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General tips for henchmen of all varieties:

  1. Avoid getting sent to rough up the Hero. Ransacking hotel rooms is probably safe, but going 'round to beat up the good guys is a sure ticket to the bottom of the Thames. Remember, however, that all Heroes get roughed up at least once, so if this has never happened to the Hero, go for it!
  2. Avoid killing people not actively involved in the rebellion; the Evil Overlord has enough enemies as it is. Especially don't kill relatives, significant others, or best friends of the Hero. Normally after the Evil Overlord is overthrown, henchmen can get off with a few hundred hours of community service, but if you off the Hero's loved ones, he'll make lasagna out of you.
  3. Unless the Evil Overlord pays extra for indiscriminate slaughter, avoid it. Why should you give your services away for free?
  4. As tempting as it may be, never try to ravish the Evil Overlord's Beautiful But Wicked daughter. She can probably mop the floor with you. Daddy will not try to stop her.
  5. Learn where the trap door is in the floor Evil Overlord's audience chamber. Avoid standing there, especially when bad news is brought to the Evil Overlord.
  6. As soon as the Evil Overlord has the Hero in his power, seek the nearest available escape route. The fewmets are about to hit the windmill.
  7. Learn to distinguish Heroes from Sidekicks. Heroes are usually taller and more somber, while Sidekicks dress with more flair and tell more jokes. Taking on the Hero when you only have enough manpower/firepower to take on the Sidekick will earn you an all-expenses-paid trip on Stygian Cruise Lines.
  8. Never allow yourself to be provoked into doing anything stupid by insults from the Hero or Sidekicks.
  9. No matter how attractive the captured heroine is or how seductively she bats her eyes, she really does not want to sleep with you. Do not unlock the cell door.
  10. If the heroes give you a chance to surrender or flee, take it.
  11. If you surrender to the Hero, don't try to stab him when his back is turned; the Sidekick will get you first.
  12. If the seemingly helpless person you have just cornered is confident and unafraid despite being outnumbered and surrounded, you have encountered a Hero in disguise. Run while you still can.
  13. If the Hero you are sent after dresses entirely in black, he is even more dangerous than the Evil Overlord suspects; double all requisitions for men and firepower.
  14. Practice your "accidental" sword/gun dropping technique. It's the only thing that can save you when the Hero is winning.
  15. When you have someone at gunpoint and that person says "you haven't got the guts to kill me," disprove his/her hypothesis.
  16. The Evil Overlord will not risk his life to save yours. Why risk yours for his?
  17. If the Hero is using you as a human shield and the Evil Overlord asks you if the Doomsday Weapon is prepared,say "no."
  18. If the Evil Overlord orders you to kill some prisoners and then departs for business elsewhere, leave as quickly as possible; there is about to be a successful rescue attempt.
  19. Never allow yourself to be turned into a vicious, ravening beast to defeat the Hero. It never works, and you girlfriend will not understand. She will dump you for one of the Good Guys.
  20. Never hold hostages at point blank range. Anyone quick enough to even back into the role of Hero can punch you out faster than you can pull the trigger.
  21. When disposing of bodies, dump them in the Evil Overlord's territory, and not in neighboring lands presently outside of his control.
  22. Find out where the Evil Overlord has installed the self-destruct switch for his secret base (the real switch, not the decoy), and disable it at the first opportunity. The base will get blown up anyway, but your chances of escaping are better.
  23. Don't let the Evil Overlord use you as a lab animal.
  24. If you can't avoid being used as a guinea pig by the Evil Overlord, any powers you gain from the experiment will make it needful for the Hero to kill you at some point during the Heroic Struggle. Change sides and take your just revenge.
  25. There is no need to yell when you are attacking the Hero. Especially when you're doing it from behind.
  26. The recommended method for checking to see if the Hero is still alive is to shoot him in the head.

This is only the first of five sections of The Evil Henchman's Guide by John VanSickle (available in full at http://enphilistor.users4.50megs.com/henchman.htm).

© 1999 by John VanSickle. Permission to quote for non-commerical use is granted, provided that this copyright notice is included. Permission to link from non-commericial Web pages is granted. All other rights reserved. If you translate this page for publication on the Web elsewhere, please let me know and I'll put a link to it here.

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