• We are delighted to introduce GiftBot 2.0, the next generation of our popular gifting feature. To celebrate, we'll be giving away some incredible prizes over the coming weeks in one big Giveaway Extravaganza!

Who do you think is the most interesting Nintendo antagonist from a story/character perspective?

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
8,798
Yeah, I'm gonna go with Porky. (Mother 3 spoilers below)

Most Nintendo villains are in the sort of fantasy villain archetype. They want to take over/destroy the world because they're the bad guy. Which is fine. That works since most Nintendo games aren't overly complex in their story.

Porky feels real in a way most Nintendo villains don't. He's an egotistical manchild truly out of touch with the world, grew up in an abusive household and envies his neighbor who has a loving family. When given power, he gradually expands it and uses capitalism and imperialism to take over and destabilize an island's native population. He doesn't seem to care about anything but satisfying and amusing himself, and he's amassed so much power there is nobody to tell him that he can't. Porky is both terrifying and tragic in a way.

I wouldn't say he's my favorite (that would probably be Hades for being ridiculously entertaining), but I feel from a literary standpoint he's definitely among the most complex and thought out Nintendo villains.

I will say though Hades has a great bit in Uprising, chastising Pit and saying how there is no difference between reincarnation and death because those who are reincarnated don't even remember their past lives.
 

Heartskips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,630
If you play FE7 -> FE6 in this order, Zephiel becomes a pretty interesting tragic villain with a heel turn.



Another interesting FE villain is Berkut in Shadows of Valentia. I like how he's this "pathetic" side of the nobles, but also a show of how social pressure and expectations can hit even someone like him.

 

Zeroth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
50
Alex, from Golden Sun.

Starts off as the first Mercury (Water) adept introduced. We later find out he was charged with guarding the Mercury lighthouse alongside his clan, but betrayed them to light the lighthouses instead.

During the second game, we find out that lighting the lighthouses might not be as bad as it seems. So is he a good guy after all?

Nope, he's a scheming, power hungry traitor to humanity who has no interest in saving the world, his only goal being to take the power of alchemy and the Golden Sun unto himself and become a god.

He manipulates the major villains, and the heroes at times, without you ever knowing whose side he's truly on, or what his motives are. His mysterious nature is appealing, especially when it's revealed he's a lot simpler than he appears, and that all of that organized acting and scheming was for personal gain. It makes him work well as a villain because of how his motivations are gradually unraveled and raise questions throughout two games.

The fact that he's a water user (and apparently a very powerful one at that - one of the most powerful adepts we see in the series) is really cool too. He also has a direct relationship with who would otherwise be the most inconsequential member of the group, Mia, who is from the same clan and trained under the same master and is the same sort of adept as him.

He's a well executed villain with constant hooks thrown at the player to keep them invested in his story, a strong connection to a member of the main cast, and a perfect candidate for a big bad guy.

He's underrated, in my opinion.
I like Alex, but I don't think he's particularly charismatic or as well written as some examples in the thread. I think he stands out as he's one of the few villains who has actually accomplished their goals with minimal negative repercussions to himself, but it's not exactly a villain you'll admire or remember for their characteristics.


Of the villains mentioned here, I think the example from Fire Emblem Three Houses is one of the best, simply because months later people are still arguing if they actually are a villain after all. The way it was executed, how it plays with your expectations and how it can easily subvert or go straight along what you think of them and their goals is really nice and something not many games can pull off.

Wind Waker Ganondorf is also a good example, although in his case I feel like it's less because of how he was characterized in the game, and more because every other Ganon/Ganondorf failed to have any depth and as such, WW Ganon stands out.
 

scare_crow

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,882
I would hesitate to call any Nintendo villain necessarily well-written or that interesting. Some fun ones for sure though.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
8,501
Wisconsin
Jin or Porky. Jin is such an excellent tragic figure who is lovingly realized and very fleshed out since you have him as a party member in Torna while Porky is a weird existential villain unlike anyone else in fiction I can think of, he's essentially a thought experiment on whether there is a limit to human selfishness
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,817
Add a +1 to the Jin and Malos pile.



