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View Full Version : Who is the BBEG these days anyhow?



Strormer
2012-01-23, 12:20 PM
Right, so this has been bouncing around in my head for a while now, pretty much since Azure, but who is the BBEG these days?
Now up until this morning I was leaning towards Tarquin just because he seems to have all the angles figured out and I can completely see him taking over the plot once all the players are gathered at one gate.
After comic 830 though, Redcloak, just... damn... and the bad thing is I still like him and would feel bad for him if he failed.

Spacewolf
2012-01-23, 12:23 PM
Wait to see who shows up just in time to grab the gate from under the heros and who shows up as a distraction or gets a big D something moment

Kish
2012-01-23, 12:23 PM
Xykon. Still, always, Xykon.

Tarquin is a subplot villain.

NerfTW
2012-01-23, 12:55 PM
Right, so this has been bouncing around in my head for a while now, pretty much since Azure, but who is the BBEG these days?
Now up until this morning I was leaning towards Tarquin just because he seems to have all the angles figured out and I can completely see him taking over the plot once all the players are gathered at one gate.
After comic 830 though, Redcloak, just... damn... and the bad thing is I still like him and would feel bad for him if he failed.

Not everything has to fit into nice little categories. A story can have multiple villains with no clear "top" villain. Trying to cram each character into a list of cliches is meaningless.

CarinTrenos
2012-01-23, 12:58 PM
In terms of drama i would say the guy who is capable of destroying the world is more dangerous than the one who whants to control it.

JSSheridan
2012-01-23, 01:06 PM
The dark one.

ThePhantasm
2012-01-23, 01:08 PM
I don't see any reason to assume that it is not still Xykon.

Eerie
2012-01-23, 02:16 PM
Xykon is still the BBEG. The last comic changes nothing. We know that Redcloak is pretty badass himself, but... well, reread the last pages of SoD. All still true.

derfenrirwolv
2012-01-23, 02:20 PM
Whatever being lurks in Xykons crown, subtly influencing him to greatness, and those who oppose him to act idiotic.

Gift Jeraff
2012-01-23, 02:21 PM
Everyone knows it's Xykon!
:xykon: That's me!

Morty
2012-01-23, 02:21 PM
Xykon is probably one of the most powerful individuals on the Material Plane right now and he has Redcloak firmly under his heel. But in the end, the entire reason he's in this story is the Dark One's plan and Redcloak's execution of it. So I don't think this is a clear-cut issue.

thereaper
2012-01-23, 02:30 PM
Xykon is the current BBEG. Redcloak is just a dragon with an agenda. Tarquin is a side villain.

Now, could these things change? Yes. If Redcloak is successful, then the Dark One becomes the BBEG. If the Snarl is somehow released, and is (still) the universe-destroying monster of the flashbacks, then it becomes the BBEG.

I don't see Tarquin becoming the BBEG. He showed up far too late to the party.

Jubal_Barca
2012-01-23, 03:00 PM
Xykon is the BBEG. BBEGs can be manipulated, though; it's not simply a case of a food chain of evil.

You see, as Xykon knows, power equals power. What Xykon is less hot on is that it doesn't HAVE to be YOUR power. The person who wins is the one who can utilise the most power, and the power to utilise the power of others is in itself hugely, hugely important.

Flame of Anor
2012-01-23, 03:04 PM
It's definitely Xykon or Redcloak, but as to which one, if you think it's obvious you're probably oversimplifying. :smallsmile:

Strormer
2012-01-23, 03:17 PM
Yeah, I'm really just curious where popular opinion stood. Xy and Tarq both want to rule, albeit by different methods, but RC really seems to be the puppetmaster here. He's working all the angles. The reason I was favoring Tarq is that his involvement with the LG puts him in a strong position while Xy has been distracted of late. I think RC is revealing himself as bbeg now, though, with Xy as an unwitting dragon, but Xy has the potential to snap RC in half if he figures it out. Should be interesting.

