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Villain-Off Quarter-Final #4: Ghaleon vs. Ganon

Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/ReviewerRPGamer Staff
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 Ghaleon (Lunar) vs. Ganon (The Legend of Zelda). The reader vote will be open until 6:55pm EST on Wenesday May 25, 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:
Macstorm
SweetieAshe
SeventhCircle
(Backup: SquiggyLeo)
"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

  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    Ooh, this one should be interesting. I can see good cases for each of these.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    Don't you get a check every time a copy of Lunar PSP is sold?
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • RealityCheckedRealityChecked Member Full Members
    edited May 2016
    Ghaleon gets points for being conniving and sly, a traitor, and taking joy in coming between Luna and 'dragon boy'. Extra credit for his anime look and voice acting. He loses points for trying to 'help' humanity, albeit in a misguided way, by reinstalling the god/goddess. Events in the sequel also hurt his score.

    Ganon loses points for failing my 'must be present to win' criteria, as he tends to be there only at the beginning and end of many games. However he gets it back for resilience (sealing, banishment, death...these things don't really faze him), world-twisting, and sheer evilness.

    I adore Lunar, and if it was SSS vs. original LoZ I'd go with Ghaleon. But if we take all Zelda incarnations vs. Lunar as a whole, I'd have to vote, with some classic RPG regret, for Ganon.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    7thCircle wrote: »
    Don't you get a check every time a copy of Lunar PSP is sold?

    No, I just lose a few more braincells.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    Ganon is a mindless beast, and while he's evil and powerful, the mindless portion is what deducts serious points. He's just a being of destruction, nothing more, nothing less.

    Ghaleon on the other hand has a mind, charisma, a somewhat good reasoning behind the things he does, a very kind side you get to see somewhat, and manipulates the heroes and GODS without much difficulty. No contest here, Ghaleon got my vote.
    Sorry Zophar, you can't manipulate the manipulator!
    "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."
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    Despite Ganon being from a more renowned series, Ghaleon has a good lead on him. Only on RPGamer, heh.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactics Ogre, I choose u! Full Members
    Definitely a more difficult choice. For me Ganon is barely present, and barely developed. Whereas Ghaleon has character development and a personality, and motivation for his evil deeds - so my vote goes to Ghaleon.
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  • AzalusAzalus The Great Devourer Full Members
    Maybe this a personal thing, but I feel like Ganon shouldn't be on this list at all. In my opinion, Legend of Zelda is not an RPG as traditionally defined by the genre, it's an action/adventure game. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Zelda games, and am not bashing on the series as a whole, I just don't think they belong here.

    Vote: Ghaleon.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2016
    I get a staff vote in this one, and it's wishy-washy for me. On one hand I thought Ganon was one of the weaker villains to make the top 24. In most Zelda games I've played he doesn't do much in the story other than sit in a dungeon and chill out until you reach him. Flash blacks, opening cinematics, and instruction manuals let you know he exists, but he's no villain. The exception for me is Ocarina of Time, where Ganon gets a new name and backstory, and is prominently involved in the setting. It's a little cheap, but since he's in this feature for the entire series, I get to pick his best game of the ones I've played rather than rating him on Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link.

    Other than saying "my favorite Ganon appearance is OoT" there's not a whole lot to add about him. He kidnaps princesses, becomes the most powerful person in the world, and isn't particularly unique or special outside of recurring in one of Nintendo's 1st party series of uninspired, nearly identical games. Zelda 1 and Zelda 2 are two of the games I feel the strongest nostalgia for, as playing and replaying them was a major timesink in my grade school years. Other Zeldas are my favorite games on their respective systems. I never felt strongly for or against Ganon, though, outside of Ocarina of Time. Rating him only on Ocarina, he's an interactive, elusive jerk I wanted to chase down and murder, and a great villain.

    But on the other hand I have nothing on Ghaleon. I never played Lunar. I only know he's popular as a villain. He was in our villain feature a couple years ago, staff members love him, and he passed the opening reader poll this month despite not being in a major RPG series.

