No Right Answer: Most Played Out Villain Ever

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Most Played Out Villain Ever

Whoever coined the phrase "If it's not one thing, it's another", must have also said "If it's not zombies, it's Nazis". Which one over-saturated the market most? Is there a third option?

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Nazis, the Reich of Parody.

the whole time i was watching this i was thinking... what about nazi zombies?
zombie nazis?
Zazis?

yah lets go with that

kreekgod:
the whole time i was watching this i was thinking... what about nazi zombies?
zombie nazis?
Zazis?

yah lets go with that

For the extra thickness, Downfall's Hitler playing Nazi zombie.

How long has it been since the last spit-take? Feels like forever.

Overall, I agree with this outcome. There's not much room for variation when it comes to zombies. They can be magic or the infected, slow or fast and maybe have some mutant super zombies. Nazis, on the other hand, have all sorts of room to create weird mutations. You can have Regular Nazis, Super Nazis, Mecha-Nazis, Sorcerer Nazis, Space Nazis, Time-Traveling Nazis, Neo Nazis, Soup Nazis, Vampire Nazis, Grammar Nazis, Clone Nazis (or at least two clones of Hitler), Post-Apocalypse Nazis and even Nazi Zombies.

And there is at least one example of everything I listed there...

I hate zombies for being overused.
I hate Nazis for being Nazis.

Mr. Omega:
How long has it been since the last spit-take? Feels like forever.

The only other one I remember is "Too many ostriches!"

Zombies are basically just dumb people, which makes them the least threatening enemy on the planet. The only reason mankind is on top of the food chain instead of say bears, is because we're smart enough to make weapons. Most everything zombie related skip over how one zombie turns into the entire population because it could never happen. And hey, how many zombie characters have won an Oscar like Col. Hans Landa? So my vote goes for zombies being the played out one.

Now, that's not true, about Nazi's being close to played out. Tell me, how many stories do you find that actually explore Nazis in their complexity? None. They're just mindlessly, cartoonishly evil, which actually does not represent most of them. There's a lot of complicated issues that Nazis represent that we still have to explore, but we don't go there because we don't want to let go of our delusion that the Nazis are somehow intrinsically different from us. We are uncomfortable with the fact that common, everyday people who are devoted family members, loving fathers and siblings who do every day things like drink coffee, play fetch with their dogs and go to their children's school plays can do unspeakably horrible things.

Nope, we'd rather just have them as a stand-in for all things evil with no complications to that whatsoever.

Vampire Nazi are were it is at.

I'm not joking, Hellsing Ultimate was awesome.

Hmmm, well the thing is that people aren't really all that creative with either property. With Zombies we always have to have some kind of modern at least pseudo-scientific explanation for them, and there is a constant attempt to show an apocalypse without much in the way of explanation of how things turned out that way except for some occasional scenes of global panic or whatever. It's what I tend to refer to as the "Walking Dead" syndrome nowadays, we are supposed to accept the military was overrun, they even use an abandoned tank as a major setpiece, but it's still beyond me how Zombies are going to defeat a properly fielded modern tank. Likewise response is always either machine guns and maybe choppers, or someone threatening to nuke a city, nothing in between. The point is here that the entire thing is mindless and played out as it exists now, but we've got room for stories in between the lines that get ignored. To make zombies "Fresh" again all someone has to do is go back to the supernatural angle, and limit the environment to a more personal one as opposed to "OMG, they have overrun the world". Even following the current set up, to do something new all you really need is something like oh... "Tanks Vs. Zombies" (dumb name, but the point is there), take something like Roger Zelazny's old "Damnation Alley" idea, and instead have this movie about a few tanks plowing heroically through a small, infected, city in order to get to the cure so the air force doesn't just come in and drop Daisy cutters all over the place... I mean sure, it's pretty obvious (or should be) the tanks are going to win, but a few situations could be contrived to add dramatic tensions, and at least it would be something you haven't seen before.

