10 Video Game Villains Hiding In Plain Sight

Never, EVER trust the creepy old lady.

Resident Evil 8

While the majority of video games present their villains in totally upfront fashion, sometimes developers love to pull a classic bait-and-switch by revealing that the baddie has been hiding in front of the player's face the whole damn time.

If poorly executed it can certainly land with an obvious thud, but if it's pulled off with sufficient ingenuity it can cause players to rethink the entirety of the game's events.

It's a difficult trick to pull off, especially as modern audiences are so thoroughly conditioned to expect such "they were the villain all along!" reveals, but when it works it really works.

While not all of these hidden-in-plain-sight reveals left all fans happy, they were nevertheless completely shocking and unexpected, such that few players could've ever seen them coming.

From villains disguised as other villains, to supposedly friendly characters who turned heel at a pivotal moment, antagonists who took the form of a friendly NPC, and everything in-between, these Big Bads were all concealed mere inches from your face.

In some cases it evoked brilliantly stunned surprise from players, while in others they felt undeniably cheated by a reveal that just wasn't well thought-out enough...

10. Scott Shelby - Heavy Rain

Resident Evil 8
Quantic Dream

The identity of the Origami Killer in Heavy Rain is an especially egregious example because the game doesn't even play fair about concealing its antagonist right in front of the player's face.

At the end of the game it's revealed that the killer is in fact one of Heavy Rain's playable characters, private investigator Scott Shelby.

The notion that you've been secretly playing the murderer yourself is an interesting one, albeit one the game absolutely fumbles by not being straight about it.

The player controls Shelby during a scene earlier in the game where the owner of an antiques store, Manfred, is murdered by the Origami Killer, seemingly making it impossible for Scott to be the culprit.

But as we later learn when the twist is revealed, Scott's perspective has actually been an unreliable one, and the version of the antiques store scene we played through earlier was one constructed in his own mind.

Given that Heavy Rain's gameplay is implied to be objective, it felt like a cheat to many players, who never had a chance of figuring out the twist because director David Cage effectively moved the dramatic goal posts without telling them. Terrible.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.