Below there will be spoilers for multiple movies and TV shows that I will list.
- Supernatural 2. Marvel Infinity war 3. final fantasy 9
When I was young I remember never questioning things like this. The good guys were good, the bad guys were bad. That was it. There was no in between. The character I played or the protagonist in the movie was the good guy, the people they faced off against was the bad guy and that was how I viewed things. But then I got older and things didn’t seem so simple. However in my old age I have to wonder, maybe it isn’t so simple.
Watching Supernatural I see Gordon Walker, obsessed with killing Sam who happens to be the Antichrist. Now for those that watch the show, this isn’t entirely wrong. He actually does help mess things up pretty badly. The Winchester brothers while a force for good and saving the innocent numerous times do inadvertently cause some problems, like start the end of the world. While maybe not the best way to go about it, was Gordon a bad guy? Killing Sam would stop all kinds of bad things from happening and save many lives.
Thanos is another good example in the MCU Thanos Not the Villain? while he may not be the typical example of a hero, and he may have a messed up way of going about it, he is far from being truly evil. What he says is factually correct, and his solution will actually work.
On the flip side, many of the people we see as heroes, aren’t truly good. Captain America in the same movie in his refusal to trade lives is guilty of the same “evil” we accuse Thanos of. He took the choice as to living or dying away from countless people in both Wakanda and in the universe as well as for Vision when he refused to let him sacrifice himself. By the time Vision was allowed to make that choice, it was far to late. Both Thanos and Captain America are arguably equal on the scale of good and evil.
There was a time in video games this wasn’t very common however, it was simply a good vs evil story. There are however exceptions to the rule. Garland from Final Fantasy 9 for example, he was a bad guy but only mostly. While he is responsible for Kuja and some unsavory things he wasn’t lets destroy the world evil like Kuja.
Now I am not saying all evil characters aren’t evil and all good ones aren’t good. But as a kid the subtle things were lost on most people and as an adult going back and seeing these things is rather odd. Fun, but odd. Now there is no real reason for this, just some random thoughts. Tell me what you think or any examples you have, and may the gaming gods bring you glory.
3 thoughts on “Is evil, evil?”
I see you using the Taijitu symbol (Yin and Yang) and so I love the questions that follows “Is evil, evil?” In the Tao Te Ching, which the Yin and Yang originated from, there is a famous line that says, “When people see some things as good, other things become bad.” That is to say, good and evil are relative. If there are two opposing forces usually both believe they are doing the right thing. In movies, shows, video games, etc., we often only see one side of the story. If they were to flesh out both sides as completely as they do the other, then it would come to show that maybe we don’t know what the right thing to do is. Things are not black and white as movies or other media often depict. Ultimately, we can only hope that what people are doing is because they truly believe it is the right thing to do.
One of my favorite all time anime is Wolf’s Rain. In it Darcia, the main “bad guy”, is trying to do something everyone else sees as evil. He’s doing to to try and save someone he loves. Is that evil? It’s definitely not from an evil place, I would say, but maybe it isn’t ethical? Right and wrong, good and evil, it’s a very complicated thing.
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Absolutely agreed. I am also happy someone noticed the meaning behind the symbol and the question itself. I think too often we like to think things are cut and dry, its either good or bad. People don’t like to think that maybe there is an area in between where someone might be doing the wrong thing for the right reason or vice versa, or maybe there just isn’t truly an answer at all. Sometimes right and wrong is simply a difference of opinion.
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Exactly! Often times there isn’t really a true right and wrong. And you’re totally right about people wanting there to be a clear answer. This is a lesson shown in Avatar the Last Airbender as well. One of my favorite all time shows and one of the biggest messages was they it’s hard to decide what is right and what is wrong. It’s no always clear and no one can make the decision for you.
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