Alex, from Golden Sun.

Starts off as the first Mercury (Water) adept introduced. We later find out he was charged with guarding the Mercury lighthouse alongside his clan, but betrayed them to light the lighthouses instead.

During the second game, we find out that lighting the lighthouses might not be as bad as it seems. So is he a good guy after all?

Nope, he's a scheming, power hungry traitor to humanity who has no interest in saving the world, his only goal being to take the power of alchemy and the Golden Sun unto himself and become a god.



He manipulates the major villains, and the heroes at times, without you ever knowing whose side he's truly on, or what his motives are. His mysterious nature is appealing, especially when it's revealed he's a lot simpler than he appears, and that all of that organized acting and scheming was for personal gain. It makes him work well as a villain because of how his motivations are gradually unraveled and raise questions throughout two games.

The fact that he's a water user (and apparently a very powerful one at that - one of the most powerful adepts we see in the series) is really cool too. He also has a direct relationship with who would otherwise be the most inconsequential member of the group, Mia, who is from the same clan and trained under the same master and is the same sort of adept as him.



He's a well executed villain with constant hooks thrown at the player to keep them invested in his story, a strong connection to a member of the main cast, and a perfect candidate for a big bad guy.



He's underrated, in my opinion.
You have my Djinni.

The terrible pay off (semi pay off I guess) in Dark Dawn didn't make up for the fact that they still never really explained how Isaac still has a piece of one of the elemental stars inside him and how all that pans out.

I love Alex so much. He was a really good schemer and made pretty much everyone else do all the dirty work for him without being an asshole to everyone around him.

If you play FE7 -> FE6 in this order, Zephiel becomes a pretty interesting tragic villain with a heel turn.



Another interesting FE villain is Berkut in Shadows of Valentia. I like how he's this "pathetic" side of the nobles, but also a show of how social pressure and expectations can hit even someone like him.

I had a friend who hated Berkut. He thought he was whiny and terrible and I had to explain to him that's the point. He's a silver spoonfed piece of shit who's losing it over a "farm boy" coming in and outdoing his military and the like, and the only person who loves him for him literally would stay with him if they were stuck on the streets but his upbringing and status just "won't allow it." Just...so good.

I like Alex, but I don't think he's particularly charismatic or as well written as some examples in the thread. I think he stands out as he's one of the few villains who has actually accomplished their goals with minimal negative repercussions to himself, but it's not exactly a villain you'll admire or remember for their characteristics.


Of the villains mentioned here, I think the example from Fire Emblem Three Houses is one of the best, simply because months later people are still arguing if they actually are a villain after all. The way it was executed, how it plays with your expectations and how it can easily subvert or go straight along what you think of them and their goals is really nice and something not many games can pull off.

Wind Waker Ganondorf is also a good example, although in his case I feel like it's less because of how he was characterized in the game, and more because every other Ganon/Ganondorf failed to have any depth and as such, WW Ganon stands out.
Trying to stay vague not to spoil anything, but the minute you play Golden Deer and see the ending scenes there the antagonist's motivations make even less sense. The motivations they have and the plans they concoct are kinda hilariously bad and everything starts to unravel if you start to tug at the threads of it. I DO like how the perception of who's good and evil changes depending on what route you play, but I really wish the routes handled them a bit better but I like the intimate moment to moment storytelling in that game far better than the overarching plot that I feel was half baked to begin with.
 
Last edited:

Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,942
Going to throw another vote for Jin, and another honorable mention to Malos. Say what you will about Xenoblade 2's story compared to 1, but it definitely had more interesting villains (Not to say I disliked the villains in 1, but they're a lot less well defined)
 

Neiteio

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,561
Wind Waker Ganondorf has like five lines of dialogue for character development, lol

The villains of Xenoblade 2 are probably Nintendo's most interesting to date
 

NHarmonic.