Emulgator
2012-01-23, 03:37 PM
I vote for Redcloak. Sure, Xykon is stronger. Sure, Xykon is the one acting like he is in charge. But it's all about puppet strings.
Redcloak gave Xykon a purpose. Redcloak is the one who knows what the ritual actually does. Redcloak have the support of the Dark One, who's actually a closest thing to BBEG, but also currently only relies on Redcloak, as far as we know.
Redcloak is competent. Redcloak doesn't fool around. Xykon? He's like a Thog. Show him the good guys, he'll fight them. Without a plan, just with power - it's his modus operandi. He's powerful enough to kill almost anyone. But in the end?
He's still a dragon to Redcloak's agenda. Without Xykon Redcloak needs to find another epic mage - and that's very hard in OOTSverse, almost impossible. And Xykon without Redcloak?
He'd just get killed. Either in the dungeon, or by collective human/elven/goblin forces. Because he'd bite more than he can chew. He doesn't plan, after all.
So yeah. Redcloak.

rbetieh
2012-01-23, 03:44 PM
Tarquin seems more like a dragon-slaying villain to me. Takes out the Dragon, gets rocked by the BBEG, like Vegeta.

Standard Video Game convention says the Last Boss ought to be the Snarl though, wont happen, but theres convention for you. That doesnt change who the BBEG is though, which needs to be Xykon for that whole Roy v X thing to make dramatic sense.

ti'esar
2012-01-23, 05:17 PM
In terms of drama i would say the guy who is capable of destroying the world is more dangerous than the one who whants to control it.

Xykon is every bit as capable of destroying the world as Redcloak, and for far more trivial reasons. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0442.html) So, while I agree with the person who said there doesn't need to be one fixed "big bad", if there is one it's still Xykon. However, the last few strips have given Redcloak a much better chance of fitting the role then he's had since SoD came out, so ultimately, I'm going to wait and see.

Tarquin's not even a contender, though.

deworde
2012-01-23, 05:22 PM
In terms of power, Xykon. But narratively?
Redcloak. OBVIOUSLY Redcloak.

Start of Darkness isn't the story of how Xykon became a sorceror and a lich. That story's dealt with on 2, maybe 3 pages, most of them taken up with parodies of pop fiction.

It's the story of Redcloak surrendering everything to his desire to accomplish his God's goals.

I want to go back and read SoD with the new information that's part of this book, especially the end, to see if there are hints to how Redcloak views the undead even then.

Because if he felt like that, how far was he responsible for Xykon returning to claim Right-Eye's village? Was Xykon just an out-of-control weapon? Or plausible deniability?

And when he failed to raise Right-Eye, was that for the reasons Xykon said? Or to keep Xykon confident that he was really under his thumb.

Of course, this viewpoint may have been constructed some time in the last 30 years, but still... interesting.

Oscredwin
2012-01-23, 06:12 PM
It's clear that Red Cloak and Xykon both see themselves as the BBEG of the story. My money is on Xykon both because he has more raw power and because he has things going on, and thus an unspoken plan guarantee, which has worked for Roy in the past.

If it's Red Cloak/The Dark One, Xykon's speech to Red Cloak at the end of SoD was wrong. RC did what he did to ensure that the plan would come to fruition, not because he was crushed under Xykon's heel. Evidence for this is that being called Wrong-Eye didn't seem to bother him this time.

The Tarquin/Nale plot is only about revenge and conquering a continent. That's small potatoes compared to what everyone else is doing. They have a dramatic arc with Elan, but comparable screen time to Roy's dad. They don't have the in world prowess or the dramatic gravitas to pull off BBEG, all they have is style. However. they might be part of the big plot as tools of the IFCC...

The IFCC could be contenders. They also see themselves as the "Man behind the Man" for everyone. They've pushed the OotS together, got Xykon moving again, and are manipulating the Linear Guild. They appear to be subverting their gods, and also have an unspoken plan guarantee. However I can see them being beat by either Xykon or RC/The Dark One. Xykon is just too scary powerful/epic, and RC is working with a God to control an universe ending force (which they don't want to unleash on the world). They might be working with The Dark One, but that's unlikely.

Incom
2012-01-23, 08:29 PM
I'm ignoring the Snarl for the sake of this post as it's obviously the most powerful entity around but it's more of a force of nature than an actual villain.

If "BBEG" = "the Man Behind The Long Line Of Men", then IFCC followed closely by The Dark One -- although the latter is presumably more powerful, the former group is far better at manipulating everyone else. Also, their goal is best aided by "destructive, unnecessary conflict". Guess what Team Evil is best at?

If it's just the most powerful side in the comic? Mmmm... probably TDO. Can't really say for sure though.

From OOTS' perspective, it's probably Xykon (except maybe to V--if the IFCC can grant enough power to commit genocide against the black dragons in a single spell, surely any one of them can take Xykon; it's just that V and Blackwing are the only ones aware of their existence yet as far as the Order goes).

