Villains you feel sorry for

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The dastardly guy that is always tying dudley do-right's girlfriend to the railroad tracks.

Hes only malicious because of the moustache.

Ronwue:
I can say the same for Yagami Light from death note. Well... not exactly the same... meh, you get the idea.

Light had my sympathy until he made the girl commit suicide, because she knew something that the SPK later found out anyway. Oh, and the whole killing FBI agents thing.

thiosk:
The dastardly guy that is always tying dudley do-right's girlfriend to the railroad tracks.

Hes only malicious because of the moustache.

Snidely Whiplash: Villain extraordinary.

He also had a black top-hat and a cape, if those don't make him evil I don't know what does!

Mayor Sung from Marc Eckos Getting Up, I mean all he was trying to do was try and clean the graffiti from the city, though most likely I would also be one of the people tagging it.

Alma gets a vote from me.

MaxTheReaper:
...How could it get worse than that.
Anyway, I don't really feel bad for many villains, if only because their motives are often poorly explained.
Villain protagonists, however, are different.
Dexter is a guy I can agree with pretty much all of the time.

This may not be a good thing to say, but while reading the books and watching the series, I rarely disagreed with what Dexter did. He did what he had to to prevent becoming an ordinary soulless serial killer, instead becoming an evil guy killing serial killer. He doesn't kill innocents, and a few bad guys...disappear. What's not to like?

Edit: added some sentences

It's kind of iffy if he can be considered a villain of just another victim, but Jinno/Kuma from Afro Samurai is definitely a character I can feel sympathy for. Jinno saw his entire life fall apart and the people he considered to be his family die in front of him just so Afro, a person he considered to be his brother and closest friend, could get just one step closer to avenging his father's death.

image

Revenge is a funny thing. When a person is seeking vengeance for something history has a nasty habit of repeating itself, as demonstrated by the tragedy of Jinno. After nearly dying he was found by a group of monks called the "Empty Seven" Clan that rebuilt him using cybernetic parts and implants to he could live. Jinno took the name "Kuma", which means "bear" in Japanese, after the cybernetic mask he wears. That bear mask is a mirror image of a teddy bear that a young girl he knew from his childhood constantly carried that he believed died thanks to Afro's actions.

His heart burning for revenge against Afro and what he did, he agreed to stand watch outside of a mountaintop gate so he could one day challenge him when he arrived. When the day finally came, Jinno almost killed his old friend, but was instead cut in half at the waist and left to die. He would not be defeated that easily. He was again revived and repaired and rose to challenge Afro again. After a point Jinno had been repaired and augmented from various injuries so many times that he was far more machine than human. He had become mindless, an empty vessel that's only use was killing. He had let his hatred consume him until he had lost his last shreds of humanity. In order to reach his goal he stopped being him.

Jinno's story is a sad one, a life destroyed by another's quest for vengeance that would spawn a similar hatred and malice in another as a result. His story is an object lesson in the vicious cycle of revenge. One person's actions to punish an enemy will inevitably cause another to hunt them in turn. It's a self-perpetuating cycle of death and self-destruction in which there is no escape.

Yegargeburble:

MaxTheReaper:
...How could it get worse than that.
Anyway, I don't really feel bad for many villains, if only because their motives are often poorly explained.
Villain protagonists, however, are different.
Dexter is a guy I can agree with pretty much all of the time.

This may not be a good thing to say, but while reading the books and watching the series, I rarely disagreed with what Dexter did. He did what he had to to prevent becoming an ordinary soulless serial killer, instead becoming an evil guy killing serial killer. He doesn't kill innocents, and a few bad guys...disappear. What's not to like?

Edit: added some sentences

It's not a bad thing. He's necessarily evil. He can't be helped, and he's providing a service to the city.
Win-win.

The Madman:

thiosk:
The dastardly guy that is always tying dudley do-right's girlfriend to the railroad tracks.

Hes only malicious because of the moustache.

Snidely Whiplash: Villain extraordinary.