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
4,970
Masked Man in Mother 3
N in pokemon
FE3H
Edelgard

Wish Nintendo would make more games with these kind of characters... but we are stuck with shit like BOTW and the damsel in distress trope that they love so much.
 

Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,942
Wind Waker Ganondorf has like five lines of dialogue for character development, lol

The villains of Xenoblade 2 are probably Nintendo's most interesting to date
Yeah, I mean they're a great 5 lines, but Ganondorf is still a villain whose appeal comes way more from his sheer presence than his actual personality lol
 

Heartskips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,630
I had a friend who hated Berkut. He thought he was whiny and terrible and I had to explain to him that's the point. He's a silver spoonfed piece of shit who's losing it over a "farm boy" coming in and outdoing his military and the like, and the only person who loves him for him literally would stay with him if they were stuck on the streets but his upbringing and status just "won't allow it." Just...so good.
The stuff about class is the best thing in that game. Berkut and Clive are the most interesting characters in it because of how their upbringing influenced them and how much they struggle in their different ways to adapt (Clive) or fight (Berkut) that change in how they view society.
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,817
The stuff about class is the best thing in that game. Berkut and Clive are the most interesting characters in it because of how their upbringing influenced them and how much they struggle in their different ways to adapt (Clive) or fight (Berkut) that change in how they view society.
The whole scene with whatshis face and how it was written when Clive "gives up" leadership was amazingly done. "I came to fight for you not some rando birthed in a barn."

Great stuff. The only problem with the story is in the end "your blood" is what defines the main characters despite the message being the blood doesn't matter, but that's Fire Emblem in a nutshell. Gotta have them be a chosen one.
 

Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,942
The whole scene with whatshis face and how it was written when Clive "gives up" leadership was amazingly done. "I came to fight for you not some rando birthed in a barn."

Great stuff. The only problem with the story is in the end "your blood" is what defines the main characters despite the message being the blood doesn't matter, but that's Fire Emblem in a nutshell. Gotta have them be a chosen one.
I mean, that's also a problem that stems from the class stuff being new elements thrown onto an existing story, since Berkut and Fernand weren't in the original game
 

Heartskips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,630
The whole scene with whatshis face and how it was written when Clive "gives up" leadership was amazingly done. "I came to fight for you not some rando birthed in a barn."

Great stuff. The only problem with the story is in the end "your blood" is what defines the main characters despite the message being the blood doesn't matter, but that's Fire Emblem in a nutshell. Gotta have them be a chosen one.
I hate that twist and how it undermines a lot of the story. lol Wish Alm and Celica were handled as well as these two "side" characters.
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,817
I hate that twist and how it undermines a lot of the story. lol Wish Alm and Celica were handled as well as these two "side" characters.
Alm is "alright" but celica definitely had a few problems in the last act for sure. It really sucks because they made Alm best boy and stuff but then I looked at Gaiden and the Awakening DLC and went "oh yeah this version of Alm makes way more sense for the story."

Still love it, but yeah it's got some problems.
I mean, that's also a problem that stems from the class stuff being new elements thrown onto an existing story, since Berkut and Fernand weren't in the original game
I'm not super familiar with anything in the original aside from a few specific characters, but aside from Faye everything I found that was original to Echoes I thought was pretty well written sans Celica's final act and Faye's.....everything. But I don't want to derail the thread.

Hard to imagine the game without Berkut and Fernand for me personally. But then again Echoes has my favorite cast to date.
 

BZL8

Member
Oct 27, 2017
777
Somewhere...
In regards to Berkut, I found him the most interesting character in Echoes, but not necessarily the most interesting out of all the Fire Emblem antagonists, though he is the best Michalis archetype in my opinion.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,724
i'm lazy so i'm going to quote myself again

Keeping it Nintendo, Achi from Sin & Punishment just might be the most successful Nintendo villain ever in terms of accomplishing their goals.



