Good eeeeeevening, Meat-Heads!
Let's talk VILLAINS.
I struggled for a long time with what kind of antagonist to provide my characters in Dead Meat. I didn't want to settle for the usual "inner-group turmoil" that is so prevalent in undead-based stories, nor did I want the monsters to be the explicit threat, so I had to I had to think about villains. What makes a good villain? Well, Eric here apparently conforms to the classic idea of a big, black cape and a big, black top hat, but what really makes a good villain beyond visual depiction? When you get into dealing with comic books, especially classic ones, you usually come across a pattern with villains: they're usually the tonal opposite of the hero--the flipside of the coin. Batman, who will never kill, has The Joker, who kills with absolute joy; Professor X and the X-Men, dedicated to the acceptance of mutantkind among humans has Magneto, dedicated to the ascension of mutants as the dominant species; Superman, modest and dedicated to helping people in the name of truth, justice, and the American way has Lex Luthor, dedicated to (depending on his incarnation) vanity, greed, and world domination (and for some reason real estate scams), just to name a few.
What do all of these villains have in common? They all believe what they're doing is RIGHT. For me, that's what makes great villains: total belief that what they're doing is the right thing to do. Let's look for a second at arguably the greatest villain in the history of fiction: Darth Vader. We all know the gist of him, light sabres, force-choking, "I am your father," etc, etc, but let's take a step back and look at what his actual motivation as a character is. Below I've included a clip that's really the complete summation of what Darth Vader is about:
Oops...wrong clip. I meant this one:
So what is Darth Vader about at the end of the day? Peace. He's after essentially the same thing the rebels/jedi are! The major difference, however, is that his concept of how to achieve peace has been horribly horribly skewed, and what makes him dangerous is that he totally believes that his method is THE method. He believes it so completely that he is willing to destroy anything in his way to achieve it, even his own (::SPOILER ALERT!!!ONE1::) son. What makes him EXTREMELY dangerous is that his method is attractive. There are moments in the Star Wars saga in which Luke feels drawn to the dark side, and I feel this is what makes for the best villains: a villain who not only is convinced that he himself is right, but who also comes close to convincing YOU he's right.
Then again, when you strip all of that crap away, what is Darth Vader if not a guy with a big, black cape and a big, black top hat? Maybe that's the secret after all.
Until next time,
Eat Dead Meat!