Anyone who is a true Final Fantasy fan is certainly no stranger to unbelievable atrocities. In truth, each game has some sort of cataclysmic, or would-be apocalyptic event going on that the protagonists must go out of their way to stop. Typically this event is based on some being or even the collective spirit of a planet’s desire to start over, devoid of the human race. That should be no surprise. The human race has long been a plague above, below, and on the surface of the Earth: destroying it (not so slowly) with mining, harvesting, industry, and urban development.
So ultimately, it is difficult to point at some of these events and truly call them atrocities, given just how deserving the human race is of annihilation to the keepers of the planet. That being said, however, humanity will always (as Hollywood has endeavoured to teach), sacrifice much to be the little species that could. Winning out over protectors of the planet, vowing to change how things are done, and give back to the world… this seldom truly happens in any story arc.
Either way, there are some incredible antagonists throughout the Final Fantasy universe, and they commit, however deserving humankind might be, some deeply atrocious acts. Yes, there are always some less significant villains who are simply vying for power, and do horrible things, but they are pawns, typically, in a much larger game.
15. Garland’s Chaos
The first and foremost bit of villainy here is based on one knight’s desire for eternal life, and surprisingly has nothing to do with the destruction of the world… necessarily. Making a deal with the Four Fiends, the Cornelian knight Garland creates a time loop, sending the Fiends two thousand years into the future to drain the four elemental crystals of their power. Consequently the world does begin to fall apart as the four crystals contain the power to keep the Earth alive and healthy, but this is not truly anything to do with Garland’s game plan. Ultimately, the idea is that, no matter how many times he is beaten, having merged with the Four Fiends to become Chaos, he will return, because of the two thousand year old loop that he started. That being said, perhaps he didn’t expect the four keepers of the crystals to be able to travel time to face off with him in his terrifying Chaos form, but there it is. Of course he ultimately fails to remain eternal, but Garland’s wish for everlasting life caused the Earth to wither and decay, caused the torment of many peoples, and almost cost the entire world everything.
14. Adam’s Time Loop
Another interesting time-loopy character here, the man-made fal’Cie, Adam. This odd-looking, and odd-functioning (as with everything in the FF XIII storylines) mechanical bit of sentient AI, might seem like a positive piece of machinery at the very first. Tasked with the protection of the city of Academia, and meant to eventually re-levitate Cocoon when and if its crystal pillar would weaken, Adam should come across as a good thing. Of course that’s when one doesn’t consider the master and slave relationship that fal’Cie have with their little human l’Cie. Chosen by the fal’Cie, the l’Cie are given great power, and ultimately a focus that, once completed, allows them to be consumed by their overwhelmingly powerful master. Now take into consideration that this fal’Cie Adam was man made, unlike its supernatural brethren, though it still thrives on the consumption of humans, and deems all life forms dangerous to its survival… one might say there’s an issue. Especially since Adam’s end game is to send itself back in time to when it was first activated, and simply live in a realm of created replicas, unhindered by the squabbling of humanity.
13. Kefka’s Hatred
The sociopathic, psycho clown who harbours a hatred for all things… sounds like a good way to start out some heinous acts. “What’s the fun in destruction when there are no ‘precious’ lives lost?”, Kefka has been quoted saying. Though there is a key difference between the Japanese and international releases of FFVI, from which Kefka comes, his main goal is clear in both: shatter the very bonds of existence. In the Japanese version, Kefka is more a man-child, enjoying playing with his toys (being the people he controls and kills), and in the international release he is more mature, and darker, achieving the same diabolical ends. It’s hard to pin point one heinous act with this maniac, as he spend the game siphoning the power from espers, killing dozens of them single-handedly. In addition, he makes himself a god and smites those who don’t acknowledge his rule; obliterating at least half a dozen towns full of people. Tack on to the end of all of this that he sometimes just simply finds it fun to kill… well why not just let him sum it up: “Read my lips— mercy is for wimps! There’s a reason ‘oppose’ rhymes with ‘dispose’… If they get in your way, kill them!”
12. Kuja’s Mortality
Kuja is a genome project, created by the ruler of the dead planet of Terra, Garland (a name one may recall). Garland’s ultimate plan; his final solution, is to assimilate the planet of Gaia with the planet of Terra by replacing the Gaian souls with Terran ones, essentially repopulating his ravaged world. To accelerate the process, Garland created Kuja and sent him to ignite war so the souls of Gaia could be done away with faster. Thus, it is Kuja’s nature to incite death. Though he is one hell of an instigator, Kuja enjoys living lavishly, and with a great deal of opulence. That is until he discovers that he is, in fact, mortal. Believing for so long that he as eternal and could enjoy the party forever, the knowledge of his mortality, given him by Garland who thought it too difficult to control Kuja, drives him insane. He resolves that if he cannot go on, then the rest of the world should not be able to go on. So apart from inciting war, Kuja aspires to kill… everyone. “Ugh! I’m gonna die anyway. I won’t have to be afraid anymore. But I’m not gonna die alone. You’re all coming with me!”
