Those rulers we’d be okay living under
Overthrowing tyrants and restoring peace is a cornerstone of the video game experience. It’s the ultimate power fantasy, one where you alone or you with a small group of friends right the wrongs of the world and cast out the darkness ruining the lives of the people who populate these worlds. It’s then you become a hero to be remembered for all times for your noble deed. Perhaps you even become the new king and rule over the denizens with a kind heart and brave soul. Drop the curtain, roll the credits.
But that’s the end of the game. In the beginning, these worlds are filled with people just trying to live their lives under these conditions. And as cruel as we’re told and eventually shown these rulers to be, chances are life in their court might not be as bad as we’re led to believe. After all, there is still some semblance of society in most games, so people are getting by just fine. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could lead a good long life if I had to live in The World of Ruin ruled over by Kefka.
I know life in a world literally torn to pieces wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses, but is it really so different from where I’m living now? The World of Ruin is defined by deserts, polluted water, burned forests, and barren wastelands. I live in California. All I have to do is drive five hours in any direction and I’ll find one or more of those. I’m always surprised to learn every year that we still have forests left to burn.
The only major difference between my life now and my life under Kefka would be the entirety of my family would probably be dead. That’s bad. However, a lot of people I don’t like, Wes for instance, would be dead too, so it’s really a wash. I’ve always thought the world would be better with fewer people, so as long as I too survive the God of Magic’s wrath, I’ll be like Burgess Meredith in “Time Enough at Last” but without the need for glasses.
You might be saying, “CJ, this is fucking stupid. Kefka is a madman who would kill you in an instant.” That’s true, but I live in America dammit. That’s probably going to happen to me anyway. At least if Kefka murders me, I’ll go out of this world hearing his hypnotic laugh, which is kind of the best I could ask for anyway.
It’s a poorly kept secret that I’m easily enamored with insect characters, so it’s no surprise I welcome our future insect overlords. Weighing all of my options, I’d probably be the most okay with being a subject of Queen Sectonia’s entomological empire from Kirby’s Triple Deluxe. Bugs know what it’s like to be the underdogs and the little guys, so surely a planet ruled by one can’t be THAT tyrannical. Also, we already use the Internet like a hive mind, we can adapt to bug society pretty easily.
Okay, suppose you’re one of those entomophobe-types. Who doesn’t like government benefits? Queen Sectonia is one of Nintendo’s sixty-four 3DS villains with an uncanny obsession with her beauty. I’d think that as long as I remain loyal to her rule, I’d expect pretty decent access to health and beauty care. I could use some new antenna liner.
I coulda served under Gears of War’s antagonist, Queen Myrrah. When we are introduced to the Locust Queen in Gears 2, we meet a totally badass matriarch, apparently human in form, ruling her domain with a strong, steely and well-sexy resolve… perhaps the latter is just me. Myrrah has succeeded not only in keeping her people safe but has turned around the fight, even in the face of utter annihilation.
By Gears 3, Myrrah even takes to the front line to get the job done herself, wasting opposition atop her wicked giant beetle. A master of environmental adaptation and military strategy, the Locust Queen is also a proven genius in the field of chemistry and biology, yet not opposed to grabbing a Retro Lancer and getting her hands dirty when the shit goes down. What a leader!
Alas, defeat finally comes in the form of the human’s genocidal weaponry. Despite facing her inevitable end, Myrrah remains proud and defiant, exiting with a delightfully “Go fuck yourself” final speech.
Myrrah was capable of atrocious deeds, but at least she didn’t dress her agenda up in the COG’s bullshit “Hoo-Rah” righteousness. You know what you’re getting with Myrrah, she doesn’t expel the false propaganda of the humans, the very people who brought ruin to Sera in the first place. Under the Locust Queen, you get strong, confident leadership, a dark, cozy cave, a chance for a ride on a giant beetle, and all the bugs you can eat.
That’s way more than anyone here is getting under the Tories.
I know it’s old news, but the peasants of the Koopa Kingdom seem to have it a lot better than Toad and the other citizens of Princess Toadstool’s Mushroom Kingdom. Koopa’s world is more open to racial diversity (Winged Turtles and armless mushroom men living in harmony), diversity of employment (make your pay as a football player, wizard, or even a living bullet) and there don’t seem to be any real government mandates to follow other than “Kill those plumbers!“
I just realized that if you turn the “b” in “plumbers” upside-down it becomes “plumpers” and I now want to make an edit of the Super Mario Bros. movie with the word “plumbers” is replaced with “plumpers.” I wonder if anyone would even notice.
What were we talking about again?
If I were to align myself with a villainous group, the main things I focus on are the benefits of sacrificing my normal life. One organization that came to mind is the Society of Ouroboros from The Legend of Heroes: Trails/Kiseki series. Sure, they have a few members who’ve partaken in messed up actions, but they have some cool peeps.
Even though the organization’s true objective remains a mystery, there’s a possibility that their plan would benefit everyone. This has to do with the group containing some people who you might not expect to be aligned with a group who work behind the scenes to bring chaos to certain nations while they focus on their main thing.
If I reach the rank of an Enforcer, then I’ll get the sweet benefit of being able to do whatever the heck I want. The best part is that I won’t get punished if I cause harm to any colleagues or superiors I disagree with. Depending on my luck, I may even get a weapon or power that defies the laws of nature. In other words, they might be the best group of “villains” to join.
Of course, the best benefit is that I’ll have a nice seat to enjoy the result of their master plan. While they faced a few defeats in the games I played, these dilemmas barely put a dent on their main agenda. To top it off, most of the members love to be flashy (such as a certain phantom thief), so I can expect to have a good time with most the Enforcers, along with some of the Anguis who rank above them. If I manage to achieve my goal to finish Trails in the Sky SC and Trails in the Sky the 3rd before the year is over, I’m curious to see if my decision will remain the same.
Screw the bugs but I wouldn’t mind being a Koopa underling if it means I have a chance to play tennis, golf or soccer with the most famous residents of the Mushroom Kingdom. If you have a villain in mind you’d be willing to live under, or perhaps there is a big baddie who you believe did nothing wrong, tell us about it in this month’s Bloggers Wanted.