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How do you feel about possessed/corrupted villains?

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Guest Dreamyboi

What on your thoughts on the Possessed/Corrupted villain type in Fire Emblem games?

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Not a big fan of them. I only like one of either category. Ashnard as the corrupted one and Lyon as the possessed villain. 

I have to admit though, that I really don't like possessed characters in gaming in general aside from one character.

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They can be fine, depending on how blurry the lines between "normal" and "corrupted/possessed" are. 

Julius I tend to like a bit because his depictions in FE4 and 5 make it really hard to tell how far gone he is at times. Despite being told that he's been completely taken over by Loptyr, scenes between him and Ishtar make it hard to tell at times. He acts like a hyper possessive boyfriend more than an evil dragon that wants to live forever subjugating humanity. Throughout the game, you also get everyone who loves Julius telling you to put him out of his misery. Ishtar, Arvis, Julia... The former two especially, as they die so that you can put an end to Loptyr using Julius' body as a puppet. 

Lyon I'm not huge on simply because the lines between "This is Lyon struggling" and "This is straight up Satan controlling his body" are super obvious. His backstory and story with the twins is sad and whatever, but his actual presence in the game does very little for me. He's alright. 

Nergal's kinda similar. I like his back story a bit more, as I find "Man uses dark magic and loses himself in order to save/see his loved ones" more compelling than "Man is unwittingly possessed by evil rock", even if both are pretty cliche. He sucks in the main game too, though. He should be able to obliterate EHL pretty much from the moment he knows they exist, but he just... Doesn't. 

Ashnard I'm also kind of whatever on. I don't get anything out of him, and him being controlled by lingering madness barely even effects the story. He's a generic conquerer villain with or without that tidbit thrown into his story. 

The Anankos controlled villains in Fates are the worst. 

They can be fine, it's all just dependent on how it's propped up. Blurry lines=Good, IMO. Julius pulls it off the best, IMO. I've said it a lot in terms of how writing should be handled in this series, but "More like Jugdral" continues to be my argument. 

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All three fire emblem games that released in 2017 featured a possessed villain. And I gave my "Best possessed villain of 2017" award to Darios. 

So yeah, I definitely think this has become more prominent of an issue. The only time you can feel something for a possessed character is the tragedy of having to kill them when you know how they were like previously. But in general, having a malevolent force in a universe taking over people just feels like a massive safety net for writers to introduce conflict and justify fighting people you wouldn't otherwise be fighting. And if you can't think of a compelling reason for a just person to antagonize the player, just write them as having been possessed.

Edited by Glennstavos

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Guest Dreamyboi

Guess I'll give my two cents, I'm pretty iffy with them. On one hand you can have a tragic characters with them but on the other it sorta feels like a lazy way to explain someone's actions rather than give them their own motivation. Though given the games I've played so far I think my opinion is pretty damn biased.

At the time of typing this I've played the 3DS games and bits of PoR and Garon is utter shit. I know it's all because he's possessed by Anankos but really that doesn't excuse anything, him being influenced by an outside force is just a poor excuse for him to have zero depth in his current state and it's laughable that grown adults saw no problem with how this was written. 

Again I think I might be being unfair by judging the series' execution of this at it's worst but to me villains who are in complete control of themselves are better.

@Slumber Seriously hoping the Jugdral games get the remakes they need

Edited by Dreamyboi

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Guest Dreamyboi
7 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

All three fire emblem games that released in 2017 featured a possessed villain. And I gave my "Best possessed villain of 2017" award to Darios. 

So yeah, I definitely think this has become more prominent of an issue. The only time you can feel something for a possessed character is the tragedy of having to kill them when you know how they were like previously. But in general, having a malevolent force in a universe taking over people just feels like a massive safety net for writers to introduce conflict and justify fighting people you wouldn't otherwise be fighting. And if you can't think of a compelling reason for a just person to antagonize the player, just write them as having been possessed.

Really wish I stopped typing to read this before posting, I basically said the same thing.

