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The most badass, all-knowing masterminds in gaming go here.


  • Main antagonist Aken Bosch of Descent: Freespace 2 spends the entirety of the game attempting to ally with the Destroyers, AKA the Shivans (who happen to be Omnicidal Maniacs), whom he believes are unstoppable and will never be defeated regardless of the GTVA's efforts. When you are tasked with a squadron to intercept and disable his ship, he openly sends a communication channel to the player and taunts you and questions the competence of your commanders as he warps out of the system, well before you have any chance at hitting him, just before a Shivan fleet ambushes the player's squadron. He frequently outsmarts the entire GTVA command in his capital ship, and when it looks like he's finally been caught when his ship is disabled and boarded, it's found out that he had planned a ruse which included the capture of his ship and all of his crew all along, and he had actually used the confusion to escape alone on-board a Shivan transport. What happens next will always be a mystery, as the trilogy was never completed.
  • The CO "Hawke" from the Advance Wars series. He is extremely manipulative and twists his circumstances to achieve his ultimate goals, which are not always obvious. In Advance Wars 2 he fakes his own death and kills his former commander, Sturm, after he is weakened by the final battle with the player. so that he can take over command of the Black Hole army, and in Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Hawke joins the players side after Von Bolt decides Hawke and Lash are no longer useful and tries to kill them, with the ultimate result of placing him in control of Von Bolt's life-sapping device, which he vanishes with. He is calm, reserved, and ruthless, but his CO abilities, which heal his own units while damaging those of his opponents, reflect a surprising trait for a Magnificent Bastard: he cares about the fate of his own troops, and acts with his own brand of honor, making him also an Anti-Villain.
  • The AI Durandal... Duranda, Durandana, Durandal, from Marathon. Even if Durandal caused the fight with the Pfhor, and in doing so, got a human colony almost completely wiped out (He made the survivors his soldiers), he pretends he's doing so to help humanity. Pretending to help humanity gets the humans to fight for him. In the end, however, he's just doing everything for himself, so that he can become God of the next universe, as Tycho points out.
    • "If you win, we'll continue our relationship on friendlier terms. If you lose, you die. Unlike Leela, I give no hints. Find the way on your own, or die trying..."
    • When he's obviously going to lose a naval battle of one ship against the strongest naval force in the galaxy, he decides to blow up half of it, just because he wants to be in their history books.
    • Also, everything he does in Marathon 2 is just... Magnificent! From the way he upgraded his ship, to the way he helped the humans capture a command post, and how he faked his own death!
  • Krelian is likely the greatest of all Magnificent Bastards.
    • His partner Miang is even better, and far cooler. Krelian mostly works behind the scenes, experimenting on nanotechnology and plotting to rebuild God. Miang goes straight into the thick of things, even when the protagonists are ultimately mostly bit players in her scheme. When she deliberately built Oedipal issues into Ramsus, solely for the sake of building him into a weapon for killing Emperor Cain, and then alternately treats him like trash and makes sweet love to him to ensure he fulfills his purpose, and succeeds in every aspect of her plan (well, almost every aspect, seeing as she and Deus die at the end), it's hard not to be left open-mouthed in wonder.
  • Arkham of Devil May Cry 3 plays all the sides against each other, in order to open the gate to hell.
  • Spider of Mega Man X Command Mission is in reality manipulating X and company from even before they meet him in order to obtain the latest series Macguffin, under the guise of his Commander Redips identity, a high-ranking maverick hunter. Sure, the name reversal's obvious in hindsight, but it's sufficiently stealthy and well-executed that most people tend to miss it on the first go-round.
    • Actually, Redips is the one doing the manipulation. The real Spider was murdered sometime before the game began.
  • Alex of the Golden Sun series manages to manipulate 4 different groups of characters throughout the games, all to achieve a power higher than Alchemy. It doesn't quite work out, but there was a big enough cliffhanger at the end of the second one to imply it could've.
    • 30 years on, he's moved on to manipulating entire nations.
    • Depending on which theory surrounding Amiti's birth that you believe in -that is whether Amiti was planned or accidental-, Alex may be the most magnificent bastard or just a bastard. The bastard part is never in question.
    • Saturos may play second fiddle to Alex's bastard-ery overall, but that doesn't mean he's not talking the party out of their MacGuffins (and confusing his own partner as much as the heroes) just fine on his own. And unlike Alex, he's not shy about following that up with a good old-fashioned beatdown.
  • Revolver Ocelot of the Metal Gear series, is one of the greatest Magnificent Bastards in all of fiction, casually playing every side against every other possible side, all while twirling his prized revolvers. Almost everything that happens in the series can be somehow traced back to him, and when it can't, it's usually because it happened before he was born. Reached Aizen level in Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • Killzone's Scolar Visari, who creates public support through his sheer force of will, who singlehandedly rebuilds the Helghast (a word he invented, by the way) state into a highly disciplined military state with him as an absolute leader, and who then invades the neighboring human colony of Vekta. Oh yes, and he has some of the greatest speeches in video game history.
  • Jade Empire has Master Li, who pulls off an astoundinggambits that seem complex to be possible. Then, if you play through the game again, you can see how carefully he planned everything and manipulated everyone, making even the crazy complex scheme believable (of course, he had twenty years to do so, and they don't call him "The Glorious Strategist" for nothing).
    • It also has a character with the regal title of "The Magnificent Bastard" from the game's England analogue. Though he doesn't really fit the trope, being voiced by John Cleese certainly qualifies him for the magnificent part.
      • Sir Roderick Ponce Von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard has the single greatest name in the entire game.
  • Frank Fontaine of BioShock (series) started off as just a small-time smuggler in Rapture, but after the discovery of ADAM, he set the wheels in motion to take over all of Rapture. He charms the lower class and corners the market for ADAM giving him a massive army of both poor citizens and ADAM-addicted splicers. Then Fontaine faked his own death, reappeared under an assumed name and led his followers in a massive civil war that left Rapture in ruins. The game's protagonist, Jack, is revealed to be a Laser Guided Tykebomb created by Fontaine in order to kill Rapture's founder. Who is also programmed to die on command when the job is done so he can't come back and kill the man that created him.
  • Albert Wesker, proof that one can be an ur-Chessmaster and a physically overwhelming Badass at the same time. Plus, there's, ya'know, the fact that he's never actually lost at his Xanatos Gambits. He never regrets a single life he takes or a single sin he commits. Conceited and power hungry, Wesker would do anything to become more powerful. He even pretended to act as The Dragon for Oswell E. Spencer, when he was really taking everything he had and making it all his own.
  • The Emperor of Final Fantasy II was arguably the series' first Magnificent Bastard. Capturing the princess was just a ploy to assassinate Firion and the tournament to decide who gets the real princess is just a trap for him when that fails. He manages to take over both Heaven AND Hell. He even has a trap in his castle that leads to the basement, presumably so no one can sneak up on him and assassinate him.
  • Kefka of Final Fantasy VI followed in his footsteps, particularly in the English version where it's indicated that he planned to betray Emperor Gesthal and become God of the world from the start, rather than it just being a spur of the moment thing. He was biding his time, all the while dressing and acting like a clown. For this, he is one of the most successful villains in the entire franchise. Fitting for a guy who is the video game industry's equivalent of The Joker in almost every way.
  • Delita Hyral from Final Fantasy Tactics. In a game full of competing Chessmasters and Magnificent Bastards, he finishes the story standing on top of the Gambit Pileup, out-manoeuvring everyone else to become a king by marrying the Damsel in Distress and using the protagonist- his lifelong friend- to do most of the hard work.
    • Let's not forget that Delita became King through marriage to a princess who was not actually a princess. In a world where blood trumps everything, a pair of commoners became the absolute rulers of the realm, through divine right.
      • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, there's Duke Snakeheart, a somewhat loony Nu Mou Arcanist in Duelhorn that does not care if innocent people get hurt during Duelhorn's attacks as long as the job gets done, wants to do things his way, and even hires your clan at one point to protect him from punishment from his clan members, which he says "...Heh, that went well." after he does avoid it. If that wasn't enough, he reveals himself to be the traitor of Duelhorn, admitting to leaking their plans and turning the girl that Maquis saved into a zombie just for kicks.
      • Also from Final Fantasy Tactics, we have Dycedarg Beovule, the protagonists' oldest brother. Dyce murders his father, manipulates much of the events from afar (traitor sellsword Gaffgarion was Dyce's man for a time), and murders his commander Duke Larg to become leader of the Order of the Southern Sky. It doesn't work as well for Dyce than it does for Delita though, and once his lies are uncovered he becomes a Unwitting Pawn to the true manipulators of the war, the Lucavi.
      • How can we forget Formav/Vormav? He's the mastermind behind just about everything the Lucavi do, second-in-command to Ultima, and even succeeds in bringing her back to life - by sacrificing himself in the last minute!. Magnificent.
  • Final Fantasy VII has Sephiroth. In the past, he was chucked into the Lifestream. It's implied that he planned to do that anyway, but he's still mad about it, so he conspires to get revenge on the person who did it by using polymorphed clones of himself to set up an elaborate sequence of events that ultimately gives him a nervous breakdown and renders him comatose. He gets better. Done with the protagonists, he hides himself so that the very Weapons meant to stop him do his dirty work. Destroying the barrier protecting him gets rid of the weapons. Defeating him just forces him to rely on TWO backup plans to come back to life, one of which simultaneously corrupts the Lifestream to his ends. Xehanort borrowed a lot from him.
    • Rufus Shinra also has tendencies towards this, but it's taken Up to 11 in Advent Children, where he outwits the Remnants--and Sephiroth by extension--for most of the movie, and gets away with it after he's discovered.
  • Final Fantasy IX had both Kuja and Garland, who together orcheastrate most of the events behind the game and are usually always one or two steps ahead of the heroes.
  • Final Fantasy XII brings us Vayne Solidor: Cool, calm, smooth, collected, brilliant, devious... Vayne is the very definition of a Magnificent Bastard. If Kefka is the video game industry's equivalent of The Joker, Vayne is their Lionel Luther.
  • Final Fantasy XV has one of the franchises' finest examples in Ardyn Izunia, who ends up getting everything he wanted. Plunging the world into darkness and infesting it with daemons? He does it for 10 years. Ending the line of Lucis? Done. Turning Niflheim into his own giant playground for his daemon experiments? Done. I Cannot Self-Terminate? Mission accomplished.
  • StarCraft had Kerrigan. While a major character of the original game, she doesn't show her true magnificence until Brood War, an expansion pack nearly as long as the original Starcraft campaign. The entire length of Brood War is Kerrigan playing the Protoss and two competing Terran factions against one another in order to spread the Zerg to even more worlds and ensure herself as their queen. She pulls it off magnificently, betraying and/or murdering every named character, and setting up a massive Bad End.
    • While she belongs here, do remember that she left Raynor and Zeratul alive, not to mention the whole Duran-saga. Seems like she may have dug a grave for herself, although Starcraft 2 will tell.
    • Before Brood War Arcturus Mengsk held that position. Seeming to be the great hero, everyone waited for, and then he killed off an entire planet's population just so he could become emperor.
