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When characters in Video Games receive the Draco in Leather Pants treatment.

Examples of Draco in Leather Pants/Video Games include:


  • Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth (In the image on the main page) was a sociopathic madman in a leather coat who killed one member of the main cast, burned down the main character's hometown, betrayed his trust in a glorious way, and led the main character on a wild goose chase all across the Planet simply to manipulate him into bringing him a magical Doomsday Device, which he then used to attempt to destroy the world. There is not even the faintest hint of sympathy portrayed for him by any of the game's characters. However, this doesn't stop the fandom declaring him simply a Hive Mind puppet of Jenova, and relegating him to the level of innocent commonly reserved for the The Woobie -- even though this theory was not at all implied in the game, and was blatantly disproven by the Word of God and the supplemental materials[1]. This seems purely an effect of his good looks, as similarly bad but creepy villains in the story get no such sympathy.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Organization XIII act to regain their hearts so they can become complete. People tend to forget that, in pursuit of this goal, they manipulated Sora and erased his memories, they tried to corrupt Riku, they kidnapped Kairi, they unleashed The Heartless, and they messed with many worlds. This attitude is still the same even after a game specifically about the Organization was released, with said game showing that the members of the Organization do not give a damn about each other and are complete assholes. And the only one who did was Roxas, who is clearly noted to be a special case.
    • Axel, despite showing very few decent qualities in ChainOfMemories and only helping Sora out as part of his own agenda, gained an immense following due to his looks. That, combined with his general coolness, lead to his role being tweaked in Kingdom Hearts II and the character becoming an Anti-Villain. Early trailers (like at 1:36 here and 1:12 here) shows Axel looking much more evil than he was in the finished product.
    • Riku in the original Kingdom Hearts gets this treatment a lot. Even though the game made it clear that Riku delving into darkness, even if to save Kairi, was not a good thing, his fans refuse to acknowledge his faults. Instead, they act if he was perfectly heroic and not in control of any negative actions, and that Sora is at fault for not helping him, or Kairi for not properly appreciating him and what he did for her. On the other hand, even after his redemption in KH2, a large portion of the fanbase not only still hated him for his KH1 actions, but actively ignored every good thing he ever did in the series because darkness is evil.
    • Vanitas, from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep gets this treatment, despite the fact that he's sadistic and Ax Crazy. And unlike the Organization, who do have the sympathetic backstories, Vanitas has none and is, quite literally, pure evil. He's claimed to be The Woobie being manipulated by Xehanort (he's very willfully his follower), only for the twoo wuv of Aqua (a girl he's tried to kill multiple times) to redeem him.
  • Kane, the leader of Nod in the Command and Conquer series. It doesn't help that his motivations seem to change every game, so he dances between Complete Monster and Well-Intentioned Extremist, or that the developers themselves seem infected with Evil Is Cool.
  • Leon Magnus in Tales of Destiny. In the first game, he is one sadistic Jerkass who even laughs in the face of death. But fans latched into him due to his cuteness and his background, and he ends up becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse who got brought back in the sequel as Judas, who had far more good qualities and far fewer bad ones than he did pre-mortem. The developers further pandered to this fanbase in the Japan-only Play Station 2 remake of Tales of Destiny, giving him a less antagonistic personality and making his death more honorable.
  • Ganondorf of The Legend of Zelda series. He kills innocent people, plans hostile coups, makes people suffer, and generally passes the villain test with flying colors. However, he does have his fans, due to his rugged good looks, high intelligence, and charisma, though most of them don't go as far as excusing his actions.
  • Erol from Jak II Renegade. He tortures people for the sheer pleasure of it and isn't picky about whether he kills members of the Underground or Metalheads. In Jak 3, he's driven completely insane and desires to kill everyone by blowing up the planet. And yet, pairing him with Jak or Torn is rather common.
  • Ghost Widow of City of Heroes generally has her fanatical loyalty to Arachnos (more of an inescapable obligation), along with the fact that she's physically bound to its existence, downplayed when discussing her, mostly because "She's so pretty...". It helps that the storyline which shows the less pleasant side of her nature requires unlocking quite early in the game, so most players don't get to see how she treats her employees.
    • It is revealed in one mission arc that she is incapable of not being compassionate. Her last living emotion was compassion toward Paolo, now named Wretch and however evil, however vicious she may get, she feels that compassion 24 hours a day. Indeed, the first time the player actually meets her she asks them to help Wretch because she cares about him.
    • There is a mission chain that requires the player to betray her. Many players refuse to even begin those missions. Some choose to turn hero instead.
    • Tyrant, the Praetorian counterpart to Statesman, gets some of this treatment, though thus far it is more of the Misaimed Fandom variety than quasi-romantic.
  • Walter Sullivan of Silent Hill 4 is most certainly screwed up beyond all reason, but his fans have an unsettlingly common habit of ignoring the nearly two dozen innocent people he brutally murdered, two of them children.
  • Baldurs Gate has this to spare - there are mods and fanfics centered around relationships with everyone from Sarevok (Magnificent Bastard Big Bad of the first game, and your frigging brother) to Irenicus (Complete Monster Big Bad of the second) to Edwin (Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Smug Snake), and more. And yet the only romance the game gives to female characters is Anomen.
