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.

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