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Characters / Dissidia: Final Fantasy Warriors of Chaos I to VI

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A character sheet for the Warriors of Chaos from Dissidia Final Fantasy and its prequel. Note that comments on a character's fighting style generally stay the same between games, except when otherwise mentioned.

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    Garland 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dissidia_Garland_art_2227.jpg
"We will never come to accept one another. We shall always be in conflict!"
"The eternal darkness will transcend time to face its rival once more." — Wheel of Darkness

Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (Japanese), Christopher Sabat (English)

—Fighting Style: Nemesis

The villain from the original Final Fantasy. His Backstory states that he was once a famous hero, but he turned evil and abducted Princess Sarah and stole away with her to the Chaos Shrine. In the Dissidia universe, he's the longest serving warrior of the cycles and Chaos's right-hand man, and leader of his warriors. However, Garland knows more about the cycles of war than even Chaos realizes.

Garland's fighting title is Nemesis. He wields a massive segmented sword that can transform as he attacks; he can extend it to stab it like a lance, pull out the handle on a chain to swing it like a flail, bend it forwad to slam it into opponents like an axe, or detach a smaller blade from the side to perform dual-wielding combo attacks. His Bravery attacks change properties depending on if the player taps or holds the button when executing the second part of the attack, allowing tactical variance. His HP attacks are versatile at close and mid-ranges, and take cues from the Four Fiends of Final Fantasy. As would be expected with him wielding such a massive weapon, Garland moves and attacks slowly, but deals great damage when he connects.

General Tropes

  • Adaptational Badass: In Final Fantasy, Garland was the first boss of the game and thus very weak and unimpressive. Here, he's a massive bruiser of a knight with a shapeshifting sword and the power to keep up with other characters just fine. Justified in that Garland was specifically brought into this world after having already been flung back in time two thousand years, meaning he's already in the process of becoming Chaos.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Garland's entire character is based around this trope, since he's been a prisoner of the cycles of war since they began and knows he will inevitably be caught in a time loop in his home world. As far as he's concerned, everything is predestined to happen and the other fighters in the war should accept their fates.
  • Berserk Button: He really gets riled up when someone talks about trying to find a loophole in the laws of the cycle, particularly in the official quests where he attacks Gabranth and Shantotto when he finds out that they mean to escape.
  • Blood Knight: He lives to fight and relishes battle. This is because of his fatalistic mindset — if he can't control his fate and is destined to fight forever, he's going to enjoy it.
    "We cannot escape this fate! Far better for you to rid yourself of any hope. It is time for you to accept the cycle and embrace combat's grim pleasure!""
  • Co-Dragons: With the Emperor; Garland is clearly the one and only right-hand man of Chaos and is the leader of his warriors, but the Emperor still has the god's ear and he's the one actually orchestrating the main storylines of the games.
  • The Corrupter: Originally, Chaos didn't want to go to war with Cosmos, since she looked like his mother. This is why Garland was summoned as the first warrior of the cycle, to convince Chaos to get over such hesitations and lead his warriors in the field if he wouldn't.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Garland can be bitingly sarcastic.
    Garland: "Am I to be a prisoner of these stupid plans again?"
  • Despair Event Horizon: The reason Garland is such a Blood Knight is because he has lost any hope of escaping his fate to be a prisoner of cycles and time loops one way or the other, so he's just having what fun he can fighting endless battles. Whenever someone tries to bring up the idea of breaking the cycles to him, Garland gets either furious or bitter and tells them such efforts are pointless.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Garland serves Chaos, but he knows things Chaos doesn't and is keeping secrets from him. Namely, Garland remembers the truth behind the cycles of war that Chaos has forgotten, and knows the true reason the war started in the first place.
  • Fallen Hero: He was once a heroic knight of Cornelia before he turned to evil.
  • Large Ham: Garland is a loud, boisterous bruiser who loves shouting over-the-top battle cries.
  • The Leader: He's the commander of the Warriors of Chaos as the god's lieutenant.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Garland's fully cognizant of how each and every one of his subordinates are regularly planning against each other to manipulate the cycle for their own ends. His usual response to this is a dry, mild irritation that oozes this trope. Likely in that he knows that, so long as Shinryu's managing the war from behind the scenes, nothing they try can actually succeed, making their scheming little more than an ineffectual nuisance.

Gameplay and Combat Tropes

  • An Axe to Grind: Representing Lich, Garland's sword folds at an angle at the midway point, becoming a crushing axe.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Representing Marilith, his sword has a secondary blade in the side that he can pull out to Dual Wield with the rest of the main blade.
  • BFS: His sword is more a giant shard of metal attached to a handle and is almost as big as Garland himself, and he's already one of the largest characters in the game.
  • Blade on a Stick: Representing Tiamat, the plates of his sword extend to create a longer, more pointed weapon that Garland uses for piercing and charging attacks.
  • Elemental Powers: He has four elemental HP attacks, one for each of the Four Fiends: Earthquake, Tsunami, Cyclone, and Blaze. In 012 he picks up the Non-Elemental Flare as a fifth HP attack and gains Thundaga as a Bravery attack.
  • Cool Sword: He wields a massive shapeshifting segmented sword.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Garland's level 100 exclusive weapon, Gigant Axe, has the highest attack bonus of all the weapons in the game.
  • Limit Break: His EX Burst Soul of Chaos. Garland charges energy into his sword, then batters the opponent with a barrage of attacks from all four of its forms, finishing with a final swinging smash using its default form.
  • Magic Knight: His Bravery attacks save for Thundaga are all physical blows, while his HP attacks are Spell Blade attacks where he uses his sword as a medium to cast magic.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Blaze fires a barrage of fire-bolts that spread out briefly before homing in on the opponent.
  • Mighty Glacier: He moves and attacks so slowly that it can be hard for him to land a hit, but when he does connect, he hurts a lot.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • His weapon's four alternate forms refer to the Four Fiends from Final Fantasy; an axe for Lich, twin swords for Tiamat, a chain whip for Kraken, and a lance for Tiamat. His HP attacks are all attacks the Four Fiends could use, and Garland's sword turns into the corresponding form when executing them. For his Flare attack, that's taken from Chaos in Final Fantasy, and Garland's sword remains in its default form for it.
    • Just like in Final Fantasy, he is both the first and last boss in the Warrior of Light's storylines.
  • Reverse Grip: He holds his sword this way since he drags it behind him when moving around. When he attacks he shifts his grip as needed.
  • Super Mode: His EX Mode Class Change. Garland's armor and cape take on more silver and white colorations, meant to reflect when he looked like when he was still a heroic, loyal knight for Cornelia. In this mode Garland gains the ability "Indomitable Resolve", which prevents his attacks from being interrupted by the opponent's Bravery attacks, letting him be more aggressive and keep attacking right through the opponent's blows.
  • Sword Drag: Apparently Garland's sword is too big for him to hold up consistently, so when he's moving around he drags it behind him, leaving a trail of sparks and a drag line in the floor.
  • Whip Sword: Representing Kraken, Garland can detach the handle from his sword and pull it out on a long chain, and twirl the sword around like a massive flail or whip.

Design and Costume Tropes

  • Art Evolution: Tetsuya Nomura has said Garland was a difficult character to design, because he has no original concept art to base him on, just his Final Fantasy sprites (which looked rather different between remakes of the game for different systems). He described it like designing a completely original character, but he still had to maintain the sense it was the Garland fans knew.
  • Good Costume Switch: His EX Mode changes his costume to have a white cape and silver accents on his armor, intended to be how he looked when he fought for Cornelia before his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Our Demons Are Different: In his 3P costume, based on the "Cloudsea Djinn" artwork for Final Fantasy, Garland discards his armor and looks like a humanoid demon with twisted black skin, blank white eyes, and various horns.

