Let's face it. Contrary to what the good noder said in Guide to becoming an action hero, the world doesn't need more action heroes. The sniveling human race needs those brave few who have what it takes to subject mankind to natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, alien invasions, and the evil doings of megalomaniacs.

Sadly, such extraordinary people are few and far between. But here is how you - yes you - can follow in the footsteps of these amazing people. If you ever face a situation when drastic action is called for to doom the day, perhaps the following advice will help.

Personality:

Charisma. Heroes bathe in charisma like cheap cologne. What can you do to counteract this smarmy do-gooder trait? Megalomania! That's the name of the game. Megalomania is the supervillain's basic weapon in the fight against all that is good and just. An supervillain needs to have that special something - the "X-factor" you might say. You have to believe you are the God-King of the Universe, deep down in your hideous black soul. People will need to fear you in the most comfortable of situations - maybe even flee you for their lives!

If you have no megalomania then you'll never be an supervillain.

Often we find that the supervillain is somewhat of a tortured soul. Rarely are they married. So, if you are married and want to be an supervillain - get a divorce now. Best to do it as soon as possible as these things can take some time. Don't worry - you'll win your wife back after you conquer the Earth! Women can't resist a bad boy after all. But if you are not married don't panic. All you need is to do be involved or at least stalking a girl and somehow make sure that she becomes interested in a hero just prior to your evildoings so you can kidnap her back and lure her muscle-bound beau into a devilish death trap. Easy!

You must not live in a crummy apartment in a slightly bad area. No plush suburban houses. These half measures don't befit someone of your obvious grandeur and power. Active volcanos, sewer lairs and orbital death ray platforms all make suitable starter homes, but an on the go supervillain needs a nebulous web of worldwide terror bases. Don't worry about financing, as those that threaten you with eviction can be hung over your head, by a noose or meat hook. Your megalomania should always manage to earn you that extension to the payment deadline - here is just one importance of having megalomania! Decorate your lair with empty biohazard canisters and the bones of would-be foes. And always keep the self-destruct sequence primed for a 1 minute countdown.

As for your wardrobe, you will probably find that a flowing black cloak will be most useful to you. Make sure it's lavish and expensive, as it will probably get displayed to millions during your televised ransom speeches. Menacing armor is good too.

You should have superhuman intelligence. A supervillain must plot all day, despite a diet of kittens and souls.

Personal problems, such as severe mental illness are very much encouraged.

Oh yes - you must never get on well with your boss. Or have a boss. Kill him at the first opportunity.

Find a nemesis:

Most supervillains have a nemesis. Your nemesis should be a hero who is very stupid and in a position of minimal power. As the head of a large multinational corporation who dabbles in more sinister dealings behind the frontage of his legitimate business, you can't be seen as a Richard Branson.

Your nemesis will be the focal point of your deeds of vile villainy, so choose wisely. You wouldn't want to be stuck with a crap nemesis for the rest of your life would you?

Getting down to business:

Normally, you will be foiled unexpectedly during your moment of glory. There will be ample time to plan so you probably have access to lots of useful equipment. If you happen to fighting with cops (which is likely) then you will have a raygun. And a hideous army of mutants, of course, which you must flash gratuitously when entering any building. Worry about running out of ammunition - your raygun has an exhaustible supply which will run out just as you get the drop on the hero. How? Waddya mean how!?! It just does, ok!?!

Skills required:

When dealing with thugs, cronies, hired goons, and general miscreants, the only time you will have any trouble is when they don't obey you. This is almost certain to happen at least once per adventure. Generally your mindless drones will come across your nemesis, who will never ever come close to being in the path of their bullets. If faced by a single hero, the first thing they do is to panic. Your greater numbers will give you no tactical advantage, so attack single file. Remember to instruct them to wait patiently until it is their turn to fight the hero one-on-one, man-to-man. You will prevail since you are far more "man" than they are.

Dealing with the sidekick:

There is always one momma's boy boy-scout type who tags along with your nemesis who you will have to fight before you can doom the planet. Send your personal bodyguard to take care of them, and be confident that they will not win. Always employ at least one 7 foot tall colossus for this.

Initially, the fight will go well. But this is normal. They will be thrown about like a rag doll by your colossal pet. All you have to do is wait until they are just about to be defeated where upon they will spot a way to instantly knock out your muscle-bound lackey. Usually this will be in the form of some mechanical contraption. A lever or button releasing some heavy suspended object is usually the problem. Whatever the answer, the first place they will look is just beyond their desperately outstretched fingers. You can flee or step in to deal a dose of knockout gas, and truss the little jerk up in a deathtrap as bait.

