Generally speaking, gamers are accustomed to playing the role of the hero. The Marios, Sonic the Hedgehogs and Spyro the Dragons of the world are common protagonists; we want them to succeed and we want to take them through all manner of adversity to get there.
Now more than ever, we could all use a few more happy endings in our lives. This isn’t to say that the main character is never the villain of the piece, though. Classic PC strategy title Dungeon Keeper, for instance, flipped the script by tasking the player with building an army of demonic creatures and defeating the invading forces of good. Sometimes, as the game’s slogan stated, it’s good to be bad.
Even when we are fighting the good fight, there’s no guarantee that we’ll conquer evil in the end. Sometimes, the bad guy triumphs, whether indirectly or with a straight-up victory. Other times, they get super, super close to winning. Let’s take a look at some moments in games when the villain’s victory seemed all but assured, before they were finally stopped.
10. Alucard's Boss Battle Against Richter: Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the most beloved titles in the series. It’s a deep, interesting and constantly surprising adventure, one that paved the way for the rise of the Metroidvania sub-genre that emerged in its wake.
The game casts the player as Alucard, the anti-hero son of the devious Count Dracula. Alucard sets out to traverse the tyrant’s castle, raze it to the ground and banish his father, but the story doesn’t necessarily end that way. Symphony of the Night has a bad ending to unlock, and it’s a doozy.
At one point in the game, Alucard encounters Richter Belmont, who defeated Dracula at the end of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (as seen in the beginning of this game). The last of the acclaimed vampire hunting clan claims to want to revive Dracula himself, for the glory of battling him once more, and the two men battle.
Killing Richter will earn the player the bad ending, in which Richter laments the end of the family line and the war between vampires and humans. This causes the castle to crumble and the credits to roll super abruptly.
If the player DOESN'T want to consign the world to Dracula’s inevitable revival and unfettered victory, they should equip the Holy Glasses. With these in hand, the curious green orb above Richter’s head will be visible. This device is controlling him, and destroying it without harming the foe is the ‘true’ aim of the battle. It enables access to the Reverse Castle.