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22 January 2010 @ 01:28 pm
 
It looks like Shinra and Cyberdyne came out tied for favorite evil corporation. Of course i haven't actually voted yet, and if i did i'd probably pick Shinra :)

However by a narrow margin the most recognizable corporation is the East India Trading Company, followed by Cyberdyne, and then LexCorp. I wonder if that's because the Pirates of the Caribbean is more popular than Blade Runner, or because PotC is more recent, or if the East India Trading Company got a boost by naming itself after the East India Company, which a lot of people probably heard about in school?

In any case, for those who are curious about the companies you didn't recognize, but don't want to look up:

(There are of course some very general spoilers, plus a big spoiler for Soylent Green, and even more spoilers if you follow the links and read the articles =)


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CHOAM
Source: Dune (books, miniseries)

Who are they?
The Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles "Essentially [...] controls all economic affairs across the cosmos" including, most importantly, the melange trade.

How are they evil?
This is one of the borderline cases. As far as i can remember they're not so much evil as just corrupt. It's an open secret that the Directorships in the company, which are effectively won by political appointment, essentially give you free reign to skim off as much of the (enormous) profits as you can. So there's a lot of nasty stuff done in pursuit of those directorships, but i can't recall any evidence that the company itself is any more evil than, say, Walmart.

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Cyberdyne
Source: Terminator (movies, tv series)
Who are they?
Cyberdyne Systems is the company the developed Skynet and the Terminators.

How are they evil?
Aside from any judgment one might choose to render on their choice to be a military contractor, they are more evil through negligence than anything else. They certainly didn't intend to create an AI that would take over the world (in fact it was their final attempts to stop it that led to the nuclear war) but one might question their judgment about trying to reproduce incredibly advanced technology received under mysterious circumstances.

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East India Trading Company
Source: The Pirates of the Caribbean

Who are they?
The East India Trading Company is a fictional analogue to the East India Company.

How are they evil?
If they're evil at all, it's definitely of the "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" type. They want to expand trade, and in order to do that they need to eliminate piracy. Of course the actions they take in that pursuit are rather over the top, although not as extreme as modern viewers might interpret them given the time in which they took place and the people they were fighting against. Of course the viewer is meant to sympathize with the "friendly" pirate protagonists ("We rape, murder and pillage, but we look good doing it"?) And although we aren't necessarily shown all of the East India Trading Company's nefarious activities, their real life counterpart was actively engaged in massive drug smuggling and conquering and subjugating foreign states. It makes the East India Trading Company look good in comparison.

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LexCorp
Source: Superman (comics, cartoons, tv series)

Who are they?
LexCorp is Lex Luthor's personal corporation.

How are they evil?
It's owned and operated by Lex Luthor, do you even need to ask?

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Shinra
Source: Final Fantasy 7

Who are they?
The Shinra Electric Power Company sucks life energy out of the planet to produce power. Also it controls the world. Imagine ExxonMobil on super steroids.

How are they evil?
Aside from (supposedly) causing environmental damage by sucking life out of the planet, they maintain their power with an iron fist, crushing all who oppose them, along with any innocent bystanders who happen to get in the way. Sometimes literally :)

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Tyrell
Source: Blade Runner (Movie, book too?)

Who are they?
The Tyrell Corporation manufactures Replicants.

How are they evil?
Well the Replicants are clearly sapient, but they're sold as property. And they're intentionally engineered to have a four(?) year lifespan.

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Ultor
Source: Red Faction, Saints Row (games)
Who are they?
The Ultor Corporation is a clothes line with a side business of rebuilding cities and mining Mars. Yeah, i dunno either :)

How are they evil?
As a clothes company they don't seem to do anything bad. (Perhaps they own a sweatshop or two?) As a city development company they... try to keep gangs from taking over the city. Perhaps they're not very nice about it? As a mining company, they ship people to Mars under false pretenses as indentured workers and then force them to work in dangerous conditions without proper safeguards just to cut costs, which eventually leads to a planetary rebellion. Okay, that's more like it :)

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Umbrella
Source: Resident Evil (games, movies)

Who are they?
The Umbrella Corporation is a bioengineering pharmaceutical company that does defense work in bio-weapons and unleashing zombies upon the world.