    • Viconia also has quite a fanboy following, many of whom try to justify her (alluded) murderous actions. It should be noted the game gives her a Freudian Excuse already, with an eventual Love Redeems option, and as a supposedly Always Chaotic Evil Drow she is much less evil than she should be.
  • From Super Robot Wars Z, we have Asakim Dowin. To describe this guy as a monster is being too lenient. He takes one of the main characters, kills her entire team, beats the hell out of her, takes the form of one of her friends to give her hope before blowing her mech apart, and leaves her alive, just to piss her off enough that she'll awaken her latent power and kill him. However, even he has his fans. It may be in part to his incredibly kickass theme song, his absolutely vicious way of fighting, or the fact that he's basically an evil version of Masaki, but he's surprisingly well liked for a complete and utter horror of a human being.
    • Simply being a Death Seeker is reason enough for many fans to Woobify someone like him. Just look at Shu Shirakawa, who killed countless people, helped start at least one war, and was willing to destroy the Earth to achieve his only-a-little-bit-sympathetic goals.
  • Albel Nox from Star Ocean Till the End of Time is one of the most popular characters in the game's fandom - in great part because he's incredibly hot and is voiced by Crispin Freeman (or Isshin Chiba in the original Japanese) - despite the fact that he's a sadistic Jerkass who tortures some NPCs for fun and insults everyone from your party members to his own king. To his credit, the game does give you the option of having him join your party permanently, which can unlock a PA that shows he's very aware of his flaws, although he's still a ruthless prick even then. His DILP status is made all the more irritating by the Double Standard many of his fans have; they like to bash Maria Traydor for being bitchy, angsty and self-centred, even though their beloved Albel is a far more bitchy and self-centred character.
  • Sync the Tempest from Tales of the Abyss is quite a depraved character, wanting the destruction of the world and all, without much care of the others and wouldn't think twice to break a character's emotion whenever necessary. He is also one of the more popular God Generals thanks to his huge woobie points, and the fact that he is a much cooler (and evil) version of Ion, the resident Non-Action Guy and Distressed Dude. The fact that there are shippers of Sync/Arietta must be caused by Sync's awesome leather pants (he'd probably just break Arietta for the lulz...)
    • Sync even has some canon points, as Van continues to use him for his Daathic Fonic Artes, despite knowing that their goals are somewhat different. Van wants to recreate the world, albeit by destroying the old one, whilst Sync seemingly wants to destroy all worlds. This may just seem like a conflict of interests, but keep in mind that Sync shows next to no true loyalty to Van, only supporting him so that at least the old world will be destroyed. For a man whose goals will destroy the world out of necessity rather than an explicit desire, he's certainly doesn't seem to care that his left-hand man isn't at all compassionate.
  • Albedo from the Xenosaga series has a good amount of fans who claim that he's "just misunderstood", despite the fact that he put Cute Realian Girl MOMO through horrible Mind Rape, tortures his twin brother Jr. with mind tricks and taunts, destroyed an entire Federation battalion with Proto Merkavah for a warmup, his merging with a space-time anomaly that he would put to use by wiping out the world, and the fact that he is a Psycho for Hire, Magnificent Bastard, Complete Monster who's a Nietzsche Wannabe with A God Am I complex. This results in him getting paired with MOMO (albeit sometimes an older version, but sometimes not), Gaignun Kukai (a.k.a "Nigredo"), and even Jr. himself.
  • Dr. Loboto from Psychonauts -- and his extremely myopic underling, Crispin -- have their own disturbingly large legions of fans, who draw them bishie-fied and with Relationship Sues.
  • Specter from Ape Escape. The fact that he is a monkey may have something to do with it.
  • This is done in Tsukihime fandom to Nrvnsqr Chaos and Roa. True, they are complex villains with personalities who go much beyond the cookie-cutter bad person (and actually get sympathetic on occasion in Roa's case), but the writer seemed to have forgotten that, in the end, they were still villains.
  • Hazama/Terumi Yuuki from Blaz Blue. Being a master Troll, snazzy dresser, and a patronisingly nasty but funny attitude often overrides that he's Complete Monster per excellence and has a habit of mindraping ladies For the Evulz, and also quite defines It's All About Me. There are even fans who think that he's a Guile Hero who went to the extremes for a certain goal for humanity.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Vamp, Fanfic writers tend to treat him as this utterly tragic figure who just wants to be loved, all the while conveniently forgetting that he's a terrorist and a blood-drinking murderer who killed an innocent, defenseless girl for no discernible reason. This treatment seems to be from the effect of his good looks and bisexuality.
    • Colonel Volgin, a mass murderer and sadistic rapist, gets a surprising amount of leeway from many fans purely because of his Morality Pet lover Raikov.
    • Big Boss himself, although his is a special case - his Backstory in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater painted him as a genuinely sympathetic character, causing fans to go so far as to excuse, if not outright defend his less than admirable actions in Metal Gear 1987 and Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake. Some have even gone so far as to call Big Boss the true hero of the series for his intention to rebel against The Patriots' control, never mind Big Boss himself calling his son, Solid Snake, a better man than he ever would be.