11. Meteor Falls
Of course there has to be more than one heinous act on here from the magnificent Sephiroth, but here is number one. With that typical Final Fantasy feel that humanity is a poison on the Earth that must be dished an antidote, Sephiroth summons a meteor to come and annihilate all life, so that he and his “mother” Jenova may begin again. Now never mind all of the other things he’s done up to the point of meteor coming to the planet, the gigantic ball of fire does actually begin to deal a great deal of damage before Holy finally dispels the horror that Sephiroth sought to bring to all. That being said, there are some who are of a mind that Holy did not only cure the planet of meteor, but of humanity as well. Of course if one takes Advent Children as a true continuance from the FFVII game, then it’s a no-go theory, but after the credits of FFVII, Nanaki and his children climb a ridge and look down upon an overgrown Midgar, not a human in site. This author would like to believe that, for a change, nature won out, and the collective life force of the planet cured the planet of its biggest issue: humanity. It makes it a much more definitive story, and it gets people up in arms about how heinous a thought that is, let alone the action itself.
10. Necron Brings Absolutely Nothing
“You stand before the final dimension, and I am the darkness of eternity…” says Necron, the embodiment of death in FFIX. After Kuja’s defeat, near the end of the game, Necron appears, seeking to reduce absolutely everything to absolute nothingness. Taking that theme of destroying humanity, and putting it on crack, Necron, being the representation of death itself, looks to reduce everything to before the big bang, essentially… or before there was anything to set off the big bang… nothing. Necron seeks to destroy the Crystal (much like the four crystals of FFI), the origin of life, reverting everything to a “Zero World” of perpetual nothingness; an existence that would be without the fear of death… of course it would also just be a non-existence because there would be neither life nor death. There’s not much really to say about this character as there is nothing (pun intended) to its story other than death, and it appears so late in the game, there’s no time, nor any real need, for development of character.
9. Orphan Searches For God
In a quest for god (essentially), the fal’Cie Orphan seeks to summon Ragnarok in order to bring about the destruction of Cocoon, to open Etro’s Gate, and supposedly bring about the return of the Maker. Considering that Orphan is the entire source of Cocoon’s power, and Cocoon is itself a North America-sized, fully populated planetoid hovering above the more densely populated land of Gran Pulse… it seems to be that the purposeful destruction of one, may very well lead to the annihilation of all. Of course, this being a clear Final Fantasy trope, it should come as no surprise, but the reasoning for doing it is certainly a new one. The hope to bring back that creator. The Maker created the fal’Cie, and the fal’Cie, hoping to find a way back to the Maker, created the l’Cie. In spite of that aforementioned master/slave relationship, Orphan simply looks to bypass and sacrifice all l’Cie for the chance to be reunited with the Maker.
8. Sector Seven Falls
Now to be fair to AVALANCHE, the destruction of Sector 7 isn’t entirely their fault. They were simply trying to save the people of the slums from the tyranny of the Shinra Corporation, and in so doing brought the wrath of Shinra down upon them, and the people of Sector 7 (literally brought the wrath down on them). Now realistically, Shinra intended to rid themselves of the slums anyway, and were able to easily make it look like it was the fault of AVALANCHE, which was aided by the group’s own feelings of guilt. But either way, the actions of Shinra had been slowly killing all of those people, and the planet for some time. Yes the swift actions of AVALANCHE did result, of course, in the death of some innocents, but the destruction of Sector 7 was not actually their fault. While this is a smaller scale Final Fantasy disaster, the destruction of the Sector 7 plate: killing the wealthy above, and crushing the poor below, is still a heinous act, for sure.
7. Sephiroth Torches Nibelheim
The most famous of all Final Fantasy villains, to be sure, Sephiroth has committed… a few heinous acts in his time. To be fair, his going mad is at least understandable, though his subsequent actions are not so much. Focusing on only one, and perhaps one of the least destructive incidences, when Sephiroth discovers his origins, and first goes mad… he gets a little spark happy. In his rage, discovering that he is an alien experiment, used as a super soldier, Sephiroth sets Nibelheim ablaze, torching most of its inhabitants. In addition to this, he also slaughters Tifa Lockhart’s father as he tries to stop him from destroying the town, and releasing Jenova. During this same incident, he also kills Aeris’ boyfriend Zack (who was the actual Soldier First Class whom Cloud impersonated). Nearly killing Tifa, and Cloud, Sephiroth ends up falling into a vat of Mako with his mother Jenova. Ultimately this does not end the terror of either Sephiroth or Jenova, but it certainly ends a good many, innocent people.
