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A big bad is the most prominent, powerful, and dangerous villain in a story, and is often responsible for most of the conflict that drive the plot. If there is a hierarchy of villains, the big bad is at the very top of it, and may be in control of most or all of the heroes' other enemies. Sometimes, the big bad can work from behind the scenes. However, as long as the most prominent antagonists of a story work for someone who was present all along, or who is setting their course of action, then this someone is the big bad.

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