    • It gets nasty when fans get their own personal politics into their interpretation of the Canon. Word of God is that, when Gray Fox was fighting in Mozambique as a child, he was fighting for the FRELIMO - the Communists. This repeatedly gets changed on the Metal Gear Wiki to claim Fox and Big Boss were both fighting for the RENAMO - the anti-Communists - when, in reality, only Big Boss was. It gets even weirder when you understand that Big Boss, at that time, didn't care about who he served for as a mercenary, and that Gray Fox was ten years old and certainly hadn't made a choice as to which side to fight for. But how dare anyone say that Gray Fox used to be a Commie!
    • Some people overlook that Ocelot is a sadistic torturer, possible rapist, and unrepentant mass murderer because he did it all to end the Patriots and for Big Boss. Considering that it's young Ocelot who gets this treatment more often than old Ocelot, it's probably less to due with his Magnificent Bastardry and more to do with good looks.
  • M. Bison, perennial Big Bad of Street Fighter, gains some of this, perhaps because of how goofy the older American adaptations portray him, and when is isn't goofy he's a Magnificent Bastard. Never mind that he's a sadistic dictator who kills so many people he doesn't remember them (including his own parents) just for the fun of it, brainwashes innocent teenage girls to use them as slaves, and killing his henchmen for failing to do the job...
    • For the guys, we have Juri Han, mainly because her parents were rubbed out by Shadaloo. This doesn't change that she's a sadist.
  • World of Warcraft has, The Lich King (more specifically Arthas), Illidan Stormrage, and Kael'thas Sunstrider. To be fair, all three of them have very sympathetic backstories, and Illidan and Kael'thas were both more complex, sympathetic antiheroes than actual villains in Warcraft III before Motive Decay turned them into downright villains in Burning Crusade, but Illidan still kills many innocents people of his own kind in his scheme to get the Eye of Sargearas. Arthas, on the other hand, lost all sympathetic trait after his Face Heel Turn, and Warcraft III portrayed him as a Complete Monster Jerkass with no more redeeming qualities who would almost make you feel sick for playing him.
    • Sylvanas as well , as players tend to sympathize with her tragic backstory (her homeland gets destroyed by the Scourge, she gets killed and raised as an undead), and tend to view her as the leader and protector of a race of undead outcasts. Unfortunately, she was responsible for ordering the creation of the New Plague, (even if Putress used it at the Wrathgate and was working for Varimathras, she's still using it in Cataclysm), betrayed and killed the humans whom she promised to help retake Lordaeron (who admittedly were led by a racist Asshole Victim), and even raising the undead to give the Forsaken the manpower it needs to fight the Alliance. It doesn't help that she's one of the most beautiful female characters, even after her death, and many fans even argued that she didn't order the creation of the new plague and didn't even know it was being produced. (The theory goes that all the questgivers were either lying or misinformed when they said they were making the plague for Sylvanas. Many other fans of her character would rather have her evil than this incompetent.)
      • Her short story Edge of Night revealed that she doesn't care about the Forsaken as a race and instead sees them as a resource to protect herself from being killed and sent to the Warcraft equivalent of Hell. To the surprise of absolutely no one, this hasn't stopped her fans from trying to play the "She's just doing it to protect her people!" excuse.
      • She was also very much aware of the plague's creation prior to Wrathgate, as in the (canon) Arthas: Rise of the Lich King novel, she personally supervises as the Royal Apothecary Society tests it on a human girl and a Forsaken man (they said the Forsaken was a criminal, Sylvanas doubted he was but didn't care) and is delighted when it kills them both horribly. Though since you average Warcraft player doesn't read the novels and comics, it's not surprising that many of them miss things. Blizzard's tendency to put key plot details in external sources of information is one of the most common complaints about WoW's story.
    • The Scarlet Crusade is a bunch of insane Knights Templar and Crazy Survivalists who have been shown killing on sight anybody who wasn't human (and even then this generally isn't enough), burning down villages just in case they might carry the undeath plague, and routinely torturing and executing innocent civilians. But since they are enemies of the Forsaken mentioned above (among, again, everybody else), and one of their leaders is a White-Haired Pretty Girl with a thong-revealing outfit, this hasn't stopped many fans to argue that they never did anything wrong and are actually noble people who should join the Alliance to fight the despicable Forsaken. The sam Alliance which, by the way, also wants the Crusaders dead for killing its citizens on sight.
  • William Birkin from the Resident Evil series. Never mind the fact that he (and Wesker) killed a fellow scientist just so he could take over his research, never mind that he conducted inhumane experiments on human test subjects and was responsible for the creation of several monsters in the game (he was the one who created the Hunters), never mind the fact that he injected himself with his own creation (the G-Virus) and tries to mutate his own daughter into another G-Mutant (granted only after he turned into a mindless monster).... all the fans really care about is that he's a Tragic Monster. It doesn't hurt that he was a loving husband and father as well.
    • Wesker himself. This is a man who has betrayed and tried to kill the main characters, subjected innocent civilians to an experimental zombie outbreak, abducted and brainwashed Jill Valentine, and tried to wipe out the majority of life on Earth via bio-terrorism so he can play God. But since he's a Large Ham, and has a very awesome voice actor, there are fans who legitimately think he should get to take over the world. It was lampshaded in Resident Evil 5 with Excella, who fetishized every screwed-up thing he did and acted like they were destined to be together. Not only does Wesker not care about her advances, but he turns her into a monster to slow down the good guys.
