First off all… all politicians are evil.
Some are not evil, but those seem to be ineffectual. Not only Marxists, but also The Six appear like that. Unfortunately, that just looks all too life-like...
Speaking of which… Shaya and Vamon weren’t the real threat, but Mother Utana was.
They're all parts of a single conspiracy in Azadi ruling elite created by Prophet to further his own goals. We can call them the Kill-Magic Party. All of them (that we know of) were quite a threat throughout the story.
And even by themselves, seemingly without direct help or explicit commands from Utana, Sahya and Vamon killed and sent to concentration camps enough people. That includes April Ryan. When our PCs have to hide in Marcuria, it's usually from troops responding to those two. They also were preparing their own coup within Azadi empire separately from Kill-Magic Party; that was most likely to turn out bloody, with more violence and death of innocents. They weren't the smartest or most effective of villains, and they didn't survive their own folly. But why weren't they a real threat?
Roper Klacks wasn’t the Prophet, but Brian Westhouse was.
That was kinda obvious from the very prologue of the Dreamfall TLJ, and further supported by White Dragon death scene. So little surprise here. It would made less sense for the Prophet to be Klacks.
There were lots of character who weren't as important as they believed they were.
From the very beginning Dreamfall was a story of the 3 PCs fighting against the Dream Thief. The plot was long and convoluted, as befits TLJ games. Twists and red herrings came and went in abundance. But the basic
structure remained the same all the time, and it's always been noticeable. And since one side threatens to remake or destroy the world, and the other is a bunch of Chosen Ones that save it, everybody else have to be the support cast.
Some, like Sahya and Vamon, preferred to think that they are the Chosen Ones. Well, no such luck. Even if you share the point of view by Cortez that you must choose yourself for heroic deeds, thinking so obviously isn't enough. And again, that shouldn't be much of a surprise for us, when we know all powers and personalities involved.
Samantha Gillmore and the Twins didn't even return this time around.
That really was a pity. But it somehow makes sense that conspiracies to destroy/remake two worlds are above her competence...
Shaya and Vamon barely made any impact.
So much work of driving the plot, so little recognition...
Not everyone can be the Big Bad Boss! Not everyone is content to be a mere mook!
Seriously, though, they just got a little too big cutscenes of their own in Chapters. In Dreamfall TLJ, they don't even look that important.
So let me see if I got this right...
- Gillmore and WATI just wanted to sell toys and got to play with Eigana I for a little while.
In Dreamfall TLJ, wasn't it shown that they also wanted to control minds of all the Stark population for fun and profit? Profit includes stuff like advertising programmed into the subconscious. Fun includes penetrating and eating people minds from inside.
- The EYE / Political groups wanted control.
Hardly. I remember only 2 political groups really striving for control: Kill-Magic Party and the sect from the original TLJ. The parties from Europolis didn't look for actual control over anything, they looked for better deal to sell themselves to EvilMegaCorps. The EYE, just like the Azadi guards, didn't decide anything, they're just mooks, the pawns of the real villains.
- JIVA and Chang wanted to reshape reality using Eigana II. Fooled WATI into making them seem relevant.
But in the times of Alvin Peats, the situation appeared to be reversed. Back then, EYEs and blackops were a threat to Helena Chang, not the other way around. It's Samantha Gilmore who lost all the initiative.
- There is also the White Lady who talked to Faith. Could that be Chang? Doesn't really line up.
What does that have to do with villains? It's much more likely to be the White Dragon Junior. Or her ghost.
Or maybe April's ghost, the one we meet in book 5... Kinda white-looking too...
- Hileriss wanted to get elected in the City Watch and become a prominant politcal figure. Also killing magicals.
Seems so. But killing magicals was the first priority.
- Shaya wanted to overthrow the Prophet with Vamon and take control. Shaya also believed they were doing the work of the Godess.
- Vamon wanted to overthrow the Prophet with Shaya and take control.