Tarquin, while amazing, is not a contender for BBEG status at this time. That could change when everyone converges at Windy Canyon, but for now, his plots don't hold a candle to the IFCC's and TDO's, and he's not even epic as far as we know, which puts him below quite a few characters. Same deal with RC.

Nobody said you needed exactly one BBEG anyway.

tassaron
2012-01-23, 08:50 PM
The only thing that makes me want to say that Redcloak can't be the main antagonist is how he's introduced as a lackey in Book 1. But then I remember how Xykon acted in Book 1 compared to every other book since, and I'm tempted to just ignore that entire book. >_>

Really, it could be made into either depending on how Rich decides to write the ending. But my bet is still going to be on Xykon, since he has a direct (if one-sided) rivalry with Roy.

The Dark One and Snarl are small parts of the story, even if they do end up being fought at the very end of it. The BBEG should be part of the story from the beginning and directly tie into the story's theme. The latter is sort of vague in OOTS, but I think Xykon's and Redcloak's musings on power and who is really the "underdog" fit OOTS's incompetent-but-good-hearted protagonists well, plus the whole DnD aspect does make the story revolve around Fighters vs Magic sometimes, which is a similar idea. It would be a lot less poetic (and epic) for someone other than Xykon or Redclock to be the "main" antagonist.

Flame of Anor
2012-01-24, 12:45 AM
The only thing that makes me want to say that Redcloak can't be the main antagonist is how he's introduced as a lackey in Book 1. But then I remember how Xykon acted in Book 1 compared to every other book since, and I'm tempted to just ignore that entire book. >_>

One of the things that makes this webcomic great is character development. Redcloak was not the BBEG at the beginning of the comic. Now? Maybe he is.



It would be a lot less poetic (and epic) for someone other than Xykon or Redclock to be the "main" antagonist.

I don't think you have to worry about that happening, or anything else non-epic. :smallwink:

Hbgplayer
2012-01-24, 01:59 AM
I think that Xykon is undoubtedly the public BBEG, as in the one that OOTS thinks of as the BBEG; but I now consider Red Cloak to be the real BBEG, the guy that manipulates others to do his bidding.
Think Palpatine and Count Dukoo (sp?), everyone knew about Dukoo, but who would have thought that Palpatine was the one pulling the strings?

Flame of Anor
2012-01-24, 02:29 AM
I think that Xykon is undoubtedly the public BBEG, as in the one that OOTS thinks of as the BBEG; but I now consider Red Cloak to be the real BBEG, the guy that manipulates others to do his bidding.
Think Palpatine and Count Dukoo (sp?), everyone knew about Dukoo, but who would have thought that Palpatine was the one pulling the strings?

Count Dooku. Yeah, I see what you mean.

Sunken Valley
2012-01-24, 02:51 AM
I'll tell you. I'll tell you all. Twice. In Musical Style!

You put your Lich Lord in.
Your Lich Lord out.
In out, in out, shake him all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah.

You put your High Priest in.
Your High Priest out.
In out, in out, shake him all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah.

You put your Opposites in.
Your Opposites out.
In out, in out, shake them all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah.

You put your Tyrant in.
Your Tyrant out.
In out, in out, shake him all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah.

You put your Fiend Corp in.
Your Fiend Corp out.
In out, in out, shake them all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah.

You put your Purple God in.
Your Purple God out.
In out, in out, shake him all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah.

Final line!

You put your Eldritch Abomination and/or Possible Hidden Villain in.
Your Eldritch Abomination and/or Possible Hidden Villain out.
In out, in out, shake them all about.
You do the Big Bad Shuffle and you switch around.
That's what it's all about.

Sing it!

Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Oh, the Big Bad Shuffle.
Thieves Guild, Daimyo's, Rah-Rah-Rah!


Although in truth, we know the central antagonist:

Who Else but Xykon!
He's Xykon, Xykon, you never really know who he's gonna kill next
He's Xykon, Xykon
:xykon: Just remember kids my name starts with an X

:roy: Looks like we've got the whole Order of the Stick here on this peaceful in which we are not prepared for combat.
:elan: I sure hope no epic level lich sauceror comes to kill us!
:roy: Sorceror, Elan, it's not Kingdom of Loathing
:elan: Aw man!
:xykon: Ha Ha! Energy Drain! Meteor Swarm! Meteor Swarm! Another Energy Drain! Ha Ha!

Who Else but Xykon!
He's Xykon, Xykon
:xykon: Animate, Animate, Animate, Animate, Animate Dead!

