Home Games Boss Rush – Anti-Villains (Part 2)

Boss Rush – Anti-Villains (Part 2)


Further down the rabbit hole of guilt we traverse. Awaiting for us at the bottom lies a wonderland of feelings that connect us to our favorite lecherous yet strangely, likable libertines. Cretins of commendable traits are created with the purpose of hitting you right in your heart container in a physical and an emotional sense. The key to getting a player to empathize with these types is in their motivation. An employed school of thought for gaming in the ’80s and early ’90s followed a straightforward course titled “Simplistic Bad Guy Psychology 101”. Growing up as a kid gaming in the ’90s, It was mandatory to be enrolled in this course given the lack of alternatives. Fortunately, tt can be summed up by one easy to learn, neat trick.
“To establish the big boss. You need to instill a great need within in your player. You must give them an obstacle to overcome that they simply loathe.”
Henceforth, We get the birth of the stereotypical, overtly fiendish character who shows no remorse and little to no humanity outside of their specified evil task. This method of storytelling gets a rise out of the player to the degree that it provokes a desire to trek through the adventure, merely to get that one satisfying final fight with the big bad. However — A much more devilish way that requires extra effort comes within these school dropouts that I offer today. They make us question our moral compass; It’s the sympathetic villains of gaming. The Anti-Villains.


*Spoiler Warning*

alice46The Mad Hatter – Alice: The Madness Returns (PS3, XB360)

A far cry from his tea party days of old, The Mad Hatter lives up to his name in this sequel to American McGee’s Alice. Available for the Playstation 3, this twisted dark un-recognisable world based on the works of Lewis Carroll shows a grim element unseen in the Disney version of the tale. An older Alice is plagued by mental torture between her own reality and the demented realm of wonderland in a fascinating occasionally creepy experience. No experience more creepy than than that of fate of The Mad Hatter.
The game itself is canonical with the original book. The helpful babbling hatter sought to help Alice out of Wonderland despite the madness that we see to be constantly overwhelming to him. He is constrained to a room where time stands still by the Red Queen, forever to repeat his tea party. The hatter despite his entrapment still manages to use his powers beyond his world to awaken Alice from a slumber prompting her to escape from a fire that might have taken her life. Upon their meeting again we see him conflicted . One part the humble jester who was enslaved by the queen and another part the psychopath living in an unending anguish. As can be expected with this games dark undertones, The Hatter’s good side does not win out. The game Alice: The Madness Returns sees you fighting an incoherent shell of a man spewing venomous words and longing to die. The terrifying imagery and the vocal work done for the part taps directly into a human instinct that makes you feel a bitter aftertaste upon the hatters final demise at your hands. A soft sadness is in his tone lends to a harsh sympathy wafting across the player.

tww-ganondorf-covet-windGanondorf – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (NGC)

Surely, this can’t be right? Ganondorf a sympathetic character? Well — He is in this continuity anyways. Wind Waker is one of the most revered Zelda games in the series and can be played on the Nintendo Gamecube and more recently in HD on The Wii U. The timeline of the Zelda games has always been a note of contention among gamers. Although it is cited by Nintendo that Windwaker is in the same canonical continuity as The Ocarina of Time. When you factor in this knowledge, You notice a strange difference in the character Ganon between the two games. In ocarina, He is a scoundrel who seeks the destruction of Hyrule. In Windwaker, He has more flesh to his character in his words and if you are paying attention close enough you will see a basic emotion that we have felt at one stage in our life. Regret. The world of Hyrule sunken into the ocean. A world that the new Ganondorf has spent time away from, incarcerated in a sacred realm. His return and capture of The Princess Zelda yields a great awakening as he begins to hear her dreams. She dreams of the world before.
Ganondorf never expressly notes a connection with Zelda, but it is implied in his words from therein onwards. He loathes the new world as does the Princess. A common hatred. Wind Waker offers a side of this classic villain that is unseen in any other iteration. Zelda and Link are at his mercy at several opportunities in this game. They are not met with death, because he chooses to hold onto parts of the old Hyrule. In his words he states a desire to bring back the Hyrule of old. Exactly as it was. The Hyrule he wished to destroy. A look into his motivation in Ocarina is touched upon additionally. Jealousy fueled his desire to destroy Hyrule. The people of his home land lived in a vacant desert met by the nearly constant shade of night. The lush green landscape of Hyrule in his view was wasted on those who did not appreciate what they truly had. A very subtle direction was taken in Wind Waker and its no wonder that is a fan favorite that got its much deserved HD remake. Ganondorf has a sadness that you can’t help ,but feel sorry for in spite of his wrong doings in the past.

Metal-Gear-Solid-3-Snake-Eater-The-BossThe Boss – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)

If you are a fan of this series, You will know what I mean when I speak of The Boss. The third iteration of Metal Gear Solid made its way to the Playstation 2 home console and told a precursor story to the original game on the Playstation 1. The Boss is the Lead member of a unit known as Cobra and mentor to the games protagonist Snake. She is a war veteran who betrayed her countrymen to align with Russia at the time of the cold war. A jungle setting deep in the heart of The U.S.S.R provides the cover for Snakes mission to extract a weapons technician from a highly guarded facility, locate and destroy a nuclear super weapon and finally — eliminate the woman known as The Boss who taught him everything he knows. With a heavy heart, You as an operative are tied into Snakes duty as you see the strong bond that Snake shared with the boss unfold before you in the form of his denial to face reality. The binding call to action for your country drives you to complete the mission at all costs.
Throughout the duration of the game you get cut scene encounters with The Boss who leaves you down and out in each circumstance. A treasure trove of creative bosses meet you at each turn as you draw closer to the inevitable fight. A woman who you don’t know if  you can trust comes out of the woodwork to aid you at different points. The shocking power of a general almost eviscerates you along your way. All the while, every step you make, you are still believing that you will have to murder your mentor at some point in the journey. A crashing realization comes across the player in the later stage of the game shattering what you know just prior to the games finale. Every piece comes together.
The Boss was an undercover operative the entire time. She pulled her punches. She made it look real, but was secretly still an ally to you.
A russian operative Volgin causes a missile to destroy the site of a bureau of great importance to the Russians. This sees The Bosses mission parameters alter. To avoid incriminating the united states in the hit and causing a worldwide nuclear international incident, She stays as a traitor taking responsibility for the destroyed bureau.  She allows herself to be murdered in a fight with her protegé Snake who is none the wiser at this point in time. The player is fully aware of her actions. A sacrifice of her reputation and her own life for the good of her own country. A grand heroic gesture from a truly excellent character.
And Thats all folks! Give me your last thoughts down in the comments. Do you agree/disagree with my choices and additionally keep telling us what bad guys you feel have the most redeeming qualities in your eyes!