They were the middle management of the Kill-Magic Party. They thought that they did all the hard work while the higher-ups sat in Sadir enjoying all the benefits. So they also planned to overthrow the higher-ups. Shaya did all that because it's right and proper and the will of the Goddess, and she wanted to either rule or perish with Vamon. Vamon did all that because it's macho and politically proficient, and he wanted to rule, optionally with Sahya.
- Klacks wanted power as promised to him by the Prophet.
He did. All his reform from Dreamfall TLJ was a lie.
- Utana wanted... I'm not really sure what Utana wanted in the end. She seemed confused about the whole killing magicals thing.
She seems to be the nominal head of the Kill-Magic Party. Or at least one of its Azadi leaders back in Sadir. So she's on board with all they did because For the Greater Good. Since she survives, so does the Kill-Magic Party; in the end, she wants to continue doing the same horrible stuff and use her political influence to ensure it done. Otherwise, who will bring the Greater Good to Azadi people? When Kian leaves to Sadir accompanied by Saga, it seems that she will be their new opponent, but I'm not sure. Sequel material! But we don't expect any sequel At least the life goes on in Arcadia.
- Brian wanted reunification and eridicate magicals.
It seems that hosting Undreaming for prolonged periods drives humans insane, damages their rational thinking and induces paranoia (both known hosts talk and behave like that). Westhouse said that he wanted all that things. He worked towards all that. But were any of that really needed? Did he really need to go to Stark? Why reunification was the only way, when Saga-level shifter could do the job, and the Undreaming could be safely stashed in a crystal? Also, eradicating magicals is definitely only a means to an end for him. The only thing I'm sure he wanted was to end his own suffering. By destroying things that he thought made him suffer.
- The Yaga wanted to be known and feared, they turned out to be an unncessary evil.
- The Undreaming had ambitions and wanted to destroy, but then was shown by Zoe/Lux that balance was necessary.
Those two are more like inevitable forces of nature than dedicated conscious evil powers. Yaga, for instance, is the manifestation of human ability to abuse power (in Arcadia - the magical power, since it's the most important there). Try to get rid of that, ha. So you don't destroy them, you adapt to them.
Undreaming turns out to be mostly like Saga, I think I didn't see it to show any evil ambition by itself, it all came out of the hosts that didn't look sane. It only wanted to get out of the boring Storytime where Lux and Vagabond, who just didn't understand him, kept him locked. To walk around the real worlds, have fun, do what it does best! Unlike Saga, it turned out that for it the real worlds sucked, all the people who he could play with became boring kind of crazy, and if it did its best (break realities, so easy), it no more had realities to play in. So it let Lux to talk it into going back into Storytime. At least there will be juicy unused past dreams to chew on.
- Then there is... the Goddess as well, I think. Was she the ghost in the machine that talked to Crow?
Again, is she even evil? Many evil is commited by zealots in her name, but she is also the reason why Kian and Hami both outright reject the sadistic concentration camp experiments.
As for who talked to Crow, that's magic and so will remain a mystery. Many candidates come to mind, April and White Dragon again being most likely.
It's eh... kinda messy and not all of it makes sense to me yet. For example: why would it be important for WATI to coincide with the completion of the Tower? The completion of the Tower also seemed to have been moved ahead from 3 months after Dreamfall to 1.5 years.
Both computers had to operate simultaneously in both worlds, because the merge had to alter both worlds. And Westhouse insisted that he has to merge the twin worlds. The most likely reason, I think, is paranoia.
About the 3 month mark form Dreamfall TLJ... Well... at such scale, retcons can happen. It's hardly very important. But we can also think that it wasn't a full launch, just some test of the Engine. After all, the dream vortex was in place even in the time of April visit, which is even earlier, and why there would be a vortex without the Engine working? It shuts down in book 5 when the Engine is no more.
The test launch could be needed to check the quality of the groundwork prepared by Grubbers, so Grubbers could be exterminated after that, lowering the overall magic background level.