Storyline tropes

  • Actually, I Am Him: At the climax of the thirteenth cycle, having confessed to Chaos the truth of the cycle of war that he'd been made to forget, Garland comes clean with his biggest secret: that he himself is Chaos, or rather the non-Manikin original from their world of origin, having been intercepted into the rift before making that metamorphosis personally.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Garland doesn't take it well when Warrior of Light claims he pities him, and worse when he claims he'll save him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His Berserk Button is when someone tries to do something that could interfere with the cycles of war, either trying to escape them or end them. This is because he was ordered to make sure they go on as long as Cid needed them to.
  • Evil Mentor: He was charged to Chaos as the first summoned warrior under the guise of his champion for the sake of making Chaos into the ideal weapon— a plan that worked better than expected as, unbeknowest to the other parties of the arrangement, Garland is the "real" Chaos from their homeworld, but has yet to assume that form himself.
  • Final Boss: Of the 012 scenario, against Lightning, and of the Warrior of Light's storylines.
  • Flat "What":
    • When the Emperor suggests Chaos convert Jecht to their side, Garland mutters "what?"
    • His response to first hearing the Warrior of Light say he pities him is "Pardon?"
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Garland knows a lot of things Chaos doesn't and keeps them to himself. Until the end of the 13th cycle, anyway; with the world going to hell around them and Chaos clearly bothered by what's happening, Garland comes clean about the nature of the cycles that Chaos has forgotten.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Emperor might be acting as The Heavy in terms of manipulating circumstances to suit his ends, but Garland's been holding all the cards from the beginning. His being a champion of Chaos at all is a formality, his real purpose there as part of the original bargain between Cid, Cosmos, Chaos, himself and Shinryu was to orchestrate the cycle by grooming Chaos towards destruction. As the cycles have continued, he even struck down Cosmos at one point, causing her to be revived next cycle with no memory, and the wear on Chaos caused him to forget why he was fighting at all, leaving Garland as the only player in the war aware of its truth.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The reason he serves Chaos is not simply because he was ordered to, but because he sympathizes with Chaos — a weapon of war used by others and trapped in circumstances beyond his control.
    • He disapproves of Ultimecia revealing to Kuja that his memories are fake just to break his spirit, and later tries to console Kuja about it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Aside from doing it because he was told to, Garland doesn't want anyone breaking the cycle of war because if the summoned warriors were free to do what they wanted without needing to worry about the fates of the gods, it could be catastrophic for everyone. He's proven correct when Cosmos is killed by Chaos; all of the other villains leave Chaos to pursue their own agendas, while the Warriors of Cosmos make a beeline for Chaos' throne to destroy him since they know this will be their last cycle and they have nothing left to lose.
  • Properly Paranoid: He does not trust The Emperor trying to convert Jecht to their side, as he suspects that the Emperor has other motives. He does.
  • Resigned to the Call: He sort of makes this a point during his encounters with Warrior of Light — that embracing the cycle of conflict is all that there’s left for them, so they should enjoy it to the fullest.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When the Warrior of Light claims he'll save Garland from the cycles, Garland snaps "I have heard enough nonsense!"
  • Would Hit a Girl: Self-declared, even.
    when fighting Terra: "Expect no chivalry here, woman!"

    The Emperor 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dissidia_Mateus_8930.jpg
"You should have disposed of your fantasy and accepted me as master."
"Without conquering one's virtue and desires, thou shall fall into darkness." — Lust for Power

Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi (Japanese), Christopher Corey Smith (English)

—Fighting Style: Trap Master

The ruler of the Palamecian Empire from Final Fantasy II. Though he was eventually killed by forces of the Wild Rose Rebellion, his soul took over hell itself and return to create Hell on Earth before being defeated again. In the Dissidia universe, he's as ambitious and ruthless as ever, desiring to subjugate all he sees and force friend and foe alike to bow to his authority — and those that resist will be crushed.

The Emperor is the Trope Namer for Trap Master. He only has a handful of attacks that attack directly; instead he relies on sending out explosives, mines, and crests of energy to create a field of hazards for opponents to avoid. Their effects including pulling opponents in and paralyzing them, exploding to deal massive damage, or shooting projectiles that bounce off of walls and ceilings. This makes the Emperor one of the standout Difficult, but Awesome characters in the game, as using him effectively requires continuously zoning and pressuring the opponent and taking advantage of their mistakes to brutally punish them once he's pinned them down where he wants them.

General Tropes

  • A God Am I: He's the Emperor of Hell, and in the Dawn of Souls version, the other half of his soul is implied to have taken over Heaven. And in this game, his goal is to usurp Chaos and Cosmos and rule the world once the two of them are dead.
    "Death, life, even the divine shall come under my rule! For the only one suited to rule is I!"
  • Co-Dragons: With Garland. Though Garland is Chaos' lieutenant and leader of his warriors, the Emperor clearly has importance and influence of a comparable nature, as he's the only one to regularly speak to Chaos aside from Garland, and the other warriors are following his plan to kill Cosmos and win the war. Prologus and several official quests push this even further — several fights with Garland have the Emperor as his assist, and it's implicit that the Emperor is the warrior who has been in the most cycles besides Garland himself.
  • Dimension Lord: His goal is to rule over World B by usurping Chaos.
  • The Emperor: His title, and he's a Trope Codifier for the series as the evil ruler of an empire that desires world conquest.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: His character file in Dissidia 012 mentions that this is one of his few redeeming virtues — those who prove their capabilities to him are given power and rank in his army appropriate to their skills, regardless of their station otherwise.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's only ever called "the Emperor". While he sort of has a name, "Mateus", it's only used in the Japanese-exclusive novelization of Final Fantasy II and has never been attributed to him elsewhere, and the novel is Loose Canon anyway. Dissidia nods to this by naming his exclusive Level 100 weapon "Mateus' Malice".
  • Evil Laugh: He lets out a cruel laugh when charging Starfall, and if he can pull it off, he earns it. He also does this in his imperfect EX Burst, Cyclone.
  • Evil Sorcerer: A magical master who desires world domination.
  • Evil vs. Oblivion: He looks down on the likes of Kefka and Exdeath for desiring the world's destruction — he sees no purpose to such a thing when it would be much more efficient to rule it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's quite formal and well-spoken, even when he's telling his enemies their hopes are worthless and he's about to crush them like an insect under his foot.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Although his plan to kill Cosmos is something all the villains are in on, no one knows he has an ulterior goal — to allow the warriors of Cosmos to kill Chaos before they fade away, and using a Dark Crystal he's procured, the Emperor will survive his death and take over the world with the gods and their warriors gone.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Chaos' forces include Made of Evil Eldritch Abominations like the Cloud of Darkness and Exdeath, but it's the Emperor, once just a normal human, who proves himself the most vile and ruthless of them.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In the "Light to All" epilogue in Dissidia 012, he commands the heroes to do this.
    "Grovel before my unrivaled power!"
    • He also does this to Feral Chaos as his intro quote.
    "Fallen god, kneel before me!"
  • Large Ham: His infamous death scream is very dramatic.
    "UUNNGAAAHHHHH!" ("UBOAAAAAAAAAA!" in the Japanese version.)
  • Malevolent Architecture: His home stage, Pandemonium, is a tight maze full of cramped corridors with a bottomless pit in the middle, and in the Omega versions, parts of it turn red and spikes randomly pop out of them to damage the fighters and knock them into the air. This is entirely intentional, of course — given that the Emperor is a Trap Master, his home turf is perhaps the best arena he could ask to fight in.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: He's got the mannerisms, personality, and attitude down pat. The looks still need work.
  • Never Say "Die": A rather odd invoking. The Emperor says "I've come back from the afterworld" in the final chapter of the 013 story, rather pointedly avoiding saying "Hell". However, several quotes elsewhere in the game, even in the same storyline, directly refer to him having returned from Hell.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Christopher Corey Smith voices him in a manner very similar to David Bowie, which goes very well with the Emperor's uncanny resemblance to Jareth.
  • Power Floats: He floats around the ground instead of walking and telekinetically manipulates his staff constantly, including summoning to his hand at the start of battle and having it float beside him in his victory pose.
  • Slouch of Villainy: He does this as a Victory Pose, floating in the air with his legs crossed and his head propped on his hand. Dissidia 012 adds the top floor of Pandaemonium as an arena, and now that he has a proper throne, he gets to pull the trope in a cutscene where he chats with Golbez.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: He is the emperor of Palamecia, and a skilled sorcerer.
  • Sore Loser: When the warriors of Cosmos beat him for the final time, he dies pretty much spitting on their cause and insulting them some more.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not only in combat prowess as many characters did, but he's gone from a generic Evil Overlord who only got a few lines of dialogue and little characterization in them, to a scheming, cunning, manipulative, smug, evil mastermind. He's still an Evil Overlord, but now he owns it.

