Big Bad/Video Games

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"The ultimate villain of the story, who's causing the problem the heroes must solve."

Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The Big Bad is the one who turns out to be behind several other seemingly independent threats.


  • Marathon provides a rare, non-villainous (though certainly antagonistic) example: Durandal. Although he has his own goals and desires like any other being, Durandal was the one that set things up for the first game; he's ultimately responsible for everything that happened to the titular Marathon ship. Sure, he helps you halfway through, but only because it fits with what he was aiming for in the end.
    • In the second game, T'fear is introduced as the commander in charge of Pfhor Battle Group Seven, but he isn't even encountered, much less killed, and serves more as a Bigger Bad. Later in the game, Tycho is reintroduced, this time allied with the Pfhor, trying to kill Durandal and the humans (he has bad experience with both). Tycho, however, is killed about halfway through, and the rest of the game basically deals with cleaning up the mess.
    • The Big Bad in both Marathon Infinity: Blood Tides of Lh'Owon and Pathways into Darkness is the W'rkn'cacnter, an Eldritch Abomination capable of destroying the universe. In both cases, the Jjaro help you stop it. In Infinity, Tycho thinks that he's the Big Bad, but he doesn't know the universe is being threatened and that he's essentially a wannabe, as the Jjaro are transporting you through space and time (although he does force you to go into another timeline, thanks to his capture of you).
  • Many Shin Megami Tensei games have fucking YHVH. As in, you have to go and kick down freaking GOD from his throne. Pity he can't be destroyed...
  • BlazBlue has Yuuki Terumi, better known as Hazama, the most proactive and involved of its antagonists, and Relius Clover, his partner in crime ever since the start of the Dark War, 100 years before the start of the first game.
    • BlazBlue's predecessor, Guilty Gear has That Man, who created the Gears, who in turn have wreaked havoc on the world. He's a pretty ambiguous guy (no one even knows his name) and not much is known about him or what he's planning.
  • Xenosaga: The Xenosaga game series (as well as Xenogears) makes particular use of Big Bads, specifically by using bait and switching the big bads multiple times. A routine of the Xenosaga games is that once a Big Bad has been "dethroned" from their role, their connections to the main characters are deepened and explained. This happens with Albedo and Margulis, among others.
    • The ultimate Big Bad of the Xenosaga series turns out to be Wilhelm, The Chessmaster par excellance who was manipulating all the previous Big Bads (and pretty much every other character as well).
    • The ultimate big bad in Xenogears is Miang, introduced as the White-Haired Pretty Boy's sidekick.
      • As a overlooked factor, Miang, or rather the Miang Factor personified as the Urobolous Snake is the Final Boss of the game. Defeating her means Deus cannot be activated and is utterly useless.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series has the scientist turned madman Xehanort serving as the main Big Bad. While by the first game's timeline he is long gone, aspects of him serve as villains of almost every game in the series. There are others, of course. The list of villains in each game is as follows:
    • Xehanort's Heartless, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness in Kingdom Hearts I.
    • Marluxia for Sora's story, and Ansem for Riku's in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
    • Xehanort's Nobody, Xemnas, leader of Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts II.
    • It's up in the air who the Big Bad of 358/2 Days is due to all but the very end playing out like a Villain Episode. Xemnas again appears, but this time he's your boss, so (at least from the player character's perspective) he seems like a Good Is Not Nice Big Good, though by the end of the game it's apparent he doesn't care about his followers and would gladly discard them (fatally) should a more useful one come along. There's also Xemnas' number-two guy, Saix, who appears more and causes you far more trouble. The last candidate is DiZ, leader of the faction opposing your group, except that, while he's incredibly unpleasant, motivated mainly by revenge, and probably going way too far, he's actually trying to save the universe from you, and in KH2, he ends up changing his less-than-admirable ways.
    • In Coded, the Big Bad turns out to be the data version of Sora's Heartless.
    • The true Big Bad of the series as a whole, Master Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.
  • Tech Infantry has a variety of Big Bads, from The Bugs, to Rashid King, to Modred. Ultimately, the biggest bad of all is the Crapsack World nature of the universe itself.
  • The Final Fantasy series is famous for its Big Bads. Some of the most well-known, one in every game:
    • Final Fantasy I had The Four Fiends as the initial big bads, until it's revealed that Garland, the very first boss you fought, is behind the whole thing, just before you fight his true form Chaos.
    • Final Fantasy II had Emperor Mateus Palamecia as the big bad. He's also the notable exception in the franchise's Rogues Gallery in that he's the major antagonistic force through the entire game.
      • Soul of Rebirth, the sequel quest released with the Game Boy Advance and PSP remakes, puts an interesting spin on this. It's revealed that after the Emperor was killed the first time, his soul split in two, one half going to Heaven and one half to Hell. The Hell Emperor was the Final Boss of the original game. In this one, the party meets the Heaven Emperor... who is also a Big Bad who has upset the natural order of the afterlife and generally made a mess of things (apparently he planned this.) Yes, the Emperor is so evil that even his good half is evil.
    • Final Fantasy III had Xande as the big bad, who gets trumped by Cloud of Darkness after she gets released
    • Final Fantasy IV Zemus
      • The After Years has Creator, a nigh-incomprehensible alien being out to resurrect its long-dead race, no matter whose planet it has to step on to do so.
    • Final Fantasy V had Exdeath, who was the evilest tree ever.
    • Final Fantasy VI starts with Emperor Gestahl until he is usurped by Kefka, a Monster Clown who becomes a god by killing Espers and absorbing their souls.
    • Final Fantasy VII had Sephiroth, a Bishonen Super Soldier with mommy issues.
      • Said "mommy," by the way, is an Eldritch Abomination called JENOVA who was the Big Bad thousands of years before the beginning of the story. Though potentially dead all along, her legacy is felt through her son eons after her defeat. As for the more immediate backstory, Professor Hojo filled the role until Sephiroth descended into villainy.
        • Fittingly enough, Jenova and Hojo are Sephiroth's "parents". Hojo in a literal case, and Jenova in a metaphorical case.
      • Before Crisis had Fuhito, usurped for the final battle by Zirconiade, the Sealed Evil in a Can he opens up.
      • Dirge of Cerberus seemed to have Weiss the Immaculate as its Big Bad, though it's revealed that he was actually possessed by the Virtual Ghost of Professor Hojo, Sephiroth's father and the guy indirectly responsible for, well... pretty much everything.
      • Crisis Core has Genesis Rhapsodos, who was indirectly responsible for pretty much everything Hojo wasn't.Sephiroth is also the big bad for the game's spin offs
      • Naturally, given how many of these guys are playing or attempting to play "higher power" to each other, a case can be made for pretty much all of them being the Big Bad of the entire Compilation. Or at least being a Big Bad for a exceptional period of time, though Genesis and Fuhito comes off as the weakest of the bunch.
    • Final Fantasy VIII had Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who possessed Edea for the first half of the game.