Whoops.

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I think that they are totally overdone and the sole purpose is to provide a plot twist that they think is unexpected, but is really predictable and is lazy writing. Hopefully the next the games will be more original.

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5 hours ago, Slumber said:

They can be fine, depending on how blurry the lines between "normal" and "corrupted/possessed" are. 

Julius I tend to like a bit because his depictions in FE4 and 5 make it really hard to tell how far gone he is at times. Despite being told that he's been completely taken over by Loptyr, scenes between him and Ishtar make it hard to tell at times. He acts like a hyper possessive boyfriend more than an evil dragon that wants to live forever subjugating humanity. Throughout the game, you also get everyone who loves Julius telling you to put him out of his misery. Ishtar, Arvis, Julia... The former two especially, as they die so that you can put an end to Loptyr using Julius' body as a puppet. 

Lyon I'm not huge on simply because the lines between "This is Lyon struggling" and "This is straight up Satan controlling his body" are super obvious. His backstory and story with the twins is sad and whatever, but his actual presence in the game does very little for me. He's alright. 

Nergal's kinda similar. I like his back story a bit more, as I find "Man uses dark magic and loses himself in order to save/see his loved ones" more compelling than "Man is unwittingly possessed by evil rock", even if both are pretty cliche. He sucks in the main game too, though. He should be able to obliterate EHL pretty much from the moment he knows they exist, but he just... Doesn't. 

Ashnard I'm also kind of whatever on. I don't get anything out of him, and him being controlled by lingering madness barely even effects the story. He's a generic conquerer villain with or without that tidbit thrown into his story. 

The Anankos controlled villains in Fates are the worst. 

They can be fine, it's all just dependent on how it's propped up. Blurry lines=Good, IMO. Julius pulls it off the best, IMO. I've said it a lot in terms of how writing should be handled in this series, but "More like Jugdral" continues to be my argument. 

The things don't need to be mutually exclusive...

(joking, I know exactly what you mean, he's obviously not fully Loptyr until you kill him)

Edited by Jotari

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Not really a main antagonist, but, I kinda like Orson as a villain.

The moments where his wife speaks off-screen, and his general attitude during the chapter where you fight against him, is really twisted and creepy, but, he is a tragic character.

Also, he isn't corrupted by lust for power, or only by some dark magic spirit god voodoo thing. He becomes deranged because of his intense love for his wife, and, he is a renowned knight, which means that his betrayal doesn't necessarily mean lack of loyalty to Renais, but only that it didn't come close to what he felt for Monika. Or was it Monica. Eh, forgot.

He has some similarities with Hardin, now that I think about it.

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For the most part, i don't like possessed villains. Lyon was fine and all but the impact of killing a possessed villain is just not as strong.

Corrupted villains, i find better. Something happened that changed who they were but it's still them. Some, like Valter, were already corrupt before they had that corruption amplified. Then you have Idoun, who's corrupted against her own will and that's also interesting. And then of course, there's corrupted Lyon.

So tl;dr, corrupted villains>possessed villains.

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I don't like the concept of villains being possessed. I feel it detracts from the villain and their agency. 

I'm fine with corruption because its a lot more interesting. Even if it is done by an outside source it still just reinforces feelings that were already present in the villain . Its why I became a lot more interesting in FF's Golbez when they changed him from boring old possessed villain to one who's thoughts were corrupted. 

Hardin is an interesting case. The word possession is used but it really seems more like corruption. I never got the sense that Gharnef spoke through Hardin or used him as a literal puppet. Hardin's worth and deeds seem more like his worse trait like his jealousy and ire got increased into making him act the way he did. 

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I don't like the concept of villains being possessed. I feel it detracts from the villain and their agency. 

I'm fine with corruption because its a lot more interesting. Even if it is done by an outside source it still just reinforces feelings that were already present in the villain . Its why I became a lot more interesting in FF's Golbez when they changed him from boring old possessed villain to one who's thoughts were corrupted. 