Gameplay and Combat Tropes

  • Agony Beam: His EX Burst has him torture the opponent with beams of magic, though its description calls it "an attack that takes over the opponent's mind."
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The ruler of the Palamecian Empire is a sorcerer of devastating power.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Starfall. If he can get it off, it's quite impressive, but it has such a long charge time that it is very difficult to get it off without the opponent attacking him and stopping it. In most matches, success depends on very good trap placement to keep the opponent busy and using the terrain to put up a literal barrier between him and the opponent. That said, the opponent will want to stop it, since it is almost assured to hit them if it goes off, which makes just starting to charge it an effective distraction and pressure option.
  • Boom Stick: He releases mines and energy orbs from his staff.
  • Charged Attack: Starfall. It has a charge time of around eight seconds, during which the Emperor can't do anything else. But should the attack fire off, it drops a huge meteor that is practically impossible to avoid.
  • Colony Drop: His trademark Starfall calls down a barrage of meteorites on the opponent before a large, single meteor descends to deal HP damage.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: To avoid obvious potential confusion, his ground Flares are blue and the midair ones are orange. Doubles as a Mythology Gag, as Final Fantasy II was the only time Flare manifested as blue fire, while it's been orange and red in the rest of the series.
  • Damage Discrimination: The Emperor cannot be harmed by his own traps unless the opponent has reflected them back at him. Pretty standard, but it still stretches the Willing Suspension of Disbelief to see the man standing inside his own Flare fireball as he charges up Starfall with no ill effects.
  • Death Trap: He's not called a "Trap Master" for nothing. The Emperor is all about pinning opponents down in a snare so he can attack them safely.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Emperor relies on sending out mines and crests to attack for him rather than fighting himself. This makes him one of the most strategic characters in the game, as using him effectively requires making good use of the terrain and playing mind games with the opponent to trap and brutalize them. He's not for everyone, but once you get the hang of him, he's a lot of fun to play with.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The imperfect version of his EX Burst is the Cyclone.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Every character except for Kuja and Shantotto has at least one attack that will cause the Emperor's homing Flare to start chasing him instead. Fortunately for the people who main the Emperor, he is included in that as well. In fact, if the opponent reflects the Emperor's Flare, he can fire out a second Flare (normally, only one can be out at a time) and then re-reflect the reflected Flare to get two Flares chasing the opponent, allowing him to turn this trope back on them.
  • Instant Runes: Though not the only character to use them, the Emperor is particularly notable for how the runes he creates when casting Starfall slowly grow in size and complexity as the attack charges.
  • Limit Break: His EX Burst, Absolute Dominion. The Emperor blasts opponents back with a mine and begins to channel energy as his staff circles around him. Up to five button prompts appear on the screen and the player must press them as quick as they can to get the next one to appear. Failure has the Emperor cast Cyclone, conjuring a whirlwind around himself that draws the opponent in to damage them. Success has him use Entice, where he suspends the enemy in zero gravity and zaps them repeatedly as they lie helpless, ending with a focused burst of magic around them.
  • Magic Staff: He's notably the only villain to carry a casting tool.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: His ground Flare fires a huge fireball that very slowly tracks the opponent. While it's unlikely to hit on its own, it's not supposed to — it serves as one of the Emperor's main pressure tools, creating a hazard that the opponent must continuously keep an eye on and stay clear of.
  • Playing with Fire: Flare creates a huge fireball, exact properties varying depending on if its the ground or air version.
  • Shock and Awe: Thunder Crest creates a field of electricity that paralyzes opponents. His mines, including his Dreary Cell, appear to be lightning-based, too.
  • Super Mode: His EX Mode is Power of Hellfire. The Emperor transforms into his Emperor of Hell form, giving him a demonic visage and darker, more sinsiter robes. He gains the ability "Blood Magic", which causes all his HP attacks to heal him an equivalent amount of HP as he inflicted.
  • Trap Master: He's the Trope Namer. The Emperor almost never attacks directly; instead, he sends out mines and Flares to pressure the opponent, Thunder Crests and Dynamites to draw them in and stun them, and Bombard to knock them backwards and up into his other traps.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The Emperor has a comparatively small moveset, and the playstyle demanded of him due to his gimmick means he'll be using the same moves a lot — constantly recasting his Flares to reposition them and refresh their duration, recasting Thunder Crest and Dynamite to do the same, etc.

Design and Costume Tropes

  • Bishōnen: His alternate outfits seem to be designed to show an escalation of prettiness.
  • Combat Stilettos: He wears high heels in all his outfits.
  • Eyes Always Shut: His Light Emperor outfit never opens its eyes, to keep with the PSP sprite it is based on.
  • Horned Hairdo: Most obvious in his second alt outfit where it's clear those horns aren't a headpiece, they are his hair.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: The Light Emperor's robes have the same basic gold-purple color scheme as his base outfit, but with more white details added, along with his white wings.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: His DLC costume is the "Light Emperor" from Soul of Rebirth, giving him a set of angelic wings.
  • Light Is Not Good: His DLC costume is the angelic "Light Emperor" from Soul Rebirth. However, even though he looks angelic and heavenly, the Light Emperor proved to still be as evil as the original, and since the Light Emperor robes are just a costume for him in Dissidia, this is more true than ever.
  • Purple Is Powerful: All of his outfits incorporate some shade of purple as their secondary color, most prominently his second and third outfits.
  • Shoulders of Doom: His third costume robes has large shoulderpads.
  • Skull for a Head: In EX Mode, his demon form has a fanged skull for a face.
  • Spikes of Villainy: He only has moderate spikes normally, but in his EX Mode he can give Golbez and Exdeath a run for their money.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: His alt outfits all recolor his hair some shade of silvery-white.

Storyline tropes

  • Arch-Enemy: To the Final Fantasy X cast, as he's manipulating Tidus and Jecht into conflict for his own ends and hates Yuna for getting in the way. By contrast, his antagonistic relationship with Firion is entirely impersonal — it's just that Firion's ideals of freedom and peace clash with the Emperor's desire for world domination, so Firion hates the Emperor and all he stands for, but the Emperor has no particular interest in Firion.
  • Back from the Dead: Invokes this trope in Shade Impulse, though he uses the phrase "back from the afterworld".
  • The Chessmaster: He's the mastermind of the game's main plot - let the heroes acquire the Crystals, because they are fragments of Cosmos' power, so once they have them, she'll be weak enough for Chaos to destroy her. But, the Crystals will let them remain long enough to kill Chaos, and thanks to his own Dark Crystal, the Emperor will survive his death as well, leaving him as the sole overlord of the world.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It is implied in his opening quote if fighting against Kefka that he intends to send Kefka to Hell to punish him for his actions.
    Emperor: "A taste of Hell may be just what you need."
  • The Heavy: He's the driving force of the storyline of the 13th cycle, and the other villains are (mostly) following his cues to carry it out.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    To Squall: "Such a lofty ego."
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: His insulted reaction to Garland comparing the Emperor to Kefka in terms of scheming, specifically because Kefka's a nihilist whereas he believes in wanting to start the future anew.
  • Motive Misidentification: Bartz observes the Emperor, Ultimecia, and Sephiroth together, and wonders whether the Emperor and Sephiroth were fighting over Ultimecia. Actually, the Emperor and Ultimecia were attempting to recruit Sephiroth into their plan, but Sephiroth had evidently refused.
  • Pitiful Insects: He likes using this insult — one of his victory quotes is even: "An insect, defeat an Emperor?" The heroes are happy to remind him of it after kicking his ass.
    The Emperor: "Who are you?"
    Firion: "Just a swarm of insects."
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: It's not clear why he chooses to hide out in a gate on the path to Chaos and confront the heroes when they pass through, when his plan is to let the heroes kill Chaos so he can take over once he's gone.
  • The Starscream: The ultimate result of his plan is for everyone, including the gods, to die while he survives and rules over what's left of the world.
  • Stealth Mentor: To Tidus and Firion — since the Emperor wants them to obtain their Crystals, he subtly manipulates them in order to ensure it happens.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Invoked as a Mythology Gag. In terms of the overarching plot concerning the Final Fantasy X cast, the Emperor acts as a stand-in for Seymour: a smug pretty-boy mage who acts as Yuna's Arch-Enemy and is secretly scheming to take Jecht's power as his own. Yuna's battle with him in her chapter even uses Seymour's boss theme for the fight to drive the point home.
  • Übermensch: He describes himself as such when Garland compares him with Straw Nihilist Kefka:
    Garland: "The clown is just as scheming as you are."
    Emperor: "You would compare me to that gibbering nihilist? No, I have a goal: to escape the ultimate end... and build the future anew."
  • Worthy Opponent: Played with his character-specific Encounter phrases against the witches.
    To Ultimecia: "Let us crown the true master."
    To Shantotto: "It is an honor, milady."
    • And then inverted in one of his victory quotes.
      The Emperor: "You are an unworthy opponent."

    The Cloud Of Darkness 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dissidia_Cloud_Of_Darkness_7458.jpg
"A lone heart will not change the world... What awaits when you awake is always — nothing but despair."
"Light fells the darkness, while darkness swallows the light; all return to nothing." — Roaming Clouds

Voiced by: Masako Ikeda (Japanese), Laura Bailey (English)

—Fighting Style: Bane Of Life

An Eldritch Abomination originating from Final Fantasy III, she is a being born of the Void Between the Worlds. More a force of nature than an actual person, she believes it is the fate of all things to be flooded in darkness and consumed by the Void. Despite appearing as a woman, it has No Biological Sex: other characters refer to the Cloud of Darkness variably as "she" or "it", while the Cloud of Darkness uses the pronoun "we", as according to supplementary materials, the two tentacles accompanying her have minds of their own, and the Cloud of Darkness speaks for them as well as herself.

