In keeping with the spirit of Halloween, we asked members of the Girls Got Game team to share with us their fave baddies from all over the geek sphere. What else could be a more fitting tribute to the dark side in us all, but to reminisce our favorite villains?
Video games, TV shows, movies, comic books, wrestling – you name it, we got it. Here’s a round up of our favorite vile characters.
Spoiler Alert: We love our scoundrels. We enjoy talking about their most villainous moments that truly set them apart from all the rest. That said, be warned of potential spoilers ahead.
FRIEDA, Teepo from Breath of Fire III
Breath of Fire 3 is one of my all-time favorite games. It really made an impact on me as a kid. It’s a game that portrays the dilemma of the Morally Grey Area rather well; in a time before it became more commonplace in the games today.
(For reference, this game was made in the 90s.)
The very first ‘real’ boss that you fight in the game – a vicious monster that has been terrorizing the village and killing villagers – is a mother trying to care for her already dead cubs. You only find that out right after killing her. And when the main characters confront the person who tasked them with the mission afterwards, all he says is “If you had known she had cubs, would you have let her live?”
This whole event really sets the tone that the game has – what is right, and what is wrong?
That question culminates upon facing the penultimate boss – Teepo, your former party member from long ago.
He’s been missing ever since the protagonist’s childhood; where the party’s house was destroyed and they were split apart after being defeated by the goons who did the deed.
Teepo’s initial reappearance is more or less a shock to both the player and the characters. It’s the last place anyone would expect an old face to resurface, let alone as an antagonist. Even more surprising is the revelation that he possesses the same power that the protagonist has – a power so strong that Teepo made the choice to allow himself to remain locked up so that it wouldn’t hurt anybody. He implores the protagonist to do the same as well. And the protagonist’s refusal (for good reasons) eventually leads them to clash against each other.
What really hits hard comes after the battle is over and you defeat Teepo. With his final breath, he points out the reality of his beliefs: how their power has caused them to hurt and kill each other when all Teepo wanted was to live in peace with the protagonist like before. But all they can do is watch him die by their own hands, and they’re left to question one more time if what they intend to do is truly the best thing. It’s a powerful moment, and the fact that it comes from Teepo only makes the issue even more cutting.
PAM, Kanoe from X/1999
I could talk forever about my favorite villains, but if we’re going to talk about villains who really defined me as a fan and as a writer? Kanoe, hands down. Young!Pam couldn’t have possibly realized how this woman set the bar for evil, powerful, and sexy.
Kanoe’s motivations seem extremely shallow at first. She’s on the other side of the fight for the Apocalypse because she hates her older sister. Spite powers her every action; her face, her boobs and her cunt are the doorways to her success, and she doesn’t care how it makes her look. Manipulation seems to be the only language she knows how to speak. It seems easy – too easy – to pin her down as a stereotypical Hot As Sin Manga Villainness.
Then you realize that she’s been as fucked over by destiny as everyone else has in this manga. You realize that maybe she was doing all of this for the same reason why Satan decided to say “fuck you” to God in Paradise Lost. Why let yourself just get swept up away by your destiny? The least you could do is spit in its face and go down to Hell kicking and screaming.
CLAMP, please finish this series already. You owe it to Kanoe and the rest of X’s fantastic characters!
KAREN, Queen Beryl from Sailor Moon
She’s the #foreveralone villain I can relate to. Even though she’s surrounded by 4 borta Shitennou who does all her bidding – which appeals to the dominatrix in me – they’re dumb and useless in the end. She has a va-va-voom body and her hair, gown, accessories, and makeup are always en pointe.
Shout out to Japanese toy makers: please make Queen Beryl toys and figures. She’s better than the sailor senshis!
JERICA, Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty
Like a lot of kids my age, I grew up watching Disney movies. I’d braid my hair like Cinderella, do my best version of Belle on the bookshop’s rolling ladder (despite the lack of an actual ladder)… and sit on a throne and wield a scepter, like Maleficent. Even if my throne was a small, pink, plastic chair and my scepter was a pink light-up magic wand that didn’t reach the floor.
Maleficent is still my favorite Disney villain, despite her being from a movie that was originally released in 1959. From the Disney villain roster, we’ve got characters who have arguably “more” reasons for their villainy. There’s the Queen from Snow White who wanted to be “the fairest of them all”. Cinderella’s step-mother who wanted to give herself and her children a leg-up in society. Ursula who wanted to rule the seas; Jafar who had political aspirations, and so on. But Disney’s animated version of Maleficent? She wasn’t invited to a christening, so she cursed the baby to die.
Maleficent is enthralling. There’s just something about the way she made her grand entrance in the castle, her graceful sweeping movements, and her dramatic declaration on having all the powers of hell before turning into a bad ass dragon.
The animated film eschewed the darker fairy tale roots behind the Sleeping Beauty story in creating their villain, and in doing so, gave us a character full of pure evil with mysterious motivations. Until 2014’s Maleficent, that is.