Final Fantasy Friday: Creating a Villain
Happy Good Friday!
On the last Friday of the month, I like to take some time to geek out about my favorite video game franchise, Final Fantasy.
I'm replaying FFIX, and I just passed the point where Garland, the overseer of Terra tells his beta-doll Kuja that he created him with a time limit until MC Zidane grew strong enough to carry out the mission to make Gaia habitable for the Terrans (through war and destruction). As if Kuja wasn't already mad that Garland created Zidane (he threw him off the ship on their way to Gaia, so Zidane didn't have any memory of his origin or mission), so when he heard that he was going to die, he SNAPPED and destroyed Terra in a matter of seconds.
So this brings me to the topic today: creating a villain. Many of the villains in the Final Fantasy games were created by the people around them. Kuja was already pretty bad, but in his case he was literally created to be. Learning there was a caveat just made it worse, and in the end, he redeemed himself.
FFVII had Sephiroth, who was actually pretty chill until he thought humans destroyed his people. That's when he snapped and destroyed Nibelheim. Had he not thought he was an Ancient, his story would've been totally different. Crazy enough, he might've been a main character in what would be a totally different game! We saw a little of that in Crisis Core with Genesis as the main villain. He wasn't as powerful as Sephiroth, and that irked him.
FFVIII has Ultimecia, and going off of the Ultimecia is Rinoa theory I shared during 2016's A to Z Challenge, Ultimecia wouldn't have existed had SEED not killed Squall in the future. Rinoa never would have become Ultimecia and tried to kill all SEED. She wanted revenge.
Though I didn't talk about Seymour in FFX during that challenge and while he wasn't the main villain, he was trying to reach that because of the bullying he experienced being half human and half Guado. He never felt good enough, and so he strove to be better than everyone else and show them up with force.
Most recently was Ardyn from FFXV, who was supposed to be King of Lucis in his time, but they used his soul to absorb demons, so he became corrupted and was cast out for it. Of all of the villains, I think he was the most justified in his reasoning to destroy Lucis. Like Kuja, you can't use people as test dummies and not expect them to snap when you try to discard them.
I could play with "What if" scenarios all day with these five games. Just imagine the possibilities! I'm actually imagining an FFVII with Sephiroth, Zack, and Cloud as a team, and that would've been really interesting. Or an FFIX where Kuja, you know, didn't throw Zidane off the ship, and Dagger as the main character trying to stop them.
Sounds like I should work on some Alternate Universe stories, huh? ... Hm...
Have a great weekend!