The plot of the original game is hard to understand - the cutscenes assume that you read the manual and it's some weird '90s anime shit even then. But the plot goes something like this.

The Japanese genetically alter animals to create better food sources, but those creatures - the Ruffians - end up going berserk, so they create the Armed Volunteer with American aid in order to cull the Ruffians. Then the Armed Volunteers start oppressing the people, so you Achi creates the Savior Group to fight them.

Achi claims to be a holy woman, and her blood has special powers. She recruits people into Savior Group by using her blood to revive them from near-death. In the case of the main character, Saki, it also causes him to lose control of himself and turn into a giant monster. We learn later that she also gave her blood to members of the Armed Volunteers, and they end up becoming monsters as well.

As it turns out, Achi engineered the entire conflict as a training exercise so she could use Saki as her warrior to fight against another enemy - later referred to as God. Saki rejects this and fights against her. He escapes to America with another member of the Savior Group, Airan, and has a son, Isa. Isa being the protagonist of the second game.

That's the first game, but the second game is whether it gets interesting.

Between the two games, Saki ends up becoming a monster again, losing control and leaving his family - possibly returning to Achi, I don't know. Since Achi claimed to be a holy woman, Isa's mother raises him to distrust similar things, and so Isa is an atheist. Isa is also stigmatized because people think that he's going to turn into a berserk monster just like his father did.

The backstory of the game now reveals that there are multiple Earths, and that a being claiming to be God - probably the same one that Achi was training Saki to fight - lords over them, raising up armies to fight extradimensional beings. Isa naturally distrusts God, and believes that he's just another alien life form.

Enter Kachi:



Kachi is one of those extradimensional beings that God wants humanity to fight. She takes human form to observe humans, but loses her memory in the process. Isa gives her the name. God orders that she is destroyed. However, Isa sympathizes with her as he's also hated, and decides to help her escape.

God forms an agreement with an organization called the G5 - Group of Five Countries. They would stop Isa and Kachi, but in exchanged, there would be greater human rights for the people of their own Earth. These are the main enemies that the player fights in the game. Towards the end, he ends up turning into a monster himself to fight them and save Kachi.

If you beat the game on the unlockable Isa & Kachi mode, Kachi starts to recover her memories, and recalls that her actual name was Achi.



So, putting all that together. Achi's goal in the first game was to get Saki to be her giant monster supersoldier and fight God, and she claimed to be a holy woman to do it. As a reaction to her manipulations and due Saki having her monster blood, Isa is ostracized and an athiest. Both of these motivate him to protect Achi and fight against the God who wants to destroy her - becoming exactly what Achi wanted his father to be. Plus Saki goes berserk, so who knows what side he's on now.
 

Heartskips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,630
Do you all prefer Giygas without the backstory or with the whole context of Mother 1?

I feel like you'll perceive the character a bit differently depending on this.
 

Champion

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,881
Tampa, FL
You know who from Fire Emblem: Three Houses is BY FAR the best one in recent memory. Maybe ever? I did not see that coming and was legit pissed off about it.
 

NSESN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,318
Jin no doubt

I hate label her as an antagonist but for the purposes of this thread I'm going to say Edelgard. I've never seen so many debates over a Nintendo antagonist and part of that is due how well written she is.
i would say that a bigger part is because a lot of her fans cant accept she is an antagonist and did bad things
If some edel fans were less quick to equate people viewing her as a villain as thinking that she is a badly written character we would have much less debate
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,724
Actually, Pandora's Tower may provide one of the more interesting cases in that the final boss isn't the villain. Not in the sense that the final boss pulled the ol' Ganon "it was me all along" or that they're just some nonsense that comes out of nowhere, but that while being central to the events of the game they're ultimately a victim and the product of the machinations of an actual villain who largely exists in the game's lore rather than being directly observed. In fact, the real villain isn't really a person.

Whole plot spoilers below.

