologizes for Edge's parents getting turned into monstrosities by Rubicante's subordinate Dr. Lugae, since Lugae did that purely for the hell of it rather than to serve any goal. Rubicante also heals the party before fighting them to ensure that the fight is a fair one, and when defeated for the final time, accepts his defeat with "Farewell, valiants."
    • Golbez himself gains this characterization in Dissidia Final Fantasy, giving advice to his brother and the other heroes even while fighting them. It's revealed that he's actually working for Cosmos to end the cycle of battle.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Black Knight Camus from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light until he Heel–Face Turn-ed as Sirius in the sequel.
    • Lloyd and Linus in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade were carried out the deeds of the Black Fang (and Nergal) but were relatively honourable.
    • As a Plegian military commander, Mustafa from chapter 10 of Fire Emblem Awakening is obligated to try to capture or kill Chrom and his Shepherds, but he clearly wishes no harm to them personally, and is only fighting because Gangrel will punish his wife and child if he doesn't obey. When some of his men admit that they don't have the will to fight following the martyring of Chrom's sister Emmeryn, he gives them his explicit permission to leave the battle without fear of reprisal. His men think so much of him and are so moved by his care for their well-being that many of them choose to stay in order to fight to protect him, and upon his defeat he asks Chrom to spare his men.
  • Elvis from God Hand is actually a pretty nice guy, for a demon. At one point, he punishes a pair of mooks for disrespecting one of their dead victims - by uppercutting them into the stratosphere. After their third and final bout, Gene himself laments that they couldn't be friends.
  • In Graffiti Kingdom, several of the demons actually seem like decent people while still embracing their position as troublemakers, but the one who plays it the straightest is Tablet, who is sneaky, sarcastic, always creepily smirking, and, as the local rival, challenges the protagonists to path-interrupting duels from time to time, and, before the ending, he kills his own father and takes his place as Satan and is reluctant to become "good" upon Pixel's suggestion exactly because he's a demon, yet he helps Pixel out and encourages him from time to time, though it's pretty heavily implied it's out of loneliness rather than morals.
  • Ryudo from Grandia II begins the game this way, a cynic who actively embraces the unsavory reputation attached to mercenaries like himself. Conversely, fellow party member Millenia is a subversion, being the closest thing the series has to a literal demon (a fragment, in fact, of the setting's local Satan figure) who gets offended or pouty when others label her as evil.
  • For a short time, Anji Mito from Guilty Gear. Anji has no desperation or pressure to make him join That Man and joins out of complete, unpushed free will (and HIGH level of curiosity) rather than being forced. However, despite all that, he's still friendly as ever to even That Man's nemesis (Sol), tried to befriend May at one of her endings, and in any moment he met Baiken, after one fight, he calls it quits.
  • For Grand Theft Auto V, this is Michael De Santa in a nutshell. Pretty much all of the money he's made has come from a life of crime. But unlike his fellow Player Character, Trevor, who's basically The Unfettered, Michael makes a point of avoiding bloodshed if it's at all possible, preferring to use threats and bribes to keep people in line.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV protagonist Niko Bellic is a Shell-Shocked Veteran suffering nightmares of the human rights horrors he had to witness/commit and desperately wants to live a peaceful life in America but is forced into his criminal ways due to his background and skill set, which is something he laments constantly but ultimately goes through with because he's good at it. Very often you'll hear him quip that he has no personal interest in what he does but someone's paying him to do it so it has to be done. If something crosses the line and becomes a personal affair he must deal with, Niko frequently chooses to abandon the money to settle things on his terms.
  • In Halo, Sangheili/Elites are often this: In a Terminal video from Halo 2: Anniversary, then-ONI agent Locke is giving background information on Thel 'Vadamee, a powerful Sangheili Commander, before he became the Arbiter. He tells the story of Thel and his squad ambushing a group of unarmed human soldiers, but allowing them to get dressed and arm themselves before slaughtering them. Locke notes that while this kind of "honorable" behavior is common among Sangheili, this was the first time that honor had been shown to human opponents.