6. Shuyin’s Silliness And Sadness
So besides the fact that FFX and FFX2 are among the worst of the Final Fantasy franchise, Shuyin, who was once a “blitzball” player (which makes both he and the sport sound lame), returns as an evil spirit. The irresponsible little scamp, deciding to take a war into his own hands, delves deep into the chambers of Zanarkand to unleash the Magnagun: an ultimate weapon that could end the war. However the gun is unable to distinguish friend from foe, so… silly idea to begin with. Given that the gun was off limits, he was of course followed. His lover made it to him first, perhaps to stop him, and as they embrace, they are both shot, by their own people, for trespassing near this weapon. Besides that ludicrous story being heinous enough, Shuyin comes back, driving people mad, and to murder with his grief and despair. Ultimately his plan, aside from the mass amounts of slaughter he already incites by simply hovering about as a shadow, is to unleash the Magnagun at long last, destroying the entire world of FFX… perhaps the only crime here is that he failed to rid us of that specific FF world.
The name of this creature might be a bit on the nose, and the fears of the general populace, driving them to faith also might be a bit much, but not much is to be expected from the FFX series. This giant, whale-like beast torments the inhabitants of Spira throughout the entirety of the story, the whole while people thinking it’s because of their hedonistic societies. Realistically, a thousand years before, during war times, Yu Yevon gathered a bunch of zealots, turned them into husks, and used their essence for a summoning ritual of a Dream Zanarkand out in the ocean, protected forever by Sin. This creature would also happen to attack any civilization that got too large or dependent on technology. The summoning of the city, and the maintenance of the creature proved too much for Yu Yevon who himself became little more than a husk, as Sin was then unleashed, able to wreak havoc anywhere, at any time it jolly well pleased. Though Yu Yevon is technically the final boss of the game, the true enemy is Sin… and not those “immoral” acts people seek forgiveness for.
4. Snow Villiers
That’s right. Snow Villiers. Having ruled Yusnaan for over five hundred years, Snow, having lost his love, drives himself into a maudlin state over his inability to have saved Serah. Besides how morose his simply helping out for preparations for the end of the world is, his moping about is just as pitiful. Lightning appears and Snow basically throws himself at her, hoping for her to do the job he refuses to do himself. She finds his actions just as pitiful, but still offers to finish him if he needs help doing away with the ridiculous tragedy his life has become. That being said she escapes, and meets Snow later on, where he shows Lightning his intention to absorb the Chaos infusion, which turns him into a mindless Cie’th. The ridiculous, and heinous act here is that, though Snow was once a great warrior and leader, he lets himself, and his people down, all for the loss of a love he gains again by the end of Lightning Returns anyway. Of course he doesn’t know that will happen, but it’s interesting to see what people might think to be more heinous: the overly happy ending, or the horrible transformation of Snow.
3. The Emperor’s Reign
“You have braved the bowels of Hell to reach me. But the hand of man, which deals in false justice and forsaken love, can never hope to defeat the lord master of Hell!” Just to give an idea of what this guy is like. And realistically, he’s not only the lord master of Hell. He split his soul in twain to become the master of both Heaven and Hell. The Emperor’s ultimate goal is world domination, and he begins his campaign by unleashing demons from Hell, subduing, quite certainly, several kingdoms, one after the other. Not even the beginning of his onslaught, he then releases a cyclone that lays waste to the towns of Paloom, Altair, Gatrea, and Poft. He is defeated shortly thereafter, but that was likely purposefully done on his part. After he is supposedly killed, the Emperor confronts and kills Satan to fully control the power of Hell, raising Pandaemonium to the surface, continuing his slaughter and domination.
2. Vayne Solidor’s Family Slaughter
Ok, so apart from ruling an empire like a complete tyrant, disbanding the senate, and attempting to make his rule absolute, Vayne Solidor is a completely horrible human being. By command from his father, for fear of being overthrown, Vayne took it upon himself to murder his two older brothers. Commanded by his father to kill his two older brothers and to protect his younger brother. He certainly did murder the first two, and ended up not protecting the latter quite well enough. Nor did he protect his father well enough (unless one suspects Vayne for the murder of his father as well). Losing his entire family, at least half of which by his own hand, Vayne does everything in his power to keep the name of Solidor alive, and ruling the empire. To do this, there is a whole lot of political leverage regarding the loyalty of judges, in addition to a whole mess of executions, ordered on the spot, by the oh-so-benevolent Vayne Solidor.
1. Zemus The Mind & Zeromus The Spirit
First off, Zemus is a Lunarian who had aspirations of dominating Earthlings. The rest of the Lunar population wanted to wait until humanity evolved to a point where they were able to coexist, but as anyone knows, humanity evolving socially to a point of acceptance of anything different takes hundreds of years. Zemus was forced into a deep slumber, but his mind able to remain awake began probing ways to realize his goals. Able to control minds remotely, Zemus inhabits a Lunarian, and forces him to unleash the Giant of Babil, whose sole purpose is to eradicate humankind. After a significant amount of devastation, the giant is brought down, and the men who destroy go after the slumbering Zemus. The mind of the slumbering Lunarian taunts the men into killing him, and in so doing, they release his spirit, becoming the even more powerful Zeromus. Summoning a meteor to destroy the party of attackers it takes the prayers of Earthlings to give the party enough strength to defeat Zeromus. Though he claims as long as there is hatred in the hearts of people, he lives eternal. “Evil is evolution at its purest…”