How are they evil?
Mainly the unleashing zombies upon the world. You might forgive them if they stopped after the first time things went horribly wrong, but they kept on doing it :)

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Weyland-Yutani
Source: Aliens (movies)

Who are they?
Weyland-Yutani is pretty much the same as the Umbrella Corporation, except instead of creating zombies they want to weaponize the aliens.

How are they evil?
Also like the Umbrella Corporation, they persistently refuse to believe that killing all the Aliens is a bad idea, no matter how many times attempting to secure samples and experiment on them goes horribly, horribly wrong :)

Plus the ones i forgot, or didn't know about, or didn't consider strictly evil (in the order received):

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Omni Consumer Products
Source:RoboCop (movies)

Who are they?
Omni Consumer Products is a megacorporation that has practically taken over the government and builds killer cyborgs.

How are they evil?
Along with the general theme of corporate corruption, they specifically experiment on people without their consent in order to create their killer cyborgs.

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Soylent Corporation
Source: Soylent Green

Who are they?
The Soylent Corporation

How are they evil?
They grind people up and turn them into food. But only people who choose to commit suicide. It's rather squicky, and not admitting that Soylent Green is people is rather unethical, but i guess whether it's actually evil or not depends on your viewpoint.

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Blue Sun
Source: Firefly (tv series)

Who are they?
Blue Sun is some kind of megacorporation, it's not clear from the series what all they are involved in.

How are they evil?
It's implied however that they're part of the group responsible for experimenting on River and trying to reprogram her into a remote control assassin.

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Genom
Source: Bubblegum Crisis

Who are they?
Genom constructs cyborgs which occasionally go insane and start killing people and destroying things.

How are they evil?
I believe Genom is mainly evil in their attempts to cover up how often their cyborgs go insane and kill people and destroy things. There may be a more far-reaching conspiracy that i've forgotten about however.

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Aperture Science
Source: Portal (game)

Who are they?
Aperture Science is a research company doing defense work.

How are they evil?
It's not clear if the company itself is evil. There's definitely destructive testing of human subjects going on, but it's not clear if that was going on before the... change in management or not :)

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Black Mesa
Source: Half-Life (games)

Who are they?
Black Mesa is another research group.

How are they evil?
Well they unleashed hell upon earth, but i thought it was an accident?

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Renraku
Source: Shadowrun (RPG)
Who are they?
At least i think this is referring to the Renraku Corporation in Shadowrun.

How are they evil?
They're a corporation in the Shadowrun universe. If you want more details than that i guess you should ask stormfeather :)

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Universal Brotherhood
Source: Also Shadowrun (RPG) (Again, i think)

Who are they?
The Universal Brotherhood seems to be another Shadowrun group.

How are they evil?
tldr :) Ask stormfeather again? :)

(They're in the Shadowrun universe and they're not PCs, what more do you need? ;)

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Rossum
Source: R.U.R (play) or Dollhouse (tv series)
Who are they?
Either Rossum's Universal Robots, which manufactures robots, or the Rossum Corporation, which manufactures personalities and implants them in people.

How are they evil?
One manufactured a lot of robots that ended up revolting and taking over the world, but i'm not sure if they were evil or just negligent. The other rents out people for sex and other activities. In theory this is consensual, in practice there's usually at least a little coercion involved (and sometimes a great deal of coercion.) It's also implied that they have deeper motives (but i haven't seen all of season 2 yet, so no spoilers! =)

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NURV
Source: Antitrust (movie)

Who are they?
I guess NURV is a corporation with a heavy software component.

How are they evil?
The "terrible hidden truth" of NURV is that they steal their code from programmers and then kill them. Oh yeah, and they spy on people in general too. ...that's it? It's certainly straightforward evil, but it's also a rather pedestrian evil. Compared to some of the other companies here it's certainly not the most terrible secret.

