Games, contrary to the belief of clueless adults that instantly dismiss them as bad or blame games whenever a child misbehaves or commits illegal actions, are a wonderful experience. They are a fun past-time that enhances visual and motor skills, and can even help in the learning of new languages, as was my case with English. But more than fun, there are games that can provide us with amazing stories. And since way back in the early days of gaming, there’s been villains, just like in tv shows and books.
As with our previous article, where we went over the unexpected villains in anime and manga, this time we’re going over the unexpected villains in games.
And of course…spoilers beware!
Rhoan’s citizens- Avalon Code
Avalon Code is a Nintendo DS game in which you must rewrite the world with the Book of Prophecy, as the world’s end is nigh. The protagonist must proceed to “scan” the world with the book, which divides its contents by chapters. The book also allows the protagonist to master any weapon scanned with the book, such as swords, guns, daggers, hammers, bombs, and axes.
The empire of Waisen is invading the kingdom of Kaleila, where the protagonist resides in the capital town of Rhoan. At one point, the book is used to save the Kaleilan princess Dorothea’s cat after the protagonist saves her from a monster wearing Waisen armor. The king proceeds to be a bastion of sensitivity and reasoning and arrests the protagonist when he witnesses the book’s powers, accusing the protagonist of using dark magic. A chance for name-clearing comes when Waisen goes to war and the protagonist stops it, being hailed as the town’s hero(ine).
After the villain and former owner of the book unleash a tornado in Rhoan, the protagonist is found injured beneath a pile of rubble and is immediately taken to jail and found guilty. The townsfolk that once adored you? They turn their back on you and leave you to rot in jail, believing you did it. All because of owning the magic book with amazing powers, regardless of how much the protagonist was helping the town and the kingdom.
A similar thing happens to local psychic Nanai, who is treated horribly by the townsfolk and seen as a curse-witch, when in reality she uses her powers to keep monsters away from Rhoan.
The endgame reveals that the villain was just like the protagonist, but the people of the world he created turned on him, just as Rhoan turns their backs on the main character, and for the same reason: that fear of their power.
Makes you wonder who the real villain is, doesn’t it?
To quote a very used line in media: “People fear what they do not understand.”
Master Eraqus – Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts. AKA Final Fantasy meets Disney. A story about saving the multiverse, magical key-shaped swords that unlock anything, and the long-time conflict between Light and Darkness. The series establishes that Darkness isn’t evil by itself, but that the people using it that are, and that darkness just happens to attract more of the wrong kind of people.
And Birth by Sleep would make that distinction even more solid. Birth by Sleep, released for the PSP, is about 3 keyblade apprentices striving to be Keyblade Masters. The two oldest ones, Terra and Aqua, are going through a Mark of Mastery exam as the final step to achieve their goal while the third and youngest, Ventus, watches.
Only Terra has a bit of darkness within him, which was soon controlled as it came up during the exam. But his mentor Eraqus is a master of extremes. “Light is good and Darkness is bad” is his motto. And that leads him to not approve Terra as a master, appointing only Aqua as a new Keyblade Master. Meanwhile, Ven isn’t allowed to leave the Land of Departure, their home, on account of being young and inexperienced. And he does so anyway to chase his friend Terra.
All the while, one of Eraqus’ friends, Master Xehanort, was overseeing the exams. Only…prior to the game’s events, Xehanort and Eraqus had an argument about light and darkness that led into a fight that gave Eraqus his scars.
And Eraqus invited this guy to take part in overseeing this exam. Not only that, but in a letter Eraqus received from Xehanort, it was said that Terra wasn’t ready to be a master because there was too much darkness in him. And Eraqus blindly trusted the guy that scarred his face over a disagreement.
Later, it’s revealed that it was all Xehanort’s scheme to win Terra over so that his younger, stronger body could be used as a vessel for Xehanort’s heart. And another of his schemes involves uniting Ventus’ heart of pure light with his right hand Vanitas’ heart of pure darkness to forge the strongest weapon, the χ-blade.
Eraqus suspected that, and that was why he kept Ventus within the Land of Departure. And when Ventus found out and confronted Eraqus about it, Eraqus decides it’s too dangerous to take the risk of letting Ven live and tries to end him. When Terra prevents him from doing so, Eraqus decides that if they won’t listen, then he’ll have to end them both.
At that point, it becomes clear that Eraqus’ extreme ideals, even though he is a user of the light, have clouded his judgement so harshly that his heart fell into darkness. And unfortunately, this father figure’s extremism would prove to be his demise, as he realizes the errors of his ways too late.
Sachiko Shinozaki- Corpse Party
Ahhh…Corpse Party. Truly a frightening gaming experience. Few games can induce fear as Corpse Party does. A combination of ambience, ghastly apparitions, curses and voice acting make for a wonderfully chilling experience. The story can be briefly summed up as being about eight students and a teacher from Kisaragi Academy that perform a “BFF” charm for their friend that is transferring schools. But what happens next, no one could ever anticipate.