  • In Legacy of Kain, Kain and Raziel certainly qualify. They're a vampire and a soul sucking wraith, respectively, but are both trying, in their own way, to do what's good for the world, a few massacred townspeople notwithstanding. Kain gets some extra points for being an actual nobleman before his death.
  • Lord Dearche, the King of Darkness in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny becomes this by the end of the game. After being convinced by her retainers that the times has changed and a plan that revolves around destroying everyone and everything isn't as meaningful nowadays, she decides that her new plan will involve starting over in a new planet and making the people there accept her as their ruler. This evil, evil plan of hers begins with saving the Unbreakable Darkness from her out of control powers and saving The Multiverse in the process, and continues with an extensive terra-forming project to save a planet that was on its last legs. Reminding her of what she's doing will make her break out in hives.
  • Sword Man of Mega Man 8 apologizes before the fight, saying "I've got orders." He compliments you if you completely avoid his Fire Slash attack, and congratulates you when you defeat him.
  • It could be said that Senator Armstrong of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an Inversion of this trope. Whereas a normal Noble Demon has noble means and evil goals, Armstrong has noble goals but ethically questionable means. Armstrong wants to bring down US society through force, which he thinks is ruled and manipulated by the powerful and wealthy political and financial elite. Once the crooked politicians and media moguls are gone, he will lead a new, prosperous America where everyone is free to do whatever they want without being told to manipulated by media and corrupt governments; however, he freely admits that this will create an America where the strong survive and the weak die and right and wrong are determined entirely by strength, and Raiden calls him insane, but Armstrong defends his ideals and truly believes he is doing the right thing. The theme song for his boss fight, "It Has To Be This Way", really hammers home the Not So Different nature of the two of them, and the moral ambiguity of his plans for America.
  • Sheeva is the closest thing to this among Shao Kahn's minions in Mortal Kombat 9; unlike any other villains, she doesn't seem to have anything personal against the Earthrealm Warriors. (In Jax's chapter, she doesn't take offense at all when Sonya insults her and the Shokkan in general, and in Jade's chapter, she claims that Kitana's execution is "the only means of regaining her honor".
    • Mortal Kombat X introduces Kotal Kahn, who is a high-ranking never-before-seen Shao Kahn (no relation) minion that eventually takes leadership of Outworld after Shao Kahn's apparent demise. Unlike the former emperor, Kotal is generally reasonable and civil with Earthrealm in addition to being a Benevolent Boss. The only reason why he can be even considered a villain is being quick to grip the Idiot Ball if frustrated, in the sense of leading an attack on Earthrealm if he thinks they are conspiring against him.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has Mephasm, who is quite nice for a demon (though that may be a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation more than any actual kindness on his part). You can later gain the ability to summon Mephasm in the basement of your home base. Whilst he is courteous and polite, he thoroughly warns you against trying to make a deal with him, telling you that, ultimately, it will not be worth it. However, you can still go ahead and do it.
  • Nintendo Wars: Hawke from Advance Wars wants to Take Over the Worldnote , and he's willing to sacrifice friend and foe alike to do it. He's not willing to sacrifice allies or enemies out of revenge, nor is he willing to take over the world if it means destroying it in the process. He even offers to shoot Von Bolt in the end of Dual Strike not for payback, but so Jake (A late teen) won't have to do it.
  • Several Nippon Ichi protagonists, and storyline party members, are Noble Demons (especially those who are actual demons), which usually comes into full display if you play through the official endings of their respective games. Laharl from Disgaea and Zetta from Makai Kingdom are prime examples.
    • Valvatorez will have you know that he is very evil... by his own definition of evil. Which looks suspiciously not much like anyone else's definition of evil and more like Lawful Neutral with good leanings and an extra dose of Honor Before Reason. But still, evil.
      • It's worth remembering that in the Disgaea series, "evil" tends to be playing ding dong ditch and not washing your hands after going to the bathroom. Valvatorez has a strong sense of order, but at the same time, rebellion is one of the themes of his character (sadly, this was somewhat Lost in Translation). "Wings That Can't Fly" is the music track embodying this theme. The game keeps putting bigger and stronger entities for him to rebel against in his way: first Warden Axel, then the corrupternment, all the way up to God. He's a demon who firmly believes in being "demonic," but his life as a Prinny instructor have given him a strong nurturing instinct. Allowing for Disgaea's somewhat distorted idea of morality, Neutral Good is the closest fit.
