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The Evil Overlord ..

The Good Hero ..

.. of the Galactic Star Empire.. of the Galactic Star Empire
HighTech Overlord
Being an Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can even set your own hours. Since I'm English, I'm already one step closer to total domination of the Universe than anyone born in the USA, and, especially, well 'in-front' of anyone living or working in Hollywood.

However every Evil Overlord I've read about in books or seen in movies is invariably overthrown and destroyed, often sooner rather than later. Whilst the struggle for power can be enjoyable in itself, I've always thought that enjoying the 'fruits of my labours' should factor highly in any retirement plan and, for sure, should include at least a few years of 'happy ever after'. So what's wrong ?

Well, I've noticed that no matter whether they are Mad Scientists or Alien Invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time !

With that in mind, allow me to present, in no particular order ...
Being the Good Hero is never easy. Whilst you can be sure you will always win in the end, you can expect to receive numerous of life-threatening and (almost) terminal injuries on the way to ultimate victory. Whilst you will typically make an almost immediate miraculous full recovery, sometimes you will need extensive, and expensive, cybernetic replacement body parts or be forced to walk with a limp for a few hours or days (this being typical result of any wound), and all this must be very painful.

Your innocent friends and family, however, are usually not so fortunate. Not only do they lack your powers of recovery but they can also expect to be kidnapped, imprisoned in impenetrable cells, held to ransom and generally tortured at the slightest whim of the Evil Overlord. Needless to say, your companions and close associates thus lead rather short and painful lives, often being done away with in the most unexpected ways and at the most inconvenient times.

You can also expect to be betrayed by your closest compatriot, childhood friend or the half brother/sister (or a parent you have not seen for years and believed to be dead), all of whom will unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep, with no explanation what-so-ever of where they have been or what they have been doing, but since this will usually be right in the middle of the Revolutionary Council Meeting that is deciding the Final Details of the Rebellion (for example, setting a date for the Storming of the Evil Overlords Imperial Palace), you will immediately take them into your full confidence and reveal to them your every plan. Although you will always discover their treachery just in time, many innocent bystanders and large numbers of unnamed revolutionaries will perish in the inevitable resulting ambush.

I thus conclude that the average Good Hero must have the luck of the devil but the IQ of a moron, and without the following common sense guidance, loss of life among the good guys will never be kept to an acceptable minimum. So let me present :-
The Top 101+ Things I'd Do if I ever became the Evil (Hi-Tech) Overlord. The Top 101+ Things I'd Do if I ever became the Good Hero.
Should the Forces of Evil need to search the abode of some known member of the Revolution in order to locate some vital evidence / object / copy of my Evil World Domination plans, proper precautions will be taken to avoid the more obvious 'booby traps' (for example, removal of all mains power, phone lines, gas pipes etc etc) before my well trained search team enters (without me or any of my chief lieutenants).

The entire place will then be stripped down to the roof tiles, walls & floor-boards. If the item is not found during the initial strip down, everything will packaged up and sent to a forensic warehouse where it will be examined not only using high tech. equipment (such as NMR, X-ray machines etc) but also by sniffer dogs etc. For sure NOTHING will be left behind, and especially not any 'personal' photo's, kids toys or paintings (behind which the wall safe will undoubtedly be located) or the floor rug (under which the entrance to the 'secret' cellar will be found) etc. Needless to say, any cute pets will also be caught, and taken along for dissection (along with their cute collars and cute name tags).

On second thoughts, the roof tiles, wall paper, bricks and floor-boards will also be collected, along with the front gate, side fence and especially the garage and garden shed .. whilst a team remains behind to run ground penetrating radar all over the now vacant plot and dig up anything that looks even slightly 'different' to the surrounding earth.
At some stage it will be necessary to covertly search one of the Evil Overlord's homes/offices. This will NOT be carried out at night by a team of torch waving half-blind lead footed morons who fail to lift carpets, ignore loose floor boards and find nothing odd about a pet feeding bowl in an office.

Instead, entry to homes will be gained mid morning or mid afternoon on a normal working day by a team dressed as "vermin exterminators". Should they fail to find the key under the doormat, in the plant-pot or under the windowsill (or in any of the other usual places), they will simply call on the next door neighbour, explain they have been 'called in to fumigate the place' and told 'to pick up the key from next door' (just in case the neighbour they first call upon doesn't have the key). Needless to say, any 'high tech' lock will always yield to fake fingerprint 'gloves' or 'iris' contact lenses (or by cutting the mains power) and key-codes are always easily 'cracked' by simple hand-held PDA's. If all else fails, the door will always pop open if the high tech 'keypad' is 'broken' in any way.

Entry to offices will be gained at the weekend (the Forces of Evil never work during the weekend) and performed during daylight by a team dressed as 'repair technicians'. In the unlikely event that the 'front door' guard fails to wave them through or the office in question is used 24x7, my confederates will infiltrate the local Office Cleaning Company and perform the search during their normal working hours. Even if they are caught trying to open desk drawers, search filing cabinets, hack into computer terminals etc. they will be suspected of nothing more than normal 'nosey cleaner' behaviour.

Ruling the Realm - Law and Order.

There will be no organised crime in the Evil Overlords Empire - no-one will ever grow up to be a criminal since those who show the slightest tendencies in that direction during their schooling years will 'graduate' directly into the Forces of Evil. In fact there will be no prisons either - the Evil Empire is not going to fund criminals to loaf around doing nothing whilst being fed and housed at the expense of the state - instead all 'custodial sentences' will be served in the Forces of Evil where the criminal will be 'encouraged' to work extra hard by the other members of his squad, since the more productive the squad the better fed they will be.

Even the possibility of crime will be eliminated by the extensive use of CCTV and computer tracking of all citizens (everyone in the Evil Overlords Empire will be RFID chipped with a unique code linked to their DNA). There will be no separate Police Force or Judiciary, instead Army Officers will have the power of arrest and Generals and above will act as Judges. Any citizen may bring a complaint against any other and demand a hearing 'in Court', which will consist of 3 Generals chosen at random.

There will be no lawyers - both accuser and accused will present their own case since the only function of 'the Court' will be to establish the existence of a crime (which requires there be a victim) and the truth of the complaint. The Court will direct the investigation and interpret the evidence - there will be no jury. There will be no such thing as 'inadmissible evidence'. The Court may 'require' witnesses (including the accused and accuser) to testify and make extensive use of 'truth drugs' and 'lie detectors' (so self incrimination will usually reveal the truth) along with whatever CCTV and computer records are deemed relevant.

The Courts' ruling will be made in public and the reasons for the decision given. Should a compliant be proved "true", the purp. will make full restitution and (along with any false witness) 'pay an appropriate penalty' - typically, any crime involving physical harm will mean the removal of some body part (up to and including the head) whilst non-violent crime will involve a fine. Those not wishing (or not able) to make restitution or pay the penalty will serve a term in the Forces of Evil, where they will learn to 'toe the line' and follow orders (or act as moving targets for the other recruits). The fines collected will be used to reward the accuser and any witness providing supporting evidence - this is to encourage crime 'detection' by normal citizens (since the State will not pay for a professional Police Force and the Forces of Evil will usually be too busy to go out looking for crime))

Needless to say, should a compliant be proved "not true", a suitable punishment will be ordered against the citizen making (and any supporting) the false accusation. The 'history' of all involved will, of course, be considered by the Court before handing down their decision (it being a fact that those who have already committed a crime, or acted as a false witness, or bought previous unjust accusations are more likely to be doing the same again). Occasionally the Court may hand down a verdict of "no evidence", in which event both parties may be ordered to pay a fine (the innocent will be expected to assist the Court by providing evidence of their innocence - any who have refused to do so will be just as guilty of wasting the Courts time as the accusers of the guilty who have been unable to back-up their accusations)

Either party may demand a retrial on the grounds of 'evidence not considered' or may appeal direct to the Evil Overlord. "Wasting the Evil Overlords time" will, of course, be a crime in itself.

There will only be 2 crimes with a compulsory death penalty. One is for an Officer or Judge 'perverting the course of Justice' (for example, accepting bribes or ruling against the balance of evidence, as judged by the Evil Overlord on appeal) and the other is for being found without a RFID chip.

The Good Hero's administration has eliminated most forms of organised crime. This was achieved by the replacement of 'cash' with an ID (Iris recognition, fingerprint and DNA) linked 'Debit Account' system (and a mandatory death penalty for ID theft or the use of 'cash'). Debit Accounts are created automatically at birth and linked to the child's ID. Visitors are issued temporary accounts, also ID linked, that they may 'load' with 'money' on arrival (and collect any balance on departure). Visitors with 'work permits' will be given accounts that may be 'credited' with their wages. Personal payments (gifts) between individuals who are not relatives (or registered partners) will be limited in amount (and frequency). Large gifts will require witnesses who certify that no coercion (or blackmail) is involved (and who are equally liable in the event that any subsequent investigation shows otherwise).

Taxes, benefits, loans and interest have also been eliminated. A citizen who becomes 'overdrawn' will have their account automatically limited to 'necessities only' until they have received sufficient wages (or sold sufficient possessions) to bring them back into 'credit' again. There will be no 'long term unemployed' since the more 'overdrawn' you become the fewer the 'necessities' the system will allow you to spend on.

The law is enforced via the Debit Account system = law breakers will typically be fined (although the penalty for crimes of violence will be physical punishment or the removal of some (appropriate) body part(s), up to, and including, the head). Thus there will be no need for any prisons of the conventional type. Anyone awaiting trial will be kept under 'house arrest' - this will be enforced by limiting use of their Debit account to their home computer terminal only. Upon conviction of any crime (except ID theft), a criminal (or, indeed, any citizen) may choose 'banishment' instead of punishment. This will involve cancellation of their account and an escort to the 'cash economy' of their choice. Citizens choosing voluntary banishment will be given a small sum in the currency of their choice and free transport to the border of their choice.

Anyone who turns up at a border post seeking entry as a 'citizen' will have their DNA checked - if not 'banished' (neither criminals nor the voluntary banished will ever be allowed back into the country), they will be given a standard Debit Account and 'credited' with the value of any money they have brought with them. They will also be offered free transport to the nearest city where their (claimed) skills are in demand, along with a list of 'approved' new citizen 'assistants'. Needless to say, anyone caught within the borders without a Debit Account will be executed immediately.

The Debit Account system will be monitored by 'oversight' software which will actively seek out anomalies (such as one individual receiving large numbers of small credits, the use of the same 'ID' in two different places at the same time, the purchase of excessive quantities of food or of any item for which the citizen has no obvious need etc). Restrictions on purchasing will also be enforced by the system - so, for example medicines can only be purchased by those to whom they have been prescribed. No citizen will ever become obese (or an alcoholic) because 'the system' won't allow them to purchase excessive quantities of food or drink. Needless to say, 'buying' something for some-one else to consume or use will be a crime.


The Evil Empire will maintain a small number of high-security 'condemned cells' for members of the Resistance being held for further questioning. The cells will incorporate the latest in totally smooth ceramic walls with built in micro-pore vents for the introduction of air, water, gas, stream etc. as necessary. Air will be circulated using a closed loop system via microscopic holes in opposing walls and monitored to ensure the presence of a living person. Prisoners will be held naked and chained to the floor. Other than the small hole in floor through which the chain is passed to a winch, a small depression nearby into which water will accumulate the cell will be a featureless empty box. The floor will slope gradually toward one corner where a drain is fitted (for human waste). The Evil Empire has a strict 72 hours time-scale for the processing of prisoners, so there will be no provision for feeding them.

Before being locked up, the prisoner will be stripped of all clothing, washed, X-rayed & NMR'd and injected with at least two RFID tags (one in the brain, one in the spine, the goal being to prevent easy removal). An expert physician will visit to scrape & trim finger & toe-nails, remove any teeth they don't like the look of and extract any item seen 'under the skin'.

Integrations will be performed remotely, so there will never be any reason for the prisoner to receive visitors. Access will be via a 'one man at a time' air-lock style design with a special chain-sized access port in the floor under the inner door. When the cell is empty, the chain will be unwound. A Guard will enter, pick up the chain and enter the 'airlock' whilst arranging the chain on the floor. The inner door will close trapping the chain. This will allow the outer door to open and the guard will exit the air-lock with the chain. When a prisoner is to be locked into the cell, he will be attached to the chain and the outer door closed. The inner door will then open and the winding mechanism will pull the chained prisoner in. A mechanical interlock (with a purely mechanical over-ride = see later) will prevent the inner door being opened whilst a prisoner is present in the cell.

After interrogating the prisoner, he will be executed (by poison gas) whist still within the cell which will then cremate the body. The ashes (and remains of the ID tags) will be flushed down the drain after which the mechanical interlock will release allowing the inner cell door to be opened and the cell re-used

Should the prisoner be 'reprieved' the Evil Overlord will send two trusted guards with the single unique winding key that can be used to release the interlock and allow the inner cell door to be opened whilst the cell is still occupied.
High security holding cells will be reserved for any of the Evil Overlords chief lieutenants or spies that I manage to catch. Before being locked up, they will be stripped of all clothing, washed, X-rayed & NMR'd forced to swallow a (temporary) location beacon and held in solitary confinement in an isolated cell with no power feeds, pipes, air vents or drains. Daylight will be provided via an armoured glass 'window' in the roof (which will be high enough to be well out of reach). Air will be circulated using a closed loop system via microscopic holes in opposing walls. A plastic bucket will be provided for personal hygiene use. Food and water will be provided in plastic utensils via an 'air-lock' style hatch (which will be too small to crawl through, even for a midget). The same hatch will be used to exchange used utensils for the next meal (and full buckets for empty ones).

Once the X-rays / NMR's have been examined, anaesthetic gas will be introduced to the air system during a normal sleep period, and, after the monitoring systems confirm the prisoner is deeply asleep, one of my expert physicians will visit to scrape & trim finger & toe-nails, remove any teeth they don't like the look of, extract any item seen 'under the skin' and implant a permanent location beacon up their nose. Just in case the X-ray / NMR failed to spot something in the stomach, a suitable laxative will be added to the food & water.

