The Villain Wins?

cojo965

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This isn't about stories where the bad guy just wins, this is about the bad guy winning but regretting the victory. Case in point, Shaolin:
The plot is a wicked warlord named Hou Jie and his family are ambushed, resulting in the death of his child and his wife leaving. After this traumatic event Hou Jie opts to reform himself into a Shaolin monk and absolve his sins. After a few years, however, the new warlord, Cao Man (who ordered the assassination), finds out his rival is still alive and resumes hostilities. In the end Cao defeats Hou but by that point Cao no longer feels like he's won.

This is a great scene because of the protagonist's death as if both characters lived the villain's regret would have lost meaning.

What fiction can you name where the villain wins yet doesn't.
 

CrazyGirl17

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That's easy: Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. To say any more would spoil it, let's just say that it's a real punch to the gut and leave it at that. This is Joss Whedon we're talking about here...
 

Hawki

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I guess StarCraft: Brood War? Kerrigan wins, but she feels hollow at the end. It's not exactly regret per se, but she's crawled her way to the top of the Koprulu sector, taken vengeance on her foes, and yet, is no better off for it emotionally.
 

KissingSunlight

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That is tough. Mainly, there isn't too many works of fiction where the villain wins.

I am going to say Captain America: Civil War. Zemo gets what he wants, but he still wants to commit suicide.
 

lacktheknack

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The Silent Hill series is ripe for this. In the cult games, God always is born, killed off, and then transferred to another person to be resurrected later ("Word of God" confirms this for SH3 as well), whereas the other games rarely have canonically good endings - the town usually wins.
 

DarklordKyo

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Why is nobody talking about Conker's Bad Fur Day?

The Villain Protagonist (who only helps people as a means to an end) becomes king of the land, and a millionaire, the only woman he's ever loved dies off, he's surrounded by people he actually despises, and he's last seen drunkenly stumbling onto another adventure.

Heck, Conker, himself, throws a lampshade on this in the ending narration (when he basically says the moral of the story is "the grass is always greener, don't forsake what you have, you don't know what you got till it's gone").
 

Hawki

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DarklordKyo said:
At best, you could call Conker an anti-hero. He doesn't really do anything villanous, and he is the protagonist, regardless of his own morality.
 

DarklordKyo

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Hawki said:
At best, you could call Conker an anti-hero. He doesn't really do anything villanous, and he is the protagonist, regardless of his own morality.
He sacrifices a baby dinosaur to proceed in his misadventure. A baby dinosaur that he, himself, hatched. How is that not villainous?

Besides, I did say Villain Protagonist, that is a thing
 

Hawki

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DarklordKyo said:
Hawki said:
At best, you could call Conker an anti-hero. He doesn't really do anything villanous, and he is the protagonist, regardless of his own morality.
He sacrifices a baby dinosaur to proceed in his misadventure. A baby dinosaur that he, himself, hatched. How is that not villainous?
I'll have to take your word for it - it's been ages since I've played the game, and don't recall that specific incident.
 

DarklordKyo

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Hawki said:
I'll have to take your word for it - it's been ages since I've played the game, and don't recall that specific incident.
Don't have to, here's proof:


Skip to around the 5:55 to the set up, then the sacrifice.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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There're a bunch of movies where the villain "wins" in the sense that he gets what he wants, but with an ironic twist that botches the victory. Jafar in Aladdin succeeds in becoming the most powerful entity in the world but his powers can serve anyone but himself. The villain in that scientology movie (played by Travolta) wants gold and gets all the gold in the world but is trapped with it. I think the bad guy from Alias (the JJ Abrams TV show) succeeds in attaining immortality but is trapped for the rest of his immortal existence in a place from which he can't escape. And so on.
 

Autumnflame

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The movie Unthinkable,

Featuring samuel L jackson and Carrie anne Moss

Dealing with torture and the ramifications of it.

excellent movie where there is no real good or bad side.
 

Frezzato

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Let's see...Side Effects (I'm fairly certain about that), Payback - although almost everyone in that movie is a villain, Gone Girl, Zodiac, Se7en, Watchmen, Brazil, Unthinkable. I'm sure there's tons more.

Oh, and It's A Disaster, I suppose.
 

FalloutJack

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Alien Covenant.

In most cases, the main character(s) manage to survive/destroy the last xenomorph coming after them and all is well.

However, due to the fact that all synthetics currently look like Michael Fassenbender, David the prototype manages to fool people into believing that he's Walter, the Covenant's synthetic, and smuggle aboard two alien embryos. He will, therefore, be able to take the colony to Origae and thaw out whoever he feels like to experiment on alongside the xenomorphs, which will lead to massive proliferation regardless of how stable the results are.

The villain wins.
 

Dalisclock

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Saints Row 2. Possibly 3 as well, depending on if you see STAG as worse then the Saints or not. Let's face it, the Boss is not heroic in 2 and only a little better in 3.
 

Scarim Coral

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Ah, someone else seen that awesome Shaolin movie! That was a blockbuster when it came out in China!

OT- The one that come to my mind is Watchmen.

Ozymandias was the mastermind and eventhought he got Rorschach killed cos he was going to exposed everthing, he feels like he can still lose/ all for nought.
I can't remember if this kept this part of the comic in the film, he tell Dr Manhatten that he justify everything he did and yet he wanted his reassurance. Dr Manhatten simply reply "All things come to an end".
 

Trunkage

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Can I say Lego Batman movie. Batman is a bad guy because he keeps letting other villains escape which, in turn, keep putting the city in peril. He does this so he can show off his skills. He also leads an invasion force to take back the city that are just bad guys. He's a mob leader. When his enemies are looked up he stalks Joker, steals a weapon off Superman to make sure Joker is "super" locked up and puts a minor in danger.

All because he couldn't give up the mantle of Batman. There is a part of the movie where we walks around the house with his cowl still on (but in normal clothes) because he cant let go.

(My daughter loves the movie - I may have watched it too much)