    • Axel from Disgaea 2 fits this trope in it's literal sense. He loses all credibility and fame in the Netherworld because he actually cares for his family.
    • Mao from Disgaea 3 is probably the most genuinely "evil" of the protagonists, and he limits most of his bad deeds to skipping class (vital for a demon honor student), and performing scientific experiments on skirt lifting. By the end, he has learned the value of true friendship and made peace with his father, and is this trope for sure.
    • Generally, anyone who isn't this will be utterly despised by the protagonists as well as most other antagonists, once their true character is revealed. Nobody has any love for Seedle, Auron, Fake Zenon or Hawthorne.
    • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance:
      • Discussed by Christo, the Overlord of the "Certain Giant" Netherworld who is actually an angel from Celestia is baffled as to why the rest of the Rebel Army leadersrhip is surprisingly compassionate and noble for a bunch of demons. In fact, in Chapter 11, when the higher-ups of Celestia prepare to launch a Weapon of Mass Destruction that will destroy Void Dark but also inflict a lot of collateral damage to the surrounding Netherworlds, Christo wishes — at first, anyway — that his companions were more like the stereotypical power-hungry demons that he thought demons to be at first, so that it would've been easier to decide on fleeing the Netherworlds over trying to stop the launch. Christo finally coming to accept that this trope does exist leads him to blackmail Celestia into canceling the launch, giving him a dose of Character Development.
      • The Ultimate Demon Technique, created by Goldion, the Great Demon Fist, has this trope as a prerequisite. It requires the user to have a pure and innocent heart, something stated repeatedly to be nearly impossible for demons to have, as its arts revolve around cleansing the evil in others' hearts and having a strong desire to protect the people they value the most.
  • In Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny, the protagonist, Jubei, meets a literal Noble Demon — GOGANDANTESS!!! THE GREATEST SWORDSMAN OF AAAAAALL THE DEMONS!! — several times. While working for the demons by default, he refuses to finish off Jubei after he defeats him during their first encounter, and when you defeat him during your final encounter — having found a way to nullify his otherwise impenetrable forcefield — he expresses great respect for Jubei's abilities before he dies. At one point, he even he saves Oyu (Jubei's love interest) from certain death, by grabbing her as she is about to fall into a hole and whisking her to safety. He actually never claims or pretends to be evil in any way — he was simply born a demon, became an invincible swordsman, and thus got dragged into the Big Bad's plan for world domination and human extinction.
  • In Overlord, despite the fact that you are playing an Evil Overlord, you are given the option to choose the lesser of evils, usually involving giving the civilians what they need and saving the elves. Gnarl, who is Card-Carrying Villain incarnate, justifies this as Pragmatic Villainy, telling you that you will need living servants for your evil empire and that "Gratitude comes with it's own rewards." The sequel (which apparently does confirm that the previous Overlord was a Noble Demon) does away with this, the Overlad instead opts to just brainwash the populace into slavery.
  • Asmodeus from Painkiller is a friendly little demon that helps Daniel in his battle against Satan's generals. Turns out, he is Satan in disguise and his generals were plotting against him.
  • Planescape: Torment features a *literal* Noble Demon (almost, since, in that setting, the difference between demons and devils is pretty significant), Fjhull Forked-Tongue. A Lawful Evil and unrepentant devil who (through an unwise contract) is forced to do good.
    • Also, the intentional inversion appears in the same arc of the game: Trias the Betrayer, a lying angel with a grudge against Heaven and a willingness to cross the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Griff from Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale has this going on, especially after his Defeat Means Friendship incident. He plays it to the hilt, too, including such gems as:
    Griff: I demand you sell this to me! ...Politely, of course.
  • Randal's Monday: The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are pretty rational guys. They also keep their end of their bargains.
  • The battle music played when fighting the Devil Lords in Romancing SaGa 3 is called "4 Noble Devils".