To start with, note that Pandora's Tower revolves around romantic love. The main characters are Aeron, the male player character, and the female lover Elena that he ventures out to save. The fact that you have to keep coming back from the towers to take care of her - she's transforming into a monster because of a curse and needs to be supplied with a diet of perishable monster flesh to retain her humanity - is compared to a working husband coming home to see his wife in the Iwata Asks interview. In line with this, the game also heavily draws off of Chinese alchemy and Taoism, as a central principle in Taoism that there is a masculine aspect (yin - the white part) and a feminine aspect (yang - the dark part) and rather than either being good or evil, we need a balance of both of them (e.g. that's how we get babies).

The most explicit example of this is that there is literally a boss in the game that is a monster yinyang. Take a look at the Masters of the Blacklight Barbican. Notice that the white one is masculine and the black one is feminine, albeit in a very beauty-and-the-beast way. They're also the second to last boss of the game, giving them special prestige.





So, now having established the general theme, let's get int the actual game world. Admittedly it's been a while since I played it so it's possible that I've gotten details wrong, but I think I remember the gist.

There are several countries outlined in Pandora's Tower, and some of their belief systems are alluded to, but the primary country is Elena's homeland of Elyria. A few of their religious beliefs are outlined throughout the game. One is that they're vegetarians, which makes eating the flesh of monsters particularly disgusting for Elena. The other is that they're polytheistic. Their gods and goddesses mostly line up with the Chinese alchemical elements - fire, water, wood, metal, and earth - with a god encompassing the male light aspect and a goddess representing the female dark aspect for each. There's also a more general pair in the god of light and goddess of darkess.

(The player character Aeron, for the record, was a soldier from another, more industrialized country that fought against Elyria in a war.)



There are three historical periods which are important to the towers that the game revolves around. Aeron and Elena's visit is the latest one, and the others are seen in flashbacks and read about in leftover texts. The Kingdom of Elyria plays heavily into all of them.



In the first period, the Elyrian people are left suffering while they participate in a long war to unite the various countries of the continent. In their distress, the people begin looking for new spiritual answers and develop an interest in monotheism. In order to facilitate this and calm the people, religious leaders in Elyria come up with a plan to switch to monotheism by combining their actual gods together.

The thirteen towers, then, are built for this purpose. Originally they're even referred to as temples. The Elyrians enlist the help of the mystic Vestra people, agreeing to grant them their own homeland in exchange for their service. This process has them create the Masters, beings that represent the power of a particular god. Each was created from a single person. Their powers would all be combined together into a new unified god who would instead be created from a man and a woman together.

The pair that volunteer was a married couple whose son had been trampled during the war. However, unbeknownst to anyone, the two had conceived another child shortly before the experiment. It was discovered when the experiment was underway, as the presence of the third person caused it to go awry. The husband and child were saved. The wife was not. She was left as the final, incomplete god, Zeron.





With this failure, the towers were abandoned and sealed by the Vestra. The husband left and raised the child on his own.



The second period happens during another war around five hundred years later, this time as countries fight to liberate themselves from the union brought on by the previous war.

The towers are unsealed and revisited by the Elysians. However, rather than having a religious purpose, it's now the Elysian military that reopens it. They find the towers to be extremely interesting for a variety of purposes. They're resource-rich, magically creating an everlasting supply of rare and useful materials. Researchers explored the tower, filling it with notes on their various findings. There are even patent applications filed.

However, what they're particularly interested in are the Masters, the beings in which their predecessors has installed godly power. The Elyrian military viewed their power as an incredible potential wartime asset and created a new set of Masters. They also created a variety of lesser monsters.

They finally set their eyes on completing the goal that their predecessors failed to do and create the final Master. Deciding to do it without the Vestra, this ended up being an even more fantastic failure than the last. The Masters were not combined, but the world suffered from severe natural disasters resulting in large numbers of fatalities. It tears open a chasm - the Scar - under the towers from which monsters flow, and which gradually widens.