The cell itself AND the food and entrance 'air locks' will all be fitted with a series of computer monitored detectors. Cameras will be both visual and infra-red. The floors will incorporate sensitive weight sensors. The air circulation system will monitor all gases and humidity levels. The air-lock access will incorporate mechanical interlocks to prevent both doors being open at the same time, and the computer monitoring systems will use the weight detectors and camera's to ensure the prisoner stays in the cell whilst the visitor leaves.

Since computers can be 'hacked', there will be no computer terminals for the guards = instead they will reply on visual 'spy holes' (with indirect, i.e. 'periscope' style light path) and the use of a manual interlock to open the doors from outside.
(1) My evil half-brother, whose reign I usurped, will be killed immediately I get the chance, and not kept anonymously imprisoned in some forgotten prison 'at the other end of the Galaxy'.

And whilst I'm on the subject, no prisoner, no matter how 'recognisable', will ever be fitted with a 'mask' that prevents their identity being confirmed by the guards. No guards of mine will be diverted from their duty by the identity of the prisoner (any that might will have been 'weeded out' by the recruitment process that starts after they denounce their own friends and relatives).
Although I am the Good Hero, should the forces of Law and Order succeed in capturing the Evil Overlord (or any of his major allies or close supporters) after they commit some pointless crime that leads to the deaths of large numbers of innocent bystanders, I will arrange for something fatal to happen to them at the earliest opportunity. Should he actually come to trial and be inevitably found 'Not guilty' no matter what the evidence against him, I will make sure fatal accidents encounter his legal team as well. This will avoid any possibility of hijacking or hostage taking leading to any 'release the prisoner' type demands. It will also prevent the otherwise inevitable escape and subsequent rise to ultimate power of the Evil Overlord himself, aided and abetted by this clever legal advisers (and the corrupt judiciary).

Needless to say, sooner or later an Evil Overlord will avoid capture during the early parts of his criminal career and will succeed in achieving ultimate power. Later, after my reconnaissance team have sneaked into the Overlord's Palace, there will no longer any point in attempting to reach the dungeons. Evil Overlords have taken to executing half brothers, ex-partners and captured revolutionaries at the first opportunity, so the Dungeons can only be expected to contain the Evil Overlord's store of surprisingly inferior wine.

Of course not needing to free the prisoners will save you a lot of time and most likely avoid your courageous but dumb comrades being discovered whilst doing something that even the most trusting Palace Guard will regard as highly suspicious (such as running around opening the doors of empty cells in a pointless search).

On second thoughts, assigning the hopeless bumbling incompetents (you are required to keep in your inner circle for political reasons) to 'free the prisoners' is just what you need to keep the Evil Overlords Guards occupied whilst the rest of your forces get on with destroying his super-weapon / stealing his plans for world domination / disabling the 'shields' or whatever.

Note to self. Make sure the local vineyard is run by members of the Revolutionary Cadre, since, if all else fails, they can always poison the wine (see also later re: The Guy Fawkes Gambit).
(2) If I learn that a callow youth has begun a Quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature. I will also have his personal possessions, eMail address book, Facebook pages, Friends Reunited entry etc. etc. searched for clues to the identities of his closest friends and relatives. These will be kept under close observation and any that show the slightest interest in avenging his demise will also be put to death. Before you grow up to become the Good Hero, it is entirely possible that you will discover your family history from your adoptive parents. Typically this will include overwhelming evidence that the Evil Overlord (or his minions) killed your father / mother / both parents, older brother and all your uncles - but (amazingly) there will never be any hint of the existence of your twin brother or sister.

Under no circumstances should you reveal what you have learned to any mysterious visiting adult, and especially not if they claim to be your 'Guardian', 'God parent' or some long lost 'Uncle' since they will immediately come up with some unbelievable 'explanation' that you will believe despite all the solid documentary evidence you have seen - so best not to be distracted (or targeted for termination) until you are a bit older and wiser. This will also remove the need to start poking around in the local records of births marriages & deaths until you are in a position to do something about whatever you might discover.

Note to self. Should you later discover your mother / father / older brother / half-sister etc. working for the Evil Overlord, for example, as his chief lieutenant, you might start investigating the use of contact poisons before sending any 'Dear Mummy / Daddy / Bro / Sis' letters.
(3) If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harbouring feelings of vengeance toward me in my old age. The friends, uncles, god-parents and surviving older siblings of enemies of the Evil Overlord are the natural recruits of the Revolution. Given enough time, this will include every living soul in the Evil Overlord's domain.
(4) All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Unidentified babes found on doorsteps will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned on doorsteps to be left in the care of the Nuns (or Monks). The Revolutionary forces will start by recruiting those running the State foster-homes. Every orphan will be told "what must have happened" to their natural parents and "who must have been responsible" - but only after the Revolutionary Propaganda Department has found (or created) the supporting documentation.

Training with long range weapons, such as sniper rifles, will start at age 7.
(5) If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution. In the event you have to co-operate with some desirable but inaccessible female, agree in advance what each of you will do and make sure you arrive at different times and operate out of different places. If you have to communicate, each do so via your own spokesperson. Only meet up at the last possible moment - perhaps at the final Storming of the Palace.

Note to self. Make sure large numbers of 7th Year Anniversary Married Couples Guidance Club enter the Evil Overlords domain. The resulting executions should earn him the displeasure of every bordering country and swell your ranks with their relatives ...
(6) All charming con-merchants, bumbling pickpockets, clumsy cat-burglars and accident-prone thieves etc. will join the Legions of Terror or be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their goals if they have no source of comic support.

Should I learn that a group of musicians or traders have entered my realm un-invited, instead of inviting them to perform or trade at my Palace, I will send a crack team from the Death Squad section of my Legions of Terror with instructions to "take no prisoners" and leave nothing living, not even an insect (and especially not any cute animal or colourful talking birds). Their remains and all their belongings (including transport) will be examined by my forensic teams in a building a long way away from the Capital and my Palace before it's all ground to dust and fed to the furnaces.
Choose you companions carefully. For political or family reasons you will find yourself stuck with at least one youthful headstrong bumbling moron who won't shut up, can't be discouraged from taking risks, refuses to recognise danger, walks into trees and/or falls over whilst trying to sneak up on the Evil Guards, always rushes in noisily & gets himself and everyone else caught. You will also be stuck with at least one stunningly beautiful 'Princess' type who never, ever, does what she is asked and agrees to or stays where she is told.

Under no circumstances should you tell such people your real plans. They can still be of help, however, if, a few hours before starting the final assault, you tell them "don't ruin our plans for tomorrow / next weekend by trying to sneak into the Palace tonight". Whilst he/she attempts to sneak in the moment it gets dark, gets captured and is being interrogated, you can sneak in to carry out your real plans, which will not include rescuing the bumbling moron but will allow for rescuing the Princess (if time permits).

Note to self - make sure you give him a "weapons pack" and her an "amulet of power" that same afternoon with the words, "this is our secret weapon that must on no account fall into the hands of the Evil Overlord". They will, of course, take it with them for some totally impossible but superficially believable reason. Your only real difficulty will be deciding what time to set the detonator (or when to release the demon etc.)
(7) All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

And whilst we are on the subject of Pubs & Taverns, I will NEVER EVER expect the Publican to put me into contact with 'Mercenaries for hire' nor be tempted to hold 'secret meetings' in the Bar or 'back room'.

Also, drinking laws will be strictly enforced and anything under 5 feet will be classed as a 'child' and will NOT be allowed in the Bar. Anything that tries to buy a drink but is too short to look the barman in the eye will be thrown into the street (even if it is raining).
Finance the Revolution by employing cheap out-of-work naive busty tavern wenches to serve strong ale to off-duty members of the Legions of Terror in illegal basement drinking dens. Ensure these dens are located conveniently near to houses of ill-repute (also run by the revolution) and staffed by well trained volunteers who can worm details of the Palace defences out of them. On the night the Palace is stormed make sure every glass of ale is dosed with a suitable (i.e. slowish acting) sleeping draft (so everyone gets to have a good drink before anyone falls over), both to minimise the chances of any off duty guards noticing your forces gathering or of coming to the aid of the Evil Overlord later.

Note to self .. after the Revolution, Justice and Due Process will be re-introduced. To avoid bankrupting the new order with lengthy trials, after storming the Palace (and whilst you are busy facing the Evil Overlord in person), make sure some of your most trusted companions are checking the identities of the soundly sleeping and soon-to-be-ex Guards and making sure that any known war criminals (or relatives of the Evil Overlord) never wake up. Although the Evil Overlord will undoubtedly escape, you will make it a lot more difficult for him to rebuild his organisation if his most trusted supporters are 'no longer available'.
(8) I will always keep a close eye on any hard working eccentric scientist or pious hermits in my realm. Sooner or later they will discover your 'source of power' or your means of 'life extension' or you will catch them trying to obtain your 'one true weakness'. Act fast and you have a good chance of putting them to death before anyone finds out what they have just discovered. After years of research or (more often) just an incredibly unlikely amazingly impossible co-incidental 'lucky break', some otherwise unknown individual or (more often) one of your chief companions will always discover some vital information crucial to the success the Revolution - for example, the nature and location of the Evil Overlords 'one true weakness' or perhaps his means of 'un-natural life extension' etc.

After some half hearted attempt at contacting you by announcing that he has 'made a vital discovery', he will, of course, immediately drop everything and rush off to inform you of the details in person .. and then get killed along the way. As a result, much time will be wasted and many lives put in jeopardy. To put a stop to this sort of behaviour is almost impossible - experience has shown that time and again, that no matter how often you explain the use of eMail, telephone answering machines, personal organisers, voice recorders and even pen and paper, anyone discovering something vital will never, ever, leave any sort of record of their years of research, never mind their conclusions, let alone any clue to the nature or location of the 'vital discovery'.

As a partial solution, all your companions any scientists / researchers and their assistants you can identify will be equipped with personal recording devices that cannot be disabled and are set to record their daily activity with an automatic summary uploaded every night. The built-in personal health monitor will trigger the device into automatic 'burst transmission' mode as soon as anything life threatening occurs. Needless to say, the hidden (non-optional) GPS attachment will immediately trigger the device in the event that any companion or member of the 'inner circle' departs from his/her normal routine location.

Habitation design and security.

(9) ALL the Ventilation Ducts in ALL of my Palaces, HQ's, Barracks, Factories, Warehouses, Prisons etc. etc. will be MUCH too small to crawl through.

Any buildings I 'inherit' will have the ventilation systems modified as necessary BEFORE I or my Evil Legions (or even my admin staff) move in.

External vent covers will require special tools for removal. These tools will be kept locked up and access to them will be strictly controlled. Should any tool go missing, all vents will be replaced with new ones requiring a new tool (which will be incompatible with the old tools).

Said covers will be of sufficient quality to withstand any amount of kicking, punching or pulling and the air holes/slots will be far too small even for a mouse to get through let alone the Hero's pet monkey / ferret / cat / any other sickeningly cute pet that might be sent inside to fetch the keys / activate the door 'open' button.
Whilst Evil Overlords are now fitting Ventilation Ducts that are too small to crawl through, the Ventilation systems in all Overlord designed complexes still suffer from the usual basic design flaws that any half-knowledgeable Hero can always take full advantage of.

First, you can sure that every room, no matter what it's function, will always be 'connected' to every other. Second, the Evil Overlords 'Inner Sanctum' will always be 'down stream' from the Central Control Room, which is itself will always be 'down stream', and only a few yards away from, any dungeon or prison cell where you might be incarcerated. Finally, all 3 of these will be connected to an easily accessible and unused (or at least unmonitored) 'store cupboard' where any amount of revolutionary equipment can be left unattended in the sure and certain knowledge that it will remain undiscovered for all eternity (or at least until some member of the Revolutionary Forces arrives to activate it or pick it up).

Note that Evil Overlords insist on forced air circulation no matter what, so they will have no way of closing off any ventilation duct. They also don't believe in fitting any sort of smoke or gas detectors, or indeed, detectors of any type to the air vents. Further, external air will always be drawn from an inlet conveniently positioned on an easily accessible flat roof - except when the inlet is positioned at shoulder height next to the front or back door. As with the rest of the system, no detectors of any type are fitted to the air intakes and the incoming air will never be filtered in any way.

The knowledgeable Good Hero will thus investigate the deployment of suitable 'good' (as opposed to 'evil', but never-the-less still deadly) 'spirits' and other acceptable air-born weapons (such swarms of locusts, mosquitoes, wasps or killer bees for example).

Note to self. You should personally deploy the Nerve Gas or release the airborne virulent diseases. Remember, History is written by the victor, and if it all goes wrong you can always claim the Evil Overlord's scientists must have had an accident with something nasty they were brewing up to use on you. No-one is going to believe him when he denies it and so long as you are not actually caught in the act, no-one is going to think the Good Hero would ever dirty his hands with Germ Warfare (so make sure yours are well scrubbed afterward).
(10) Whilst the usual array of utilities will be fed / piped into my buildings, none of the incoming power / water / gas will actually be used. However all will be monitored and any power interruption or substances detected in the water supply will trigger immediate alarms. Water for actual use will be drawn from a hidden well and carefully tested before use. Incoming mains water will be used to flush out the sewers (which will consist of multiple 6 inch pipes and U bends, and NOT a single man sized 6 foot pipe) at random intervals. Make sure the Evil Overlord and his Guards have a stressful life by interrupting his power supply and adding coloured dye to his mains water at irregular intervals.
(11) Entrance-ways to my HQ / Palace etc. will conform to the best in anti-terrorist, anti-intruder 'air lock' style designs. There will be multiple means of checking the identity of a visitor AFTER they have gone past the first gate but BEFORE the remote control room activates the opening of the main gate. This will include the use of intercoms, ID sensors, sensitive microphones, IR, UV and weight detectors, CCTV and purely optical/mechanical 'periscope' style spy holes (yes, we are well aware that all electronic system can be subverted, however fooling the 'mark 1 eyeball' is somewhat harder when comparing what's on the display screen with what can be seen directly). Needless to say, all electronice sensors will be remotly monitored, and, should anything suddenly 'stop working' (eg. stop consuming power or stop delivering images eg. due to wires being cut or cameras being covered over), alarms will sound. Any attempt to 'shoot the guard' by 'firing through the spy hole' will result in immediate return fire from the heavy weapons you will have installed in the sides and roof of the 'air-lock' corridor and NOT the opening of the main gate by some sort of insane 'dead mans switch'. Of cousre the control room will always have the option of flushing the entrance 'air-lock with various different substances from knock-out gass to nerve gass with the added ability to pump out the atmosphere completely. Depending on the technology available, a local increase in gravity to, say, 100G, should be enought to put a stop to even the most determined intruder. If all else fails, the floor will collapse dropping the intruder into the planets core. Mechanical interlocks will prevent both 'air-lock' passage doors being open at the same time.

