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Having a good antagonist in a video game is key for it to prosper, if that's what the narrative is focused on. If it's too bland, and too mediocre, the narrative will most likely slump because of it. I thought for today's entry I would discuss some of the top enemy factions within video games, based on how they serve as antagonists.
I don't care they're from the anime! They're awesome!
To clarify, when I say faction, that doesn't mean they necessarily have to be an organization of sort sort-they can be a species of some sort, or, well, being. But, they can't be undefined, which is why you won't see any Zelda thing on here-they're just enemies, they're never defined as "Ganondorf's Army" or anything of the sort. Anyway, here's my top enemy factions in gaming.
10. The Taken
Sort of like zombies, the Taken are enemies "taken" by the Dark Presence, and are completely under its control. However, while they are under its control, they usually retain parts of their former selves, and spurt out sentences, with a former hunter possibly saying "it's rabbit season!" or something of the sort. The Taken function well as enemies because they move quickly through the shadows, and their weakness to light make them a unique enemy to fight.
9. The Pigmask Army
I never finished Mother 3, but I've watched a playthrough of the game, and understand the impact the Pigmask Army has on the islands the game takes place in. Leading to environment decay and the decline of the state of living, the Pigmask Army and it's true leader and nefarious and a fearsome enemy for Lucas, Bony, Flint, Kumatora, and Duster.
8. The Infected
Left 4 Dead's infected are the best zombie type enemy I've fought. They're quick, and easy to take down, but in a horde, they're quite a nuisance. And then, when you include the Boomer, Spitter, Hunter, Jockey, Charger, Smoker, Witch, and Tank...well, then, things get really tough, if you're not careful. The added mix of special types of infected separate from the normal Common Infected make the game great for multiplayer, and have kept me coming back for the better part of two years.
7. The Enclave
The main antagonists of Fallout 3 are at first an enigma, only being heard in radio messages around the Wasteland. Being the remnants of the United States Government, they have access to lots of advanced technology, as well as have authority in some people's eyes. Facing them in Fallout 3 was a great experience, and the final fight against them was one of my favorites I'd ever experienced.
6. The Reapers
What giant mechanical squid things are you talking about? They didn't even come to my head originally when writing this blog, so I'm not including them, but I am including these guys. The Reapers run The Reapers' Game in The World Ends with You, so well, they're kind of important. They hold dominion over the Noise, and some even have Noise forms. The Reapers can basically be attributed to demons with style, I think, and I love their designs, and their place in the game.
5. The Necromorphs
While I did say that the Infected were the best zombie type enemy I'd faced, I consider the Necromorphs to be a step above what zombies are, somewhat. They can be intelligent yet mindless in their efforts to spread the infection, and the unique measures needed to kill them make them one of the fiercest enemies in all of video game lore. I love the way they're designed, and am fascinated with their physical make-up sometimes, because each is done as a perfect killing machine.
4. The Heartless
The Heartless act as the primary antagonists for most Kingdom Hearts games, and, despite their name, are actually formed when a person succumbs to the darkness in their heart. They seek more hearts to bring to darkness, and are always entertaining to fight. Some have amazing designs, and they've also made some of my favorite boss fights in history. They're almost like zombies, endlessly consuming, but there's a difference: they've been more successful, considering how many worlds in the Kingdom Hearts universe have fallen to darkness.
3. Organization XIII
Organization XIII is a small group of some of my favorite characters in all of gaming. Their desire to complete Kingdom Hearts and gain hearts is an understandable one, it's just that they do so...wrongly. What's unique is that you even get to play as one of them in the form of Roxas during 358/2 Days, my favorite Kingdom Hearts title. Including them on this list is a no-brainer, because they're perfect antagonists.
2. Team Rocket
While not the most successful faction on this list, nor the most ambitious, you have to give props to Team Rocket. I mean, they got far with RATATAS, before some kid wiped them out. That deserves some credit, right? Anyway, what's also unique about them is that they're not like the other evil teams in the Pokemon universe, as they're actually just trying to use Pokemon for their own goals, for wealth and domination. They're not making some new world, nor do they just want Moltres or something, they're just actually evil, and that makes them awesome. Plus, they have the best theme song ever.
1. The Combine
Let's see, we know that some enemy factions take over their entire country, world, or maybe galaxy, and assert their domination upon it. The Combine? They're MULTI-DIMENSIONAL. They've taken over an unknown number of DIMENSIONS. This is why I compare Gordon Freeman's struggle to that of an ant fighting a city of humans. He's simply one against an entire empire, and a huge one at that. They're effective at asserting themselves, and are probably the most powerful faction ever in video games. They'd be able to stomp their foot on half the others on this list, and the propaganda and ideas that come with them also make them great from a story standpoint. Case in point, fighting the Combine is awesome, and that's why I'm putting them here, at number one.
Well, that's my list. I assume many of you are mad I didn't include the Flood/Covenant/Reapers/something else, so please, feel free to rant below. ;) Just remember this is my list, not yours. Feel free to write your own below in response, there are plenty out there-some I left off personally were Umbrella from Resident Evil and the Kingdom of Granorg from Radiant Historia. Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed this list, and I'll see you tomorrow.
Still...give props to Team Rocket...