Page 723 - City of Villains, Part 8

10th Mar 2016, 5:00 AM in Intermission 7
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City of Villains, Part 8
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 9th Mar 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete
I made a scheduling mistake while editing this page, so this might've shown up in people's RSS feeds early last night! Fascinating.

So it took only six hours once I pointed it out, but someone correctly figured out that "Golf-Alpha-74" on Part 6 was an oblique reference to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson creating and publishing the original Dungeons and Dragons in 1974. I mean, what else was it gonna be?

Man, I was way too proud of that at the time. Now I know how Munroe feels.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
What else was it going to be? I dunno, maybe Foxtrot-Delta-11? Quebec-Papa-9? You have meaningful options all over, which is fun to think about.

Ah the classic evil villain laugh. i'm most proud that when i'm in "the zone" as a DM I can do a pretty decent Tim Curry evil laugh.
The Old One 10th Mar 2016, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
A Mark Hammil Joker laugh is most effective, but must be used carefully in populated areas, lest you scare the hell out of folks not playing in your game.

The sinister anime bad guy laugh is less dramatic, but more appropriate for game stores and other crowded areas.

This has been Evil Mastermind Etiquette, brought to you by Little Caesars.

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Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Huh, I must be getting jipped. My daughter and I eat Little Caesar's pizza and neither of us feel any molecular discomfort of that sort. Maybe a slight spike in cholesterol...
Mist 10th Mar 2016, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
When I get little Ceasers, it tastes like cardboard...
Zuche 10th Mar 2016, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
I used to be able to do a decent version of the laugh Teryl Rothery used for Kodachi Kuno. It unnerved everybody.
Gden 11th Mar 2016, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Oh, thank you for mentioning Kodachi's dub laugh. Anyway, I have a friend who does a really good deep evil laugh, and I do a good maniacal cackle
Anvildude 18th Mar 2016, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
I prefer the classic baritone "MuahahaHAHA!" myself. A nice, deep, resonant belly laugh, with that little bit of echo in the back of the throat that really sells it as villainous.
ANW 10th Mar 2016, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
"We've foiled your evil plans. Now to destroy your machine."
"No, don't do it. *SMASH* You just doomed us all!"
"What are you talking about?"
"That machine was supposed to seal away the demon, Porlis"
"Isn't that the name of the king's advi.... oh no!"

This is a variation of Nice Job Breaking it Hero
You are given a goal, and you completed it.
But, it turns out that the mission made evil even stronger, and the giver knew that from the start.
Ever did that before?
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2016, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
I once ran an entire campaign on that premise.

A world had been brought to ruin, and its people to near-extinction, by the awakening of elemental (fire/lightning/etc.) spirits, who then divvied up what remained and ruled their own sections of the planet. The PCs were tasked with going around and capturing these spirits. This took up over 90% of the campaign. (7 of the 8 chapters, and part of the final chapter.)

Thing is, while they had gone mad and out of control, these spirits were also the only thing keeping an alien invasion at bay. (They had been awakened to power and fire the Volcannon: an artificial volcano built as an anti-space weapon. Firing it just once was what broke the world in the first place, although the aliens allowed a large shuttle full of slaves to escape so they would be right in the shot's path.) The quest giver (an awakened spirit of the "element" of gravity) was an alien who had coopted the invasion - basically, conquering the invasion force and then making them still invade so as to conquer the PCs' world too. With the spirits gone, the invasion could finally proceed after having been delayed for a century, right?

Cue the PCs invading the invasion "ship" (a moon by that point), dismantling the invasion force in epic fashion, and in the epilogue using the ship to start up interstellar exploration, starting with the planet the aliens came from.
Darkside 10th Mar 2016, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
Holy crap, I've read some of that campaign! I think the main character was named Arhu? Something that started with an "a," and she was a shapeshifting duck Dancer.
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2016, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Ahiru. I may have linked to the game's wiki and the session logs before. Or did you hear of it through other channels?
Darkside 11th Mar 2016, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
Other channels. I think it was TV Tropes, because I only really got as far as the dwarves before I stopped reading, but I still remember the fake gravity-elemental being key.

