Monster / Final Fantasy

Kefka poisoning Doma's river, against his commander's orders.

Kefka Palazzo: I will destroy everything... I will create a monument to non-existence!
Party Member: Life will go on! There will always be people, and dreams!
Kefka: No! I will hunt them down. I will destroy it all! Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!!
Party Member: We won't let you harm another living being!
Kefka: Hee-hee-hee! But what's the fun in destruction if there are no "precious" lives lost?

Here are the most head-explodingly evil characters in the Final Fantasy series.
Main Series and Associated Games
  • Final Fantasy II: Emperor Mateus, the primary villain, is the ruler of Palamecia. A tyrant defined by his arrogance and greed, Mateus unleashes the Legions of Hell to attack the innocent peoples of the world and aid him in his quest of total global domination, seeking to destroy all those who won't submit themselves to his iron-fisted rule. In order to remove the threat of the island of Deist and their Wyvern-riding warriors, the Dragoons, Mateus poisoned the Wyverns' water supply, wiped out the creatures, then exterminated the weakened Dragoons. He also enslaved the peoples of Salamand and Bafsk, the latter of which he forced to construct the Dreadnought, an air warship which he uses to rain death upon cities that oppose him. Following the Dreadnought's destruction, Mateus instead uses a massive Cyclone to completely obliterate the towns of Paloom, Altair, Gatrea and Poft, killing all within. Dying in the attempt to wipe out Fynn as well, Mateus's soul was split into a dark half and a light half. The dark half conquered hell, returned to the world of the living, murdered the last Dragoon, Ricard, and revealed his new intention to destroy the world with his newfound power. Meanwhile, Mateus's light half seized the throne of heaven, and, after briefly pretending to be a pure being to tempt the souls of four heroes who had died in the war against him, vows to grant them eternal suffering once they realize the light half of Mateus's soul is just as evil as his dark half.
  • Final Fantasy IV: Zemus, the true Big Bad, was The Corrupter of, and the man behind, Golbez. Zemus was was the only Lunarian (of which Cecil and Golbez are each half-Lunarian) pushing to conquer earth, resulting in him being forced by his own people to fall into a millennium-long coma to allow humanity to evolve until the two could coexist peacefully together. Even in this state, he is still capable of manipulating Golbez to carry out his unsettlingly extreme dreams of an all-Lunarian utopia, which involves not only committing the atrocities throughout the entire game, but also using the artificial abomination Giant of Babil capable of dealing massive amounts of racially-based genocide on a global scale. Besides Golbez, Zemus also manipulates Kain during his fight with Cecil, who has turned into a paladin. It is also strongly implied that Zemus was responsible for the brainwashing of the four essences' incarnations, thus being responsible for the atrocities committed by the Elemental Archfiends. It is revealed that Zemus's hatred is so strong, that after his defeat, he turns into Zeromus, a being "fed by Zemus's unbridled hate…who knows naught but hate!"
  • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka Palazzo's backstory establishes that he was the first Magitek knight created, but the imperfections of the process drove him insane. It shows through the various acts he performs throughout the game including arson; poisoning Doma (made more impactful by showing how it affects the character of Cyan, whose wife and son die in the process); stabbing General Leo to death after the latter tries to stop him; killing the Espers at Thamasa (not caring about the deaths of the Magitek-armored minions accompanying him); and destroying the world halfway through the game. He seeks joy in destruction and is prone to laughing like mad amidst the chaos. He has also stated that he enjoys hearing people scream. Kefka absorbs the magic from the Warring Triad, so when he is finally defeated all of the magic disappears from the world and all the espers go extinct. While he may look silly, some of his dialogue is darkly comical, and some translations give him a feigned charm and affability, his actions are portrayed in a horrific and often tragic light. He embodies despair, hatred and death and believes that life is meaningless, finding destruction fun because "precious lives" are lost.
  • Final Fantasy VII and associated games:
    • Professor Hojo may not be the primary antagonist, but this Evilutionary Biologist is responsible for nearly everything bad happening in the game. Prior to the game proper, he injects Jenova cells into the womb of his wife, Lucrecia, in order to turn their son Sephiroth into a Super Soldier. He later murders Aerith's father and experiments on both her and her mother, his research leading to the latter's death. Throughout the game he is implied to manipulate most, if not all, of Sephiroth's actions, because he thinks of Sephiroth as research he wants to see blossom. He tries to mate Aerith and Red XIII, experiments on the survivors of the Nibelheim massacre, murders Vincent, experiments on him and attempts to help his son destroy the world at the end of the game. It was also implied that Hojo was the one who wrecked one of the Mako generators at the Nibelheim Reactor to lure Sephiroth to the reactor and receive his first clue about his possible origins before Crisis Core placed the implications of Genesis doing this act. Dirge of Cerberus reveals Hojo to have copied his mind into the body of an experimental Super Soldier and used him to order other experimental supersoldiers to commit mass kidnappings and murders, with the ultimate goal of awakening Omega and fusing with it.
    • Before Crisis: In this prequel, Fuhito is a scientist for the original AVALANCHE. Fuhito, who idolized the aforementioned Hojo, found a way to copy part of Shinra's SOLDIER program, which he uses to create his own variants; this degrades the mind of the victim, and turns said victim into a monster. He takes two of the SOLDIERs Zack later remembers and turns them into abominations on par with Hojo's aberrations. He later finds an ancient Ultimate Summon that has been broken long, long ago. He builds on Hojo's having implanted a piece in an innocent girl, transforming her into a weapon to be AVALANCHE's spearhead against Shinra, while the piece starts sucking out her life to rebuild itself. He establishes a firm powerbase to release the Summon, which would burn the entirety of the world. In the end, he winds up taking it all and merging with it.

