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How Can We Make the New Villains More Interesting?

Feb 5, 2011
Okay, so I've talked about the villains in the series before, but I think it's time for a different way to speak of them. Specifically, how we can make them more appealing so that they don't come off as too cliché or unoriginal.

To be fair, Zelda is fantasy series so it would of course use conventional tropes and clichés found in other fantasy works should it have no other choice. However, as time goes, I felt that the villains in the series were a bit imbalanced in how they were presented. It's my belief that a villain in video games, comic books or certain movies should have at least 1 of the 3 following needs: a good visual appearance, personality and backstory.

Ganon has all 3 of these, though not exactly when he appears. As time goes on his appearance becomes more menacing, starting from a large, blue pig monster to green with black and red hair with occasional armor. He starts to show a personality that consists of more than just being power hungry, primarily a jealousy towards the people of Hyrule that once could suggest could amount to racism towards Hylians for living in a better place than him as well as disgust over his people probably not wanting to go to extremes like murdering the royal family, as well as being the cynic in comparison to the idealism Link and Zelda have, believing in survival of the fittest as well killing and using to get what he wants. And we of course get to know his backstory, not just why he exists, just see Skyward Sword's spoilers if you're that curious, but what set him on his path, jealousy towards the rest of Hyrule. Since we don't really know about his childhood that much, one could suggest other things occurring to help cement his evil, like his mother dying at a young age or his father was a member of the knights and his hostility comes from what might have been his father's abandonment of him and his mother. I'm saying that Ganondorf has all 3.

Other villains however, mostly have 1 or 2. Vaati is the only other one with all 3 and is very similar in some aspects to Ganon's origin, being a member of the Minish, a race that had been known only by legend and under a different name. This is just my own opinion, but I think that Vaati's desire from power came from his resentment in being a part of a smaller, less significant race, which is why he betrayed his master to quest for something that would make him stronger. One thing I should mention though is that, according to Hyrule Historia, Vaati actually died in battle during Minish Cap and was resurrected sometime between that and Four Swords. It isn't stated how, but he lost all memory as well as his desire for the Light Force. However, he also developed a lust for young women, as shown in Four Swords when, upon freedom, wanted Zelda as his bride. I bring this up because, while as overused in previous works involving royalty, even in the cartoon, I like it because it does give Vaati somewhat more of a personality than in The Minish Cap, having lust as well as other interests besides conquering. Plus, it at least shows the villain has an actual use for Zelda, albeit a very perverted one.

Other villains with this are either Zant, Twinrova, Ghirahim and Demise. Other villains however only have like 1 or 2. For example Veran has 2, a decent look and some personality, but lacks much backstory. Onox though only has a decent look, very little personality that it's like he's just another Ganon. And no, saying where they are from isn't a backstory. If they said something like the two were former lovers and that when playing Linked they're avenging said lover and that they were doing their plans in hopes of being together again for whatever reason, that might be a bit more backstory as well as give Onox more personality. The two DS villains however, have either 1 or none. Bellum only has a decent appearance. Otherwise he's more like a Lovecraftian monster in a good and bad way (I'm not a fan of Lovecraft so please don't send me comments about it if it sounds like I'm dissing it because it's my opinion on it) he's visually intimidating and everything we hear of his sounds dangerous, but when you get down to it, no personality and it comes off as kind of boring. Malladus however has none of those three qualities outside of a big battle he died in which is why I call him the series weakest villain.

Anyway, my point is this. Let's say that at E3 the next Zelda game hints or reveals a new main villain. What exactly do you think this villain should have or do that would make him more interesting than the two DS villains? How can we make this villain stand out more? How can we make him more intriguing?
Last edited:
Apr 3, 2012
Tucson AZ
that'll definitely help...it's really difficult to say what I'd want to see from the villain really. I like that some of them have had a more prominent role in games, Like Ghirahim...so I think that's always good.

Ganon/Ganondorf has taken a long time to build up though. In the first game you know he took the princess, and his only appearance is at the end of the game. In a Link to the Past, he appears at the end of the game as well, but there isn't enough to make you realize he was the final villain.

Ocarina of time gave him some more back story, which helped, but after you release the Master Sword Ganon doesn't really try doing anything about Link until the end of his game. His intentions were clear about finding Zelda, but it seems like he could have been in the story more.

Windwaker seems to try making you sympathetic towards Ganon, but not much more is added to him really.

TP shows that he is seemingly immortal, and at least shows that he was working behind the scenes to try to take over Hyrule, but really...that's one big elaborate plan to take over Hyrule.

I suppose introducing a villain who has other agendas, besides taking over Hyrule, would be a good thing to start with.
Apr 23, 2012
We need to actually hate these villains. Or at least love how despicable they are. Ghirahim came close but we never actually saw him do that many evil things.
Jan 2, 2012
Firstly, don't overstuff the game with bloody bokoblins, but make more enemies like them that are like a puzzle within the battle, that need to be observed to defeat. Skyward Sword was pretty good at this, but there was little variety.
Apr 27, 2012
i feel like ghirahim was a nice change villain-wise. i wish they'd given him more depth than just him trying to serve his master demise. i wish they told a back story like, why he is the way he is, and not just evil just because he's evil, you know?

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