Saturday, March 9, 2013

Top Ten Villains: 9. The Illusive Man

9.    The Illusive Man


Quote: “Where you see a means to destroy, I see a way to control--to dominate and harness the Reapers' power. Imagine how strong humanity would be if we controlled them.”

Series: Mass Effect

The Illusive Man has no past before becoming the head of Cerberus. His intentions are shrouded in mystery, but what really earns him his spot is he is the only one willing to help the hero (and it’s annoying as hell). Though he is a villain, The Illusive Man does think he is doing what is best for humanity. The ends justify the means, is the call of the organization known as Cerberus. "If humanity is to survive, sacrifices must be made for the greater good.”

He is intelligent, charismatic, and well-informed. He’s frightening because it’s easy to see why so many people agree with him, because he is right most of the time. Often times his choices are the better ones even if they aren’t morally right. It would be very easy to fall into his plans, just by your own choice (no coercion needed).

He’s cool and collected, but becomes angry quickly when disagreed with constantly. His belief that humanity should dominate the galaxy and bring other species underfoot is just the end of his plan. Throughout the three games he and his organization can be seen as slavers, mad scientists, and saviors. He can be seen as both the worst and best humanity can offer.

Despite his willingness to provide the hero with support, he can never truly be trusted. He is willing to do anything to make sure the human race survives, including sending Shepard into traps, and luring Reapers (giant living technology whose only purpose is to destroy organic life) to planets inhabited by aliens in order to study the effects.

He also has no qualms about using his own people as experiments. In Mass Effect 3 it is commented on while on mars that the Cerberus corpses looked very similar to husks. He was also the person responsible for sabotaging Eldfell-Ashland Energy starships over human colonies in order to cause children to be born as biotics (to make humanity stronger).

[Spoilers] In the end his plans are thrown to ruin when the Reapers take advantage of his need to control and use him as a puppet. His final confrontation with Shepard can end with him realizing he is being used, and eventual he commits suicide; or with his stubborn determination that he is in the right which will cause him to be shot by Shepard. The crux of this is his choice actual was right in the end.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Top Ten Villains: 10. Megatron

10. Megatron

 Quote: “I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. I am that which is, which was, and is yet to come... and you will know my name is Megatron when I lay my vengeance upon you!”

Series: Transformers
Megatron does seem like a typical villain at first. But in fact he has a deeper character the more I study him (I ignore the Bay movies because their characterization fragging sucks). His philosophy is one that has been tried by many people in history. “Peace through tyranny.” Megatron is incredibly traditional. He believes that Transformers (Cybertronians) have a heritage of war and their destiny is to rule a great empire in order to bring order to a chaotic universe.

Indeed all versions of Megatron’s past involve gruesome bloody battles.  Megatron is a part of Cybertron’s oppressed working class, sometimes he is a miner, sometimes he is a gladiator (sometimes both). As either a miner (known as D-16 originally) or a gladiator Megatron comes to realize that the Golden Age of Cyberton is nothing more than a corrupt government taking control of its overloaded and downtrodden citizens. Megatron takes the name Megatronus (a name given to the greatest of the thirteen primes) and speaks out against the caste system. He draws the attention of Orion Pax who will later become Optimus Prime. (Transformers: Prime).

When the two end up speaking in front of the council Megatron demands that the council step down or he will force them to and take the mantel of Prime. Orion then makes an impassioned plea that softens the hearts of the council.

Furious Megatron gathers his followers, the Transformers of the working class, who become Decepticons and go to war for his cause.  Megatron believes that Optimus’ peaceful solutions cause Cybertron to become weak and begins a war that will last for over a millennia, eventually destroying their home planet of Cybertron. (Transformers: Prime).

Megatron does end up with an unhealthy obsession with destroying Optimus Prime (mentally, emotionally, and physically) to the point of hurting his cause, and his followers. In “Fall of Cybertron” Megatron blasts Starscream before he can terminate Optimus after capture. Instead of killing the Autobot leader he kills autobot warriors one after the other in front of him.

 Megatron though temperamental and harsh is incredibly charismatic. His followers (with a few notable exceptions *cough*Starscream*cough*) are incredibly loyal. He has no problem with destroying those he deems to be in his way, worthless, or incompetent. Though hating to loose, he has no problem with a strategic retreat.

He isn’t just one of the strongest fighters, but an excellent strategist. Megatron represents the epitome of the fallen hero. The more he gains the more he is corrupted. But don’t believe that Megatron thinks he’s doing evil. He firmly believes that his path is the right one, the good one, and the only one.