The title says it all. Evil with the big 'E'. The bad guy who makes even the other bad guys wince.
Table top RPG's are wide open for this sort of thing, though most players who try to play evil characters just have them behave like jerks or try to gross everyone out, i.e. "I pick up the baby I accidentally fireballed. I'll eat it later for dinner with a nice Chianti and some beans."
Then there are video game RPG's. It's a given that in most video games--particularly the ones with moral choice systems--there are limits and specific choices a player is allowed. How far will you go, though, if given the option?
I can manage evil in table top RPG's, but I go soft when playing video games.
Way back in the day when I role played D&D and Role Master I was the only one in our group who could play a character who was Evil with a capital 'E' rather than one who was boorish or just posing. My friends had played doofus evil characters upon occasion, but during one campaign I took my cue from some book I'd read and gave the nice people in our base town a plague which took weeks to set in while we were kicking in doors at a conveniently approachable, well inhabited dungeon a few miles away. When we got back my friends did the "Here we come to save the DAYYYY!!!" thing which I pretended to enthusiastically go along with while in fact I was looting (and torturing for information--then smothering to death with pillows) all the key NPC's in the town for everything they were worth. All of which I did with long term plans in mind.
My friends didn't have a clue for weeks (to his credit the DM actually kept his mouth shut despite my blowing his campaign plans into gnat droppings), but they did get puzzled why my character tended to be 2 to 3 levels above them. And the quiet, behind the scenes atrocities I routinely committed while working together with a troupe of known do-gooders (paladin included--Ahhh, the benefits of alignment concealing spells) eventually resulted in the entire region falling to a humanoid invasion while I reaped the awards and eventually retired into a pocket dimension with fawning slaves and endless wealth and power. I REALLY screwed things up for everybody but myself in those campaigns, and did some things I don't enjoy remembering.
NOTE: I only did it to annoy my friends, of course (what are friends for), and they, in return, later got together and murdered one of my characters--in his sleep--at a game session when I wasn't present (*sigh* what ARE friends for???). When the novelty of playing a truly evil character wore off (months before they murdered my character, who--how's this for irony--wasn't even the same character, he just happened to be mine) I quit being a bad guy only to find several of them trying out being "Evil with a capital 'E'".
But when it comes to video games I JUST CAN'T DO IT! Whenever I tried to play the bad guy in Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR, Dragon's Age: Origins, etc (Video RPG's are my mana--I've never played a FPS) I found myself starting off strong for at first, but after a few hours I find myself cringing at the thought of not helping this or that waif and eventually giving in to my natural inclinations towards just being nice and good to others (I swear, I'm such a push over). Even when I make my character evil enough to get to the 'bad guy' ending I'm wincing at betraying others, i.e. "*sob* Forgive me, Mission!!! *sob*". You get the idea.
So how hard or easy is it for the rest of you to really be the bad guy? The one with the capital 'E'.
NOTE: The captcha for posting this is "feeding frenzy". An omen, perhaps...?
EDIT: Tales of past villainies are fine, but, how shall I put this...Try not to get so into it that you need a drool cup.
All good? So, good.
I always play the good guy before playing the bad one. It alwasy felt right. I just check the bad side by curiosity.
Although, if you were really evil in a video game, try playing Mario Party 2 with the only intention to win. Your opponents can be your friends, your family or your loved one. That's evil. I got a "Bowser bomb" just to make sure the other guy wouldn't get a star.
I can, but the First time I did it in the old republic, I was soo depressed after, I mean I made that wookie kill that chick, and I killed the old coot! Kotor 2 was worse because you make everyone evil with you, yeesh
I find it quite easy to be evil in video games, but I am never sincere about it. The only reason I am playing as the evil character is because it's either more fun, or I've already played the good side and I'm just seeing the rest of the content I missed.
I can distance myself from the game pretty easily which helps. To me I'm not betraying a character, I'm just seeing what would happen if I killed him instead. I know people who find it to difficult to do this though, particularly if they have come from Table Top or P&P RPGs, and get really into the role-playing aspect of it, which I don't touch with a 10' pole myself, just not my thing.
I can't play 'evil' without feeling bad, but I can play 'Dick' without being too guilty, if that makes sense.
In origins for example, I was a total dick to Alistair for most of the game, aside from two moments when I decided to give him a break. His 'sister' mission, and the talk before the final attack.
A better example of being a dick though is in Multiplayer games with friends, like Civ 5 when we were playing 'Co-op', I betrayed two of my mates when they were about to crush someone simply to keep the game going on. I feel you need someone to be a villain in games like this otherwise it becomes really boring really fast.
Usually, when I play evil it's just for laughs or sheer boredom. Which is usually undone by reloading a save. Otherwise, I just lack the motivation or interest to do so.
