|“||Without its master's command, the restless Scourge will become an even greater threat to this world. Control must be maintained. There must always be... a Lich King!||„|
|~ King Terenas Menethil II|
Villains who can actually serve very important purposes and need to be kept alive despite their evil deeds. No matter how sadistic, bloodthirsty, cruel, or even how much they are hated, these villains have to live or something terrible will happen. However, once they fulfilled their purposes, whether they get killed off or suffer a demise no longer matters, as they are no longer needed at that point and still technically done evil things.
These characters are similar to Virtually Resourceful characters, but are obviously opposed to their alignment. Also, these characters are usually created to keep the story relatively three-dimensional.
Notes about Pure Evil villains
Pure Evil villains CAN be necessary, regardless of how wicked they are. Despite being very evil in the setting that appear in, their status, power, or occupation may be necessary to uphold the order of the place that the story takes place in, thus they are in a way "Necessary Evil". Technically, this include Purely Evil villains who fall under the first, fifth (in circumstances like these, it is considered Evil Vs. Evil), third, sixth, twelfth, or twenty-first criteria - and ONLY these criterias.
This is not a redeeming quality as the Pure Evil villain is still dangerous to the setting that they happen to be necessary in. For example, abusing or enslaving those around them while upholding stability to something greater that they are apart of. Akainu from One Piece is a powerhouse that is needed to stop the pirates. But while he is needed for stopping dangerous pirates, he is a pure evil individual who is abusive of his power. Nevertheless, keep in mind that adding a Pure Evil under Necessary Evil MUST remain exceptional.
In another extreme case, there are Pure Evil villains that can still be necessary to the story itself from where they came from. This happens only when the villain the "key" character to the work from where they came from. In other words, "without the villain, there is no plot". For example: Isaac Ray Peram Westcott from Date A Live is the catalyst character from the series. Without him, the universe of the said work would have never existed to begin with as it was him who set the events of the story in motion by summoning the Mio Takamiya on Earth, starting the story in-universe. As such, the same villain killed the main protagonist of the series (when he was an ordinary citizen), Shinji Takamiya, and so restarting the life of the hero and giving birth to the main protagonist of the series. Later in the story, the said protagonist would be the saver of the universe, stopping Westcott's ambitions. Aside from that, Westcott's Deus.Ex.Machina Industries is necessary to the world as they provide weapons and power to all nations. Without DEM, billions will suffer from a global economic crisis. Other examples of this are:
- Frieza from Dragon Ball Z: who destroyed the Planet of the Saiyans, resulting in the main hero of the story, Son Goku, being sent to Earth, where he would grow as one of the universe's greatest defenders.
- Lord Embryo from CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon: the lustful god who destroyed many Earths in the past and created the world where the series take place. Without Embryo, the main protagonist of the series, Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, would never have been born as a Norma and so becoming the universe's protector.
- Makuta Teridax from BIONICLE: The Makuta once served as the protector of the Matoran as well as the trusted commander of Miserix before attempting to overthrow the Great Spirit. Without Teridax, the Matoran Universe would have been attacked by the other villains.
Villains who qualify
Villains who fall under at least one criteria are Necessary Evil:
- Some anti-villains with the intent to help the hero or to save a large number of people. Often, these characters are considered anti-heroes. (Examples: Vegeta helps Goku and the other Z-Fighters protect the universe from threats, although initially doing so out of a desire to have his own shot at killing Goku; The Punisher fights off and defeats various supervillains.)
- Villains who are keeping a much worse evil at bay. (Examples: Galactus keeps Abraxas, a being able to destroy universes, out of the Marvel Universe; the Lich King keeps the Scourge from becoming an even greater threat to Azeroth; The Seven Deities, while seeking a new world order, protect Gaea from the Gohma Vlitra; while the remnants of the US Armed Forces in Last of Us, despite running the quarantine zones as police states, genuinely protect the inhabitants from the Infected and attempt to help and be friendly with civilians whenever they can; Anna Morgan, whilst depicted as an abusive and mentally disturbed mother, keeps her adoptive daughter Samara Morgan from continuing her torment and killing spree).
- Jerk employees and employers that actually are capable of doing their jobs and it's made very clear the business cannot succeed without them. (Examples: Benson is heavily trusted with keeping the park afloat; Malcolm Tucker was very capable in doing his job as the Director of Communications)
- Villains preventing catastrophes, including the end of the world or universe, with their mere presence or actions. (Examples: In God of War, each time a God of Olympus dies, a different ecological disaster occurs; Kyubey prevents Armageddon with energy collected from magic girls; Kurumi Tokisaki wants to travel in the time to 30 years ago to protect the planet Earth from the Mio Takamiya in order to prevents the death of 150 million people, Colonel McCullough has to save humanity by killing the ape species, which he fails in doing.)
- Some anti-heroes. (Examples: Vegeta helps Goku and the other Z-Fighters protect the universe from threats, although initially doing so out of a desire to have his own shot at killing Goku; The Punisher fights off and defeats various supervillains.)
- Evil vs. Evil scenarios where one of the villains is the only subject strong/powerful enough to defeat the more dangerous threat. (Examples: Lord Garmadon was the only person who could wield all four golden weapons to destroy the Great Devourer; Stewie Griffin was the only one who could stop Diane Simmons from killing Lois; Heinz Doofenshmirtz was the only one able to stop Aloyse Von Roddenstein from sending the Earth to a new Ice Age; Lu Bu was the only one who had assassinated his own master Dong Zhuo after he betrayed him).