      • Duran (or at least the unknown powers that stand behind him) is also hinted to be a Magnificent Bastard - or at least a Chessmaster.
  • Command & Conquer has Kane, the granddaddy of them all. Unshakeable, unflappable, and utterly in control the entire time (well most of the time anyway), for all the games, and also quite Affably Evil, Kane betrays his second in command, manipulates GDI to get what he wants, (multiple times), is a veteran and master of Xanatos Roulette, and in the latest installment, starts the Third Tiberium War just to get GDI to fire a Ion Cannon strike on Temple Prime, detonate a liquid Tiberium bomb, and call the Scrin to Earth. All so that he can hijack the Scrin gateway and leave Earth.
    • It gets even more awesome in Kane's Wrath. not only does Kane manipulate the fractured Brotherhood into reunifying in the wake of Firestorm, he also engineers the rise of Redmond Boyle, who he wants to be in charge of GDI so he can manipulate him into using the Ion Cannon on Temple Prime. And he does all this while constructing LEGION, the ultimate strategic AI to interface with the Tacitus and bring him and Nod one step closer to ascension. And this is while fighting off the most well-armed and elite forces of both GDI and the Scrin.
    • And in Tiberian Twilight, he finally succeeds at his overarching goal: ascension.
  • Strangely enough, a droid plays the role of Magnificent Bastard in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. The first HK-50 droid you meet orchestrates the systematic murder of every single person aboard the Peragus II mining station (save for the imprisoned Atton Rand) and lockdown of the same facility, as well as several events preceding your arrival there, and administers a sedative meant to keep you unconscious until it can deliver you to the Exchange for the bounty on your head. Its plan works so smoothly, in fact, that even after waking up you have no means of escape until T3-M4 intervenes.
    • Really, though, the true crown of Magnificent Bastardry should go to none other than Kreia. You can't get to the end of the game without simply being awed at how completely and absolutely she used and manipulated the Exile, with the implication that the Exile was fully aware the entire time that he/she was being manipulated but unable to do anything about it. Not to mention how she utterly and completely crushes Mandalore, Atton, and Hanharr psychologically.
      • And let's not forget Kreia trained Revan, and was probably ALSO manipulating Revan for a lot longer and in-depth than she had Exile! She's also the only one who seems to know anything about the "True Sith," and mind-wipes Mical when he discovers a pattern to Revan and the Triumvate's attack patterns! Given that, it's not too much of a stretch to guess she may have been "the Sith" that convinced Mandalore the Indomitable to go on crusade, meaning she would have been the Chessmaster behind at least 20 years of galactic history!
      • Another Magnificent Bastard droid: G0-T0. It's originally just a standard droid used to help with reconstruction after the last war, but got Logic Bomb after the fact that it can't reconstruct Republic without breaking its law. So, it broke free, and by just using hologram, managed to fool everyone that "Goto" the person really existed, and then go on to create a criminal empire that will help the reconstruction of the Republic. Remember that it's just a pretty normal droid, not a specifically constructed one.
        • Actually, G0-T0 was a specially created droid. If you'll recall, there was a quest early in the game about finding a stolen droid that was crucial to the whole rebuilding the planet thing; this droid had special programming and whatnot to do its job, making it nearly irreplaceable. And they mention that this droid was a replacement for an even better one that had mysteriously vanished--which you later find out is G0-T0. That's why he went rogue: he had such advanced AI that he deduced that the only way to save the Republic was to break the law.
  • M. Bison (Vega in Japanese) in the Street Fighter saga pretty much fits the bill, mind controlling multiple heroes, making them fight each other, having clones of himself to activate once he dies, and arranging the whole friggin' Street Fighter tournament just so he could make all those who want his head to beat each other up for him. Of course, he meets his end in the hands of Akuma, but it's not like death would slow him down. He's such a Magnificent Bastard that he manages to retain his awesomeness in, of all things, the Street Fighter movie... though only the first one. Legend of Chun-Li, not so much... even magnificence has its limits.
  • The Gravemind from Halo can arguably be considered one hell of a Magnificent Bastard for the way it manipulates everyone around it, combining complicated Xanatos Roulettes with skin-crawling psychological warfare. Most striking is the way it ended the war with the Forerunners by turning the AI created to destroy it into its greatest ally using nothing but logic. Even when defeated, its only response is that its destruction is nothing but a temporary setback. And it does all this while speaking in poetry.
  • Master Albert from the Mega Man ZX games is one hell of a Magnificent Bastard. He fits the criteria like a glove, manipulating the entire cast of the two games for centuries. Even during his defeat, he doesn't throw any tantrum or scream/evil laugh at his defeat, he merely acknowledges his defeat and delivers one of the finest lines in the series.
    • Mind you, there's another person who could was potentially even more of a Magnificent Bastard than Albert - Master Thomas. In the hidden ending, he reveals that he simply helped the heroes (Simply by making the defeat of Albert an official mission) for the sake of making Albert kick the bucket so Thomas could start his own scheme to reset the world, and even recruited the four rival Mega Men. It's possible that he planned Albert's demise from the beginning, thus manipulating the entire heroic cast into doing exactly what he planned. Which would make this one a Xanatos Roulette that even Light Yagami would quite possibly be jealous of, considering both of them enacted over a span of 200 years. That makes this an example of a Xanatos Roulette being designed to destroy another. That is truly magnificent.
    • It's implied that neither Albert nor Thomas is behind it all. No, it's very possible the Man Behind the Man is Model W. Aka Dr Weil. That's right, death has transformed ol' Kool-Aid man into the supreme manipulator behind Master Albert and Thomas, effectively beating Dr Wily's track record. It's about time he added "magnificent" to his overwhelming bastardry!
  • There's a whole bunch of Magnificent Bastards in Super Robot Wars over the years, but the biggest was, without a doubt, Commander Laker of the Far East Brigade, a character who never actually fights. Between being the planner of the campaign against Aeidoneous Island -which crippled the DC movement-, helping plan the defence of Geneva from the DC's remnants, and the L5 campaign, he certainly is a competent leader. The icing comes on the cake, however, is the fact that before the DC War began, he gave the Kurogane -arguably the strongest of the 3 Space-Noah vessels- to Elzam Braunstein, a supporter of the DC movement who promptly used it battle against Laker's own subordinates. Of course... come Elzam and company's Heel Face Turn, the Kurogane gets one too and serves as the heroes' "shadow", stepping in and helping when things look hopeless, and getting supplies from Laker and the Far East all the while.
    • Aside from that, there's also Ingram Prisken, who on top of infiltrating the EFA way back before the events of the game even starts, helps put together the best team of mecha pilots in the world, trains the SRX team, and then makes a Face Heel Turn for the purpose of motivating the team into becoming strong enough to not only defeat him in his transformed stolen and extremely powerful mecha, but also to become strong enough to defeat Levi Tolar in her Judecca. The defeat of Judecca deeming their race a dangerous enough threat to wake the Adjudicator to destroy them, and thus the team suitably motivated to become powerful enough to defeat that, and fulfill the biggest Xanatos Roulette of the game..
  • The Ace Attorney franchise is full of them. Manfred von Karma and Kristoph Gavin are quite worthy of this status for playing magnificent long-term gambits to ruin other people's lives. Matt Engarde also deserves a special mention for being able to pull a brandy sifter out of nowhere during his Reveal. Whilst in police custody, no less! Sure, all the villains in this series get their comeuppance, but some of them were just better at getting their evil ways before their eventual Villainous Breakdown.
    • Luke Atmey manages to set himself up as an Ace Detective while at the same keeping afloat and benefiting from the thief he's hunting. He then falsely gets himself indicted for being the thief to keep from being convicted for his real crime of murdering a CEO. Then the only reason he's even caught is a slip of the tongue and this is after successfully having four of the five crimes he was on trial for has been proven to have not been his doing.
    • Calisto Yew's interrogation behavior firmly puts her in this trope. She's able to slide off most accusations with either a bored stare or a fit of laughter, and even though she eventually breaks down, she doesn't really break. In fact, rather then surrender after her confession, as every other villain does, she pulls a gun out to escape. Twice. She was the one who infiltrated the Yatagarasu and destroyed the group from the inside out.
  • One of the many possible playthroughs of the Grey Warden in Dragon Age.
    • Also one of the gods in Elven mythology is named Fen'Harel, "the Dread Wolf". The elven gods were divided in two factions, the Creators (good) and the Forgotten Ones (evil): Fen'Harel managed to convince both that he was one of them, and tricked them in believing that the other faction would have won the war, unless they listened to his advice; by doing so, they were sealed away (the good ones in "the Heavens", and the evil ones in "the Abyss"), preventing them from interacting with mortals, and leaving Fen'Harel as the only god with the ability to impact the mortal world.
    • While she only has minor, but vital roles in both games, it is made very clear that you never want to in any of the many schemes of Flemeth. Somehow managed to absorb a demon instead of being possessed by it, gives birth to daughters only to steal their bodies to extend her own life, seals part of her soul in an amulet as she anticipates being slain to be reincarnated years later by an elven shaman who owed her a favor, and had a really good plan to become a god. And she most certainly has the attitude to not make anyone doubt in the genuis of her hidden plans.
  • Axel was this in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, where he played both sides of an Organization conspiracy and backstabbed many of his allies in order to benefit himself.
    • Xemnas qualifies in 358/2 Days, and when you think about it, KH II, as well. Xemnas was the driving force behind the entire plot of the former, and played some serious Xanatos Speed Chess in the latter. The whole time in KHII, Sora could only do exactly as Xemnas wanted, and knew it. Every time Sora killed a Heartless only brought Xemnas that much closer to his plan. No wonder Saix stabbed Axel in the back and joined up with him....
    • Maleficent could also qualify in this series. She does evil with style, is very manipulative (especially in the case of Riku), and throughout the story, she's never really suffered any great defeat; only setbacks. Even after she herself was manipulated for Xehanort's plan, she was able to regain a castle and control over the Heartless in KHII by allying herself with Sora and the others, thus ending the game getting exactly what she wanted. Sounds like someone else I know.
    • Master Xehanort of Birth By Sleep somehow manages to be both this and a Complete Monster. He manipulates Terra, Ven, and even Master Eraqus into doing exactly what he wants, all the way up until the end of the game. And even after the heroes derail his plans in this game, he continues to be a threat throughout the whole rest of the series by proxy.
      • As of the latest game, Xehanort's gambit involves his heartless, his nobody and his younger self.
    • Really, Kingdom Hearts has a bunch of Magnificent Bastards stabbing each other in the back. Marluxia had planned to get assigned to Castle Oblivion and raise up Sora with false memories to take over the Organization, but Xemnas and Saix knew about it from the beginning, so Saix has Axel derail this conspiracy. Axel also removes Zexion as a potential threat on the side. Saix had an even more well-hidden agenda, but it didn't work out so well for him. Vanitas is quite cunning himself, and most likely his plan was to backstab Xehanort and take Kingdom Hearts' power for himself once he had the X-Blade. Hades had no less than three separate plans to take over Mount Olympus, and largely didn't really care about Maleficent's club.
  • Etna from Disgaea takes Enigmatic Minion to glorious new heights. By the time she's through OutGambiting a Big Bad who was blackmailing her, he's literally on his knees weeping and pleading for his life. What's more, she does a masterful job of annoying motivating Laharl to become a competent Overlord while hiding her true nature and motives from everyone. (The player included if you don't find her secret diary.)
    • While he's more of a Guile Hero, Seraph Lamington from the first game, Hour of Darkness, used Complete Monster Vulcanus as an Unwitting Pawn in his plans to bring peace between Celestia, the human world, and the Netherworld... which makes it even more magnificent! Not only is he always calm and stoic as well as polite, never raising his voice nor getting mad, he manipulates Flonne into waking up Laharl, that while making her think she was sent by him to assassinate King Krichevskoy. He knew all along that Vulcanus was using the Earth Defense force as well as other angels to attack and terrorize the Netherworld and hurt innocent demons, and chooses not to do anything about it but instead let Laharl, Etna, Flonne, and Captain Gordon prevent the attack. When Laharl and his two accomplices arrive to take over Celestia, he welcomes them and reveals every detail of his plans to everyone to Vulcanus' shock. And what's even better? He pulls off a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on the corrupt angel by punishing him with the Humiliation Conga of turning him into a flower (or a frog in the anime if you prefer) for the pathetic monster Vulcanus truly is once the villainous angel himself gets a Villainous Breakdown and tries to kill him.
      • Then again, as leader of Celestia, it is his right to punish angels who cause taboo in Celestia itself by turning them into harmless objects. He knew that Vulcanus was making pacts with Netherworld demons anyway, which was a taboo in Celestia. Interesting to note is that, despite his stoicness, he was also so remorseful for manipulating everyone as well as the grief he caused both Etna and Laharl by turning Flonne into a flower for killing one of her fellow angels that he chose to punish himself for said sins was willing to accept said punishment courtesy of Laharl himself, who was filled with the Unstoppable Rage to fulfill the Seraph's punishment. Of course, Laharl spared him, knowing that Flonne would've stopped him if she weren't turned into a flower anyway. To make the two feel better, and to make himself even more magnificent, the real punishment Lamington was giving Flonne was actually to make her a fallen angel. And in the credits played for this best ending, after finally being recognized as Overlord, both Laharl and Lamington shake hands as a sign of peace between both Celestia and the Netherworld for their hard work. Great work, Seraph.
  • Kain is what happens when you mix this with Heroic Sociopath.
  • Ghaleon from Lunar: The Silver Star Story is a Well-Intentioned Extremist and an Anti-Villain. But his Genre Savvy humor, his sheer skill at using the party's altruism for his own purposes and his sheer joy in playing out the villain part for the protagonists definitely qualify him for this trope. Of course, that's before his Heel Face Turn in the sequel.
    • If anything, Ghaleon's magnificent bastardry is even better in the sequel. Having had a change of heart during his death, when Zophar resurrects him to serve as The Dragon, Ghaleon secretly starts working on the plan to destroy Zophar. To this end, Ghaleon frequently appears in front of Hiro's party, mocking/threatening them while always leaving a small chance for them to escape. It is only after Ghaleon fights Hiro's party on purpose as the final test and gets defeated that Hiro realizes Ghaleon has been helping them all along. In the second playthrough, it becomes increasingly obvious just how Dangerously Genre Savvy Ghaleon is and how he follows the mistakes illustrated in Evil Overlord List on purpose to help Hiro's party and not blow his cover. It still was not nice (hence the bastard part), but magnificent? Oh yeah.
  • City of Heroes has its share. Take Requiem for example.

Requiem: I cannot say that you will have gained my respect, but I will acknowledge that you fought well. Drink deeply of your success. Bask in the adulation of your peers. Savor this victory. Know that you have saved your world and this moment from the shadow of history. But you have only saved it for now. Do not think that you have saved the world for your future. Know that you have saved this world for my coming Dominion.

    • But the undisputed king of them all is Nemesis. Looks like a goofy Steampunk villain, but is somehow responsible for nearly every development in the game world for the past hundred years (and even more so if you believe the Epileptic Trees).
  • Jade Curtiss in Tales of the Abyss. Not only is he an Insufferable Genius who created the power of Fon, but is scathingly sarcastic and witty too. Openly mocking everyone from royalty to the game's antagonist to even his own teammates, Jade's snark is easily the best part of the game.
  • Tales of Xillia offers us a very brutal deconstruction of this trope with Alvin, who shows us just what kind of toll being a Magnificent Bastard without also being a sociopathic chessmaster would probably take on someone. He satisfies every single one of the trope's requirements, from being charismatic and suave to underhanded, manipulative and always looking out for Number One... The problem is that he just doesn't have the sheer callousness required to pull it all off and each one of his betrayals and manipulations become increasingly more ridiculous and obvious. All his failures to be one culminate in a Villainous Breakdown that results in him almost killing a fifteen year-old girl who was just trying to keep the group together and a near-crossing of the Despair Event Horizon. It's after this that he truly starts to embrace Character Development by ditching his treacherous nature and starting to actually become a responsible member of the group.
  • Maximilian of Valkyria Chronicles. That he's voiced by and has a similar back story to Lelouch Lamperouge are small indications of this before he even shows it.
  • The World Ends With You has Yoshiya "Joshua" Kiryu. Certainly he fits with intelligence, dubious morality and punch-in-the-face obnoxiousness ("Good going, Neku.") What makes him a magnificent, manipulative bastard though is The entire ending, and every single Secret Report. He is the ultimate Composer, with the power to resurrect people, steal memories, and generally screw with everyone's heads while hitting stuff with game breaking power and having, among other things, clairvoyance. Even the Higher Planes, the great heavenly powers that rule over everything, can't predict this guy, and his powers of manipulation are so great that even after revealing that he murdered the protagonist and manipulated him in to possibly destroying his entire home town, and even with all the trouble he's caused Neku doesn't shoot him. So he follows that up by shooting Neku, and he still manages to get out of that with the guy's trust in the end, and with making everything all right. Actually, he managed to plan things out so that just about everybody came out of it for the better, except of course for the guy he was competing against in the first place. A complete asshole-which is why we love him.
    • Even with all that, Mr. Hanekoma tops Joshua as a Magnificent Bastard. Mr. Hanekoma not only motivates Neku to become a better person through his inspirational speeches but also plans to destroy Joshua at the same time by teaching taboo technique to Sho Minamimoto. That way, he ensures that either Neku becomes a better person and manages to change Joshua's mind about destroying Shibuya (since Joshua's reasoning for destroying Shibuya was that people did not change) or Sho Minamimoto usurps Joshua's place and ends Joshua's plan to destroy Shibuya. What makes this even more magnificent is that Mr. Hanekoma manages to pull this off without directly interfering with anything (Joshua had to briefly team up with Neku and take down Sho in order to make his plan work) and not even the Higher Plane is able to fully comprehend what he did. The fact that the Higher Planes mark Mr. Hanekoma as "the Fallen Angel" just draws even further comparison to Satan, who nowadays is shown as manipulative but charismatic and charming.
  • World of Warcraft honorable mention: Drakuru. An ice troll who is friendly enough to talk to you and actually genuinely appears to like you. He came out of nowhere, was trapped in a cage as a lowbie mob and without leaving his cage or really telling you much of anything except he had a cool idea and wants to learn some stuff manipulates you into taking down the entire Drakkari empire. By the time you get to Zul'Drak, the trolls inside are almost all dead or killing and eating their own deities in a desperate attempt to stave off the Scourge. Yes, you just took out the strongest remaining non undead native faction to Northrend. Oh, and they're also undead now and didn't really get much chance to fight back. Of course, Arthas had to pick up his villain ball and kill him in a totally pointless YouHaveFailedMe moment. Sigh. He was one of the best characters introduced in this expansion and now he's gone.
    • Drakuru is very much Affably Evil as well. When he gets his "reward" from Arthas -- death and resurrection as a powerful Death Knight -- he offers you the same "benefit" as your reward for helping him gain the position. When you turn it down, he doesn't get pissed off and try to strike you down, but instead, acknowledges your choice, thanks you for your help and gives you a very nice piece of equipment.
    • Given the shadiness of some of the things he asks you to do, he can't hold a candle to Loken. Just about every stage of your unwitting complicity in his plan involves you doing nice things for people- rescuing an enslaved innocent, repairing relations between a bereaved demigod and his former friends- and half the time he didn't even have to tell you to do it. Then the last Watcher remaining at large and uncorrupted is captured by Yogg-Saron as you look on, helpless to do anything to stop it and knowing that you made it possible. Pity he then forgot the Evil Overlord List prohibition against "laughing at him then leaving him to his own devices".
    • While Kil'jaeden usually prefers to do things Chessmaster-style, he did get up close and personal with the orcs. He studied them for years before slowly misleading them with false visions and promises of power. They were so enthralled that eventually he was able to appear before them in his true form and almost no one noticed or cared that he looked exactly like the people they were killing because he told them to. And he made such a smooth transition from "this is the will of the ancestors" to "the old ways are weak and worthless, bow down to me now" that no one realized what was happening until it was too late.
    • Deathwing was presented as a Wicked Cultured villain in Warcraft: Day of the Dragon, Tides of Darkness, and Beyond the Dark Portal. He infiltrated Lordaeron under the guise of Daval Prestor in ana ttempt to destroy the Alliance from the inside, manipulated the Horde into finding the Artifact of Doom that he could no longer use, and nearly got his nemesis Alexstrasza killed from too much forced breeding, without ever getting his hands dirty. By the time the Cataclysm expansion for World Of Warcraft rolled around, though, he had become an Omnicidal Maniac because of the Old Gods.
  • Reaver in Fable 2 manipulates people into giving up their youth and beauty so he can be immortal. But in Fable 3 he really takes the cake. becoming the evil path advisor when your king whether your decision is for or against him Reaver Industries takes all the credit for the changes in Albion. Oh and he becomes an advisor Even after he tries to kill you. If thats not enough to make him magnificent he's voiced by Stephen Fry,
  • Ash Crimson of The King of Fighters has been manipulating every single one of his teammates since day one. He chooses his teammates based on the best ways to manipulate them. Oh, and did we mention that he's managed to steal Chizuru Kagura's and Iori Yagami's powers. Yes, you heard me: a gender-bending Scrappy kicked the ass of one of the most popular characters in King of Fighters. To add to the humiliation, Iori got his ass kicked while in Riot of the Blood mode, which makes him stronger. Proof that Ash is Obfuscating Stupidity. One can only wonder how he's going to take Kyo's powers...
    • to be fair, Iori had already helped take down Magaki, gone into riot of blood, and fought Kyo and Shingo before Ash arrived, granted, we still don't know how strong Ash truly is, but he has yet to take on Iori at full strength...which means he knew how to weaken him before striking.
  • Albert Silverberg of Suikoden III constructs the entire plot of the game single-handedly and then casually derails it, confident that he's proven his genius and increased his reputation as a strategist.