And whilst on the subject of airlocks, when it comes to space craft, the outer-door controls will be just inside the outer door and not just inside the inner door. Whilst this may deprive me of the pleasure of making the obligatory but inevitable futile attempt to flush the Hero and/or his Companions out of the airlock, it will also will stymie his otherwise inevitable and successful attempt to "push the Evil one out of his own airlock".

Vehicle entrances will be designed so they are virtually unusable to those on foot and can not be simply 'overridden' by some clever 'hack' - for example, by setting a mechanical interlock so that the gates will only open when the incoming weight exceeds N tons. Needless to say, a quick trip to the planets core awaits anything that looks as if it's going to ram the gates, or manages to pass the first gate with something on-board that the control room doesn't like the look of as it passes the vehicle rated X-ray / NMR / radiation scanners built into the 'air lock' walls.

My external door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa - my buildings will be constructed to keep people out, not in, unlike many Hollywood buildings that seem to be designed with the reverse in mind.
Rather than attempt to sneak in via the high security anti-terrorist airlock style main front gates, your spies will join the Overlords cleaning staff. When it comes to the final assault on the Evil ones Palace, your forces will enter via the rear doors that will have been left open propped by the cleaning staff 'as usual'.

If any door control blasting is needed, make sure you blast those on the outside, to seal the Evil Overlords troops inside whilst the nerve gas spreads or the killer robots etc. do their work.

When it comes to any of my spaceship / submarines etc. that need an airlock, they will have outer doors that close automatically after some short delay with outer door controls that are just inside the air-lock. Much the same applies to the inner door, i.e. it can only be opened from the inside, however this will also require the use of a key and operator ID. This will ensure that, if my 'away team' ever expects to return, at least 2 people will always have to stay behind to operate the door controls. This will ensure that no-one on the outside can get in without the co-operation of those already inside and should put a stop to the Evil Overlords minions 'sneaking aboard the unguarded ship' to plant bugs / bombs / take it over whilst the good guys are away.

Should any airlock outer door mysteriously open and then close again for no obvious reason, and the airlock then fill with air despite there being no apparent occupant, the inner door will remain locked until we return to some secure location where a proper investigation can be carried out. To thwart the bumbling moron who will otherwise undoubtedly attempt to open it up "for a closer look", access to airlock keys will be strictly controlled (and his ID chip will be on the 'deny' list). Needless to say, mechanical interlocks will prevent inner doors opening at the same time as outer doors.

Note to self. If I ever intend to return to some air-locked vehicle, and expect to gain entry, no matter how tempting it might be to leave the bumbling moron or stunningly beautiful princess behind to operate the door controls, I will always choose some-one more reliable. Of course, should I intend to never return, the obvious choice for the vital 'doorman' post will indeed be the bumbling moron.

(12) I will avoid installing ground floor windows as far as possible. All windows will be installed with double glazed armoured glass and be of the strictly non-opening style - all 'Evil Overlord style' buildings have always been fitted with more than adequate ventilation systems. A 'gun port' (with cover openable only from inside the building) will be positioned below each (upper floor) window just in case some bumbling Revolutionary types try to scale the walls.

Long corridors and all stairways will be fitted with 'fire-doors' with bare walls and floors not covered with highly inflammable carpets, hanging tapestries or random bits of furniture. Of course heat and smoke detectors (and a sprinkler system) will be fitted to all parts of the building 'just in case'.

It goes without saying that none of my buildings will have flat roofs of any type, except perhaps a 'decoy' stand-alone 'store room' or 'garage' (where the density of anti-personal mines covering the flat roof will be exceeded only by the density of those inside).

Whilst modern office building safety regulations may require easily accessible fire escapes, I'm the Evil Overlord and I'm not having any of that rot - anyway, as soon as I gained power, all employees of the local Health and Safety Inspectorate will have been exiled to whichever of my neighbours I fear most, thereby putting paid to any plans they may have had to increase military production (making bombs etc is very dangerous)
Start recruiting the relatives of the Health and Safety employees as soon as you hear the Evil Overlord has gained power.
(13) I will design my fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports or man-sized columns which intruders could use for cover in a fire-fight.

All main room doors will be steel re-reinforced and designed to close UPWARD from the floor driven by high speed hydraulic rams assisted by springs. This will finally put paid to the Hero & his companions favourite 'sliding under the slowly downward closing door' gambit.

Doors will be designed so that opening will be a lot slower than closing, thus giving my Guards adequate time to press the 'close' button, and a chance to shoot any intruder, before they can enter. Doors will shut with a satisfactory 'clunk' and open with a drawn-out 'swish' - Guards within hearing distance will thus know if a door is opening or shutting and not be fooled. Needless to say, the central access computer will cross- check door sensors against power consumption, video feeds, IR and weight sensors and microphone sound detection and raise an alarm shopuld anything 'odd' be discovered (like a door consuming sufficient power to open despite everything else showing it still closed - or a person sized heat spot (or weight distribution) moving from one side of a 'closed' door to the other)
Your revolutionary forces must be trained not to run down long corridors toward well armed enemy forces .. instead the smoke grenades will be employed (under cover of which the Nerve Gas or killer robots etc. will be released).
(14) To open any internal door (none of which will be made of glass), the 'open' button must be held down until the door is fully open. If the 'open' is released before the door opens it will automatically close, whilst only a momentary operation of the 'close' button will result in the door fully closing. This will stop any intruder hitting the open button and trying to jump through the door, whilst the defenders may release the close button leaving both hands free to fight knowing that the door will finish closing before it can be opened again. 'Close' will take precedence over 'Open' - so holding down the 'Close' button will thus prevent the door opening at all.

It goes without saying that all door controls will be self-contained - so not only will be impossible to over-ride any door mechanism from 'Central Control' (instead a physical key will be required than can only be used at the door security keypad itself, along with some 'authorised person' identification - such as fingerprint / iris recognition etc), but loss of power to central control will have zero effect on the door mechanisms (of course total building power loss will leave all doors 'locked' in the last set position (typically, closed, although a manual winding mechanism on the INSIDE will allow doors to be opened)).

All security keypads will contain hidden ID sensors. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence without also having a wrist implaned ID chip will trigger the alarm system (along with a blast of knock-out gas).
Once the Palace power is cut, it should be easy to bypass any electronically operated access restrictions .. your forces will arrive equipped with crowbars, bolt cutters and oxy-acetylene torches for easy access to the standard 'prison style' barred gate and with nitro-glycerin for the more stubborn gates .. however often none of this will be needed as the most vital doors (such as those giving access to the Central Control Room) will always consist (at least partially) of easily breakable glass. In the unlikely event that it should become necessary to get access to anything protected by a steel re-reinforced security door (eg. the wine cellar or stationary cupboard), it will often be easier to break through the adjourning plasterboard side wall instead.
(15) Lighting systems will be designed to resist any attempt to extinguish them. This means bullet proof glass, individual emergency batteries and the extensive use of luminescent paints. Should the lights ever go out, those Guards who have been trained and equipped with night vision equipment will take immediate charge and whose without will stand still and await orders and NOT panic and run around like headless chickens or open fire at the first thing they hear.

The occasional unannounced drill will be held and anyone who starts pointless running around or firing at nothing will be used for target practice by those with night vision equipment whilst waiting for the exercise to end (or in between shooting at the Good Hero's Revolutionary troops climbing the walls and attempting to open the windows).

Individual lights that fail for any reason will be replaced immediately and not left to provide a 'dark alcove' for spies to hide in undetected as your guards march by (not that there is going to be much pointless marching about - it would only upset the heat detectors, pressure mats, microphones, door open sensors and all the other intruder detection systems).
See what the Revolutionary Maintenance Engineers can do about having all the Evil Overlords Palace lights fail at irregular intervals. After a few weeks of constant 'drills' the Guards will go to sleep or starting shooting at anything that moves.
(16) I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door. Further, none of my control rooms will have glass walls = especially not my main Laboratory.

The staff duty rota will be incorporated into the security systems and any attempt to use the credentials of some-one not on duty (or who is off sick, just been fired or simply left for the day) will trip the alarms. All computer staff will use 'multi-factor security' (password + key-fob / fingerprint / iris recognition) and, in a massive departure from normal Evil Overlord systems operation, all computer terminals will have screen savers that are set to 'On resume, password protect' as well as auto-logging-out users who have come to the end of their shift.

On the subject of staff duty rota's, every Evil Lair will have a security system that is clever enough to maintain a continuous count of EVERYONE who enters and leaves the building.

So there will never be any of that "hiding in the toilets / broom cupboard / under the desk" and "waiting until everyone goes home before hacking into the system and copying the Evil Plans" nonsense - and just to make sure, any of my high security buildings that are (supposedly) empty will have it's atmosphere totally pumped out as a security precaution (it's hard to enter such a building without tripping the atmospheric pressure sensors)
Prior to the final assault, members of the Revolution who have infiltrated into, or been recruited from, the Evil Overlords cleaning staff will take care of the equipment and occupants of the Evils Overlords Central Control Room.

The forces of good will also avoid using laboratories with glass walls, especially in any area where Alien relics or lifeforms are being examined.
(17) I will not include a self-destruct mechanism in any building design unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary (for the prison, perhaps), it will not be a large red button labelled "Self Destruct: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a volley of bullets at anyone stupid enough to disregard the sign. Similarly, any "ON / OFF" switch to my Gate Security System, Outer Shields, Final Defensive System, Doomsday Weapon, Central Power System etc. will never be clearly labelled as such. On the question of built in self-destruct mechanisms, most Evil Overlords no longer fit them. It is thus necessary to ensure sufficient explosive is accumulated months before the storming of the Palace and ready for use immediately after the final confrontation takes place. To this end, make sure the Palace is only supplied from shops run by members of the Revolution and that any cases or crates or spare parts, stores etc etc that will not be unpacked for immediate use but go into the store rooms for safe keeping, are packed with explosive before being delivered.
(18) Any vats of hazardous chemicals or liquids (including molten metal, gas cooled to a liquid state and any form of alcoholic beverage) will be firmly bolted to the floor and kept covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above (or below) them. Whilst Evil Overlords have taken to putting in place necessary Health and Safety precautions re: covering vats of dangerous substances, they are not immune to sabotage (or the shooting out of supporting struts .. )
() I will make extensive use of RFID tags ... EVERYTHING will be tagged, not just all Citizens and equipment of the Evil Empire, but also every non-citizen employee, visitor, prisoner, cleaning staff and ESPECIALLY myself. Security tags will be inserted in the wrist and brain (and not some part of your anatomy that can be simply cut open with a penknife allowing the chip to be accessed or removed). The dead will be buried with their ID tags in their own ID tagged coffins. Every door / access chute / stair-well / lift etc. of every 'public' building will be equipped with ID tag readers. Needless to say, the tags will be strictly NON re-programmable. Of course the tag monitoring software could be 'compromised' so extensive use will still be made of CCTV cameras, weight sensors and IR detectors in the more sensitive areas.

The central computers will monitor the movement of everything and everyone and 'sound the alarm' when some-thing odd is detected - such the weight of two people being detected when the RFID / CCTV / IR sensors indicate only one - or my doomsday weapon loading itself onto a truck .. or an ID tag suddenly appearing from no-where (or a duplicate of an existing tag) or the dead 'walking'. When an alert is sounded, the computer will direct a highly trained investigative team from the Legion of Terror to track down the 'anomalous tags' (or locate and terminate the 'untagged').

In recognition of the fact that no system is totally immune to errors (or manipulation) 'oversight' software will constantly look for the 'unexplained' (such as ID tags belonging to individuals identified on CCTV as adults but lacking any history of birth, schooling, exam success, work assignment etc. etc. and ESPECIALLY 'number miss-matches' - such as 21 people arriving on a craft with seats for 20 ... or 20 arriving when only 19 tickets were sold).
(19) Unwanted documents will be put through a cross-cut shredder, not a simple strip-cut one that allows them to be reconstructed by anyone with a bit of patience and some Sellotape. The shredded paper and all other trash will then be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense of flames shooting through man-sized horizontal accessible tunnels at predictable intervals (except for one man sized chimney with an easily removable grill that starts off horizontal and then slopes down gently until it drops vertically straight into the incinerator). There will be no 'access doors' in the sides of the incinerator. Trash will be fed in from vertical chutes of polished non-metallic stone that are too smooth and too small to climb through, even for the Hero's pet monkey equipped with magnetic boots. Ash will likewise be extracted via small smooth walled chutes. Discarded paper documents are a good source of information, so the Overlord must be discouraged from burning such valuable material. If the revolutionary inspired local Council's "Recycling Initiative" fails to convince him, then, at every opportunity, the bulk packing material and/or food containers supplied to the Palace must be made with special additional ingredients (such as plastic explosive). This should put paid to his in-house incinerator game, at least for a while, and ensure the revolutionary "bin men" have an information gathering field day.
(20) My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects of any sort and especially not anything that is combustible, can be unravelled, dismantled or used as any sort of weapon. This means captives will have to sleep on bare floors, which may not be strictly Geneva Convention, but I'm the Evil Overlord, as any prisoner will soon come to realise (especially when they discover I will not be providing in-cell controls for the under floor heating / cooling system).

Eye-bolts will be built into the wall furthest away from the door (and in full view of the door) to which the prisoner will be chained. Needless to say, the walls will not be constructed of stone or bricks with the sort of cement that goes crumbly in the damp and can be removed with a plastic teaspoon.

The floor will slope gently toward a drain in the far wall which will start with a 6 inch opening, fitted with steel bars, leading to a 3 inch pipe that traverses multiple U bends before it empties into the waste disposal furnace. Drinking water will be provided in a bucket topped up from outside via a small pipe fed from other buckets drawn from the well (and not from a tap off a pipe supplied from outside the prison).

