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Magnificent Bastard cleanup thread

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  • Why do a cleanup?: This trope definitely exists and has has a well documented history of use. That being said, it frequently gets misused to a character who meets one of the components, namely that they are smart, charming while not necessarily even being a villain, or create good plans. While these are components, there is also a certain personality required, not to mention that all of the above are required to be present for a character to be a true Magnificent Bastard. As the trope attracts interest, it unfortunately brings in a lot of misuse and I thought the best way to rectify this would be a Perpetual Cleanup Thread, as is being done and has seen success with Complete Monster.

  • What makes a Magnificent Bastard: Below are a list of the individual components to make this character. Note that they must all be present, not just some, which has lead to frequent misuse:
    • Must be intelligent: Goes without saying, to be a Magnificent Bastard, the character has to be smart in the first place and use their brain to work towards whatever their end goal may be;
    • Must be a Bastard: While going overboard in how vile the character is can be detrimental, a key aspect is the Bastard part of the trope, whether the character is an out-and-out antagonist in the work, some manner of Villain Protagonist, or something in between, they at least have some unscrupulous qualities to qualify for this trope;
    • Must not be too much of a Bastard: Again, there is a ceiling on how bad the character can be before they just become too nefarious, blocking out the Magnificent part of the trope. A genocidal racist or child-raping Sadist aren't going to make the cut;
    • Think on their feet: In addition to being a Chessmaster, a Magnificent Bastard, if the character deals with situations in which their initial plan is ruined, has to be able to pull a Xanatos Speed Chess and at least come up with a competent strategy to make up for lost time, otherwise they fail for being unable to think in tough spots;
    • Have charm: Even if they don't necessarily make every character they meet fall in love with them and can even be detested by others, the audience has to find an amicable social relation to the character, or they are failing to make the impact required for this trope.

  • What to do if a character is listed on a page but has not been approved?: They need to be removed, all candidates need to come through the cleanup thread first. The character could well count but they need to be analyzed properly and voted on first.

  • Do we list Playing With this trope?: No, while this, like any other trope can be played with, we only want examples that explain it being Played Straight.

  • What do I do if I want a character to be listed as a Magnificent Bastard?: The greatest success Complete Monster saw for its cleanup effort was from the invention of the effort post format, so, borrowing from that, a troper wishing to propose a Magnificent Bastard will create such a post in the following format:
    • Being by describing The work, this will help establish the setting the character is in and for the reader to understand what kind of a scenario they are in;
    • Summarize The character's actions, this will provide a listing for readers to understand what they do and how it applies to this trope because charm and lack of smugness are so crucial, this is a good time to be incorporating exactly the flavour of how they operate to explain this;
    • List circumstances in which the character must Think on their feet, these are times where a wrench might be thrown in their initial plan and they have to adapt on the spot or even come up with a new scheme all together, this is also a good time to explain how the villain reacts to defeat when they have to face it, a true Magnificent Bastard won't break down into tears at the thought of death, they should have known such a possibility could occur and be able to handle it with more dignity;
    • The competition, similar to the Heinous Standard dealt with for a Complete Monster, this section is to deal with how successful the character is in carrying out their plans compared to other characters. While, as a villain, they probably are going to lose in the end, it is good to explain how other characters handle the same situation. There is no exceptionalism case to be made for this trope but explaining the variety helps the reader have a better understanding of the proposal.

  • How do you know when the character's arc is done so they can be proposed? When their tenure as a villain or antagonist finishes. This could happen in a single Story Arc in an entire work, a single work of a franchise, or the whole series in general. We'll show lenience to Long-Runners with constantly recurring candidates or series with outstanding continuities (ex. comic books), and it's entirely possible to count in a work or two but not in general for a reason like Depending on the Writer.

  • What about candidates evil because of external sources? Those Made of Evil can qualify if they show enough individuality and tactical acumen ó in other words, they have the personality to fulfill the magnificence requirement. Conversely, those brainwashed, especially if they're a better person without it, may fail the individuality aspect and cannot count.

