What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

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AlanoodSulaiman
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What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#1 Post by AlanoodSulaiman » Wed May 16, 2018 6:02 pm

So I'm making a visual novel where the main two archenemies are neither evil nor good.
They respect each other's opinion yet they fight to change the world the way the want it to become.
What do you think about this?

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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#2 Post by Mutive » Wed May 16, 2018 7:15 pm

I generally prefer antagonists who make sense. This typically means that they're not evil, they just have a different view of how things should be than the protagonist. I've seen this done successfully in a variety of media, from video games (Last of Us) to movies (Black Panther comes to mind) to comics (Watchmen), books (endless...), etc.

So I don't think there's any problem with it. Of course, as is true for all fiction, people have different preferences.
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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#3 Post by Preseva » Wed May 16, 2018 7:52 pm

Some people call that a moral gray story, and it's common enough. Mutive gave a great example with the Last of Us. They tend to be more realistic. Some people consider them more complex. I think they're just a different kind of story, no better or worse than those that have good guys and bad guys. Personally, I prefer having more clear cut heroes and villains, because when neither side is right or wrong and I sympathize equally with both protagonist and antagonist, to me it feels like there is no satisfying outcome possible, because someone I'm rooting for will always lose. I loved the Last of Us, but I had that problem with the ending.

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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#4 Post by Katy133 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 pm

It sounds like your characters are of "true neutral" moral alignment. You may want to read up on that alignment to see examples of such characters.
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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#5 Post by Draziya » Wed May 16, 2018 9:33 pm

That's definitely feasible. As others have said, you're talking about morally grey characters, though I'd add onto Katy's point that the characters could be Chaotic Neutral or Lawful Neutral as well as True Neutral.

I'm curious though. Even if they're not a hero and a villain in the traditional sense, would they still be considered the protagonist and the antagonist? As in, would they still fight against each other if winning furthers their goals? Because you can definitely still draw on hero/villain dynamics with that.
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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#6 Post by AlanoodSulaiman » Thu May 17, 2018 3:15 am

Thank you guys. I recieved an opinion from somone who tried my demo and they were disappointed with the fact it's a "moral gray story", so I were afraid it was over-used or something like that.

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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#7 Post by Mutive » Thu May 17, 2018 1:53 pm

Not over used. I honestly think there are fewer "morally gray" stories out there than ones with a Big Bad and a super heroic protagonist.

With that said, taste varies *tremendously*. (Which is part of why it's good to have more than one opinion when possible + to take all opinions with some salt. Some of the time someone hates a story because it's objectively not working. But sometimes it's just not working for them. Some of my favorite characters have been widely hated. Doesn't mean they were badly written, just that other players dislike them.)
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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#8 Post by Mammon » Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 am

Everything can work if it's done well. Words to live by, including here. Can you make a story without good vs evil? Of course. Can you make a story with a hero vs a big bad guy? Of course. The difference lies in that the latter is usually a tad bit easier to make good as a formula. However, the better story is the one written better.

To give an example, apparently Stan Lee made Iron man with the ideal to make someone that no one would like and then make them like him. Someone selfish, arrogant and spoiled by his wealth and charisma, yet likeable. I myself do something similar by making a dislikeable main character and getting the audience to like them. So you can make a neutral character and do the same, if you do it right.

Also, you mentioned a demo. Is it a closed demo, because I can't find it to get a clearer idea of the situation.
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Re: What do you think about a story without a hero or a villain

#9 Post by AlanoodSulaiman » Fri May 18, 2018 5:07 pm

Mammon wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 am
Also, you mentioned a demo. Is it a closed demo, because I can't find it to get a clearer idea of the situation.
No. I'll release it whenever the artist I'm working with is done with her work.

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