He also had a black top-hat and a cape, if those don't make him evil I don't know what does!

THE MOUSTACHE, DAMN YOU, THE MOUSTACHE

Alma and Saren, definetely. Especially since Saren gets fully taken over by Sovereign even after his sacrifice (by the way, being able to convince Saren to shoot himself is one of the most badass moments in Mass Effect in my opinion)

The Master from Fallout 1, he only wanted to rebuild civilization, but I had to kill him.

Jigsaw, from the Saw movies. He tries to improve life by reminding us of death.

Seymore from FFX, his mom sacrificed herself so that he could bring peace to Spira. I think her death made him turn evil.

The Operative from Serenity (the Firefly movie). He just wanted to bring peace to the galaxy through service to Parliament, but he was really serving to protect a greater evil. He did change his ways when he found out though.

Andrew Ryan - I didn't see any actual reason to kill him, I agreed with his views but I didn't have a choice.

Alma - Because of the description in the OP.

Joker - Nevermind I don't feel sorry for him.

Tetsuo Shima from Akira

Megumi from TWEWY.

The first that popped into my head was Saren, of course being the freshest in my memory. I don't feel sorry for him because he thought what he did was right, people who kill for religion think what they're doing is right and they don't deserve my sympathy. I feel sorry for him because, as time passed, he could feel that what he was doing was wrong. Apart from the growing indoctrination, he sided with Sovereign because he could feared the reapers and was fooled into believing that nothing could be done to stop their return. Even then, seeing your (Shepherd's) actions and resolve in stopping them made him doubt Sovereign enough to start beating the indoctrination, forcing the latter to implant him with machine parts to "strengthen his resolve". In the end, it STILL wasn't enough and he shot himself in the head to avoid fighting you (Shepherd).

I feel similarly for Bastila in KotOR and Lady Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights both misguided and turned to evil when they weren't evil at heart.

And while we're at it, Darth Vader too did the right thing in the end...

Edit: Oh, I was going to say Harvey Dent too, but forgot along the long Saren post...

I'd have to second Roy from Blade Runner. The guy is actually more likeable than Deckard for me. I also really enjoy Magneto, though I don't agree with his philosophy (I'm not saying that I think there are superpowered mutants) and approach to trying to make a better world. Lady from Shadow Hearts 3 turned out to be much more than a standard mustache-twirling type.

Lord_Panzer:
Andrew Ryan (I just... were that scene interactive, I'd never have finished the game, because I'd never have swung the club. That was the first time a game had genuinely made me feel 'used')

You nailed it. Andrew Ryan is the one I feel the most genuine sympathy for. Bioshock went to great lengths to define Ryan's character to that deeper level, to understand the man, the ambition, frustrations, and ultimately, the man's kindness. He was warped, sure, but I often felt I was looking into a mirror.

Alessa from Silent Hill.

Does she count as a bad guy?

I doubt anyone is going to recognize these references, but I really felt for Gekiranger's Rio. He was really only trying to attain absolute power, so that he would no longer have to feel sorrow.

I can't believe nobody brought up the boss from MGS3!

The fact that she wasn't a villain at all kind of messes it up, but she was like the ultimate martyr. A martyr whose role was unappreciated by her entire country.

These aren't villains I empathize with. Someone said that every villain is the hero of his own story and I'm inclined to agree so I can see almost any villain's point of view. These are people I feel some kind of pity for.

I guess Liquid Snake and Big Boss because their origins are so fucked up and they get totally screwed by their friends and die in really painful ways.

But Illidan Stormrage tops the list. Everywhere he goes he gets his ass kicked and he takes it so hard. Not to mention that little love triangle with his brother that he lost. Being hunted by a fanatic just makes him even more piteous.

Ahhh..... i know!
First of all theres Dong Zhuo from the Dynasty Warriors series, so what if he's a tyrant?
Then we've go Hel in Viking Battle for Asgaard and finally for me theres:

Liquid Snake

Looking back a bit, Dagoth Ur from Morrowind. All he's trying to do is rid hos homeland of invaders (using slightly underhanded tactics) and suddenly everybody hates him. In fact, Mehrunes Dagon could almost be pitied to if you believe some of the stuff you hear in Camoran's Paradise about Tamriel being Dagon's plane of Oblivion.