    Do I blindly take Ghaleon, either as an anti-Ganon vote or trusting others' opinions that he's worthy? I strongly disagree with people on what makes a great RPG character sometimes, particularly in older JRPGs. Or do I pick a villain who's great in 1 game I've played and unremarkable in all the rest? I know what I'm leaning toward, but in the hopes that my vote won't matter I'll post it tomorrow. Or discussion here could change my mind.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    My vote is for Ganon. The overall series backstory for the Zelda series, and Ganon taken in as a character across so many games, I find interesting.

    On the other hand, I've never played any Lunar games. I probably would have liked them, but I somehow missed most of the niche stuff in the late 90s. I have no background to discuss Ghaleon, and unfortunately no one has really discussed him in much detail in thi thread.
    7thCircle wrote: »
    I get a staff vote in this one

    I never played Lunar.

    Is it really appropriate to vote when you've never played the game? For me its one thing, my vote goes into the reader poll and is worth very little, but yours actually has weight.
    Azalus wrote: »
    Maybe this a personal thing, but I feel like Ganon shouldn't be on this list at all. In my opinion, Legend of Zelda is not an RPG as traditionally defined by the genre, it's an action/adventure game. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Zelda games, and am not bashing on the series as a whole, I just don't think they belong here.

    Not to completely divert the topic, but I always find this argument weak and pointless, mostly an effort to fight on trivial semantics. Zelda 2 was definitely an RPG, and at least one of the other game's box from the early games referred to it as an RPG I'm fairly sure. Nintendo has always considered it an RPG series as far as I know as well. I really don't get what the bias is that people have that make them driven to try to claim Zelda somehow is not an RPG series. Its like a meme that started a few years back that just won't die, despite having no real basis in fact.

    What even IS a "traditional" RPG, and why wouldn't Zelda be considered one, considering its age as a series and its presence at the dawn of console/computer RPGs? Clearly Zelda as an RPG has had influence on other RPGs. And if we're going to debate what a "traditional" RPG definition, how do you defend the JRPG/WRPG schism, where they are practically completely different genres? #debateforanothertime

  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    edited May 2016
    Debate for another time indeed, and another place.

    Let's avoid any further "what is an RPG" discussion, shall we? :)
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    Lunar Spoilers will follow. This should be expected in a feature like this, but I'm going to tag it regardless. I'll still be vague, though.
    What makes Ghaleon a fantastic villain is that he's meaningful, even key, to the plot in Lunar. He was one of the four great heroes alongside Dragonmaster Dyne and was privy to all that took place around Dyne's death. He went kinda nuts, but no one knew it. He was still considered a great hero when Alex, the hero of Lunar, first meets him. We don't know that he's actually the Magic Emperor and leader of all the baddies that we've been toiling with. His backstory, smug attitude, and great original voice actor all go a long way to making him great. Not to mention how he's handled in Lunar EB, which just makes him even greater to me. I really love Ghaleon as a villain and just as a character. He's key to the whole story and even if his reasonings might be "been there, done that" type motivations, they just work really well here.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2016
    smacd wrote: »
    Is it really appropriate to vote when you've never played the game? For me its one thing, my vote goes into the reader poll and is worth very little, but yours actually has weight.

    Not my decision. Alex said only 2 staff members who responded to his call had played both. The process requires 3. I'm being open about it and explaining where I stand on both villains.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • RealityCheckedRealityChecked Member Full Members
    7thCircle wrote: »
    I never played Lunar.
    The true villain is revealed! :)

    Looking through some of the other comments, especially Mac's, I think the crux of my internal debate is that while I feel Ghaleon is a significantly better character, I still think Ganon is a better villain all games considered.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    To me villain and evil are different conotations. Although some time they can be the same person or being other times not.

    To me villian is the person who deeds cause him notoriety, where as evil is the more a force of nature.

    Going back to a previous entry, Lavos to me is EVIL yes, but he's no villain, that would Queen Zeal to me. She sacrificed everything to Lavos for power.

