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Villain-Off Quarter-Final #3: Luca Blight vs. N

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 Luca Blight (Suikoden II) vs. N (Pokémon Black/White). The reader vote will be open until 6:55pm EST on Monday May 23, 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:
Strawberry Eggs
CofLSilk
Macstorm
(Backup: Paws)
"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU) | NNID: severinmira
Final Fantasy XIV: Sevvi Taubemira (Leviathan)

Comments

  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    Got the wrong one in there Severin :p

    I sadly haven't had the displeasure of running into Luca, I only know him by reputation. I don't think that's enough to make a cogent vote.
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
    Twitter | A gaming podcast by grownups | Nintendo World Report news editor
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    Updated. Hopefully correctly...
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    Here we have a murderous sociopath, a villian's villain vs. a socially poorly-adjusted manchild of an anti-villain. This should be interesting.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    Luca Blight is going to be hard to top. I'd love to know why people like N and think he really stands out as a great (anti)villain. Or did you just vote for him because you love Pokemon so much? :)
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactics Ogre, I choose u! Full Members
    Luca is definitely my kind of crazy villain. I would love to see him go head to head with Kefka.
    Check out my writing and art by following this link to my work: www.stevenmouland.com
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2016
    I think part of the allure of N is definitely that he brought a real plot to Pokemon and was a complicated character outside of Pokemon's recycled antagonist templates. It's the only time a Pokemon game acknowledged that most Pokemon suffer for the pleasure of humans and that's immoral, and N's love for Pokemon and strong desire to protect them is what puts him at odds with the player.

    It's a unique take on an antagonist, and the game treads a morally grey area very well, quite intelligently making N's cause sound just as reasonable as the player's. I don't think N made it this far solely because he's the best villain from a top RPG series; he's a great, complex, and believable anti-hero, and few JRPGs get this type of character right.

    But I haven't played Suikoden 2 and I've only heard outstanding things about its story, so I'm not voting in the poll.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    7thCircle wrote: »
    It's the only time a Pokemon game acknowledged that most Pokemon suffer for the pleasure of humans and that's immoral, and N's love for Pokemon and strong desire to protect them is what puts him at odds with the player.

    Wait, so that's a real thing and not just Adriaan's AFD joke review?
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    edited May 2016
    The plot of Pokemon Black/White centers around Team Plasma, led by N, and their attempt to liberate Pokemon from humans. N has been groomed for most of his life for this task. They go about it in terrible, destructive ways so yeah, they are like the Pokemon world equivalent to PETA.
    If PETA's craziness was a front, and their real goal was to take over the country once everyone else freed their animals.

    I may or may not go into more details later...

    Edit - Right, Adriaan's review was for Platinum. How curiously predictive...
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    Macstorm wrote: »
    7thCircle wrote: »
    It's the only time a Pokemon game acknowledged that most Pokemon suffer for the pleasure of humans and that's immoral, and N's love for Pokemon and strong desire to protect them is what puts him at odds with the player.

    Wait, so that's a real thing and not just Adriaan's AFD joke review?

    Both! Adriaan's joke review was written before Pokemon Black/White.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • AzalusAzalus The Great Devourer Full Members
    I'm voting for Luca, but it was a little harder than previous votes, just because N tried to do something pretty crazy and made the world of Pokemon feel just a little more real to me and I can admire him for that, but Luca...I was afraid any time I encountered him. Psychopaths with abilities to back it up are terrifying indeed.
    Plus it took 3 teams of 6 to take him out, AFTER he'd been wounded, and then he still had the strength to fight a duel with the main character before becoming a pincushion. Luca's a badass.
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2016
    DIE PIGS! DIIIIIIIIE DIIIIE DIIIIE!

    Although I think what I wrote for the villains feature in 2013 should suffice as to why I adore Luca.

    I actually do like N a lot, I actually adored Black/White's attempt to try and do something more with the standard Pokemon plotline. I think N had some interesting intentions, and I found him to be very different for a Pokemon game. He got props from me for his goals, but Luca is just... he's a scary dude.

    Plus he has such an amazing final battle. His theme music is unforgettable.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    Since I have a lot going on tomorrow and don't want to miss the deadline, I'm going to go and go ahead and toss my pick out. While N sounds interesting, I don't think he's even close to Luca in terms of villainy. Luca Blight is just a horribly wicked person and one of the few villains I can actually remember from the PS1 era RPGs I've played.

    Vote: Luca Blight
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    I have to bow out of this vote. I have never played Pokemon Black/White, and I never really played Suikoden 2 long enough for Luca Blight to make an appearance.
    "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
    Macstorm wrote: »
    ...and one of the few villains I can actually remember from the PS1 era RPGs I've played.