As far as the Nazis go, they tend to get over used because nowadays it's politically incorrect to have anyone be the bad guys. When they used Russians in the last Indiana Jones movie there was an outcry about it being bigoted. If you use Muslims (despite being at war with them) people get upset, ditto for the Chinese (who also refuse to show movies portraying China in a negative light). This pretty much means you've got THREE basic enemies your allowed to use for global threats, a malevolent corporation, a rogue US government agency, or the Nazis. This makes Nazis (either modern hold outs, or a story set in the past) a go-to villain simply because they don't offend anyone except for maybe the Germans who seem to act like the Japanese in trying to basically forget about it. At the end of the day it doesn't much matter because as your dealing with a Hollywood propaganda-enhanced version of evil in any of those cases, and all of them could theoretically be behind anything. If you want to have people shown fighting against a facist state they live in, you use the rogue government angle (to avoid having it just be "business as usual" in China... one of the reasons we don't set more movies outside of the US), if "they are doing it to make money" then you go with the corporation (which also works for general insanity, since the CEO could be unhinged), with Nazis it tends to mostly come up in the realms of the fantastic since they were really working on the occult, psionics, and various scientific super weapons.

To be honest if you wanted to make the Nazis fresh again, you could always downplay the genocides and such and focus on other aspects. Say if you were to make a World War II supernatural adventure show based around a team of German occultists (which they actually have) hunting down artifacts, fighting monsters, and similar things. The gimmick being that nobody knew about this because the Germans lost and it was all carefully erased. Not all Germans were throwing Jews into concentration camps or whatever, and it would provide a different kind of atmosphere to most similar shows, especially given the popularity of anti-heroes. You don't set out to make these guys all exceptions to the general mould or speak against policies of the time, you just don't mention it since all of that kind of stuff is happening elsewhere while this team focuses on their very specific objectives.... the point here is simply that there were a LOT more things the Nazis were doing other than running around gleefully performing war crimes.

At the same time if you wanted to use the whole "Nazi" thing but mix it up, you can always have the Japanese be behind it, they were even worse than the Nazis. Things like "Unit 731" made many of the worst excesses of the Germans pale in comparison. Have the mad scientists turn out to be Japanese, or the evil organization in modern times be Imperial Japanese hold outs, out to kill pretty much everyone non-Japanese as opposed to Jews, Gypsies, etc... While this could work of course, Japan is a major trade partner, and where we put a lot of major military bases, so we'd probably never do it (again, why we go back to Nazis).

False. The most played out to death thing is Lego merchandising spinoffs.

One would think that Germans are offended by games, where you have to kill enemy's who represent the soldiers who gave their life for their country. I think they're not. We have successfully destroyed their national prime o/

Were they talking about "Dead Snow" there at the end?

image

I did Nazi that coming.

misterprickly:
Were they talking about "Dead Snow" there at the end?

image

I was not, though Dead Snow is the one exception to this entire debate as Dead Snow is freaking amazing.

Ok, so we all agree Nazis and Zombies kinda suck.

What's the next thing though? For me, it has to be "Morally dubious Middle-Eastern of no specific country" It's too easy to generalise and pretty often insulting. Remember the Arabic writing in the Pakistan map for a Call of Duty game?

That may not mean much to a western gamer but it would be like having street signs in Japanese in a map based in Houston. Swap any language/city and it's still irritating to the point of offence.

I'd quite like to shoot dinosaurs. I know Toruk and Jurassic Park did it, but why do they get to be the only ones?

I think Russians as the bad guys are far more overused than zombies. And they come in all varieties... Russian mafia, Russian mercenaries, rich Russian mofos, Russian boxers, Russian drug dealers, Russian terrrurists and Russian communists being the most prevalent of course.

PS: Swastika is not pronounced with a "Sch" in German :p
otherwise it would be written like that... Schwastika

Ok, to cut all the "Nazi Zombies" fanboys at the pass, when they said "The NEXT guy that wants to combine Nazis and Zombies... (flips them off) Don't do it!", they mean the NEXT guys as in the guys that'll rip off a good idea, and make it into shit. "Nazi Zombies", as it is, is the DEFINITION of being totally original, and totally awesome!

That, or they just meant "Dead Snow", which is kind of split on "Love/Hate". Either way, don't take it personally!

It'd be nice to put both on the shelf for, say, a decade before revisiting them as evil forces in stories. Too bad they sell bazillions of games, movies, T-shirts, tattoos, books, cartoons, comics....

WW2 era guns are just cooler than modern day bullet hoses. there i said it!

That is the ONLY reason i want a period accurate WWII shooter again. This new Wolfenstein isn't what i want.

I however will agree that the slow Zombies are boring. Fast Zombies, i haven't gotten enough yet :P

"Leave it to the Nazi's to get results!"
Quite a zinger!

Although they are still a huge -growing- problem, particularily in Russia and the Former USSR.
Even in Germany... They KILL people...