  • Word of God says that for all of his terrible reputation, Zamorak from Runescape is this trope. He certainly wasn't interested in the Noble side of it at first, but ever since then most of the evil things done in his name have been perpetrated by followers who fail to understand his more positive goals.
  • In Senran Kagura the Hebijo girls are far from being as evil as they seem; in fact, the game goes to lengths to show that they are in fact really close to the Hanzo girls while being much more aware than them that they chose to live in a dark and violent world. Hell, "evil shinobi" means little more than being a mercenary rather than an actual villain.
    • Homura: She fights to feel alive and to protect her Hebijo comrades.
    • Yomi: Apart from her fixation on rich ojou-sama, she's probably one of the sweetest and most friendly of the Hebijo girls. But you have to be a good listener with an affinity for bean sprouts.
    • Hikage: She has multiple opportunities to eliminate Katsuragi, but she never follows through.
    • Mirai: She just want to be recognized, preferably as an equal.
    • Haruka: She genuinely wants to be friends with Hibari.
  • Shadowverse: For all of his reputation, Urias doesn't do anything particularly evil aside from looking for a Worthy Opponent. He even sympathizes with Luna's plight at one point. In Isunia, he's even willing to save a young girl and a woman from a aggressive strange creature and he stated to Eris that he has no interest in drinking the blood of humans or hurt the civilians in the Isunia and flatly states he seeks a Worthy Opponent in Isunia (which are the leaders of the five guilds).
  • Lucifer from the Shin Megami Tensei series has a strong element of this in his characterization. He at least is very interested in convincing the people sent to deal with The End of the World as We Know It that listening to him is certainly better than going the Great Will's way. Guy's got a gift for making himself look good.
  • The original Splatterhouse games portray the Terror Mask as a malicious force, but the remake downgrades him to a sadist with principles. He takes great joy in the slaughter of his enemies, but he's willing to act as a protector, so long as there's something to violently protect against. (On the other hand, his desire for vengeance against the Corrupted clouds his judgment, leading directly to the game's bad ending.)
  • Sarah Kerrigan from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Yes, that Sarah Kerrigan. After being brought back to her pre-infestation personality, she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Mengsk, but also tries to atone for her previous sins by following this trope. Eventually, this allows her to gradually evolve into an Anti-Hero.
  • Star Fox's Wolf O'Donnell qualifies, what with also being The Rival and Fox's Enemy Mine.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • This describes you if you are a Sith Empire character who keeps on choosing Light Side options. Your class does affect to an extent how nice you can be but even the lightning-hurling Inquisitor can reach the top of the morality meter with time and effort. By contrast, a Republic character could achieve this by picking mostly dark side choices but having a line they won't cross.
    • As far as NPCs go, Keeper is the head of Imperial Intelligence while remaining pragmatic at worst. He works for the Sith though it's clear that he dislikes their wanton cruelty, but is smart enough not to say anything to their face. His main problem with an idealistic Agent is that he's concerned that this line of work will leave them traumatized and generally remains a Reasonable Authority Figure. In the end, he even states that he's never lost sight of his goal of improving the Empire, a goal that he believes that he's failed at.
    • In Shadow of Revan and its prelude, Sith Lord Lana Beniko is this (in counterpoint to her Republic partner, SIS Agent Theron Shan). She approaches problems cautiously, is a devoted patriot of The Empire, and is no stranger to making cold-blooded sacrifices when strictly necessary, but she avoids the wholesale egotism and hedonism common to high-ranking Sith. Several times, she advocates for the player to take Light Side actions, usually because they're expedient. Both Imperial and Republic players can remark that she's not like other Sith.
    • Darth Marr also presents a certain amount of nobility — for instance, when he agrees to a truce in the face of a bigger danger he fully means it and sticks to his word. He's level-headed, promotes his followers based on merit and not bloodshed, and understands when a more subtle approach is called for. It's implied that this is the reason he's painstakingly pulled the Empire back from the brink of defeat where his predecessors left it.