Dealing with your nemesis:

You're psychotic and unstable, so do anything. You will find that as you are confronted your nemesis some dialogue will ensue. "You will never succeed!" can be answers with a hearty "Foolish Human!" Etc etc. It is at this point that you will normally unveil the full extent of your master plan. One thing that you have to do is (which never fails to surprise) is turn the tables on them. Never attempt to kill them straight away, as this is a waste of effort. You would much rather create some elaborate scenario in which they will die a slow painful death...and have no hope of escape!

In your final confrontation with your nemesis, you will be just about to succeed in your dastardly plan when you be defeated by him. The ironic way is usually the most likely - you may get "killed" by your own superweapon, for instance. Remember, your nemesis is always looking for long term battles, so plan an elaborate escape, and make sure your body is not discovered, especially if it really really looked like you died.

Firefights:

You have a dazzling array of firepower, but this is of no consequence. You are so unskilled that you will have extreme trouble in dealing with a single opponent armed with a handgun. You should be very concerned with being hit. Your opponent is, always, a fantastically great shot. They will find cover in the most unlikely places, like wooden crates, metal railings or ladders, or the corpse of a fallen lackey. Bullets do pass through these objects however, always when YOU hide behind them.

And if you do get shot - scream and crumple theatrically. It really really hurts.

Taking careful aim is always necessary. A pinpoint laser sight right between the eyes of your foe at a foot away will usually miss completely, or cause a superficial wound, often in the shoulder.

Fistfights:

Usually your raygun won't be of any use to you and you will have to get down to some proper ass-kicking. The important thing to remember is that by some freak of nature, they can never be knocked unconscious by any blow you can land on them. They also to suffer no ill effects after being hit. A wrong that needs righting drives them to incredible feats of strength and endurance. So fight dirty!

You everything to fear in fist fights. Your highly trained and disciplined martial artists will be completely dismantled by your enemies unrefined haphazard fighting style.

Planting Bombs:

When confronting with a bomb, be sure to install a huge timer. In order to be sporting about it, ensure that the wires are easily accessible and that the final few seconds are extra slow. They provide the illusion that they can defeat you but you are a master villain - how can you fail?

Nuclear warheads:

When booby trapping with a nuclear warhead, just follow the same basic procedure as above. Always post signs on the device warning of extreme radioactivity to spook any heroic types away.

Disguises:

Sometimes, your foe will sneak into your base undercover. In order to confront this problem, press your uniformed thugs of all sizes into patrols. What are the odds he will find one to knockout that is his exact size? Keep your thugs from socializing by spacing out patrols and rotating shifts. A lazy thug is a dead thug.

Flying a plane or helicopter:

You've never piloted an aircraft before? Oh no! It's horribly complicated. If you are escaping a pursuing hero, you will crash it in a spectacular manner. Plan your fiery wreckage escapes ahead of time to foil medical examiners looking for bodies.

Driving vehicles at speed:

Without any training, any hero chasing you can drive like a stunt driver, making jumps like Evel Knievel. As you smash though crowded city streets at breakneck speed you should attempt to avoid as many piles of empty boxes and apple carts as possible, as they will slow down the pursuing hero. Driving down some steps is crazy and you should never follow anyone who does it. Aim for pedestrians - unfortunately they'll get out of the way in just in time. As for traffic, you will find that everyone crashes in front of you, causing roadblocks. Remember - the rules of the road don't apply to super villains. Who cares if the police try to stop you?

Using a computer:

Beautiful women that follow your nemesis are the computer-whiz (don't the glasses make her look intelligent!). She will do all computer work for him. If the gratuitous good-looking female companion happens to be a specialist in another field then you will find that using a computer is second nature to your nemesis. They will find ways to execute the most complex procedures with a few key presses, where as it takes your minions 10 minutes to close a blast door. Your computer expert will always use a stupidly easy password to guess, and will be no help in stopping the hero.

Never use a Windows operating system in any of your lairs. Computers that have excessive and showy animations on the screen for every task will better display your superiority to the hero. Villains are usually quite fond of E-mail floating out of animated envelopes.

And finally:

At the end of the day, when they have foiled whatever sinister plan you had afoot, there is one important thing to remember. Always gloat. Always boast. Blow your own trumpet about what an amazing villain you are. When it's all over, and they are carting you off to prison, make sure that the hero knows you will be back, and they the battle is lost, but the war continues.

And you should by now have lost the girl. If she is in the arms of the hero, you have the perfect means to get back at him next time by offing her, forcing him into grief drinking.

Begin plotting immediately.



I hope this guide will help all you budding supervillains out there. If you follow these basic guidelines then you will soon be on the way to destroying the Earth. Just remember - you will fail. You are the villain! (and I am a far superior villain than you. Kneel before Zod!)

inspired by Guide to becoming an action hero by Chris Hook, the dastardly do-gooder!

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