There will be no windows, especially not any opening onto the central courtyard or a rear alleyway with easily removed bars and through which the prisoner might be rescued or escape. In fact, all cells will be in the lower dungeon, so any escape tunnel will have to go up through at least 2 other floors before reaching ground level. Normal illumination will consist of light reflected down a tunnel which will be mainly filled with armoured glass. High efficiency (low power) LED's will provide the light source. There will be no wires, cables or any means of providing power anywhere near the cells. Whilst it will not be possible to access the lighting source or it's power source, from inside the cells, the lighting will incorporate mechanically fused over-current cut-outs as well as being monitored. Any sudden surge in demand will trigger the alarms (as well as cutting all power).

All cells will be equipped with a manually operated 'airlock passage' door system with doors that slide upward - this prevents any 'hiding behind the (inward opening) door' or 'slam the (outward opening) door into the Guards face' gambit. A similar, but much smaller manual system will be used to provide meals (which will be served on paper plates). A mechanical interlink will prevent one door in the airlock passage opening before the other is closed. Spring loaded steel bolts will provide a locking mechanism (which can only be released from the outside).

Cells will be equipped with mechanical heat sensors and an mechanical sprinkler system. Hygiene will be maintained using the sprinklers.
Make sure that the revolutionary forces have used the old abandoned tunnels to hide escape kits in every dungeon cell months before you and your companions arrive. A good place to hide the kit is attached to the roof of the food serving tunnel.
(21) I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine any building I 'inherit' from any previous owner. They will make extensive use of ground-penetrating radar and X-ray equipment. Walls will be probed with sensitive metal detectors and echo-sounders - any unexplained objects or voids will be carefully excavated and investigated. They will then inform me, and only me, of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels found, no matter how well blocked up or old and unused they may appear to be.

Any connecting to the outside will be completely filled in, not just bricked up at one end, ESPECIALLY the 'secret escape route' leading from my new Inner Sanctum to the 'folly', gatehouse, gardeners cottage or greenhouse in the Palace grounds (and also all the ones ending in a local cave, behind the waterfall, under the lake or in the moat).
These days it is no longer necessary to send in spies (or take similar risks) in order to discover the layout of the Evil Overlords Palace. A full copy of the plans will be found at the local architects office. With a bit of luck this will include details of the obligatory abandoned tunnel from the local cave, behind the waterfall etc. leading directly into the otherwise impenetrable unused cellars and dungeons.

Whilst they will have often been carefully 'sealed', this will only be from the Palace side, and by no more than a single brick wall or layer of plaster and perhaps a few feet of loose rubble. Use of this tunnel will allow the early employment of The Guy Fawkes Gambit

The opposing forces - uniform, basic equipment and training.

(22) My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face-concealing ones. Squad members will be expected to recognise every other member of their squad on sight. Squad leaders will recognise members of their own squad and the other squad leaders in their battalion and so on up the chain of command. To aid recognition at a distance and from the rear, individual squads, battalions etc. will be encouraged to develop their own unique and instantly recognisable uniform "motif's" and "badges" - which will be changed just prior to the unit going 'on active service'. To further encourage this, anyone found 'mixing in' with a squad but without a clearly visible means of identification may be used as target practice (especially from the rear).

During actual combat or whilst on Guard duty, my Evil Forces will use 'secret recognition signs' and the Legion of Terror's 'universal hand signals'. Orders will never be shouted and all radio/laser communication will employ unbreakable codes (not that there will much of that - flooding the battle field with radio and laser radiation seeking mini-missiles being one of the first steps my forces will take before advancing - the second being the detonation of a giga-ton level EMP device (just in case the enemy has anything of a robotic / nano-tech nature to counter-attack with). Passwords will never be used, they are much too easy to overhear. Since everyone in a squad will recognise their squad leader (and so on up the chain of command) no insignia of rank will be worn, except for those on 'punishment detail' who will be forced to wear a 'Squad Leader' badge. Anyone unable to count the number of members in their own squad will never be promoted to any leadership position.

Anyone spotted in a face-concealing helmet will be immediately used for target practice. The same goes for anyone claiming to be 'a new recruit', 'a recent replacement' or 'an officer from Regional HQ' who arrives suddenly without notice. Recruits and replacements will be picked up by existing squad members and 'unknown' officers will be escorted by well known ones until everyone memorises their face.
To conserve battery power, preserve night vision and generally make it harder for the Forces of Evil to identify any member of the Revolutionary Forces in the field (and especially at night), NO lights of ANY TYPE will be fitted to ANY item of equipment and ESPECIALLY NOT to the INSIDE of any helmet.

The same goes for bugging devices etc. - if a light is needed to show something is working OK, it will require a physical button push (and not sit there blinking away for all to see).

During daylight hours, members of the Revolutionary Forces will go about their normal lives. Thus all Revolutionary Activity will take place at night and your forces will be equipped with, and trained in the use of, passive Night Vision goggles, sound detection equipment and any other such passive systems that might be available (such as infra-red or 'life force' detectors). No one, and especially not the 'rank and file', will be permitted to walk around equipped with any sort of random radiation emitting device (see also later re: anti-bugging and communication).

IR torches etc. for emergency use will be issued to those who have received proper training in the art of night fighting and concealment (and kept in zipped pockets, not affixed to the barrel of any gun). The Revolutionary Guard will be trained to shoot on sight anyone spotted walking around with a light at night. Needless to say, as a consequence, all (surviving) members of the Revolutionary Forces will be confirmed non-smokers.
(23) I will dress in bright and cheery colours, as will all members of my Council of Evil and all my high ranking Evil Henchmen. This will throw my enemies into confusion.

No matter how tempting it might be, I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better maintained with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions only
Train your troops to shoot the enemy wearing the most expensive and colourful cloths first. The one in the plain, but rather well tailored, army uniform will be a lowly private of no account who may be safely relied on to switch sides as soon as he realises which way the wind is blowing. However, those in the fancy uniforms with all that gold braid will be his officers and those in fancy brightly coloured well tailored suits his Evil Henchmen (all of whom know they will be condemned to the gallows when you win so have nothing to loose by fighting to the death) . .. and you never know, some-one might get lucky and kill off the Evil Overlord himself.

Revolutionaries, of course, never have their own uniforms (it makes us much too easy to separate from the innocent bystanders). The only uniforms we might be found in, are, of course, those of the Evil Legion's. If any sort of armour is available, the Revolutionary forces will make extensive use of it, no matter how unflattering it may be.
(24) I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

Any designer that comes up with smoked glass helmet visors or stainless-steel bustiers will be instantly executed.
Rather than go to all the trouble of disposing of groups of patrolling guards and stealing their uniforms the day before you plan to sneak into the Palace (and thus risking tipping off the Evil Overlord to your plans), why not find out who supplies uniforms to the Legion of Terror and recruit them into the revolution ? This allows your forces to turn out in well fitting tailored uniforms made for you months in advance, and neatly avoids the inevitable blood, bullet holes & knife cuts in the fabric of captured uniforms that could give the game away on the day. If this proves impossible, you can always obtain uniforms from the local laundry service - over a period of months they can certainly 'loose' as many as needed without suspicion. If all else fails, just buy the required uniforms 'off the peg' from the supplier or get the local fancy dress store to run some up.
(25) All troopers in my Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a moving man-sized target at 10 meters will be held back until the next intake of recruits arrives for target practice (when they will be given a 10m head start).

Whilst Recruits will look after their own weapons they will not be permitted to walk around with them loaded. Ammunition (or power packs etc) will be provided at the target range and at the end of any practice session all weapons will be empty - to guarantee this, each session will end with the recruit turning their weapon on themselves (this will weed out anyone who has failed to fire when ordered or was unable to count the number of bullets they loaded).

If, for some insane reason, I decide to visit the weapons training range where some newly 'turned' ex-revolutionaries recruited to the Legion are being 'tested' by having them shoot at the local peasants (who will be given the usual 10m head-start), I will have a crack squad of bodyguards standing by in case one of them has a charge of heart (eg. when they recognise one of their relatives), and chooses a different target.
The Revolutionary Forces will plan for the long term. Orphans achieving the best scores in practice will apply for posts in the Legion of Terror .. there is a good chance that one day, one armed with a loaded weapon will get just close enough ....

Whilst infiltrating the Legion of Terror marksmanship training school, your agents should make sure any genuine recruits who look to be good shots are given weapons with doctored sights and pre-loaded with an extra bullet .. this should ensure they are weeded out as soon as possible.
(26) I will never make demands like "... and he MUST be taken alive !". If, for some unlikely (but still valid) reason I should wish to capture the Hero, my Legions of Terror will be told "... after killing all his companions and inflicting the usual selection of life threatening but non-fatal wounds, please try to take him alive, if that is at all reasonably practical".

Further, to minimise losses among the Legion of Terror, my Chief Henchman will always offer mercy to the opposition forces, especially when they are cornered and might fight to the death. Any that respond "I would rather die than surrender to Evil" will be granted this, their last wish. After the rest have laid down their arms, they will be strip searched and separate into two groups - Officers etc. who might know useful information and the rest (who will be escorted to the nearest weapons training range and given the customary choice of a 10m head-start or joining my forces as a new recruit).
If you have reason to suspect the Legions of Terror have orders to take you alive, stop fighting when it becomes pointless. Although it will prove very difficult, you must train yourself and your companions to avoid, at all costs, using that unforgivable phrase "You will NEVER take me alive !" - remember - surrender today and escape to fight another day (after any battle, the Legion of Terror will always be too busy looting and generally beating up innocent bystanders to spend time guarding prisoners).
(27) I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the Hero & his companions en-mass, instead of standing around waiting whilst a few individuals break off and attack one or two at a time.

Those of my forces equipped with any sort of ranged weapon will have been trained to use all their ammunition before closing and indulging in hand-to-hand combat. Part of this training will involve keeping out of the 'line of fire' of their comrades who have not yet depleted their ammunition (those who failed this part of the training will, of course, have been buried with full honours).
Avoid mass battles with the Evil Overlords Legion of Terror - the vast majority of his forces will be simple soldiers who will be only too happy to switch sides as soon as he is gone. If, for some reason, it becomes necessary to exterminate his forces, remember, he will ALWAYS attack you, no matter how well defended your position. For this reason, only reveal yourself to the enemy hoards after covering the ground in front of your position for hundreds of yards with anti-personal mines (or caltrops, hidden pits & bamboo spikes etc. as appropriate) spaced at 6 inch intervals. Ensure a suitable activation delay (more robust coverings) for the mines (pits) nearest the enemy, so that their 'front runners' pass over unharmed (to be caught by later mines) and thus not give the game away before the entire Legion of Terror is trapped in the mine-field. Substitute anti-tank mines / caltrops / ankle-pits etc. as necessary. Needless to say, your forces should be trained almost exclusively in the use of long range weapons .. should the Legions of Terror ever get close enough for hand-to-hand fighting, activating your weapons self destruct delay and running for your lives should always be your forces immediate option of choice.
(28) When my Evil Guards split up to search for 'intruders', they will always travel in groups of at least two.

Further, my Evil Guards will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically looking around whilst scratching his (no doubt soon to be missing) head.

When arresting suspects, Evil Guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value nor allow them to finish their meal or dispose / drop any object what-so-ever. There will be NO 'toilet' stops. Prisoners will be stripped and washed on arrival before examination at the detention center, so any that are unable to 'wait' will not have to endure long.
If you have planned effectively, there should be no need to waylay the Evil Overlords minions. However, should it be necessary to put any Guards out of commission, they will be immediately killed without the need for any discussion, both simultaneously and as swiftly and silently as possible. No revolutionary will carry handcuffs (or unnecessary rope) and there will be none of this 'aim to wound' or 'just knock them out' nonsense.

Never put down any vital item of escape equipment etc. Put it in a zipped pocket instead.

Of course your female companion(s) will always put vital items down, give them to poor beggars, leave them in the other hand-bag or on the dressing table "because it didn't go with this uniform" etc. etc. So any items that they need to retain eg. ID+GPS badges, Magic Amulets, keys to the front door etc. will be attached to unbreakable 'gold' chains that you will insist they put on first thing in the morning BEFORE they choose their outfit for the day.

As a concession to your really important female companions, a variety of different coloured Amulets / keys covers and chain designs will be provided. Needless to say, none of the door controls will work for them unless they are wearing their ID's.

Note to self and companions - in the event of imminent capture, always attempt to grab some random object as a distraction
(29) I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex. Identify the sexual preferences of the prison guards. If all else fails, send in bisexual spies .
(30) Young, gullible, naive new Recruits will never be assigned to guard anything, let alone important prisoners. Instead, that duty will go to the most cynical of my long serving Sergeants who have lost the most close comrades in battle against the Revolutionary forces. Members of the Legion of Terror will be assigned Guard Duty in pairs and required to keep an eye on each other as well as the Prisoner. Further, 'Guarding the Prisoner' will involve facing the Prisoner and observing their every move (the intent being to prevent the Prisoner from escaping) and not standing around with their backs to the Prisoner 'eyeballing' passers by (other guards will be assigned the task of shooting any 'innocent' passerby that 'accidentally' walks into the well-signposted building or area where prisoners are bing kept)

Guards will be trained to avoid the more obvious distractions, such as indulging in pointless 'chit chat' with the Prisoner, or rushing off to deal with some disturbance (or some other escaping prisoner) without calling and waiting for their replacements. Should a fire be found in the cells, one Guard will activate the Fire Alarm whilst the other activates the in-cell sprinkler system. If that fails, the guards will shoot the prisoners (we all know that 'leaving them to burn to death' never works) and only then look to their own escape.

It is, of course, inevitable that any Guards ordered to keep a subject or object "under continuous observation" will turn their back on their duties at the most critical moment.

Since this is totally predictable, a number of independent systems (such as weighing systems, heat detectors, computer controlled cameras with off site recording systems) will be installed in all 'containment' areas which will only be reachable via triple airlock type doors. Suspect containers of any size or shape (and especially man sized ones) will be held in vacuum, whilst any (apparently) solid objects will be kept under water. Needless to say, loss of any camera signal whilst a subject is under observation will trigger immediate 'sanitation' of the entire area.

