In almost any other year we’d be in full-on Blaugust mode at this point. Instead we had a Blapril! Well, ‘instead’ might be a little strong. Blaugust is still happening — just not in the more traditional sense. No, this year we have…

For which, some people have been posting every day. I decided not to pretty early on in the piece. Just not in the right head-space to add another commitment of that size to the pile. Even so, I was more than happy to take my place as a participant and today (20th August, 2020) is my day!

Yesterday it was the wonderful Solarayo of Ace Asunder and tomorrow will be hosted over in vlog form for something a little different on What’s Occurin: A Life of a Welshman! :) Be sure to check out both sides!

For today though, the prompt in question is…

Tell us about some of your favourite antagonists and explain why.

Uh oh.

I’m very much a ‘love the one you’re with’ kind of guy when it comes to these things. Be it game, movie or book — my favourite is often the current one. Although perhaps ‘favourite’ might be to misstate it a little. Perhaps more accurate to say that my focus and thoughts are all upon the current object of ire.

I think by and large this is a positive — but it does have its downsides.

For example — when presented with a question like this. And it would have been the same problem had it focused on the protagonist even. Because I just don’t know.

What to do in a situation like this?

Well, bend the definitions of course. The two antagonists I’m going to focus on? I couldn’t say that they’re ‘favourites’ per se, but they’ve certainly stuck with me over the years which is more than I can say with most. (Of course — having said that, I have no doubt that I will be given many opportunities to face palm at missed opportunities raised by the rest of the community around this prompt!)

Sephiroph (Final Fantasy VII)

I know. I KNOW. There is a certain age bracket amongst which this pick is beyond cliché. I’ll own that. I grew up at such a time that Final Fantasy VII — and the Playstation 1 it came on (of course, simply known as the ‘Playstation’ at the time — became my first major RPG and high-tech console respectively.

I’d owned the Sega Mastersystem before it, but as great as its titles were — Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex the Kid in Miracle World (my ‘built-in’ game), heck the Wonderboy games! — none of them quite captured the imagination and scope of Final Fantasy VII.

There is a reason Sephiroph rose to cliché level status, even if it might be hard at times to remember why now.

I think a large part of it was the mystery surrounding Sephiroph for so long in the game. There were references. You heard of him as the grand war hero. You saw the effects of his passing — including putting up a giant snake on a pike that could, at the time first encountered, one shot your entire party! — well before you ever came face to face.

And then when you did? Oh man. I’m not sure one can really ‘spoil’ a 23 year-old game, but given there might be people planning to experience this all for the first time with the FFVII Remakes, I’ll just say that the sadistic writers of FFVII were the George R. R. Martin before there ever was (a published) George R. R. Martin. Bastards.

GLaDOS – Portal / Portal 2

“Okay, look. We both said a lot of things that you’re going to regret.”

If Portal 3 were announced tomorrow — although I think by now it’s pretty much confirmed Valve can’t count to three no matter the series — I would be incredibly excited.

Not so much for the gameplay possibilities; or at least not primarily. No, I would be all about it for more GLaDOS. How would they write that in? I don’t know. Potentially it takes place after Chell has explored the outside world a while. Maybe it’s another character again. It doesn’t matter, but GLaDOS simply has to be there.

“Oops. You trapped yourself. I guess that’s it then. Thanks for testing. You may as well lie down and get acclimated to the ‘being dead’ position.”

GLaDOS ends up being more than just a sassy robot insistent on giving you stick, too. You learn her origin story and base personality. There are hints that suggest without being connected to ‘the system’ she isn’t so evil, too. Or ‘corrupt’ might be a better word. Not that this stops her from holding a grudge though. ;)

In any case — the point is that GLaDOS was surprisingly well written. Both the comedy and the tragedy. But especially the comedy. The wit was razor sharp throughout and I would be exceptionally pleased to have another outing to look forward to.


What about you? Any deeper thought behind your picks? Anything that has stuck with you across the years where the memory of perhaps ‘better’ options has nonetheless faded?