7. Frank Fontaine – BioShock
A defining characteristic of any legendary villain is the ability to deceive the player for their own personal, diabolical benefit. Frank Fontaine, perpetually stuck in the underwater dystopia of Rapture, put on a ruse for the ages in the original BioShock.
Initially posing as your old Irish pal “Atlas,” Fontaine uses his disguise to send the player on a handful of seemingly innocent tasks. You eventually realize that it is in fact Fontaine who clashed with Rapture leader and founder Andrew Ryan. Fontaine was a thug instrumental in organizing the gene splicing and ADAM trade that led to Rapture’s corruption and downfall.
When the player comes to the realization that Atlas is actually Fontaine, you learn that protagonist Jack was conditioned to accept a specific code phrase that would force him to act out the instruction that followed the phrase. Fontaine had planned to use Jack as a trump card in his war with Ryan, bringing him back to Rapture when the time was right. Upon learning that Ryan is actually your long-lost father, Fonatine triggers the phrase, forcing Jack to kill him with a golf club. Yeah, pretty messed up. Remember, this is all before he turns himself into a massive monster intent on ripping you to pieces. It goes without saying that after meeting Frank Fontaine in the beautifully oppressive and damp underwater tank that is Rapture, you’ll never look at the phrase “Would you kindly” the same way again.