  • Vile from Mega Man X. Fans like to pair him with X, forgetting that he loathes X in canon and tried to kill him. They often pretend he's secretly sexy under his helmet, when by all evidence he's a Cyber Cyclops. Repeatedly. Later though, Maverick Hunter X made Vile a playable character and changed the story to accomodate him as a Type V Anti-Hero instead of completely evil (though he still hates X).
    • Dynamo, who admittedly has a cool design, a double-sided beam saber and awesome boss music. Too bad fans forget that he tried to drop a colony on the planet, was creepily subservient to Sigma, tried to stop the heroes from saving the planet, and had a cheerily fun time doing it. Yet people like to write him as a lovable goofy prankster who joins the Hunters.
    • The Bonnes from Mega Man Legends. Granted, Capcom treats them as anti-heroes more than anything (Tron in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a great example) and they do have their standards (they don't steal toilet paper), but they're pirates, deep down. They invade random islands and destory buildings, all for profit. And yet they're still the most well liked villains in any Mega Man game.
  • Pick any Spyro the Dragon villain, any at all. It's really severe with Ripto, Red, and Malefor.
  • ZEX from Star Control 2 is not exactly a nice guy (he does try to add the Captain to his menagerie, and all), but a startlingly large portion of the fandom sees him as a poor, misunderstood, mistreated woobie who just wants to live happily ever after getting it on with the Captain.
  • The Eldritch Abomination Zero of the Kirby series has some fans rationalising that it wants to spread misery as a result of jealousy towards those who experience positive emotions. Or rather that it is just lonely and wants friends, despite nothing indicating such a thing.
  • Saren Arterius of Mass Effect is occasionally a subject of Leather Pantsing. Note that he received little development in the actual game, apart from the implication that most of what he did was under the influence of indoctrination, and some haven't read or didn't like Mass Effect: Revelation. It was later revealed that Saren gets some of this in-universe, with a documentary trying to paint him as a misunderstood hero.
    • Morinth in Mass Effect 2 (who as a bonus wears an actual leather outfit). She is a serial killer whose modus operandi is to gain her victims trust, seduce them, and then kill them with her genetic defect that makes sex with her lethal (asari sex involves connecting nervous systems, and hers shorts the partner's out). She's been doing it for centuries, killing thousands of people for her own pleasure. Yet there are those who take her lies at face value and believe her innocent act (ignoring that she admits to loving preying on and murdering people), as well as believing her excuse that her defect forces her to murder (ignoring her sisters who also have the defect and don't go around killing people). Interestingly, the dev team anticipated this and actually made Morinth a romancable option, with predictable results.
      • Subverted with some people, who feel that Morinth is evil because of her disorder, and unable to control herself... but still seeing this as a good reason to kill her out of pity. They sympathise with her, but see killing her as being like putting down a rabid dog, good for everyone.
    • Cerberus are initially the only ones who believe Shepard about the Reapers and provide him with an enormous amount to tools to aid in the fight against them, including literally bringing him back from the dead. Indeed, the galaxy would have been screwed without them. They're also a human-supremacist terrorist organisation that want to secure human dominance in the galaxy by any means necessary, including experimenting on children, attacking the Quarian flotilla, and collecting Reaper technology. Inevitably, there are some who ignore the latter in favour of focusing on the former.
    • Tela Vasir. Many players often regard her as a badass who just does what needs to be done and was pushed into villainy by Liara's meddling. Presumably, it doesn't matter that she commited attrocious acts of mass murder just to elimate a couple of targets, even having her goons gun down civilans who posed no obstacle to her command. Not to mention her blantant racsim against purebloods (suggesting she may have ulterior motives in taking down Liara), her sadistic grin when threatning to kill a hostage, and her outright cowardice in bombing a traffic lane and delibrately causing huge civilan casulties and collateral damage just to save herself. It gets even worse if you look at her off-screen antics, as Cereberus Network reports mention that she murdered volus bankers simply for publishing unflattering economic data about the council.
    • Kai Leng, a xenophobic who tortured and killed various aliens (and a human) in horrific ways. It helps that he's such a Badass, and ridiculously good-looking.
  • Loghain mac Tir of Dragon Age Origins is starting to get the Leather Pants, though it seems largely confined to Alistair's hatedom (yes, even he has one, though it's small). Loghain's literal Pet the Dog moments if you recruit him to the Grey Wardens and backstory in the prequel novels seem to encourage it. But even aside from that, a lot of fans like to insist that he is actually the true hero of the story. This usually involves blaming other characters for his mistakes and misdeeds, such as when he abandoned the king and half the army to die at Ostagar, they say that Loghains victims were either secretly evil, and therefor Loghain was right to try and get rid of them, or that they were morons, and Loghain had no choice when he left everyone to die. A lot of the actions that can't really be justified (selling citizens as slaves, torturing dissenters, slaughtering entire families) get blamed on Arl Howe, who is somehow the only one responsible for these things despite the fact that he is working for Loghain. It doesn't help that Word of God comfirmed that Caillan's plan was to ditch Anora after Ostagar in favor of the Emperess of Orlais, which would have united the two rival nations. This makes Loghain paranoia less insane. Also, in the book The Calling it was shown that his distrust for Grey Wardens has an actual basis, because from his point of view they kidnapped Maric and almost got him killed.