Funnily enough, I'm rather evil to evil factions or characters. Oh, the joys of watching a nearly dead Raider be slaughtered by an alerted yao goai.
Evil in videogames are often just presented insane.
Evil doesn't mean getting off in the morning and then having a cup of evil coffee and a plate of evil toast. Evil has become a parody. Just like good it truely doesn't exists. It reminds me of a sketch.
To make an evil char believable is a lot harder than it seems. I would say the key lies in being selfish and self serving. Seeing one self as more important the world around you and therefore willing to sacrifice the world for own gain.
Oh yes, quite easily.
Especially if rewards are involved.(And they almost always are)
That aside I still find enjoyment enough in the left hand path even if there is no reward.
I know evil choices have become a massive gimmick over the years, and for me personally they will lose their fun in their own time, but as of now I still enjoy, probably because I can still remember hardly ever being given the chance to do so.
Mission. She was...sniff...Mission Vao.
Games with a good story/writing, I love being evil. I was an evil prick in KOTOR and I loved it.
I usually always go the evil route by default, with the exception of, say, Bioshock. There was something about those little girls...I just couldn't harm them.
The only problems I have playing evil is all the evil choices are usually mind numbingly stupid. But when they're actually intelligent? Fun times.
I almost exclusively play evil in games. On the rare occasion where I play good as a change of pace I have to be really careful not to pick evil things out of habit.
I find it a struggle to be honest, in CRPGs it is a frustrating one as the Evil choices are generally stupid or difficult to fathom. I'm just not built for understanding the natural progression of evil quests in computer games.
In Pen and Paper it is a bit easier, I've never played a Chaotic Evil character, because they are just a bit too overtly individualist to work in teams very well, especially if the team is a mix of alignments. Mostly when I've played Evil I've played Neutral Evil. Pragmatism is something I can understand and roleplay especially if you play a character with a sense of guile. I find pure Chaotic Evil tends to be a little dull/shallow to play.
I have a hard itme playing as, "Evil," in any game. Perhaps my moral compass is too accurate, and for whatever reason, I tend to feel some kind of strange sympathy for NPCs. Whatever the case my be, I am playing a game of Galactic Civilizations II right now, and I can't bring myself to make evil choices no matter how beneficial they can sometimes be.
Generally only if I'm not taking the game at all seriously.
I always play good... I even feel bad stealing in Elder Scrolls and Fallouts.
I don't think I could handle the raping and pillaging thing.
They call me Garlock The Destroyer.
It's hard for me to be full on evil! Like, in Fallout 3, I can never choose the mean conversation options because I feel bad, but then I have no problem killing that same person and stealing all of their stuff. I'm weird like that.
It's obviously easy for people to be card-carrying villains in any roleplaying-game setting, tabletop or otherwise. That just requires you to be extremely absurd with your moral choices and pretty much be the joker. Having been a DM for the better part of my tabletop gaming career, I can assure you playing the real grim and gritty villains who actually punch a whole through the player's thin heroic fabric was hard indeed.
I seem to have the same problem as you do Mr. Zen. In video game RPGs, all my villainous characters are either anti-heroes or absurdly ridiculous for laughs. Can't role-play with a straight face when your victims are blabbing on about mud crabs I guess...
Oh yes. Of course, the things I (attempt) to do while being evil are genuinely evil. Racism, genocide, xenophobia, no mercy, the whole mile. No last wishes, no last words, nothing. Execution is simple and efficient. Nothing is wasted, I wouldn't hesitate to feed other people human flesh and torture people.
It kind of terrifies me, to be honest. I tend to sway to the good side of things when I naturally play, though.
I can, easily to tell the truth, On my first western RPG (KOTOR) it did feel weird at first, being evil for evil sake (games rarely give you a good reason to go evil, or have a dark path worthy of being called a path), but the Dark side did grow on me, before i knew it i was killing fools left, right and center, lying, manipulating... all while doing an sick evil laugh hahahahahahahaha.
If anything, being full Paragon/light side (nice to everyone, help people for no reward, believe in the redemption of jerks kinda of guy) is what makes me sick to my stomach, i can't do it... usually, i do a "myself" playthrough that will put me anywhere from 50-50 to 75% light.
No. "Evil" just doesn't appeal to me.
Games with a good story/writing, I love being evil. I was an evil prick in KOTOR and I loved it.
Seriously? One of the worst examples of "evil is being a dick for the sake of being a dick, no matter how little sense it makes in the given context" in video games? That game's "evil" decisions were on par with tying women to railroad tracks, they were so phoned in and forced.
