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Antagonism: Writing a Character to Kill

What makes you want to tear a characters tear ducts out and make him wear their small intestine as a bow while you let the children of the village play stick-ball with his liver? Good writing but more directly that the character has harmed the player in some way; and if that character has harmed the player in some way he or she is an antagonist.
So how do you make a good antagonist? The key is show don’t tell.
A great example of this is in Saints Row The Third in which the game opens with the antagonist killing your friend Jonny Gat, bankrupting the player, and probably killing the players dog or something. This antagonist openly shows he hates the character and at no point did text show up saying “This is your villain. Kill him because he is evil and therefore should be deadified”. The player then has to go through an entire cruise ship worth of thugs, gangsters, and locha la breas to get the the antagonist. The game motivates the player to kill the evil character and then makes it hard to do so and even at the end of the game you have to decide between revenge and saving your friends. Though this game involves streaking, zombies, and large phallic shaped objects hitting an elderly women in the face; the story drives the player to do what he does.
A bad example of showing and not telling is Skyrim. Though the game has been praised as being better than super cyborg ultra Jesus I believe the story is as flimsy as…well a phallic object hitting an elderly woman in the face. In the story what does the evil dragon do against you as a player? He stops you from being executed on accident and the player does not fight him until the end of the game. In fact all he seems to do is raise his friends for the dead and try to kill the people who killed his friends and sent him forward in time but the player is sent to kill him because “he is evil and a dragon and therefore should be deadified”. Speaking of which, what is with all the dragon racism in games? Did a dragon eat one of the game developers mothers or something?
But back to antagonism. To make a good antagonist he or she must directly effect the player in a negative way. He or she cannot just be labeled as “Evil” because in the right light Link is more evil then Ganon; Legend of Zelda and Mario got away with the text box thing and stolen princess but that was also back when 16 bits meant how many pieces you blew your sister’s barbie into. Things have changed so writing must change to be more effective too.

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