Personally, I'd say Cid, Vayne and Venat from Final Fantasy XII. All they wanted was to free the world from the control of the Occuria. They just had to kill a bunch of people to get the magic-absorbing stones they needed.

Jowy Blight in Suikoden 2, just trying a different path than the protagonist

Most of the batman villains that get their own time time in the limelight you can sympathise with. The riddler is a prime example. His deductive skills and ability to plan are actually brilliant, but are always undermined by the compulsion to leave riddles and to have them discovered.

Lex Luthor. Of all supermans' villains, he is the only one you can identify with. He just wants humanity to be able to stand on its own two feet rather than relying on superheroes to save and guide them.

He just goes around it in the wrong way in that he thinks it would be better to remove superheroes completely. Pick up Lex Luthor: Man of Steel. Bloody good read.

Game wise, I rarely come across people that can be sympathised with. Perhaps the WW gannondorf, as by that point in the timeline (toward the end I would guess as hyrules part of legend) he seems to be rather weary of it all. He explains that all along he just wanted his people to be able to live in a place where they weren't born into death. But then that game seems to deal a lot more in greys (for a zelda game) than black and white.

GLaDOS. Hey, I reckon I'd put some random person through a heap of gruelling tests and then try to incinerate them if I were a lonely robot ^^

Nigh Invulnerable:
I'd have to second Roy from Blade Runner. The guy is actually more likeable than Deckard for me.

When you think about it Deckard really isn't a nice guy. He kills people for a living - replicants perhaps but also people. His love scene is when he gets drunk and basically forces himself on a woman who he had previously revealed to be a replicant -- that's physical on top of emotional abuse. I love Blade Runner, but I really hate that scene.

Darth Vader. Yeah he made some bad choices but in the end he comes through.

I spent all of Death Note cheering for Kira, and the majority of Heroes supporting Sylar.
Kira had good intentions, he just got corrupted by the power he had.

Fragamoo:
I spent all of Death Note cheering for Kira, and the majority of Heroes supporting Sylar.
Kira had good intentions, he just got corrupted by the power he had.

Heros has jumped the sharks. how could the blonde chick help him kill his second victim then Report to H.R.M. who jumps into a taxi with Mohinder Suresh who shouldn't even be there since Sylar hasn't killed his father yet?

I felt sorry for General Hummel in the Rock (unsurprisingly since the film has him doing everything short of cooing over babies and patting kittens to show that he was not really a villain).

Also the Family in the Omega man. They're trying to cope with their undeserved mutation and a man who from their point of view is making all the mistakes that got them in a mess to begin with is wiping them out with submachine guns and high powered sniper rifles. I felt even more sorry for Ben Cortman in the original novel.

Kawahara from an anime called Saikano. He is the head scientist of a program that turned a student (Chise) into the "Ultimate Weapon." His family was killed in a bombing run in Sapporo(sp?). He gives some pills to Chise to help her surpress her weapon side of her for as long as possible and does some overdue maintenance on her. After that he shoots himself thinking he did all he could to help her because he felt sorry for her turning her into a weapon to defend Japan. If he doesn't count, then Chise herself because she's a shy, clumsy schoolgirl who was made into a ruthless killing machine by the government. She falls in love with Shuji and uses her weapon side because she's trying to protect him. In the end, she kills everyone escept Shuji, in which case he goes insane and presumably dies. (For those of you that watch South Park, in the Imaginationland episodes, at the end, when Butters is all alone and the ground is covered with the white stuff...that's the ending of Saikano.)

Anyone that fought superman, I mean he's fucking indestructible, with only a rare material that can kill him, and he could just heat vision you from far away enough that it doesn't affect him. They've never got a chance in hell but they just keep trying, which you've gotta feel pity about at a point.

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