  • Street Fighter: Sagat before Street Fighter Alpha 3, he willingly became a subordinate of Bison in order to get stronger and embraced his status as one of Shadoloo's Four Devas. But over time, he developed into a Noble Demon who is disgusted by Bison's more underhanded methods of granting strength and eventually ditches him for good to resume a more healthy rivalry with Ryu.
  • In Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2, the player may choose the half-angel, half-devil Dinah as their Guardian Beast. Her devil half claims to be heartless and evil, and that she's forced by circumstance to work for the main character. Her Catchphrase whenever Edgar or Aera announces his/her plans to do anything is, "I guess I don't have a choice."
  • Bowser from Super Mario Bros.. He's done some pretty evil things before in order to win Peach's affection and take over the Mushroom Kingdom, including unthinkable things (with obvious evil intentions) like nearly bringing about the end of the universe and himself with it unintentionally, the latter not part of his plan, but he's unaware of such a possible risk. On several occasions, however, he's forced to team up with Mario and Luigi (and sometimes even Peach) to defeat an even greater threat, often because said threat has interfered with his plans, but he nevertheless unwittingly counters the evil things with good things to an extent. And they count as at least a step going "Turbo." One notable example is in Super Paper Mario, where Bowser and Peach are both kidnapped, and forcibly married by a third party to bring about the end of the world. Bowser is a fully playable character in this game, and at one point, Peach even calls him "sweet". (The fact that he still believes his marriage to Peach is valid helps as well...) In most spin-off titles, especially the RPGs, Bowser justifies this by saying he wants to conquer the world, not destroy it, and he's working with the heroes so there's something left to conquer.
    • This is especially apparent in his interactions with his minions. One would think that after all of his repeated failures, Bowser's subjects would stop listening to him, and the only reason they would still obey him is out of fear. This isn't true at all. Bowser's minions adore their ruler, and seeing him in scenarios like his conversation with an AWOL Goomba in Super Mario RPG makes it easy to see why.
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generations, Axel Almer's personality is changed into this (from the sadistic Jerkass seen in OG); now he is a man devoted to stopping Beowulf (Kyosuke's alternate dimension Evil Twin) because he REALLY is dangerous, not out of a personal grudge. Some of his new Noble Demon acts includes:
    • When he tears off the Alt Eisen's arm, it's because he wants to check if this is the same Beowulf he fought or not (Beowulf's mech had the ability to regenerate). Turns out, it's not, and he shows genuine surprise. So he ceases his relentless pursuit of Kyosuke, but still tries to defeat him because there is still the risk that he might become Beowulf. In OG, he did that out of sadistic fun, proving how much of a bastard he was. If it had been proven that Kyosuke was not Beowulf, he still delusionally thought they were the same.
    • When Lamia defects from the Shadow Mirror and escapes captivity, instead of cursing about how she could escape, Axel says, "W17, turn yourself back into custody. If you do, I'll forget that you ever tried to betray us." Still refused, but it shows more of his generosity despite being a villain, if you compare that to what he did in the previous incarnation (where he mocked her for being 'a true broken doll').
    • When he confronts Raul, the latter is furious because Axel interfered with him in the past, causing his sister Fiona to be caught in a time vortex and go missing. Instead of mocking him for his weakness (which is what he would do if he's still his previous self), Axel instead tells him that it's nothing personal. "It's war, casualties are expected, your sister just happens to be one. Mature up, boy."
    • With all those...his eventual fate becomes obvious.
    • In the Animated Adaptation of the second game: in the last episode, after realizing that the Shadow Mirror forces have been destroyed and he's the last member left, he fights alongside with the Kyosuke and co. to stop the Einsts and Beowulf, stating that "The world we sought was denied. But I will not let him [destroy and recreate] this one!"
  • In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, we have Richter Abend. Although he's pretty obviously the Big Bad from the beginning of the game, he's also the mentor (and not an Evil Mentor, but a true guardian to Emil), and while he often yells at his student, he almost immediately apologizes thereafter. This only snowballs him into full Necessarily Evil status when you discover that his entire plot was to trick The Legions of Hell so he could become the guardian of the gate to Niflheim in place of Emil's Superpowered Evil Side, which had the slight downside of his having to burn for all eternity. Villainous Sacrifice, anyone?