    • Final Fantasy IX had Kuja and Garland competing for the position, the winner being Kuja, although Garland, like Professor Hojo from VII, is responsible for nearly everything in the background.
    • Final Fantasy X had Yu Yevon, who controls the more omnipresent threat, Sin. Also, the Church of Yevon turns out to be evil, with Maester Mika as the Big Bad who arranged the war with the Al Bhed and sought to keep the truth about Sin's nature from the world.
    • Final Fantasy XII had Vayne, the Well-Intentioned Extremist prince of Arcadia who is actually part of a Big Bad Triumvirate with Mad Scientist Cid and the rogue Eldritch Abomination Venat.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has Primarch Galenth Dysley, who is actually Barthandelus, the fal'Cie creator and leader of Cocoon. He and Orphan, his fellow fal'Cie who powers Cocoon, collaborate together to ensure its destruction.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy establishes that in the Final Fantasy multiverse, the evil god Chaos is the biggest Big Bad. He bosses around most of the people listed above, and the only ones who try to double-cross him are Emperor Mateus, who plans to outlive Chaos to rule the universe and Golbez who, as he was not the Big Bad of his game decides to help his brother, Cecil, in getting the crystal.
      • Though Chaos himself actually doesn't Boss or even order anyone around at "all". Most of the orders come from either the Emperor, or oddly enough....Kefka and Kuja.
  • Final Fantasy XI has several, although the Shadow Lord or Odin may be considered one for the whole game:
  • Final Fantasy Tactics had Lord Folmarv, who is actually Hashmal, the second-in-command and acting leader of the Lucavi. Ultima, his superior, would be considered a Bigger Bad of sorts as she is completely incapacitated until the final battle.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series:
  • The Gradius series:
    • Bacterion is usually the Big Bad of the Gradius games
    • Gofer in Gradius II, IV and Nemesis III (not to be confused with Gradius III)
    • Dr. Venom in Nemesis II, Nemesis III, Salamander for the MSX version, Gradius V and Gradius Rebirth
    • Zelos in Salamander/Life Force
    • Doom in Salamander 2
    • O.V.U.M (Original Visions of Ultimate Monster)in Gradius Gaiden
  • The Saints Row series:
    • Alderman Richard Hughes in the first game.
    • Dane Vogel in the second game.
    • Phillipe Loren and Killbane after Loren is killed in the First Act of the game in the third game.
  • Lou the Devil in the Guitar Hero series tries to get aspiring rock-stars to sign his contract so he would get possession of their souls, and also kidnaps the God of Rock in order to get an artifact to drain audiences of their souls.
  • Gary Smith in Bully.
  • Apsu in Sailor Moon: Another Story
  • Tekken has Heihachi Mishima (1, 3 and 4), Kazuya/Devil (2, and arguably 6) and Jin Kazama/Devil Jin (6) as Corrupt Corporate Executive, Chessmaster style big bads, Ogre (3) and Azazel (6) as demonic final bosses, and Heihachi's father Jinpachi (5) along with Devil (2) as both.
  • The Need for Speed series:
    • Eddie in Need for Speed: Underground.
    • Caleb in Need for Speed: Underground 2.
    • Razor in Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
    • Darius in Need for Speed: Carbon.
    • Ryo Watanabe in Need for Speed: Pro Street.
    • Chase Linh in Need for Speed: Undercover
  • The Ratchet and Clank series gave us a nice selection of Big Bads as well However the Most recurring is Dr. Nefarious
  • Most Nasuverse works have one.
    • Roa/SHIKI (whoever is dominant at the time) in Tsukihime.
    • The Night of Wallachia, then White Len, in Melty Blood. It's taken over by the Dust of Osiris in Actress Again.
    • Kotomine and Gilgamesh in Fate/stay night (they didn't start everything, but are lying in wait).
      • They did it in Fate/Zero too.
      • In Heaven's Feel, the Big Bad is Zouken (who is directly or indirectly responsible for everything bad that happens in the entire route) , although both Kotomine and (eventually) Dark Sakura could also be seen as this.
    • Araya Souren in Kara no Kyoukai. Notably, he was confronted about halfway through the series and never heard from again.
  • In Half-Life, and its expansion packs Decay, Blue Shift and Opposing Force the Big Bad would have to be The Nihilanth, the creature that was maintaining the rift all along. In Half-Life 2 and its episodes, it's Wallace Breen, former administrator of Black Mesa and the human ruler of Earth under the Combine. However, with Breen's death at the end of HL 2, it's not certain who the actual Big Bad is, but it's highly likely that the leader(s) of the Combine will surface in Episode 3.
  • Portal: GLaDOS. Not only does she place Chell in danger numerous times, half-way through the game she tries to kill her by placing her on a platform heading towards a pit of fire and at the end of the game, she almost kills her by flooding the Enrichment Centre with a deadly neurotoxin..
    • In Portal 2 GLaDOS continues the role at first, but eventually, She's overtaken by Wheatley. Finally it turns out that it's the mainframe which causes all the problems.
  • Goldman in House of the Dead series. However, there is a Bigger Bad and it's the Mysterious Man.
  • No matter who starts the plot in each original Mega Man game, you can guarantee that Dr. Wily is behind it in some way. Same goes for Sigma in the X games (with three exceptions), and eventually, Dr. Weil in the Zero games. Even Mega Man Battle Network does this, with the villains of the 2nd, 4th, and 5th games being connected to—you guessed it—Dr. Wily.
    • Not only that, but we find out that prior to the Mega Man X series, then leader of the Maverick Hunters, Sigma, was infected with the Zero Virus after he fought the rampaging Zero, the last creation of—yup—Dr. Wily. Sigma eventually succumbed to the virus and turned maverick himself.
    • Dr. Weil of Mega Man Zero fame seems to be following in Wily's footsteps. Not only is he the one who caused The End of the World as We Know It, he continues to plague the world, even after his and Omega's exile. Most of the machinations behind the series' first half can be indirectly linked to Weil. And, in Mega Man ZX, it was hinted that it wasn't Serpent, Master Albert or Master Thomas who was the true Big Bad, but it was actually Model W, which is what remained of Dr. Weil's own consciousness.
      • Moreover, Weil was closely linked to Omega, who was what Wily's Greatest Creation was supposed to be, thus creating a distinct intellectual link between the two Big Bads.
  • The Kurain Village Arc of the Ace Attorney series eventually revealed that it had a Big Bad of sorts in Morgan Fey, whose schemes to get her daughter Pearl installed as the "Master" of the Kurain Spirit Channeling technique spans two games and strikes the main characters from beyond the grave. She also has her daughter Dahlia as a Dragon of sorts.
    • Two of the games had their own Big Bad.
      • In the first game, the Big Bad is Manfred von Karma, who essentially set the entire series into motion with the murder of Edgeworth's father. A murder in the present that was orchestrated by him to get back at Edgeworth ultimately results in his comeuppance.
