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Playing With / Evil Overlord

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Basic Trope: The Big Bad who rules over his dark kingdom with an iron fist.

  • Straight: Emperor Evulz rules over The Empire with an iron fist and plans to Take Over the World.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Evulz rules with an iron fist, but only because it's the only way he can get this Crapsack Nation of his to function. Were it not for him, war and famine would have destroyed the country.
    • Evulz has Values Dissonance, and believes that an iron fist will keep his dark kingdom orderly.
    • Evulz is indeed an Evil Sorcerer Overlord who uses threatening imagery and controls the largest fighting force on the planet. However, his political clout relies partially on showmanship and maintaining the image of unassailable power. Beneath the glamour, Evulz still has to deal with basic ruler problems like keeping the aristocracy in check, maintaining alliances, delegating certain rulership tasks, administrating the Empire's economy, and dealing with mundane concerns like a sudden outbreak of bed bugs in the castle.
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  • Inverted: He's a Good Overlord. He rules with a soft, comfy fistnote  and puppies and rainbows follow him.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • Evulz rules over his dark kingdom with an iron fist... but he's pretending to be one of the allies of the Heroes, and is that interested in conquest.
    • Evulz and his Mooks are indeed nice, but they're still evil.
  • Parodied:
    • Evulz rules over his dark kingdom with an iron fist... and he uses that iron fist to Poke the Poodle.
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    • Evulz is Stupid Evil and believes that "ruling over his dark kingdom with an iron fist" entails wearing an outrageously oversized metal gauntlet and standing at the top of his Evil Tower of Ominousness with his gloved arm outstretched.
  • Zig Zagged: Evulz isn't always evil, but only when he needs to be or feels like it. He has Legions of Doom...all members of which have good pay and health insurance. He strictly controls all information media...but gives the population access to them for free. As a result, his kingdom is a toss-up between Utopia and Dystopia with some things being okay and others awful. And he wears the horned helmet because he just likes the look of it.
  • Averted: There are bad guys in this setting, but none of them qualify as an Evil Overlord.
  • Enforced: "We need to make the villain a plausible threat, so we're going for the whole overlord thing."
  • Lampshaded: General briefing the heroes about Evulz: "He's your fairly standard Evil Overlord."
  • Invoked: He's a political pragmatist who doesn't like drama, but knows his job ruling the empire will be easier if he takes the name Emperor Evulz and periodically oppresses the populace.
  • Exploited: The Hero knows that Evulz is powered by evil and hate, so The Hero uses love to defeat him.
  • Defied: Evulz takes over the kingdom, and his first act is to make a list titled "How To Become An Evil Overlord". He proceeds to deliberately avoid everything on that list, because "everyone knows that the evil overlord always gets overthrown".
  • Discussed: "Could that guy be any more Obviously Evil?"
  • Conversed: "I'm gonna say that the guy with the black cape and shoulder spikes is the Big Bad."
  • Implied: While Evulz is dark and has an Obviously Evil name plus appearance, he's never seen doing anything evil and we only have the rumors that he might be evil.
  • Deconstructed: Evulz takes the throne, but his reckless taxation wrecks the economy of a nearby kingdom, which immediately declares war. Another nearby kingdom is overly idealistic, and declares a war of liberation of the people. The downtrodden (i. e. disarmed) masses in Evulz's kingdom are horribly incompetent fighters even when conscripted and given weapons, and anyway as soon as they realize they're going to lose their combat tactics become "find the idealistic kingdom's army and surrender to them, they treat prisoners better than our ruler treats us". The overlord is overthrown before he's ruled for six months.
  • Reconstructed: Being evil and ruling with an iron fist does not mean Evulz behaves like an idiot tyrant who kills every messenger for kicks. He displays Magnificent Bastardry, Villain with Good Publicity and Pragmatic Villainy.
  • Played For Laughs: Evulz is an Obviously Evil Villain with Good Publicity and Bob is the only one who notices that he's probably evil.
  • Played For Drama: Evulz is so powerful, evil and has such a huge army, that The Hero starts to doubt that there's any conceivable way he could be defeated.

Return to Evil Overlord, my minions!

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