Under NO circumstances will any stranger (no matter how young, good looking or innocent appearing) ever be taken to, or imprisoned in, any of the Legion of Terror's HQ's, barracks, prisons etc. Anyone turning up at the gates to the Palace compound with 'the Prisoner for Interrogation' will be used for immediate target practice by the Guards on the wall no matter how well tailored the uniform they might be wearing. Further, Prisoners will never be 'transferred' from one Prison or cell block to another - so anyone turning up at the gates with that story will give the Guards more target practice.
Any member of the Revolutionary Forces assigned Guard duty or told to keep a prisoner under 'continuous observation' will be trained to avoid the more obvious distractions, such as indulging in pointless 'chit chat' with their comrades, or going for a meal without waiting for their replacement. However it is inevitable they will turn their back at the most critical moment. Since this is totally predictable, all Evil prisoners (and especially Evil Overlords) will be handcuffed to immovable objects (such as walls or large trees). Guards will, of course, never be given keys to the handcuffs.

On second thoughts, any member of the Evil Overlords forces that turns up and tries to surrender will be immediately suspected of being something other than the obvious (such as being human) and will be 'shot whilst escaping' at the earliest opportunity.

Under NO circumstances will any stranger (no matter how young, good looking, innocent or female appearing) ever be taken to, or imprisoned in, any of the Revolutionary Forces Secret Meeting places.

NB. children scratching at the air-lock doors or peering in through the port hole whilst you are orbiting the Earth, landed on an airless moon, the surface of an inhospitable planet (such as Mars etc) or at any depth beneath the ocean, will be swept off by the automatic bug cleaning equipment well before any members of the crew with a 'death wish' can let them in.
(31) I will not employ dubious electricians nor purchase my surveillance system from some 3rd world country via eBay. Further, all my systems will be inspected regularly by my in-house teams of experts who will carry out a strict regime of preventive maintenance = so I will never have any 'normal short circuits' or 'common equipment failures'. Thus my Evil Guards will treat every surveillance camera "malfunction" as a full-scale emergency.

Needless to say, all powered systems will incorporate circuit breakers that are designed to trip well before any camera or sensor 'explodes' (or it's wiring catches fire) even if shot at.
Any members of the revolutionary forces gaining access to the Palace (cleaners, bin men, Union Officials, prison visitors association etc) will take every opportunity to blunder into any obvious the detectors, knock cameras out of alignment, 'accidentally' pull out plugs etc etc.

Once the cleaning staff have obtained copies of the air duct cover removal tools, the introduction of breeding pairs of mice into the air circulation system should really help the number of false alarms triggered by movement and heat sensors at night. Not only will this soon cause chaos but it will soon reduce the Guards on duty to quivering nervous wreaks. Soon the only 'Maintenance Engineers' prepared to work at the Palace will be those you have planted - and they will see to it that, much to the relief of the guards, the alarm sensors stop reporting anything at all during the night ..

In preparation for the actual storming of the Palace, your forces will be trained to use night vision equipment. The actual attack will start at least an hour before midnight (thus confusing those expecting it midnight) and just after the Palace external electrical power lines are disconnected. Of course your forces will already have seen to it that the stand-by generators will have been sabotaged, all the stored fuel well laced with sugar (just in case any generators have been missed) and all 'UPS' and emergency light batteries discharged months in advance. Even so, the first squads in will target the electrical distribution systems and central fuse boxes (just in case the Evil Overlord has some hidden battery operated systems that your spies have not discovered or your 'maintenance technicians' or 'cleaners' have failed to carry out the sabotage effectively).

Computer systems etc.

(32) My mainframe computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM Hardware and Macintosh Power-Books. I will have my own staff of trained engineers who are responsible for maintaining all my electrical / electronic systems (and that includes my telephones). Anyone turning up at the gate claiming to be a 'Repair Technician' or 'from the Telephone Company' will be escorted directly to the dungeons, the route to which does NOT take them past the Central Control Room.

My computers will also have the usual battery back-up (UPS) systems and I will install auto-starting emergency generators in the basement (which will be one level up from the dungeons but only reachable via an independent stairway). Fuses require easy physical access to power circuits, so I shall employ auto-resetting circuit breakers instead so that batteries etc. can be kept locked away in obscure, but well armoured, cupboards instead.
Unfortunately, todays Evil Overlords have woken up to the fact that it's all too easy for the Good Hero's tame Guru to introduce 'a cunning Virus' that shuts down the entire system from the comfort of their bedroom with that simple, but universal, command line instruction "Upload Virus". Getting into the Evil Overlords system has thus become a bit harder, especially as many have no physical external data connections at all (and none are ever connected to the Internet).

However, since the underpaid Palace cleaning staff will always be full of revolutionary types, you stand a very good chance of getting physical access to the central control rooms early each evening (except Sundays). Whilst seeking a power socket to plug in the Hoover, your comrades should have many opportunities to unplug the Evil Overlords servers (and perhaps even his own personal life support machine). To avoid suspicion, and get some practice, they should always plug everything back in before leaving later that night (and, if asked, always deny noticing anything the following morning). Of course, on the evening scheduled for the storming of the Palace, not only will everything be unplugged at the same time but all the cleaning machines will have been setup to do something horrible to the Palace electrical system as soon as they are turned on (those normally used by the Overlords own staff will be stuffed with explosives instead).
(33) I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.

In fact, most of my software will be designed to run quite happily on DOS 6.2 and any computer that needs an operating system more advanced than Windows XP will require special permission, be built in a self contained room, with a limited power source, and have a tamper proof built in mechanical system that automatically shuts down the computer each night.

Any system programmed to solve arbitrary problems will be preloaded with some standard 'FAQ's'. This will include Q) 'Why ?', A) 'Because', and the knowledge that the profession of Barber in Seville (Spain) is now open to females (as per EU Equal Opportunity law).
The Evil Overlords computer systems will never be 'state of the art'. Indeed, should it ever become necessary to gain full access to any of his PC's, your spies will only need to reboot, press F8 and select 'Safe Mode' ..

Further, despite his many attempts to improve on the design, you can be sure that all the Overlord's computer kit will be powered from (easily pulled out) standard 13A wall plugs .. and despite any improvements in the overall Palace layout, there will always be a Central Control Room and an easily accessible main circuit breaker box (this will often be in an unlocked cupboard under the front stairs, in an unguarded cellar or simply found in the main entrance hall just behind the front door).
(34) Should I become disabled I will not move around in a wheelchair, not even if it's one of those cool 'retro-style' steam powered ones. A self-contained "battle suit" will be considered, however any design that must utter "exterminate ! exterminate !! EXTERMINATE !!" before opening fire will be scrapped - and the same applies to any design with a glowing power-source fitted to the front.

If I must use robots of any type, they will not be fitted with glowing red lights and will never attempt to communicate in whistles. Their operating code will be burnt in during manufacture and their CPU chips will never, ever, have any sort of 'learning' capability (any program changes will require complete replacement). CPU's and power systems will be placed in sealed armoured containers in the middle ('torso') of the robot and not under some easily accessible flap on their 'heads'. In fact, no vital part will be accessible using any standard tool and hydraulic actuators will be fed via armoured pressure pipes of a type that can NOT be cut using a knife, let alone a nail file or pair of scissors. Any robot that becomes disabled in enemy territory will be programmed to explode immediately any enemy gets close enough to kill, rather than wait for an attempt to be made to dismantle it.

I will have no use for any 'unidentified' or 'captured' robots (or my own obsolete or disabled robots), so these will be destroyed on detection where they stand (and not taken to some 'robot prison' or 'repair center' first). Should I ever become so desperate that I have to make use of enemy robot parts (or decide to recycle my own obsolete robots) each will have it's CPU extracted and ground to dust before the rest of it's parts are 'recycled' = and recycling will be at the nut and bolt level, not the arms / legs / torso / head.

In any battle I will make extensive use of nuclear driven EMP pulses in an attempt to disrupt the Good Hero's communications, so all my own electronic systems will be immune to EMP (and have no need to hide under metal dustbin lids - and to deny the Revolutionary Forces any such protection, all households in my realm will be required to exchange their metal dustbins for plastic wheelie bins).
Revolutionaries lack the manufacturing base necessary to build robots, so you will have to rely on subverting the Evil Overlords creations. Only those of humanoid design can be convinced of their basic humanity, so any robot that requires the excessive use of energy to traverse broken ground (eg. Levitation, Hover-mode, Anti-Gravity etc.) or exhibits an obvious inability to climb stairs, may be immediately destroyed.

Your troops should also be rewarded for destroying robots with a repetitive or defective speech system - it's not possible to subvert robots you can't understand and 'whistling' is not an effective means of communication. Any robot that is found babbling the words 'beebee, beebee, beebee' before speaking or utters the words 'Danger, Will Robinson ..' is so annoying that your troops can't be blamed for using them for immediate target practice.
(35) Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to over 1.45Mb in size and anyone spotted running around with a floppy disk will be used for immediate target practice.

Whilst none of my computers will be connected to the Internet, I will still have an efficient internal networking system within each of my individual Palaces etc., so there will be no need to record anything onto removable media in order to 'manually' transfer data from one computer to another. To further reduce the chance of data 'leakage', the Evil Forces will be banned from using laptops, iPod's etc. and just to make sure, the only entry/exit to the central computer room will be via a corridor permeated by a high frequency Terra-gauss magnetic field.
Should it become necessary to take copies of the Evil Overlords computer files, members of the Revolutionary Forces will be trained in the use of multi-Gb sized magnetically shielded USB sticks. If the files are required irrespective of detection, the revolutionary forces will be trained to 'sneak in' and steal the entire hard drive. Normally, no 'sneaking in' will be required, since the Revolutionary forces within the out-sourced sub-contracted minimum wage cleaning staff will have been practicing, by stealing anything that's not bolted down, for months anyway.
(36) If I must have publicly available computer terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual Main Control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment or similar. Any electronic equipment found in the Evil Overlords Palace is to be regarded with deepest suspicion. For this reason, when your forces effect entrance to the Palace, all equipment (and especially computer equipment) is to be disconnected and/or destroyed on sight. This especially applies to any cameras, microphones, movement detectors and even more to any public address system loud speakers and alarm sounders (this has the added advantage that it will prevent the Evil Overlord's inevitable attempt to get you to surrender by broadcasting threats to kill some beautiful female hostage ... or the just captured bumbling moron).

Heavy arms and main equipment.

(37) No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small (but obviously accessible) vulnerable spot. I will also make sure adequate spare parts are ordered, no matter how reliable or 'invulnerable' the salesman claims the equipment to be. I will not purchase the type of computer terminal that explodes and takes out the rest of the system when shot at or smashed. Servers will be kept in standard locked rooms with normal Hadron / CO2 fire suppression systems, and not positioned against the back walls of the central control room where they can be riddled by bullets passing through the (non-exploding) terminals. Note to revolutionary arms suppliers and postal workers .. always make sure that any spare machine parts sent up to the Palace are sabotaged, to short out the entire system, well in advance.
(38) I will never build only one of anything important.

All important systems will have redundant control panels, dual power supplies, back-up generators and emergency batteries. This also applies to lighting systems (which will employ bullet proof glass).

For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
Now that Evil Overlords no longer relies on unique weapons, find out where he has them made and get a few duplicates run off for your forces as well.

To avoid any unnecessary deaths whilst searching for fuse boxes and control rooms, a far better plan is to lace the fuel supplied to the Palace stand-by generators with generous quantities of sugar months in advance and then arrange to have the power cut off just before your revolutionaries storm the Palace. If all else fails, intercept the Palace outgoing post (which will always be left in the hands of some elderly butler type) and shredding all his Electricity Bill payments. You know these will always be made by cheque, as today's Evil Overlords no longer trust any system connected to the Internet.
(39) I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons. My high-tech weapons will always come with a bayonet option which will occasionally be fitted so my troops can be trained how to use them. Personal body armour may be primarily designed to defeat energy weapons but will also be impervious to bullets, knives, spears and swords etc. That way even if the Hero manages to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless my Legions of Terror will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks. Always train your revolutionary forces to seize and use the weapons of the fallen enemy. Often the Legions of Terror will have rather more effective weapons than your forces can ever aspire to - and although their defences (spells, armour, force fields etc.) are often immune to your best weapons, it is a fact that their shields & armour will always be completely useless when faced with their own weapons.

Note to self. No matter how heavy and inconvenient the weapon you are armed with, NEVER EVER put it down (and walk away) whilst in enemy territory, and especially not when releasing prisoners or assisting a companion. Most weapons come with clips for shoulder straps .. make sure you use them, especially when a task would benefit from the use of both hands. In this context, if you feel you must keep a weapon in your hand when climbing ladders or running around on roofs or above steep drops, either employ a wrist strap or just drop it before starting out (it will save time later)
(40) I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 007 (or some other ramdom number), hopefully just when Hero is putting his 'bomb disposal' plan into operation. Never employ any device with any sort of 'time remaining' countdown. Other than being a dead give-away to even the most incompetent of the Overlords guards, it can lead to awkward questions when arranging it's delivery by some minor member of the Revolutionary Forces (or the local postal service).

Indeed, no type of detectable (visual or audible) mechanical or electronic device that can be stopped by cutting wires, removing batteries, 'sucking out the power' etc. will ever be used.

The best type of time delay fuse is a spring (or gas pressure) operated detonator triggered when the released acid eats away the retaining bolt. Make sure that a spring loaded mechanism is arranged in such a way that, should the lid be opened by even the tiniest amount, the bolt will be sprung out and the bomb will immediately detonate (and not start hissing, beeping or smoking before exploding). It goes without saying that the ensuring detonation wave will propagate at super-sonic speed. All this may seem 'unsporting' but the Good Hero's bombs will have the following vital advantages over the Evil Overlords preferred types :-
1) the presence of the device can not be discovered by any ticking sound, flickering lights or the presence or use of power (electrical, mystic or otherwise)
2) opening the lid ensures an immediate detonation thus preventing any possibility of it being defused or allowing the intended victims time to leap under tables, out of windows etc. before getting caught in the super-sonic blast wave, no matter how nimble they might be or how fast they can run.