The towers are resealed, which also keeps the Scar from widening and eventually destroying the world. The military abandons it once again, leaving the Masters and the monsters to overrun them.





A few decades later, Aeron participates in the war against the Elyrian army just before it ends. There he meets Elena and they become lovers. In a festival afterward, Elena is struck with a curse. This leads to the events of the game and the final period of activity in the towers.

Aeron heads into the tower under the guidance of a Vestra woman, Mavda, so that he can use the flesh of the Masters within to stave off and eventually end the curse. He slays them one by one. But when all of the Masters are dead, Elena is not cured. Instead she is transformed into the revived Zeron - the final boss of the game.

As it turns out, there was nothing special about Elena. Rather, she was targeted by the curse because she was Aeron's lover. Aeron is a descendant of the child born during the experiment that created Zeron, and in her eternal grief, she associates him with her husband and the broken promise to be together that they had made hundreds of years ago.



So, to bring us back to the question that's the subject of the thread. Zeron's the final boss that you have to defeat. She's the one that sets the plot of the game off. She's the one you have to destroy to end the game. But is she the villain of the story? I'd actually say that the villain is Elyria itself; the history of atrocities carried out by its leadership and its military. Zeron is simply a notable victim, partly of bad luck.

This is evident in some of the games multiple endings. In one of the worst endings - almost all of them are tragic or bittersweet - the curse isn't lifted. Before that can happen, the Elyrian army returns to the tower and raids Aeron and Elena's hideout. They capture Elena and employ her as a weapon with which they can subjugate other nations. She's still together with Aeron, however, who is brought into the Elysian army.

As for the best ending, the main reasons it's the best ending - and kind of out of tone for the game, frankly - is that Elysia's historical crimes become known and work is put in to address them. It also ends up splitting the continent into several countries again in the process.
 
Last edited:

Kanmurukillua

Member
Jan 28, 2019
975
I think Ghetsis and N are very fun villains, and are definitely my favorites in the Pokemon franchise.

Ghetsis is just so unapologetically evil and I always love seeing villains absolutely lose it when their plan doesn't go their way.

N, as much as people make fun of him for the way he views Pokemon battling, is a constant rival in Black and White and goes through a good character arc, something not many Pokemon characters do.
 

Woylie

Member
May 9, 2018
786
I like Birdo. Trans Nintendo character. Or at least according to one of the instruction booklets from back in the day and then never spoken of again, or something like that.
I never really thought about Birdo’s transness in the context of her villainy in SMB2 - when you think about it, it actually makes total sense that if she is constantly being misgendered she’s going to lash out.

Just fucking call her Birdetta, Mario! Maybe then she’ll stop spitting out eggs at you.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,724
I like Birdo. Trans Nintendo character. Or at least according to one of the instruction booklets from back in the day and then never spoken of again, or something like that.
It was apparently brought up again in Captain Rainbow which apparently concludes she's a girl. I'm pretty sure there's some super problematic humour involved in that though. At the very least, it wasn't just a gag added into the US manual, although the US manual does make it seem more like a misgendering issue is involved (Birdo -> Birdetta versus Catherine -> Cathy)
 

ScorchedBacon

Member
Jun 11, 2019
584
Actually, Pandora's Tower may provide one of the more interesting cases in that the final boss isn't the villain. Not in the sense that the final boss pulled the ol' Ganon "it was me all along" or that they're just some nonsense that comes out of nowhere, but that while being central to the events of the game they're ultimately a victim and the product of the machinations of an actual villain who largely exists in the game's lore rather than being directly observed. In fact, the real villain isn't really a person.

Whole plot spoilers below.