  • What if they are under orders from a higher-up? Depends. If the boss created the plans down to the letter and the candidate is just following them, sounds like we should discuss the boss instead. However, if the candidate takes creative liberties with the orders, adds their own charm and flair to them, fills in holes in the orders, and/or actively deals with obstacles their boss did not talk about, the candidate shows enough individual thinking to qualify.

  • Is there a timeframe rule like with Complete Monster?: Yes, please wait two weeks until after the work has concluded before proposing a character (again, usually using the North American airdate). As is the case with CM, we want to give a reasonable time frame so that everyone interested in seeing the work has done so and can participate in the discussion without having anything spoiled.

  • Can I propose my own work's character as a Magnificent Bastard?: No, this is a YMMV subject and the creator of a content is way too biased to be able to evaluate the criteria we're looking for without a second opinion taking over. That being said, you are more than welcome to encourage someone to consume your creation and if they feel a character counts, are more than welcome to suggest them.

Edited by 43110 on May 5th 2019 at 1:44:04 PM

erazor0707 The Unknown Unknown Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
The Unknown Unknown
May 13th 2019 at 6:58:07 PM

Scraggle reserved Axel.

Copyright? Plz, I'm a troper.
Scraggle "Humans are such easy prey..." from Calgary Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
"Humans are such easy prey..."
May 13th 2019 at 7:51:26 PM

Dickson empathetically does not count. Way too much of a smug arsehat.

And yeah, on Axel? With my latest project finally closed, my commitments are finally opening up again and I'm dead intent on slashing through my to-do both here and on CM.

To kickstart things, and as a token of my appreciation to my bud Lighty for being so patient with me, I've got another effortpost to do from The Kindness of Devils. Anyone who wants context with the setting can visit previous posts for those who have qualified... now, in the latest story—part of a two-parter called Give Us Forever, with the first part called Shadow of the Dragon—Hardestadt ends up griping with forces from his past, interested seemingly in seeking retribution for Hardestadt's brief tenure as a villain from the far past.

Our Big Bad Duumvirate? Straight out of Russian folklore, Koschei the Deathless and Baba Yaga.

Who are Koschei and Baba Yaga? What have they done?

Baba Yaga is an unfathomably ancient witch, a being which predates Creation itself that takes the form of a shriveled crone, and Koschei is her deathless ally, an immortal warrior whose soul is sealed in a needle to allow him to cheat death so long as it is intact. Koschei was one of Hardestadt's old comrades back in the fourteenth century and a stalwart companion of his who helped to bring about Hardestadt's dream of a supernatural utopia, Arcadia... which was subsequently massacred by humans. Hardestadt went berserk and restyled himself as Dracul, the Dragon, vowing to crush humanity underneath him. Koschei tried to reason with Hardestadt, but he was cast aside and left broken... leaving him very bitter for the centuries to come even when Hardestadt was brought back to reason.

Together, Koschei and Baba Yaga found Hardestadt in the present day, and, deciding he needed to be punished, concocted an elaborate series of plans for him. Koschei confronts Hardestadt after having slaughtered a group of white supremacist vampires, vowing to see Hardestadt crushed no matter what it takes before putting their plan in action, enshroudin the nearby city in fog to draw Hardestadt and his allies there to save the innocents Koschei proceeds to sic upyrs on. Baba Yaga confronts Hardestadt—happily allowing his comrades the chance to walk away, to which they refuse—before Baba Yaga explains she and Koschei have set up a series of "tests" for Hardestadt... siccing monsters on innocents, with each Hardestadt cut down giving him excruciating pain in turn, and forcing him to stand by as his allies save innocents. Throughout all of this, Baba Yaga and Koschei maintain a surprisingly affable relationship with the heroes... with Koschei visiting Hardestadt's fiancee Erin with no intent to hurt her, and even bitterly admitting to Hardestadt it pains him to do all this but he never will stop.