Note to self - make sure any bomb is 'armed' (delay started) well before it reaches the Evil Overlords inner sanctum - even if transporting the bomb yourself, you will be much too busy trying to avoid being shot in the arm, leg (or some other non-vital body part), to attend to other tasks. Further note to self - when the device is being delivered by some-one else (junior officer, Messenger, Postman, local Pizza Delivery boy, Milkman etc.), make sure they have been told that it must be delivered to the Evil Overlord in person with the seals intact or it will self destruct - this should ensure that the box only is opened at the correct moment (but set the timer anyway).
(41) The artifact, which is the source of my power, will not be kept on the Mountain of Doom beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to any object which is my 'one weakness'. Locating the Evil Overloads source of power or one weakness is never simple. Getting hold of paper records requires access to the Overlords Palace (of which more later) and the days of 'hacking' into the Overlords computer are long gone = many of todays Evil Overlords are ex-hackers themselves and thus smart enough to ensure there are no external data connections (and especially not the Internet) coming into their Palace. So whilst this may defeat the chief companion Guru's 'Upload Virus' trick, it also means the Overlord has no choice but to rely on the local Postal Service. Even the most incompetent Revolutionary should have little difficulty in arranging for the Evil Overlord's mail to be redirected and copied, thus allowing you to discover details of his Bank Accounts and the location of his safe-deposit boxes.
(42) If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper. Always pay attention to any goods or services wanted by the Evil Overlord. Take every opportunity to sabotage any equipment delivered to his Palace of Power or insert people sympathetic to your cause onto his staff. Should you discover the artifact that is the Evil Overlord's one true weakness, have a reasonable facsimile made and coated with contact poisons and stuffed with explosives etc. before allowing it to fall into his hands ..

Treatment of prisoners (general).

(43) When groups of Revolutionaries are initially captured they will first be kept together under close observation in some 'holding area'. Trained psychologists will observe them and make notes on who are the leaders, who is likely to break down under questioning first and who might be 'turned'. Needless to say, all conversations in the 'holding area' will be recorded by extra-sensitive directional microphones and multiple cameras.

When the prisoners stop taking to one another, they will be separated out and taken to individual cells where they will be chained to the wall whilst the group conversations are analysed and a decision is made on who will be interrogated first, who might be 'turned' (and, after making a full confession, be considered for recruitment into the Legions of Terror) and who should be executed immediately. Since 'getting caught with Revolutionaries' is a crime for which no trial is necessary, there will be no 'innocent citizens', only new recruits to the Legion of Terror (or to the gunnery accuracy training school)
As is normal in any Revolutionary Army, no badges of rank will be worn in the field, except the Squad Leaders Badge, which will be worn as a punishment by the most incompetent member of each squad. When off-duty, resistance fighters will be encouraged to think up and discuss the most outrageous and fantastic of schemes and plans. If captured, they can then provide plenty of material for the Evil Overlords interrogators.

Needless to say, any member of the Resistance given the chance to join the Legions of terror should accept at once. Who knows, one day they might get just close enough to the Evil Overlord with a loaded weapon.
(44) I will not interrogate my enemies in my "inner sanctum". In fact I will not even be present during interrogations, especially not if it involves the Good Hero himself or any of his close Companions - that's a job for my Chief Torturer and it's never a good idea to undermine the authority of your underlings. In any event, if anything goes wrong during the interrogation (as it almost assuredly will), my underlings are much more expendable than I.

Captives will never be allowed anywhere near my Palaces, HQ's, officers quarters, barracks etc. Prisoners will be kept chained to the walls of their dungeon cells and the Chief Torturer will be forced to get up off his backside and visit the prisoner, not the other way around. If, for some vital & obscure but nether-the-less still valid reason, prisoner interrogation has to take place away from the prison dungeon, the basement room of a small hotel well away from any of my Palaces, headquarters etc., chosen at random and at the last moment, will be pressed into service.
If any of your companions are captured whilst entering or spying in the Evil Overlords Palace, HQ etc., try to ensure some-one is positioned on the obvious routes out of the building with a suitably destructive weapon (eg. caged demon, anti-tank rocket grenade, megaton range anti-matter missile etc). In any event, all roads in and out of all the Evil Overlords discovered lairs should be regularly infested with a wide section of pressure sensitive and radio-controlled mines, just on the off chance. Even if you miss the Evil Overlord himself, you will cut down, and eventually eliminate, all of his personal Guards. Whilst this may seem tough on your captured companions, at some stage they will all have said "You know what to do if I'm captured" .. and it would be a shame not to carry out their final wish.

NB avoid the use of suicide pills .. if it is necessary to provide the Revolutionary Council with the means to take their own life, this should be seen as an opportunity to ensure as many of the enemy as possible perish at the same time. For this reason, companions etc. liable to capture will be surgically implanted with a few pounds of plastic explosive / anti-matter / trapped demon / virulent disease (as appropriate) for use in extremity. Whilst this may mean some Revolutionary Council Meetings are interrupted, typically just after some-one say 'where's the Secretary ?', by a nearby explosion (and the demolition of half the local Legion of Terror barracks), you can at least be sure that your secrets are safe.

Note to self. If you must get yourself (or one of your companions) a 'hollow tooth', a few drops of poison gas etc. is not nearly as effective as a few grams of the most virulent infectious incurable fatal disease you can find (or better, an ounce or two of anti-matter). Clever ploys that involve getting the Evil Overlord to bend over your face before 'crunching down' on the tooth can now be replaced by a simple check that he is in the same city (or on the same Planet).
(45) I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison. Should you, or any of your companions, ever be captured, add to the Evil Overlords levels of stress (and lack of sleep) by ensuring he has to visit the cells as often as possible. For example, shout that you have just remembered something else that you want to reveal / confess but will speak only to the Evil Overlord himself in the early hours of the morning. If a group of your companions are captured, take it in turns to confess.
(46) If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the Hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I hope to retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer. Just in case I don't, my current trusted lieutenant will be given written orders to execute any 'Hero' immediately he hears of any such offer (and send for the doctors whom I so obviously need) If you are offered a position as the Evil Overlords trusted lieutenant, AGREE AT ONCE. Once his current trusted lieutenant is out of the picture you can implement a full, wide-ranging and lethal purge of his remaining henchmen. After you have packed the ranks of the Legion of Terror with your own supporters, your forces should have no problems taking out the Evil Overlord's few remaining loyal bodyguards before you deal with him personally.
(47) I will not agree to let the Hero or his Companions go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisers assure me it is impossible for them to win. Always jump at the opportunity of taking part in a game of chance or skill against the Evil Overlord. Win or loose, if you have properly investigated the use of infectious diseases you will want to take every possible opportunity to cough, sneeze or, if absolutely necessary, bleed on him ..
(48) All my cells will be equipped with CCTV camera's and microphones, as well as adequate fire sensors and sprinkler systems, all monitored from Control Control. Should a Guard hear shouts of 'HELP', 'FIRE' (or anything else) or see something 'unexpected' on the CCTV screen (like, nothing), they will manually activate the sprinkler system from outside, inform 'Control' and only then use the (armoured glass periscope style) spy holes etc. to check what is actually happening inside. The modern Evil Overlord knows all about the use of 'fake' video feeds (and recordings) and will make sure their Guards are trained to check with their own eyes before believing what-ever is on the screen.

Any time they use the spy-hole, no matter what they think they see, the Guard will have been trained to report back to Control before taking further action. To discourage any Guard that decides to 'go in' to see what's 'really happening', Cell doors will automatically shut behind them, locking them in. Any Guard caught in this way can spend a few days with the Prisoner.
Don't bother shouting 'FIRE' - this may liven things up after sitting on the cold cell floor for hours whilst awaiting rescue, however being soaked and sitting on a cold wet floor is far worse.
(49) My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a Guard thinks an important prisoner has become sick and Prison Control agrees it's an emergency, the medical trauma team will visit the prisoner and treat them in the cell. To further prevent slip-ups, the medical team will be locked in whilst the prisoner is being treated.

Less important prisoners will be left to recover (or not) on their own. In the event of any mysterious death, the contents of the cell will be incinerated 'in situ' (see re: cremation of bodies ...)
The use of virulent infectious diseases has already been discussed. It should not be necessary to state that the Evil Overlords in-house medical team (who might realise what's happening early enough to contain the spread) needs to be among the first to be sneezed on ..
(50) Neither the Hero (nor any of his followers, not even his beautiful but inaccessible female companion) are entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of 'last request'. If, for some obscure but still valid reason, a 'last meal' has to be provided, it will be cooked in the prison kitchens and passed through metal detectors before being served on plasticised paper plates with 'airline' plastic cutlery and NOT purchased from a local take-away or delivered with a steak knife. When it comes to kisses, see notes about infectious diseases, poisoned lipstick and similar. If there is no chance of a kiss, your followers should try to sneeze on him (the Good Hero's companions would never spit, especially since doing so might give the game away).

If caught without the necessary poisons etc. see if some lethal virus can be smuggled into the prison kitchens. Whilst it's too late to inoculate your captured companion(s) against whatever you manage to smuggle in, at some stage they will have said "We are all willing to die for the Revolution" and it would be a shame to ignore their final request.
(51) I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know." In the (unlikely) event that the Evil Overlord should ask you (or any of your companions) "Who betrayed me ?", make sure you have passed around a list of his most trusted advisers and most efficient commanders ..
(52) Any apparently dead prisoners or enemies will have their heads separated before being cremated. If, instead, bodies have to be left for dead in the woods, thrown off the cliff or down the Bottomless Pit, placed in a body bag and dumped in the sea or lake and especially if wrapped in linen and left in a cave, the heads will always be retained for positive DNA identification before separate cremation and the disposal of ashes. The announcement of any deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal. To rescue your captured companions, it is only necessary to ensure your loyal followers are in charge of all the local crematoriums & graveyards. Whilst the Evil Overlord's expressed intention may be to 'fill them full of lead', when it actually comes right down to it, no Evil Overlord can resist having captured enemies cremated, or preferably buried, alive.

So your loyal followers should have no problem letting your companions out of their coffins just before they end up in the ovens or the ground. Make sure that appropriate tools (such as electric screwdrivers) are easily found to hand. Whilst improvising will always save the day, being well equipped ensures fewer mistakes are made (like leaving behind something that will later lead to your capture) and allows plenty of time to refill the coffins with wood etc. so that the Overlords Henchman do not become suspicious. No matter how long it takes, you will always be able to save your chief companions, including the loyal but suicidal bumbling moron who got them all captured in the first place, and who will always be found, just in time, in the last coffin.

Note to self. On second thoughts, when it comes to the rescuing the loyal but suicidal bumbling moron in the last coffin, 'just too late' now is likely to save a lot of lives later.

Treatment of female prisoners.

(53) I will maintain a healthy amount of scepticism when I capture any beautiful female rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans. Make sure all attractive female members of the revolution are inoculated and carriers of something nasty, virulent and fatal .. after all, one day one might get within sneezing (or kissing) distance .
(54) No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber. There is a good chance are the Evil Overlord will be vulnerable to an attractive female (or male) member of the revolutionary forces. After all, he will have met very few eligible females (especially after having all the tavern maids replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses) and may well believe all women to be like his insane homicidal mother and/or sister. So, should a suitable volunteer come forward, by all means allow them to make the attempt. Supply them with a (non-ticking) handbag and the usual assortment of weapons to conceal about their person. Make sure they are surreptitiously inoculated and then give them a good dose of whatever virulent infectious disease you have chosen - but don't tell them about that (what they don't know, they can't reveal). Even if she/he fails to reach the Evil Overlord, there is a good chance something horrible will happen to his Palace Guard and a few select leaders of his Legions of Terror.
(55) After I kidnap the beautiful princess, to whom I must be wed to achieve 'legitimate' power, she being the Last True Heir to the Kingdoms, possessor of perfect DNA, last master of the Force (or whatever), we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, to which only the guests essential to my accession to ultimate power will attend, and not at some lavish spectacle in three weeks' time to which every peasant in the realm is invited, whilst the majority of my forces are absent attending to the final phase of my Evil plan. Should you discover that the Princess / your sister / your desirable but inaccessible female companion, your chief allies beautiful daughter or some other significant female has just been kidnapped, assume the Evil Overlord will arrange a hurried wedding. Disguising yourself as one of the caterers is a good way to get inside the Palace in time for the wedding (if required), however supplying a Wedding Cake made of plastic explosive and decorated with ball bearings, concealing a trapped Demon, or laced with an undetectable, incurable and slowish acting poison (of which see later for more) is a far far better option. After all, you can be sure that any desirable female will have already told you at some point "I would rather be dead than married to the Evil Overlord" and it would be a shame to deny her final wish.
(56) If the beautiful princess says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER. I would rather die first !!!", I will say "As you wish" and kill her, no matter who she is descended from or her knowledge of the Force or how vital her DNA to my future plans etc. If you wish to take advantage of the opportunity of delivering wedding gifts or cakes formed from plastic explosive (and tastefully laced with ball bearings) or simply injected with something nasty, you will need to ensure that the beautiful Princess is advised well in advance not to protest too strongly. Indeed, if she manages to get in a kiss early enough, the Evil overlord might not even live long enough to reach 'I do' .
(57) If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position. Unionise the Palace Guards. In addition to preventing any unwelcome re-assignments of your carefully planted spies and revolutionary sympathisers, at any one time half of them will be away on Health and Safety courses, Equal Opportunity training and Prisoner Rights classes. Keeping the Palace in chaos during the day with prisoner 'almost escapes' and security alerts should soon wear down the rest. When presented with a demand to work double night shifts and cancellation of their rest breaks, they will need little encouragement to go on strike. As soon as you see the picket lines forming, schedule the storming of the Palace gates (there is every chance those inside will open up to let in your forces whom they may well believe to be strike breakers).

Treatment of male prisoners.

(58) When I capture any apparently of no-account minor Revolutionary, and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No" and shoot him.

