5 underappreciated FINAL FANTASY villains

VILLAINS WEEK: They may not be the most famous threats in the series, but they’re still worthy of respect
By Duncan Heaney
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When you think about FINAL FANTASY villains, your mind probably turns to the big bads - the Sephiroths, the Kefkas or the Chaoses.

But the FINAL FANTASY series is packed full of secondary antagonists that are just as compelling as the headliners.

So to kick off Villains Week here on the Square Enix blog, we wanted to swing the spotlight onto some of the FINAL FANTASY baddies that we think don’t get as much love as they should.


Zorn and Thorn - FINAL FANTASY IX

The heroes of FINAL FANTASY IX face many threats over the course of their adventure, but these red and blue miscreants are two of the nastiest.

They’re court jesters for Queen Brahne (also a terrific villain), and although their wacky banter can raise a smile, their actions are no laughing matter.

Zorn and Thorn are responsible for overseeing the deadly Black Waltz mages that harass Zidane and the gang throughout the early parts of the game, they participate in a brutal invasion of another country… and that’s not even the worst of it.

Not only are they cruel, they’re also cowardly. They flee at the first signs of trouble, and prove willing to shift allegiances on the fly. The more we discover about their true nature, the more sinister the duo become.

They may not be the headline act when it comes to FINAL FANTASY IX’s bad guys, but they’re certainly a memorable support.


LeBlanc - FINAL FANTASY X-2

It’s probably a bit strong to call LeBlanc a villain in the true sense. She’s not that bad compared to some other ne'er-do-wells on this list, but she’s still a criminal that continually antagonises the heroes through much of FINAL FANTASY X-2.

Like the Gullwings, Yuna, Rikku and Paine, LeBlanc is a sphere-hunter. She travels the world collecting valuable relics. Unlike the Gullwings, however, LeBlanc doesn’t have many scruples about how she achieves her goals.

For example, she steals from our heroes more than once. She abuses her subordinates over and over again. She even impersonates Yuna in an attempt to ruin her reputation.

Also she calls our heroes the ‘Dullwings’ - words hurt, LeBlanc!


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Ultros - FINAL FANTASY VI

Ultros is a giant octopus with an even bigger chip on his shoulder (well, tentacle).

The cranky cephalopod pops up again and again throughout the game, each time trying a new tactic to get a leg up (well, a tentacle up) on his enemies.

he first time he meets the game’s heroes, he just wants to eat them. After his inevitable defeat, however, his motivations shift. As the saying goes… this time it’s personal.

Each time he meets the Returners, he has a wacky new scheme to take them down, from theatrical accidents to bringing a friend along to lend a hand (well, lend a tentacle). And every time he fails, he becomes more determined to triumph next time.

That’s what makes Ultros such a great baddie - he simply doesn’t know when to quit. So let’s all take a minute to appreciate him for the wonderful villain he is. Give him a big hand folks!

Well, a big tentacle.


Spiritus - DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT

We know a lot of you are having fun battling each other online with DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Free Edition, but if you take some time to dig into the story, you’ll find a pretty interesting villain in Spiritus.

Some antagonists are naturally evil, others are forged by tragedy or circumstance. But Spiritus is the villain through choice.

In DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT, the world is sustained by energy created from battle. Spiritus understands that conflict must be instigated for the sake of not only his own survival, but everyone’s.

That doesn’t mean he’s particularly noble - he’s still a narcissistic jerk who insists on showing off his chest at all times. Plus he wants to rule the world - classic villain motivation right there. But he’s at least shown to be fairly reasonable and pragmatic over the course of the story mode.

Not a traditional villain then, but anyone who can get type-A personalities like Garland and Sephiroth to do what he wants is worthy of respect.


Professor Hojo - FINAL FANTASY VII

FINAL FANTASY VII has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to compelling bad guys. Sephiroth gets most of the attention, but you also have Rufus ShinRa, the Turks, Heidegger, Scarlet… the list goes on.

But you could make an argument that the most truly villainous character in the whole FINAL FANTASY VII saga is Professor Hojo.

If there was an award for mad scientists, Hojo would walk away with it. Actually, he’d probably create some sort of super-powered abomination and that would walk away with it, set fire to it, and murder everyone around.

When we say he’s mad, we mean it - the first time AVALANCHE meets him, he’s performing… questionable experiments on Aerith, and a brief look round his lab reveals that’s not even the worst of it.

The team encounters him again and again throughout the adventure, and the more they find out, the more horrifying he becomes. Let’s just say he’s not so big on ethics.


Those are just a few of the FINAL FANTASY villains we love to hate - but bad guys don’t get enough love in your opinion? Give us your suggestions in the comments, or via our social media channels.

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solo-ion
One of my favourite villains is Genesis from Crisis Core. Who else recites lines from his favourite play during his speeches.
Claudija
@reasonesque - I find Ultros a riot xD. I mean a crazy, pervy octopus is always a win; add in a lucky yet incompetent inspector and it's hilarious xD
Claudija
It never ceases to surprise me how little love you guys give your only leading lady this week; Ultimecia. Think about it heh, the only female lead antagonist, best end boss fight in Final Fantasy and unlike all the others mentioned- holds her kards klose. We see glimpses of her but, just like the xenomorph; not meet the Sorceress until the very end. She turns the world on itself, kompresses time and still we know practically nothing about her. Give her some love you guys xD
Duncan_H_SE
@reasonesque - You can't ever rate a belligerent octopus high enough IMO.
reasonesque
You kidding me? Ultros totally is having his time in FFXIV 2.4 patch! lol