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The Bigger Bad

The Bigger Bad

Your bargaining posture is highly dubious… but very well… I will provide you with a new body and new troops to command. (Megatron: And?!) AND NOTHING!!! You belong to me now! (Megatron: I BELONG TO NOBODY!!) Perhaps I misjudged you. Proceed… on your way to oblivion. (Megatron: AAAAH!! NO, NO!! I accept your terms! I ACCEPT!!) Excellent!
~ Unicron asserting his power over Megatron before reformatting him into Galvatron.

In works of fictions starring many villains, there can be either a main antagonist for each story arc or a Big Bad standing at the top of the hierarchy. In the latter case, however, one (or sometimes more than one) villain even more powerful and influential than the Big Bad himself can be introduced: the aptly-named Bigger Bad, also known as a Greater Scope Villain. Exceptions aside, the Bigger Bad ultimately has a smaller role than the Big Bad in focus.

However, the Bigger Bad is pretty much the main reason for the circumstances in the story that usually would not be (naturally) possible to occur (pollution, artifact of doom, evil ancient group to which the Big Bad used to belong/is acting as a leader, etc).

They can also be the main supply of power for the Big Bad, and sometimes the very motivation for said Big Bad to act villainously.

Should the story ultimately end up putting more focus on the Bigger Bad, it may over-cede the current antagonist as the Big Bad. This type of villain often serves as an unseen character or is revealed at the very end of the story.

HIGHLY IMPORTANT: a Bigger Bad can logically ONLY appear in stories with a Big Bad. A Big Bad CANNOT be a Bigger Bad at the same time, unless there is a spin-off series in which one of his servants serves as the Big Bad.

Examples

Videogames

  • Shinryu of the whole Final Fantasy multiverse.
  • Jenova and Hojo in Final Fantasy VII.
  • Bhunivelze is the overall Bigger Bad of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel and the Big Bad of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: His actions in the past that drives the entire series - particularly his creation of Lindzei, who would go on to destroy Pulse and make the Cocoon fal'cie.
  • The Dark Star/Dark Bowser in the Mario & Luigi series.
  • Dark Gaia in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, debatedly.
    • Black Doom in Sonic Adventure 2 and the Big Bad of Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • Demise in the Legend of Zelda franchise.
  • Lumine of the Mega Man X series.
  • Omega of the Mega Man Zero series.
  • Dr. Wily of the Mega Man ZX series.
  • Ozwell Edward Spencer in the Resident Evil franchise.
  • Nokturnus of the whole Dragon Quest franchise and leader of the series' villains in Dragon Quest Battle Road Victory.
  • Dark Matter in the Kirby Series.
  • Uka Uka in Crash Bandicoot.
  • Harlan Wade/The Creep in F.E.A.R..
  • The Lambent in the Gears of War games.
  • Imran Zakhaev and General Shephard in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series.
  • Ancient Ogre and Azazel in Tekken.
  • Algol in the Soul Calibur franchise.
  • The Gravemind in the first Halo trilogy.
  • The God/The Demon/Samael, worshiped by The Order, is the Bigger Bad in the Silent Hill survival horror videogame franchise.
  • Zrin in the Spore-like video game Darkspore.
  • Argosax the Chaos in the Devil May Cry franchise.
  • The Void Lords for the entire World of Warcraft.
  • Mother Brain in the Metroid series. She was formerly the Big Bad.
  • Akuma in the Street Fighter series.
  • The One Being in Mortal Kombat.
  • Cave Johnson in P0RTAL.
  • The Catalyst and the Leviathans in Mass Effect.
  • Tabuu in Super Smash Bros.
  • The Voice of the Azran in the Professor Layton series.
  • Bansai Ichiyanagi and Morgan Fey in Ace Attorney.
    • In Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the crossover of both series, High Inquisitor Darklaw is the Bigger Bad.
  • Darkseid and Trigon from the Injustice series.

Novels

  • Morgoth of the entire Middle-earth legendarium. Interestingly, he is the main antagonist in the novel The Silmarillion.
  • Azathoth of the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • The Crimson King in the Stephen King multiverse. Interestingly, he himself becomes the Big Bad in King's central work The Dark Tower.
  • Salazar Slytherin in the Harry Potter series, despite being a posthumous character.
  • Lord Sunday in The Keys to the Kingdom series.
  • Crayak in the original Animorphs.
  • Gaea in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books.
  • The Calormene god Tash in The Chronicles of Narnia series.
  • The Faceless Ones in the Skulduggery Pleasant series.
  • President Alma Coin in the Hunger Games series.

Animated Films

  • Big Boss of Rio 2.
  • Grimmel the Grisly in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Live Action Films

  • Valak in The Conjuring series.

Television

  • The Evil Entity from Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated.
  • Vaatu from the second season of The Legend of Korra.

Comics

  • The One Below All for the Marvel comics universe.
  • The Great Evil Beast for DC comics universe.
  • The Lord of the Locust for the Bone series.

Anime/Manga

  • King Cold and Beerus for Dragon Ball.
  • Kaguya and Black Zetsu for Naruto.
  • The Gorosei and Im for One Piece.
  • All for One for My Hero Academia.
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