Hardin is an interesting case. The word possession is used but it really seems more like corruption. I never got the sense that Gharnef spoke through Hardin or used him as a literal puppet. Hardin's worth and deeds seem more like his worse trait like his jealousy and ire got increased into making him act the way he did. 

Well then where do you stand on Garon? Him being your avatar and all.

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15 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Well then where do you stand on Garon? Him being your avatar and all.

Worst FE villain ever but a great design. With Garon its weird. I'm not sure if he's possesed or if Gooron is supposed to beva separate entity

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I feel like possessed villains work better when they were formerly an ally. When you knew them before whatever happened... happened. But possessed villains require a very delicate touch to be done right and corrupted villains are far easier to do well which means they tend to be better on average.

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2 hours ago, bremmelgod said:

Not really a main antagonist, but, I kinda like Orson as a villain.

The moments where his wife speaks off-screen, and his general attitude during the chapter where you fight against him, is really twisted and creepy, but, he is a tragic character.

Also, he isn't corrupted by lust for power, or only by some dark magic spirit god voodoo thing. He becomes deranged because of his intense love for his wife, and, he is a renowned knight, which means that his betrayal doesn't necessarily mean lack of loyalty to Renais, but only that it didn't come close to what he felt for Monika. Or was it Monica. Eh, forgot.

He has some similarities with Hardin, now that I think about it.

JustMonika

I thought Orson was OK... they could've done a lot to make him better though. If they could've made him out to be the loyal knight he was supposed to be before he betrays Ephraim it would've been better. As it was though, the game told you Ephraim had a traitor in his ranks and it was pretty easy to guess that the guy who wasn't with your party at the beginning of the cutscene was obviously going off and telling your enemies what you were doing. He was too obvious. Saw it coming from a mile away.

His battle quotes were pretty neat though. Hard to beat FE8 when it comes to those.

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 Ok first of all I’d like to ask the difference between a corrupt villain and a possessed villain. As far as I can tell they’re mostly the same. So could someone pls explain to me the small and subtle differences between the two.

14 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

I feel like possessed villains work better when they were formerly an ally. When you knew them before whatever happened... happened. But possessed villains require a very delicate touch to be done right

I agree with this. I feel a good possessed villain should be one we’ve grown attached to and know what they were like before the possession. It helps us sympathize with them and want to save them.  It makes it all the more harder when we have to strike them down. Though what bothers me about possessed villains is that the heroes are almost always like “oh it isn’t his fault he was possessed”. Like possessed or no he still did some terrible sh*t. I don’t mind if the possessed character is forgiven but ugh IDK it just bothers me. This is why I like it when the villain is possessed due to some kind of reason in accordance to their character. Like they had some deep rooted grudge or negative emotion buried deep down and the possession is praying on that and using it to control the person.

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Guest Dreamyboi
37 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

 Ok first of all I’d like to ask the difference between a corrupt villain and a possessed villain. As far as I can tell they’re mostly the same. So could someone pls explain to me the small and subtle differences between the two.

I agree with this. I feel a good possessed villain should be one we’ve grown attached to and know what they were like before the possession. It helps us sympathize with them and want to save them.  It makes it all the more harder when we have to strike them down. Though what bothers me about possessed villains is that the heroes are almost always like “oh it isn’t his fault he was possessed”. Like possessed or no he still did some terrible sh*t. I don’t mind if the possessed character is forgiven but ugh IDK it just bothers me. This is why I like it when the villain is possessed due to some kind of reason in accordance to their character. Like they had some deep rooted grudge or negative emotion buried deep down and the possession is praying on that and using it to control the person.

I guess they technically mean the same thing in this case because both involve being controlled by a dark magical force/evil god, whether or not the feelings were present to begin with.

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48 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

 Ok first of all I’d like to ask the difference between a corrupt villain and a possessed villain. As far as I can tell they’re mostly the same. So could someone pls explain to me the small and subtle differences between the two.

