As much as we all love intensely likeable video game heroes that we can't help but root for, there's something to be said for a character we absolutely relish despising, too.
And while the rules of storytelling typically dictate that the douchebag villain gets their comeuppance by game's end, that's not always the case.
And so, we have these 10 video game characters who clearly deserved an early appointment with the Grim Reaper, only to live and fight another day.
From corrupt cops who ruined the protagonist's life, to antagonists who escaped into the shadows never to be seen again, and even a psychopath of a player character who clearly deserved to die, these guys and gals all made it to the finish line surprisingly unscathed.
In some cases their survival was clearly the right dramatic call, but in others fans were left feeling empty and robbed of their chance to exact some well-earned revenge.
For better or worse, these characters are still out there, somewhere, doing their thing free of major repercussions...
10. Roy Earle - L.A. Noire
In the tradition of the film noir genre, L.A. Noire is a video game where truly likeable characters are in desperately short supply, but there's one despicable character above all others who, for all his transgressions, still makes it to the end credits with his life in tact.
We're of course talking about Roy Earle, the partner of protagonist Cole Phelps and Chief Detective of the LAPD's Vice department.
He plays a major role in the climax of the game, using Cole's extra-marital affair with Elsa in order to distract the media from an impending corruption scandal in the Vice Squad he was deeply involved in.
Ultimately Earle manages to walk away scot-free, but not before delivering an infuriatingly disingenuous eulogy at Phelps' funeral, posing as his bereft partner and friend, causing a distraught Elsa to storm out in disgust.
That's not to forget his casual displays of racism and misogyny throughout the game, as well as his flippant use of violence when following up leads. Were he not so smug and savvy, his lack of punishment wouldn't be quite so infuriating.