Good spit-take!
Leave it to Arnold to get results!!!!

Dem shirts... dem shirts so good, so funny.

Also, the "guidelines" near the start are funny too. You guys have a great sense of humor.

DVS BSTrD:
I hate zombies for being overused.
I hate Nazis for being Nazis.

I love the distinction you made there. Also the way you organized your badges.

OT: I never actually got sick of nazis, but zombies always boil down to the same couple of scenarios. The human drama around zombies gets pretty tiresome after a while, too; especially since for survival no one ever really brings up how zombies are all victims. Makes it kind of hard to hate them when they are just unluckier versions of you.

Nazis, however...well, as Yahtzee puts it: there is no guilt in killing Nazis because they're Nazis.

IMHO, zombies are ever present because they represent the nadir of programming difficulty and requisite narrative explanation.

Nazis... I agree they're horribly overused and don't much mind that they've been dehumanized over time, BUT. But. I think there's a danger to dissociating them from humanity as completely as pop culture has done. The danger, which to me is the threat of fascism and xenophobia, is that it's a weakness of humanity. It's not a danger that was unique to Germany in that day and age, though their example should serve as a warning through the ages. I just don't think we, as a species, are 'past it'.

I have to admit, I'm a little tired of killing zombies. Or 'dead' things in general. It was fun for a while, especially with Left for Dead and the first two Dead Space games, but around 2010 I'd had my fill of zombies after reading the Walking Dead and World War Z, as well as a few other books or comics. But after years of growing up on Resident Evil and Dawn of the Dead, I found myself no longer interested in zombies right about the time the entire media decided zombies should be in everything. Most games have zombies or something extremely similar as enemies in them, and I'm just really bored of them at this point.

I think this is why I'm so annoyed at the Walking Dead TV show anytime someone brings it up. It's crazy popular but I'm just not interested after having read the comics for years, so I feel bad over not liking something that I would have ordinarily liked about five or so years ago. Instead I just passively scroll past any ads that I happen to see as people count down to the first episode of the new season, as they're nearly invisible to me. I really have no regards towards the show at all - no positive or negative feelings.

Maybe it's also why I didn't get into the Last of Us. I still haven't finished it and haven't really been looking forward to it. I like that they mixed it up at least. But generally, I just feel like zombies are incredibly too played out for me, however, I would not wish for the zombie craze to die down for those who are still enjoying it. But I am hoping it'll pass quickly...

Call of Duty: World at War, and also Dead Snow. Now you can be tired of stuff twice as efficiently!

While zombies are way more overused today, they still resonate with me more than Nazi's do, because they're inherently creepy. Nazis on the other hand rely on their historical reputation to intimidate, and that has worn away to the point where they're a joke now, and since they aren't inherently scary like zombies, they come across as just being a bunch of enemy soldiers.

Arslan Aladeen:
Zombies are basically just dumb people, which makes them the least threatening enemy on the planet. The only reason mankind is on top of the food chain instead of say bears, is because we're smart enough to make weapons. Most everything zombie related skip over how one zombie turns into the entire population because it could never happen.

It's nice to see I'm not the only person who gets this. In order to spread the disease zombies would have to infect people at a greater rate than people can kill them, which would never happen because zombies are inherently inferior to humans as is evidenced by every single zombie related piece of media. And anyone who does get bitten will likely opt to shoot themselves (or be shot by someone else) before they turn. The zombie apocalypse would be stomped out before it even begins.

That being said, logic aside I still find zombies a more intimidating.

"Nazis get results!" Oh, it is SO easy to quote that out of context.
I'm bored with the zombies because they make no sense as an enemy. One of the most-read articles on Cracked.com, "7 Scientific Reasons a Real Zombie Apocalypse Will Fail", said the zombie is a creature designed for failure. Its natural enemy, living humans, are also its prime food source and only means of reproduction. Zombie fiction never explains how zombies aren't stopped by the CDC or the military before it goes into full plague mode. I find really annoying when they switch gears and go "No, wait! It's the Humans Are the Real Monsters!", and I find that insulting.

Nazis, however, are guilt free to kill because most of their leaders and original founders were practicing occultists who sound like they jumped out of an old comic book, because their beliefs and methods were so evil. It's even fun to blame them for everything wrong with the world now. I like it when their is a reason to make the bad guys Nazis or Nazi-like, such as HYDRA from Captain America: The First Avenger, which had all the superscience and magic that the real world Nazis WISH they had in the war.

I can see why those two groups are used as bad guys in movies and video games so much, because it's so easy to make a political statement when you identify an enemy by their country of origin or religion, which is why we don't see a whole lot of Middle eastern terrorists in popular fiction, even though we're still at war with them.

I gotta agree with Chris. I'm so sick of Zombies I could puke up a zombie.

Nazis were evil fucks. Their are so many stories left for Nazis, we should always have Nazis in the media. They remind us of what nationalism can do, they remind us that racist, bigoted arseholes in power can cause damage.

Tony Abbot is a racist, bigoted cunt; who has wet dreams about Margaret Thatcher.

How about a survival horror game about a concentration camp prisoner, where death is an option? Or a game about Anne Frank? The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas would also make a good game.

Nazis should be explored to show the evil of humanity, to show that we need to love people, no matter how gay, black, Jewish or political they are. I'm fired up about this because injustice and evil never stops. We need to expose the bastards in power.

Evil Smurf:
Nazis were evil fucks. Their are so many stories left for Nazis, we should always have Nazis in the media. They remind us of what nationalism can do, they remind us that racist, bigoted arseholes in power can cause damage.

You're right to some extent, but Nazis have become too iconic to reflect that any more. People look at Nazis now, and they don't see desperate humans with twisted ideologies that remind us of what people are capable of when pushed to the brink, they just see cartoonishly evil stormtroopers.

Ironically I think the raw evil of the Nazi regime would be a lot more apparent and impactful if they made the Nazis you're fighting seem more tragic than totally monstrous. These were kids aged 16-21, taught to hate non-Aryans from an even younger age, then handed guns and sent into a battle that, in many cases, nobody expected them to survive.

James Joseph Emerald:

Evil Smurf:
Nazis were evil fucks. Their are so many stories left for Nazis, we should always have Nazis in the media. They remind us of what nationalism can do, they remind us that racist, bigoted arseholes in power can cause damage.

You're right to some extent, but Nazis have become too iconic to reflect that any more. People look at Nazis now, and they don't see desperate humans with twisted ideologies that remind us of what people are capable of when pushed to the brink, they just see cartoonishly evil stormtroopers.

Ironically I think the raw evil of the Nazi regime would be a lot more apparent and impactful if they made the Nazis you're fighting seem more tragic than totally monstrous. These were kids aged 16-21, taught to hate non-Aryans from an even younger age, then handed guns and sent into a battle that, in many cases, nobody expected them to survive.

I'd play that game, it would be a very educational game, teaching about indoctrination. With the right writing, it would be fantastic, a game from the eyes of a nazi youth.

I miss nazis as villains. They were interesting and you could do all sorts of things with them, including the occult super evil nazis like in Wolfenstein (and Indiana Jones, Captain America etc.), or putting gatling guns on robo Hitler.

Nazis aren't actually played out, it's the drab WWII European theater shooters that were played out. There's still a lot of things which could be done with nazis.

Zombies on the other hand, allow for only 2 kinds of gameplay - crazy beat/shoot-em-up or survival. Anything else pretty much fails.

Zombies are really just the ideal enemy for the audience of today: don't think, just kill it quickly because it looks different so it must be bad.

Heck, nazis are so cool they can even make zombies cool by being nazi zombies.

Awesome job getting it on the drinking round. That said I laughed too.

Zombies feel really more like a force of nature than anything, but then I can imagine a game or a movie about escaping a fire being more compelling that zombies. There's only so much you can do. At least with Nazis you can get creative with characters, Inglourious Basterds demonstrates this perfectly. Honestly I can do without either, a new kind of bad would certainly be welcome.

I think there's plenty of things to these played out things that we can do.

How about Robotic Alien Samarai-Pirate-Ninja Nazi Zombie Ghost Gators?

But you know what's really been played out?

Humans!

Humans are everywhere, they've been everything! Zombies? been them. Robots? Been them. Nazis? Been them. In space? Been them. Wolves? If were-wolves count, they've been them.

No matter what ridiculous thing you come up with... For some reason, a human is at the center of it.

Humans are Boring, unremarkable, and unnoticeable.

And since everything is pretty much human, Humans are almost always the villain. Even more than they are the hero, since there are some stories where humans are screwing up the non humans.

So I say the most played out Villain is Humans.

(Crazy argument, but its something.)

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