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Villain-Off Quarter-Final #2: Lavos vs. Sin

Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/ReviewerRPGamer Staff
edited May 2016 in Battle Royale!
We come to knockout stages, where the remaining eight villains face off in one-on-one matches until we have a winner!

Each quarter- and semi-final match has five points up for grabs. Three of these points come from individual staff members' votes, with the other two coming from the on-site reader votes. With reader votes these two points will assigned to be winner provided they earn at least 52% of the vote. If neither villain attains 52% or higher, then the two reader points will be split between them.

This match is Lavos (Chrono Trigger) vs. Sin (Final Fantasy X). The reader vote will be open until 6:55pm EST on Friday May 20, 2016. Staff members can cast their votes at any time, but if possible should wait at least a day until doing so that readers and other staff members can lay out their arguments first. Everyone (staff and readers) is welcome to debate for or against either side.

Staff Voters:
Paws
SeventhCircle
SquiggyLeo
(Backup voter - CofLSilk)
"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU) | NNID: severinmira
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Comments

  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    Two villains who are nearly completely uninvolved in the plot of their respective games, and serve more as ominous threats than actual personifications of anything.

    That said, Lavos is the non-FF candidate, so gets my vote.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited May 2016
    Another case of a villain I am familiar with vs one that I am not. That said, Lavos is more of a natural disaster than anything, so I'm not terribly attached to it. I suppose it's an eldritch abomination by definition, but it's more alien animal than some incomprehensible otherworldly horror. I'm not sure who to root for, in this case.
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  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    I'll give this round to Sin. Lavos has no real reason to do what he does other than 'instinct', while Sin DOES have a reason why he's doing everything, and a personality.
    "Yes, because apparently blindly jumping headfirst into a firefight without a grasp on the situation or any combat experience is a sign of genius these days."
  • watcherwatcher Veteran RPGamer Full Members
    Well, Sin is more victim than villain in my book.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    Yeah this one's pretty toss up for me.

    First we have Lavos. A being of immeasurable power that feeds on all the genetic make up of a planet slowly eating and absorbing that essence before escaping the planet to go feed on a new one and leaving smaller versions of himself on said planet before they too probably leave to start the cycle somewhere else.

    Or there is Sin, an equally Unnatural being that is a corruption in Summon magic that can destroy at whim and corrupt other things with it's presence but in opposite has some free-will and probably more seeking help then actually evil.

    2 recognizable villians to me but ... neither really scream EVIL.

    I'll have think on this a day or two
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  • AzalusAzalus The Great Devourer Full Members
    I'm voting for Lavos. I enjoyed both games, though I loved Chrono Trigger more, but I don't vote for my villains based on love of their game. For me it was the feelings Lavos evoked during a specific scene in the game.
    When Crono gets melted by Lavos in the Ocean Palace. I was probably 11 at the time and had never experienced the loss of a main character before.

    Sin never evoked a notable emotion from me as a villain.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    I don't think Lavos is going to win in the final round, but I like it over Sin because of just how much it pervades the entire game. It's always there, looming over you.
    Becky Cunningham, Staff-at-Large
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    Ocelot wrote: »
    I don't think Lavos is going to win in the final round, but I like it over Sin because of just how much it pervades the entire game. It's always there, looming over you.

    However so is Sin, he shows in the beginning he appear in a lot of major events in the game all the way through.
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    28 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a mostly annoyed Father with first son. And now a father again to a second son :D

    Winner of the 2015-2016 Fantasy gaming Pool
  • PawsPaws Purr RPGamer Staff
    Well, I have no power tomorrow, so I'm voting today! I think this is such a fascinating pairing because Lavos and Sin share a LOT of things in common. They come from a "former" time period. They both had a hand in how the world exists today; in some ways the world exists around them. Both are parasites that spawn littler parasites of themselves. They even both have outer shells! Even after they're conquered, their presence and effects are felt in subsequent titles (FFX-2 and Chrono Cross).

    With how similar they are, I eventually came to a fair tiebreaker. I've finished Chrono Trigger, but despite multiple attempts I've never finished FFX. So, with that in mind, my vote goes to Lavos!
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    I went Lavos as well because at his core, he's a damn hard fight capable of wrecking a team even at level ** and subverting all your expectations of the fight along the way.

    Plus he pulled the trigger (I hesitate to say he's responsible) on one of the most shocking moments in gaming history.
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  • RealityCheckedRealityChecked Member Full Members
    I'm assuming were beyond spoilers here, but there are some below.

    Lavos is the equivalent of an asteroid hurtling toward earth. Queen Zeal, who tries to use Lavos' power, would be more of a villain.