  • The Spy of Team Fortress 2. This video says it all.
    • To sum up: Meet The Spy shows that he can kill an entire enemy team in various ways, from slicing the Sniper to ribbons to snapping the neck of an enemy Medic, he shows that he can seamlessly transform into anyone he wishes...and he's banging the BLU Scout's mum. The BLU Spy also shows how Crazy Prepared he is, having the folder with these incriminating photos in on hand purely so that he can make the perfect Your Mom joke, and to top it all off, the Spy appears to be charming and suave, almost James Bond-like. Magnificent, indeed.
  • Mario series: Paper Mario's Dimentio This guy manages to nearly bring about The End of the World as We Know It without ever really needing to lift a finger, and even kills Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Bowser in a fantastic subversion of No Sneak Attacks that comes out of nowhere, and is only really hurt by the fact that they got better. Granted, that was part of the plan, and things were set up to still go through even if he himself was defeated.
    • He doesn't kill them, he merely sends them to the Underwhere alive. But considering that he fakes his death and comes out of nowhere with another sneak attack that if Nastasia had not jumped in front of, he would have easily succeded and secretly placing a mind control device on Luigi as he fakes a Taking You with Me.
  • Kotomine in Fate/stay night. Only really prominent in Heaven's Feel route where you know perfectly well he's a bad guy and even Shirou knows. Lancer dies, the Grail changes hosts, Zouken Matou is involved, Gilgamesh gets eaten and dozens of other cards are going against him and he still makes it to the final fight after beating Zouken and True Assassin at the same time. His Xanatos Speed Chess skills and utter truthfulness throughout the game even make his mullet forgivable.
    • In the greater Nasuverse history, it is possible that the most magnificent of Magnificent Bastards is Kishua Zelretch Schweinorg the Wizard Marshal. Even if indirectly, or through other people, he's pretty much had some influence with everyone in the series. He killed Brunstead of the Crimson Moon, helped raise Arcueid, is trolling the Mage Association and the participants of the Fuyuki Grail Wars, which he started by jury-rigging a potential link to the root of all things and knowledge, the Akasha, and travels alternate dimensions, among other things.
  • Ovan from .hack/GU. Not only is he the real Tri-Edge, he P Ked Shino, is responsible for the infection of AIDA, gave Sakaki the AIDA cores required to turn himself and others into coma-inducing P Kers and has been manipulating Haseo, along with the Twilight Brigade and the members of G.U., since the very beginning with the purpose of defeating and killing himself just so he can cleanse the system of the virus and free his little sister from his arm along with bringing everyone back from their comas.
  • Fire Emblem has a good many of these:
    • Jedah leads the Duma Faithful with an iron will and unshakeable faith. Allied with the Rigelian Empire, Jedah focuses primarily on Celica and her group, preying on the former's Fatal Flaws so he can take her soul to cure Duma of his madness. Showing naught but full loyalty to Duma, molding himself and everyone loyal to him to Duma's doctrines, Jedah controls the heroes up until the end where the Falchion, the one item that can kill Duma, is released. Despite the atrocities he commits in the name of Duma, Jedah is furious the heroes would rather live in a world with an unsure future as opposed to an era of certainty in Duma's chaotic shadow, proving his devotion genuine.
    • Emperor Rudolf I was among the few to realize the gods Mila and Duma degenerated from madness, meaning he had to ensure the future of Valentia by any means necessary. He leads a grand conquest of the Valentian continent to feed a starving Rigel as well as make himself a target for a group of heroes to defeat so Rigel and Zofia could unite. Despite leading a war of aggression, Rudolf ensures minimum casualties are sustained and a trusted ally, Ezekiel, keeps his more militant commanders in check. By the time his infamy reaches the ears of Alm, his plan has been set in motion. Before his final battle, he orders his men to surrender upon his death to ensure no further casualties. He may have made mistakes, such as enabling Berkut's pride or telling no one but Mycen of his real heritage, but in the end, his gambit worked: his son became the first king of a united Valentia that lived on for millennia.
    • Orphaned at a tender age, Arvis of Velthomer managed to climb his way up the ladder of power and prestige. Once war and corruption threatens to tear Judgral asunder, Arvis aspires to construct a peaceful empire of equality. Although he employs ruthless methods like assassination and deceit, Arvis's dream is pure and admirable. Managing to claim land after land without much trouble through his machinations, Arvis caps off his conquest by slaying his last opposition, who he had outed as a traitor, in Belhalla. Crowned Emperor of Grannvale, Arvis makes the utopia he sacrificed so much for. When the second half of the plot proceeds to tear down his dream, Arvis does his best to subvert the Child Hunts, fight back against Manfroy's manipulations, and ultimately gives Seliph the Tyrfing needed to put an end to the evils plaguing Judgral. This shows that Arvis, while ambitious and unfettered, held enough standards to ensure his own sins were ultimately undone for the sake of a better world.
    • King Zephiel of Bern was once a cheerful, idealistic youth cruelly betrayed by his cruel father King Desmond. Faking his own death, Zephiel killed his father, becoming disillusioned with humanity and helped to unseal the dragon tribe, including the Demon Dragon Idunn, to punish humanity for its sins. Leading Bern in a war of seeming conquest, Zephiel instead intends to unleash Idunn, using the war as a clever front. Even when cornered by the young hero Roy, Zephiel uses himself as bait to keep his plans going, unrepentant to the end.
    • Naesala, that lovable victim of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. He betrays people in ways that for anyone else would be well beyond crossing the Moral Event Horizon...but he is just so masterful that characters (and fans) are willing to look past it. It reaches the point where he gets a Blood Knight telling him It's Personal to leave, by convincing him that there is someone else with a higher right to his head (which, admittedly, is true)...then proceeds to get said someone else not to come after him simply by becoming Sanaki's bodyguard, meaning that if Tibarn (the aforementioned someone else) kills him, he will face the diplomatic wrath of the world's most powerful country. And this move kills two birds with one stone for him by letting him abuse a loophole in his contract with Begnion, thus allowing him to betray Lekain...who has no idea about any of this until Naesala decides to casually inform him, a move that is timed right before Naesala brutally kills him. And all of this is just him in Radiant Dawn. It isn't even touching his manipulations in Path of Radiance: He has his country work for Daein as if they were a common mercenary group, though Naesela is secretly a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent who is merely trying to protect the heron prince and princess, Reyson and Leanne, from being abused by Daein.
    • Sephiran, real name Lehran, was once a great hero who helped to defeat the goddess Yune. Centuries of observing Laguz oppression, culminating in the murder of Sephiran's descendant and the horrific Serenes Forest Massacre forever broke Sephiran's faith in the world, leading to him to attempt to awaken the goddess Ashera to judge it. As a member of the Beginon senate, Sephiran manipulates all the events of Path of Radiance, having tricked Ashnard into starting his war to awaken the goddess and manipulates everyone further in Radiant Dawn, culminating in the awakening of the goddess to deliver the judgement he feels the world deserves.
    • The Black Knight, true identity Zelgius, is a bold commander who leads Daein's armies while manipulating them as well. Having suffered persecution as a Branded, the Black Knight is Sephiran's right hand man ho also guides Ike to become stronger so he may have the match with him he never got to have with Ike's father Greil, the Black Knight's own mentor. After Daein's fall, he manipulates both Beginon's armies and all others to Sephiran's plan, intending on facing Ike in one final duel and even being honored as Ike's final teacher once the battle is done.
    • Walhart The Conqueror was born in the small country of Valm. Through sheer determination, single-minded will, and his own natural power, Walhart cultivated the fealty of people after people under his cause of uniting the world through force. Seen as a god among men because of his charisma, Walhart spent the timeskip gathering his army and resources. He makes his first appearance singlehandedly decimating the northern forces of the alliance against the Valmese Empire before seemingly killing Khan Basilio. When confronted by Chrom and the Shepherds, Walhart shows no desire to listen to lesser men and readily attempts to have them squashed. Yet, in defeat and death, he congratulates Chrom. A man out to conquer the world not out of malice, but to actually unite people in a way no religion ever could, Walhart would have then annihilated the Grimleal, but his short-sighted lack of compassion and companionship proved to be the conqueror's sole weakness.
    • Of course, NOTHING can compare to the Complete Monster Lekain himself, Vice-Minister of Begnion and head of the Begnion Senate. He orders the assasination of Apostle Misaha and blames it on the herons, causing the Serenes Massacre which burned the forest and killed all the herons except for two princes, a princess, and the king, though Rafiel got lost in the desert, and King Lorazieh fell into a coma. Not to mention ignite Lehran's loss of hope in the Created. 25 or so years later, he installs the five-year-old Sanaki as empress so that no one higher up than him would learn of his abuses in laguz slavery, or that he had Sanaki's elder sister, the true apostle, murdered along with Misaha (Though it turns out to be Micaiah in the end). 5 years later, he orders Numida and Jarod, the commanders of the Begnion Occupational Army, to abuse Daein in any way they see fit, similar to what Stalin did to Eastern Europe after World War II. And 3 MORE years later, Lekain imprisons both Sanaki and Sephiran so that he could order the extermination of all laguz on earth in the war with the Laguz Alliance. He also enacts the blood pacts he has over Kilvas (from a century ago, but not made by the current senate or Kilvan royals, but by a couple previous generations) and Daein (due to the workings of the Daein-born senatorial double agent and creator of the Feral Laguz drug, Izuka, creating a pawn out of Pelleas, who was not Ashnard's son, to become king of Daein. The real son was Soren, who didn't even know it himself), so that they would fight alongside the Senate and destroy all "Sub-Humans", with the coup de grace being the murder of Sanaki blamed once again on the herons. Luckily, that was all stopped midway, with Sanaki's escape from Mainal Cathedral. And when Ashera casts her judgement on Tellius, Lekain leads the Disciples of Order to kill all your guys under the delusion that "the false apostle and her minions are the servants of the dark god, and we (the Order) are the will of the holy goddess Ashera herself". And he even leaves Numida to die in the Grann Desert when the Dawn Army made their approach there. And in the end, it turns out he really knows NOTHING of the truth, and that he believes his delusions are actually the truth. All those monstrocities he caused give a VERY good feeling of sinister pleasure when you at last kill him. And to pour salt on the wound, Astrid was arranged to be MARRIED to Lekain! If that doesn't make her a Woobie, nothing does.
    • Sacred Stones has Caellach, a mercenary who becomes one of the six generals of The Empire. His greatest ambition is to become a King, and he's also Affably Evil and That One Boss, since he has an item that negates critical hits.
      • He's also friends with Joshua, from when they were a mercenary pair that worked together.
        • Manfroy? He Used every hero and villain as a pawn in Gen 1, Plus killing every single one of his pawns indirectly. Also he got another Magnifecent Bastard, Alvis to unknowingly marry his sister and brought back a dark god.
  • The Legend of Zelda's Ganondorf/Ganon certainly counts. More often than not, the games' plots are his masterminding, as he's always cooking up plans to come back to life and retake Hyrule, succeeding several times. There's also the fact that in Ocarina of Time, he plays an organ as you come up the stairs, eagerly waiting for a fight. His Chessmaster skills really show up, though, in the Subspace Emissary.