It's actually similar to a story/campaign idea I had, where the main characters are summoned to save the heroes of the Final Fantasy worlds from "Apocalypse WEAPON," but it turns out that the guy who called them just wanted to get the heroes out of the way and destroy them so he could ascend to godhood or something.
Darkside 11th Mar 2016, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Nevermind, I just did a search, and I found that you mentioned it back on page 550 here.
aylatrigger 10th Mar 2016, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
Fortunately we decided not to attack the 'evil necromancer' after defeating his minions and finding he was holding the tarrasque in a stasis.
CaptainMolasses 10th Mar 2016, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
Wait, why do Long Face and Mane-iac have horns now? I haven't read the comic so maybe it has something to do with that machine, but even then Mane-iac has a horn even before she turns on the machine, but Long Face doesn't.
j-eagle12212012 10th Mar 2016, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
I believe that they are both Unicorns, you just never really notice until the close up shot
j-eagle12212012 10th Mar 2016, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Nope I was wrong.... maybe the Maneiac having a horn before turning on the machine was an artist error
IcyPheonix 10th Mar 2016, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
That would make Long Face an Alicorn then, since he has wings.

And Mane-iac has a horn in two panels here, right before turning the machine on and then just after.
IcyPheonix 10th Mar 2016, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
(since I can't edit)

I think I know why now. I looked up the comic these came from and, the villans are, basically stealing the Power Ponies' powers, with Long-Face and mane-iac gaining Radiance and Masked Matter-Horns powers.
So I guess that means they gained hons too.
Newbiespud 10th Mar 2016, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
That is indeed what's going on, IcyPheonix, but Mane-iac isn't really supposed to have the horn before the power transfer. That makes the horn in Panel 4 an error. Good catch, y'all.
Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yes, they really are... horned in on spotting discrepancies.
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2016, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, well. Our perceptions are just that well horned, you know?
j-eagle12212012 10th Mar 2016, 7:43 PM edit delete reply
Oh no! our one weakness!

Why must you Pun-ish us so ;p
Zuche 10th Mar 2016, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
That was a uniquely corny reply.
Specter 10th Mar 2016, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
"Okay, y'all are creeping me out."

Well, that's kind of what you get when you have a villain player, you're going to get the triumphant laughter bit (or a xenomorph scream from whatever the shadow-y villain is, or the dramatic victory chant from High Heel, or the "slightly doesn't care" grunt from Shadowmane).

Or if your me, it's stopping part way through the final cinematic of the hero's demise to go and grab a snack (which usually results bad things to happen).
Nixitur 10th Mar 2016, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
I just imagine High Heel pulling an M Bison.
aerion111 10th Mar 2016, 1:36 PM edit delete reply
Or the occasional more maniacal laughter from those of us who can't pull off a more traditional evil laugh.

But, really, why WOULDN'T you break into spontaneous laughter?
If you didn't enjoy it, you'd not really be evil, more like neutral and amoral, so to be truly evil you do have to want power.
Or, I guess be one of the outliers that want power in a gloomy and boring way, I guess, but we don't like those.
Frankly Frank 10th Mar 2016, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
There are few things more satisfying than playing a really theatrical villain and belting out a good evil laugh. In the Changeling campaign I currently run, a recurring antagonist is a witch named Princess Kupacious, and she is an absolute delight. She laughs AND she sings (I used a rewrite of "I'll Put a Spell on You" from the film "Hocus Pocus")...although I clearly got a little too into the performance because my players started clapping.
Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
You can NEVER get too into a good villain performance. :D
Someone 10th Mar 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Or any preformance for that matter. Hell, in my campaigns this has practically became a tradition to have a musical number every couple sessions.
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2016, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
That's happened in one or two (depending on how you count "musical number") of my campaigns. I wonder how common it is.
Specter 10th Mar 2016, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
If the players start real life clapping from in-game performing, you've done something right and did what I could only dream about when being a DM, being good at the job.
Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
In just about every PbP game I've been in there was at least one musical number made by me. Half of them done in-universe and lampshaded by other PCs. Lots of fun.
danime91 10th Mar 2016, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
Nothing quite as satisfying as successfully disturbing the GM by getting too in-character.
Nonagon 10th Mar 2016, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
"Lazy and complacent OF your success!"