Generally possessed means they are being controlled. By the end of the story they are usually not themselves at all. Corrupted tends to mean they still mostly have their free will and agency but are being manipulated by another force so that their "worst traits" (i.e. ambition, jealousy, power-lust) are accentuated and they act on their desires while they normally wouldn't. That's how I understand it at least.

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39 minutes ago, Icelerate said:

I think the trope of possessed villains is overused. 

More than overused, I think it isn't properly used.

Because, if a main villain is to be possessed, then it loses a big chunk of appeal as one.

I believe possession can work much better with an ex-ally, or an important antagonist, but not the main one.

I really enjoyed the Sacred Stones, but I couldn't find Lyon and/or Fomortiis as good antagonists.

However, corruption is pretty much an antagonist main "atribute". Even something simple as lust for power can build into a nice bad guy. To some extent, most villains are corrupted some way or the other.

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Guest Dreamyboi
1 hour ago, Solvaij said:

Generally possessed means they are being controlled. By the end of the story they are usually not themselves at all. Corrupted tends to mean they still mostly have their free will and agency but are being manipulated by another force so that their "worst traits" (i.e. ambition, jealousy, power-lust) are accentuated and they act on their desires while they normally wouldn't. That's how I understand it at least.

Yeah, let's go with that.

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I think these tropes are a cop out to moral responsibility, probably implemented in hopes of us not hating the tyrants' guts quite as much. People are flawed, some exceptionally so, and some do bad things for a myriad of reasons. But if a warlord decrees the slaughter of hundreds if not thousands of benevolent people, don't insult our intelligence by telling us "the Devil made them do it". People need to be held accountable for their own actions, and putting these scapegoats in fiction only does the medium a disservice.

Now, I can believe one villain manipulating another; a treacherous vizier convincing an already power-hungry tyrant to wage war in the name of conquest, for example, or playing a zealot by their religious strings, telling them that it's in the best interests of society to stamp heretics out. Manipulation can be quite effective when it's subtle. But said vizier casting a mind-controlling spell to "subtly" control said tyrant? Oh, please.

Edited by Lord_Brand

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Guest Dreamyboi
28 minutes ago, Lord_Brand said:

I think these tropes are a cop out to moral responsibility, probably implemented in hopes of us not hating the tyrants' guts quite as much. People are flawed, some exceptionally so, and some do bad things for a myriad of reasons. But if a warlord decrees the slaughter of hundreds if not thousands of benevolent people, don't insult our intelligence by telling us "the Devil made them do it". People need to be held accountable for their own actions, and putting these scapegoats in fiction only does the medium a disservice.

Now, I can believe one villain manipulating another; a treacherous vizier convincing an already power-hungry tyrant to wage war in the name of conquest, for example, or playing a zealot by their religious strings, telling them that it's in the best interests of society to stamp heretics out. Manipulation can be quite effective when it's subtle. But said vizier casting a mind-controlling spell to "subtly" control said tyrant? Oh, please.

Right there with you man.

It always personally felt like a dumb excuse to me.

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7 hours ago, Jotari said:

The things don't need to be mutually exclusive...

(joking, I know exactly what you mean, he's obviously not fully Loptyr until you kill him)

In all honesty I'd like it if it turned out that Loptyr was the one who had possessive, romantic feelings about Ishtar.

It'd certainly add to his character, rather than amplifying negative aspects of Julius'. It'd also make you think a lot about how spending so much time tethered to humans might be changing Loptyr. 

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45 minutes ago, Slumber said:

In all honesty I'd like it if it turned out that Loptyr was the one who had possessive, romantic feelings about Ishtar.

It'd certainly add to his character, rather than amplifying negative aspects of Julius'. It'd also make you think a lot about how spending so much time tethered to humans might be changing Loptyr. 

Well if he was in any way smart, he would have had mad orgies all the time and ensured that his blood was spread to every last citizen of his empire to make his revival pretty much a guarantee.

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