The Cloud of Darkness is the Bane of Life. She specializes in a wide variety of HP attacks themed on her signature attack "Particle Beam", which let her fires out waves, beams, and orbs of dark energy in different tactical configurations, such as a barrage of energy orbs from multiple directions or a field of high-reaching beams shooting up around her. Her Bravery attacks are limited, but can change up their effects between three possibilities by delaying when the button is pressed, giving her a larger Bravery movepool than is first apparent. This fighting style means that the Cloud of Darkness excels at rapidly draining the opponent's HP, but struggles on the Bravery game due to constantly being recovering from HP attacks, and her Bravery attacks don't deal much damage and are more supportive in nature.

General Tropes

  • Above Good and Evil: She sees herself this way, as she's a force of nature doing what she is meant to do. Her Dissidia 012 victory quote "Good and evil are powerless" emphasizes this.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: It's ambiguous whether she's an actual personification of the Void, or merely a herald or emissary, but the former is plausible. Either way, Dissidia also treats her as an avatar of Fear, particularly fear of death and non-existence. Her role in Onion Knight's story plays this up, given that he's a child putting up a brave front, and other characters reference this in their battle quotes against her:
    Squall: "I have no fear."
    Kuja: "You don't scare me one bit!"
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Allusions to her connection to this trope in her original game exist, namely that she was summoned due to an imbalance of light and darkness and thus would restore balance by absorbing it all into the Void. As well, Dissidia 012 implies that she tells Laguna how to seal the portal the Manikins are emerging from because she dislikes their presence in the war, as it disrupts the natural cycle of things.
  • Breakout Villain: The actual Big Bad of Final Fantasy III was the sorcerer Xande; the Cloud of Darkness was the Final Boss who appeared in the final hour of the game once Xande was dispatched. Her appearance in this title saw her steal the spotlight from Xande in the eyes of fans and creative teams, and spin-offs now treat her as the primary antagonist representative of III, while Xande makes the occasional appearance but is far overshadowed.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The reports state that her snakelike tentacles each have a mind of their own.
  • Complete Immortality: She's practically a force of nature and so cannot ever truly be destroyed. Even at the end of the Dissidia storyline where she's defeated, she merely withdraws into the Void to recover her strength until she awakens again.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In their original games, she and Exdeath were much the same, beings of evil that desired to destroy all life in the Void. The Dissidia series nudges them apart to make them Foils. The Cloud of Darkness sees the Void as an all-consuming, inescapable force that will consume all things and drown them in shadows, while Exdeath sees the Void as a source of absolute power that he desires to harness and use to destroy all existence and reduce it to nothing. This is reflected in their EX Bursts — the Cloud of Darkness builds energy up to 120% while Exdeath reduces energy down to 0%. The two are also given very distinct personalities that are practically polar opposites — the Cloud of Darkness speaks in a calm, seductive voice, Exdeath could be a poster child for Evil Is Hammy.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Of the Humanoid Abomination type. Although she looks like a human woman with some monstrous features, she's a Void-based being who is implied to be able to take any form she wants.
  • Hidden Depths: She's fascinated by the warriors of Comsos like Laguna choosing to follow a path of (what she sees as) inevitable self-destruction, and doing so willingly for the sake of others. This carries over to the Onion Knight as well, who admits that he's certain he can't win the war, but his heart won't let him back away and abandon his friends.
  • I Am Legion: She speaks with the Royal "We", as her two tentacles have minds of their own, so when she speaks, she speaks for herself and them.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: A bit ironically, she seems completely clueless to the fact that the form she's chosen to appear in is rather alluring. When Laguna hesitates during their confrontation and stares wide-eyed at her, she mocks him thinking he's afraid of her and is staring in horror, and he corrects he's just admiring her "appearance".
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Laguna's decision to seek out the portal to the Rift and close it interests her, because she feels it's a suicide mission and is curious what he'll do about it. She's also intrigued by Onion Knight's decision to stand against her even though they both agree she is far more powerful than him and it's unlikely he could win.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: She bickers with Exdeath over whose interpretation of the Void is the true one.
  • No Biological Sex: In lieu of this, she takes the form of a nearly-naked woman. Other characters variably refer to her as "she" or "it".
    Zidane: "Well, she is a lady... I guess?"
  • No Name Given: "The Cloud of Darkness" is barely even a title, more a description of what she is and her purpose.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: She believes all worlds will be consumed by the Void and all life on them extinguished. She's not doing it because she enjoys it, but because it's what she exists to do.
  • Power Floats: Besides one scene in her battle with Onion Knight in Destiny Odyssey and her recovery animation, Cloud of Darkness is always hovering in the air.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Given the source material as well as her description in Dissidia, Cloud of Darkness is apparently 1,000 years old.
  • Royal "We": Both the main female body and each tentacle has a mind of its own. She speaks on behalf of all of them. However, Cloud of Darkness does refer to herself as "me" when facing Cloud, Squall, and the Warrior of Light.

Gameplay and Combat Tropes

  • Beam Spam: Several of her Particle Beams create points of darkness that fire a barrage of lasers — [Anti-Air] fires four lasers around her, [Long-range] sends a line of them shooting out towards the opponent, and [Wrath] has her block an attack and then fire a laser from directly below the opponent.
  • Casting a Shadow: Her various lasers and other projectile attacks are darkness-based.
  • Cherry Tapping: Her Bravery game is poor, and while she's not totally helpless on that front, her focus is far more on her wide array of HP attacks that she can use to chip away at the opponent's health directly.
  • Combat Tentacles: The two tentacles attached to her are used for her Bravery attacks, where of course she lashes them out to smack her opponent around.
  • Energy Ball: Her Aura Ball attack has her send out up to five large orbs of darkness that slowly track the opponent; releasing the attack button, or sending out all five, causes them to explode. Her [Fusillade] Particle Beam and [Feint] Particle Beam also have her fire orbs of dark energy, and three of her Bravery attacks include them too.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Her [0-Form] Particle Beam fires a massive blast of dark energy at the opponent.
  • Limit Break: Her EX Burst, Ultra Particle Beam. The Cloud of Darkness focuses energy as her power builds — the player must hold Circle until she reaches 120% power, and then release it. Releasing too soon or too late will cause her power level to drop off and she fires a short, small beam of darkness at the opponent. Success causes her to fire a much bigger, longer beam that deals much more impressive damage.
  • Magic Missile Storm: [Fusillade] Particle Beam fires out multiple orbs of darkenss that turn and converge on the opponent. Her two-delay Tentacle of Scorn fires multiple smaller blasts that bounce along the ground.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Most characters fight to build up Bravery and then deal a large amount of HP damage; the Cloud of Darkness is all about damaging HP directly and foregoing Bravery attacks, except to cover her tactical options and help set opponents up for her HP attacks.
  • Super Mode: Her EX Mode is Flood of Darkness!. The Cloud of Darkness takes on a slimmer, green form, more akin to how she actually appears in Final Fantasy III. In her EX Mode, she gains the ability [Null] Particle Beam, which lets her cancel the recovery time from her attacks by performing an HP attack. This gives the opponent fewer openings to strike back when she whiffs an attack and makes her Beam Spam even more spammy.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Her signature Particle Beam, which is actually called Wave Cannon in the Japanese versions. The best example is her EX Burst, a truly massive beam of dark energy.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Every single one of her HP Attacks are some variant of her Particle Beam attack, the only move she had in the original Final Fantasy III. With her Bravery attacks, they all consist of her just hitting her opponents with her tentacles in various ways, or once again firing Particle Beam-like blasts of dark energy.

