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More examples of 2+ good guys fight 1 bad guy??? (Moved)


Gamer Talk


[Moved this from Gamer Talk, where it had no takers and was being pushed down by other threads]

I am not that familiar with all the old stuff, but I cannot think of too many examples where 2+ good guys fight 1 bad guy.

I can think of:
- Beowulf and a sidekick vs. the dragon (dragon dies, Beowulf fatally wounded)

- Herakles and a sidekick vs. the hydra

- Anyone shooting Smaug uselessly and Bard killing it. Was anyone shooting besides Bard?

- Aragorn, Boromir, and Gandalf against the balrog. Only Gandalf engages with it. The other guys were moving up when the bridge fell.

- Merry and Eowyn against the King of the Nazghul

Are there others from stories from before, say, 1960? Did I mischaracterize the ones I listed?

Grand Lodge

The problem comes when you stop and try to think of how many bad guys actually work alone. The Witch King had his fell beast which also had to be dispatched (Eowyn beheaded it). They almost always have minions or partners.

The DnD movies have something close. Along with the DnD cartoon.

Captain America movie (Cap needs the team's help to reach Red Skull). X-Men is another, Wolverine and Rogue vs Magneto.

Frodo, Sam and Gollum vs the ring. They could not have done it by their self.

If I recall right, no one else shot at Smaug, however the example does still count as it was Bilbo who saw the weak point and via the raven, pointed it out to Bard. I need to go reread the Hobbits.


- Bramstoker's dracular. He has some gypsy sidekicks but in the end it is the group vs dracular

- Theseus + Minos' daughter vs Minotaurus

- Japan vs Godzilla (original from 1954)

- depending on whether you see him as bad guy: King Kong vs many humans.

Edit:
- Odin, Vili und Ve fought Ymir

Sovereign Court

Hansel & Gretel vs Witch

Dorothy/Scarecrow/Tin Man/Lion (classic 4 man party - Dorothy even had an animal companion) vs Wicked Witch of the West

7 dwarves vs Evil Disney Witch Queen (sense a theme?)

Prince Phillip & 3 fairys vs Maleficent (basically a witch :P)

Three Billy Goats Gruff vs Troll

Grand Lodge

Dafydd wrote:


If I recall right, no one else shot at Smaug, however the example does still count as it was Bilbo who saw the weak point and via the raven, pointed it out to Bard. I need to go reread the Hobbits.

You recall wrongly, lots of folks shot arrows at Smaug, but without the Black Arrow, AND the weak point provided by Bilbo's raven friend, only Bard's shot counted for any meaningful damage.

Grand Lodge

Like I said, I need to reread the Hobbit.

However, some more examples:

Treebeard and all the Ents vs Saruman the White

The weird Hoodwinked movie were the wolf, red, granny and the woodsman all attack the bad guy

Turtles vs the Shredder

Dragon Lance, the group takes on the evil god

The Pern novels, if you consider the Thread as 1 bad guy


Thanks for the examples. I'm was thinking how the advice for boss fights is often "add some help to even up the action economy." That got me wondering how many times I've seen:
heroes vs. big + help
heroes vs. big
hero vs. big

in direct combat (everyone "rolling initiative") in Old Stuff (say LotR and earlier).


It's pretty common, especially in superhero comics. The Coalition of Freedomjustice throws themselves against the implacable Villain of the Week, only to get smacked down. I see it in a lot of fantasy literature as well, though the Final Battle tends to be one-on-one.


Superheroes, yes. That's the big one in modern stuff.


Qui-gon and Obi-wan vs Darth Maul

Anakin and Obi-wan vs Count Dooku

Anakin and Obi-wan vs Count Dooku again.

Sarah Connor and Kyle vs Terminator

T-800 and Sarah vs T-1000

Superman and Batman vs Composite Superman


New Guardians of the Galaxy movie, everyone vs. Thanos.

Superheroes use it religiously though. We have both Team-vs-insanely-broken-enemy (Fantastic Four vs. Dr. Doom being one of many, many examples) and Team-vs-enemy-Team (X-Men vs. Brotherhood).

Anime loves it too. The whole Dragon Ball Z group vs. Vegeta, vs. Freiza, vs. Cell, etc. Sailor Moon, I think. Power Rangers, while not anime, fits in the same sort of mold. The climax of the second season of Lyrical Nanoha is an excellent example of action economy in BBEG fights, and just how nasty a heroic party actually working together can be. The enemy right before the final bad fought one- or two- on one and was winning handily. The final bad fought something like ten opponents at once and didn't put up anything resembling a fight despite being objectively much more powerful.

It's a bit rarer in fantasy but it shows up there too. Promise of Blood is a relatively new book that I read recently that involves the heroic group first dealing with minions, then said minions' boss (I would say more, but spoilers).