        • Damon Gant is revealed as the true criminal of the bonus case in the first Ace Attorney. Gant eventually states that he is responsible for controlling Lana Skye, the High Prosecutor who in turn was responsible for "helping" Edgeworth with cases, which resulted in the rumors of Edgeworth's backhanded deals and forgeries that DIDN'T already come about from Edgeworth's already established relationship with Manfred von Karma.
      • The third game has Dahlia Hawthorne, who on top of essentially being Morgan's Dragon is a Big Bad in her own right because of all the murders she conducted that had to be cleaned up by the end of the game, resulting in finally facing her spirit in court.
    • The second game doesn't necessarily have someone as the Big Bad but each of the cases impact at least part of the story. In the fourth case, the Big Bad is at first thought to be Shelly de Killer but when he turns out to be an assassin, his client becomes the Big Bad. And guess who his client is: Matt Engarde, Wright's own client. This sets up the overall theme of the game of what is a defense attorney.
    • Apollo Justice has its own Big Bad as well in Kristoph Gavin, who uses every trick in the book from forged evidence to outright murder to take down Phoenix Wright and keep everyone quiet about it.
    • Then Ace Attorney Investigations has Ambassador of Allebhast Quercus Alba, who is the head of an international crime syndicate and is quite possibly the first ever Ace Attorney villain to be the The Man Behind the Man to nearly all the other murderers in the game. With the exception of the criminal of the third case, and even then it's the criminal's father who has a connection to Alba's syndicate.
    • 'Ace Attorney Investigations 2 has the distinction of having both a Big Bad and a Bigger Bad. The bigger bad is the Fake President of Zheng Fa and his minions who controlled both Zheng Fa, and the prison and legal systems of Japan/USA. The Big Bad however is Sōta Sarushiro, who killed his former best friend, and the aforementioned president for personal reasons and is the final boss of the game.
    • Mia Fey is implied to have had her own in Redd White of Blue Corp. He's the second criminal in the first game and he has a role in the story of the first game.
  • Beiloune in Okage: Shadow King, who turned out to be surprisingly sinister.
  • Seiken Densetsu 3 puts an interesting twist on this: there are actually three different Big Bads: the Dragon Emperor, the Prince of Darkness, and the Dark Lich. The three fight among each other as well as against you throughout the first half of the game, but at the halfway point, one of the three will annihilate the other two and become the main antagonist for the second half of the story. Which one wins depends on which of the six characters you've selected to be your main character.
  • The Metal Gear Solid series is probably best known for its mind screwiness and Xanatos Roulettes, and every time you think you have an approximate idea of what's really going on, it turns out everything you thought you knew was an elaborate deception, set up by an Ancient Conspiracy, and there's still another Man Behind the Man. The big reveal comes in the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, when it turns out that there has never been a Big Bad at all. The entire affair started with Big Boss, Zero, and Ocelot trying to make The Boss's dream become reality, but when they disagreed how to do that, their personal conflict got completely out of hand and took on a life of its own. The entire events of Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 and 4 were just their attempts to restore the damage they had done to the world.
  • The Super Robot Wars games tend to have many Big Bads, due to the fact that they're made up of multiple mecha series in a single game. The result is that said game will (usually) have each and every Big Bad the series included did. And even still, they tend to add an extra-big Big Bad unqiue to that game, often the Final Boss. The greatest example in the series is Keisar Ephes, who turns out to be the Man Behind the Man for every single original villain in the Alpha sub-series, and, by extension, is more or less responsible, at least in part, for many of the Big Bads belonging to the various anime included. It also helps that he presents himself as the anti-Ide, making him an indirect Alternate Universe big bad for Ideon. Not bad for a guy who never shows up until the final battle.
    • The Edel Bernal is a bit of a twist on this, but not that much of a subversion. We technically see him around occasionally, but he doesn't reveal his nature and part of the plot until, like Keisar Ephes, the final battle. Pretty much, he's just a Psychopathic Manchild with ridiculous levels of power that organized the entire situation for his sick pleasure and let his unwitting Dragon do all the dirty work with a simple utterance of "I love you" once in a while."
  • Mario usually has Bowser as the textbook Big Bad in the main series. While the original Paper Mario has Bowser as its Big Bad as usual, the other Mario RPG spin-offs featured original ones:
  • The Donkey Kong Country series uses King K. Rool for the series' main Big Bad.
    • And Donkey Kong himself was the Big Bad in the earlier games with him vs Mario.
      • Not in Donkey Kong Jr., MARIO was the Big Bad!
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns has Tiki Tong.
  • The textbook Big Bad for The Legend of Zelda series is Ganon/Ganondorf. Hell, Ganon's practically incapable of not being the Big Bad. There are exceptions, however:
    • Link's Awakening: Ganon only makes a cameo appearance as part of the Final Boss. The Big Bads here are the Nightmares plaguing the Wind Fish.
    • Majora's Mask has the eponymous mask, though it spends the majority of the game possessing Skull Kid.
    • Four Swords and Minish Cap both have Vaati as the Big Bad.
    • This goes as far back as The Adventure Of Link: there's no defined Big Bad, but rather Link must fight the remnants of Ganon's army and the guardians of the jewels.
    • Phantom Hourglass has Bellum, an evil demon of chaos.
    • The Big Bad of Spirit Tracks, is Chancellor Cole. He gets possessed by the demon king Malladus, who he was trying to revive.
      • He doesn't, except for the blue-ness.
    • Demon Lord Ghirahim takes the role in Skyward Sword. His boss, Demon King Demise, is the Final Boss, but he spends most of the game as a Sealed Evil in a Can. The last thing Demise does, though, is curse the future Links and Zeldas to face an incarnation of his hatred, strongly implied to be series Big Bad Ganon.
  • The textbook Big Bad for the Sonic the Hedgehog series is Dr. Eggman/Robotnik.
  • Braid inverts this trope. The supposed Big Bad in the final level is in fact rescuing the Damsel in Distress from you.
  • From Sam and Max:
    • Conroy Bumpus in Hit The Road.
    • Mack Salmon in the TV series.
    • Hugh Bliss in Telltale Season One.
    • The Soda Poppers in Telltale Season Two.
    • The Narrator in The Devil's Playhouse.
  • The Kirby series have many Big Bads
    • Kirby's Dream Land: King Dedede
    • Kirby's Dream Land 2, 3 and 64: Zero, the "core" of Dark Matter
    • Kirby Super Star: King Dedede in Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade in Dyna Blade Meta Knight in Revenge of the Meta Knight,Marx in Milky Way Wishes
    • Kirby Canvas Curse: Drawcia
    • Kirby and the Amazing Mirror: Dark Mind
    • Kirby Squeak Squad: Daroach, although Dark Nebula is the Final Boss.
    • Kirby Mass Attack: Necrodeus.
    • Kirby's Return to Dreamland: Magolor
  • The Halo series had two Big Bads, the Prophet of Truth (the leader of the Covenant), and the Gravemind (the Hivemind of the Flood).
  • The big bad of Fable is the demon Jack of Blades. Fable II has Lord Lucien. Fable III has The Crawler. It is hinted throughout the series that Theresa may be serving as a Bigger Bad, but this hasn't been outright confirmed by the plot yet.