Eventually, Hardestadt reaches the final test where Baba Yaga and Koschei floor him with the latest revelation: Hardestadt has a younger sister they rescued, one named Alineia, and the most powerful being in the Teraverse. Alineia has been raised surprisingly well by both Baba Yaga and Koschei, and she's endlessly sweet to Hardestadt, making it more painful when Baba Yaga and Koschei reveal their final ultimatum; her existence itself jeopardizes the Teraverse, and their final test to prove Hardestadt's mettle is ordering him to kill Alineia. One life for all of existence. When Hardestadt flatly refuses, telling them he'll find another way, Baba Yaga orders Koschei to kill Alienia instead and Hardestadt fights his old comrade for her life, to his limit.

Finally? Hardestadt comes within an inch of a killing blow to destroy Koschei's needle but hesitates... and Koschei plunges himself into the sword instead. The two of them finally reveal the true purpose of their plot, and the true nature of their tests; all of this has indeed been to preserve the Teraverse, but not from Alineia, instead from the formless outer evil called Amatsu-Mikaboshi threatening to come in through a hole in reality and devour everything. All the tests? Were elaborate ruses; not one single innocent was ever really in danger during the tests, with all the monsters being harmless illusions. The only one who was ever in danger was Stadt himself, and all of this was to push him to his ultimate limit as Baba Yaga and Koschei's test of moral character... and in refusing to kill Alineia, Hardestadt passes. Koschei is revealed to have already known his life would be sufficient to plug up the hole through which Amatsu-Mikaboshi threatens to bleed through, and passes away after one final drink with Hardestadt to give his life for the Teraverse. With absolutely everything having gone to her plan, Baba Yaga bids the heroes farewell, and vanishes.

What's their competition like?

Now, we've had four qualifiers from the series already... the Devils, I think, are mostly in a class of their own. Koschei and Baba Yaga I think manage to distinguish themselves through the personal nature of their plot. It's not just that they're master manipulators with clever gambits—though that's definitely part of it—but they're also masters of judging and exploiting moral character, beyond any one antagonist in the franchise. The nature of Koschei and Baba Yaga's tests I think are easily unique and affecting enough for the tier they act in.

Are they too much of a bastard?

We don't have to worry about this one. Baba Yaga and Koschei are just vicious enough to qualify; the nature of their tests and them not really threatening anyone sans Hardestadt aside, the two put Hardestadt through enough torment and misery to clear this. Aside from that? They're the least evil main villains the series has had to offer so far and some of the most affable.

How do they operate?

Baba Yaga and Koschei, in a word, are revealed to have the entire plot perfectly under control the whole time. Not one thing ever goes against their wishes, not one thing ever throws things out of order, and the two pull off everything they were meaning to do. Baba Yaga is arguably the superior in the duo and she chastises Koschei once for feeling hesitation before they execute their plot, but they're acting completely synonymous in designing and executing the trials. Neither really overrides the other.

On an individual level? Koschei's ruthlessness goes hand-in-hand with his sense of honor and affability, conceding that for as many hesitations as he has, he won't ever hesitate in testing to see if Hardestadt truly has the gumption to be the hero after his previous fall from grace, and he pulls this off to the letter, ultimately giving his own life for the sake of all existence. Baba Yaga is kind of more a case of Above Good and Evil; everything she does has a purpose, even if it seems twisted and alien, and she retains a grandmotherly charm throughout all of it.


I'd say keep them.


Klavice Woobie Cleaner Relationship Status: Hoping Senpai notices me
Woobie Cleaner
May 13th 2019 at 7:56:14 PM

Easy keep! I'm eager to see Axel's EP. I was thinking of a few examples on the back burner but I'm not sure if they were discussed. Kratos (Lloyd's father) for example at the very least has no smug moments and has the bastard part down.

Pending Writeups, Drafts Discussion Dates
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
May 13th 2019 at 8:40:43 PM

[tup]Baba Yaga and Koschei

G-Editor Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
May 13th 2019 at 8:46:46 PM

[tup] to Baba Yaga and the Deathless

Here he comes!
Bullman Relationship Status: Abstaining
May 14th 2019 at 4:11:45 AM

Yes to Koschei and Baba Yaga.