Ivalice Alliance

  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy: Shinryu willingly turns Chaos into a Nigh Invulnerable, Ax-Crazy force of destruction, knowing full well that this will likely destroy the world he's supposed to be watching over, purely out of spite. Scenario 000 reveals that pretty much everything in the Dissidia series is entirely his fault. To wit, he takes advantage of Cid's grief and rage over his wife's death and tricks him into a Faustian deal under the guise that he would help make Chaos strong enough to defeat the nation of Onrac. Instead, however, Shinryu strips Cid of his body so he can never die and thus forever witness the cycle of death, creates Cosmos as a direct mockery of Cid's wife and keeps the War going for untold centuries, all to increase his own power by draining the warriors from both sides of their memories at the end of each cycle. Sometimes he doesn't revive one of the warriors and instead leaves their spirits to rot in the Void for eternity simply because they no longer have any strength for him to steal.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time: Larkeicus is an immortal Clavat and a nasty piece of work. Originally, his goals were for the good of humanity, as he invented special crystal powered inventions to give the people of the world untold riches. Once the crystals began vanishing, though, the citizens blamed the collapse of the world on Larkeicus. They found a crystal in the forest and at first, Larkeicus wanted to investigate it, hoping to find more crystals. He instead had a change of heart and killed the villagers (including the children) in the village near the forest, which disgusted his apprentice Veriaulde the Yuke. Veriaulde tried to stop his master, but was knocked out. Sherlotta, the only survivor of the massacre, was a prime target of Larkeicus as she was given the ability to spawn crystals. Larkeicus decided to capture her and experiment on her and his apprentice so he could obtain immortality and be treated like a god again. Because of his master's experiments, Veriaulde transformed into a monster on contact with any crystals, which was a boon for Larkeicus, who wasn't concerned with the Yuke's well-being. Throughout the game, Larkeicus is shown to have free agency and is perfectly able to stop what he's doing, but is too engrossed in the scientific experiments he is conducting to really care about his apprentice or anyone else.