  • Knights of the Old Republic gets is fair share, with the first having Darth Malak.
    • The second game has Darth Traya, but Nihilus and Sion get their share of screen time as well.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic certainly seemed to set the Sith Emperor up as its Big Bad, but he leaves the galaxy before the game even starts. The jury is still out on it, but it's likely that it'll either be Darth Malgus or someone from the Dark Council.
  • Rogue turian Spectre Saren Arterius serves as the Big Bad in Mass Effect. Only, he's not. The real Big Bad is Sovereign, Saren's flagship, in reality a fully-sentient member of an ancient race of "machine devils" known as the Reapers.
    • And in Mass Effect 2 we have the Collector-General, but, again, it's a fake-out, and the real Big Bad is Harbinger, a Reaper merely useing the General to control the Collectors.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Harbinger reprises his role as the Big Bad, but this time he shares it with the Illusive Man.
  • The Diablo series has a Big Bad tag-team-trio: the "Prime Evils" Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo.
  • City of Heroes has a number of especially powerful and influential bad guys that compete to take over the world.
  • In the Metroid games (at least, the original 2D ones) and the accompanying official manga, the original Big Bad is Mother Brain, but for a few of the games, it's Ridley, the leader of the Space Pirates. It turns out Ridley was working for Mother Brain, either because she had become corrupted by the Space Pirates so they could use her information and power, or because she swayed the Space Pirates to her side when she recognized their potential in achieving her true goals. No one seems able to agree on whether Mother Brain was corrupted by the Space Pirates or if she was just corrupt, including canon. Either way, Ridley is The Dragon of Mother Brain, but the one with whom Samus has a personal score to settle.
    • The Metroid Prime games start having Ridley as a vague big bad (he is leading the Space Pirates, at least), although the final boss is the titular Metroid Prime. It isn't controlling the baddies though, so it's not necessarily the Big Bad. In Echoes, the Ing are controlled by Big Bad Emperor Ing and Metroid Prime, reincarnated as Dark Samus, is running around. She then ascends to the role of leader of the Space Pirates and overall Big Bad in the 3rd game. It could be argued that Phaaze, the planet where Metroid Prime orginates from, is truly the Big Bad.
    • Gorea in Hunters.
  • Dead Space has two, Mercer and Kendra. The situation is unique as you fight neither of them, though you do fight what may or may not be considered as the third Big Bad, the Hive Mind. Well, you do fight Mercer.
    • As a normal enemy, if you're daft enough to let the Infector get through necromorphing his corpse.
      • Considering it's puppeteering the other Necromorphs and is the final boss, yeah, I'd consider the Hive Mind to be a Big Bad. Hell, Mercer even talks about "...the Hive Mind's gift", suggesting he considers himself to be it's servant.
  • All three Sly Cooper games feature Big Bads though they where not always how they appeared.
    • Sly 1 featured Clockwerk, an owl that traded his flesh and feathers for robotic immortality, all to wipe out the Cooper family.
    • Sly 2 saw the return of Clockwerk, but in pieces, so it disqualifies him from Big Bad status. Arpeggio was resembling the Clockwerk pieces to reform the mechanical bird and fuse with him to gain immortality, but at the end of the game, Neyla quadruple-crosses him and fuses herself with the frame, dubbing herself Clock-La.
    • Sly 3's Big Bad is a Mad Scientist named Dr. M who has his own vendetta against Sly the Cooper family.
  • Metal Slug has General Morden, although he's constantly upstaged by the Mars People or some other threat. In Metal Slug 6, both Morden and the Mars People are forced into an Enemy Mine situation by a bunch of aliens who eat Mars People.
  • Sargeras is the ultimate Big Bad of the entire Warcraft universe, but because he's usually on his throne or out of commission, his various minions tend to take over the roles. Out of several characters, Gul'dan and Medivh probably counted as a Big Bad Duumvirate during the First War (or game), while Gul'dan took over the role alone for the Second (since he was using the orcs and fighting the humans). In the expansion, the job got handed off to Ner'zhul. In the Third War, Sargeras's Dragon (well, one of two), Archimonde, filled the role, while the other Dragon Kil'Jaeden and the Lich King both held it in an Evil Versus Evil situation in the Frozen Throne expansion. For World of Warcraft Big Bads, see that entry below.
  • Used (and not used) variously in World of Warcraft.
    • In the original game, there were multiple story arcs, not all of which tied together and some of which had their own Big bads, such as VanCleef (the final boss of one of the first dungeons), the Diabolical Mastermind behind the Defias who were behind just about everything until then in the human quests, right from the kobolds at the beginning. The closest to an overall Big bad was arguably C'Thun. Everything in Kalimdor was very obviously leading up to the Battle of Kalimdor, with the Silithid being woven in through multiple quest lines, culminating in the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest chain. Note that C'Thun wasn't quite the final boss before the first expansion.
    • In Burning Crusade, the initially hyped final boss Illidan didn't really have a lot to do with much of what was going on (after all, it was called "The Burning Crusade", not "Illidan Is a Bit of a Jerk"), but this trope was fulfilled satisfactorily later on when a patch added the new final boss, Kil'jaeden, the acting leader of the Burning Legion who are behind that whole Crusade thing.
    • In Wrath of the Lich King, as the name implies, it's very clear who the Big Bad is. The Lich King is a typical Evil Overlord bent on world conquest, and makes sure to appear several times along the story (unlike Illidan).
    • Somewhat subverted in Cataclysm; though we know Deathwing is responsible for the rearranging of Azeroth, it is heavily implied that something else is behind the scenes that even Deathwing himself is working for, making Deathwing LITERALLY The Dragon rather than the Big Bad.
  • In the Dept. Heaven series, while "the biggest villain" is Hector the treacherous magi, each game has its own Big Bad.
  • In the Legacy of Kain series, while the morality of pretty much all of the characters is somewhat difficult to determine, by the end of Defiance, it seems to be firmly established that the big bads of the series are the Hylden Lord (and his entire race in general) and the Elder God.
    • Actually, the Hylden Lord and hylden in general were pawns in Elder God's game as well. Elder God is the only Big Bad
  • Mother, aka MOTHER 1 has Giegue.
    • Giegue returns as the Big Bad in the sequel, Mother 2, aka EarthBound, though in the American game he's called Giygas.
      • Porky Minch, who serves as The Dragon for Giegue/Giygas early in the game, later has a role-reversal when it is revealed that Giygas has lost the ability to make his own thoughts, and Porky winds up pulling the strings at the end, taunting the heroes as they battle a powerful but dumb Giygas.
    • In Mother 3, Porky Minch, aka the bratty kid from the second game who turns out to be the Dragon to Giygas is revealed to be the Big Bad in the final chapter.
  • Captain Syrup in Wario Land 1 and 2.
    • Rudy the Clown in Wario Land 3.
    • The Golden Diva in Wario Land 4.
    • The Shake King in Wario Land: Shake It!
  • The Street Fighter franchise have M.Bison.