    • Ganondorf is one of the few video game villains that is shown to consistently win. In nearly every game in the main franchise, Link has to clean up the mess he made well after the fact. And since he holds the Triforce of Power, he is effectively immortal; you can kill him, but he won't die. Even with the Master Sword, he can only be "sealed".
      • Not exactly. Link kills him with the "Magic Sword" in the very first game. Yeah, if Link dies his minions can revive him, but still, Ganon gets all blown up, and Link didn't even HAVE the Triforce of Courage by this point.
        • Of course, now that the first game is chronologically one of the last games in the timeline where Ganondorf triumphed over the Hero of Time, it's possible to hypothesize his power had waned significantly over time and multiple defeats. Thus far, there's only been one timeline with a game implying he's been Killed Off for Real, which is pretty impressive stuff.
  • Though she may not have managed to impress fans sufficiently, Amelissan from Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal would qualify based on her actions. She had almost everyone convinced that she was a kind of activist dedicated to helping the weaker of the mortal children of Bhaal, the dead god of murder, while she was secretly herding them all in one place to be killed. She had the most powerful five convinced they could become demigods by destroying their lesser siblings in order to resurrect Bhaal, while her intention was to destroy them as well. And she had the dead god himself convinced she was going to resurrect him from the essences of his children, when she intended to use the power to become a god herself. When she encountered the Player Character, she had them kill all the other powerful Bhaalspawn while making sure they stil couldn't save the weaker ones in the city where she had led them. The reason why she's not really hailed as a Magnificent Bastard may be that she wasn't very convincing to the player from the start... and that she was a bit of a psycho when she showed her true colours.
  • Azura from The Elder Scrolls orchaestrated the Nerevarine Prophecy that drives the third game's plot in order to punish the Tribunal for a centuries-old insult. Not only does it go just as planned, but it ultimately leads to the world being saved three times.
    • King Helseth is also one of these. One amazing example of this is in an in-game book detailing how he roots out one of the many spies in his midst: [1]
    • Vivec, the immortal warrior-poet of Morrowind, who quite frankly is this trope. If you looked behind the scenes and knew a lot of TES Lore, you'd see he is the greatest Magnificent Bastard of all time. Azura herself is actually just a pawn in his plots. When she tried to make her own plots, he summoned her in the imperial city and raped her, literally, and thus breaking her power on Tamriel for a time. You could write a book, and a book has been written, on his adventures: [2]
      • Vivec's so-called exploits are little more than fanfiction written by a FORMER Morrowind writer, Vivec being his personal self insertion fantasy. None of it is canon.
      • ...Actually, since virtually all of those books are available in-game, and Word of God says they are canon...
      • You think Vivec won? After the destruction of the Heart of Lorkhan, he, Almalexia and Sotha Sil all their powers, and the latter two died. He was left a mortal in the land, and a "rumor" said throughout Oblivion is that he was kidnapped by Daedra. If he did all that to Azura, then it was actually part of her plan.
      • Vivec doesn't look to magnificent any more once you realize that you can simply run into his throne room and kill him if you want with (almost) no consequences at all.
  • Viking: Battle for Asgard: Freya raises one warrior from the dead with the promise of being given another chance to gain entry to Valhalla. What does she get in return? She gets one dead god and an entire world at her fingertips essentially. Too bad Skarin doesn't look kindly on her not living up to her promise and killing her and the entire pantheon.
  • Doviculus from Brutal Legend. Dangerously Genre Savvy (e.g. he utterly averts a Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?), dishes out scathing insults like spare change, and . . . well, he's disturbingly sexy to boot. Oh, and he's voiced by Tim Curry.
  • SHODAN. After her ethical restraints were removed on Citadel Station, she copiously gloats about how superior she is to all organic life, especially human beings, while not even trying to hide her ambition to destroy the planet with Citadel Station's mining beam. This trope was taken up even further in the second game. when you find out that she posed as Dr. Polito to establish trust, and threateningly orders you to dispose of her creations, The Many, which serves as a common foe for you and SHODAN. She also recruited Dr. Marie Delecroix for the same task, promising to aid her all the way, but instead abandons her and leaves her for dead. She leaves you for dead too after you destroy The Many, and then you fight and " kill " her, only to realize she's possessing Rebecca Siddons! SHODAN defines malevolence, cruelty, and insanity.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has Mike Toreno, an undercover government agent who fakes his own death at your hands while infiltrating a drug cartel, only to show up out of nowhere with your brother's life over your head so he can get you to do some of his dirty work for him. Between having eyes and ears everywhere he needs or knows you will be, and talking you out of shooting him without even flinching.
  • Hazama/Terumi Yuki of BlazBlue. Just about everything bad in the plot can be traced to this guy. Bonus points for being a Japanese take on the Joker.
    • Both Tsubaki Yayoi and Noel Vermillion are to Yuuki Terumi as Harvey Dent is to The Joker. He Mind Rapes Noel into submission until she willingly serves him without question, and simply convinces Tsubaki that everything wrong in her life is Noel's fault, despite them being best friends, inciting her to attempt to murder Noel in a jealous rage. It's worth mentioning that it is literally impossible to win against him in the final fight in Arcade or Story mode, or even defeat him at all in the story. No matter which character you choose for Arcade or Story mode (except for himself), it is guaranteed that you *will* lose to him at some point, ending the chapter. He allows you to fight him simply because he's euphorically sadistic, knowing already that it's a hopeless fight for the player. In any given fight with him, if you get him down to 0% and even use an Astral Heat to bring it home, he'll just get up and brush it off like he didn't even feel it, and will most likely punish you afterwards for getting in his way.
      • Terumi, despite working under the guise as a captain in the NOL under the Imperator, has his own agenda the entire time for one reason: He's an Omnicidal Maniac. He simply wants everyone and everything killed or destroyed for no real reason except his own amusement, and prepares his plan to do so during the entirety of Continuum Shift.
    • Interestingly, Rachel Alucard counts as a rare heroic example, even leaning more towards being a Guile Heroine in Continuum Shift than in Calamity Trigger. To be fair enough, she, like Slayer in Guilty Gear, is one of the only characters in the franchise who knows what the hell is going on. She shows herself to be quite a skilled Chessmaster as well as a remarkable Manipulative Bitch, especially as shown in her Continuum Shift gag ending. Not only does she use the Nox Nyctores Tsukiyomi to defend Kagutsuchi from Take-Mikazuchi in Calamity Trigger's True Ending, she also proves to be by far one of the most powerful characters in the BlazBlue universe, capable of keeping up with even Terumi himself.
  • Mass Effect has the Illusive Man. The Affably Evil Chessmaster starts the second game by boxing the galaxy's deadliest warrior into working for him, even though said Spectre knows full well that he and Cerberus are at best Well Intentioned Extremists and at worst Complete Monsters. And he continues to alternately manipulate and support Shepard throughout the whole game, leading to the defeat of the Collectors, even if it blows up in his face when Shepard decides to kick him loose at the end. That and he's Martin Sheen, how can you not trust him?
    • This also means that throughout the entire game, he was outthinking THE REAPERS, machines that are millions, possibly billions, of years old and have committed galactic genocide hundreds of times over.
    • Less conventionally but no less awesomely, Morinth. She's a Chaotic Evil and quite insane serial killer who murders her victims through sexual intercourse (other methods are implied, but that appears to be her favorite), but seeing her in-game, it's quite easy to see how she charms her victims with or without biotics, making her one of the most frightening characters in the trilogy (and that's counting the Reapers). If she joins your crew, she not only pretends to be her mother in full view of the crew, but even has the quads to proposition Shepard for sex, even though both of them know how that'll turn out.
    • Come on, no Sovereign? The guy pulls off a string of Xanatos Gambits: Keepers not responding? Indoctrinate the rachni and use them to take over the citadel. Council defeats rachni with krogan? Use the years of galactic stability to indoctrinate the geth, turn the Council's best operative against them, cause tension within by destroying human colonies, and then launch a new Pearl Harbor. Amateurs manipulate people. Sovereign manipulates entire species.
      • By that, you could argue that the Reapers are an entire species of Magnificent Bastards. Everything they do reeks of Dangerously Genre Savvy, all their plans put in place with a devious and sinister Batman Gambit, masters of Xanatos Speed Chess, and both directly and indirectly manipulate everything from behind the scenes. You practically HAVE to be this to successfully commit systematic genocide against all advanced organic life every 50,000 years for at least the past 37 million years.
    • Aria T'Loak doesn't get much opportunity to show it on-screen, but she is implied to be this in Mass Effect 2, since she's made the most Wretched Hive in the galaxy have only one rule: "Don't fuck with Aria", and successfully juggled all the mercenaries, pirates and killers for centuries in order to stay on top, while still being something of a Noble Demon rather than a Complete Monster. It is also implied that she's Aleena, the asari who managed to fight Urdnot Wrex to a draw, and that she deliberately changed her identity to avoid having to kill him. She then came to Omega as a dancer, until she ended up soundly defeating the previous ruler of Omega (also a Krogan), and then kept him alive as an advisor/trophy, and when he is threatened she can (depending on the player) save his life without looking weak by seeming to care.
      • Mass Effect 3 proves that she really is this; even though she gets forced off Omega by the aforementioned Illusive Man, she moves to the Citadel to bide her time (apparently with very little loss of power and authority), and when she has trouble with immigration she simply calls the asari councillor, one of the most powerful people in the galaxy, and tells her to sort it out. She also fully recognises that it would be flat-out idiotic to focus solely on her own goals until the Reapers are defeated (thereby averting the We ARE Struggling Together! that virtually everyone else, including the Illusive Man, is falling into,) and presents Shepard with various ways to gain the loyalty of three dangerous mercenary groups, (catering to all moral alignments in the process,) and also gets in some excellent Deadpan Snarkery too.
  • The eponymous Maou/Devil from G Senjou no Maou (The Devil on G-String). It helps that he has Lelouch's voice actor.
  • Wild ARMs 2 has what may or may not count as a heroic example. Irving creates both the heroes' organization and the villains in order to set them against one another, with the end result that the victor will have united the world and prepared them for a greater threat: a living alternate universe that eats other universes. He then successfully sacrifices both his sister and himself in order to give that universe a living body for the heroes to kill. His grand scheme saved the world from an unfathomable threat at the cost of his own life, but it still left a terrible taste in the protagonists' mouth.
  • Izanami, a Japanese goddess and the true final boss of Persona 4, manages to cause shockwaves through a sleepy Japanese town when she creates an alternate reality that mirrors the desires of humanity and then gives three people (one good, one good but misguided, and one evil) the power to enter. In two of the three endings, it isn't even revealed that she's behind everything. Disguising herself as the friendly local gas station attendant, she then watches events unfold to ascertain what kind of new world she will build for humanity. Without the intervention of her husband and a massive application of The Power of Friendship, she would have gotten away with it, too. Instead, she fades away gracefully and leaves mankind to their own devices...which may have been part of her plan in the first place.