  • Some players of Shadow Hearts: From The New World claim that the villains are the most sympathetic people in the game. Said villains are Lady, a soulless mass of evil trying to destroy the world and killing almost anyone standing in her way, and Killer, a serial killer with no motivation beyond sadism and loyalty to Lady.
  • Tohru Adachi of Persona 4. Keep in mind that he threatened Nanako to get to the main characters, and arranged for her appearance on the Midnight Channel so Namatame would abduct her, which would have KILLED HER if they didn't catch him in time. Many fans like to take the fact that he seems to turn around in the end as a sign that he's not as evil as he seems.
    • As well as Mitsuo Kubo who's nihilism fits well with some of the people who think he is much cooler since he rejected his shadow completely.
      • And then there are the people who feel sorry for him because they find him so pathetic. The drastic lengths he goes to just for attention, his Shadow, and the extreme ostracization he's implied to have gone through make him a Jerkass Woobie taken to the extreme.
  • Lucifer in the Shin Megami Tensei series. People forget that he's the premier Fallen Angel, a magnificent and Manipulative Bastard, whose goals, when viewed logically, would not look out of place in Warhammer 40000 - the ultimate destruction of all worldly law and order, the release of all the madness and chaos of the human heart. He's literally Chaos incarnate - and while he honestly wants Humanity to survive, it's because the human spirit is the key to everything in the SMT'verse. He's vicious and ruthless, calmly planning a Z-Class Apocalypse How one day, popping up for a test match the next, tampering with established history tomorrow and playing with some humans for fun some other day.
  • Colonel Autumn of Fallout 3 has legions of fans. Nevermind that he's part of a racist, genocidal fascist group. Nevermind that he murders an innocent woman in cold blood and drives the player character's father to Heroic Sacrifice. Nevermind that even at the end, the only difference between his and Eden's plan is that he doesn't plan to commit genocide, but still intends to use his control over Project Purity to turn the Wasteland into an oppresive, iron-fisted fascist dystopia...
    • The Enclave in general gets this treatment with a fanbase trying to spin them into having some sort of noble intentions. The Enclave were a shadow government organization that instigated a nuclear war they assumed only they would be prepared for to wipe everyone out. They are anti-mutant, but their definition of "mutant" is anyone that isn't pure bred Enclave. Their ultimate goal is mass genocide and their largest detractors tend to be former members of the Enclave.
    • Mr. "I Blow Up Towns With Nuclear Weapons For Fun" Burke, due in large part to having exactly the same voice as Lucien Lachance from Oblivion. It's no coincidence that a lot of female PCs take the Black Widow perk around the same time they enter Megaton.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas there's Vulpes Inculta, who despite being the biggest perpetrator of Moral Event Horizons in the game to the point that he's marked in-game as Very Evil still gets fans because he has an extremely sexy voice.
    • Similarly, Legate Lanius gets this, primarily due to his Hidden Depths.
    • In a few cases, many players felt this effect about themselves after they acted in a way that they felt was right, but didn't gel with what Word of God held to be. A notable case is Roy, a ghoul victimized by prejudice in Tenpenny Tower and wanting revenge. The policy certainly comes off as unjust, and indeed, the ruler of Tenpenny Tower is very evil and killing him is treated as good. Roy's revenge scheme, however, is letting legimitely-insane ghouls in to slaughter all of the occupants, including one who once had a beloved heroic ghoul as a friend. Yet the game treats killing him as evil, and most players unsurprisingly disagree. Similarly, the game heaps scorn on players for going against Ashur in The Pitt and Mr. House in New Vegas, despite the fact that the game never gave any hint that they had sympathetic sides until after the fact.
  • Marcello of Dragon Quest VIII has a tragic Backstory and perfectly understandable motives for wanting to earn a higher position and prove that one needs more than Blue Blood to hold a powerful post. However, he's also a cold, sarcastic Manipulative Bastard who treats his younger half-brother Angelo like crap and goes to insane lengths to fulfill his ambitions, including sauntering across the Moral Event Horizon with eyes wide open when he assassinates the last Sages' descendant, the last limiter holding back the Big Bad's sealed powers, and uses Rhapthorne's scepter to aid his rise to the position he just made vacant, all without being controlled and knowing full well what he's doing.
  • Cyrus from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum has quite the fanbase due to his sympathetic backstory...despite the fact that he tries to destroy the universe and re-shape it using a Legendary Pokemon (Either Dialga, Palkia, or both depending on which version you get) so that he can become God.
    • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure he manages to redeem himself, starting from when the hero shows compassion towards him. This series is hugely popular among his fans and Team Galactic fans in general, partially for the more humanised view of the members, though even then it's made quite clear that they're wrong in what they're doing.
    • Silver gets this a good bit too, mostly since he's easily the biggest asshole of the rivals in the series (what with Blue basically just being kind of a brat, and the others all being friendly). Between stealing from Elm, kicking you in what is one of the only direct act of violence from a human in the series, stripping you, and having a stock pretty boy look (albeit with red hair), he's such a Badass that people tend to love him. Helps that he does get a Heel Face Turn, and is Giovanni's son.
