Official RPG Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Incline Korgan Bloodaxe and other good evil companions

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Blackshirt, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Blackshirt Prophet

    Blackshirt
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2021
    Messages:
    843
    Location:
    Imprisoned in the ivory tower
    To be clear, when I speak of evil companions I mean companions in games with an alignment system, where PCs and NPCs are labeled as some variation of good, evil or neutral. What I don't mean is characters in games, where such a system is not in place and where the player himself makes an assessment. So I won't be talking about Marcus and whether or not he's evil because he is pro-Master or whatever.

    This is important because alignment systems inherently put certain expectations on a character, which developers are usually aware of. Hence, whenever they are given the task of designing evil characters, they make sure that they read as "evil". When designing antagonists, making them feel evil is quite easy, because inevitably they will be at odds with the PC. When it comes to companions though, developers are faced with another kind of challenge, namely making evil companions worthwhile.

    A well designed companion is both a pleasant character to have around personality-wise and useful from a gameplay standpoint. However, if the companion is supposed to be evil, the option of having them "pleasant" in the strictest sense of the word often falls right out the window, because that's not a trait that's usually understood as befitting a villain. Done badly, an evil companion usually ends up an insipid psychopath, who groans at every lost wallet you return to their owner and threatens to ditch you, if you don't step up your genocide game. In short, they end up as caricatures of what we usually perceive to be a bad guy, who are evil for the sake of it.

    Enter Korgan Bloodaxe. Korgan is not the most complex character ever written. However, this does not mean that he's not a great and memorable character and a good example of an evil companion done right. Korgan is classified as CE, not necessarily because he is a raving lunatic who only joins up with you merely for the chance at bloodshed. Rather, Korgan is evil because he does evil. He kills for fun and has no qualms about subjecting others to cruelty, either physically or mentally, as shown by his tormenting of Aerie because he sees her as weak. All in all though, he is completely sane. At the same time, he has a jovial bent, often cracking jokes, off-color as they may be, and playfully hurling insults at others. He is not pleasant to have around per-se but he's the kind of rough neck you could have some great banter with. He is a bit unhinged yes, but not anymore unhinged than someone like Minsc, who orders his hamster to chew people's eyes out. Additionally, Korgan is also the best fighter/tank in the game, which makes him worth keeping around for that fact alone.

    All of this is in stark contrast to the other two evil companions of BG2 and many other evil companions from other games. Edwin for one is played as a joke, an arrogant, infantile and dweebish saturday morning cartoon villain, who gets subjected to bimbofication for laughs. Because of this he never reads as evil really. Viconia, while being a bad bitch, is a bit of a cop out due to her nature as a romance option, which requires her character to pander to the player in one way or another. Her backstory is meant to make her more sympathetic despite her vicious attitude but the "cunt with a heart of gold" trope is very clicheed and anime af imo. Maybe it was new at the time but these days it's a bit played out. Like Korgan though, they are both the best companions for their respective classes, which is a great tradeoff not many games go for these days.

    At any rate, Korgan does not rely on being made into comedic relief, a love interest or any other cop out to essentially make him nominally evil but not really, if you catch my drift. He is weirdly sympathetic despite everything and bends for nothing and no one. Honorable mention goes to Torian-Kel from Arcanum. Much like Korgan, he is evil not necessarily because of his personality or mental state but because he willingly fought for an evil cause. His quest is actually quite a noble one, wanting to free his undead comrades from eternal torment, though considering that his comrades also fought for evil, this quest itself becomes evil in turn. It's like if you wanted to bring your dad back to life but your dad was Stalin. This is in contrast to Viconia's backstory, which remains driven by pretty much unambiguously "good" motivations. However, he, much like anything else in Arcanum, is very much underdeveloped, which is why I don't rate him too highly.

    Which evil companions do YOU like, fellow codexians and why?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    • FAKE NEWS FAKE NEWS x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    • Hoo Hoo x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. Cunt Dickula!? Arbiter

    Cunt Dickula!?
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2021
    Messages:
    496
    Dwarves without mustaches are lame. Never liked him.
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. Reinhardt Arcane

    Reinhardt
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    19,718
    evil exists only to kill it and take its treasures
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • gimme dem dolla bills gimme dem dolla bills x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    • Deus Vult Deus Vult x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. jungl Augur

    jungl
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    1,158
    Somehow he was the most tolerable bro companion in the game. Aerie and Anomen are very annoying and the rest are moral faggots you have to be careful of.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Darth Canoli Arcane

    Darth Canoli
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Location:
    Perched on a tree
    Lareth the Beautiful, I like his lines, he only wants to betray you and nothing is going to change that. A shame you can't keep him after his first treason only for him to betray you again during Hedrack's battle.

    Oolghrist, Troll
    Scorp, Hill Giant
    How many TB, party-based isometric rpg allow you to recruit Trolls and Hill-Giants? Only one.
    For their reach alone, it'd worth getting them to tag along, even if they weren't overpowered.

    Maphistor, it's just fun to recruit one of the toughest demon from KotC 1 during the sequel, until he fights and you realize he's just a meatshield and his offensive capabilities are limited.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. MuckMan Educated

    MuckMan
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    I remember liking Amon Jerro in NWN 2. He was neutral evil iirc and at least tried arguing his points on why he did what he did and he tries to help you at the start of MotB and can actually help you attacking/defending Kelemvors city (I actually do not remember what Amon Jerro does, if you defend Kelemvor etc.). But man it was a long time ago, since I played through the OC.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. Sranchammer Arcane

    Sranchammer
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    18,998
    Location:
    Former Confederate States of America

    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Arcanum had the best evil companions

    Geofrrey Tarrelond-Ashe was my favorite
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Peachcurl Arbiter

    Peachcurl
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2020
    Messages:
    1,751
    Alignment systems are usually crap. (And the absurdness becomes obvious with characters such as Ignus / PST.)
    You're really just trying to step around the question of "what is evil", deligating it to an authority rather than thinking for yourself.