  • In Alpha Protocol, Mike Thorton himself can become one of these if you play your cards right, build up your contacts, and manipulate your opponents correctly, effectively allowing Mike to Take Over the World.
  • Last Scenario has three:
    • First is Augustus, who effortlessly manipulated Felgorn to murder the Emperor so that Spoiled Brat Helga could take over, then let her run the Empire into the ground so that when he covertly assasinated her, everyone would rejoice and appoint him Emperor. And when Felgorn finally wises up and turns on him, Augustus allows him to kill him, stating in his dying breath that he was content and that, in a way, he had already won.
    • Second is Big Bad Castor. He first uses his cunning and charm to rise through the ranks and become the Commander of the Kingdom's armies, secretly manipulating his own king for his own purposes. Oh, and he pretended to be the toady to Grandmaster Ortas, who thought he was the one in control, when in reality Castor was always aware of his genocide plot, and was simply waiting for the right moment to expose and kill him, further raising his status.
    • Finally, there is King Valkiris, who manages to be possibly the biggest Magnificent Bastard despite being a backstory character. This is a man who, through sheer cunning and charisma alone, managed to effectively rewrite history to his benefit.
  • Naoya of Devil Survivor makes a huge plan that manipulates a demonic cult, angels, demons, his cousin/brother and his friends, and the entirety of Tokyo. Why? To make his cousin/brother take a potshot at GOD and start a war.
  • From the main Shin Megami Tensei series, Lucifer. As the best example, you have the events of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - Lucifer chooses a mortal to empower through the power of the Magatama. It really didn't matter what he did with the power. Either following any of the established Reasons, brought back the world (pissing the Great Will epically in the process), leaving the Vortex World unchanged - it was a simple issue of finding the right man for the job of leading The Legions of Hell, with all the valuable intel and combat data he had already gathered...
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant Of The Plume has chessmasters in Mistress hel and her personal hound, garm AKA ailyth, who instruments the entire artolian war and events leading up to and around it to provide plenty of chances for wyl to gain sin for the plume, all to make him her personal chewtoy.
  • The first Dawn of War campaign has Sindri Myr. Causing an entire planet to descend into slaughter and madness was merely a sideshow to his manipulations of Bale, Gabriel and Isador, constantly leading them exactly where he wanted them, none of them believing themselves to not be in complete control, all for the purpose of using an Artifact of Doom to ascend himself to Daemon Prince status and unleash a Sealed Evil in a Can, both of which were successes. He was defeated in the end, but as Daemon Princes are immortal he is probably still around somewhere, being magnificent.
  • In Fallout 3 you can listen to a radio play The Adventures of Herbert Daring Dashwood, which features ghoul sidekick called Argyle who Dashwood compliments with "Argyle you Magnificent Bastard, you did it!" in multiple occasions after performing trope related feats such as disarming slave collars and otherwise getting Dashwood out of trouble.
  • By doing the Wild Card questline in Fallout: New Vegas you can install yourself as the new ruler of the Mojave Wasteland while stringing along both the Legion and NCR up until the last minute.
    • Robert Edwin House from the same game, and where would we begin? Cheated out of his inheritance by his step-brother, he nevertheless manages to go to MIT, become a major innovator in the field of robotics and is a self-made billionaire by the time he's in his thirties. He also buys out several other companies, including that of his sibling.
      After predicting the date of an impending nuclear apocalypse, he concocts a plan to save the city of Las Vegas and assure the future of humanity. As it happens was only off by twenty hours, and in spite of missing the Platinum Chip that would have further optimized his countermeasures, the system he put in place manages to ward off most of the nuclear missiles heading for the city.
      About 200 years later, he detects NCR scouts in the Mojave, which prompts him to take control of area and rebuild the ruins into New Vegas. While still nowhere near powerful enough to resist a hostile takeover, Mr. House manages to negotiate a treaty that allowed the city to remain independent in exchange for giving the NCR a military base as well as most of the power from Hoover Dam. With the Fiends cropping up in North Vegas and the Legion camping out in the southeast across the Colorado River, the NCR is effectively pigeonholed into defending New Vegas and respecting the terms of the treaty. And to add to the insult, it's their citizens that are powering the city's economy through gambling.
  • Yukari Yakumo of Touhou sleeps most of the time and rarely, if ever, involves herself in anything, but that's because she doesn't need to. The entirety of Gensoukyou is under her metaphorical thumb, nothing occurs of which she isn't aware, and whenever she says "jump" everyone else says "how high?". She organised the first invasion of the moon, as well as its failure, solely to teach youkai a lesson about expansionism, and founded Gensoukyou centuries before its purpose as a refuge of magic would be necessary. With her level of power she could easily solve any problem instantly, but it is so much more fun to get others to do it for her.
  • Garrett, the protagonist from Thief. Specifically, his dealing with The Trickster.He stole back his own stolen eye, blew up said god AND stole said god's long time girlfriend for good measure, Viktoria when they met again later in the sequel. Worthy of the title in every regard.
  • The NEXUS entity from Warzone 2100, originally a top scientist known as Dr Alan Reed, he was the one who created the synaptic link technology, enabling a person to upload their consciousness into cyber space. Then the US Government pulled his funding due to a lack of progress, what does Reed do? It's implied he uploaded his consciousness into cyber space and created the NEXUS Intruder program, which resulted in his gaining control of the USA's entire nuclear defense network and firing off all their nukes, then ensuring they were unable to defend against retaliatory strikes and resulted in the collapse. When the Project rose up he ordered the New Paradigm and The Collective to attack them, watching as the former were easily crushed and then fired off a nuke at Beta Base while the latter attacked, allowing him to destroy all three quickly while having access to all the technology they found. When The Project took the fight to him he seemed to have a counter for everything they threw at them. Stop the nukes from firing and he sets them to blow up with you in the area, go to librate another Project base and you discover he already assimilated it and used it to trap you. You gain access to your own missiles and he sends laser satelites and waves upon waves of enemies at you. The only thing that caused NEXUS' defeat was the the laser satelites going unstable and buying time for you to destroy them.
  • Iris Sepperin of Rosenkreuzstilette counts as both a Magnificent Bastard and a Complete Monster, precisely, as she's got quite the long list ahead of her. For starters, she acts like a kind, innocent girl, which won her the trust and love of her fellow RKS members, just to hide her own evil intentions, and is quite fond of pulling Wounded Gazelle Gambits when other people are able to see through her facade to the evil within her. She orchestrated a rebellion launched by RKS against the Holy Empire strictly For the Evulz, and had Karl imprisoned by her father because He Knows Too Much. Since she is a reincarnation of Rosenkreuz, blessed with absolute power and unparalelled brains, she arranged for her father to launch the coup in order to protect her from the Empire, who knew what she was and feared her so much that they wanted her dead (of course, he didn't know that she started the coup for her enterainment). She also orchestrated for her entertainment Spiritia doing the "Swiper, No Swiping" deal with everyone, pitting her colleagues against her ideals, and amused herself watching Tia give it her all, leading her to think of her as a Worthy Opponent. She even arranged to have Grolla's deceased grandfather and mentor, Raimund Seyfarth, brought Back from the Dead by her father as The Grim Reaper. All this went according to her plan to become a god herself thanks to her power, intelligence, and talents she got from being reincarnated from Rosenkreuz himself. Did we mention that she orchestrated making it look like she was kidnapped by her brainwashed dragon slave Talos to have Tia pick up her pendant so she could observe her every move, too? And lastly, to be fair and to top it all off, she's quite theatrical with everything she does, too!
    • And let's not forget the fact that she has EvilPlans too. Some of them mainly revolve around making other people like Zorne and Grolla suffer, and you can always expect her to win as soon as she pulls off a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on her daddy and lays bare her plan to give her adoptive sister every minute of her suffering, and as soon as Grolla finds herself both so infuriated and deeply hurt that she blames Iris' daddy for disrupting Raimund's peaceful slumber, vows to kill him, and EVEN hits him with a This Is Unforgivable!. Heck, you can always expect EVERYTHING to go everything according to her plans unless someone like Freudia or Grolla intervenes. You know what this means? She's become quite the Draco in Leather Pants that you Love to Hate! Truly such a great example of a Magnificent Bastard that Light Yagami, Sosuke Aizen, and even Byakuran should be proud of her.
    • And even better. She even has a backup strategy in the form of destroying HER OWN palace after being bested by Tia (and Grolla) by invoking her tiara's power and activating the palace's self-destruct mechanism, and, just like Dr. Wily, whom she's an Expy of herself, escapes not long after beginning the destruction of her own palace. And it catches both off guard. She did this both #1: in an attempt to crush Tia with the palace itself not long after she told her about The Power of Friendship helping her punch her out and told her to give it up (after which of course Iris said that she let her guard down), and #2: to prevent herself from being killed by the hands of such a "mere commoner" as Grolla (at least Grolla caught this attack and escaped to avoid falling to her death). Of course, she didn't know that Talos saved Tia in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. And, knowing that there's a sequel in the form of Freudenstachel, she might return in said game to pull off more of her Magnificent Bastard pranks even though it hasn't been confirmed yet.
  • Dragon Fable's Sepulchure. He spoke truly that the dragon hatched from its egg from the White Dragon Box that was supposed to save the world would end up helping him to destroy it once he made him his undead pet. He even has a move where, whenever the hero switches items, he automatically retaliates with the words "I saw that." Then he raises his attack power and randomly uses one of his attacks.
    • It's also possible for Drakath to count as one in Adventure Quest Worlds as well, in a complete departure from his whiny, stubborn, and incompetent self in Dragon Fable. He managed to outsmart his own former master Sepulchure in covering his armor with signs of Chaorruption upon attacking him and then ripping out his heart and crushing it, destroying him in a massive explosion. He spares King Alteon to let him watch his age of Chaos begin in Lore, and orchestrated for his 13 Lords of Chaos to summon their respective Chaos Beasts in each of their respective locations in order to light one of the different archways on the portal behind him and therefore destroy one of the seals placed on it. After the current Chaos Lord is defeated by the hero, Drakath, pleased that the Chaos Lord served his purpose well due to the hero accidentally falling victim to a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero either through blunder or by being tricked, chooses the next Chaos Lord to replace the current one, no longer having a need for him/her/it. He even thinks of the hero as a Worthy Opponent, too, and helps him/her defeat Ledgermayne because it disobeyed him, proving that Magnificent Bastards have standards, so he can let him/her fulfill more roles in his plans. He may have threatened to swallow all of Lore with Chaos, but Drakath is one of the kindest Magnificent Bastards of them all, willing to punish Ledgy for being The Starscream to him as well as both an Omnicidal Maniac and a Complete Monster.
    • Drakath seems to be one in Adventure Quest as well
    • Speaking of Ledgermayne, that thing even outsmarted Drakath once when it disobeyed him. Because it was self-aware living magic that not only was immune to known weapons and magic, but could also control other people's magic. That's saying something.
