Episode 8 – Heroes and Villains

We all love heroes, right?  We also know that for a great story to exist, there needs to be great characters, and while not all stories are epic adventures of  ass-kickery, they all most definitely have a main character we can relate to.  Whether you’re reading a book, watching a movie or playing a game it is fairly safe to say that during that time you have a vested interest in the characters and the world in which they exist.  However, for every great protagonist, there should be a great antagonist and every once in awhile, the villains are even cooler than the hero, right!  We know!  This week, we’re talking Heroes and Villains and what we feel make them effective, believable and deeply complex.  Seal up your Bat Cave, double up on inept Henchmen, and make sure your Fortress of Solitude stays that way because you won’t want to miss a minute of this!

(01:21) – Do you love aliens and UFO’s as much as Ramses does?  Probably not.  Government conspiracies and extra-terrestrial overlords your cup o’ tea?  We’re guessing yes.  Robert dons a foil hat and talks the HD re-release of Beyond Good and Evil on xbox 360.  Plus, he got a new iPhone and hates on Angry Birds.

(05:42) – Matt channels his inner cage fighter and geeks out on Spike TV‘s final season of The Ultimate Fighter.  Now is a great time to be a fan of violent man-on-man action (yep, you heard that right), and what is more awesome than seeing two half crazy guys beat the ever-loving shiz-nit out of one another?  Not much, unless you’re Ramses, as, according to our resident Housewives and Jersey Shore, the fighter’s time in the house is filler?  Maybe he’d enjoy WWE Wrestling instead.

(13:01) – BABY MONKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!  Karen drops some hate on the Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig) app,  followed up with some love for Cordy.  Check both out and you’ll either have some Sonic the Hedgehog nostalgia, a melted brain from the frustrating cuteness or both…. all while riding on a pig… backwards… FOREVER………………

(17:49) – Looking forward to the upcoming PlayStation Vita or the next hot Nintendo DS release? You might rethink things after hearing this brief segment on why our Smartphones may be better…even Matt’s.

(19:15) – What do Smirnoff Vodka, DJ Hero and BET have in common?  Apparently, it’s Master of the Mix, and Ramses drops some knowledge on how whack the rest of the Monkeys are for failing to tune in.  Get down with your bad-self and groove to the sweet beats of this trash talking DJ reality show, but only if you tune in once a week at midnight.  You miss it, and you sir or madame, do not get a cocktail.

(25:20) – It’s topic time!  We start off our discussion on heroes and villains by looking at the problematic black and white existence of old-school “Lawful Good” heroes – Superman can’t relate to humans, Cloud Strife is a cross-dresser and the only effective goody-goody hero that post-modern society will buy into are the one’s with half a brain.  Maybe the super-good types should stick to the supporting roles…

(31:59) – The group breaks down some aspects of the traditional Dungeons & Dragons alignment system and it’s effectiveness is questionable at best.  Oh, and FYI, Robert loves Neutral Evil and Matt’s pragmatism pushes him to Lawful Neutral so pick your poison wisely.

(35:16) – It’s getting Machiavellian up in here!  What’s better than a hero that kick’s ass, take names, and looks awesome doing it?  That’s right, nothing!  We love antiheroes – those good guys that you hate to love, want to be, and can’t get enough of.  From Payback and Get Carter to Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, and Deadwood, sometimes it feels good to root for the bad guy acting as a good guy acting as a bad guy and vice versa.

(40:36) – Talk about shades of gray!  Matt starts splitting anti-hero hairs when the group takes a look at the flawed hero subset.  The Winchester brothers from Supernatural get a nod along with Angel from the Whedonverse.  Oh, and Batman hands down has to fight the toughest baddies ever, because honestly, the Dark Knight would be killing fools left and right.

(43:30) – Anti-heroes definitely walk the line and can easily tip to the side of villain.  Karen and Matt offer some personal insight into their approaches to creating villains while the discussion looks at the reluctant villainy of Dr. Horrible, the twisted origins of The Walking Dead‘s Governor, and the sympathetic approach to Lucifer in Supernatural.  Oh, and then there are the potential pitfalls of being TOO evil, unless you’re Robert.

(50:36) – Matt talks about his favorite villain of all time, R.A. Salvatore‘s Dark Elf novels’ Artemis Entreri and how his character progression is way better that the Emo development of the series protagonist, Drizzt.  Cry-baby Dark Elf….

(53:52) – We look at the role of villains in different genre’s of gaming and the lack of depth needed to engage them.  Bowser and Dr. Robotnik are superficial, Red Dead Redemption‘s John Marston is a villain among villains (or an anti-hero, your pick), and depending on how you feel, your own self in Skyrim.  Our guess is that if you’re creating your own open-world sex dungeon, you’re probably not racking up brownie points with the local watch patrol…

(56:45) -We close the discussion with a look at villains as they are separated from everyone else through dehumanization. What is the worst kind of villain and the easiest one to accept having to combat? Any one who is different or name starts with “The.”  And then there’s Magneto….

Closing Song – Baby Monkey (Going Backwards On A Pig) – performed by Parry Gripp


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  1. Pingback: Episode 76 - Heroes: Part Deux | Monkey In The Cage

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