Put it this way. When I suggested my character for an 'evil' D&D game, I got about a minute straight of silence before one of the guys I've been playing D&D with for nearly two years said
'What the fuck is wrong with you?'
Videogame, I can do evil, but the options for video game evil seem so Snidely Whiplash these days.
(For anyone who wants to know, my character was a half-orc supremacist who led a tribe of orcs on missions to deliberately increase the number of half-orcs there were in the world. He thought that by doing this, he could eventually make his race the master race. Killing all of the human/ not half orc children in each village was also part of the plan.)
I prefer being evil in games. Sometimes, it ends up being the more efficient path and other times it is just more fun.
Although, when I play naturally, I still end up on the evil side a lot... just not stupidly evil.
I find it easier to be totally black-hearted and psychotic than to be evil in a less extreme sense.
I mean, running people through indiscriminately is somehow less daunting than planting evidence on the same people and letting the law wrongfully deal with them. I guess because it is just so extreme it doesn't register as a moral judgement and just the usual 'lolkill' in games you normally experience.
I felt awful playing the Thieves Guild in Skyrim yet had no problem being in the Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion.
Opposite to you OP, Evil in vidyer games, and good in P&P. Although the P&P thing is because most of my friends are dick blisters, so I just don't feel like pissing them off too much. Although I've only done one P&P session game whatever you call them.
I find it difficult. I did it in KOTOR and KOTOR 2 on my second play through of each game, and while I prefer to play the good guy, I can't say it gave me any trouble.
Oddly though, I'm on my second playthrough of ME2 trying to play as a bad bloke, it's turning out more as an anti-hero playthrough rather than an outright evil one. I am struggling to take the bad choices when I don't need to. More accurately, I will take an "evil" decision if I decide that it helps with the mission (killing a mechanic who will repair a gunship you will later face in combat, shooting an adversary in cold blood before he can draw a weapon), but if I decide that there is nothing to be gained in terms of completing the mission then I won't do it. To give a better idea, some of the choices I've made in this ME playthrough:
When it comes to dialogue choices I generally don't go out of my way to be an asshole though. Once on a mission though, I do choose the no-nonsense "do it NOW, bitches!" options, and generally avoid getting into long conversations. Mission comes first.
I'm also playing from the perspective that Shepard, having been invested in so heavily by Cerberus, and sharing the same goals as them, is loyal to them until given reason not to be. This leads to obvious moments of dickwaddery when dealing with non-humans sometimes.
So yeah, I'm not doing so great at being the total cunt that I was in KOTOR. The nearest comparison I can think of in pop culture is Daniel Craig's portrayal of Bond. No nonsense, ruthless, violent and will do the job at any and all costs, but still just about one of the good guys.
I think that's a testament to the strength of the Mass Effect story telling though. I know how much criticism it's had, but I find it to be one of the most engaging game series I've played in many, many years. I only wish the original had gotten a PS3 release, but never mind. I enjoyed the interactive comic anyway!
A better example of being a dick though is in Multiplayer games with friends, like Civ 5 when we were playing 'Co-op', I betrayed two of my mates when they were about to crush someone simply to keep the game going on.
I did something similar not so long ago, in a driving game of all things! I was playing a game of F1 with a few friends. My team mate and I had qualified 3rd and 4th but we knew we could go faster in the race than the 2 guys in front of us. We made a "gentlemen's agreement" that if one of us got into the lead of the race, the other would not challenge for the win, but assume the role of "rear gunner" and we could get a 1-2 finish. A not uncommon arrangement in F1 (often at the instruction of the team), and not the first time we had done similar just to get the 1-2, even doing the occasional formation finish.
Thing is, my mate got into the lead early, and I took a while to get to second but by the end I had closed up to within a second (different tyre strategies) but had just settled in behind him as agreed. Last lap of the race (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal), and the second half of the lap is basically a tight hairpin which leads on to a looooong fast straight (known as "the chute") which also happens to be the DRS zone (DRS is a "go-faster" gadget that reduces drag) and then braking from 195mph to 60mph for a tricky right-left chicane bordered by the infamous "Champions' Wall", which spits you out onto the start/finish.
As we exit the hairpin and pick up speed, I get a sudden, irresistable urge...
Turning the engine revs to "max" (we had turned them down to conserve fuel and save the tyres) as we started off down the chute, I popped the DRS and dropped all the KERS (another "go-fast" gadget) I had left, powering past my helpless chum about halfway down the chute. He never saw it coming, and there was nothing he could do by the time he realised I had just mugged him.
I bet it makes the next race a hell of a lot more interesting though...
I always blow up Megaton in Fallout 3.
I kill each and every Little Sister I come across in Bioshock.
I obtain crimson lightning in Infamous 1 & 2.