SkyCat32 The Draftsman of Doom from Nakatomi Plaza Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
The Draftsman of Doom
May 14th 2019 at 4:20:55 AM

[tup]Koschei and Baba Yaga.

Edited by SkyCat32 on May 14th 2019 at 3:52:38 PM

Yippee Ki Yay, Motherf**ker.
PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
May 14th 2019 at 12:11:43 PM

Yeah to those two I wish I could make a Soviet Russia joke about but I don't think it would fit.

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
Kylotrope The demon that comes when you call it's name from Hawaii Relationship Status: Abstaining
The demon that comes when you call it's name
May 14th 2019 at 1:40:15 PM

[tup]to Koschei and Baba Yaga, I was thinking about Ghost but didn't think she had the Schemer angle down(God bless you if you get that reference)

Edited by Kylotrope on May 14th 2019 at 1:42:48 AM

I look at humans. I look at monsters. And all is see are parasites that must be destroyed. Human world ? Monster world ? All cesspools
falcontalons Relationship Status: Married to the job
May 14th 2019 at 4:49:11 PM

[tup] to the 2 Lightysnake candidates.

Sandbox / C Ms By Author And Troper
May 14th 2019 at 6:03:17 PM

If no one else has laid claim, once the proper time has elapsed, I would like to do the EP for the Big Bad of the Detective Pikachu movie.

Edited by DrakeClawfang on May 14th 2019 at 9:21:41 AM

I was at the baseball stadium thinking the other day "why does a baseball look larger the closer it gets?" And then it hit me
MasterJoseph Shipping FrolaytiaXQwenthur of Heavy Object. Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
Shipping FrolaytiaXQwenthur of Heavy Object.
May 14th 2019 at 6:13:25 PM

[up]Don't forget to do an EP.

[tup]Baba and Kosch(This one's a duo right?)

Woobie Slayer
papyru30 Smells like ........ Jerry Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Smells like ........ Jerry
May 14th 2019 at 6:15:19 PM

Edited by papyru30 on May 14th 2019 at 7:15:35 AM

Complete Monster Effort Post Template
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
May 14th 2019 at 6:16:52 PM

Has it been two weeks and didnít Mir call it?

Edit: Oh, just reread the comment but should we even be hinting at whether or not someone counts prior to it coming due for discussion?

Edited by 43110 on May 14th 2019 at 9:17:40 AM

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
May 14th 2019 at 6:21:53 PM

I meant I'll do an EP, yes, but if it's been called okey doke.

Edited by DrakeClawfang on May 14th 2019 at 9:22:17 AM

I was at the baseball stadium thinking the other day "why does a baseball look larger the closer it gets?" And then it hit me
May 14th 2019 at 6:43:31 PM

PM Mir. He gave the CM EP to Scraggle as he's busy with exams.

43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
AustinDR Praise his marinaraness. from Fresh and ready for life.
Praise his marinaraness.
May 14th 2019 at 8:22:00 PM

Alright, seems that the manga version of Happy Sugar Life will be wrapping up soon. From the looks of it, it's going to end the same way that the anime adaptation did, thus far nothing really mitigating yet on Satou's part. I'll probably get into that sometime later in the spring of 2019.

Edited by AustinDR on May 14th 2019 at 8:22:29 AM

Why you little-!
SatoshiBakura    Remember freedom?    from    The Shadow Realm    Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
   Remember freedom?   
May 14th 2019 at 8:22:16 PM

Done with my final exams, so that Doc Scratch EP should be coming soon. Hopefully.

And with the epilogues, I got another character to EP.

   Don't want to be an American idiot...   
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
May 15th 2019 at 11:56:40 AM

Congrats Satoshi and Iím gonna be busy for the next few months, so please bear with me if Iím slow posting stuff to the locked thread or even rarely posting here entirely.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Silverblade2 Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
May 15th 2019 at 1:59:24 PM


I suppose if everyone is a MB, no one is.

PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
May 15th 2019 at 5:16:43 PM

I need a break from my probing questions.