Jan Mattys
2012-01-24, 06:39 AM
Redcloak is awesome, and sad, and everything an important character in a greatly-written story has to be.

But Xykon is the BBEG. He's Big, he's Bad, he's Evil.
He's more powerful and more dangerous. Redcloak wants leverage for the good of goblins. Xykon wants the whole world under his bony fist.


...and more importantly, Xykon is the nemesis of the leader of the OotS.
Being Roy's arch enemy automatically elevates Xykon to BBEG status, I believe.

Manga Maniac
2012-01-24, 01:26 PM
I'd say Xykon, still. At the end of the day, the Plan all rests on what Xykon decides to do. He could easily decide to blow the plan and kill everyone. I'm not sure how likely it would be, but he's still the one with all the real power.

I suppose you could make an argument that Redcloak is more along the lines of an evil secondary protagonist.

R. Malcovitch
2012-01-24, 09:01 PM
To be honest, I'm pretty sure the most dangerous individuals with an agenda involving the Gates are the IFCC. Team Evil are the most upfront villains, but as far as who ends up as the "end boss" of the comic, I'm definitely putting my money on the Fiends.

For one thing, they're an entire order of magnitude above Xykon. Xykon is incredibly powerful, but his peers, allies, and enemies are all standard mortals. He deals in PC-level threats. The IFCC directors deal in gods. Xykon is opposed, realistically, by Soon, Douroken, etc. He surpasses them, but not by much. Lee, Nero, and Cedric are opposed by Thor, Odin, etc. They dealt with Tiamat as a peer.

Xykon casts Meteor Swarm, IFCC cast Soul Splice.

ti'esar
2012-01-24, 10:24 PM
To be honest, I'm pretty sure the most dangerous individuals with an agenda involving the Gates are the IFCC. Team Evil are the most upfront villains, but as far as who ends up as the "end boss" of the comic, I'm definitely putting my money on the Fiends.

For one thing, they're an entire order of magnitude above Xykon. Xykon is incredibly powerful, but his peers, allies, and enemies are all standard mortals. He deals in PC-level threats. The IFCC directors deal in gods. Xykon is opposed, realistically, by Soon, Douroken, etc. He surpasses them, but not by much. Lee, Nero, and Cedric are opposed by Thor, Odin, etc. They dealt with Tiamat as a peer.

Xykon casts Meteor Swarm, IFCC cast Soul Splice.

Which is one of the main reasons why I don't think they're going to wind up as the "End Boss" - they're just too far up for the Order to realistically challenge them. I think we're much more likely to see whatever their plan is thwarted without a direct mano y mano confrontation. On the other hand, we can fully expect a final showdown with Xykon and Redcloak (assuming both live to the endgame).

Dr.Epic
2012-01-24, 10:59 PM
Now up until this morning I was leaning towards Tarquin just because he seems to have all the angles figured out and I can completely see him taking over the plot once all the players are gathered at one gate.

The guy we just introduced? No.

Ulysses WkAmil
2012-01-24, 11:01 PM
MUST....RESIST....URGE TO SAY "Your Mom"
Probly Xykon, he's still the figure head, even if Redcloak is behind some of the motive.

silvadel
2012-01-24, 11:12 PM
It is the monster in the dark of course.

ti'esar
2012-01-25, 12:59 AM
The guy we just introduced? No.

Yeah, my suspicion is that Tarquin's role in the plot - at least as far as the big bad competition goes - was pretty much summed up by Roy here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0736.html).

Bit Fiend
2012-01-25, 01:38 PM
I'd still say Xykon, lately even more so.

Tarquin is definitely one of my favorite villains ever and, at least according to himself, a formiddable warrior, but he lacks the punch to stand up to Xykon - in all possible areas: power, evilness and even scheming.

As for Redcloak, he's lately been widely considerd to be able to outsmart Xykon and to be pulling the strings from behind the throne, making him The Man Behind The Man and Xykon The (Great Wyrm) Dragon. However let's not forget why Tsukiko was in his study in the first place: Xykon sent her to investigate. He may not know all there is to know about the ritual, but he's aware that there must be something wrong. So more likely than not he's got some contingent plan for Redcloak's eventual betrayal. SoD made clear he is more than capable of elaborate planning if he cares enough to bother - and lately we have seen he did indeed start to care.