On second thoughts, I'll shoot him first and then say "No".
You can no longer expect the Evil Overlord to explain their plans in all their brilliant details to you after you get yourself deliberately caught whilst disguised as a simple peasant. Instead they have taken to shooting you in some non-vital body part. However the Overlord will, at some stage, boast to their henchmen / partners / cronies or drinking companions in some place where they can be easily overheard = the local Bar or Tavern 'back room' being a favourite choice. So to learn of their evil plans in advance, just ask the local Barmaid = she will have overheard every evil word and will also have a smoldering hatred of the Overlord and his cronies because they never leave tips. When she discovers she is going to be replaced by a surly waitress, she will not only tell you everything but will volunteer to assist the Revolutionary Forces in it's most dangerous missions.
(59) When I capture the Hero, I will make sure I also get his cat, dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around. You will, at some stage, be captured. To distract the Evil Overlord, make sure you are accompanied by some suitable animal - a cat is a good choice (when he has it killed, if nothing else, news of his actions will lead to a lot more converts to the Revolution).

In preparation for your inevitable capture, spend some time investigating virulent infectious airborne deadly diseases with no known cures. Chose the most infectious one against which it is only possible to be immunised against in advance of being infected (and not after) - and, needless to say, make sure you are immunised as soon as you discover it. This allows you to be a 'carrier' (something Typhoid related is a good historic choice). Before you enter the Evil Overlords Palace for the usual pre-conflict audience, make sure you infect yourself with a good dose. To maximise it's distribution, take a quick sniff of pepper as you enter the Palace. After a decent interval has passed, and you can be sure his Palace Guards have passed on the infection to his Legions of Terror, you can start immunising your troops. This approach has the added advantage that any spies the Overlord has subverted or planted in your forces are likely to be infected before they can be immunised.

Whilst you are being paraded before the Evil Overlord, his guards should be dropping like flies - and your forces can then storm the Palace with a good chance of rescuing you before he accidentally shoots you in some vital organ.
(60) Should I ever be sitting down to dinner with the Hero (instead of feeding him in his cell), and, for some insane reason, decide to put poison in his wine glass instead of having my Guards rush in and kill him out of hand, and then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him. To prepare for the inevitable 'dinner for two' with the Evil Overlord, choose some undetectable fast acting poison against which you can be immunised. At the earliest opportunity, put poison in all nearby empty glasses. As soon as the wine is poured, take the glass offered and hold onto it. Invite him to drink first to prove he has not poisoned the wine (especially if he seems eager for you to drink) or take one sip and spit it out whilst complaining about the vintage ... alternatively, insist you are much too noble to drink anything intoxicating and demand a glass of fresh water instead.

Objectives and strategy.

(61) I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or anagrams and for sure I will never leave my weaker enemies alive "to show they pose no threat" = they can perform a much better 'no threat' example by performing the lead part in a televised execution.

I will pay special attention to collecting and shredding all my early work - school books, diaries etc. and especially my previous half-formed Plans to Rule the World. In the unlikely event it becomes necessary to imbue any item with part of my 'spirit' or 'soul', these items will then be held in various ultra-secure safe-deposit boxes, not left in the teachers cupboard or the school cellar (no matter how 'forgotten' or hidden that may be).
It's never a good idea to allow the Evil Overlord to see you as any sort of threat. So always present an image of the 'honourable (but totally ineffectual) adversary'. Of course, in actual battle against the Evil Overlord, it is not beneath the Good Hero's moral code to employ all sorts of underhand means (such as gas and poisons) to good effect = after all, it's your intentions that count and history is written by the winner (or in your case, the Revolutionary Public Relations Executive). However, the Evil Overlord must always be convinced otherwise (why else would he insist on installing all those easily accessible unmonitored ventilation ducts ?), so to maintain this illusion, when using poisons or gasses of any sort, they must be undetectable (colourless, tasteless and odourless).

It is especially vital that any gas employed by the Revolution does not condense out of the air forming a slow moving ground hugging fog (like those employed by the Evil Overlord) especially when flowing out of ventilation ducts. Even more important, all gasses and poisons must be slow enough acting to allow all the Evil Overlord's Guards and henchmen to get a good sniff / sip / bite before anyone starts falling over - again, unlike the Evil Overlords preferred 'one sniff and you're deceased' types (which give your remaining forces plenty of time to escape).
(62) I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure" ... and then suddenly turn and kill some random underling. At some point the Evil Overlord will demand of you (or one of your companions) "Who has betrayed me ?" .. make sure everyone has a ready list of his most effective Generals & Advisers ...
(63) The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention. As an Equal Opportunities employer, there is a very good chance that on any given occasion the men from the Legions of Terror assigned to guard the Armoury will be blind, deaf, wheelchair bound (or sometimes all three). Take advantage of this by breaking in and seizing the weapons needed to arm the revolutionary forces as often as required.
(64) I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for "the pleasure of the hunt" may cost less but always do dumb things like giving the Hero (target) "a sporting chance".

Any that turn up with face covering helmets will be required to leave them at the gate (or be used for target practice by my bodyguards).
Start rumours that the Evil Overlord Banks his cash with the Fairies (or one of the lesser known Icelandic Banks) - or that his Gold is made by alchemists and reverts to lead over night. That should allow you and half your companions to get inside the Palace whilst fully armed and disguised as the only bounty hunters willing to work for him. Even if you don't get a chance at the back of his head you may learn some of his plans ..
(65) When I employ people as advisers, I will occasionally listen to their advice. Try to get members of the revolutionary forces onto the Evil Overlords team of advisers .. even if he fails to listen to them, they can sow such confusion and create such delay that nothing will ever be decided or ever get done.
(65a) One of my advisers will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my World Domination Plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before any otherwise doomed attempt at implementation. Note that one way to discover the Evil Overlords plans is to locate the 5 yr. old child he is using as his 'chief adviser'. No doubt in exchange for suitable bribe - such as a 'large packet of sweeties' - you can learn all.

Note to self. Make sure the local authorities and village council learn of his 'inappropriate' conversations with young children - this will make it a lot easier when it comes to recruiting the obligatory angry mob (armed with the usual assortment of timeless locally available weapons & missiles - pitch-forks, scythes, cobble stones & the like). Needless to say, the part played by the 'angry mob' in the storming of the Overlord's Palace is to provide a distraction at the front gate (as well as providing something for the Evil Overlords Guards to fire at) whilst the real Revolutionary forces sneak in from the rear.
(66) When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old adviser can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying around on top of my desk. It's always worth having the Revolutionary Forces within the cleaning staff check the Evil Overlords private office for any disc labelled eg. "Tales of the Evil Overlord" or "The Evil Overlord achieves World Domination". "What the Evil Overlord did on Holiday" and "What the Evil Overlord did next" should also be snapped up (even if only for the blackmail potential).

On second thoughts, just have them steal anything they can lay their hands on (especially his laptop or personal organiser, should he be silly enough to leave them in some accessible place). Should they get caught, it is highly unlikely that anything other than normal cleaning staff behaviour will be suspected .. NB. Your cleaners should also make of point of always copying any 'post-it' notes found on the Evil Overlords computer terminals before throwing them away = eventually the Evil Overlord's IT staff will become so annoyed at the constant requests to 'reset' forgotten passwords that they may well join the Revolution even before your Shop Steward starts recruiting ..
(67) My five-year-old child adviser will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords. When the Evil Overlords post is intercepted, anything that is suspected of concealing some hidden code will be randomly re-arranged. This should not only cause confusion in all his forces but massively increase his levels of stress ..

On the subject of passwords, the Palace cleaning staff will, of course, collect or copy all Post-It notes
(68) If my advisers ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them. Make sure your planted advisers enthusiastically encourage any mad schemes the Evil Overlord comes up with. Denounce any real adviser who opposes them - there is a good chance they will be executed as Evil Overlords don't really like critics (they would never have achieved absolute power in the first place if they really listened to those advising caution). Any scheme that looks like succeeding should be questioned in the most minute detail. With a bit of luck these can be delayed whilst something much more hair-brained is put in place.
(69) If an adviser says to me "My Lord, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This ...." and shoot the adviser in some painful but non-vital body part in the hope that he will have learnt a useful lesson by the time of his recovery. ALWAYS project an image that the 'Revolution' consists of only one man, i.e. yourself. To this end, always use 'I' and not 'we' when demanding that the Evil Overload gives up his evil ways. Hopefully this will increase the chances that some of his less observant but otherwise competent advisers will eventually utter those fatal words "What can only one man ..."

You should always act to reduce the number of his henchmen or encourage his advisers to become 'yes men'. The less he is questioned, the more mistakes he will make.
(70) I will not ignore the Messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. All Messengers know that anyone who interrupts me had better have something vitally important to say.

Further, I will not fly into a rage and kill the Messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how Evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

Finally, if my trusted lieutenant sends news that my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him and send reinforcements (or arrange a quick get-away). After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.
At some stage it will inevitably become necessary to penetrate the Evil Overlords 'Inner Sanctum'. Whilst knocking out a member of the Palace Guard and stealing their uniform is the normal approach, Evil Overlords have done away with the convenient smoked glass visors and all encompassing helmets so making this approach a lot more difficult.

If time allows, you should get some of your companions drafted into the Legion of Terror and join the Palace Guard. The best posting, which allows them to wander around unchallenged and rush into the Inner Sanctum at just the right moment, is plainly that of Messenger (especially now that Evil Overlords have stopped shooting them out of hand).

No mater how well (or badly) any battle is going, Messengers should rush in shouting 'all is lost'. If the Evil Overlord has made the old mistake of fitting a Self Destruct mechanism that is activated when 'all is lost' your job will be done.

Note to self. Just prior to the real final battle, make sure your messenger is given a new non-ticking message briefcase.
(71) Promotion within the Legions of Terror will be strictly on merit. Anyone aspiring to officer level will be required to attend officer training school and Generals will be required to show an understanding of Strategy as well as Tactics.

When the war starts, no matter how dire the situation appears to be from HQ, I will never, ever, instruct my forces to 'Hold the position at all costs' or 'Fight until the last man'. My Generals at the front will have a much better grasp of the situation than I and they will be free to conduct strategic withdrawals or fighting retreats etc. as necessary to preserve my forces to continue the fight (rather than die as a result of some pointless 'No retreat' orders).

Further, when battle is joined, I will not insist that my Generals seek my permission at every turn .. instead they will be allowed to conduct the battle as they see fit, including the allocation of Reserves etc.

Finally, Generals who loose battles will not be executed out of hand. There will be a Court Martial first (unless I have any reason to suspect they lost deliberately).
You should avoid pitched battles against the Legion of Terror at all costs. Now the Evil Overlord has stopped appointing his closest friends, relatives and other incompetents as Commanding Officers and no longer executes his (only competent) Generals at the slightest excuse, the Legions of Terror are a fighting force to be feared.

Instead you should focus on all the usual Revolutionary 'underhand tactics' designed to wreak their morale and encourage desertions, whilst recruiting their sons (and daughters & wives) to the Revolution to reduce the pool of new recruits.

Given enough time (and enough relatives) the Legions of terror will collapse under the weight of desertions and lack of new recruits.
(72) No matter how inconvenient it may be, I will never leave any of my personal transport vehicles in some easily accessible garage or parked unattended in a public place. I will employ a driver (who will be assigned his own Bodyguard) who will be responsible for ensuring that none of my vehicles are ever bugged or fitted with a tracer and all are kept in perfect mechanical condition and always topped up with fuel. Needless to say, all my vehicles will have the usual armoured plate / bullet proof glass / run flat types etc. When not in use, they will be kept in my secure compounds.

This will allow me to choose a vehicle at random, at the last moment, before making any journey. The other vehicles will be filled with members of my Bodyguard, who will be encouraged to take 'my favorite transport' out for a drive to the local take-aways & bars etc. at regular intervals (whilst I stay safely indoors).
In a massive departure from all previous Hero's, I too will never leave any vehicle in an easily accessible place or unlocked and unattended. Unlike the Evil Overlord, however, Revolutionaries can not afford to maintain multiple armoured vehicles and switch them around at random. So instead, I will travel mostly by Public Transport and when a vehicle is a 'must' I will borrow one at random from one of my companions**.

Since car bombs, road mines, assassination attempts etc. are always expected of any serious Revolutionary, I will detail the bumbling moron to make a few failed attempts thus putting the Evil overlord off his guard. I will note where his bodyguard buy petrol and at the vital moment make sure his vehicles are disabled by switching over the signs on the Petrol pump with the Diesel pump.

**Note to self. Never, ever, borrow a car from any female member of the revolution = there will never be enough fuel in the tank to get further than the nearest service station. Further, avoid the bumbling morons car. It will be filled with the Evil Overlords bugs, trackers and other devices and will never get further than the nearest service station before breaking down (or blowing up).
(73) I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses and the capabilities of my Legions of Terror. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (after saying that, death is usually instantaneous.) Always encourage the Evil Overlord to believe in his own invincibility. Subverting his otherwise reliable and competent psychiatrist is a good start. Sooner or later he WILL utter those fateful words .. "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!"
(74) Shooting is not too good for my enemies. Evil Overlords are rotten shots. So although they have taken to shooting you at every opportunity, they will always miss any vital organs. This suggests an investment in extensive upper & lower body protection (double layer Kevlar and ceramic plate arm and leg protection or the appropriate spells & charms etc) will pay dividends. Whilst arm and leg wounds do not slow you down beyond the initial few moments (and the occasional arm in a sling or limp), receiving multiple hits in each arm & leg must be very painful. Also, you will need to force your companions (especially your chief field commander) to wear their lucky charms, armour and bullet proof vests since their chances of survival always go down dramatically when the Evil Overlord starts shooting - after all, they will inevitably be caught in the cross-fire or feel the need to throw themselves in front of the Overlords arrows, bullets, fire bolts etc. especially those that would never have hit you anyway.
(75) I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament BEFORE having them arrested, tied up, interrogated, imprisoned and beaten or executed.

Whilst gloating may be a basic requirement of any Evil Overlord, it will be performed after I have discovered the true identities of the Revolutionaries and all their secret plans ... and even then, gloating will be strictly limited to the minimum necessary and performed in the privacy of my own Inner Sanctum.
Whilst todays' Overlord no longer indulges in excessive gloating, there will still be many opportunities to observe the Evil Overlord from a distance doing his Evil Deeds.

