We have all seen our fair share or despots and wannabe despots in our lifetimes and the pages of history. Ivan the Terrible, Maximilien Robespierre, Idi Amin Pol Pot, and Donald Trump, but there have been some very notable ones in video games. So, sit back and relax as we delve into folks from the world of video games that have “piss boiling” as an occupation. (There may be spoilers ahead)
The Illusive Man (Mass Effect 2)
First up on our list takes us back to the glittering heights of 2010. Where the world wasn’t so fucked – and to Mass Effect 2. The sequel to Mass Effect and continuing the adventures of Commander Shepard. Who got a bit of interest from Cerberus and their boss aptly named “The Illusive Man”. After the intro where Shepard got killed, the Illusive Man recovers his body and kick starts the Lazarus Project to bring Shepard back to life.
At first Illusive man and Shepard have seemingly similar interests in saving humanity, but like all bastards, they can’t resist dicking us over in unique ways and the Illusive Man does it ever so subtly. Little suggestions here and there, withholding the full picture. And little deal sweeter here and there as well like building a replica of the Normandy and working with some former comrades like Joker. All to further his aim on making humanity the dominant force in the galaxy. Yeah, in Mass Effect 3, he was overtly a bad guy (in the secondary sense). In Mass Effect 2 he played such a bastard of the machiavellian sense beautifully – and he was played by Martin Sheen.
Took a few pointers from Marlon Brando eh?
Away from Sci-Fi nonsense and to the world of horticulture of the cartoon sense, to the excellent Undertale, and to the unlikely looking villains in video games. Flowey the Flower is by all definition a flower. When you first meet him, he does seem friendly and nice, but it’s all a façade as underneath all that is an utter murdering bastard. As lovingly portrayed by his mantra “kill or be killed”. He’s everything despot is: Greedy, Arrogant, egocentric, devious and cunning. And then when the tables are turned, he’s a stinking coward.
Like all notable serial killers and bastards. Flowey wasn’t born bad; instead he was created by a series of events leading up to the first encounter when you first start the game. And will retain memories from your previous playthroughs. Who knew that flowers could be such a bastard? And I have hayfever for fuck’s sake.
Now, to everyone’s favourite kind of villain. Well, more of a guilty pleasure. Saturday morning cartoon villains, and Resident Evil has some of the best villains with that same mentality. Take Albert Wesker – started life as a promising researcher/scientist for Umbrella, and then going undercover as a commanding officer of STARS. Then told by his bosses to lure STARS into the Spencer Mansion for gathering combat data on the nasties that Umbrella have been cooking up.
But like all villains of a cartoonish nature. Wesker wants to go out on his own and planned on selling to rival companies. but that when to shit when the whole mansion goes up in smoke. And to quickly summarize he’s a bit of “smug twat” with a god complex with good reason thanks to the test. Which gives him superhuman powers and extra smugness, and a hate-filled hard-on for bolder killer Chris Redfield for “reasons”. Anyhow tries to play God with an overelaborate plan in Resident Evil 5, and met his demise in a fucking volcano of all places.
Continuing on our theme of cartoonishly evil – Tom Nook. Local real estate agent and a right bastard. Who tempts you in with prime real estate. A lovely little village or an island getaway, but little do we know that Nook is what we call “tory”. Lampooning debts onto you with the vague aspirations of a better life or house. And in particular, the last one sets you up with a tent that would look out of place in 1876. It’s like the Frye festival for wankers.
Supports child labour, swindler and all-round capitalist pig of the highest regards. No Tom Nook I won’t pay for all of the fucking infrastructures for this island, you greedy twat. He’s the establishment, and his sons are following in his footsteps. He’s the racoon version of the Trump family. And he wears a cardigan vest like a right offender.
Oh, and in the latest one, he wears a Hawaii shirt. Cunt.
Away from capitalism and now to agents of the law. Now, like for any group out there there are good cops and then. We have bad cops, and Edgar Ross is one of the morally dishonest “good” cops. But then again “players perspective”. He starts in the Pinkertons working with Milton as the lacky. The kind who would go “haha, good one boss”. As you try and stay one step ahead with your ragtag gang of rebels, who seems to be wasting time and money all the fucking time.
Anyhow, after the events of Red Dead 2, he becomes the top dog in the soon to be FBI and wants to round up/kill off the remnants of the Van Der Linde gang. After tracking down John Marston from his antics in the proper end of RDR2, and kidnaps his family to strong-arm Marston to hunt down his former comrades. Which he does and lets Marston get back together with the family, but goes against the agreement and goes after Marston who sacrifices himself so his family is safe.
The best way to describe him is the phrase “criminal that’s sanctioned by the federal government”. With a ‘ends justifies the means’ mantra, with a constant pursuit for personal glory. So, gunning him down was quite the vigilante justice he deserved.
While Edgar Cross is a shitty person but in a sort of odd way a good cop for the times. That can’t be said for Frank Tenpenny. A seriously corrupt police officer, that deals drugs and basically runs most of the gangs in Los Santos, via extortion, murder and all sort of nasty stuff. If he was on the hit BBC drama Line of Duty. Ted Hastings would have to upgrade from “mother of god” to “fucking hell”.
And a timely reminder that the system is fucked towards the end he gets arrested on corruption charges, but thanks to blackmailing CJ right from the start. Killing witnesses and planting false evidence. The twat gets acquitted and riot, but villains always get what’s coming to them in the end. Even if it was an unfortunate traffic collision. The only redeeming feature really is that he was voiced by Mr. Motherfucker himself Sam L. Jackson.
If you think about this logically probably the biggest despot in gaming is you, the plucky gamer. Think about it seriously. Let’s hypothesise, you and your chums are playing a round of 4 player split screen mario kart and you’re living the dream out in front, but your friend on the opposite side of the couch has got the blue shell, and you’re not human if you wouldn’t use it, because dicking over people for our own personal benefit or amusement is basic human nature.
Even in GTA Online free roam. Where there is nothing to gain but yet folks will kill indiscriminately and send a team of marines after you because “why not?” even with zero upsides in game than bigger numbers. Even in competitive multiplayer we would still find exploitations even if some are really morally wrong *cough* hacks *cough*. And 9/10 times if you do get fairly beaten in let’s say FIFA 20 – you wouldn’t be sporting and go “well played”, but instead go what a load of bullshit and send grief messages, or that fucking shh celebration. It makes Oscar nominees clapping the winner look more sporting.
And also so-so gullible. I mean why kill 16 Collosi who are minding their own fucking buisnness because you enjoy Shadow of the colossus for the 17th time? and still know how it plays out. You bastard, you sadistic heartless bastard.
The sad thing is we won’t change. We would still kill those 16 Colossi because we love playing Shadow of the Colossus. And yes you would powerbomb an old lady in a sandbox game because – why not? And still call out bullshit even if outplayed reasonably fairly, or if the latest star wars game doesn’t meet your proposed fan fiction.