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Merrick Biotech
Source: The Island (movie)

Who are they?
Merrick Biotech is the company that does evil stuff in The Island. I haven't seen the movie and i don't want to read too many of the details in case i want to see the movie at some point.

How are they evil?
They do evil stuff! Evil evil stuff!

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KAOS
Source: Get Smart (tv series)
Who are they?
KAOS are the bad guys in Get Smart. I thought they were "an international organization of evil," but i guess they're also a "Delaware Corporation."

How are they evil?
In addition to being a Delaware Corporation, they're also an international organization of evil. Duh!

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SEELE
Source: Neon Genesis Evangelion (tv series)

Who are they?
SEELE are the people behind Nerv, and also the UN i guess.

How are they evil?
They have faceless secret meetings of vagueness. That never ends well. In practice... well they want to defeat the Angels, which is a good thing, but they've got other agenda's which are a lot more morally questionable.


Oops, i wanted to finish this up before lunch was over. Guess i'll just have to go with what i have.

(I wasn't intending at the start for it to end up like a Cracked.com list, that's just how it ended up =)
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Kirin: Zaku-dangerkirinn on January 22nd, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
In addition to their negligence vis a vis crazy cyborgs, Genom basically hits all the usual points for a military-industrial megacorp willing to do anything in pursuit of the bottom line. The OAV series is too short to go into any really huge conspiracies, but they've certainly been known to indulge in behavior such as leveling housing developments that haven't been evacuated yet, helping prolong wars, and assassinating anyone who might show hints of speaking up about their various corrupt goings-on.

Also their HQ is based pretty directly on Tyrell Corp's, which has got to count for something.

Edited at 2010-01-22 09:41 pm (UTC)
DonAithnen: Replicants (BGC)donaithnen on January 23rd, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Well i figured the "assassinating anyone who might show hints of speaking up about their various corrupt goings-on" part was covered under "I believe Genom is mainly evil in their attempts to cover up [etc]" :) I'd forgotten about the leveling housing districts with people still in them part though.

Huh, i'd never tried watching Blade Runner and BGC back to back to compare details like that, though in retrospect it seems like it would be a smart thing to do.
Madman Across the Water: Mugglemadmanatw on January 22nd, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
While yes, being a megacorp in Shadowrun is basically enough to qualify as evil, IIRC the Universal Brotherhood was responsible for the Bug outbreak that caused the nuking of Chicago (might be wrong there). Meanwhile, Renraku was famous for its arcology near Seattle that contained a AI. When the AI was mistrusted and somewhat mistreated, it went nuts (remember, All AI Is a Crapshoot), closed the Arcology, and started experimenting on people. Its name was DEUS and it was pretty awesome. :)
DonAithnendonaithnen on January 23rd, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
So are we supposed to be sympathizing with the AI, or the people that got experimented on? Or just have disdain for everyone involved? :)
Madman Across the Water: Mugglemadmanatw on January 23rd, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
DEUS is the villain of the piece, eventually brought down by another AI though I think that's outside the scope of the module. I actually used him in a plotline I had started setting up where AIs were the background to what was happening but I wound up leaving that plot thread dangling. ;)
受け継がれる意志: luffy angry :{fira}:doctorskuld on January 22nd, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
I was really surprised you didn't add "Soylent Corporation" to your list of evil companies, because I would have totally voted for that. :D Though Black Mesa should have also made it on the list, IMHO. And if you put Mann Co. down, I would have had to vote for that! I think these people make way better evil corporations than ShinRa to be honest, or maybe I just reserve a special hatred in my heart for Final Fantasy VII.
DonAithnendonaithnen on January 23rd, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Well i confess that the list would have been about half the original size if i hadn't checked wikipedia's list of fictional companies to see if there were any others i recognized but hadn't already added :) (And once it was posted you can't actually add new items, right?)

So what has Black Mesa done that was specifically evil rather than just ill-advised and possibly stupid?

And why do you hate FF7? I was kind of disappointed by it when it first came out, but my opinion took a sharp turn for the better in retrospect once i got the chance to play FF8 :)

(Deleted comment)
DonAithnen: OmgPonies!donaithnen on January 23rd, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you! :)