Still, that's the first typo I've seen in over 700 pages, so, you know, good job.
Luminous Lead 10th Mar 2016, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
Is that M.Bison I see at the bottom? »Yes! Yes!
Scintilla 10th Mar 2016, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
Anyone else get a Mandark vibe from Mane-iac's laugh there?

Also, I got to the end of the page and couldn't help but think, "but what about Humdrum?"
Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 1:00 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Heh heh, what about Humdrum? ;)

He's only a non-powered sidekick... unaffected by a power-sapping machine... generally overlooked by villains...
aerion111 10th Mar 2016, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
Well, humdrum doesn't have any powers, so even if they did use the machine on him it wouldn't have mattered.
Besides, Humdrum isn't Spike, and visa versa; Spike 'won the day' with his 'superpower' of opposable thumbs, and the courage and wit of Equstria's Number 1 Assistant (remember, he manages to keep Twilight sane, a Herculean task by itself, while also taking care of a lot (probably most) of her errands - heck, he even breaks the 4th wall if it's needed for Twilight's sanity, even if most commentators seem not to notice)
Humdrum doesn't have that.
Digo Dragon 10th Mar 2016, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ah, but see, Spike says Humdrum often gets in the way of the super powered Power Ponies. Since now the villains have the powers, they should be getting the curse of Humdrum too, yes? XD
aerion111 10th Mar 2016, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
He's comic relief; If the 'camera' focuses on the villains, then of course the comic relief has to stick around the villains, yes.
But if he defeats them, I suspect it will be by chance, and will be just as much a 'Deux Ex Machina' as if they were defeated by the ceiling falling on them.
Non-Spike Humdrum will surprise me enormously if he turns out to be genuinely useful.

I do wonder what they'll do next, though; They've won, they're not that connected to each other, but if they now split up they're going to head straight into the 'lesson'
Xanderfox 10th Mar 2016, 9:37 PM Was this explained in the real comic edit delete reply
Wait how is the mime guy an alicorn and isn't Maneiac an earth pony?
aerion111 11th Mar 2016, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
Before the 'activation', the Maniac is the subject of the comic version of an animation error - it wouldn't be MLP without some ponies gaining or losing racial traits.
After, we'll have to wait and see; People've already spoiled that it steals their power, and that the ones gaining unicorn power gains a horn, so we'll see whether there's anyone who has the wrong number of limbs after we see who gets who's power (though I suspect this page is meant to show it)
Raxon 11th Mar 2016, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
Evil laughs are cathartic.
JohnBobMead 11th Mar 2016, 5:38 AM Umm... edit delete reply
Newbiespud, wasn't that Dave Arneson, not Anderson?
Newbiespud 11th Mar 2016, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
Yyyyyyep. <editing ensues>
Jobany 11th Mar 2016, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Remember a hero is just someone out to save others. Without a proper Villain they are just boy/girl scout or a first response professional. What makes the Hero is the villain.
aerion111 11th Mar 2016, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
Well, while I admit that's one way to define a 'hero', you could also define them by their 'hero complex'
In which case they're NOT boy-scouts and first-response professionals; Those jobs don't get the recognition heroes crave.
They're basically just as insane as the villains, with much the same urges, but they get their 'power trip' by SAVING lives rather than destroying them - and there's been papers written on how a hero-complex is just a few steps short of becoming exactly the kind of mindset that creates serial killers; If people start taking the heroes for granted, the 'thrill' isn't the same anymore, and they'd need to take more drastic steps to get the same 'high' - such as ritualistic murder.
Seriously, 'heroes', even when not defined by their complex, are not sane.
And the thing about madness is that it rarely is just the one thing - you're not going to have someone crazy enough to charge into a burning building, without them also crazy enough to be frightening once they get pushed.