Heksefatter
2012-01-25, 01:43 PM
Xykon is still the Big Bad to me. I'd love to see him in action again soon, though. :xykon:

Zarzar
2012-01-25, 02:08 PM
Obviously, the true BBEG is the "Order of the Ninth Side"

Members of this mysterious order include:

Mhzmpth, Last of the Flumph Monks. 18 class levels of monk, he is determined to avenge his brothers by amazing leaps onto his foes. With a thick, stoic Russian accent, his battle cry is "In Soviet Fllumphia, Flumph land on YOU!"

Milickar, risen son of Malack. As a blasphemy against Nergal, the High Priest of Ishtar raised Malack's eldest son as a testament of failure of the Western God of Death's hold on his own domain. This devious cleric seeks to undo the forces of death, whether by resurrection or by re-animation, seeing as his father refused to have him raised from the dead.

Kraagori Toormuck, Half dwarf, half-halfling bard. Having heard of his father's heroic sacrifice, he has traveled far and wide to tell the story of the Order of the Scribble. Having been put under a cease and desist order by the Sapphire Guard (having been served by none other than the charismatic Miyo Miyazaki), he now fights to have the truth of his father be known to the world.

Julio Brooknight, Fallen Prince of the West. As a result of one of Julio Scoundrel's many one night stands in the west, this young man was born to the Empress of Pride, one of the smaller, yet long-lived regimes of the west. He lost his royal name after his mother revealed his lineage, and he refuses to give up his lavish lifestyle. Anything that shines of precious metal and isn't nailed down is fair game to this devilishly handsome, and equally as devious rogue.

Julia Greenhilt, Wizardress Supreme. As sister to Roy Greenhilt, she refuses to play the role of "Roy's Sister" in any more retributive actions against the Order of the Stick. After traveling back in time fifty years in the future, she wishes to have the Order of the Stick's actions forever be unknown. To anyone. Forever.


This ragtag bunch seeks to do the unthinkable - undo the Snarl and use its destructive properties to weave the fabric of reality unto their own making. Xykon merely wants to destroy everything, and the IFCC wants to destroy the forces of good. These five are so greedy, so prideful, that they will remake reality into their own image for their own gain.

Bit Fiend
2012-01-25, 04:32 PM
Milickar, risen son of Malack. As a blasphemy against Nergal, the High Priest of Ishtar raised Malack's eldest son as a testament of failure of the Western God of Death's hold on his own domain. This devious cleric seeks to undo the forces of death, whether by resurrection or by re-animation, seeing as his father refused to have him raised from the dead.

Would that mean Malack would have to kill his own son just to make sure he is dead and his life does not offend Nergal any more? This would make for an extremely awesome RP-Idea (from both sides actually). :smallamused:

Tergon
2012-01-25, 06:24 PM
I think Redcloak and Xykon are tied for the Big Bad at the moment. Smooth and cunning as he is, Tarquin's not gonna take that spot. Hell, he acknowledged himself that no matter how impressive his "story" might be, the threat posed by the Goblins attempting to take the gate trumps any power struggle his kingdom might be involved in.

The thing that Tarquin doesn't know - or Xykon, for that matter - is the secret of the ritual. Everyone right now is playing all their cards toward "Control the Gate, control the Snarl, control the world." Yet as Redcloak just specifically told us, only the Bearer of the Crimson Mantle knows the full ritual. Without him, nobody is getting squat from the Gates because they don't know how they work.
Of course on the other hand, Redcloak needs Xykon - or another high-level caster of his class - to cast the summoning half of the ritual. That's the whole reason Xykon was created, if I remember correctly.
So what it boils down to is that they rely on each other at this point, though perhaps only Redcloak knows exactly how much. And yes, Xykon could squish Redcloak in a straight fight unless Redcloak had a week or two to prepare for it... but Xykon doesn't lead Gobbotopia, Redcloak does. The Goblin Nation is a formidable force in its own right, and Xykon can't just throw that away.

What I can see happening? They remain a team right up until it's time to cast the ritual itself, at which point one does a heel face turn.
Xykon realises he's been tricked, and the Dark One is threatening to unleash the Snarl... and he likes the world, he doesn't want it unmade. He'd want it stopped, and the OotS might be his only legitimate shot at stopping Redcloak by that point.
Alternatively: Redcloak is kicked out by Xykon, who reveals he doesn't trust Redcloak at all, and who has either figured out a version of the ritual that suits him, or else is going to attempt a flawed version of the ritual that would free the Snarl. In which case, well, Redcloak would need to call in the only force capable of stopping Xykon before it was too late: the heroes.

Take your pick as to which one happens.