Design and Costume Tropes

Storyline tropes

  • Armor-Piercing Question: She hammers Onion with several after Terra loses control of her powers, fights Onion Knight, and subsequently teleports away. The second time she tries it (before her duel with Onion Knight in Destiny Odyssey), it doesn't work, as he's regained his resolve thanks to Cosmos and Golbez.
  • Circling Monologue: During her exchange with Onion Knight at the end of his storyline, she drifts in and out of the pillars of the World of Darkness while taunting him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • It's implied in the 13th cycle that she told Laguna about the Manikins and where they came from because she wanted him to close the portal, displeased that their presence was upsetting the balance of the war.
    • Also implied in her intro quote against Kefka in the original Dissidia.
      Cloud of Darkness: "We won't allow you your sordid cries."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: As noted above, she ends up telling Laguna how to seal away the Rift. She ended up having to pay for that gambit shortly after their battle, when Kefka ambushed and killed her for it. As a result, she doesn't even remember that Terra was under Kefka's control, because warriors who die lose their memories upon being revived for the next cycle.
  • Male Gaze: Laguna takes a moment to ogle her in the cutscene after their fight.
  • Number of the Beast: During her story mode battle with the Onion Knight, she is equipped with four Blue Gems which give her a base bravery of 666 for the fight.
  • Out of Focus: She easily has the smallest role of the villains in both games, even with Dissidia 012 giving her a larger role than the original. Across both, she only appears in a small handful of scenes outside the scenes directly preceding and following fights with her.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Her 012 museum profile states she loathes the war of the gods.
  • Ship Tease: With Laguna, of all people. The Cloud of Darkness is fascinated by him, as she finds it laughable that someone as socially awkward and naive as him would be summoned to fight for Cosmos, and is intrigued that he would choose to partake in a suicide mission for the sake of others knowing that it's a suicide mission. On Laguna's end, he "admires her appearance" in their post-battle cutscene.

    Golbez 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dissidia_Golbez_5914.jpg
"You're naive, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?"
"Accept hatred and regret as you proceed forth. All paths lead to the future." — Lone Heart

Voiced by: Takeshi Kaga (Japanese), Peter Beckman (English)

—Fighting Style: Thaumaturge

A major antagonist from Final Fantasy IV, Golbez in that title was presented as the Big Bad who was seeking the Crystals to attain ultimate power, until it was revealed that he was Cecil's brother and was actually being controlled by the true villain, the sorcerer Zemus. Despite that, in Dissidia, Golbez is on the side of Chaos, something that puzzles Cecil as he tries to feel out if he can trust his brother or not and why he would serve Chaos. But, even if he's acting on his own will this time instead of being controlled, there is still much more to Golbez than is first apparent.

Golbez is a Thaumaturge. He utilizes two-part spells where their second effect changes depending on his distance from the opponent. He summons Attack Drones and energy blasts with waves of his hand, and the hand motions he uses to do this are themselves part of the attack, so he can hit at both close and long ranges. This, coupled with multiple HP links, gives Golbez a lot of combo potential and makes him difficult to approach without getting smacked away and zapped for your foolishness. However, unusually for a mage, he struggles at the long-range game, since most of his ranged options are slow and don't possess that much range.

General Tropes

  • Adaptational Villainy: In Final Fantasy IV, Golbez was just being mind-controlled and was really a good and virtuous person, if stoic and stern, as The After Years shows. In this incarnation, however, he combines the facets of his true kind-hearted personality with his mind-controlled persona as a cold-hearted manipulator. But, Tropes Are Tools — this depiction makes Golbez a much more complex character than in IV and creates a more interesting dynamic with Cecil and Kain.
  • The Atoner: Subverted. He doesn't believe he deserves redemption, but Cecil thinks otherwise.
    • His quote when facing Feral Chaos has Golbez state that he shall atone for him.
      Golbez: "I shall atone for your hatred."
  • Badass Arm-Fold: He naturally moves by floating around with his hands crossed in front of him. He also strikes this pose before his battle with Cecil.
  • Badass Baritone: His voice is quite low in pitch, and he rarely ever raises it in cutscenes.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He's fighting for Chaos, but he's trying to act as a force for good.
  • Graceful Loser: In keeping with lecturing his opponent when he wins (see Warrior Therapist), while other villains protest or use some variation of This Cannot Be!, Golbez is calmly accepting of his losses:
    "I've no one to blame but myself."
    "I must learn my limitations."
    "Bested by my arrogance."
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sorry for those of you who haven't gotten around to finishing IV, but yes, he is Cecil's brother. And you may want to hold off purchasing his Alt 2 outfit in Dissidia 012 if you haven't played deep into The After Years and don't know who the Man in Black is.
  • Power Floats: He hovers above the ground for his normal walking animation. The only time he's ever seen not floating is during cutscenes and when using Nightglow.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Still tormented by his past sins, Golbez decided that being forced to fight an endless war was the punishment he deserved for them and thus served Chaos without question.
  • Warrior Therapist: He councils Cecil and the Onion Knight during their search for their Crystals, and he tries to do the same to Bartz, but they're interrupted and Bartz flees without realizing Golbez was trying to help him. Many of Golbez's intro and victory quotes are advice and warnings directed at his foe.
    "Your loss can strengthen you."
    "Weakness is the greatest sin."
    "There will be always be somebody better than you."
    "You are still too naive."
  • Worthy Opponent: If the opponent survives his EX Burst, Golbez muses "impressive" as the burst ends and the fight continues. Unlike Kuja, Golbez is sincere in his praise.

Gameplay and Combat Tropes

  • Attack Drone: Several of his attacks conjure the Giant of Babil's CPU, Attack Node, and Defense Node from Final Fantasy IV to fire lasers.
  • Beam Spam: His Attack System sends three nodes at the opponent that each rapidly fire multiple laser shots.
  • Casting a Shadow: His elemental magics have a distinct darkness flavor to their appearance.
  • Charged Attack: Black Fang. It has a very long charge time of over five seconds, but if he gets it off, it inflicts an instant Bravery Break.
  • Colony Drop: Genesis Rock has Golbez summon four meteors to rapidly encircle him before flinging them outwards.
  • Energy Ball: When using Gravity Force, Golbez fires a large orb of dark energy, then teleports towards the opponent; depending on their distance from him when he appears, he'll either use his hands or a smaller energy orb to knock them into the first one. He can also fire orbs of darkenss as the Bravery follow-up to Glare Hand and Rising Wave.
  • Flash Step: Golbez's "jumps" aren't actually jumps, they're short-ranged teleports to a higher altitude. When using the second part of Gravity Force, Golbez will teleport towards the opponent before attacking, and he can charge up the Bravery or Cosmic Ray follow-ups to his other attacks to teleport closer to the opponent before attacking.
  • Full-Contact Magic: It's what makes him so effective, as the hand motions he uses to command his energy waves and attack drones can also damage the enemy in addition to the magic part. Thus, he can hit at close and long range.
  • Launcher Move: Rising Wave creates a plume of dark fire under the opponent that knocks them into the air, and Gravity System creates a trio of nodes below Golbez that fire a laser up, knocking the opponent up into range of a follow-up attack.
  • Limit Break: His EX Burst, Twin Moons. Golbez knocks the opponent back and focuses energy. The player must input three pairs of button commands simultaneously within a time limit. Failing causes Golbez to gravitate meteors around the opponent and crush them between them. On a success, the Shadow Dragon uses Binding Cold to paralyze the opponent, and it and Golbez channel power together to cast Twin Meteor, bombarding the opponent with a meteor shower in the midst of which two large meteors strike them in succession.
  • Magic Knight: He's an interesting example, preferring to batter you with his hands rather than using a weapon, but he's still equal parts physical and magical and definitely fits this better then Kung-Fu Wizard. Subverted in gameplay, though, as his hand swings technically deal magic damage.
  • Mighty Glacier: He has brutal power, especially in the original Dissidia with his infamous dodge-cancel and EX-cancel combos that let him string together multiple attacks with proper timing and usage. However, with such tactics being nerfed for Dissidia 012 to the point they're largely unusable, his combo potential is much lower, but Golbez still packs a punch. That said, in both games, he moves slowly, and while his attacks come out fast at close range, at long range, they're predictable and easy to avoid.
  • Playing with Fire: Glare Hand and Rising Wave create waves of dark fire to attack with.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: Genesis Rock summons four meteors from the ground that rapidly circle Golbez before his flings his hands out to shoot them out in four directions.
  • Shock and Awe: Cosmic Ray has Golbez zap the opponent with beams of electricity from his hands. Gravity Force and Nightglow also have an electrical appearance to them.
  • Super Mode: His EX Mode is Summon Shadow Dragon. Golbez summons his Eidolon from Final Fantasy IV and it wraps around him, perching its head over one of his shoulders. While in EX Mode, Golbez can use the Shadow Dragon's signature attack Black Fang by holding R and Square. The attack has a very long charge time, but if he pulls it off, it inflicts an instant Bravery Break on the opponent.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Nightglow launches the opponent upwards very quickly and very, very high. On all but the highest arenas, it's a guarantee that the opponent will be smacking into the Invisible Ceiling.

