If I asked you to name some of the nastiest Disney villains, you'd probably say someone like the Evil Queen from Snow White or Scar from The Lion King. Sure, they've earned their bad reps, but in Disney Dreamlight Valley there's nobody more villainous than the gold-loving, top hat-wearing Scrooge McDuck.
After Disney Dreamlight Valley launched in early access, DuckTales' feathered billionaire started getting compared to fellow capitalist critter and Animal Crossing landlord Tom Nook, with both seemingly performing similar roles on their respective islands.
When you arrive on the island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it's very much a fixer upper, and it's not going to look its best until you fork out and give Tom Nook a lot money—a slow process that means you'll be in debt to a wealthy raccoon for a long time. Pay off one debt, and he'll just seduce you with another loan.
Disney Dreamlight Valley follows a similar model, only it's got a more sinister twist. You're not just rocking up on the island to find it needs a bit of work—you're quickly informed about a curse called The Forgetting which has completely disrupted the status quo. People can't remember things, there's these horrible night thorns everywhere, and even worse… characters are missing, trapped in the void somewhere. Pretty creepy stuff.
While it's true that both Tom Nook and Scrooge McDuck are annoying little wealth-hoarders, Scrooge is by far the greater of two evils. Nook might laden you with debt, but ostensibly he does want to help you. Scrooge, meanwhile, is given multiple opportunities to help those around him, but he refuses to do it out of the goodness of his heart, instead demanding something in return.
Throughout the game, even the nicest of characters ask you to run errands for them, which usually involves some foraging, digging or mining in order to craft some stuff. It's annoying that they can't do it themselves, but there's always a point to what you're doing, and you're helping the Valley look nice or function better. Scrooge's quests, on the other hand, are entirely self serving and he sends you on pointless wild goose (duck?) chases before he's willing to help you out.
Scrooge doesn't seem to care that people are apparently floating about in the void and could be in danger. When I was trying to track down Prince Eric with Ariel, Scrooge had a piece of a broken statue that could help, but instead of just giving me the piece, he had no interest in helping me unless I brought him five peridots… for no real reason. He didn't want me to craft anything or use them to track Eric, he literally just wanted some pretty peridots to stick in his vault, or "money bin", as he sometimes calls it. Damn that's cold, Scrooge. Eric could be dying out here.
Another of his quests sent me to track down the passcode for his vault, something he had clearly forgotten due to, you guessed it, The Forgetting. Of all the things he could want help remembering, he wanted access to even more wealth. His entire world revolves around money, even while his home is cursed and his friends, family and neighbours are in danger.
Most characters have more wholesome motivations. Mickey wants your help rescuing Minnie, Anna wants to rekindle her love for Kristoff, who gave up his memories for her, and Wall-E just wants to build a nice garden for the community. It makes Scrooge's greed stand out even more.
He's stingy when it comes to rewards, too, even though I've poured so much money into the duck's various 'investments', upgraded his own store and keep paying to use the wells around town as fast travel. If he cared so much about all these investments, why doesn't he contribute something? Why do I have to do everything, including wearing a t-shirt of his own face and doing free marketing for the shop in a quest I still resent? I actually made sure the signs were pointing the wrong way, on principle, not that there's any other shops to visit nearby.
Here's a photo of me wearing Scrooge propaganda, and look, he's even holding money in it! He just can't help himself. He's always showing off even when I'm trying to take a nice selfie. Is there any need for this?
I've now reached level 10 friendship (I use the term loosely) with the duck, and his final quest is just as irritating as the first one. I don't want to spoil it for those who have not advanced that far in the game yet, but you won't be surprised to discover it once again involves money. I'd hoped he'd have a change of heart and do something nice, like his nephew Donald's wholesome final quest, but nope. He sends you on another adventure just to make him a tidy profit.
At the time of writing, there are two 'real' villains living in the Valley: Mother Gothel and Ursula. But, hand on heart, Scrooge is no better than these two infamous baddies. He is equally as vain and self-centred. He even gets into a fight with Ursula at one point because she's making deals with residents and God forbid anyone takes any business away from Scrooge.
Sure, Ursula's deals are shady, but let's not pretend Scrooge cares about that. He just can't stomach the thought of other people making money, and he wants as much business as possible from everyone around him. He even has control over Goofy's produce stalls, and to expand them you have to go through him first. Again, he's profiting from the work of others instead of lifting a wing to help. This should all be more than enough to cement his place as Disney Dreamlight Valley's most villainous resident.
We really should just boycott this terrible duck's shop.
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