The darkest places in Hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
~ Dante Alighieri
You'll do anything to keep up your perfect reputation.
~ Alex Standall to Marcus Cole.

Villains of the Neutral Evil alignment, also known as the "Malefactor" alignment, are primarily concerned with their own schemes and will employ whatever means are necessary to succeed - they do not care much about whether they have to work with or against law in order to do so and will often switch sides if it benefits them.

Neutral Evils are often seen as representing a character who is purely out for themselves and does not feel tied to rules or authority like a Lawful Evil character nor is needlessly violent like a Chaotic Evil character. Basically, these villains are neutral, but mostly on the bad side. Also, these characters are the complete opposite of Neutral Good who are heroes that are mostly neutral, but on the good side.

A good way to determine Neutral versus Lawful or Chaotic Evil is to understand the ultimate end-goal or motives of a character. A Lawful Evil character's ultimate goals and motives are to enforce either social or personal code of conduct, often at the expense of others; they may do so because they value tyrannical systems or they simply hate freedom. A Chaotic Evil character simply does what they find amusing at the time, with no care for how they may harm others. A Neutral Evil character, on the other hand, is basically summed up as being "extremely selfish"; they only truly do things if it benefits them in the long run and thus are seen as the most treacherous and cunning of the alignments (though not nearly as reckless as chaotic).

By the character alignment name, one should not be fooled. Neutral Evil characters are not actually “neutral”, as such as shown in a grey area or a “good” manner. These villains are purely out for themselves and will do anything to get their way. Either way, some of these villains can be Pure Evil if they lack any redeeming qualities and everything they do is for their own self-benefit (e.g. Dr. Zander Rice, Donald Pierce, Emperor PalpatineRassilon, Alejandro SosaFriezaAlbert Wesker, Ajax, Obadiah Stane, Glitchtrap, Syndrome, Miles Axlerod, Micah Bell, Dr. Nuvo Vindi, Toplofty and O'Bloat and General Lunaris).

On the other hand, many villains in this category, while still on the bad side, have redeeming qualities (usually done with honor) which makes them a little more sympathetic even though they're still selfish or willing to play both sides against each other (e.g. Mr. Freeze, Mike Ehrmantraut, Tony Montana, Tony Soprano, Arthur Morgan, Elijah Price, and Ryuk)

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