Design and Costume Tropes

  • All-Encompassing Mantle: While it doesn't completely cover his front, when his arms are lowered, it does come around far enough to partially conceal them.
  • Badass Cape: Golbez's cloak is one of the largest capes of any character, and indeed looks very badass as it flutters and sprays out as he moves and attacks.
  • Barbarian Hero: His third alternate costume in Dissidia 012 is his Man in Black outfit from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, although he left his BFS back on the moon.
  • Black Knight: He wears an imposing suit of black armor.
  • Cape Swish: He's fond of flinging his cape out or around himself both in battle and in cutscenes. His blocking animation includes him drawing his cape in front of himside and flinging it out.
  • Darth Vader Clone: A Trope Codifier who provides the page image, he's a deep-voiced armored villain who is Cecil's brother.
  • Depending on the Artist: Integrated into his costumes: between his various artworks, sprites, and character models, Golbez has been inconsistently depicted as his armor being wither blue or black, and his cape has been either blue or red. Dissidia adapts both with default outfit being dark blue with a blue cape and his alt outfit is black armor with a red cape.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: In accordance with Yoshitaka Amano's artwork of him, the two spikes on his shoulders, which dominate much of his silhouette, are different styles.
  • The Giant: He's huge: Golbez's model is 8'2," an inch behind Garland and tying with Exdeath, together they're the three biggest characters in the game other than Chaos. This means he towers over every other character except for Gilgamesh by two feet or more.
  • Hidden Eyes: In his Man in Black costume, Golbez's eyes are perpetually in shadow.
  • Man in a Kilt: In his Man In Black costume, he wears a kilt with a cape as his only clothing.
  • Shirtless Scene: Man in Black again, wearing nothing but a cape and kilt.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The sholders of his armor are massive, bigger than his helmet even.
  • Spikes of Villainy: He has multiple spikes along his armor and two prominent ones on his shoulders.

Storyline tropes

  • Aborted Arc: A throwaway line from Exdeath implies that Golbez is looking to get a Crystal of his own, but if this happens, it is never said so and never comes up again.
  • Ambiguous Situation: A conversation between Exdeath and the Emperor refers to Golbez having the "light of harmony" inside him and they say he has "a heart of light in a dark body". These are the same terms used to refer to Jecht, who was once on the side of Cosmos and switched sides to Chaos. However, it's unclear if this is the same for Golbez, or if they are merely referring to the fact that he's actually a good person and is trying to help Cosmos' warriors prevail even while he continues to serve Chaos.
  • Anti-Villain: He's actually trying to help the heroes win, but serves Chaos under the belief that his past as a villain makes him unsuited to serving Cosmos. He also engages in actions that, while intended to contribute towards Cosmos' victory, are morally ambiguous — for example, he was the one who arranged for Kain to kill off his comrades so they'd survive to the next cycle in 012.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Golbez was resigned to participating in the cycles without hope, until Cecil was summoned — then he began acting to try and end the cycles and free his brother.
  • The Chessmaster: Everything that happens in the 13th cycle was set in motion by Golbez telling Kain about the nature of the cycles, prompting him to strike down his comrades so they would survive the assault of the Manikins to awaken in the 13th cycle. Then Golbez visited Cosmos as the 13th cycle began and reminded her about the Crystals she began creating, so she can set her warriors on the path to get them.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In keeping with his penchant for such from Final Fantasy IV, he plays a lot of head games with Cecil to challenge his resolve in order to bring out his true feelings, and also plays a part in nudging Firion and the Onion Knight along their paths. He tries to do the same for Bartz, but Bartz runs away before he can finish talking.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Inverted. Golbez is the only Warrior of Chaos to not bite the bullet, and also the only one to part with his parallel hero on good terms.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and Cecil, especially in the latter's Paladin aspect.
  • Walking the Earth: After their final battle in the 13th cycle, Golbez decides to do this until he feels that he can join Cecil in the light.

    Exdeath 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DissidiaExdeathArtwork_2501.jpg
"Embrace the stillness of eternity."
"The true Void lies nowhere. Only the power of life exists."Power of the Void

Voiced by: Tarō Ishida (Japanese), Gerald C. Rivers (English)

—Fighting Style: Entropic Adversary

The warlock from Final Fantasy V, born from a tree that was used to seal away myriad demons, until it became sentient. Exdeath seeks the Power of the Void to claim absolute power and destroy both worlds, but when he was consumed by the very power he tried to control, he transformed into Neo Exdeath, an Eldritch Abomination, before the Warriors of Light defeated him. In Dissidia he cares little about the conflict of the gods, as all is destined to be destroyed by him eventually anyway. Instead he does as he likes, and if something catches his interest or seems to be an amusing diversion for him, then he gets involved.

Exdeath is an Entropic Adversary, and is a Barrier Warrior. His offensive attacks are slow to start up, often easy to avoid, and do little damage, but Exdeath is not intended to be the aggressor: he has various Block moves that can deflect attacks, and when he does he can unleash counter-attacks that hit very quickly and deal heavy damage. With mastery of his blocking techniques, Exdeath can be almost untouchable and will brutally punish opponents careless enough to attack into his shields and trigger his counters. However, this fighting style naturally means he has trouble being aggressive and is reliant on his blocks to fight properly.

General Tropes

  • Adaptational Villainy: In his original game of V, Exdeath was a Card-Carrying Villain who nonetheless was out to destroy everything and got a kick out of inflicting excess suffering upon his victims. In Dissidia, he's convinced that he'll still destroy everything with the Void eventually, and ends up far more passive and disinterested in the story's overall conflict - Cosmos, Chaos, the Warriors, none of it really matters so long as he fulfills his fate.
  • Breakout Character: He was one of the more overlooked villains before Dissidia. After it came out, his obsession with the Void, Lethal Joke Character status, and Large Ham tendencies made him a Fountain of Memes. The result is that he's far more popular than he was before, something Square-Enix notes in Dissidia 012 as covered under Ascended Meme on the main page.
  • Composite Character: He incorporates Neo Exdeath's desire to erase himself into his personality, and his third outfit in Dissidia 012 is based on Neo Exdeath.
  • Death Seeker: He claims when he fights the warriors of Cosmos for the last time that once he returns all to the Void, he will erase himself too.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Exdeath is actually an amalgamated consciousness made up of monsters sealed in a tree, wrapped in an armored shell.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He's a poster child for it — Exdeath's every line is dripping with honey glaze, from his Evil Laugh to his Badass Boasts to his obsession with the Void. Even though Dissidia is a World of Ham, Exdeath is the biggest ham of them all.
  • Evil Laugh: Has a slow, deep chuckle. Dissidia 012 even made it one of his victory quotes.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: He bickers with the Cloud of Darkness over whose interpretation of the Void is the true one.
    Exdeath: "The Void you desire is false."
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sure, a guy that named himself "Exdeath" sounds like he'd be a heroic figure.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: His goal is to return all existence to the Void, including all the summoned warriors, the gods, the world, and eventually himself.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Exdeath's tendency to speak quickly while battle sounds are playing, not to mention his deep, guttural voice, means practically every attack he has is misheard; sometimes deliberately for the sake of making him even more of a meme machine.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • His Reverse Polarity attack, a teleportation move, is a reference to a recurring ability in the series that changes in the party's row. So, in principal, Exdeath is using it in the same manner in this game, except instead of using it on the opponent to move them closer or away from him, he's using it on himself to move himself closer to the opponent.
    • His unlockable EX Burst line is "Turtle!" It's a reference to Ghido, but also a play on Exdeath's fighting style — to "turtle" is to play entirely defensively and not attack, and wait for the opponent make mistakes they can capitalize on.
  • Straw Nihilist: He thinks all existence will inevitably be consumed by his Void, so none of it means a thing. Take this example when facing Firion:
    "Dreams are meant to be shattered."
  • Title Drop: He gets one in the Japanese version with his defeat quote, "Is this my final fantasy?" The English port changed it to "Will I end like a mirage?"
  • When Trees Attack: Again, legions of demons sealed within a tree that became sentient. His dash sound effect is a wooden "whoosh", and his EX Mode has his skirt get recolored so he looks like his true form in Final Fantasy V, where his torso was emerging from a giant tree trunk.