So here's another maybe weird proposal but damn it he deserves his due:

What is the work?

Predator features some cool action hero soldiers led by Dutch saving some hostages but it's all a set up to steal Soviet secrets but that ain't why we're here damn it!

Who is it? What has it done?

Predator. Yautja. El diablo que hace trofeos del hombre. The demon who makes trophies of men. It has many names, but Predator Concrete Jungle coined the name "Jungle Hunter", so I'll stick with that.

The Jungle Hunter is an alien hunter that came to Earth to do one thing: Hunt. To this end it stalked and killed numerous guerilla fighters. When Dutch's squad clear out the insurgents, the Predator starts to target them.

Carefully picking them off, they eventually catch it in a trap, but it breaks free. Using cunning and trickery, it manages to turn the tables on the group, eventually leading into a 1 on 1 showdown with Dutch. Dutch figures out the Thermal Vision it uses, and turns it against it. The Hunter manages to catch him, but is so impressed by how far he got without weapons, that it actually disarms itself and takes off its helmet as a mark of respect. Still, its sheer strength is far greater than Dutch, whom leads the Predator into a trap. but the Predator is savvy enough to realise this so goes around another way - only to fall into a second trap.

Mortally wounded, the creature is asked by Dutch "What the hell are you?" To which the Predator uses its voice tech to repeat the question to him.

Activating a self destruct device - later lore indicates the Yautja do this to stop their tech falling into the wrong hands - the Jungle Hunter laughs with the voice tech as Dutch runs away and it dies in the explosion.

Is it magnificent?

Yeah. The Hunter has stalked and killed numerous victims, including Green Berets. It has an advantage, but not an overwhelming one. It doesn't attack Dutch's team head on, instead picking them off as they split up. They even manage to wound it, leading to Dutch's famous "If it bleeds, we can kill it". When they set a trap for it in the night, it avoids it and steals the corpses of their comrades to skin and when it falls into the second trap they set up it manages to escape with quick thinking, using its plasma caster to cut the net and even injures the crew. It's only really beaten because it respects Dutch enough to fight him unarmed and is only barely caught in his trap, savvy enough to realise it the first time.

It's also curious. We see first person shots of it watching the squad, learning about them and even recording their voices. It uses these recordings to communicate with Dutch at the end of the film. It manages to demonstrate a lot of character despite almost no dialogue - and it's not just badass. It constantly demonstrates its skill as a master hunter, not by tech but by ingenuity and caution.

Is it a bastard? Does it lose magnificence?

The Predator kills people for sport. It's clearly not nice. But it's not particularly sadistic about it, generally going for clean kills when possible. It skins the victims, but not when alive, and keeps the skulls of worthy prey. A point is made that it won't kill an unarmed person and is honourable, fighting Dutch on his own level. Later films shows this is just Yautja culture and they have a clear moral code which the Jungle Hunter abides by.

Any competition?

Only Dutch manages to match the Predator in cleverness and even then wins because the Predator respected him.

Now, the franchise as a whole has many Yautja like the Jungle Hunter. Can the OG Predator be an MB with such competition? I have some arguments in its favour.

1. The Predator in this film has a greater emotional range than most other Predator films that are JUST badass. It is curious, has a seeming sense of humour when it records Billy's laugh and shows some quick thinking when put on the back foot. Traits some other Preds have, but isn't always present. The Jungle Hunter is the first and one of the best and most developed in the whole franchise.

2. This Predator is relatively lightly equipped. Later films add more gear and that stuff would have made the Jungle Hunter OP and maybe unbeatable.

3. This is the first. The OG. It set the standard for an entire franchise of these suckers. I'd say, as the template for the rest of the Yautja, it should get special mention.


For a mostly silent antagonist, I'd say he's more than cool, clever and charismatic enough. What say you?

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
falcontalons Relationship Status: Married to the job
May 15th 2019 at 5:21:00 PM

Tentative [tup] to the Predator.

Sandbox / C Ms By Author And Troper

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