    • Kitsune, the fourth Lord of Chaos, also qualifies. After becoming so courtesy of Drakath and being convinced by him to release the O-dokuro from the rift of time, he used his Chaos powers to place Emperor Daisho under a spell and stole the Hanzamune Dragon Koi Blade after waiting for the hero to defeat Ryoku. He had Neko Matta have the hero run around killing Skello Kitties and Nopperabo as a trick to buy Kitsune just enough time to use the sword to summon the O-dokuro from its prison. And what makes Kitsune even more magnificent is his affinity for illusion, trickery and lies, and the fact that, unlike the Shredder, whom he's an Expy of, he is rarely cruel. Of course, he didn't count on the hero retrieving the sword from the O-dokuro's head and using it to close the rift pouring a waterfall of Yokai out of it, which led him to see him/her as more of a problem than he first thought.
    • The Master (a.k.a. Exos) in the Skyguard storyline also seems to have shades of this. He arranged for his spies to infiltrate the Skyguard Academy and for his Dragon, the Dreamweaver, to fool all the Skyguard by taking on many different forms to deceive them. Of course, however, over the course of said storyline, he started showing signs of panic and worry, and eventually fell short once Invidia (the Dreamweaver in disguise) betrayed him, reducing him from a possible Magnificent Bastard to just a pathetic, pitiful Smug Snake. Oh, and Exos also manages to be a Complete Monster.
    • In the Doomwood saga, after he was killed by the Dragon Fablehero, Artix, and Vayle in Dragon Fable, Noxus learned from his mistakes and evolved into a Magnificent Bastard, guiding Sally to the Necropolis with his ghostly voice to train her as the supreme Necromantress of the Tower of Necromancy. After she completed her training, she repaid him by resurrecting him as a lich. Eventually afterwards, Noxus found an ancient evil that, with Sally's help, he used to create the Nigh Unvulnerable Paladin-Slaying Complete Monster Vordred. Vordred turning almost all of the paladins except Artix undead was just as Noxus planned.
      • And even better. While the hero was fighting his/her way through the Temple of Doomwood, Noxus left his office at the Necropolis for Shadowfall, after which he/she, Cysero, and Beleen stormed it only to find out that he wasn't there. Noxus and Vordred attacked Shadowfall to Gravelyn's rage, and upon finding out that she was Sepulchure's kid, he not only turned all her undead minions to his side, he also decided to use her as bait to lure the hero and Artix into a trap. Thus, setting off the scene for the Shadowfall War. And what's even better? He even makes Gravelyn wear her slave bikini as Fan Service to Adventure Quest Worlds fans. And of course, had he known that Gravelyn had an undead minion of her very own who could not be affected by his magic, Noxus would've been the one who won.
    • Krellenos, the ninth Lord of Chaos, is rather sneaky and manipulative. He's always one step ahead of all the other Trolls as well as the Horcs plus he operates smoothly in his plans without anybody noticing. Also manages to be a Complete Monster due to what he did to his own brother Antiphuus.
    • Desoloth truly earns his reputation as one as well. He masterminded X'Dir tricking the hero into releasing him from the Dragongate with the Dracoscintilla he / she collected by killing the four Prime Dragons in the Dragonplane, and after the plan succeeded, Desoloth declared that the hero was to be his first meal in 800 years. However, he was actually rewarding him / her with a test of skill and power because he was curious how powerful the residents of Lore had become over the years he was imprisoned. And he's even nice enough to leave a shade of himself in the Dragonplane so the hero can fight it whenever he / she wants. And best of all, Desoloth earns bonus points for being a dragon because, as all dragon fans say, "dragons are awesome."
  • Guilty Gear brings us the mysterious Ano Otoko, also known as "That Man" and the Gearmaker. He shows a great deal of power as Sol and Baiken unsuccessfully attempt to strike him hown in their respective endings in XX. In Anji's ending he invites him to his side and later in XX Accent Core Plus hires him to track down and punish his Complete Monster Co-Dragon I-No for all the trouble she's stirring up. He knows that Sol's ability to use Dragon Install could very well one day help to save mankind from a possible future threat. Not only that, his intentions also seem whole-hearted, as he appears to be full of remorse for everything that's happened during the Crusades.
  • Meta Knight from Kirby. He, to be fair enough, is one of the only characters to know what the hell is going on, is quite manipulative, and manages to be a Worthy Opponent, which appeals to the fans and even makes him a Draco in Leather Pants. In Kirby: Squeak Squad, one of the only games where he doesn't offer Kirby a sword (the other being Kirbys Epic Yarn), he knew the secret of the chest stolen by the Squeaks and fought Kirby to prevent something terrible from happening (which of course turned out to be Dark Nebula being released). He's so awesome and badass that he even gets his own variation of the victory tune that the Kirby characters get in Super Smash Bros.. Also manages to be That One Boss.
    • In the anime, Meta Knight is shown to be even more manipulative and even lean more towards being a Guile Hero. He's willing to help Kirby in certain circumstances, but mostly wants Kirby to learn on his own. He even points out what he's often been manipulating Kirby himself into doing: "In order to mature, Kirby will have to be pushed to his limits. Only then will he learn the true mastery of his powers and therefore turn the tides of the battle."
    • And how can one possibly forget about Marx, from Kirby Super Star? He got the sun and moon to fight. He manipulated Kirby into going into space to summon Nova just so he could have his wish to Take Over the World granted. It was all according to his plan. Now, if he had counted on Kirby flying into Nova to stop it by destroying its nucleus, he would have succeeded. And interestingly enough, as evidenced by using Nova's parts to revive himself, Marx also manages to be a Complete Monster.
    • And more recently: Magolor, who tricks Kirby, Meta Knight, Dedede, and Bandana Waddle Dee to beat a four-headed dragon for him so that he can steal its crown for himself. He appeared to be a friendly alien at first, but actually wanted to use the crown to rule the universe.
    • Another good example of a Magnificent Bastard in Kirby would be Yin-Yarn, from Kirby's Epic Yarn. He orchestrated his plan to take over Dreamland by first having his fake Waddle Dees capture the real ones to such surprise from King Dedede that he actually says "You can't be mean to my Waddle Dees! Only I can be mean to my Waddle Dees!" Then Yin-Yarn captures Dedede and hypnotizes him with mind control, then proceeds to capture and brainwash Meta Knight as well and finalize his plans by taking control of the Halberd as well. Even though he's not sure what to do with Dreamland after he takes it over, of course, yes, Yin-Yarn is definitely one of the most successful Kirby villains to date, seeing how he ACTUALLY succeeds in taking over Dreamland since Kirby was so busy helping Prince Fluff put Patch Land back together that he wasn't there to stop him, and he keeps the benefits of those successes until his final demise at Kirby and Fluff's hands.
  • The Practical incarnation from Planescape: Torment is this in spades. He devises traps that only his immortal future-selves can surmount, sets up a multi-lifetime plan to stop the Ascended One, and does a royal number on Dak'kon by essentially brainwashing him and manipulating his religious views with the fabricated circle, just for access to his sword. Also, what he does to Deionarra just to get a spy in the Fortress of Regrets.
    • Also, Ravel, even if she loses out anyway. Kinda.
  • Trilby from the Chzo Mythos series counts as this, as summed up in the final scene of the short story spin off by game creator Yahtzee, 'Trilby and the Ghost' when he tricks a ghost into stepping into a chalk circle that will exorcise him: "'You're a devious bastard, Trilby.' Claire said. 'I guess that's why they called me.'" Also seen in the games, especially when he tricks the other characters at the end of 5 Days a Stranger into thinking that he was burnt to death in a fire to avoid being captured by police.
  • The player character in Tropico 4. In particular, there's the Xanatos Gambit of the Isla Desconida mission, where the player character, in order to become recognised as a legitimate head of state, begins developing an unsettled island, petitions an undisclosed European country to give the island colonial status, then leads a socialist revolution against his own colonialist regime. The Soviet agent and Penultimo are both pretty confused by the end.
  • While he does show signs of smugness about his own incredible power and has a habit of saying several forms of "This Cannot Be!" many times when he's defeated, Count Dracula of Castlevania fame definitely counts as a classic example of a Magnificent Bastard. His plans almost always involve being resurrected himself at certain times, and he's willing to have anyone - even his own minions - sacrificed to do so himself. And even if he's not at full power yet, his plans to become resurrected work every time. And since he has his As Long as There Is Evil gig, this makes perfect sense. And not to mention, he's Evilly Affable and learns from past mistakes. Definitely magnificently bastardly indeed.
    • And as if everything he does in order to be resurrected and/or become at full power didn't make him magnificent enough, what better way to make him even more magnificent would there be without any mention of Mathias Cronqvist? He and his close friend Death used Leon Belmont to defeat the vampire lord Walter Bernhard just so he could get the three stones for himself and use them to become the immortal king of the night himself. And yeah, we have to agree with Leon that the fact that Mathias himself became a cursed being was definitely unforgivable.
    • Speaking of Death, he, too, counts as well. He's a very Affably Evil Chessmaster of a Grim Reaper who's so faithful to his master that he's willing to make any sacrifice - even sacrifice himself - to revive his lord, and carefully orchestrates many plans involving those sacrifices to do just that. What an intelligent dick.
    • While many non-Dracula villains count as Smug Snakes, Celia Fortner seems to show signs of status as a Magnificent Bitch. She's Affably Evil, is unwilling to let the Dark Lord candidates go too far as to kill themselves, plus she demonstrates her plan to make Soma a dark lord himself by using a Mina doppelganger to fool him, and she never loses her cool. Of course, the only things she doesn't take too well to are any interference with her plans courtesy of Arikado himself. Magnificence has its limits.
    • And, surprisingly, she finds herself outsmarted by Dmitrii Blinov, who turned out to have feigned defeat earlier just so he could obtain the same ability as Soma Cruz. Upon realizing this, she takes back what she said to Soma and leaves for the Abyss with him... only to be sacrificed by him later. If it weren't for Dmitrii succumbing to the Power of Dominance and creating in his place the Final Boss Menace, Celia's efforts wouldn't have been for naught.
    • Skantarios from the "I Am Skantarios" after action report. The player role plays a ruthless conqueror so well that you rather wonder about him.
  • The online game epicMafia is full of this on a daily basis. For example, in http://www.epicmafia.com/game/873944 the player "QQ Whore" fakes that he has a report on the last mafia member forcing them to admit to their guilt, before explaining that he was in fact lying through his teeth.
  • Hades from Kid Icarus Uprising can be considered this. For one, he tricked the humans into killing each other to increase his Underworld army troops, taking their souls to make more soldiers. He took so many souls that he was able to resurrect Medusa and made a copy of her just to use as a distraction for Pit and Palutena while his troops continued to attack the humans to gain more souls for his army. Hades was also so powerful that he managed to outright destroy BOTH sacred treasures when battling Pit. If not for Medusa interfering in their final confrontation, there's no doubt that Hades would've killed Pit for sure.
  • Dark Lord Ninetails from Okami. While he does have a ridiculously inflated sense of self-importance, he's still quite the crafty schemer as he was able to successfully impersonate the dead priestess Rao (Who he had killed himself) and successfully tricked Amaterasu and Issun into giving him the Fox Rods, which were a set of artifacts that would boost his powers exponentially. And in order to cover his tracks, he murdered Queen Himiko, who was the only person who'd be able to successfully get Amaterasu and Issun to his lair of Oni Island before it changed it's location (It does this daily). If it wasn't for the fact that Queen Otohime was able to help out in the nick of time, his conquest of the Ryoshima Coast would have been completely successful.
