I think that deep down inside, everyone enjoys a good story. Back in the golden age of gaming, when games were very basic and did not have much to offer the player in graphics and content, the story of the game did not matter too much. As the graphics of video games started to improve, game creators discovered that they could actually add a story in with the content of the game so that the gamer could get a more immersive experience. It was these intricately written stories, which I could be a direct part of, that drove me to start playing video games in the first place.
Over the years there have been many stories which have arisen from video games which have sparked my interest and imagination. The idea of an Italian plumber being sucked into a pipe and ending up in another world where he has to fight a vindictive dino-turtle king to rescue a princess might sound like an under budget indie movie gone wrong, but for a video game, the story works perfectly well. As weird as many of the stories can get, most of them have one thing in common, there is always so sort of villain or “last boss” to triumph over.
In the world of villains in video games, there are many who break the mold and stand out as the most evil, manipulative, and diabolical characters ever conceived by the human mind. Halo is a fun FPS, but the idea that a fanatic religious conglomerate of various alien species known as the Covenant, who are hell bent on destroying all life that is against their beliefs, makes the game so much better. Portal would be a fun game without a villain, but the fact that a sadistic and psychopathic AI called GlaDOS chides your character the entire way through the game makes for an entertaining and somewhat nerve racking experience. Many other villains can be considered to be top level nasties, but most gamers will agree that there is one video game villain that stands out above all of the rest because of…well, just because he does. I am, of course, talking about Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7.
Maybe it is the fact that he is pure evil. Perhaps it is the fact that he barely says anything in the entire game, yet still manages to taunt Cloud and his crew with his ability to be one step ahead of all them throughout the game. It could have something to do with the summoning of a giant meteor to destroy the world because of his personal philosophy that life is meaningless and needs to be wiped out. I think it might be for the fact that he holds a seven foot long sword and uses it to kill one of the most beloved video game characters in history. Whatever it might be, Sephiroth epitomizes the picture of villainy in video games. In fact, if Satan were a video game character, I think that he would be Sephiroth.
It is a good thing that there is no super powerful baddie with a grudge on humanity that is hell bent on destroying all remnants of its existence. Then again, that is wishful thinking, because as a Believer I know that there is someone who fits that exact description, and that is Satan himself. This high angel turned megalomaniacal overlord of darkness will stop at nothing to destroy mankind and uproot what God has planted. The Bible says that he is “prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). It is also written that he is the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and holds power over the rulers and authorities of darkness. These few passages describe this villain as being powerful, deceptive, influential, and out for blood. This may sound like someone from a video game or book, but the truly scary part is that he is real, and he is gunning for all of us.
It would not be fair if we were simply left to fend off this great enemy with our own devices, because we would surely lose. As it so happens, though, God accounted for all of this and has numbered Satan’s days. According to Revelation 20, Satan and his partners in crime will lose and will be cast into a lake of burning sulfur where they will be tormented for ever and ever (Rev. 20:10). Ouch. With that being written down, you better believe that Satan knows that he has lost, and he is now in the process of taking as many people down with him as he possibly can.
Our greatest weapon against this treat is none other than that too often neglected book that deteriorates underneath a stack of TV Guides and apathy in our homes; the Bible. The Word of God is the only defensive weapon in our arsenal, and it is described as the powerful Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). The Master Sword’s got nothing on this weapon. It can pierce the spirit (Heb. 12:6), and was even used by Christ himself to fend off Satan three times in Matthew 4. The words of truth bring people to repentance and have the ability to snatch souls out of the grasp of the enemy. Though it is in the form of a book, the Word of God is a powerful weapon that should not be underestimated.
Every story has a villain, and if this life is a story, then Satan is that villain. Much like a well written story, we as the protagonists can often feel like we are on the losing end of the battle. However, thanks to the reassuring words of the Bible, we know that it truly is darkest before the dawn, because when that Dawn does come, he will be riding a white horse with a sword drawn in His hand, and He will be followed by a host of angelic soldiers ready to lay the smack down on the forces of evil. Don’t worry, the good guys win in the end.