What do you think?
Have you ever played Valkyrie profile on the DS? the main character is basically completely evil, and its REAL evil.
E.g: to satisfy your own selfish motivations, you make a pact with the devil. With this you are encouraged to make friends with the people you meet and genuinely befriend them. They must grow to like you, perhaps even love you, for greater effect. Then, once this is done, you can embody them with great powers that will aid you in battle.
The price of this however, is that you are condemning their soul to an eternity in hell itself.
The game CAN theoretically be beaten without sacrifcing anyone, but good luck. Even using cheats I still couldn't beat the game like this.
Well I usually am the good guy, try to help out as much as i can.
Once in a while i feel the urge to be a dick and play "Evil with a E", let me tell you the story.
This was during a table top RPG session, it was a Warhammer first edition, may that book be praised.
I went for a hafling cook/rogue, i my objective was too kill the whole party without being seen or suspected.
It was a session with several "beginners", and 1 of them was toying with a cell phone during the GM's explanations. So of course i poisoned him once inside the dungeon, and the main monsters where chaos beast-men, with their limited knowledge of how the corruption works, when he fell to the ground convulsing i started to yell that he is transforming into one of those creatures, by luck one of the warriors chopped his head off without asking questions.
Later on we find a magical barrier, just before our priest almost lost his leg to a trap with a tree trunk (thanks to destiny points). I was able to convince the group to use the tree trunk to bash the barrier in, of course i couldn't with my limited size and strength. So they did just that, the barrier did give in but only after the ceiling (they continued even after the GM said "cracks start to appear on the ceiling") so most of them got crushed by boulders but destiny saved them (they used some thing like 5 destiny points total to survive).
On our way to the main quest a nice merchant was generous enough to sell me a Garrot wire and some tasty poison. Fortunately my companions were relatively thick and still didn't suspect me, it is only after our two warriors died during their sleep (i wonder how :p ) that i was starting to be suspected, but with an agile tong I was able to shift the blame on the mage.
During our travels wee encountered a sylvain (or ent cant remember the name) who gave a very important item to our druid, a chestnut, hopefully one off the players recently killed joined our grouped, angered the sylvain while i whisper venomous words in his ear, and then got gutted but the angered.
Further down the road during a difficult combat, i was able to get ride of the chestnut (which we later discovered was a vital quest item), and then one more died mysteriously with his bowels liquefied (hmmm lovely mix of mushrooms and poison).
Even after that we where able to join the quest temple, two more died because they were extremely thick (3 zombies raises every turn we can kill 2 with allot of luck... lets stay and fight). Once inside one triggered a trap and i "accidentally" pushed him to his doom, and the last one tried to attack me so i defended my self and opened a new mouth on his throat.
That was when wee all agreed to stop and only then most off them understood i was the guy picking them off.
I do like playing evil once in a while but more like the evil diplomat, which you can never accuse without some severe backlash. Usually, especially on PC, when i play a RPG i tend to be the nice guy, even in "evil mode" i really want to do the right stuff.
Nope. I have 400 hours on Fallout 3 and don't have the evil achievements.
Those poor lil' NPCs!
Fable was the only game I liked being totally evil. I just didn't give a fuck about anyone and wanted to see them all die, and they all sucked and weren't interesting... fucking hilarious and cathartic.
Video games? No,because I can't really bring myself to it,for some reason...Or,when I want to,I don't have the means to do so. However,when I RP,I have a habit of making the most gloriously evil characters EVER. Chessmastery and psychopathy are generally my brands of villainy.
My recent one is both. A psychopathic chessmaster. He blew up a mall. For kicks. And to figure out just what his opponents are capable of...
Evil doesn't mean getting off in the morning and then having a cup of evil coffee and a plate of evil toast. Evil has become a parody. Just like good it truely doesn't exists.
My Fallout: New Vegas character is possibly the closest I've come to being truly evil in a video game. You see, I didn't even realise how evil I was until I checked the karma meter. I'd stolen, lied, cheated, backstabbed, betrayed, mugged, murdered and executed innocent individuals, and still honestly believed my character was still "good".
Maybe the karma system is broken, I don't know. But my point still remains. In 90% of stories, my character would have been the violent extremist who always believed the ends justified the means, the sort of anti-hero that antagonises regular anti-heroes.
I thought the Overlord games didn't go far enough and I have never played a game without being evil if it's possible to be such (it gives me extreme pleasure like you wouldn't believe).
Oh and it's my birthday. Never had a better reason to gut someone needlessly... in a game... in front of their loved ones... while mentally-(and physically) raping their closest female loved one. I need evil like I need air and blood... in my veins... I may be a psychotic sociopath... just saiyan.