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The Best Male RPG Characters


Best Villain Winner: Jon Irenicus
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000)
Stories enjoy three major types of villains. There are the psychopaths that do it because, well, the hero needs somebody to fight so why not some nut who wants to destroy everything? Then there are the villains who are doing it just for the money and everything that comes with it. Finally, there are the ones who maybe didn't start out thinking they were villains, but somewhere along the way they lost all perspective and became evil without even realizing it. The beautiful thing about Jon Irenicus is that at first it looks like he is the first type of villain - Baldur's Gate II starts out with him torturing you and your companions for some nebulous desire for power. But as this epic game unfolds, we discover that Jon Irenicus became who he is partly because of his love for a woman. Or was it less love and more possessiveness that warped him? When you ask complex questions like these about the guy who started the game just being "the bad guy," you've got a classic villain on your hands. They just don't make 'em like Irenicus anymore.

Best Villain Runner-up: Delita Hyral
Final Fantasy Tactics (1998)
Good storytelling typically avoids traditional roles, leaving us to question if a villain is truly evil or a complex individual thrust into an extraordinary situation. Delita is such a man. At first, we see a commoner privileged enough to enjoy the nobility's lifestyle alongside Ramza. However, when reality comes in the form of an arrow, Delita realizes that he must take his fate into his own hands if he is to... take revenge? Enact change? Rise above his station? Some combination of the three? Motivations aside, his "anything goes" approach leaves us both awed and disappointed. Through brilliant means, Delita exceptionally infiltrates the hierarchy of power and throws off the entire system by using others as he and those like him have been used. We may not like the tactics with which he accomplishes his goals, but we must admire his ability to bend others to his will; and we may even quietly root for him.





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