    Probably because amnesia was the primary antagonist of the era, lol.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    edited May 2016
    It's fair to say that Luca Blight is more of a card-carrying villain than Natural Harmonia Gropius (no wonder he prefers to go by "N"). He's a truly frightening, unrepentant omnicidal sociopath. In terms of who is is more villainous, Luca wins this by miles.

    However, this competition is based on who we think makes for a "better" villain, and I'm stretching that to mean antagonist as well. What makes N an unforgettable villain/anti-villain/antagonist is what an amazingly complex and fascinating character he is. N is the very definition of an anti-villain. The king of Team Plasma is a genuinely nice guy, even though he lacks social graces, and cares deeply for Pokemon. While he wants to liberate all Pokemon, it's due to his mistaken belief that most trainers abuse their mons and both beings would be better off living separately. While he endeavors to become a person worthy to be recognized by Reshiram or Zekrom to help in his ultimate goal, he never does it in an underhanded way, and he is often unaware of Team Plasma's unscrupulous tactics. He evens completely heals your team before at least one battle. Simply put, he doesn't have an evil bone in his body.

    Pokemon Black/White is several steps ahead of previous games in the series, and even the newer X /Y in terms in story and characters, and N is the epitome of it all. Throughout the game, N comes across as kind and amiable, but awkward and eccentric. He speaks at the highest text speed possible, prompting one character to tell him to slow down. He has a tendency to make references and comparisons to mathematics. N often states that he understandS Pokemon far better than he does humans and think of himself as walking the border between the two. He once questioned the point of a Pokedex and even chastised Professor Juniper for putting Pokemon in categories. His eccentricity can even come off as a bit creepy at times.
    Near the end of the game, it is revealed that he has been deliberately groomed this way throughout most of his life. He spent most of his time with Pokemon abused and abandoned by their trainers and interacted little with other people. N was unknowingly made an earnest but emotionally and socially immature manchild who innocently believed Pokemon had to be freed . His pure heart would allow him to confront and befriend a legendary Dragon-type so that he could become the Unova League Champion and use the influence to convince everyone in the region to release their Pokemon. This would allow Team Plasma to take over region as the only ones to have Pokemon. The revelation is a bit of an information dump on the player, but it does make most of N's odd behavior understandable and believable (as least as believable as Pokemon can be).

    Furthermore, all throughout Black/White, N has even been fighting against the realization that most trained Pokemon like their humans and battling. He feels he can't abandon his lifelong goal, but he also can't ignore Pokemon telling him that he is wrong. He decides to tell the player his plans with Reshiram/Zekrom so that they will take up the mantle of the opposing hero and N and the player can battle each other to determine the fate of human and Pokemon relations. It's a little cowardly on N's part, but he is rightfully called out on it in-game.

    N is a very competently-written—dare I say, well-written character. Considering that Pokemon characters tend to be one-dimensional, it's astounding he got this level of characterization. It isn't just the fact that an antagonist like him came out of a traditionally story-light series like Pokemon; a multifaceted character like him is hard to find and is rarely done well in video games in general. N may not be all that villainous, but he is a fantastic and unforgettable adversary.

    Vote: N

    "N's heart is pure and innocent. But there is nothing more beautiful and terrifying than innocence." - Concordia
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • CofLSilkCofLSilk RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    I haven't played any recent Pokemon enough to make a good personal call about N, though the previous arguments certainly paint him as a very interesting character. Unfortunately, he sounds to be more of a pawn than a true villain and acts in opposition to the player without knowing the reason why. In this respect, he is more of a victim than a villain and is no match for Luca Blight.

    I normally prefer deeper, more cunning villains. Villains that scheme and betray are much more interesting than psychopaths. With few exceptions, however, Luca Blight stands at the top of the psychopath hierarchy. His name can literally be interpreted as "light blight," and is extremely fitting for the way in which he conducts his life with absolutely no regard for anyone even slightly in his way. While N is infinitely more interesting, I have no doubt that Luca would grind him up and feed him to his servants for dinner.

    Vote: Luca Blight
  • SquiggyLeoSquiggyLeo RPGamer Staff
    I just bought Suikoden II a few weeks ago on the PS Store, and the way Luca Blight is described here makes me want to go and play it NOW!
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    Reader Vote Results:

    Luca Blight (Suikoden II) - 83.60%
    N (Pokémon Black/White) - 16.40%

    Meaning Luca Blight earns both of the reader points, which coupled with the staff votes of 2 to 1 makes him the winner.
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
    Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU) | NNID: severinmira
    Final Fantasy XIV: Sevvi Taubemira (Leviathan)
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