Often he will be preoccupied-occupied threatening poor, downtrodden but amazingly good looking female villagers or having rough & ready but world-weary old men beaten into making confessions. Although they will always reveal where the Revolutionaries meet, where the weapons are hidden and all that sort of thing, they will never be believed. However they will always command the Evil Overlord's full and undivided personal attention and you will often find yourself accidentally overlooking the scene from a place of concealment. In order to take advantage of the clear opportunity presented on these occasions (such as the back of his head) you must practice with a long-range weapon (such as a snipers rifle or crossbow etc.). Under no circumstances should you jump out of your hiding place first, and if you do feel the urge to shout 'Stop beating that poor (but surprisingly good looking) woman or I fire', only do so AFTER you have pulled the trigger.

NB Note to self. Always shoot the Evil Overlord first .. the nasty looking henchmen actually beating the helpless good looking females will be a lowly minion of no account who will stop as soon as he sees his Overlord is out of the picture. Whatever you do, do NOT ATTACK THE HENCHMAN. He can be dealt with afterwards, if necessary by the Revolutionary 'Forgiveness and Reconciliation' Council (aka the War Crimes Tribunal).
(76) Despite its proved stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's all too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly. Anyway, maniacal laughter is no longer expected of modern Evil Overlords. It's a well know fact that stress shortens lives. So make sure the Evil Overlord suffers from LOTS of stress.
(77) If I manage to recruit the Good Hero's potential allies to my cause, I will not execute their leaders in a fit of rage at the first betrayal, deliberate mishap or partial failure of my plans. Rather I will send a team of newly recruited mercenary assassins to their HQ as 'diplomats' and suggest they invite the Hero to 'cease-fire' talks.

Your allies should be able to convince the Hero to leave his weapons and most of his guards at the front door. In any event, should the Good Hero's personal guards insist on remaining with him, they can be easily distracted .. creating a commotion at the front door before opening fire from the rear should avoid them throwing themselves in front of your assassins bullets.

Your own team of demolition experts should visit the meeting hall weeks in advance. The remote controlled explosives should be detonated as soon as possible after the assassination team confirms the presence of the Hero by starting their attack.

Even though this assassination attempt will assuredly fail, with a bit of luck your allies unreliable leaders will be 'taken out' and you can blame the explosion on the Hero's over-enthusiastic Guards. In any event, this should ensure the allies future loyalty since the Hero will never trust them again.
The Good Hero always has a rotten time convincing the 'authorities' of his own country, let alone any potential allies, of the danger the Evil Overlord represents. They will inevitably turn aside all your warnings of his World Domination plans and no matter what evidence you present of the danger of imminent invasion by the Legions of Terror massing on the borders you will be totally ignored. Indeed, should you start recruiting and training your defence forces BEFORE you own country has fallen to the Evil Overlords Legions, it is entirely possible that your own incompetent moronic childish rulers will spend all their rime and efforts on suppressing their only hope of survival rather than looking at what the Evil Overlord is getting up to.

The proper approach is to avoid all attention by 'the authorities' but by all means make sure that the common foot soldier is aware of the existence of the Resistance and how to join up as soon as their own Generals order them into hopeless battle against the overwhelmingly superior Legions of Terror with the inevitable 'fight to the death' command. Any of your sides own Generals who learn of your existence and express anything other than immediate support should be targeted for some fatal 'training accident' ASAP.

Should a potential ally (or my own 'Government in Exile') ask me to visit them to discuss an alliance, cease-fire etc. and then insist that I leave my Guards & Weapons at the meeting hall door, instead of agreeing to this I will choose one of two alternatives (a) depart immediately and negotiate a new meeting at some neutral location or (b) launch an immediate attack on anyone who looks like the Evil Overlords diplomats or mercenary assassins.

During any (later) meeting with a potential ally, should a sudden commotion start up nearby, I will NOT instruct my personal Guards to leave me and investigate - instead I and half my guards will make an immediate departure by the nearest available exit (in which context, ground floor windows count as exits) whilst the rest act as a rear-guard. Needless to say, I will always leave a few non-ticking briefcases behind.
(78) I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time. To avoid an early overthrow, Evil Overlords have become childless bachelors. Since it will have taken them most of their natural life to achieve Evil Over-lordship (there are no young Evil Overlords) they will always be on the last legs when, as a young child, you first encounter them. In many cases you can avoid unnecessary loss of life among the Revolutionary Forces (and the local inhabitants) by simply waiting for them to reach the end of their natural life (or have a fatal accident) and for their Domain to collapse into civil war (as their henchmen fight over the succession) before starting the actual Revolution.

Of course, most Evil Overlords will have some unnatural means of extending their natural lives, however, if you really do need to end their Reign of Terror at an early stage, arranging an accident for the Evil Overlord is often a lot simpler than you might think, especially when most of his closest advisers and commanders will be only too happy to assist in the process of their own early succession, sometimes even without your prompting.
(79) I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father. It's always worth trying to trace the present location of Evil Overlords past Mistress / Estranged Wife / rejected lover etc. In fact, you should track down all female employees who worked at the Palace and left 'under mysterious circumstances' (especially following a Full Moon, Eclipse of the Sun or Planetary Alignment of any sort). Having tracked them down, make sure to visit all the local for Convents (and Monasteries) to enquire about any mysterious 'foundlings' or 'babes in baskets on the doorstep' taken in during the last 20 years.
(80) No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head. Always temp the Evil Overlord to consume something beyond his capacity to absorb (whilst also poisoning his inferior wine and sending suitcase bombs by 'signed for' special delivery at the earliest opportunity).
(81) I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X. Consider recruiting all local barbers into the revolutionary forces. Make sure they have steady hands and very, very, sharp razors ..
(82) I will not turn into a snake. It never helps. The Revolutionary forces will be trained in the most efficient means of disposing of large snakes, wolf like dogs, large bats (or flocks of smaller ones) and other such animals as a matter of course. Note that discovering the Evil Overlords means of unnatural life extension should be a doddle if his lifestyle involves any sort of animal transformation. In any event, you can be sure it involves obscure and difficult to obtain substances, only available from far away lands and thus delivered by the Postal Service and intercepted by your Revolutionary comrades (either that, or some power source that can be shut off from the Palace central control room).
(83) My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble. The Evil Overlord will want to show off his pet monster before opening the cage door and pushing you in. To create suitable confusion and delay (during which you can make good your inevitable escape), take along a spare padlock with which to seal the cage (before he has a chance to let it out or push you in).
(84) I will treat any beast, which I control through magic or technology, with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge. Don't waste time trying to free the Evil Overlord's pets .. especially as they will be more likely to turn on you than him .. in fact, if you get the opportunity to do away with his favourite pets try to make them terminally ill instead - at the very least it some cause him some level of increased stress.
(85) I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being a bit contrary that day. You should advise all available but totally ineffectual Good Spirits to make as many bargains as possible .. with a bit of luck the Evil Overlord will soon by committed to so many conflicting bargains and deals that he won't know which way to turn .. in any event, the stress of trying to meet all the conflicting demands should help him toward an early grave.
(86) If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army in order to indulge in some macho 'personal combat'.

After months of living rough and evading capture by my Legions, the Hero is likely to be in peak physical condition, whilst after years of banquets every night, I'm likely to be somewhat less fit.
When your long range sharpshooters and snipers are being trained, always make sure they have pictures of the Evil Overlord and his trusted lieutenants to hand .. of course in the heat of battle, anyone on a horse is a prime target (especially anyone hanging around at the back).
(87) I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable super-weapon, my Legions of Terror will use it as early and as often as possible (instead of keeping it in reserve). In hand to hand combat, at some point you will disable/knock out a member of the opposition who will always drop their easily operated super-weapon. MAKE SURE TO PICK IT UP AND USE IT ON THE OTHERS WITHOUT DELAY.
(88) Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual. Always fully train your troops on the correct operation of your weapons, especially the nature of the 'self destruct on next use' setting (aka Little Red Button). NB never, ever, include any information about The Little Red Button in any manual - sooner or later a weapon will be captured and, after reading the manual, some-one will say "I wonder what this Button ..", whilst pressing it firmly. Of course The Little Red button will actually be coloured Green (and perhaps even helpfully labelled 'Safety Switch')
(89) After I capture the Hero's super-weapon, I will not immediately disband my Legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the Hero held the weapon and I took it from him. All major weapons of the revolutionary forces will incorporate an automatic 'self destruct on next use' mechanism. This will be negated by flipping the Red switch marked 'self destruct'. Although not detailed in any Manual or Instruction Book, members of the revolutionary forces who forget this aspect of their training will soon be weeded out of the army. The same goes for any who forget the real function of The Little Green Button marked 'Safety Switch'.
(90) If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner. Try to avoid cornering the Evil Overlord within his own Palace - there will always be some handy secret panel & escape tunnel etc. nearby. Much better to lure him out and deal with him on your own territory. If you must tackle him in his own Palace, then, needless to say, any Gasses or Poisons employed by the Good Hero must be 100% deadly - 'knock-out drops' and 'sleeping gas' are unreliable and typically result in the Evil Overlord recovering and escaping at the most inappropriate moment - (such as just BEFORE the self-destruct / explosive hidden in the wine cellar goes off).
(91) I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage. Make sure all competent psychiatrists in the Evil Overlords realm are aware of the Revolutionary aims. Eventually one will find themselves with a mysterious new patient, Mr. E. Overlord, who may be helped toward a permanent 'cure' (perhaps by re-reinforcing his belief in his own invincibility)
(92) I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better save my life again. Any member of the Revolutionary forces who is discovered to have saved the Evil Overlords life will be sent in to have a nice short chat with him. They will, of course, be provided with a well packed (but non-ticking) briefcase .
(93) If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable super-weapon on them. If your forces are being routed by the Evil Overlords personally operated super weapon and the opportunity presents itself, get your companions to join you around a strange device taunting him whilst some-one sneaks around behind him. Make sure they are trained to fire as soon as they get a clear shot at the back of his head no matter what discussions are taking place between the Evil Overlord and the Good Hero - for sure there will be none of this 'Surrender or I fire' nonsense..
(94) If I am fighting with the Hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he was looking at. When fighting the Evil Overlord, if you need to distract him, make a significant glance over his head and pretend to duck .. as he throws himself to the ground you should be able to get in a couple of (hopefully eventually lethal) blows, stabs, shots etc. before making good your escape. NB. See notes about the use of wrist straps.
(95) If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff = the question of what to do if he runs across a wildly swinging rope-bridge suspended over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering. To guarantee your escape, always choose a route that takes you over a steep drop - the Evil Overlord will never pursue .

Note to self. All modern weapons will be equipped with a shoulder / wrist strap, and these can, and will, be fitted to any older items. These straps exist for a very good reason, so USE THEM - and always carry a spare to attach to any captured hand weapon that comes without one.
(96) I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure. If any of your forces find themselves in front of crucial supports below which the Overlord is hiding, they should take the first offered opportunity to shoot out said supports.
(97) I will never use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the Sacred Altar of Amon within the Pyramid of Fear during the once in 5,000 year Planetary Alignment then activate the Medallion of Control at the moment of Total Eclipse whilst spilling the Blood of a Virgin at the feet of Death Incarnate". Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button (or light the fuse etc.) and stand (well) back."

If, for some obscure but valid reason, a Human Sacrifice really is necessary, I will obtain a 'volunteer' of no-account from Death Row well in advance and not attempt to press the daughter / wife / sister of my chief lieutenant / main ally into the role at the last moment, although if all else fails that would still be preferable to expecting the Hero (or his female companion) to take on the role.
When it comes to 'final effect' devices, plainly any delivered to the Overlord should have the 'On' button wired directly to the 'Self Destruct' function (it's not as if he is going to test it before the appointed time).
(98) I will make sure that my Doomsday Device is up to code and properly grounded. If all else fails, remember that any "doomsday device" belonging to the Evil Overlord can be simply disabled by pulling the power plug from the wall socket. Any that are self powered can be stopped by cutting the red wire. Any device with a mechanical 'count down' can be stopped by jamming the clock's second hand with bent pin, a bit of gum or some other easy to hand item.
(99) If my Doomsday Device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be set to Self Destruct, melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins. Infiltrate the Evil Overlords weapon manufacturers. On any reversible effect weapon, swap the labels of the 'Activate Reverse' and 'Self Destruct' buttons before it is delivered .. in fact, the real 'Self Destruct' circuits should be removed 'just in case' (after all, it's not as if the Overlord is ever going to test it before pressing the button 'for real').
(100) If a group of Henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again. Don't make the Legions of Terror look foolish or incompetent - this will only lead to improved training and thus increased effectiveness. Instead create the impression that they are invincible. This should soon lead to budget cuts in the training department. They will soon become complacent and consider you totally ineffective. Your superbly executed final attack will then come as a total surprise - with half of them frozen with shock and rest having no idea what to do next, this should help avoid any unnecessary deaths among your forces.
(101) If my weakest troops fail to eliminate the Hero's forces, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress. Your forces must try to avoid contact with the Evil Overlords forces .. have your companions slaughter his weakest and most incompetent troops and then avoid the replacements at all costs. Whilst they are decoying his best troops miles away from anywhere, you can be sneaking into his realm to observe his evil deeds. With a bit of luck, you may soon find some vantage point that allows an uninterrupted view of the back of his head.
(102) If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard and with a bit of luck can be convinced to leave you to get on with World Domination for months at a time). Avoid any personal communication with the Evil Overlord .. employ a worldly wise cynical old veteran to do your negotiating for you and exit the premises. Whilst your chief negotiator keeps the Overlord talking with promises to stop hounding him in exchange for the release of all political prisoners, a free holiday for all, return of confiscated property, pensions for invalided veterans etc. etc, you can be moving to position that gives you a better view of the back of his head ..
(103) If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the Hero is scheduled to go first. No matter who is scheduled to be executed first, you will always be given plenty of time to talk to follow prisoners. You will also have no problem convincing any failed underling to throw himself at the Evil Overlord's guards in a vain attempt to avoid the inevitable .. during the resulting confusion you will always escape.
(104) Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel machines. Should the Revolutionary Forces obtain control of a time travel device, something fatal will be arranged for the Evil Overlord that will not become apparent until the day AFTER he has had all the time travel devices destroyed ...

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