    • Giovanni himself gets this too, due to him being a rather handsome Yakuza/Mafia leader with nice clothes to boot.
    • Colress is probably affected by this, due to being a suave mad scientist with no real evil goals. Too bad he supports Ghetsis and his atrocities for the sake of it in canon.
  • Pokey Minch of Mother 3. Yes, that Pokey Minch. The fans' excuse? "He was abused as a child and is misunderstood!" (Well of course he was, we're the ones that abused him. That's what happens when you decide to oppose the protagonist.)
  • The Medic from Team Fortress 2 is a sadistic Mad Doctor. Fans ignore this and portray him as demure and helpful because he's literally the The Medic of the Team.
  • The Origami Killer (aka Scott Shelby) in Heavy Rain Not only is he the most Badass player character in the game, he also has numerous Pet the Dog moments long, long before The Reveal. This is compounded when you see how crappy his childhood was, and that he's doing all this to get back at fathers that don't love their kids. The problem? He's murdering children. By the time the game starts, he's already killed at least eight people, not counting the parents that vanished trying to save their sons. Even if you find Shaun, he'll gladly shoot you in the back and let your son drown. He is killing people on the flimsiest of pretenses... and gets off the hook because his dad was a drunk and his brother was Too Dumb to Live.
  • Kratos of God of War, who is Badass that fans make excuses for his more evil actions.
  • The infected in Left 4 Dead. There is a disturbing amount of Shipping works starring them, and the Witch is often branded The Woobie, because she's always crying.
  • Vivec of The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind is an interesting case. A man who, along with Almalexia and Sotha Sil, betrayed and murdered Nerevar, used ancient technology to become a living god and illegally ruled over Morrowind, presiding over a regime rife with slavery and inequity.
    • Almalexia and the entire Tribunal often get this treatment: Almalexia because she's sexy, the Tribunal as a whole because of its Crazy Awesome holy books.
    • Lucien Lachance in Oblivion. Evil? Yes. Creepy stalker? Certainly. The Dragon to a death-cult of assassins who kill people mostly just to appease a cosmic entity that probably doesn't even care? Obviously. Perhaps the greatest Mr. Fanservice in the game? Oh yes. And it doesn't stop at the fans -- since the Dark Brotherhood, to whom Lachance belongs, is a joinable faction for a Villain Protagonist character, his status as the player's mentor makes him widely praised despite the fact he is an acknowledged avid supporter of all the atrocities commited by the Dark Brotherhood and encourages the player to carry these out.
      • Lucien is popular enough that in Skyrim he's back as a summonable spirit.
    • Speaking of Oblivion, we have the Blackwood Company, the rival guild of mercenaries to the Fighters' Guild and the main antagonists to the Fighters' Guild questline. They appear as merely slightly more unscrupulous, edgier mercenaries than the Guild for much of the questline, until you're asked to infiltrate and discover that the Blackwood Company keep a tree known for its hallucinogenic sap in the basement of their headquarters, bottle the sap, and give it out to new members during the initiation ceremony, making them hallucinate monsters and unknowingly slaughter innocent civilians. Which you get to experience firsthand. But does this do anything to stop the fans from wishing they could join the Company for real? No. Maybe it's because of the uniforms.
    • For the most part, the Thalmor of Skyrim came off exactly the way the devs intended. One commentator noted that most people hate the Nazi elves more than they hate Alduin, the dragon-god trying to eat the world. And yet some fans inexplicably like them. Maybe it's the uniforms again, or maybe they're just being contrary. Surely they don't support genocide or forcing a treaty at the point of a sword.
      • It doesn't help that much of the resistance are racist. The Thalmor may be worse, but when neither side is likable, and yet the player is encouraged to join one or the other.
    • Alva, the hot vampire lady in Morthal. Put that one down to Evil Is Sexy.
  • Aran Ryan in Punch-Out Wii. Just take a look in deviantART and see him turn from "Complete Lunatic" into "Irish Hottie".
  • Godot from Ace Attorney. Granted, he is much more sympathetic than many of the villains in the series, and the murder he committed was out of defense of another, but the fact remains that the murder could have easily been avoided - he deliberately allowed the situation to reach the point where he had to kill, and yet most fans don't even treat him like a villain. It's probably because the writers themselves kept trying to play down his faults.
    • In the fourth game, Valant counts too. Zak may be the bigger jerk overall, but trying to frame him is still a bad thing. Not that many of the fans want to believe that. (At least he shows contrition for what he did though)
    • In the first game, at least, you could also place Miles Edgeworth into this catagory, as he is portrayed as the antagonist for much of the first game, being an Amoral Attorney who primarily cares about winning. This is credited to his really sad back-story Namely; the DL-6 incident, and that he thought he'd killed his father for fifteen years. and a fair amount of Depending on the Writer involved; some cases have him using underhanded tactics to secure a guilty verdict (1-2, 3-4), while Case 1-5 suggests that he never intentionally forged evidence, which makes it easier to gloss over his earlier tactics and motivation.