Gameplay and Combat Tropes

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Played with. Exdeath's Maelstrom is impossible to block or dodge, but it has such a huge charge time that it's nearly impossible to pull it off. That said, it isn't necessarily supposed to — Exdeath can cancel Maelstrom into one of his Block attacks, so he can utilize it as a means to force the opponent into a Morton's Fork; attack Exdeath and get blocked and punished, or don't attack Exdeath and let Maelstrom go off knowing you can't possibly evade it.
  • Balance Buff: Dissidia 012 significantly increased the speed of Reverse Polarity, buffed his counterattacks, gave him the ability to cancel many of his attacks into guards, and he got Maelstrom as a new HP attack. This all makes Exdeath better at his intended playstyle and gives him new ways to defend himself and pressure his opponent.
  • Barrier Warrior: Exdeath possesses a multitude of attacks based around blocking enemy attacks with various energy barriers, and in the hands of a skilled player he can be almost untouchable.
  • BFS: His sword, fashioned like a tree branch, isn't as big as some extreme examples, especially relative to the large Exdeath himself, but is still rather big compared to conventional weapons and the swords of other characters.
  • Blow You Away: Hurricane creates a storm of wind around Exdeath. In Dissidia 012 he gains Maelstrom as an HP attack, which creates a tornado around the opponent with some lightning effects.
  • Call-Back: When fighting Gilgamesh, Exdeath's EX Burst has an additional line where he calls him "you worthless fool!", and instead of Neo Almagest the text box for a successful burst says "fall to the depths of the Rift!" This is a reference to when he banished Gilgamesh to the Void in Final Fantasy V, and said the same things.
  • Charged Attack: Maelstrom has to have Exdeath charge a long time to execute it.
  • Competitive Balance: Invoked in 012. In the original Dissidia, Exdeath's first three "Block" attacks were just stronger versions of the last, and thus there was no point to using the Low Block or Mid Block once Exdeath learned High Block. In 012, his first three Block attacks are reworked as Protect Guard, Shell Guard, and Turn Guard — Protect Guard and Shell Guard only work on melee and ranged attacks, respectively, but they can deflect High-priority attacks; Turn Guard can deflect melee and ranged attacks and can be sustained as long as the button is held, but it can't deflect High-priority attacks like Protect Guard and Shell Guard can. And in both games, Omni Block has higher block priority over all three, but it only lasts a moment and so needs to be used with careful timing, while the other three last longer.note 
  • Cool Sword: He has an ornate sword that he uses both to attack with and to focus magic through.
  • Flying Weapon: His sword often circles around him as he uses his hands to command attacks. In his cutscene fight with Bartz, he fends him off at first by just magically moving his sword around him to attack him.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite using a sword in gameplay, he couldn't equip them in Dissidia; Dissidia 012 rectified this.
  • Instant Runes: Delta Attack and High Block create elaborate magical runes in front of Exdeath to block attacks. He also conjures more subtle ones beneath his feet when using Reverse Polarity.
  • Lethal Joke Character: He's amazingly slow, has almost no combos, is difficult to master, and his hammy antics make him very silly. But in the hands of players who know how to use him. Exdeath is very mobile, difficult to get hits on, and attacks with crushing power.
  • Lightning Bruiser: When he does one of his famous counters after a block, his attacks are lightning-fast and have an increased critical hit chance for attacking a staggered opponent, and with Omniblock he can block you and hit back at a moment's notice before you even realize you got blocked. And while his normal movement speed is slow, he has Reverse Polarity to teleport faster than any character can move anyway, so he'll have no trouble keeping up with speedy opponents.
  • Limit Break: His EX Burst, The Laws Of The Universe Mean Nothing! Exdeath summons a portal to the Void around his opponent as he focuses his power. The player must hold the Circle button to drain energy to 0%. Failing causes Exdeath to cast a powered-up form of Grand Cross, conjuring spheres of void energy that converge on the opponent. Success causes him to use Neo Almagest, casting the opponent into the Void and crushing the portal shut between his hands, the screen and music fading to black as they are banished.
  • Magic Knight: He carries a sword and uses it with his Swords Dance Bravery attack, but most of his attacks are magical and his sword floats around as he does them.
  • Power of the Void: He's the Trope Namer with his EX Mode. Exdeath's magic, with the exceptions of Hurricane and Malestrom, take the appearance of Pure Energy attacks or orbs of dark grey energy shining with light.
  • The Slow Walk: Slowest in the game — Ultimecia is the second-slowest character, and in an exercise done to determine how fast each character was by having them walk across the World of Darkness arena, Exdeath still took almost three times as long as her to make it across.
  • Stone Wall: His teleportation and counterattacks notwithstanding, Exdeath moves and attacks about as fast as you'd expect a tree to move and attack. But then the opponent tries to attack him and he blocks them and makes them regret their mistake. Of particular note is Omniblock, which executes almost instantly and creates a field of energy around Exdeath that can block everything capable of being blocked (a few attacks are flagged as completely unblockable, but they're few).
  • Super Mode: His EX Mode Power of the Void!. Exdeath takes on his penultimate form; the fusion of tree and humanoid that he uses in the final battle (except in his new 3rd alternate costume, where his appearance more closely resembles the humanoid body at the apex of Neo Exdeath). In addition to Regen, Exdeath's EX Mode gives him the ability Speed Guard, causing his guards to execute faster and with reduced cooldown, and he can execute his Bravery counterattacks twice as many times.
  • Telefrag: If he teleports directly to the opponent's location when using Reverse Polarity, he damages them and knocks them into the air.
  • Teleport Spam: Since he won't be walking anywhere if the player plans to get there before their opponent rage quits from boredom, players will be reliant on Reverse Polarity a lot to be able to move around the battlefield.
  • Villain Teleportation: Reverse Polarity sends a field of energy at the opponent that bounces around the arena as long as the Circle button is held; when it is released, Exdeath instantly teleports to its location.

Design and Costume Tropes

  • Bling of War: Contrasting the other armored villains who mostly dress in silver and black, Exdeath's armor has lots of gold ornamentation with beads and jewels embedded in them.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Although not nearly as much as Golbez, his shoulders are still massive and have two huge spikes rising from them.
  • Spikes of Villainy: His armor has a lot of spikes on it, most prominently his shoulders but also his elbows and helmet.
  • Tin Tyrant: An aspiring Dimension Lord and Omnicidal Maniac clad in a suit of blue armor.

Storyline tropes

  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To the Final Fantasy IV cast. He's the one who pursues Kain in the 12th cycle as he strikes down his comrades, and in the 13th cycle he shows up to punish Golbez when he figures out Golbez is a traitor, and Cecil fights Exdeath to defend him. That said, it's just an coincidence really: Exdeath was killed by Kain in the 12th cycle and would have had his memories of that cycle erased, so he probably has no idea he's made himself an enemy of the same group of people twice in a row. And for a dash of Dramatic Irony, the reason Kain killed him is because Golbez disrupted Exdeath's control of the Manikins, giving Kain the opening he needed to reach Exdeath. Thus, even if Exdeath doesn't realize it, Golbez probably considers Exdeath his arch-enemy.
    • Defied when it comes to Bartz. While all the other hero-villain pairs in the 13th cycle have at least an ideological reason to be opposed to the other, Exdeath has no particular conflict with Bartz and Bartz has none with him. Bartz got caught in Kuja's trap for Zidane and was sent to the lands of Chaos by accident, and Exdeath happens to be the warrior of Chaos that was sent to chase him down as he escaped.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Exdeath is very perceptive on the plots and motives of those around him, particularly being the one to catch on that Golbez is a traitor. However, he just doesn't care about most things, because as far as he's concerned his ultimate triumph to destroy all with the Void is inevitable. He tends to take action for its own sake when something gets on his nerves or intrigues him. This is why he has no problem letting the Onion Knight and Terra go when the Onion Knight begs him to do so — Exdeath's response is essentially "eh, sure. I'll banish you to the Void some other time."
  • Face Death with Dignity: When he's killed the final time, he revels in the feeling of dissolving to nothingness, and faces his death standing tall, laughing deep and long.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: He's the one who freed the Manikins from the Void to use them as Mooks in the war, and a few cutscenes show him summoning them to fight the heroes, something the other villains do on only one occasion.
  • Must Have Lots of Free Time: Since he doesn't care about the war of the gods and does as he likes, Exdeath tends to mill around the world looking for things to do. This is the whole reason he's after Bartz in the 13th cycle: Ultimecia and the Emperor spy Bartz in the lands of Chaos and he runs off, and since they're too busy to chase him they call in Exdeath to do it since he's not doing anything else.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: An Official Quest shows Kain's actions after his encounter with Lightning — turns out the only reason he didn't kill her off then was because he didn't want Exdeath following him back to where he was keeping the other fallen heroes safe. If Exdeath and Garland hadn't shown up, Kain and Lightning would have kept fighting and one of them would probably have eventually killed the other, and from there the entire plot of the game would have unraveled and a lot more characters would have died in the 12th cycle, including possibly Cosmos herself.
  • Spanner in the Works: The cycles of war derailed in large part thanks to Exdeath opening the portal to the Void and summoning the Manikins, completely changing the rules of the war.
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    Kefka Palazzo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kefka_dissidia.png
"Hopes aren't worth dirt! I'm going to destroy everything!"
"The past is filled with pain and suffering, but all is well if you have fun living." — Fanatic's Leer

Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba (Japanese), Dave Wittenberg (English)

—Fighting Style: Mad Mage

The insane harlequin from Final Fantasy VI. After he became an experimental Magitek Knight, Kefka gained great power and great insanity. Finding no greater joy than in destruction, he eventually claimed the power of the Warring Triad and became a Physical God that destroyed the world. In Dissidia he's the same way, following his impulsive desires to cause misery and death wherever, however he can. He's particularly keen on manipulating Terra and taking control of her mind to use her as a minion, but also pulls strings with his fellow warriors of Chaos when he decides he dislikes their conduct.