Soon after the charm is performed, there’s an earthquake. And when everyone comes around, they find themselves in Heavenly Host Academy, the school that was demolished and replaced with Kisaragi Academy.
Those who cleared Corpse Party probably find themselves thinking “Unexpected? But the game outright states she’s behind everything and is the main threat to be stopped” when seeing lil’ Sachi in this list. But let’s go over a few things to clarify how Sachiko is an unexpected villain:
The first game alone has wave after wave of reveals and mysteries solved as the characters venture through Heavenly Host. At first, it seems that the villain is a trio of spirit children haunting the place, along with Yoshizaku, the shambling corpse with a hammer that kills whoever he finds within the school grounds.
Later on, it is revealed that Sachiko is the true killer of the three children and that Yoshizaku, who was believed to be their killer at first, was merely enthralled by Sachiko. Furthermore, it is revealed in the endgame that Heavenly Host’s curse was created by Yoshie Shinozaki, Sachiko’s mother, as revenge for Heavenly Host’s principal killing both her and Sachiko.
At this point, everything points to Yoshie being responsible for everything in her act of revenge. However, as Yoshiki and Ayumi, two of the main heroes, investigate Heavenly Host for more clues, they run into Naho Saenoki, the spirit of a paranormal investigator that died in Heavenly Host mid-investigation. With her aid, they find out how to escape Heavenly Host. But eventually, they find out that the reason so many people were spirited away to Heavenly Host was because the information about the charm was wrong straight from the source: Naho’s blog.
The charm that warps the heroes to Heavenly Host is Sachiko Ever After (幸せのサチコさん Shiawase no Sachiko-san, literally “Sachiko of Happiness”), as written in Naho’s blog. Only, Naho’s notes reveal the information was purposely miswritten so more people would be sent to Heavenly Host. The original reads 死逢わせのサチコさん (Shi Awase no Sachiko-San) literally, “Meeting Death with Sachiko”.
The reason? Naho’s mentor and crush Kou Kibiki went over to Heavenly Host on his own volition to investigate it for his biggest scoop, feeling it could be harmful to people in the living world if left alone. Naho intenionally put the wrong information so more people would be sent to Heavenly Host, thus making it stronger and giving Kibiki more material to study. Had she not done that, things probably wouldn’t have gotten as bad as they did in the main games.
So with all that, it all points to Naho, right?
The second Corpse Party game for the PSP, Book of Shadows, has a chapter called “Purgatory”, which focuses on Naho’s life before she went over to Heavenly Host. She investigated many paranormal cases across Japan and her most recent one, the investigation of the Shinozaki Estate, got her haunted by Sachiko. It was so extreme that Sachiko can appear to Naho in the human world and have a strong enough influence over her surroundings that she can affect her best friend Sayaka’s director at her show. She could also manifest her voice through the recordings, as well as having a good degree of influence over the people she cursed. This is further evidenced by both Naho and Sayaka being able to hear her voice after the show.
Naho saw how dangerous it was to continue with the Heavenly Host investigations and decided to put the kibosh on everything, but was genuinely despaired and terrified when she found out Kibiki had already gone there by that time. Before she crossed over with Sayaka to Heavenly Host to rescue Kibiki, she went insane after her ensuing breakdown and posted the wrong info on her blog, with the intention of giving Kibiki a bigger scoop. Naho was going through a similar change in behaviour as Naomi and, in one possible Wrong End, Ayumi. Therefore, her posting the wrong information on the blog was clearly Sachiko’s doing, so that more souls could be brought to Yoshie, making the Heavenly Host curse grow stronger to prevent people from escaping as a result.
Sachiko started off as killing people so her mother Yoshie wouldn’t be alone. Only Yoshie, in her remaining moments of sanity, realizes Sachiko is far gone. Sachiko is now killing because she enjoys it. Because she enjoys tormenting the people trapped within her world.
But even so, Sachiko isn’t truly the one behind it all. There is one more element that is behind Sachiko herself, or that at the very least, was her partner in crime. And that one is…
Heavenly Host Academy- Corpse Party
Heavenly Host Academy seems to be a mere “haunted” school created after the murder of the mother and daughter that would later curse it as revenge. But as the story progresses, it becomes clear that Heavenly Host, after decades of slaughter and suffering within its walls, grew to have a sentience of its own. This becomes noticeable in a Wrong End in which, even though the one behind everything is appeased, the school is merely recreated with a new spirit as its core.
And even in the True End, it is revealed that even though the heroes have successfully returned home, a new Heavenly Host was created. It’s curse had become far too powerful to be stopped normally.
It cannot be stopped. It can only be delayed.
And its curse, the phenomenon known as “Darkening”, can corrupt living people trapped within its walls, as well as the spirits of those who died inside it, by either controlling the living to do its bidding, or by corrupting the spirits with hatred for those who still live, those who still have regrets, and the more resentful of the spirits. Some of the in-story text for both Corpse Party: Blood Covered and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows also implies it was responsible for the corruption of Sachiko.
Also, here’s a fun fact for you all: Sachiko’s voice actor also voices Pikachu.
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