Welcome back to our 30 day video game challenge! If you’d like to catch up with the other days, click here.
Today we’re covering:
Day 21: Who is your favorite antagonist?
Man oh man. There are so many fantastically-written villains, but this guy is just fabulously awful.
Ghirahim from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Yes, I just wrote all about how I was overall disappointed in this game, but that’s excluding this guy. And Ganon/Demise. But I digress. I was talking about Ghirahim.
…I both want him to be in another Zelda game and punch him in the face all at the same time. Come to think of it, that seems to really sum up what a favorite antagonist should be, right? You hate ’em and love ’em… and perhaps love to hate ’em.
I hated fighting this guy as Link, because his fights required such precision that my poor not-Master-Sword didn’t have (i.e., that my 1:1 controller didn’t have), but I looked forward to each fight because they were interesting and really tested Link’s abilities. As a player I loved when he showed up, because he was so arrogant and entitled. He made me so angry and I love when characters elicit strong emotions.
Possibly one of my favorite things about Ghirahim is that Link isn’t frightened of him, but rather disturbed by him. Ghirahim’s narcissism almost makes him more dangerous than his cruelty, because his guiding principle is his arrogance, and the way he conducts himself can be unnerving or jarring. And an unpredictable enemy is a threatening one.
He switches between polite conversation and awful threats to beat Link, from lamentations of his miscalculations to well-manicured temper-tantrums, and all the while taunting our favorite elf-boy about how he’s going to fail in his mission.
Interestingly, he could be seen as the “shadow Link” of this game, representing all the characteristics the Hero can’t have: arrogance, cruelty, instability… And the fact that his mental state seems to suffer as the game progresses could perhaps be a nod to the increasing mental stress Link is experiencing and must overcome in order to be successful in his quest. So not only does Ghirahim represent an antagonist opposite the protagonist, but also represents the antagonist within the hero.
What do you think? Is Ghirahim as fabulous as I made him out to be? Who is your favorite antagonist in a video game (or other medium, if you’re so inclined)? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon,
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