    Anyways, I liked HK-47 (KOTOR).
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Salute Salute x 2
    ^ Top  
  9. Generic-Giant-Spider Unwanted

    Unwanted
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    6,025
    Location:
    Every fantasy game ever.
    The virgin complex and storyfag evil character

    vs.

    The chad Xzar
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,442
    I liked Rinara in Mysteries of Westgate. She's a fairly realistic evil character and could be described as a former mafia bruiser. She's quite friendly and easy-going, but it's always very clear that she doesn't mind hurting others as long as it benefits her.

    And though Wrath of the Righteous is my DOTY 2021, its evil companions are decent, especially Regill.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  11. Alphons Liturgist

    Alphons
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    1,055
    Gabriel from Fallout: Resurrection.

    Ex-raider, currently bounty hunter. Easily one of the most disgusting characters in the game (which says something when you have pedophiles, cannibals and people harvesting organs from kids).

    He interacts a lot with the world and other NPCs. Beats the shit out of beggars and whores (which can lead to some interesting situations) ans kills/ tortures a few people.
    Certain quests completely change when he's travelling with you (certain quest givers already worked with him in the past).
    For other quests he'll give you advice how he thinks you'll both end up with the most cash (though sometimes he just likes to murder someone).

    He's also a greedy fuck that always asks for a share of quest payments (you can also pay him to for example fight for you in the ring in Corath). Let's just say that his ending slide is fitting.
     
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. Tyranicon A Memory of Eternity Developer

    Tyranicon
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
    Messages:
    1,844
    Evil companions without a good justification for being evil is strange to me (demons burning orphanages are fine, but why is Random McFuckface over there murderhoboing everything?). I like morally ambiguous characters more.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Glop_dweller Cipher

    Glop_dweller
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Messages:
    666
    I would take on Kagain's quest, and then have the party give him a cursed helm of alignment reversal; good for the rest of the game.
     
    • Balanced Balanced x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. Gargaune Magister

    Gargaune
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2020
    Messages:
    1,553
    This feller right here:

    One of Many in Mask of the Betrayer is murderous insanity incarnate, acts accordingly, and an absolute delight to have around. Watch him go at it with Kaelyn for bonus points. I love Korgan, but this fucker takes the cake.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2015
    Messages:
    6,461
    fuck Xzar and his 4 hitpoints.
     
    • Funny Funny x 13
    • Math! Math! x 2
    • Despair Despair x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Generic-Giant-Spider Unwanted

    Unwanted
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    6,025
    Location:
    Every fantasy game ever.
    YA GOTTA WANT IT

    THAT'S 2ND EDITION WIZARDRY BABY
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • Disgusting! Disgusting! x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. buffalo bill Arcane

    buffalo bill
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    763
    I find it sort of weird that Ignus is chaotic neutral and not chaotic evil, given that his MO is burning people alive out of love of fire and destruction. Anyway, I'd identify him as a decent evil character, though I'm not a huge fan of PST gameplay-wise tbh.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    ^ Top  
  18. Dodo1610 Magister

    Dodo1610
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Germany
    The only real evil character I have ever used a lot in CRPGs is Jaethal. She works well because she is so comically evil and simply does whatever she wants without caring about the consequences. Besides her cynicism is often funny and relatable for me.

    Arx in Elex was also alright mostly because he was so stupid evil that I couldn't help but laugh every time he said something. No idea whether this was their intention or not but he is very funny.
     
    • retadred retadred x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. KörangarTheMighty Learned

    KörangarTheMighty
    Joined:
    May 25, 2021
    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    The western road to Erromon.
    Canderous. Though I'd say he winds up closer to a neutral alignment by the end of the first game. Either way, he's fun to bring when engaging in a bit of the old ultra-violence.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    37,802
    I'd guess he's neutral because he's insane.
    Insanity implies lack of intent, same level as a wild animal which are neutral.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. Blackshirt Prophet

    Blackshirt
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2021
    Messages:
    843
    Location:
    Imprisoned in the ivory tower
    That's what I aways assumed as well, especially since PST leans very heavily into the notion of CN = insane. Ignus is delirious and disassociated from himself and his surroundings, acting on his pyromanic instincts and whatever shreds of his personality are still left. Any judge would rule Ignus as insane and basically unaccountable for his crimes. Disclaimer: I'm not a judge.
     
    ^ Top  
  22. Yosharian Magister

    Yosharian
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Messages:
    5,971
    Location:
    Hammerfell
    Edwin Odesseiron, master mage and one-time owner of the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity. He's the perfect Lawful Evil conniving bastard.

    I also second HK-47, he is brilliant.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Lady Error █▓▒░ ░▒▓█ Patron

    Lady Error
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    4,248
    Strap Yourselves In
    I liked the evil characters in BG2. Was there even one in Pillars 1 and 2?

    I guess evil is unbalanced and we can't have that.
     
    • Participation Award Participation Award x 1
    • Balanced Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. Lambach Arcane

    Lambach
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    7,824
    Location:
    Belgrade, Removekebabland
    Devil of Caroc from The White March comes closest to outright "evil", IIRC. All other companions in both games, as Balance(TM) dictates, are either straight-up good guys or mostly good but with questionable moral stances on certain issues. Although, depending on how you handle her personal quest, Xoti can become quite the murderhobo psycho as well.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. fantadomat Arcane Edgy Wumao

    fantadomat
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    31,935
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    Well you get burned by fire,doesn't make it evil. He is more like a elemental power in me eyes. Tho the original dude was evil for sure.
     
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.