If you count Gollum as the Bad of the story-- as he was kind of the most immediate enemy during the climax of the book-- then Sam + Frodo vs. Gollum.

There are far more, I'm sure, but I'd have to do some pondering for specifics in fantasy.

Grand Lodge

There is the Inheritance Series, assuming you count dragon+rider as one. Even if you do not, the final battle in book 4 is 4 vs 2 (Murtagh did his best to stay out of that one) and Book 1 is 2v1, Book 2 we got 12v2 (11v1 if you count rider and dragon as one).

Star Trek, Battle of Wolf 539

Star Trek, Picard and crew vs Q, or Janeway + crew v Q

Sailor Moon, Inuyasha, Naruto, Gurren Lagann.

Silver Crusade

Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood, the final battle of about 8-10 alchemists and associates vs Father

Willow: Fin Razel and Willow vs. Bavmorda

Dresden Files: if you can't find a good example in here, you're not looking right. Specifically Skin Game and Cold Days, Harry and Murphy's battle against the Chlorofiend, the short story featuring a wedding interrupted by the Unseelie Court and two VERY unhappy werewolves, and Harry and his 8 closest companions going up against the main strength of the Red Court vampires.

Narnia, the Pevensies and Aslan vs. the White Witch.

Sherlock Holmes (the movie with Robert Downy jr.) Holmes and Watson vs. that big Frenchman.

Slayers: it always comes down to Lina, Gourry, and Zelgadis, and later others, against various demon lords.


Thank you for the many modern examples and for the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950).

Oh, and I thought of another one: the three professors vs. the Dunwich Horror. That's a solo nasty outsider vs. 3 PCs. And the story is pretty old (written 1928, published 1929).


Mazym wrote:
Thank you for the many modern examples and for the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950).

A lot of these are older than you might think-- the comics examples in particular. The 60s were when they really kicked off, especially on the Marvel end-- Doom, Magneto, the Avengers, those are all 62-63. DC got their start earlier, with the Justice Society dating back to the 1940s. So any time the Society had to deal with a single villain (common), you have your examples.


kestral287 wrote:
Anime loves it too. T he whole Dragon Ball Z group vs. Vegeta, vs. Freiza, vs. Cell, etc.

They don't fight at once. They take turns flinging themselves one-at-a-time to die pitifully like extra ninjas in a Bruce Lee movie.

Maybe if they actually did coordinated strikes as a team the entire series wouldn't be "Roll 1d100. Results: 1-7 Vegeta defeats the badguy in the end, 8-50 Goku defeats the badguy in the end. 51-100 one of the other characters dies like a b!+*# and reroll"


thegreenteagamer wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Anime loves it too. T he whole Dragon Ball Z group vs. Vegeta, vs. Freiza, vs. Cell, etc.

They don't fight at once. They take turns flinging themselves one-at-a-time to die pitifully like extra ninjas in a Bruce Lee movie.

Maybe if they actually did coordinated strikes as a team the entire series wouldn't be "Roll 1d100. Results: 1-7 Vegeta defeats the badguy in the end, 8-50 Goku defeats the badguy in the end. 51-100 one of the other characters dies like a b!+*# and reroll"

This is true. And why I spent more time going into the Nanoha example: as I said, that's what happens when the band of heroes actually works together and coordinates. But, the DBZ Team does coordinate at least as well as some PCs I know.


Good point about the Justice Society. I should go back and look at comics for designing PCs vs. Solo Baddie fights. Especially the magic heavy JSA stuff from the Golden Age.

Maybe I can cook up a villain, say...Floda Reltih, who can have some magical items that create a dominate person field to keep those pesky PCs out of his business. It's worked before.


... I want you to do that just so I can hear stories of how long it took your players to figure out the name and how they reacted when they did.

Buuut on a serious note, that is one of the more effective strategies for a solo BB to use. Not Dominate Person in particular, as AoE mind control is kind of a jerk move from the GM, but finding ways to force the PCs to be elsewhere while the BB does his thing? That's just a smart Big Bad. And a memorably annoying one if done right.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A few older ones...

Odysseus and crew vs the Cyclops
Gilgamesh and Enkidu vs The Bull of Heaven
Jason and the Argonauts vs various
Thor and Loki vs Prymr


Almost every single episode of Power Rangers/Super Sentai.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Power Puff Girls vs. Mojo Jojo


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mazym wrote:

Good point about the Justice Society. I should go back and look at comics for designing PCs vs. Solo Baddie fights. Especially the magic heavy JSA stuff from the Golden Age.

Maybe I can cook up a villain, say...Floda Reltih, who can have some magical items that create a dominate person field to keep those pesky PCs out of his business. It's worked before.