To start with, note that Pandora's Tower revolves around romantic love. The main characters are Aeron, the male player character, and the female lover Elena that he ventures out to save. The fact that you have to keep coming back from the towers to take care of her - she's transforming into a monster because of a curse and needs to be supplied with a diet of perishable monster flesh to retain her humanity - is compared to a working husband coming home to see his wife in the Iwata Asks interview. In line with this, the game also heavily draws off of Chinese alchemy and Taoism, as a central principle in Taoism that there is a masculine aspect (yin - the white part) and a feminine aspect (yang - the dark part) and rather than either being good or evil, we need a balance of both of them (e.g. that's how we get babies).

The most explicit example of this is that there is literally a boss in the game that is a monster yinyang. Take a look at the Masters of the Blacklight Barbican. Notice that the white one is masculine and the black one is feminine, albeit in a very beauty-and-the-beast way. They're also the second to last boss of the game, giving them special prestige.





So, now having established the general theme, let's get int the actual game world. Admittedly it's been a while since I played it so it's possible that I've gotten details wrong, but I think I remember the gist.

There are several countries outlined in Pandora's Tower, and some of their belief systems are alluded to, but the primary country is Elena's homeland of Elyria. A few of their religious beliefs are outlined throughout the game. One is that they're vegetarians, which makes eating the flesh of monsters particularly disgusting for Elena. The other is that they're polytheistic. Their gods and goddesses mostly line up with the Chinese alchemical elements - fire, water, wood, metal, and earth - with a god encompassing the male light aspect and a goddess representing the female dark aspect for each. There's also a more general pair in the god of light and goddess of darkess.

(The player character Aeron, for the record, was a soldier from another, more industrialized country that fought against Elyria in a war.)



There are three historical periods which are important to the towers that the game revolves around. Aeron and Elena's visit is the latest one, and the others are seen in flashbacks and read about in leftover texts. The Kingdom of Elyria plays heavily into all of them.



In the first period, the Elyrian people are left suffering while they participate in a long war to unite the various countries of the continent. In their distress, the people begin looking for new spiritual answers and develop an interest in monotheism. In order to facilitate this and calm the people, religious leaders in Elyria come up with a plan to switch to monotheism by combining their actual gods together.

The thirteen towers, then, are built for this purpose. Originally they're even referred to as temples. The Elyrians enlist the help of the mystic Vestra people, agreeing to grant them their own homeland in exchange for their service. This process has them create the Masters, beings that represent the power of a particular god. Each was created from a single person. Their powers would all be combined together into a new unified god who would instead be created from a man and a woman together.

The pair that volunteer was a married couple whose son had been trampled during the war. However, unbeknownst to anyone, the two had conceived another child shortly before the experiment. It was discovered when the experiment was underway, as the presence of the third person caused it to go awry. The husband and child were saved. The wife was not. She was left as the final, incomplete god, Zeron.





With this failure, the towers were abandoned and sealed by the Vestra. The husband left and raised the child on his own.



The second period happens during another war around five hundred years later, this time as countries fight to liberate themselves from the union brought on by the previous war.

The towers are unsealed and revisited by the Elysians. However, rather than having a religious purpose, it's now the Elysian military that reopens it. They find the towers to be extremely interesting for a variety of purposes. They're resource-rich, magically creating an everlasting supply of rare and useful materials. Researchers explored the tower, filling it with notes on their various findings. There are even patent applications filed.

However, what they're particularly interested in are the Masters, the beings in which their predecessors has installed godly power. The Elyrian military viewed their power as an incredible potential wartime asset and created a new set of Masters. They also created a variety of lesser monsters.

They finally set their eyes on completing the goal that their predecessors failed to do and create the final Master. Deciding to do it without the Vestra, this ended up being an even more fantastic failure than the last. The Masters were not combined, but the world suffered from severe natural disasters resulting in large numbers of fatalities. It tears open a chasm - the Scar - under the towers from which monsters flow, and which gradually widens.

The towers are resealed, which also keeps the Scar from widening and eventually destroying the world. The military abandons it once again, leaving the Masters and the monsters to overrun them.





