There is a saying that each of us are a villain in someone else’s story. Stories have often taken a black and white approach to good versus evil, but there are also ones that blur the lines and make us question what is really right and wrong.
The best way to do that is to make their villains complicated. Sympathetic villains have taught us that good intentions are never enough to make you a hero. Video games have adopted this way of writing their villains as well. Here are ten video game villains that we wish we didn’t have to fight because we sympathize with them.
10 Solas From Dragon Age Inquisition
Solas was revealed to be the Dread Wolf at the end of Dragon Age Inquisition but players do not really learn what his plans are until the Trespasser DLC. It is uncovered that he is an ancient elf and his decisions ultimately led his people to suffer. We wants to undo his mistakes, but that means destroying Thedas as we know it by ripping the veil apart and setting the Fade loose.
What hurts is that you can romance and befriend him before this reveal. Once he likes you, he is torn in half about what he is doing and its obviously causing him great inner turmoil.
9 Emet-Selch From Final Fantasy XIV
The recent Shadowbringers expansion of Final Fantasy XIV introduced one of its best written villains, Emet-Selch. Oddly enough, his backstory is nearly identical to Solas. He also is an ancient being whose people were completely destroyed. He seeks to rejoin the worlds by destroying them so that his people can live again. Unlike Solas though, them being destroyed was not personally his fault. He is just a leader among them who took up the mantle to try and fix what was wrought.
8 Alma From F.E.A.R.
F.E.A.R’s villain is a psychic child who was tortured by both her abilities and the experiments she was put under. She was abused and that made her turn against the scientists, and then the scientists forced her into an induced coma and forcibly impregnated her twice. With that kind of backstory, you really cannot blame her for her villainous ways.
She became a famous horror genre video game character because she was scary. Despite scaring players away from their computers, she is also the greatest victim the series has.
7 Sarah Kerrigan From Starcraft
Sarah was used as a pawn by a bunch of different entities before claiming her own power and becoming one of the most powerful entities in the known universe. She is used in part as bait to help another villain take over a government, and then the aliens she was used as bait for make her weapon through mind control. Once she is free, she goes on a understandable destructive rampage across the galaxy. Her case is very similar to Alma’s from F.E.A.R.
6 The Colossi From Shadow Of The Colossus
The colossi are villains who did not really do anything to deserve you killing them. You were just told to by a powerful being so that it can bring a girl back to life. So you kill all 16 and its easy to feel like you are definitely doing something wrong.
Not all the colossi attack you when they first see you. They are just minding their own business. They are also beautiful, and killing them feels like you really snuffed out some magic from the world.
5 Guzma From Pokémon
A lot of villains from Pokémon are sympathetic, and Guzma is a more recent addition to that group.
He is a typical delinquent who grew up and decided to adopt a bunch of other delinquents. They treat each other like family, and that is kind of sweet and admirable. Also, you eventually find out that Guzma wanted to be a captain but failed and ran away from home. Guzma is still a child at heart, who constantly wants to prove that he is the strongest.
4 Great Grey Wolf Sif From Dark Souls
This boss fight just hurt.
Dark Souls have numerous sympathetic villains, but none quite like Great Grey Wolf Sif. According to the lore, he is the loyal partner of Artorias the Abysswalker. When Artorias was swallowed by the abyss, the wolf decided to guard his grave. You, the player, need Atorias’ ring. That’s in his grave and the only way to get there is by killing Sif. Players were so sad about it that rumors spread about not having to kill Sif. Unfortunately, the rumors were false and you have to get through this boss to beat the game.
3 Marlene From The Last Of Us
The Last of Us had a bitter-sweet ending due to this villain. She wanted what most would, a cure for the virus that has killed most of humanity.
However, that meant killing Ellie and the protagonist was not going to have that happen. So Marlene is killed by us and we are victorious. Humanity is still cursed with a zombie-fungus-virus, but at least Ellie is still around.
2 Princess Hilda From The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Hilda is a ruler who has been handed down her predecessor’s mess. Her world is facing the apocalypse and she is trying to take the tri-force of Hyrule, which will save her land, but destroy Hyrule. She does cast her lot with characters that turn out to be villainous, but that is because they are the only people willing and capable to help. Like Solas, she is clearly torn about this decision. She ultimately gives up in the end.
1 The Shadowlord From Nier
The major twist of the original Nier is that the enemies are actually what were once the humans of Earth. The Shadowlord, the big bad of the game, is actually the father you played in the prologue. He, like the rest of humanity, were separated from their bodies due to a magical illness that was introduced when a dragon from the Drakengard series came to their world.
It is not till your additional playthroughs where you can actually hear the voices of the humans you are killing. The Shadowlord turns out to be just like you, a man who wants to protect his sick daughter.
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