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A Noble Villain is a character with a code of honor. He doesn't care that he has a bad image — he may even actively cultivate and embrace it. However, every so often a situation presents itself and he's just not willing to go the extra mile necessary to be completely evil. He'll topple your castle, but he'll do it right after everyone has cleared out first. He is reluctant to sacrifice whole armies to achieve his goal and is more willing to sacrifice himself for his army's sake. He'll conquer your village but he won't cause more destruction than necessary.
Some will be obsessed with explaining this behavior so people won't think that he's gone soft. Harming enemies or servants who have failed but are loyal is "a waste of resources" and his inevitable newfound friends are "tactically advantageous allies." However, this is usually just a lie, he actually cares about them.
A lot of this behavior is sometimes explained as the result of a complex they acquired when they felt weak and helpless, and all they really need is to be loved. A Noble Villain isn't necessary nice, but being noble and powerful they are above petty and malicious acts.
For all his flaws such as being smug he truly cared about his allies, and is not willing to give up a fight so he can protect them.
When he makes a promise, he will keep it, and if you prove equally noble an adversary he will honor your wishes in your place after defeating you.
He and the Hero may have been enemies, but such was their admiration for each other's cunning and bravery that there was no hatred, only a warm understanding and respect as he was defeated and walk away.
He also may act harmless and funny such as:
. Throw snowballs at people
. Prank phone calls
. Running in the halls
. Not washing the dishes
. Stealing everyone's left shoe
. Throwing eggs and toilet paper at someone's house
. Trying to write graffiti with chalk on a chalk board
. Knocks over some kid's ice cream cone, after which the kid and his friend whack him and he doesn't even fight back
. Tracking mud all over the hall floor
. Planning to steal the gold from the natives of a country that doesn't hold gold to have any value
. Refusing to pay rent until his landlord fixes something
. Releasing some animals from a zoo
. Straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa
. Deciding to do street racing at the speed limit
. Blowing out the Olympic Torch
. Using magic to turn a Coke A Cola bottle into a Pepsi
However be warned just because he respects his enemies, acts harmless and keeps his promises doesn't mean he won't use every dirty trick in the book and a few more not in the book to survive in a fight and is a very skilled opponent
He's rather friendly when he's not angered or annoyed.
basically he's a morally decent man who just happened to be loyal to an evil cause.Music for the Second Half of the Article
Here are some examples: