Love-to-Hate Relationships

We’re talking Scooby-Doo, villain-of-the-week, “tear down the orphanage and build a toxic pollution factory because I love the tears of children” levels of motivation.

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Today I’ll be talking about characters you love to hate! Or is that characters you should hate but love? The answer, my readers, is: Yes.

So, everyone knows their own reasons for liking a characters. Could be personality, abilities, design. Could be a snappy one-liner or an achievement you really loved. There are characters we love wholeheartedly, and ones we despise and want to see dead.

But somewhere out there, some characters occupy a sweet spot, a mix of antagonism and admiration. Whatever it is, they share one thing with the characters that matter to you: You enjoy watching them.

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Imperial is a great measuring system, though.

Because the fun thing about antagonists is how you colour them.

You all know who they are. A large organisation devoted to crushing everything the main characters hold dear. They’re the ones who spend every resource, use any means, have way more hidden knowledge, and somehow maintain a force of elite monsters as reinforcements for the final battle. Thousands of heroes were set upon their path because of the Evil Empire. Palpatine’s Empire, the hordes of Sauron, or that big shot cola company dumping toxic waste into the river, these guys are baaaaaaad.

So what makes for an Evil Empire? Because honestly, their form depends entirely on the setting. You’ve got conventional Vast Factions Of Doom, but they can just as easily be clandestine groups working from the shadows or mighty big businesses.

Continue reading “Imperial is a great measuring system, though.”