  • The Resident Evil franchise has the Umbrella Corporation, led by Ozwell Spencer, as the overarching Big Bad for the entire series. The individual episodes have individual Big Bads:
    • Resident Evil has Albert Wesker.
    • Resident Evil Zero has James Marcus
    • Resident Evil: Code Veronica has Alexia Ashford
    • Resident Evil 4 has Osmund Saddler
    • Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles has Sergei Vladimir
    • Resident Evil 5 has Albert Wesker
    • 5 ultimately ends with both Spencer and Wesker Killed Off for Real, so it remains unknown who the Big Bad of any future installments for the series will be. However, a likely candidate would seem to be Wesker's brother Alex, who has only been mentioned in a hidden file in 5 so far, but who is the only other survivor of Spencer's program to turn him and his siblings into Physical Gods.
      • However, The Most Recurring is Albert Wesker.
  • Many people argue the AI Director itself in Left 4 Dead is the big bad behind every possible bad thing that happens to the players, especially on Expert difficulty where all it does is punish players for doing badly and slaughtering them for trying to be good.
  • Doom 2's big bad is the Mook Maker, the one who spawned all the enemies in the first place. Considering that it only appears once in the game, and its destruction damages untold miles of Hell's surface, we can assume that the big static face we call the Icon of Sin is the big bad of the game.
  • Adam from Trauma Center: Under the Knife and its remake, Second Opinion.
    • Under the Knife 2 has Patrick Mercer, Reina Mayuzumi and Heinrich von Raitenau.
    • New Blood has Kidman, who shows up about halfway through the game, though only to be killed in the next chapter and revealed to be working for Master Vakhushti.
    • Trauma Team has the Raging Bomber in Naomi's storyline.
  • Maple Story seems to be angling to have the Black Magician as the Big Bad. He sure fits it. He forced a knight named Killian to make a very sadistic choice and kill himself, just to get a damn Warlord, had a guy frozen in ice for a while, chased the people from continent to continent, and is willing to do it all twice.
  • The Big Bad of Epic Mickey is the Phantom Blot, retooled into an Eldritch Abomination made of paint and thinner. Oddly enough, he was created accidentally by Mickey Mouse himself!
  • From Jak and Daxter:
    • Gol and Maia for the first game.
    • Baron Praxis and Metal Kor for the second game.
    • Count Veger and Erol for the third game.
    • Kaeden, Metal Kor's Dragon, in Daxter.
    • Duke Skyheed for The Lost Frontier.
  • The Dragon Quest games have their fair share of Big Bads:
    • Dragon Quest I had the Dragonlord.
    • Dragon Quest II had Hargon who attacks Moonbrooke and summons Malroth upon his defeat.
    • Dragon Quest III had Zoma.
    • Dragon Quest IV had Psaro the Manslayer, aka Necrosaro until the DS version added a new chapter, revealing that Psaro's apparent Dragon had in fact been manipulating him all along.
    • Dragon Quest V had Nimzo (also known as Mildrath.
    • Dragon Quest VI had Murdaw, also known as Mudo until his defeat which you find out evil still plagues the world. After D(h)uran is defeated, he tells them that he, Murdaw/Mudo, and the other demon lords were just pawns of the true Big Bad, Mortamor (also known as Dethtamoor).
    • Dragon Quest VII had Orgodemir, the Demon Lord who sealed most of the continents of the world to prevent God from defeating him. in the second disk, he tries to seal the continents again, while posing as God Himself.
    • Dragon Quest VIII had Dhoulmagus until it turns out the scepter he stole had been containing the real big bad Lord Rhapthorne.
    • Dragon Quest IX had Corvus, a former Celestrian driven mad by centuries of hatred and solitude.
  • Cubia from the .hack//G.U. games.
    • I don't think you can really call Cubia the big bad as he's really sort of the bigger bad that results from the big bad's actions.
    • The true Big Bad here is probably AIDA: it's the root cause of all the problems that are happening and it is the primary antagonist for 90% of the games. Ovan doesn't really count as he was working against AIDA the whole time, making him a Chessmaster Anti-Villain at worst.
  • Nene in Blue Dragon.
  • Dark Cloud has the Dark Genie. The sequel, Dark Chronicle, had Emperor Griffon/the Dark Element story wise, though the Dark Genie returns in the final Bonus Dungeon.
  • Coach Oleander in Psychonauts.
    • Arguably, father-issues in general.
  • Lord Doviculus in Brutal Legend
  • Persona 4 has Adachi at first, who influences people like Namatame to do the actual dirty work after the first two murders. Though, it turns out the true villain who has been shrouding Inaba in a poisonous fog is Ameno-Sagiri. Even later, if you follow the correct path and unlock the True Ending, then you discover that Izanami has been behind everything from the very beginning of the game.
  • The Big Bad of .hack// could go one of two ways: Cubia although defeating him doesn't really solve anything other than getting him out of the way, or Morganna, although you never really fight her directly. She simply uses the phases to interact and fight for her. Once Kite "kills" Aura, she is able to come back and defeat the last phase of Morganna, and truly be born
  • Fatal Fury gives us Geese Howard.
  • The Banjo-Kazooie series has Gruntilda.
  • The King of Fighters varies away from it from time to time, but overall, the major villain of the series is Orochi.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series usually had a Big Bad in the form of Master Hand, but this changed in the Subspace Emmisary in Brawl, when it was subjected to The Worf Effect at the hands of Tabuu.
  • RuneScape has several, usually at least one in each of the various milti-part storylines:
  • All Guild Wars campaigns have Big Bads of some sort, except perhaps Prophecies (which has several evil groups.). The Nightfall campaign also makes Abaddon the big bad of the first three campaigns
  • The Man in Glasses from Twelve Thirteen turns out not to be. He's the only person who was actually on your side throughout the entire game, while everyone else -- including your apparent "ally" that he kills -- were trying to stop you from performing the mission you were created for, believing you were too irretrievably damaged to be successful.
  • Although the player's goal in the Pokémon series is to become Champion, the leader of each generation's evil team serves as the Big Bad, as they are the ones responsible for whatever troubles are occurring in each region.
    • Pokémon Red and Blue/Yellow: Giovanni (Team Rocket)
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal: In the originals, there is no nominated leader of the regrouped Team Rocket; the final Team Rocket Executive fought in the Radio Tower is the closest the organization has to one. The remakes gave the Rocket Executives names, and so the aforementioned Executive was finally given an identity: Archer.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire/Emerald: Maxie (Team Magma) and/or Archie (Team Aqua)]], depending on which version you are playing (Magma for Ruby, Aqua for Sapphire). Notably, the other team leader will actually assist you in stopping the Big Bad; however, both leaders are Big Bads in Emerald.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum: Cyrus (Team Galactic)
    • Pokémon Black and White: The game wants you to think that N Harmonia is the Big Bad. At the last second though, his father Ghetsis turns out to be the true culprit behind Team Plasma's goals.
