5 Most Manipulative Video Game Characters

Manipulation is a dangerous tool that’s quite useful sometimes and extremely destructive at other times. It may be used for the better or for the worse. Here are the five most manipulative video game characters.

This list is not ranked.

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Ranni the Witch – Elden Ring

5 Most Manipulative Video Game Characters Ranni the Witch - Elden Ring

Part of the Elden Ring fandom loves Ranni and the other part hates her, both for obvious reasons. Lunar Princess Ranni pursues divine ascension and she wants to rid the Lands Between of the Greater Will.

She’s not hesitant to utilize extreme methods to achieve her goals by any means necessary. She’s an amoral character whose ultimate goal is to not only attain divinity but also to give the inhabitants of the Lands Between free will to live as they want without the Greater Will’s interference.

She uses everyone to achieve this, including Blaidd, Iji, Seluvis, and even the Tarnished. It sometimes seems that Ranni truly loves the Tarnished, and sees them as someone more than just a tool. In any case, she’s a wonderfully written character.

Dutch van der Linde – Red Dead Redemption I & II

Red Dead Redemption’s Dutch van der Linde is one of the best villains in video games. Dutch puts on the mask of a caring leader and father figure to his gang. Deep inside, he’s an unstable man who only truly cares for himself.

Dutch van der Linde - Red Dead Redemption I & II 5 Most Manipulative Video Game Characters

Dutch is such a complex character, there are times when it seems like he truly means well. It’s clear that Dutch wasn’t always like this, however. When he was younger, he truly cared about John Marston and Arthur Morgan. He taught them well into becoming “good” people, despite being outlaws. Unfortunately, throughout RDR2’s story, he goes insane. And by the time of RDR1, he’s too far gone.

Dutch not only manipulates and tricks the gang members, but also the player. He’s a huge reason why Red Dead Redemption games are so good.

Micah Bell – Red Dead Redemption II

Micah is one of the main antagonists from the 2018 masterpiece, Red Dead Redemption 2. He’s the epitome of purely evil characters in video games. He has no redeeming qualities and he only looks human.

Micah Bell - Red Dead Redemption II

Micah is sometimes charming and respectful to people he plans to use. It’s all a lie though. He harbors hate for anyone and everyone. He managed to manipulate and completely make a tool out of Dutch van der Linde himself. Only God and Micah himself know what he said to Dutch to completely make him turn against Arthur Morgan and John Marston. Everything that’s happened in RDR2 was caused by Micah’s careful and twisted plans.

There are a few details about Micah that stand out from the other gang members. He never sleeps and is only seen resting his head on a table when he’s drunk. Neither does he ever join parties that the gang throws sometimes; he simply sits in a dark corner. He antagonizes many members of the gang, including young Jack and the women. Despite all this, he still managed to make Dutch trust him, and that says how much of a cunning manipulator he is.

Gaunter O’Dimm – The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone

Gaunter O'Dimm - The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone

Gaunter O’Dimm is without a doubt, the most terrifying character in the Witcher 3. His name’s initials form the acronym “G.O.D.” and that might just be what he really is… He uses trickery and flattery to promise riches to people, and he makes his victims indebted to him. After giving them everything they want, he returns to collect his debt. He collects the souls of his victims as payment for his “services”…

His ability to manipulate is not limited to people. He can also manipulate time. Gaunter is nigh impossible to stop. He’s a twisted, sadistic, and overpowered monster who preys upon anyone and everyone. However, he was defeated by two men in the North: Geralt of Rivia and an unknown man. But his defeat only slows him down, he returns again and again.

His smile fair as spring, as towards him he draws you;

His tongue sharp and silvery as he implores you.

Your wishes he grants, as he swears to adore you,

Gold, silver, jewels – he lays riches before you.

Dues need be repaid and he will come for you.

All to reclaim, no smile to console you.

He’ll snare you in bonds, eyes glowing afire,

To gore and torment you till the stars expire!

The Song of G.O.D sung by a group of children

The Player Character in RPGs

The Player Character in RPGs like Skyrim or Fallout can be the most manipulative and persuasive character ever. For example, let’s take The Courier from Fallout New Vegas. The Courier uses a lot of tools. In order to achieve his heroic or villainous goals he will use blackmail, flattery, intimidation, lying, and so on.

Fallout New Vegas

Again, it all depends on you. If you want your Courier to be a moral and ethical person, you might not use those methods. But surely, using those aforementioned tools may result in better outcomes for anyone. Ideally, the Courier is a hero that does so much good for the Mojave, and his use of manipulation helps a lot in that.

What do you think? Who are the most manipulative video game characters? Let us know on the forums!