Top 10 Greatest Backstabbers in Video Games
The problem with being a villain is that you have to associate with other villains in order to achieve your goals. Evil is not known for its loyalty to anyone or anything else, and any evil minions hired will usually end up betraying their masters. Of course, any backstab creates dramatic consequences. Here are some of the very best of the very worst in loyalty. (Note that these entries deal with important story moments, and discretion is advised if you want to avoid Spoilers).
10. Starscream: Transformers: War for Cybertron (PS3 / Xbox 360)
No list of scheming second-in-commands would be complete without Starscream, one of the most iconic backstabbers in popular culture. The Decepticon Air Commander is so committed to taking Megatron's place that he can't even hide his treacherous intentions, and were it not for his skills and power, Megatron would've sent him to the scrapheap long ago. Unfortunately, War for Cybertron (possibly the only decent Transformers game ever released) doesn't give him an opportunity to truly betray Megatron, but his intentions are clear throughout. Starscream jumps on every possible opportunity to take Megatron's place, even prematurely announcing Megatron's demise at several points. Unfortunately, even if he did destroy Megatron, War for Cybertron also demonstrates why Starscream can't lead. His shrill, jittery mannerisms hardly imbue his subordinates with confidence, and the other Decepticons whine about how always calls them fools (as opposed to just accepting it with terror, as they would for Megatron's fearsome orders).
9. Christie, Dead or Alive (Xbox 360 / 3DS)
Contrary to popular belief, there is a storyline to Dead or Alive beyond excuses for women to undress. In that story, the main agent of the villainous tournament-runner Donovan is Christie, the statuesque white-haired British woman. But that isn't clear at first, as she pretends to be the bodyguard of Helena Douglas. She eventually tries to kill Helena, but Christie ends up shooting down her mother by accident. Which doesn't work out well for her, as Helena ends up entering the tournament and striking a savage blow against Christie, Donovan, and all of Doatec. Treachery requires no room for error.
8. Kain Highwind, Final Fantasy IV (SNES / PSP / DS)
In case the Biblical name wasn't enough of a clue, or the fact that he's the only character who wields his weapon in his left-hand (often used as a sinister clue) Kain proves his treachery on two occasions. The first time, the duplicitous Dragoon runs his lance through protagonist Cecil, once his best friend. It's eventually revealed that Kain was brainwashed by the villainous golbez, and it seems as though he breaks the spell, only to backstab his comrades again, giving Golbez the Dark Crystal he needs for his evil scheme. Though others might be willing to forgive Kain due to Golbez's influence, he blames only himself for his crimes. Kain was also in love with Cecil's childhood friend Rosa, and his jealousy was what made it so easy for Golbez to control his mind.
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Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.
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