To be fair, solo baddie fights aren't something that you want to make too common in PF. If it has reason to be rare in fiction and mythology, it's doubly so in PF.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As for my contribution, take a look at video game rpgs (it's become ritualized.) They make use of some methods of boosting the action economy like making different parts of the boss' body seperate foes in and of themselves. (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXT80F1I4z4 )

Of course, this isn't so revolutionary, considering it kinda goes all the way back to the mythical hydra.


Thanks, Bali. The Cyclops story I knew of but had forgotten. I didn't know about the Gilgamesh and Enkidu vs. the Bull.


Heracles and Iolaus against the Lernaean Hydra.


Mazym wrote:

Thanks, Bali. The Cyclops story I knew of but had forgotten. I didn't know about the Gilgamesh and Enkidu vs. the Bull.

I believe Gilgamesh and Enkidu also tag team Humbaba.


Drizz't and Bruenor versus a Marilith :) Then the whole team went against the Balor. Caderly and company went against a red dragon together.

Dinozzo and McGee tackle a big guy on drugs together in NCIS.

Breetai versus Rick, Max, and Ben. Granted, that's a boss fight the 'heros' lose :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pretty much any Venoms era Shaw Bros movie.

In fact Quite a few martial arts films, it almost seems to be a staple where the surviving good guys HAVE to team up to fight the main bad guy because he's just that good.

Now that I think about it? The final fight in the first THE RAID film with Rama (the lead) and Andi vs. Mad Dog is one of the best recent examples of the heroes pretty much being out classed and out fought by a tougher and more skilled opponent.

Start at around 2:20.

another really good example is the end fight of the underrated Shaw Bros classic MAGNIFICENT RUFFIANS.

HERE

This fight really kicks into high gear at around the 2:28 mark. They try to each take the bad guy individually before that but realize at a certain point that they have to try and take him together.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pretty much any ship encounter with a kraken, giant octopus, whale (Moby Dick), sea serpent, or other such large-scale creature.

Scarab Sages

Virtually all of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories from Fritz Leiber.

The Egil and Nix stories from Paul S Kemp.


In Clan of the White Lotus, it opens with the main character and his brother fighting the bad guy (or was it the bad guy's brother?) fighting. Eh, it's been a while, if you couldn't tell.


I wasn't a big fan of the Lethal Weapon film series, but the ending of part 4 has a great fight were Riggs and Murtaugh have to fight Jet Li (as Wah Sing Ku). Neither one of them is anywhere near being a competent enough hand to hand fighter to beat him by himself, but they double team him, get the s*~* kicked out of themselves in the process, and just barely manage to win.

It takes two commonly used action tropes - "the hero can defeat any enemy" and "martial arts master can fight a dozen foes at once" - and does away with them. As awesome as Jet Li's character is, he can only defend himself so well against two opponents. They just need to keep from getting killed long enough to wear him down.

Oh, and Link and Zelda vs Ganon.


Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and co. vs. the pirate leader in Project A is a pretty good one. Also one of the most inventive defeats of an "unbeatable" boss I've seen.


Iron Man 2: Iron Man & War Machine vs. Vanko

Silver Crusade

Watchmen:

Spoiler:

Rorschach and Nite Owl vs. Ozymandias

Shadowrun: In one of the very first novels it takes a whole gang to gun down a dragon. Because, y'know, it's a friggin' dragon. And I think it was the CEO of some company...
Though this WAS in a Shadowrun novel, so the "good guys" part is debatable.

And now stuff after 1990 because I feel like it.
Warcraft III:
Thrall and Grom Hellscream vs. Mannoroth

Angel:
All the time. They usually get their asses handed to them and it gets resolved another way. Most notable:
Faith + Wesley vs. Angelus (though most of the time Faith does the fighting IIRC - for those who don't watch the series: Faith is a slayer (=superhuman strength/endurance), Angelus a vampire and Wesley...a normal human. Go figure.)
The whole gang vs. The Beast (not that it really helps them)

Buffy: All the time. Most notable is probably the season 5 finale.

Spoiler:

In season 4 they channel all their powers into one person, so that does not count.
In season 5 they have to battle a god - though they mostly try to weaken her to make the fight winnable for the slayer.


Godzilla and Rodan vs. King Ghidrah
Godzilla and King Shisa vs. Mechagodzilla
Spider-Man and Insert Hero vs. Insert Villain in almost every issue of Marvel Team-Up


Batman: Brave and the Bold


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
In Clan of the White Lotus, it opens with the main character and his brother fighting the bad guy (or was it the bad guy's brother?) fighting. Eh, it's been a while, if you couldn't tell.

Yeah, at the beginning Hung Wei Ting and Hu Ah Biao are fighting and defeat Pai-Mei. It's Priest White Lotus, Pai-Mei's classmate who comes after them for revenge later on and sets off the chain of events for the rest of the film.

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