- Unlawful businessmen that can provide a product or service that is needed or well-liked by people. (The Elgen Corporation has a monopoly over the world's electricity, and cannot be shut down, or else the electrical supply in many countries will falter; Mr. Krabs runs the Krusty Krab which produces the very well-accepted Krabby Patty; Abstergo Industries have genuinely contributed to most of society's inventions; Seto Kaiba is in charge of KaibaCorp; OmniCorp, despite violating RoboCop's human rights and removing large portions of his free will, does make the world a better place by providing automated peacekeeping machines for the American military, thus enabling them to patrol Tehran and keep it safe from people like suicide bombers without endangering actual infantry troops). This can also apply to entertainers who perform or create to please and entertain people (Pink Sheep, Misa Amane).
- Villains performing villainous acts that lead to beneficial results/consequences, whether the result itself was what they intended or otherwise. Some cases of this instance show where villains whom their actions was turned out only to merely trained/molded the heroes so the said heroes can became a better savior (in which they often revealed in the end). Other cases, however, show that either their actions are the key for their future downfall at hands of heroes that they antagonize or made hero realized the grave situation that everyone faced (Examples: Mister Babadook made Amelia comes to terms with her husband's death; Joe Chill murdering Martha and Thomas Wayne leads to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman; Blackfire using her sister, Starfire, as a bargaining chip for the Gordanians leads to the creation of the superhero team called the Teen Titans that ultimately fights her; Kessler antagonizes Cole MacGrath so he can be powerful against The Beast; The Ten Rings capturing and severely wounding Tony Stark allows Stark to see the harm that his company's weapons cause and leads to him becoming Iron Man; The Architect created the One prophecy for Neo and his predecessors.)
- Wealthy villains that helped the city they live in. (Examples: Lex Luthor helped build half of Metropolis; Mr. Burns is Springfield's only taxpayer.)
- Amoral entities that must keep the balance of nature in check. (Almost every incarnation of the Grim Reaper or any Death God in mythology is this.)
- Family breadwinners. (Peter Griffin is often the only person in the family who actually works to put food on the table.)
- Villains with important information. (Hannibal Lecter had information that helped Clarice defeat Buffalo Bill.)
- Some heroes who turned to the dark side that had everything related to their evil actions upon their fall from grace exposed, would led to undesirable consequences. (When Harvey Dent helped locked half of Gotham's crime bosses away in The Dark Knight, he gave hope to Gotham. When he became Two-Face and killed people, Gordon and Batman knew if the truth came out, people would lose hope so Batman willingly took the blame so Dent would stay a hero after his death.)
- Villains from the Lawful Neutral alignment who keep order, and it's obvious that situation would be worse had they not been present. (Razoul, despite being amoral and corrupt, keep peace and order in their home cities.)
- Hostile biological species, tribes, or civilizations that, while hostile or xenophobic, are capable of producing children and families. Killing of a naturally hostile race, civilization or tribe would still be considered an act of genocide. (Examples: The Yuuzhan Vong and The Predators)
- Evil teachers who keep unruly students in line.
- Alter-Egos or powerful entities within a hero, the ones that has possessed the hero, or grant them their powers, resulting in them saving his/her lives from time to time. (Examples: Zangetsu possessed Ichigo multiple times and, as a result, saved his life multiple times; Kurama sometimes possesses Naruto or gives some of his power to prevent Naruto from getting killed or to fight off a powerful foe; Yami Yugi frequently helps Yugi out; Mario and Cappy capturing Bowser, who was strong enough to "help" Mario and Peach escape Bowser's underground lair on the moon while it was collapsing at the climax of Super Mario Odyssey.)
- Former villains that joined, or at the very least, helped the Hero (Yasha, Trish, Bagramon when he was the Old Clock Shop Man, and many others).
- Villains who saved a protagonist(s), attempt to sacrifice themselves to save a protagonist(s), or sacrificed their lives to save the protagonist(s), such as SA-X, Sybok from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Android 16 who attempted to self-destruct to kill Cell; and questionably Nemesis from Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
- Double agents that are on the side of good and pretend to be evil. These people can be either friends of the heroes whom originally at odds with heroes but ultimately chooses to switch side with the heroes and leaked the antagonists' evil scheme on them. (Severus Snape pretended to be allies with Lord Voldemort but was secretly helping Dumbledore and Harry Potter.)
- Dark Forms, Devils, or other personifications of evil that are literally the source of evil. If they are destroyed, evil would cease to exist, and life would no longer be able to feel sadness, anger, or any other negative or evil emption and be forced to feel positive all the time, be incapable of doing anything evil or neagative, and think that negativity is unnatural. So villains who are the source of evil have to be kept despite their evil influence.
- In video games, certain evil creatures such as the hostile mobs from Minecraft, that can be farmed for useful items. (Killing a Wither will give you a Nether star, which is the key ingrediant to make a beacon, killing an Evoker will give you a Totem Of Undying, which prevents you from dying, Blazes can be farmed for their rods to power your brewing stand(s), the Ender Dragon can be re-spawned to collect Ender Acid to make lingering potions, etc.)