    • Fans often make out Manousuke Naito in Investigations 2 to be far more sympathetic than he actually is. Sure, he does have a tragic backstory and a close friendship with another character, but people seem to forget that he murdered a fellow bodyguard in cold blood out of sheer jealousy, and shows absolutley no remorse over it. In fact, he goes so far as to harshly insult him after his death, in front of his boss! That and during Case 1 he takes a level in Jerkass so extreme he makes even Daryan look tame. Admitedly though, all the killers in this game (with the exception of Bansai Ichiyanagi) have at least some sympathetic qualities, so they're just asking for this treatment.
  • Seifer Almasy from Final Fantasy VIII. Many fanfics are making out to be a heroic Jerk with a Heart of Gold instead of an immature, selfish jerkass.
  • Bowser was heightened to this status by some, after Paper Mario confirmed that he's had a crush on Peach since the series began. What seems to be conveniently overlooked in these fantasies, however, is that he's an uncompromising brute who is seemingly incapable of expressing any feelings softer than "I get what I want or I punch your nose in," which is all part of his charm, of course. Still, in some of the latest games, he has unwittingly proved to be even slightly capable of some goodness, which is a bit contradictory for an Evil Overlord, Big Bad, or Card-Carrying Villain. The uncompromising brute he usually is is currently more of a selfish, immature Jerkass than pure villain and might not get him what he wants anymore, just likely piss off everybody.
    • We probably have the spinoffs to thank for being heightened to this status, especially the RPGs. Even when he's the villain (Paper Mario) or central to the story (Bowser's Inside Story), Bowser is always a goofy comic-relief oaf who tends to sway between Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain and The Woobie.
  • While Kain of Legacy of Kain isn't without sympathetic qualities and somewhat noble motivations, he is still a vicious Evil Overlord who will kill anyone who gets in his way and laughs in amusement as he drinks the blood from helpless prisoners chained to walls who beg him for help. Many fans, both those trying to justify his evil because he's such a badass and those trying to justify their Perverse Sexual Lust for him, try to gloss over his less heroic aspects and focus on the fact he's trying to save the world, ignoring the fact that he's trying to save the world so he can rule it and enslave humanity. Of course, there is a large section of the fanbase that not only acknowledges the evil side of the character, but love him for it. He also strides around in a pair of actual leather pants.
  • Many fans think the title character of Shadow the Hedgehog is hot. Okay, he's not a villain as such now, but he's still a borderline psychopath, ruthless, arrogant and chilly. That's not even going into the actual villains that are similar, like Mephiles (a demon spawned from the fragmentation of a god who wishes to destroy all existence) and Infinite (an utterly petty warlord who had omnicidal desires as a lowly mercenary), that still get this.
    • Since Anti-Sonic became Scourge in the Archie comics, he's been getting more of it. Fans are now hitching onto the shades and leather jacket and saying all he needs is a bit of love, despite the comic not even TRYING to hide the fact that he is a remorseless womaniser who once tried to beat an unconscious old echidna to death with a rock. He'll take your lovin', and that of every other girl in the line. And he's got even less chance of changing than Shadow, thanks to having arrogance that is cranked Up to Eleven.
    • This trope is very apparent with Sonic the Comic fans. Super Sonic is the most popular character outside of the more hardcore fandom, despite it repeatedly being shown he's a sadistic, sociopathic, and arrogant Omnicidal Maniac.
      • Admittedly the comic shows he's not so bad when he loses his memory or stops using his powers - except that when he got them back he instantly tried to destroy the planet.
  • While Tekken's Nina Williams isn't explicitly a villain, she is described in game as a cold-blooded, heartless assassin. She has no problems attempting to assassinate her son, and her depiction in the games is at best, as an amoral mercenary. But because she's a gorgeous blonde and the most badass of the female characters, she's become such an ensemble darkhorse that she even got her own spinoff game.
    • A more concrete example is the series' own 'hero' himself: Kazuya Mishima. After apparently being Killed Off for Real, he amassed popularity enough to return. And he is still a massive bastard after resurrection, or even more. Still, he's a damn Badass at doing his job and at least do possess shitty enough past and a soft spot or sorts on Jun Kazama, so there are some who justifies in making him less monstrous than he is in the game. Helps that in a way, he's hotter than Heihachi, who's more Anti-Villain than him.
  • Fable II and III: Oh, Reaver, Reaver, Reaver. You kill people who speak against you, destroyed all of Oakvale, you're a complete Jerkass, and you have no morals. At all. So why, why do the fans paint you as a broken, tragic soul whose sociopathic, self-centered behaviour is only a mask to hide the poor, sweet soul underneath? Why, Reaver? Why is your entire personality ignored? (Then again, it's hard to hate anyone voiced by Stephen Fry.)
  • The Star Wolf mercenary group in Star Fox. Leader Wolf, while honorable, is a self-centered jerkass who pined at least nine to eleven years (spanning the time frame of the series) for revenge against one guy, and tried to kill him and his group for an unclear reason beforehand; Leon is supposedly an Ax Crazy killer, and though Panther is The Dandy and the least aggressive of the group, he still commits crimes and will kill anyone when he must. Expect all three, especially Wolf, to be painted as woobified Broken Birds who had the most brutal of backgrounds and are really innocent souls on the inside. Also expect them to find solace in a romance with another male member of the cast.
  • An in-Universe example happens in Radiant Historia to Dias, a Long-Haired Pretty Boy Evil Chancellor for an even eviler queen. That doesn't stop him from having fangirls in the capital city, who cannot believe he'd do anything wrong, what with those "dreamy eyes."