    • Then there's the spin-off series, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky: Darkrai, who wanted to cover the world in darkness and has been manipulating events behind the scenes the whole time, messing with the fabric of time and space as well as appearing in the heroes' dreams to get them to kill themselves. If that doesn't qualify as a Big Bad, I don't know what does.
    • In another pair of spin-offs, Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD, the villainous organization Cipher is the main antagonistic body (and since Cipher is much more competent than any of the main series' Teams, there is no Gym Challenge or Championship to aspire to; you fight Cipher and that's it.) The leader of Cipher is the Big Bad and differs in each installment; in Colosseum it's Nascour, but Your Princess Is in Another Castle and the real Big Bad is the mayor of Phenac City and in the sequel it's Greevil, who you've known from the beginning as Mr. Verich.
  • Atticus Thorn in The Haunted Mansion.
  • Adventure Quest Worlds has Drakath, the Champion of Chaos, who is sending out thirteen Lords of Chaos to terrorize the land of Lore, and who killed Sepulchure, who was the Big Bad in most of Artix Entertainment's other games.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum has Joker.
  • Chrono Trigger has Lavos, whose influence is felt in every time period and who is ultimately responsible for not one, but two The End of the World as We Know It events (extinction of the Reptites and start of a long ice age in 65,000,000 B.C., and the destruction of the magical Kingdom of Zeal in 12,000 B.C.). The heroes are trying to prevent a third which will occur in 1999 A.D.
    • Lavos' actual role as the Big Bad is debatable, as it is not necessarily in control of all the plots; they just tend to happen due to different tribes, such as Zeal, worshiping it or its own natural instincts for world destruction.
  • Twisted Metal series has Calypso.
  • The Baldur's Gate series:
    • Sarevok in the first game.
    • Irenicus in the second.
    • Amelissan in the expansion to the second game and the last part of the story.
    • For the series as a whole, Bhaal might count, but in each individual installation, he's the Bigger Bad.
  • Two thirds of the Ultima series had Big Bads:
    • In Ultima I it was Mondain the Wizard, who was using the Gem of Immortality to take over the world.
    • In Ultima II, his lover Minax tries to take revenge.
    • Ultima III had their offspring/creation Exodus take its turn at world conquering.
    • Ultimas IV - VI had no Big Bads. A case could be made in Ultima V for Blackthorn, but you can go the entire game without ever encountering him.
    • Ultima VII - Ultima IX had The Guardian as their Big Bad, trying to conquer Britannia from without.
  • The Might and Magic series has had a number of Big Bads over its very long run.
    • Might and Magic 1 to 5: Sheltem, a rogue Planetary Guardian, one of many created by The Ancients, who went a little bonkers and decided the best way to protect his own planet was to destroy all the other ones that were created by the Ancients.
    • Archibald Ironfist was the Big Bad of Heroes of Might and Magic 2, being the evil contender in the titular Succession War. He seems to be set up as this in Might and Magic 7, after being released in 6, but ultimately is upstaged by his Terran advisors, who themselves fail to reach this level by virtue of not causing most of the problems the heroes must solve.
    • Might and Magic 6 and Heroes of Might and Magic 3: The Kreegan, the ancient enemies of the Ancients, although their leadership changed quite frequently due to consistently being killed by the games' heroes. M&M 6 had the Kreegan Queen and HMM 3 had Xenofex and, after Xenofex gets killed in M&M 7,[1] Lucifer.
    • Might and Magic 8: Escaton the Destroyer causes, directly or indirectly, most of the problems the heroes must face. As opposed to Sheltem, however, he is not malfunctioning, just caught between his programming and the realization that the Ancients might have failed to consider this situation or deemed it acceptable losses.
    • Might and Magic 9 and Heroes of Might and Magic 4: These two games mainly suffered from Canon Discontinuity due to 3DO games pretty much crashing and burning at the time they were made.
    • Heroes of Might and Magic 5 and Dark Messiah: The Demon Sovereign, Kha-Beleth.
  • The Tales (series) has its fair share of Big Bads, although in many of them you don't learn that they are the Big Bad until much later in the game.
    • Tales of Phantasia has Dhaos who is really trying to use the mana of the World Tree to save his homeworld, Derris-Kharlan.
    • Tales of Symphonia, the distant prequel, has Mithos Yggdrassil, who is trying to use the power of the World Tree to revive his sister Martel and create a world where all people are stripped of free will and therefore are equal.
    • Tales of Destiny 2 has Elraine at first, with Fortuna as the Bigger Bad.
    • Tales of Eternia alternates it, initially pointing to Balir, but he was Dead All Along and Shizel is the person behind it. However, she was possessed by a god called Nereid, triggered by Balir's very death, among other factors.
    • Tales of Graces has Lambda for the main story, along with Fodora Queen in the Future arc.
    • Tales of Legendia switches it up a bit, with Vaclav as the Disc One Final Boss during the first half. Maurits takes over the spotlight, but he's subordinate to the Nerifes, the real Big Bad. Afterward, the Character Quests' overarching plot involves the black mist, and Schwartz, the one generating it.
    • Tales of the Abyss has Vandesdelca, aka "The One Who Would Seize Glory" (more commonly known early on as Luke's swordsmanship Master, Van Grants)
    • Tales of Vesperia has Alexei Dinoia, though the last act of the game involves cleaning up his mess.
  • The Tale of Alltynex trilogy have the titular Master Computer Alltynex OS where almost everything that goes wrong in the series can be traced back to it. Altough some hints in Alltynex Second seems to suggest it can be traced even further back to Satariel, the one that caused Alltynex to turn rouge in the first place.
  • Yo-Jin-Bo has Harumoto, upstart clan-leader wannabe and would-be murderer of Hatsuhime.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the Valuan empire is led by Empress Teodora, although her head admiral, Lord Galcian, has his own ulterior motives and serves as the true Big Bad. Incidentally, his Dragon, Ramirez, is the actual final boss, taking over after Galcian is killed, and changing the plan from rule the world to destroy the world.
  • While not the actual final fight, Temuorin serves this role in Eien no Aselia. Not the most powerful enemy faced, either. Just the one who was in charge all along.
  • Graf Michael Seppein of Rosenkreuzstilette, soon usurped by Iris after his defeat. He organized for a rebellion against the Holy Empire and made a Deal with the Devil, becoming a vampire and commanding an army of monsters, demons, and the undead, and even bringing back Raimund Seyfarth as The Grim Reaper.
    • Iris is the true antagonist, as she arranged for the rebellion to be held against the Empire just For the Evulz of it. She had her father imprison Karl because He Knows Too Much and even arranged for Raimund to be brought Back from the Dead. Her agenda is to become the god of the world, and intends to use the power and intellect she got from being reincarnated from Rosenkreuz to do just that.
  • Faulkner of Vanguard Bandits. From his very first appearance in the story, to the endgame fight against in every ending. He isn't hesitant to head out to battle himself multiple times earlier on to lay a massive-sized beatdown on any poor fool who gets in his way.
