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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, '11, 3:21 pm 
I think as far as actual effectiveness in terms of their goals go...many villains who were merely pawns of Dark Force (Lassic, Zio, the residents of Lashute) effectively worked against their own interests. Zio even outrightly admits that promoting Dark Force's influence will eventually involve him kicking the bucket, but he's ah-okay with that, being semi-corrupted and all already. Still, actively working against your own private interests is a thumbs down on the effectiveness scale in my book. In that regard, some of the Dark Force incarnations (being extensions of the Profound Darkness) are generally the only truly effective villains in the series.

Lune and Siren play the role of part-time villains, but are essentially well-meaning, but extremely misguided (and somewhat grudge-prone) allies of the old heroes. Unknown to themselves, they actively worked against the interests of those they swore to serve, by furthering DF's plans.

If we consider PD and DF separate villains, I don't really consider PD to be an "effective" villain because it doesn't really do anything. (other than make a very ugly hole in the desert and turn a small farming village into an outdoor morgue, which is not nice, but not genocide either) Palma's destruction was someone else's doing and the seal already had that every-1000-year vulnerability from the start, so PD doesn't rack up all that much credit...since it's actually DF doing most of the work.

Neifirst is a bit of a wildcard, being one of the few villains not affiliated with PD or DF, so it's difficult to tell what her real goals were and what her effectiveness was. (getting PDarky out of his prison probably wasn't on her mind) Despite Neifirst's actions, a lot of people on Motavia still seemed to live a very pampered life. The climate was somewhat inconvenient, but by the time PS2 takes place, most food is grown in domed farms which aren't really that dependant on weather conditions. The question is whether Neifirst was interested in genocide at all or if the biomonster plague was more a means of "poetic justice" to dish out. (the hunter becomes the hunted and all of that) With Climatrol at her command, she could have done much worse. She could have flooded the planet herself or caused severe hurricanes around residental areas. (Wren in PS4 suggests Dezoris' climatrol system can cause snow storms) A biomonster infestation is effective as a means of containment (which was actually in Mother Brain's and the Earthlings' interests), but given the fact monsters generally don't enter large residental areas and the fact humans could still get around with the teleport station network (and possibly airplanes), a monster infestation isn't very efficient as a means of committing genocide. Even if a planet-wide monster infestation got bad enough to form a serious threat, it'd take a long time...and time is not something a person with Neifirst's extremely limited lifespan has in abundance. Since Neifirst became who she was apparantly due to the humans' callous disrespect for "other" lifeforms, it's somewhat tragic that a biomonster infestation was bound to make Palman society even MORE xenophobic and paranoid, so you could even argue she was her own biggest enemy.

The Earthlings were highly effective in their plans. They already owned the planet they wanted. They controlled the technology and the system. With Palma destroyed and Motavia's society effectively on a life support system they could shut down with the press of a button, the palmans were effectively at the Earthlings' mercy. Their plan was already in the phase where only a Pyrrhic victory was possible for their opponents. Palma's actual destruction, however, was at the same time the ultimate long-term flaw in their plan. (assuming they destroyed the planet to hasten palman society's demise and not out of a DF-inspired whim) They could have taken over Algo, but within 1000 years, PD would have broken free with a triumphant "Thanks, idiots!". That single planet-busting action pushed them down from hypereffective to short-term effective.

PS3 Dark Force was quite effective in the sense that out of the hundreds of spaceships that escaped Palma, only 2 remained by the time PS3 came around and I believe in one scenario the Neo Palm actually gets shot. But was DF from PS3 effective in its goals? What were its goals? From what I understood, the ACTUAL purpose of DF was to weaken the seal over PD's prison dimension, so how does slaughtering peasants on spaceships lightyears away from Algo actually further that goal? It probably doesn't. In fact, by the time PS3 took place, Chaz and co already confronted and defeated PDarky, so PS3 Dark Force really didn't have much of a greater purpose anymore. He was just hanging around being an unemployed sore loser. (in that mass-murdering way only alien abominations can) If you go with the theory that Alisa 3 eventually went into a time warp, reached Earth and PS3 DF eventually lead the Earthlings back to Algo to bust Palma, PD owed PS3 DF at least two buckets filled with "employee of the millenium"-awards for his troubles, but since PD was defeated prior to Alisa 3 entering that time warp, the whole effort was still futile in the long run. He did succeed in being an effective spiteful (*insert favorite expletive*).

Seth from PS4 did seem to be very effective because his mission was more humble. All he had to do was discover the location of Rycross and he succeeded in that. Killing the potential protectors would have been a bonus, but optional if the servants of the darkness could have obtained the rings of the stars before Chaz and co did. So he did pretty well. Then again, he asked Chaz if he could "take a look" at the aeroprism after it was recovered, but Rune stepped in and told him no, preventing Seth from holding it and teleporting away with a big evil "So long suckers!". (leaving Rune to violently throttle Chaz) No more aeroprism, no way to Rycross. No way to Rycross, no rings of the stars. No rings of the stars, no way to enter The Edge without fatal black-wave poisoning. PD would win, Seth gets a bigger office and a raise. I guess he wasn't perfect after all.

Last edited by Erpy on Thu Mar 31, '11, 3:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue May 24, '11, 12:02 am 
Just by the success criterion I'd have to say Lassic, since he was pretty much in control for most of the game, if I remember correctly. And as a corrupt king that qualifies pretty well.

Just on a personal level, as far as how much of an impact the villains made, I'd have to say Neifirst and Zio. Maybe it's largely their shocking, murderous tendencies, but they both definitely made an impression on me. Zio seemed legitimately scary and Neifirst was both mysterious and interesting, almost to the point, with the Nei dynamic, of being sympathetic.

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