  • Asch from Tales of the Abyss. Asch is not insisting that he's evil while acting good; he's insisting that he's the good twin while acting like the evil one. Asch has a large number of Kick the Dog moments, such as probably assisting with the slaughter of the crew of the Tartarus, possessing Luke's body and forcing him to attack Tear while Luke watches in horror, and, while Luke is trapped in his body, threatening to kill Luke's friends if Luke doesn't stop being concerned about Asch's welfare, in sharp contrast to Asch's behavior. Asch even says at one point that his Heel–Face Turn is not motivated by disgust over Van's intention to kill all the people of Auldrant, but the fact that he intends to replace them with replicas. It's not that Asch is insisting that he's evil, it's that he fails at being a good guy, as shown by his inability to reconnect with the party, especially Natalia. Even the Power of Love can't make him stop being a jerk.
    • Jade Balfour is described by everyone, including himself, as a monster who experimented on harmless creatures, but he's one of only two characters in the game who even attempts to take responsibility for his actions. While constantly hinting that he's poisoned the party's food and so on, he reveals real concern for Luke, and the culmination of his character development hinges around Luke's inevitable death and the multitude of potential causes, demonstrating real concern for another human being. Jade's motivations eventually evolve from "going because I was ordered to do it" to "because I have to atone for my sins."
  • Tekken:
  • The Overlords of Trillion: God of Destruction. They might hold titles relating to the Seven Deadly Sins, but they're content to keep to their own affairs in the Neatherworld and tend to undermine the sinful stereotype with their Hidden Depths. Just for example, Mammon (Greed) wants all the money she can get to make life better for underprivileged kids like herself, Ashmedia (Lust) is an incurable tease despite being a virgin with a romantic streak; inciting jealousy is her way of playing matchmaker and Perpell (Gluttony) values food above all else so if she wants to cheer someone up, that's the first thing she shares. See the entry on Seven Deadly Sins for a complete list.
  • In Tyranny, the Fatebinder is a Villain Protagonist serving the resident Evil Overlord, Kyros, and their Empire. Kyros' laws are harsh and draconian, but Fatebinders are given a lot of leeway in interpretation — even if they don't outright pull a Heel–Face Turn, the player Fatebinder can very much play this role. It gets particularly bad if they do join the Vendrian Guard, but keep insisting they're doing it just to amass their own power base to Take Over the World; whatever their reasons, the epilogue makes it clear a Vendrian-aligned Fatebinder's actions greatly benefit the Tiers.
  • Alastor from Viewtiful Joe is a rather transparent example.
    • More obvious in the anime than the games, as he comes off as the Noble Demon from the start. In the games, he seems more like a self-proclaimed rival to Joe, but in Double Trouble!! seemingly sacrifices himself to save Joe and his sister. He gets better, though.
  • Illidan in Warcraft III qualifies, as do some of his followers.
    • The Death Knight Thassarian from World of Warcraft. He is, by far, the most polite of the Death Knights, even showing genuine concern when one of his comrades is captured, causing the other Death Knights to look down on him. When he has the chance, he spares Koltira's brother's life, remembering his own mother's death. In fact, when the Knights of the Ebon Blade defect from the Scourge, he's the first Death Knight to rejoin the Alliance.
      • Koltira Deathweaver as well. In one breath, he curses Thassarian's foolishness for sending you to rescue him, in the next, he risks his life to help you escape safely by drawing the attention of all the Scarlet knights in the keep. This is fresh off the torture table, too, which is pretty impressive.
      • Thassarian and Koltira managed to become good friends during their time as Scourges, even though they were bound to the will of an Omnicidal Maniac who filled them with hatred to make them effective killing machines.
    • Highlord Darion Mograine of the Ebon Blade Death Knights. While he pledges his knights to atone for their actions as the Lich King's slaves, he's not a nice guy by any means and he wants vengeance. He's rude, abrasive and generally very pragmatic in his tactics to the point of calling out Tirion for not using them. However, he's also driven by a pure love for his father and is overjoyed enough when they are reunited to give the adventurer his personal mount as a reward.


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