    I feel the same in the instance. Ganon is EVIL, but that doesn't mean he's a villain, to me Ganon is a force in the world. Now if this competition had Ganondorf, who has periodically shown up in the games then HE'D be the villain and i would definately vote for him but I have to go with Ghaleon in this case as Ganon to me is simply evil, but Ghaleon makes the far better villain.
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  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    You could probably consider Ganon and Ganondorf as one and the same for voting here. I am when I say my favorite appearance of Ganon is in Ocarina of Time. He went by both names in that game and both would be correct for the same dude.

    My guess is staff members or Alex went with the more inclusive name for the character in the series.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    Well if you go with the lore that was added in Hyrule warriors, the portayal that I am thinking with makes sense
    sig.gif

    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
  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    Reader Vote Results:

    Ghaleon (Lunar) - 55.98%
    Ganon (The Legend of Zelda) - 44.02%

    Meaning Ghaleon earns both of the reader points. Can the staff members please cast their votes so we can confirm a winner :)

    We will take a short break after this so I can finalise the rules and assignments for the semi-finals.
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
    Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU) | NNID: severinmira
    Final Fantasy XIV: Sevvi Taubemira (Leviathan)
  • SweetieAsheSweetieAshe qt = π RPGamer Staff
    After reading what the readers have to say about the match-up, I feel a lot better putting my vote forward for this set. At first I thought Ghaleon vs Ganon would be rather one-sided, with the popularity of Ganon(dorf) and all of his renditions putting him ahead of Ghaleon's two appearances and rather obscure title.

    But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the readers didn't forget poor Lunar and its hilariously anime villain. I'm an avid fan of the Lunar series and Ghaleon is one of my absolute favourite villains out of all RPGs. So it's great to see that he's so well represented by the community.

    For me, Ghaleon embodies all the elements of a villain like Kefka (madness, plus actually succeeding in his plan) while still somehow hiding under the radar and having some of my favourite lines in video games -- "The world is my oyster! And Luna my perennial pearl!" As Mac stated earlier, he finds his way into the player's hearts through not just his villainy but also his heroism. His fall to evil makes him endearing to me, rather than just being straight up an evil guy.

    When it comes to Ganon(dorf), it becomes more grey area in that there are so many renditions of him, not all of them are that compelling. The earlier games (notably LoZ1 and Link to the Past) didn't really have him as a major role until RIGHT at the very end. Though Ocarina of Time's Ganon does succeed in his own plans (through the player's own actions no less), he still doesn't really have a presence besides "you have to do these things to rescue the princess and beat him." In this way, he is more like a Lavos-like character in that the villainy rests not in his actions but in his looming, omnipresent presence. The same happens with Wind Waker Ganon(dorf), which fyi is my favourite rendition of the character.

    With that in mind, I feel that Ghaleon is a more compelling villain than Ganon simply because of his continued thwarting of the party, success in his plans, and just general coolness. My vote goes to Ghaleon.
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  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    Sorry about the delay, doctors have gotten me all messed up today.

    Honestly, this one was decided in my head early on. Ganon does his job with the Zelda world really well, and I especially liked how he was handled in Wind Waker. That said, he's almost always too secondary to the story and usually the least interesting villain of whatever game he's in. I mean when I think of Link to the Past, I think of Agahnim instead. Ganon might be more evil, but he's just not deep enough for me. Very one note.

    Ghaleon is just special. He has backstory, motive, is full of deception, and even kills a key character in the original Sega CD release. He's full of personality and I'd pick him over Ganon any day if I wanted to build an evil league of evil. How endearing!

    Vote: Ghaleon
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    Of the 20 villains that made the initial cut (4 were added in a 2nd round of staff voting before the feature went up), I had played 16 of them, and of those 16 Ganon stood out as one of the weakest to make the feature. He's an excellent final boss fight, but he hardly appears in his games. I'd be tempted to vote against him on the assumption that had I played every game in this feature, he'd still be by the bottom of my rankings, and I'd blindly vote for anyone from a game I hadn't played over him.

    This is made easier, though, because I've heard about how great Ghaleon is for a while. I'm not blindly taking a villain I know nothing about; I'm voting for an excellent villain I've heard people rave about for years.

    These are two reasons I'm voting for Ghaleon.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
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