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- Elsa Kisiel
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I don't think it's a problem if there's an ending where's the antagonist win, especially for Visual Novels, where there's multiple endings. (And even for kinectic novel: as long as your reader where aware they shouldn't expect too much of a happy ending, I don't really see the problem...? -just make sure the tone of your story match the tone of your ending.)
Now, if it's a game with a lot of game-play, and there's only ending(s) were's the protagonist is defeated, it might be frustrating for the player, as it means theirs efforts were useless, and they couldn't save the day. It can work, but it require a good writing.
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For games, agree that it's harder to do an ending where the antagonist wins if it's the only ending. Witch's House has a variant of that where why it works is because the villain is actually the player character and the truth of the characters completely changes the game, and would probably make most players wish the antagonist-enemy character win.
I also found the villains in Collar x Malice fairly well done, since it's less that you want them to "win" as much as you want most of them to be saved. Most have sympathetic backstories and them having a bonus chapter where you get to see them all when they chose to go down the path they did is the icing on top.
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In a romance novel, the antagonist could be in love with the same person the protagonist is. Most people would automatically root for the protagonist regardless of their reasoning, but if you make the antagonist relateable as well, it might be more difficult for people to pick a side. Maybe the antagonist and the love interest are childhood friends. The antagonist might have a deep fear of being alone and longs for a sense of community because they never had that growing up. They have a misunderstanding that if the person they love dates someone else, they will be left behind. Suddenly the reader/player can understand why the antagonist tries to sabotage the protagonists chances of love. They become relateable.
An evil villain can also have a fear of loneliness, and that fear might make them control people (because if they can't form true bonds, they'll force those bonds). They don't kill people because they like it, they kill people because they want to scare people into submission. If the protagonist refuses to be controlled, then the antagonist has a good reason to dislike them. This example needs to be built up a lot in order to make it work, but hopefully you understand what I'm going for.
One thing I want to say though, is don't try to justify evil deeds with a sad backstory or reason! As a writer you have a responsibility not to endorse bad actions. Killing people are never justified, regardless of how lonely, hurt or relateable the killer is. The fact of the matter is that they did something horrible and that can't be taken back. So make your antagonists likeable, make your reader understand and relate to them, but don't make your readers think that it's okay to kill innocent people as long as you have a good reason for it. There's a clear difference in having their actions be understandable and having them be justified. If you want your villain/antagonist to have a redemption arc that's fine, as long as you don't downplay the bad parts and act like they never happened.
Tears of Glass - [Romance otome, Supernatural, School, GxB] - http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=37523
Demo for Tears of Glass - viewtopic.php?f=45&t=38285
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