"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville, they say, that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."
There are several ways a villain can redeem themselves including:
- Snapping out of a possessed or brainwashed state and deciding to aid the hero who freed them. The villain is a hypnotized, brainwashed or possessed pawn who does not know they are being controlled until they are freed. Grateful to whatever hero freed them, they ally with them. Maria Arzonia and Plaisir are among the examples.
- Being exposed to a messiah or pure of heart type of villain who helps them see their errors. Usually done with delusional villains, honorable villains or insecure villains (the villain can also have all those traits) who believe they are doing right, or just want to be loved. The hero reveals to them that their actions are actually causing harm, or tries to confront them. The individual chooses their desire for righteousness over what they have done, and/or decides the hero had helped them see what they were doing was wrong, and becomes a hero. Regina Mills is an example.
- Choosing honor before evil. An honorable villain decides that their own honor, or the honor of something or someone else is more important then what they are doing and decide to abandon their evil actions. Often done with supporting antagonists who value the lives of lower ranking people in an organization such as Phoebus.
- Becoming friends with someone and decide to help them over being evil, such as Axel. He had planned on betraying Organization XIII with Saïx, but over time he build a friendship with 2 other members, Roxas and Xion and decided he was happier being with them rather than plotting with Saix.
- Choosing their family over evil. Done with villains who have families and to care for them. They realize that their actions are actually hurting their spouses, children, siblings, or any other relatives in their family. One example is Darth Vader.
- Being memory-wiped or brainwashed into becoming a hero and deciding that they like their new personality and life better then their old ones when they inevitably learn the truth. This is the rarest and most controversial form of a villain redeeming themselves since they did not turn good by their own free will and essentially had to be programmed into being good. Reserved only for villains who would normally be a Complete Monster under their circumstances, the audience or reader meets them as a hero first, not knowing they are brainwashed or have fake memories. The "hero" does not know this either and is just as horrified as the viewer when they learn the truth about the horrible things they have done or regain their real memories. But they have spent so much time as a hero and living with an artificial good personality that they choose their new life over their former one and become true heroes. This also includes individuals that happened to be robotic villains that was meant/programmed to be the Big Bad's trump card against the heroes, but due to certain incident, it ended up discovered and fixed by the heroes that he/she meant to destroyed. The said individual even later befriended with the said heroes without either them or said individual aware with his/her true goal. One famous example is Darth Revan, and another one is Echidna StinWalker.
- Betrayed by their fellow villainous allies/bosses, which made them choose to turned to the good side. After they tasked to antagonized hero and their deed success, their allies/bosses dump them away or tries to kill them straight away (in other words, they ended up in You Have Lived Your Usefulness situation), in either way, the said villain escape. Having see their errors (and in the worst case, hunted down by the big bad or their former ally which left them no option but to join heroes to survive), they choose to turned to the good side by join forces with heroes. Discord is an example.
- Retiring from being a villain and realizing that living as a good guy is more better than his previous life as evil-doers, Megamind and Professor Bedlam are good examples.
- Learning the lesson of being evil from other villain (Usually a Necessary Evil, a Monger or in the worst of the cases a Complete Monster). In other words lead in a case of "Taste of your own Medicine", which leading to understand that they are doing is very the bad thing and feel very horrified, disgusted and terribly bad for the actions of the latter villain and try to redeem himself/herself and fight against him/her (Similar but somewhat different to a case Evil Vs. Evil), And in the end of the battle (Usually in the end the very battle/episode/Movie or in sequels) she/he try to join the heroes and search for the pardon to everyone they had become enemies. Shadow the Hedgehog is among those good examples.
Some reformed villains can even become Pure Good heroes if they never slipped back to their old ways and became selfless as well as incorruptible, like Eve Fullbuster, Selina Strawberry, Echidna StinWalker and Bismarck Bodewig.
IMPORTANT: If the villain is currently in an On & Off status, do not add them unless they stayed good right up the very end of the story. Also do not include villains who have done a few honorable/heroic actions, then gone back to their villainous ways afterwards. Also, this kind of villain is the polar opposite of Complete Monsters that are absolutely irredeemable.
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