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Why Narcissist Villains are THE BEST Villains

by Conner Wood on 05/06/19 10:50:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Yes, the title is on purpose, After all, it's all or nothing, black and white for a Narcissist, the best or the worst.  Of course they are the best villains, they are the best at anything. /sarcasm

When you hear the word Narcissist, what comes to mind?

  • Someone who just loves themselves a lot
  • Someone who has a God Complex
  • Someone who is mentally ill
  • Someone who chooses to lack empathy
  • Someone who has an underdeveloped brain and simply doesn't have empathy
  • Someone with low self-esteem
  • Someone with high self-esteem
  • A bully
  • A manipulator
  • A coward
  • A liar
  • A denier
  • A traitor
  • A betrayer
  • An abuser
  • A pretender
  • A control freak
  • Just a misunderstood innocent person who had a bad time as a child, poor them, pity them

Note:  I'm not talking about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) which can play a role in someone being a Narcissist.  I'm talking about Narcissists and all their little secrets.  Secrets that really are villain territory.  Secrets that expose them... hence why it's secret.

Today, I'm here to enlighten all of you regarding WHY a Narcissist is a superior choice as a full blown evil villain.

As such, I'll be referencing video game villains that possess some of these Narcissistic traits!

First, lets agree on the terms being used:

Narcissist - a person who hides their true self and maintains a false self which is perfect.  They have to devalue others to overvalue themselves.  They are inherently abusers and bullies.  Seems like a good fit for a villain... or a criminal.

Mask - the false self, it is what a Narcissist pretends to be.  This Mask is their everything, their coping mechanism as well as their justification.

Narcissistic Injury - when a Narcissist starts feeling exposed, when the mask starts slipping.  Being proved wrong, being called out, losing any control or feeling denied to their all encompassing entitlement, such as being questioned.  They are owed everything, they are perfect, they are the master and you are the slave.

Narcissistic Rage - in response to Narcissistic Injury, the mask is ignored, now the real Narcissist is revealed, a big baby with a bigger temper tantrum.  This is where their emotions are in full control of them.   They may resort to violence depending how Malignant.  They fear their illusion being lifted and they'll feel bad about themselves, terribly depressed.  How dare you do that to them!

Malignant -  malicious, malevolent, evil intentioned, dangerous.  The more Malignant, the more extreme measures they are willing to take, such as physical violence.

Covert - Passive Aggressive, try to hide and deny what they do (I don't know, wasn't me, you don't know).  A covert can be overt if they experience Narcissistic Injury.  Can't spell covert without overt.

Overt - Openly aggressive, they justify what they do (you deserve it!, it doesn't matter, I know what's best, I AM GOD!)

Gas lighting - a technique to inflict doubt.  Who do you trust, me or your own eyes!  BTW they expect you to say you trust them.

Triangulation - I'll send a pawn in, someone you trust, and you'll do what I want because you want to help my pawn.

Flying Monkey - an accomplice, a cheerleader.  Not an innocent bystander, they root for their master.  They take on assignments from the master, spread the smear campaign.

Smear Campaign - a way to discredit you with lies and slander.  Malicious gossip.  Destroy your reputation, you'll soon follow.

Narcissist Cycle - Idealize, Devalue, Discard.  I love you, now you're not good enough, and now I'm leaving/destroying you... you'll never be good enough for anybody, how convenient for me that I think the truth..... I'm doing everyone else a favor really, boy oh boy I am sure the best!

 

Well, I could keep going but this is already plenty enough terms for now.

 

A Narcissist is "the best" of both worlds, you get to deal with someone who can be a sociopath (indirect attacks like smear campaign) and a psychopath (direct attacks like blackmail).  Or if you're in a position of power, you get a sycophant until they own you.  Usually blackmail.

Knavery and flattery are blood relations - Abraham Lincoln

They are the problem, not you.  Again, villain material people!

......

Alright, think about the most memorable villain from a video game or movie or book.  A character that really stood out as a bad guy.  Chances are, they are a Narcissist.

Even in Avengers Endgame, they just had to make Thanos a Narcissist to really make him MORE EVIL.  "The bigger bad" TV Trope strikes again!

But what about Video Gamezzzzz, u promised!!!!!!

Fear not, I don't break my word.  I'm not a Narcissist.  Do you infer what I'm implying about Narcissists keeping their word.

Introducing:  

Albert Wesker from Resident Evil 5 - A Narcissist with a God Complex.  "I don't think of myself as a King.... No, I am a God, and EVEN Kings bow to Gods!"

Kefka from Final Fantasy 6 - a Narcissist playing Sycophant to lure you into a false sense of security, and lo and behold, betrays someone!  Oh, and his laughing clown self is the mask that hides the inner true self.

Spoilers.  And one of my recent favorites:  

Mr. Hugo From Yuppie Psycho.

Mr. Hugo is a Covert Narcissist done right.

Throughout the entire game, this villain is a much more sinister threat.  He doesn't get his own hands dirty, he's smarter than that.

And if he does, he wears an actual mask that justifies his every action.  It wasn't him!  But if it was, it was ok!

Furthermore, he tries to be your friend, but he's a backstabber.  He's fine with slandering others and manipulating others.  He does something at the party after being called out that everyone fears him, on purpose, that a nice guy wouldn't do.  He know damn well what's going to happen.

He confessed because you were making progress it jeopardized his promotion, so he tried to get you gone.  He learned everything from Corvo to know how to be safe from the witch, then betrayed Corvo and took his dagger, and let the witch deal with Corvo.

Doesn't think about anyone but himself... oh, does that sound familiar....

He projects and shifts blame, a "what about-ism" saying you're no better than him, just as selfish.

And finally, says there's no problem because it's a problem everyone has.  Lol, that means everyone has a problem you liar.

"No one can trample on others more rightfully than I can" - Entitlement.

This mask symbolizes his Overt Narcissist taking over.  And at the end of the game we learn something a little special.  That he isn't even Mister Hugo.  No, all that was a mask as well.  His nice guy act was just pretending as well.

The only time his mask slipped was having to admit defeat.  He became a full Malignant Narcissist intent on murder... until an android punched in his face so hard he was dead before he hit the wall or the ground soon after.

He wasn't the witch, but he was worse in his own way.

So remember, if you need a really evil villain, then you best have them be a Narcissist!


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