Some villains enjoy what they do a little TOO much. Born sadists; these scoundrels take great joy in inflicting pain – be it psychological, emotional, or physical – on their opponents; the more the better. Today, we’re going to have a look at some of the most vile, cruel antagonists to ever grace a video game.
Kefka Palazzo is basically what you’d get if you took The Joker, killed off Batman, then gave the Clown prince of Crime reality-warping magical power. That should tell you just enough about his sadism to make a character judgement, no? It’s not really clear where he truly crosses the moral event horizon in Final Fantasy VI – though I have a hunch it’s somewhere between the point where he gleefully poisons an entire city and the point where he slaughters the closest thing to a father-figure he’s ever known.
Out of all the pursuers in Outlast, I can genuinely say that I found Richard Trager to be the most disturbing. That’s probably because – while all the other inmates wanted to maim, kill, or devour Miles – Trager was the only one who willingly and gleefully tortured him…but not before taunting him with the prospect of escape, showing him the exit before wheeling him into a room where he no doubt intended to slowly and methodically dismember the poor man.
Volgin is a man for whom torture is an art form – helped along by his ability to channel electricity through his body. He knows just where to shock his victims to cause the maximum amount of pain, and takes great pleasure in pumping his targets full of enough electricity to power an entire city block before watching them convulse to death. One scene in the game pretty much drives home what Volgin is with a hammer: he electrocutes a woman nearly to death, kills a man, then beats Naked Snake to a bloody pulp – laughing the whole time.
Yeah, he’s a little twisted.
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You know what? I think that’s more than enough. You get the idea, right?
Okay, so technically Mr. J isn’t a video game character – not strictly, anyway. Even so, the Clown Prince of Crime is the template from which Kefka was built…and he’s actually a whole hell of a lot worse than the mad mage (which is saying something). All he cares about is executing the perfect joke – and in this case, he gauges that on how much carnage, chaos, and pain he can cause.
Honorable Mention: Nathan Drake