  • Anders in Dragon Age II became possessed by a spirit of justice/vengeance, and blows up a chantry, but some extreme fans excuse and absolve his actions. The fact that he is a love interest for a male or female protagonist in the second game doesn't help matters either - it is popular to pair Nathaniel Howe and Fenris (who hates him) with Anders for some reason. These fans apparently forget that Anders' method of dealing with a problem is to run away or destroy it, and also that Anders being bisexual and a mage does not absolve his crimes. The general Grey and Gray Morality does not really help, or does the fact that, well, he is being possessed. That being said, just like with Loghain, there are those who fit him for leather pants, and then there are those who ignore all of his points and just paint him as irredeemable.
  • Alex of Golden Sun fame, a chronic backstabber and world champion at Xanatos Roulette, who has repeatedly betrayed and abandoned just about everybody in the damn series except himself, with no apparent motivation or goals, and yet he's so Bishounen, which is all that matters.
  • In what could be interpreted as a strange official example, Kano from Mortal Kombat had this song recorded as his theme song on the official Mortal Kombat album. Pay attention to the lyrics-- can you say "leather pantisization complete?"
  • Drawn to Life has the Big Bad, Wilfre. He's evil, rages against the Creator, and is bent on covering the world with darkness or taking its colors away. Then he kills the Mayor. But fans will overlook this because they find him attractive (for the record, his non-shadowy form is a White-Haired Pretty Boy). And due to the Dream Apocalypse Gainax Ending of the third game, fans will say he's justified in all his evil acts, which isn't actually the case. But to be fair, more or less every character is a race of Ridiculously Cute Critter, including the Big Bad.
  • Iris Sepperin from Rosenkreuzstilette. She's cute, she's affable... and she shows off her magnificence by pulling off Wounded Gazelle Gambits and manipulating RKS into starting their war against the Empire just for fun. Her "innocent" demeanor won her the love and trust of everyone... until she revealed the whole truth behind the war, of course. Oh! Did we mention she's also a reincarnation of Rosenkreuz?
  • Selvaria of Valkyria Chronicles. She's responsible for the deaths of some 150,000 people, not including how many she killed before Ghirlandaio, and feels no remorse for any of it, but she gets a pass because the man she loves doesn't love her back. Faldio would also count, but no one denies what he did was bad, just that he was disproportionately punished considering the circumstances he was in at the time regardless of how he felt about it personally, and he dies apologizing for his viewpoint anyway.
  • Kuja from Final Fantasy IX is a smug bastard that manipulates people to gain power, kills the princess' mother, taunts Vivi on how he was manufactured instead of being a real person, and throws a cosmic tantrum when he finds out that his life span is short, so he destroys a planet and seeks to end all forms of life as a response. Many fans view Kuja as a poor sympathetic guy who is brainwashed to destroy and just needs some affection. While he gets an Alas, Poor Villain death, this assessment is inaccurate.
  • Bishop, the canonically Chaotic Evil Social Darwinist ranger from Neverwinter Nights 2. Blame mostly lies on All Girls Want Bad Boys. It doesn't help that Bishop was originally supposed to have a Romance Sidequest, but it got cut.
  • Sly Cooper: Constable Neyla is the traitorous and ambitious mastermind of the second game, responsible for killing Arpeggio to merge with Clockwerk, and breaking Bentley's legs. Despite having a great many reasons to not be liked, she is well-liked and given fan-made backstories to try and squeeze sympathy from her due to her beautiful appearance.
  • Puro from Changed.
  • Klogg ooh boy.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Gangrel from Awakening has gotten this treatment, with fans playing on his "sad, tragic backstory" of growing up poor and ignoring all the atrocities he committed... when even Spotpass!Gangrel who can be romanced by a female Avatar knows very well the wrongs he did and that he's gotta work his ass off to atone for his sins.
    • In Three Houses, Claude von Riegan is the only "lord" character who doesn't get this. Even his biggest fans acknowledge that he's sketchy as hell and only love him more for it. The others? Edelgard von Hraesvelgr's poor decisions and harsh attitude are glossed over so fans can go "poor baby, it's not her fault, she's had such a hard life!", even when other routes than hers make her pay dearly for her actions. Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd fans ignore the atrocities he committed during his downward spiral because he's just so cute and troubled and they can heal him with their love even when he gets a GIGANTIC call-out in-story as his hatred and insanity lead him to lose one of his strongest supporters (who's also the father of a close childhood friend), forcing him to reconsider his methods.. And Lady Rhea fans? Why, she's just a poor sad little girl who lost her mommy and all but three of her siblings (plus her niece) in truly horrible ways! It's not her fault she's corrupted the Church and harmed countless people and made Byleth a walking zombie just so she can get her mommy back! (Even when, if she survives, she realizes how terribly wrong she was and both apologizes to Byleth for what she wanted to do to them, and retires from her leadership position!). While all of them have led extremely harsh lives that none deserved, their ways to deal with such terrifying pains and pasts do cause lots of grief to many innocents and toss Fódlan into a gigantic war... but telling this to to their fans will cause MASSIVE Internet Backdrafts.

Notes

  1. In fact, its the opposite- Sephiroth is controlling Jenova
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