    Sin is a tool created/perpetuated by others (Yu Yevon, Yunalesca), or a target to be used by another for power (Seymour).

    Sin and Lavos are things the player is trying to prevent from 'happening', but I guess one of the definitions of 'villain' is "one blamed for a particular evil or difficulty". Lavos can be directly blamed for difficulty...we can't know its thoughts, but it's likely not being forced to act/exist by another. Sin, on the other hand, is having its strings pulled to some extent.

    Therefore, in this match of rather weak choices, I voted for Lavos.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2016
    Interesting to me how many people here are shrugging off antagonists who are monsters rather than characters, and yet three of the final eight are monsters voted in by readers. Guess it's a split between voters on the site and those who write in the forum.

    I like this match-up because it compares apples to apples. Two massive, apocalyptic world-enders who get woven into the plot frequently enough to succeed as terrifying, immortal enemies. Both get an awkward, unnecessary endgame twist that makes the case that they're intelligent all along (inconsistently for Sin, in the final fight with no build-up for Lavos). What makes them both great antagonists for me is how believable they are as beasts that can wipe out humanity.

    Chrono Trigger's story sees the party consistently track Lavos through time, trying to discover what it is and how to stop it. Zeal and Magus are better characters, but they're a means to an end, and the end is always Lavos. Lavos is a stronger villain thanks to them, and being able to watch how others aware of its presence across time treat it -- a vendetta, a savior, a power source -- hammer in the fact that only Crono's party is actually trying to stop it.

    To contrast, this clarity and driven purpose are missing in FFX. I never felt like Sin was so terrible that only Yuna could stop it, and the character villains in the game add layers of confusion to Sin rather than diverse takes on human nature. Seymour fails faster than Tidus can figure out his true goal, and his plans for Sin are at odds with endgame revelations that explain Sin to be, at best, a tortured puppet in a soul-cage. Tidus's daddy issues make for an uncomfortable tie-in to Sin, further clouding and weakening the beast's identity rather than strengthening it. The moment where Sin fills the screen, a world-ender in all its glory, as the party brandishes weapons against it fell flat for me. Sin wasn't the real antagonist. It seemed small in battle compared to previous cutscenes. Its majesty was marred by conflicting sentient/not-sentient questions about whether or not it had feelings.

    Square Enix let Lavos be an immortal destroyer of humanity from start to finish, wove its presence into the story better, and made every fight and every moment it appeared memorable.

    I vote for Lavos.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    7thCircle wrote: »
    Interesting to me how many people here are shrugging off antagonists who are monsters rather than characters, and yet three of the final eight are monsters voted in by readers. Guess it's a split between voters on the site and those who write in the forum.

    The reason is simple. People are voting the game rather than the villain.

  • SquiggyLeoSquiggyLeo RPGamer Staff
    I had to rethink my pick a few times, because my gut reaction was too influenced by my memories of each game as a whole, and how much I enjoyed them. So right away Lavos/Chrono Trigger came out on top. But that's not what the vote should be based on.

    My carefully reconsidered choice is hands down still Lavos. Yes, he's a primeval force of destruction that follows Chrono & Co. like a malevolent shadow from the prehistoric era to the furthest, most desolate future. Unstoppable. Unwavering. Yes, he's been a part of the planet for as long as anyone can remember, coiled in its core like a venomous parasite, counting the millennia until the planet's slow crumble toward its demise.

    Still, for all of Lavos's qualities, it's Sin's lack of "villainous virtues" that give Lavos the nod.

    Now, I'll admit, Sin as he is when you first encounter him, as a lethal, hulking mountain of unmatched destructive power made for a very imposing early image. Just a force of evil that can't be controlled, can't be reasoned with, and doesn't look vulnerable in the least. But what Squenix did in terms of character development, Sin is Jecht, Jecht is Tidus's father, Jecht is a class-A jerk, did absolutely nothing to make Sin in any way more intriguing. In fact, it did the opposite. Jecht is such an absolute dolt (even without the connection to Tidus) that it effectively kills any possibility of embracing Sin as a respected adversary.

    A good villain should be enjoyable in his evil - Sin simply isn't enjoyable in any facet. The vote goes to Lavos by default.
  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactics Ogre, I choose u! Full Members
    Lavos was an intense villain, world-eater concept. Really very similar to Sin. So it was a more difficult choice. I think the sheer epic scope of confronting Lavos throughout Chrono Trigger, and I mean the opportunities to do so. Made him more intense. Not sure if that makes sense.
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  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    Reader Vote Results:

    Lavos (Chrono Trigger) - 73.24%
    Sin (Final Fantasy X) - 26.76%

    Meaning Lavos earns both of the readers points, which coupled with the staff votes makes him the winner.
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
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