  • Uka Uka from Crash Bandicoot. While Dr. Neo Cortex seemingly was behind all the events in the first two Crash games, it was eventually revealed that he did everything under Uka Uka's orders. However, in Crash: Mind over Mutant, Cortex doublecrosses Uka Uka and becomes the Big Bad himself.
  • In FEAR, it's a toss-up between humongously powerful psychic Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl Alma and Corrupt Corporate Executive Genevieve Aristide. While Alma has undeniably been wronged, her revenge is... rather extreme. As for Aristide, she just wants to keep her job, and to hell with anyone who has to die in order for her to do so. Events would never have gotten as hellish as they did if either one of them wasn't in the picture.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has a different Big Bad in each game, although they're often in the service of Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedra Lord of Destruction, who serves as the Bigger Bad of the setting.
    • Elder Scrolls 1: Arena, had traitorous Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn, who was secretly in league with Dagon.
    • Elder Scrolls: Battlespire, a spin-off game taking place during Arena's time period, had Mehrunes Dagon himself leading the Daedric invasion of the Imperial Battlespire.
    • Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall has several different faction leaders, but the Underking is the one most directly tied to the main quest line (and also the guy on the front cover of the game). Also, Lord Woodborne is the one who turns out to be behind the murder of the King.
      • In the end, the game doesn't really have a Big Bad. The Underking turns out to be not all that far from a good guy, Lord Woodborne, while directly responsible for the King of Daggerfall's death, is not an independent operator...
    • Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, another spin-off game which tells a smaller-scale, more personal story, has Imperial governor Admiral Richton as the main antagonist.
    • Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind has the A God Am I supervillain Dagoth Ur.
    • Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion has Mythic Dawn cult leader Mankar Camoran, but his master Mehrunes Dagon makes an appearance at the very end.
    • Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has Alduin, the Nordic dragon god of destruction.
  • The Fallout series:
    • Fallout 1: The Master
    • Fallout 2: President Richardson
    • Fallout 3: Colonel Autumn, with President Eden as a Bigger Bad.
    • Fallout: New Vegas: Caesar (a little trickier since there's an ending path where you join him, but he's still obviously the central figure in the main conflict). Aside from him the DLC all have their own Big Bads:
      • Dead Money: Father Elijah
      • Honest Hearts: Salt-Upon-Wounds
      • Old World Blues: Dr. Mobius, later on revealed to be Dr. Klein
      • Lonesome Road: Ulysses, who is arguably the Bigger Bad of the DLCs.
  • In Famous has Kessler until the end reveals the Beast as the true Big Bad.
    • Bertrand in the second game.
  • Prototype has Elizabeth Greene for the Infected, and General Peter Randall for Blackwatch.
    • The true antagonist is the real Alex Mercer as he created the Blacklight virus and unleashed it in New York. Too bad you won't confront him since he died unleashing the virus.
    • The second game would have Alex Mercer.
  • Dead Rising has Carlito Keyes, though he's more of a Big Bad Wannabe.
    • The Overtime mode introduces Brock Mason, the second Big Bad of the game.
    • Dead Rising 2 has TK throughout the entire game, although the true mastermind behind the outbreak is revealed to be Sullivan, or Stacey in the alternate timeline of Off the Record
    • The Case West DLC seems to reveal the series' Bigger Bad in the form of the Director of Phenotrans.
  • In The Witcher, we are lead to believe that Azar Javed is the Big Bad of the game. The Big Bad reveals to be Jaques de Aldersberg, head of the Order of the Burning Rose.
  • In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Letho serves as the main antagonist, with other major antagonists varying depending on whether or not he sides with either Vernon Roche or Iorveth.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Loghain acts as your standard Big Bad for a large portion of the game, until he's upstaged by the Archdemon. The sequel then goes on to deconstruct this trope: in the end, every party involved in the games' climax is partly to blame for how things turn out, whether by design or simply being a bit too close to the fire.
  • Dragon Age II: Deconstructed. Cassandra tries to find out who the Big Bad was, but there is only Grey and Grey Morality and Well-Intentioned Extremist characters.
  • Frank Fontaine in BioShock (series). Sophia Lamb in BioShock (series) 2.
  • Each game in the Homeworld franchise has a pretty clear-cut example:
    • The Taiidan emperor from Homeworld. Spends most of the game in the shadows, but according to the backstory for Homeworld: Cataclysm, he was a twisted, ruthless mess of a ruler who managed to stay on his throne by cloning himself, and who ordered the destruction of an entire planet - namely YOURS - mostly as a publicity stunt.
    • The Beast infection is the primary antagonist Homeworld: Cataclysm, and towards the end of the game it is controlled by The Nagarrok, an ancient alien vessel that picked up the Beast infection in Hyperspace. It even has it's own Dragon in the infected lower half of the Somtaaw Command Ship.
    • The nomadic Vaygr from Homeworld 2 are led by Makaan in their attempts to conquer the galaxy. Unusually for a Big Bad, he's killed before the end of the game, and you spend the last mission fighting off what's left of his fleet as they try to bomb your planet.
  • Dead or Alive series:
    • Raidou in the first.
    • Tengu in the second.
    • Omega / Genra in the third.
    • ALPHA-152 in the fourth.
  • The demon Varalys in the Hydlide series.
  • The Fire Emblem Series is home to quite a few per game.
    • In the first game and its remake (Shadow Dragon), we have the Big Bad Duumvirate of Earth Dragon Medeus and Demon King Gharnef.
    • The second game has the dark god Doma though he's actually a pretty okay guy, though he has a cosmic-scale sibling rivalry going on.
    • Medeus and Gharnef return in the third game.
    • The fourth game has the evil deity Loptous, though he's a very impersonal opponent, and indeed you never fight him directly, with most of the direct villainy being done by his high priest Manfroy and his human vessel Yurius.
    • The fifth game, a "midquel" to the two halves of the fourth, has the dark priest Veld, though he's actually Manfroy's second in command.
    • Fire Emblem: Fuin No Tsurugi, the 6th game, had King Zephiel as the main Big Bad.
    • Fire Emblem: Rekka No Ken (simply Fire Emblem in the English version), the 7th installment, first focuses on Lundgren, as he's trying to kill Lyn so he can rightfully ascend to the throne of Caelin, but he's just the villain in the prologue. After that, there's a decoy Big Bad in the form of Lord Darin, but the actual wirepuller is the Dark Druid Nergal.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones features The Demon King, Formortiis, as the main enemy. He had been defeated by the five heroes many years ago, but he has been revived due to Lyon's creation of the Dark Stone from Grado's sacred stone. While indirectly responsible for Grado's military ambitions, and all that followed it, he is directly responsible for the appearance of monsters across Magvel.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance stars Ashnard, king of Daein, as the primary antagonist. He desires a world in which the strong dominate the weak, and he seeks to use Lehran's Medallion to awaken a Dark God and gain power. He is the final boss, and most of the earlier bosses are working for him. This includes the Four Riders, most notably the Black Knight.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is divided into four parts, each part having its own big bad. In Part I, the primary antagonist is Jarod, a Begnion general who seeks to supress the Dawn Brigade's uprising in Daein. In Part II, it is Lord Ludveck, who wants to displace Queen Elincia as ruler of Crimea. Part III is unique, in that you alternately play as opposing armies; it could be considered Micaiah, or Ike, but it would better be considered Pelleas' signing of the blood pact. In part IV, the big bad is Goddess Ashera, who seeks to destroy the world, which she has deemed irredeemable, at the urging of Lehran.
