1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    is it a bad sign if your fans are in love with the big bad?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Jun 15, 2011.

    In the Zelda Universe forums, Zelda fans have been calling the new Zelda enemy (who's really Demon Lord Ghirahim) 'Debbie', or 'fabulous Debbie'. I am not sure if that is what Nintendo intended.

    I always assumed that you were supposed to make the villain unlikeable. Well-rounded, developed, yes, but unlikeable, depending on the story.

    Badass villains are one thing, but from what I've seen of pictures of 'Debbie' kissing up Link, I doubt that's what Nintendo wanted.

    Still, as a Zelda fan, I chuckle and look forward to meeting Mister Debbie in the game.
     
  2. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    That risks making them and the plot two dimensional. A villain that the reader feels sympathy for, maybe even likes, makes for a more complex, deeper dynamic. Outside children's books, popcorn movies and the like I'd say that's unequivocally good, and even in those contexts it can be good.
     
  3. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    I've never come across someone who's that obsessed with the Zelda franchise lol

    The new game is meant to be brilliant, have you played it yet?
     
  4. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    An unlikeable villain is as flat and dull as a cartoon villain or an absolute monster.
    A likeable villain is a more interesting one.

    Considering the demon lord kissing up Link, ho yay is inevitable.
    Cough, 34, cough.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    There are loads of people out there who love Darth Vader.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bad, nasty, unlikeable villains are little more than strawmen put up for the pure and righteous hero to bash down, so that the audience/readers may have their social understandings and needs for justice and order reinforced. It's cheap gratification, if not outright moral masturbation.

    Well, or maybe it's just me... If a novel doesn't challenge my concepts; if I don't walk out of a cinema feeling like I've seen something from a new angle for the first time, I feel like I've wasted my time, or got served chewing gum for dinner. Maybe I'm just getting old and jaded? At any rate, I know I've watched too many episodes of the Smurfs to get excited over cackling villains in black.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Game does not come out until Holidays 2011.
     
  8. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    It is the holidays! :)

    I thought it was out cos I saw it advertised on the TV the other day so it must be coming out soon
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    x-mas holidays.

    Ah well, at least I can look forward to it until then.

    Fabulous game.
     
  10. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you mean Ocarina of Time or Skyward Sword? Because OoT comes out in July and SS comes out in November/December. This is totally off topic... I'm sorry :(
     
  11. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Likeable villians are so much more interesting. Don't think theres a problem if reader like a villain. I've read and watched alot of stories where I thought the villain was really interesting. Eric from True Blood is a good one :D
     
  12. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    To answer the question:

    It's not neccesarily a bad thing if fans actually like the antagonist. It all depends on how zhe's portrayed in the story, tbh. If the big bad is meant to be evil but likeable (as in cool, sexy, or something along those lines), then it's no problem. If the big bad suddenly becomes likeable even though the creator's aiming for it to be as hated as possible, they're doing something wrong and it can swing two ways. On one hand, the villain comes off as badly written. On the other hand, the audience might actually prefer this villain if it were to be seen negatively.
     
  13. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I don't think it's bad for your fans to love the villain -- it makes them more complex if you can relate to them. Plus, some you just love to hate. :p
     
  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Not at all, fellow Zelda fan!

    I meant Skyward Sword .

    I guess it's alright to make your villains somewhat likeable, but I would be worried if, say, my fans had fanart of Captain Helen Chert kissing up the villain-of-the-book.

    I mean, c'mon! That's not what I meant! XD
     
  15. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Well, I've always had a soft spot for Darth Vadar, so I don't see what's wrong with liking the villains. :p
     
  16. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    I saw this post and I thought, "Wow, this is the best way to use my favorite book as a completely relevant reference."

    Pick up a copy of The Dark Griffin by K.J. Taylor. If anyone here's read it, they'll back me up when I say that this book uses every aspect of a good hero/villain (it varies) in the best possible way.

    Bottom line: You need to make a villain readers will love to hate, or vise-versa, even mixing in a little of both. For the sake of a Zelda reference, Twilight Princess was so successful, in my opinion, because it used a love-to-hate villain to start out with. What you want to do, for writing, or even just in general, is look at the villain from the villain's point of view. If all you can see is killkillkillkillkillkill, with maybe a touch of conquest, then they can be more dynamic.
     
  17. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    In almost everything I read I'm more likely to side with the villain than the hero (as a general rule, protagonists tend to annoy me - I much prefer secondary characters and foes) and in those books that I don't side with them I at least understand their point of view. So, I believe it's a good thing for readers to be able to like the enemy. I've yet to come across a villain in fiction that I genuinely dislike despite how unlikable the author tries to make them.
     
  18. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    A quick Google search for "Demon Lord Ghirahim" tells me Nintendo brought this upon themselves for making him so bishie and kawaii.
     
  19. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    If they did, it wouldn't necessarily mean your villain was TOO likeable--it would mean your villain is interesting and that they want Helen to show a bit of a dark side ;)

    But really. Just like villains can't be too evil, MCs shouldn't be perfect. Helen sounds pretty morally perfect to me, even if you seem to disagree--readers love when main characters show elements of darkness and moral ambiguity. Not saying you SHOULD have Helen make out with your villain, but it would be a lot more interesting than having them be perfect heroes or villains. That's why so many readers identify with antiheroes--they're so much more human and interesting.

    To give a tame example, Harry Potter is a character whose nobility can get frustrating at times. I find him a bit of a bland protagonist--and it's only when he gets angry and irrational, when he shows less noble sides that show him to be different on the inside than out, that I sympathize with him.

    Villains are the same way. A villain can't be all evil. There has to be motivation, motivation derived from real, tangible, human feelings and experiences. And the more ambiguous the villain is, the more fascinated the reader will become with him or her. And the more human a villain becomes, the more terrifying the villain can be. A stereotypical "pure evil" villain is dull; a human villain is fascinating. A flat personification-of-evil villain can kill millions of people and never affect the audience; a complex, ambiguous villain can hold readers on the edges of their seats in horror without inflicting a single scratch.
     
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  20. Blue_Lotus
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    Blue_Lotus Senior Member

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    Watch Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom is sad, you want to love him and pity him so much... in the end you sometimes do.
     

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