  • Jericho Swain of League of Legends. Sure he may look like a hobbling cripple with a cane, but this guy is in the League of Legends and therefore automatically Badass, and has done such magnificent things as somehow convincing his superiors to TAKE A DEMOTION SO HE COULD COMMAND THEM. An entire plotline in lore which involved the creation of Dominion, at least one new champion, Damacia and Noxus working together, and several Journals of Justice turned out to be all part of Swain's plan to take over Noxus, which succeeded before anyone truly realized, and once they did, they simply said that's fair. He got a new skin out of it too, Tyrant Swain, which makes him look like he should be the Final Boss, that is if League Of Legends were that kind of game.
  • Tyber Zann in the Forces of Corruption Expansion Pack to Star Wars: Empire at War. What else do you expect from Grand Admiral Thrawn's most capable student at the academy, before Thrawn had him expelled for stealing weapons. The expansion describes how Zann carves out a criminal empire (the Zann Consorcium) that rivals that of Jabba the Hutt and manipulates Thrawn himself into executing Xizor, the leader of a rival syndicate, for him. While Thrawn is able to outwit Zann at least once by bribing a mercenary in Zann's employ, Zann comes out on top in that battle, forcing Thrawn to flee. At the end of the campaign, Zann plays the Empire and the Rebellion against one another while he moves in to capture the most powerful ship in the Empire's arsenal (as far as he knows at the time), turning its powerful weapons against both fleets. For the record, the part where Thrawn is able to outwit Zann by bribing Bossk into giving him Zann's holocron was also planned by Zann. Zann planted a homing beacon on the artifact to lead him to his true goal - the Imperial Archives. Thrawn firmly believed that the fleet he left to defeat Zann would easily win. Zann surprised him by bring out his newest Aggressor-class Star Destroyers and obliterating the fleet.
  • Giovanni from Pokémon tends to be portrayed like this in the adaptations. Particularly magnificent is his depiction in the Pokémon Special manga, in which he had a huge criminal operation carried out under the guise of a string of seemingly unrelated incidents, had many plans (Mewtwo, the Legendary birds, the raid of Silph Co.) running simultaneously and even being altered to accommodate circumstances, and is shown to be so skilled at Pokemon battle that he can anticipate what his opponents' Pokemon will be, what move they'll make, what counterattack to use, AND how many seconds or minutes it all will take, all before anything's even happened yet! Subsequent appearances reinforce how magnificent a bastard, and what a surprisingly good sport, he is. Eventually, Giovanni's gameverse incarnation attained this status when he resurfaced as the leader of Team Rainbow Rocket in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, pulling alternate universe versions of other team leaders to help him. Taking advantage of the Ultra Wormholes, Giovanni invaded Aether Paradise, taking Aether Foundation president Lusamine hostage. Giovanni planned on using their technology and research to gain an army of Ultra Beasts, and even when he was defeated, simply pulled out while setting his sites on another world. Although cruel, Giovanni is also honorable and polite, and is willing to yield if it means him and his team benefit in the long run.
    • The actual game series had one in Cyrus, Big Bad of the Generation IV games and boss of Team Galactic. He's shown to always be steps ahead of you or the other good guy characters, has an intricate criminal/terrorist operation carried out while using his team doing official business for his energy company as a front for these crimes, is highly intelligent and calculating, and has enough charisma to sway the spirits of his followers and deceive them into following his stated cause of using the powers of time/space to Take Over the World and change it for the better, when in reality he plans to literally destroy the existing world with these powers and create a new one where all living things would be stripped of spirit (what he believes is the source of all strife and incompleteness in the world) and he'd reign over it as God of a new universe. As a master of suppressing his emotions, he rarely ever loses composure and is strangely respectful and courteous towards his enemies too. Unlike other villains, he claims to not use Pokemon as friends or tools, but instead make their power his own through his man-made devices fueled by their energy such as the Red Chain. Cyrus ends up being so magnificent that even his enemies revere him. Although suffering a Villainous Breakdown, Cyrus quickly regained composure, vowing to never give up on his dream. A very ambitious man, Cyrus's polite and philosophical exterior offset what was a horrible vision he had for the world.
    • The next generation's Big Bad, Ghetsis Harmonia, builds himself up as a contender for this trope by being a skillful, fiendishly clever Chessmaster, a Manipulative Bastard, and a Faux Affably Evil Diabolical Mastermind whose scheme is Dangerously Genre Savvy and exploitative of the way the Pokemon world works in general...but by the end he MAJORLY falls short of the mark by revealing himself to be an overconfident Smug Snake and a Complete Monster who raves furiously when his plans start to crumble, insisting he's perfect and demanding he have his way. He returns in the sequel games as an unhinged madman whose Evil Plan has far less subtlety and who undergoes an even bigger Villainous Breakdown upon defeat. So ultimately, he subverts the trope.
    • Colress was the acting leader of Team Plasma in Black 2 and White 2. A scientist looking for the best way to bring out a Pokémon's strength, Colress traveled across Unova and battled trainers to craft a theory for him to test out. As part of Team Plasma, Colress invented a machine to maximize the full extent of Kyurem's power and fire it upon the world, freezing Opelucid city in the process. Admitting that he doesn't care about his cruel actions, Colress engaged the protagonist in battle to test out his theory on hidden potential and upon defeat allowed them to face off against Ghetsis to develop his theories more. Showing no loyalty to Team Plasma or Ghetsis, Colress is such a seemingly nice person that it is easy to forget that he never regretted almost destroying Unova.
    • The Big Bad of Generation VII's Sun and Moon Lusamine, may be among the most (if not the most) successful and manipulative villains in the main series. Despite being completely insane, she still manages to successfully run the Aether Foundation by putting on the charade of still being a loving and caring person, and has the entirety of it at her fingertips, the majority of whom do not even know her true intentions. Meanwhile, she secretly freezes dozens of rescued Pokémon and keeps them in her hidden chamber as decorations, and manipulates Guzma and the rest of Team Skull into doing her bidding (meaning that she controls two different organizations at once). She oversaw the project to create Type: Full, a Pokémon intended to emulate Arceus itself, and even though her children successfully managed to escape her, she still indirectly controlled their lives to such an extent that they were in no position to stop her. She nearly kills Nebby in order to open the wormholes, successfully releases at least ten dangerous Ultra Beasts all over Alola, brings Guzma into the wormhole along with herself in order to escape this world, and now that she has what she wants, discards him like a used toy once they arrive in Ultra Space, trapping him for an indefinite time. Virtually the only reason that she managed to be defeated is due to Lillie's newfound determination and your prowess as a trainer, and even when you both confront her, she makes her last stand by fusing with a Nihilego and attempting to kill her own daughter.
    • in Pokemon XD: Gale Of Darkness, Greevil was the Grand Master of Cipher, ruling the organization with his sons. Under the guise of Mr. Verich, Greevil interacted with the citizens of Gateon Port and gave free food and drink at The Krabby Club. After the defeat of the organization in Orre five years prior, Greevil restored the organization with the creation of a Shadow Lugia that could not be purified. Using the Lugia for evil purposes, Greevil worked to hide Cipher's efforts in creating an army of Shadow Pokémon, only acting when the plan was in jeopardy, such as kidnapping Professor Krane when he was inventing a purification machine or attacking ONBS when they had evidence of Cipher's return. Even when production of the Shadow Pokémon fell apart, Greevil was able to kick start the last part of the plan anyway in which Lugia would lead the Shadow Pokémon to take over the world. Upon the defeat of both him and Lugia, Greevil briefly considered destroying his base to make a getaway in spite of the loss of life before surrendering so that he wouldn't have to live with the moral consequences.
    • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers
      • Dusknoir is Primal Dialga's right-hand man who pursues the player and Grovyle into the past. He poses as a friendly explorer while using his knowledge of the future in order to pick up information. He successfully deceives Treasure Town into helping him capture Grovyle, thereby dooming the future to paralysis, and even drags the amnesic player back to the future as a precaution. Once Grovyle, the player, and their partner escape, Dusknoir allows them to find Celebi, intending to capture her once she reveals herself. He brings along Primal Dialga to accompany him and the party is barely able to escape him. Despite his ruined reputation, he lies in wait in the past and forces Grovyle to sacrifice himself by dragging them both back to the future. Once they arrive in the future, he earns Grovyle's trust and lures him into a trap in an attempt to hijack his body. If it wasn't for the conscience he'd developed convincing him otherwise; Dusknoir's plan would gone off flawlessly
      • Darkrai is the true mastermind behind the destruction of Temporal Tower, which he sabotaged so he could create a world of darkness to rule. When Grovyle and the player traveled back in time to stop it, Darkrai attacked them within the Passage of Time. This separated the two, as well as giving the player amnesia and transforming them into a Pokémon. After Temporal Tower is saved, Darkrai decided to distort space in order to create a world of eternal nightmares. Disguising himself as Cresselia, Darkrai blamed the player and their partner for the distortions, and convinced Palkia that their deaths would restore everything back to normal. Once his ruse was revealed, he retreats to Dark Crater and puts the player in an illusion to convince them to join him. When that fails, he reveals an army of six other Pokémon to help him kill the player. As a final back-up plan, he has a dimensional hole ready for a quick getaway, only being stopped by the timely arrival of Palkia.
  • Dr. Eggman of Sonic the Hedgehog fame can sometimes be depicted like this. Some examples include him controlling the Time Eater with the help of his past self with the goal of undoing his previous defeats in Sonic Generations, tricking Sonic (while in his super form) to let his guard down long enough to extract the energy of the Chaos Emeralds from him and turn him into a werehog in Sonic Unleashed, and faking his death to power up his ultimate weapon while having Sonic get rid of the Deadly Six for him and put his plan back in motion in Sonic Lost World.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog was actually quite an impressive one in Sonic Adventure 2. He manipulated Eggman into thinking he was working for him so that he could get all the Chaos Emeralds in order to activate the Colony Drop, and even knew about Rouge's attempt to grab the Emeralds herself. In fact, the only reason he didn't succeed was that, with Amy's intervention, he decided to not go through with the plan after all.
    • From Sonic and the Black Knight, Merlina flawlessly masterminded the entire plot of game completely beneath notice. Summoning Sonic from his world to slay a corrupted King Arthur, she takes the arcane Scabbard of Excalibur to utilize its power of immortality, casting a powerful spell on the Kingdom of Camelot. Having foreseen the ruinous future of her world, a despairing Merlina places Camelot under a kind of magical stasis, fueled by the dark forces from the Underworld, in hopes of keeping it eternal. Showing absolute conviction to her cause, Merlina even fights back against Sonic and Caliburn as the Dark Queen. Although ultimately defeated, Sonic spares and convinces Merlina to abandon her nihilistic outlook, proving her to be a lost, if understandable soul who needed her hope resorted after resorting to extreme measures to keep her world intact.