  • In the Web Game The Colour Tuesday, Officer Maxwell is the closest seen in the only released installment. The closest seen.
  • While the original Spyro the Dragon series normally had a stand alone Big Bad each game, the new The Legend of Spyro trilogy had the Dark Master Malefor as it's main villain. His Dragons Dark Cynder and Gaul serving as the main villains in the first two games due to their master being Sealed Evil in a Can they're trying to free at the time, but it's ultimately Malefor manipulating everything from behind the scenes. He's finally let out at the end of The Eternal Night and pretty much causes havok and destruction for three years while the heroes are Sealed Good in a Can before serving as the direct villain of Dawn Of The Dragon.
  • The Stellar 7 series presents Gir Draxon as the Big Bad.
  • Oddworld:
    • Abe's Oddysee has Molluck the Glukkon.
    • Abe's Exoddus has the Brewmaster.
    • Munch's Oddysee has Humphrey and Irwin with Humphrey as the dominant Big Bad.
    • Stranger's Wrath has Sekto.
    • Lady Margaret, as the queen of the Magog Cartel is the Bigger Bad behind Molluck, Brewmaster and all the other Glukkons, however she hasn't appeared in a game yet.
      • Lady Margaret's grandmother is the Bigger Bad behind Lady Margaret, and is supposed to appear in Squeek's Oddysee.
        • It was heavily implied in several interviews that the ones really in control of the industry will not appear until the end of the Quintology.
  • Septerra Core. Doskias is the Big Bad, right from the beginning of the game.
  • Dracula in almost every Castlevania game. The Japanese title is Demon Castle Dracula for a reason. There are exceptions, however:
  • Forrest Kaysen in Deadly Premonition, who caused most, if not all of, the problems in the story ( the murders that take place in Greenvale, and driving the townspeople insane with purple gas) . It's even to the point he's responsible for horribly mentally scarring of the original personality of the one called York, the original personality being Zach.
  • Mizar, a.k.a. Tribal leader Jeff's long-lost brother Barry, in Jet Force Gemini.
  • There are three in Okami: Orochi, Ninetails and Yami. It's later revealed that all of the main bosses in the game, main villains and minions, come from the same source (not another villain, but rather the source of evil's very existence).
  • Jasper Batt Jr. in No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle. In almost every other game by Suda 51, including the first No More Heroes, whether or not there's a villain, let alone WHO, is up to interpretations.
  • Bruno Dondurma, whose chase after the medallion to awaken Lares is the major conflict of Solatorobo. At first.
  • Drazil in Soul Nomad and The World Eaters fit's the bill.
  • There are 2 of them in Asura's Wrath, Lord Deus and The Gohma.
  • Each Golden Sun game has one:
    • The first game has Saturos and Menardi as a Big Bad Duumvirate, though Saturos is the dominant of the two.
    • The second game has Alex, a member of the first game's now-broken Five-Bad Band and it's implied that he was manipulating Saturos and Menardi in the first game.
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has Arcanus, whom any person who played the first games will instantly recognize as Alex.
  • The Old One in Demon's Souls is the source of the world's demons. Even worse, it's also the source of the setting's magic called soul arts and is heavily implied to be "God" too.
  • Demon's Souls Spiritual Successor Dark Souls notably doesn't have a real Big Bad. The reason behind everything going wrong is simple entropy. Gwyndolin does try to manipulate you in a bid for power, but he's ultimately a minor player—he's not even a required boss fight.
  • Max Payne has Nicole Horne in Max Payne and Vladimir Lem in The Fall of Max Payne.
  • Silent Hill:
  • Those Wacky Nazis serve this role for most of the Call of Duty games, excepting Black Ops, where the Big Bad is Soviet General Nikita Dragovich.
    • Modern Warfare Big Bads:
      • Call of Duty 4: Imran Zakhaev.
      • Modern Warfare 2: At first you think it's Makarov, but it turns out to be General Shepherd.
      • Modern Warfare 3: Makarov's the real deal this time around.
  • The Viewtiful Joe series has one, mentioned at the end of the second game being responsible for everything...but the third game doesn't seem to be coming out any decade soon.
  • Nine Persons Nine Hours Nine Doors plays with this in a surprising way. The Big Bad ends up being Ace as the person who set everything into motion, but the current Notary Game is actually being run by June and Santa, who are trying to punish the four men responsible for the first game and to get Junpei to save June's life. Time travel loops and all that.
  • Neverwinter Nights series:
    • The creator race queen Morag in the original. She seeks to restore the reptiloid dominion over the Sword Coast.
    • The medusa Huerodis in Shadows of Undrentide. She wants to raise the fallen Netherese city of Undrentide for unknown reasons, and manipulates you into delivering a mythallar to do it with. No word on what the next bit of her plan was.
    • The archdevil Mephistopheles in Hordes of the Underdark. After being bound on the Prime Material Plane by a powerful drow priestess called the Valsharess, he manipulates you into destroying her armies and attacking her, weakening her enough to break free. He wants to Take Over the World.
    • The King of Shadows in Neverwinter Nights 2. This is a Pure Magic Being that seeks to uphold the laws and protect the descendants of the ancient empire of Illefarn. Problem is, Illefarn is long gone due in large part to the King of Shadows' origin story, and the King is corrupted by Black Magic. See this page for full details.
    • Akachi the Betrayer in Mask of the Betrayer. Sort of. He was transformed into a curse of elemental hunger that is slowly killing you.
    • In Storm of Zehir, the yuan-ti House Se'sehen, led by an avatar of Zehir, the yuan-ti god of poison. They want to Take Over the World.
  • Jade Empire plays with this trope: Death's Hand first appears to be a bad guy acting on his own, and then it is revealed that he has been acting on Emperor Sun Hai's orders all along and the Emperor was the one who set up the death of the Water Dragon and the upsetting of the balance in the first place. Once you defeat the Emperor, your kindly old Master Li wanders in, reveals that this was all part of his Evil Plan to get vengeance on his brother Sun Hai, and kills you, and it turns out that he was actually the mastermind behind the massacre at Dirge, as well as the final boss of the game.
  • Something series
    • Ballser is the big bad of Something because he was responsible for stealing the plot.
    • The Evil Guy is the big bad in Something Else because he invaded the world of the bears with his mighty army and kidnapped the village elder.
  • Professor G is the main antagonist of Battle Golfer Yui. He plans to take over the world with Battle Golfers, cybernetically-enhanced golfers with brainwashing thrown in.
  1. He is not the Big Bad of that game - no one is, most problems the heroes must solve being actually independent -, but he gets killed in it.