The Code of Villains

As promised, it’s time for the Code of Villains.

It’s not a comprehensive list, and some villains rebel from the norms. They are villains, after all. Generally, though, this is the code of conduct for villains.


The Code of Villains

Date: Long before you were born

Location: A place intimately near yet immeasurably far

We, the bringers of death and destruction, the models of immorality, greed, and debasement—in most ages and histories known as villains—hereby commit to writing the code of conduct that suits our station and malicious pursuits.

For the sake of our ignoble heritage, we ask that all prospective villains from henceforth adhere to these following principles:

Article 1: Don’t be afraid to smoke, chew, and go around with people who do.

Article 2: Take extensive combat lessons so you are able to give the hero and his friends a good fight, but never be so prideful as to expect to ultimately win. Wounding the hero is the most you should expect.

Article 3: No matter the situation or personal stakes, take an active role in shooting at the hero and his friends, but without ever hitting them—even if they’re only ten feet away—because that would be too realistic and boring.

Making sure you don’t kill the hero will endear you to audiences.

Article 4: When the story has reached the climax and you have the hero down, ready to strike the deathblow that will insure your victory, always pause for dramatic effect to ensure the hero escapes or is saved by his friends. Under no circumstances should you kill when you have the chance. This will also endear you to audiences.

Article 5: At all times, maintain an air of swagger, self-assurance, and loathing.

Article 6: Take pleasure in torturing the hero and those around him without going over the edge and actually killing them. That would lead to a swift and undesirable death.

Article 7: Have adequate motivation for all your actions, even if it makes sense only to you. Nothing wins people’s heart like a sob story that explains your motives.

Article 8: Gather as many henchmen around you as is reasonable, but always remember their primary use is for sending at the opposition and being killed so you don’t have to suffer that inconvenience.

Note that henchmen are also useful if you need to take out your anger without violating Article 6.

Article 9: Keep your own interests front and center in everything you do. Thinking of others will only hinder you.

Article 10: When you and a group of henchmen are engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a hero, abide by the Villain Rules of Fair Combat, which state that you must never attack the hero at the same time, and that your movements must be unrealistically slow in order to provide the hero with ample time to respond.

Article 11: In keeping with proper villainous conduct, when you have the hero trapped and he asks about your plan—which he has yet to decipher because of its complex genius—oblige him with a detailed answer.

Article 12: Referring to Article 6, do everything in your power to ensure the hero has adequate means of escaping your clutches but in a subtle enough way that it appears you are trying your best to keep him captured.

Article 13: If you come into a dangerous situation, feign a change of heart or vow to help the hero in order to preserve your life.

Article 14: Blow things up without remorse.

Article 15: Promise your endeavors will make the world a better place, avenge some past grievance, or give people the lives of comfort they deserve.

Along with this, offer assurance that your tyranny isn’t really tyranny but a mode of control that has everyone’s best interests at heart.

Article 16: Make threats and carry them out, but do your best to avoid extremes such as killing the hero outright or permanently removing their sidekicks from the story, as this is distasteful to most audiences.

Article 17: When the inevitable moment of your death comes, pause dramatically to offer a final dialogue laced with scorn, profundity, wit, or insight. Above all, insure your death is as spectacular as possible.

Adhere to these principles as best as you are able, and you will thrive in your villainous endeavors.


The Committee for Villainous Affairs Department


What did you think of the Code of Villains? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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