A few decades later, Aeron participates in the war against the Elyrian army just before it ends. There he meets Elena and they become lovers. In a festival afterward, Elena is struck with a curse. This leads to the events of the game and the final period of activity in the towers.

Aeron heads into the tower under the guidance of a Vestra woman, Mavda, so that he can use the flesh of the Masters within to stave off and eventually end the curse. He slays them one by one. But when all of the Masters are dead, Elena is not cured. Instead she is transformed into the revived Zeron - the final boss of the game.

As it turns out, there was nothing special about Elena. Rather, she was targeted by the curse because she was Aeron's lover. Aeron is a descendant of the child born during the experiment that created Zeron, and in her eternal grief, she associates him with her husband and the broken promise to be together that they had made hundreds of years ago.



So, to bring us back to the question that's the subject of the thread. Zeron's the final boss that you have to defeat. She's the one that sets the plot of the game off. She's the one you have to destroy to end the game. But is she the villain of the story? I'd actually say that the villain is Elyria itself; the history of atrocities carried out by its leadership and its military. Zeron is simply a notable victim, partly of bad luck.

This is evident in some of the games multiple endings. In one of the worst endings - almost all of them are tragic or bittersweet - the curse isn't lifted. Before that can happen, the Elyrian army returns to the tower and raids Aeron and Elena's hideout. They capture Elena and employ her as a weapon with which they can subjugate other nations. She's still together with Aeron, however, who is brought into the Elysian army.

As for the best ending, the main reasons it's the best ending - and kind of out of tone for the game, frankly - is that Elysia's historical crimes become known and work is put in to address them. It also ends up splitting the continent into several countries again in the process.
This is actually super interesting! This is on the Wii, yeah? I'll have to give it a shot if I can find it anywhere!
 
Nov 17, 2017
6,847
Wind Waker Ganondorf has like five lines of dialogue for character development, lol
Yeah, WW Ganondorf is not all that. People always massively overstate his characterization and “development.” 99.9% of the game he’s Ganondorf and then he says a line about wanting to take over Hyrule because of its climate before going back to same old Ganondorf.
 

Gakidou

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,433
pip pip cheerio fish & chips


Motherfucker drank my juice.
Lmao I was actually bout to come post this.
Louie might not be the most elaborate villain but that's kind of why I can't stop thinking about him.
At first he just seems like a bumbling coward archetype, but...

Part way through pikmin 2 he goes missing and the mission becomes a search and rescue. And at the end he appears as the final boss atop a massive cyborg chimera spider (as you do). At first you're meant to think he's been captured by this insect but various snippets of the games plentiful flavour text seem to tell a slightly different and terrifying story?

"I entered a hole with an army of ferocious Pikmin, grimly determined to save Louie from the titan dweevil, but it seems that he was perfectly fine all along. I can't understand how he managed to avoid being eaten. Hmmm... He's always had an unusually close connection with insects, and I know he loves to cook them! Maybe he wasn't kidnapped after all... Could he have been controlling that beast all along?! No... that's craziness! Although... he does insist now that we address him by his "proper title", the King of Bugs. "

“A new employee of Hocotate Freight, Louie is often silent. Nobody knows what thoughts lurk in his mind. He appears to operate on the same wavelength as insects, often with dangerous results. After he was kidnapped, he somehow managed to hijack a colossal insect's brain!”

He also keeps a journal on all the enemies you encounter, but they're actually all cooking instructions.
And then in Pikmin 3 he reprises his role as a surprise antagonist when he runs off with all your supplies, leaving you to die. What a fucker!

Louie never seems to discuss his actions or show any sort of remorse. Is he just incompetent and selfish? is he a scheming megalomaniac? A disturbed psychopath? Does he have beef with our boy olimar? Does he have beef with pikmin? Is he on #teaminsect? Did something happen to him when he was lost in the wilderness or has he always been like this? WILL OLIMAR EVER COMPLAIN TO HR??

He might not be nintendo's best villain, but he's surely among the most mysterious and unsettling.