Kefka is a Mad Mage, as true a description as any you could ask for. His spells have crazy twists, like Fire spells that zigzag through the air, Blizzard spells that bounce around, Thunder spells that surround the opponent, and so forth. Kefka is a long-range fighter who relies on projectile-type attacks like this, which makes him a bit easy to block and dodge once you know the twists to his attacks. However, when he lands a hit he packs a wallop, and he has various tricks up his sleeve to trip opponents up and hit them where they didn't see it coming.

General Tropes

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: A rare villainous example: If Kefka ends up defeated, sometimes he will apologize and beg to be let go.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's a violent psychopath who loves using his powers to hurt others.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Kefka is by far the most comical warrior of Chaos, and also one of the most dangerous.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: "Destruction is fun" is his entire motif.
  • Cry for the Devil: While Kefka is just as unrepentantly evil in Dissidia as in VI, the game re-contextualizes his nihilism that it's a result of his insanity, that his mind is just so twisted he is actually incapable of understanding hope and love anymore, and he loves causing destruction because it's the only thing that makes sense to him and brings him any happiness. Even Terra seems to pity him when she realizes this.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: His Mirror Match quotes in both games have him admiring his own appearance.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "Why create when it will only be destroyed? Why cling to life, knowing that you have to die?"
  • Evil Laugh: It's his trademark. He makes liberal use of it in many cutscenes
  • Girly Run: Kefka's running animation is an exaggerated prance, kicking his feet up behind him while swinging his arms and rocking his head side-to-side.
  • A God Am I: His EX Mode is his "god of magic" form, a twisted purple angel with four feathered wings and two leathery wings.
  • Guttural Growler: He's normally high-pitched when joking around, but when he drops the silliness and is all business, his voice grows noticeably deeper and has a slight growl to it.
  • Hope Crusher: Emphasized with this quote on fighting Terra:
    "Hopes aren't worth DIRT! I'm going to destroy EVERYTHING!"
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • He claims Sephiroth is "just another sadist with a god complex... like THAT's something special!" This pretty much describes Kefka perfectly (and he probably knows it). Also counts as a form of Lampshade Hanging, because most major Final Fantasy villains want to become a god, destroy everything, or both. It's par for the course, really.
    • In Dissidia 012 his intro quote to Laguna Loire is "Would you look at this clown?"
  • Idle Animation: One of the few characters to have an extended one — if left long enough, he tilts his head back and raises his arms, as if silently laughing.
    Kefka: Look at who I get to mess with next!
  • Lack of Empathy: He cares about nothing and no one but himself, and has no problem violently getting rid of anyone in his way, even his own allies. After Cosmos dies, Kefka laughs and taunts the heroes about it, and he insults Kuja to his face when he dies.
  • Large Ham: Being a cackling clown who loves causing chaos, Kefka is extremely over-the-top in almost everything he says and does, especially in battle.
  • Laughably Evil: He is a monster, but darn if his constant jokes and mannerisms don't make him hilarious. His intro animation in battle is to prance by the camera, then stop and turn to peer at his opponent with a hand over his eye; then he turns around to moon them and slap his ass a couple times before standing up as the fight begins.
  • Meta Guy: He break the fourth wall in his victory pose when he winks and laughs at the player as the camera rotates around him, makes several Aside Glances (though the way Kefka does it, it ends up more like a Jump Scare), occasionally hums the Victory Fanfare when he wins, and hangs many a lampshade.
    About Sephiroth: "He's just another sadist with a god complex, like THAT'S something special!"
    About Squall: "You sure are talkative, in your head!"
    About Vaan: "And here I thought you were just another prepubescent pretty-boy."
    About Kuja: "He and his black thong are going to regret this!
  • Mundane Utility: While several warriors of Chaos float in battle or in cutscenes, Kefka regularly levitates in place to "relax" by reclining in the air.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He'd like to destroy everything he can just for the sake of having fun doing it.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He makes no secret that he's having fun fighting, and just acts like an immature loon. This is especially evident in the cutscene before he fights Terra, with lines like "come on, let's play!", "let the party begin!", and when he thinks she's been obliterated by an Ultima spell, he groans "was that it? I wanna play more!" Also, in the Japanese versions of the games, he uses the pronoun "boku", which is usually used by young boys.
  • Retractable Appendages: He can protract and retract his wings to attack when using Havoc Wing.
  • Sad Clown: It is implied shortly after his defeat in Shade Impulse that he thinks no matter what people do, the things they create will be lost and their lives will end, so why bother with any of it? Terra realizes after he fades for the last time that the reason he was so lustful for destruction is because nothing else made him happy, not even the normal things people are happy for.
    Kefka: Life...dreams...hope...where do they come from, and where do they go? None of that junk is enough to fulfill your hearts! Destruction, destruction is what makes life worth living!
    • Firion reinforces the trope with his pre-battle quote when facing Kefka.
      Firion: "I've never heard... a sadder laugh..."
  • Shout-Out: Dave Wittenberg's performance as Kefka sounds similar to Mark Hamill's characterization of The Joker.
  • Sissy Villain: He has flamboyant clothes and effeminate mannerisms.
  • Slasher Smile: The Glasgow Grin helps, but Kefka is almost always smiling or smirking, and never in a good way.
  • Straw Nihilist: The actual motivation behind Kefka's all-consuming desire to destroy everything is his firm belief that nothing in life matters or has any value.
  • This Cannot Be!: His defeat quotes include "inconceivable!" and "Un-be-LEEVE-able!"
  • Throw It In!: A lot of Kefka's lines and quirks can be traced back to Shigeru Chiba, who ab-libbed a lot during recording sessions.
  • Troll: He annoys the other characters, he knows it, and he has fun doing it.

Gameplay and Combat Tropes

  • Confusion Fu: His fighting style is appropriately summed up as "Mad Mage". The main idea behind Kefka's attacks is that they don't hit where it seems they will; his Fireballs zigzagg through the air to hit you from multiple angles, one of his Blizzard spells stops a short distance away before shattering in your direction, the other Blizzard spell shoots along the ground bouncing off walls, and so forth.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: He has two variants each of Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga among his Bravery attacks, and his Meteor takes the form of fireballs.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Havoc Wing has him flip around and extend his god-form's wings to stab the opponent.
  • Limit Break: His EX Burst, Warring Triad. Kefka blasts the opponent back with an Ultima spell and then focuses power, represented by three magic circles in the colors and position of the Warring Triad. Three button commands appear in them and the player must input the same commands in the same order to execute the Burst perfectly. A failed execution has Kefka use Forsaken, conjuring a wave of magic to blast enemies. On a perfect execution, Kefka uses Light of Judgment, casting his hand down to summon a Pillar of Light to smite his opponent from above, causing an explosion.
  • Pure Energy: Trine, Ultima, and Forsaken Null take the form of crests and orbs of magical power that explode.
  • Roboteching: His two Firaga attacks spread out and strike the opponent from an angle, and his Meteor drops five fireballs around the opponent that bounce in their direction.
  • Squishy Wizard: He moves slowly, most of his attacks have a lot of start-up and end lag, and they can be easy to avoid or block. But when they do hit, they pack a wallop.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Hyperdrive sends a wave of explosions along the ground at the opponent.
  • Super Mode: His EX Mode Power of Destruction, where he transforms into his God of Magic form from the final battle of Final Fantasy VI. Kefka gains the ability Glide, letting him hover around the stage by holding the jump button, and the ability Exhilarating Magic, which augments his magical attacks. The manner in which they change varies for each individual spell: Waggle-Wobbly Firaga shoots two fireballs out, Extra-Crispy Firaga fires three fireballs that themselves split into three fireballs, Twisty-Turny Blizzaga fires an ice orb that bounces around instead of shooting along the ground, and so forth. This generally lets Kefka's spells hit over larger areas, deal more damage, and they are more difficult to avoid.
  • Trap Master: He has some shades of this. The long start-up and/or ending lag to most of Kefka's attacks means he can have trouble finding an opening to attack safely, so he is very reliant on Waggle-Wobbly Firaga to pressure the opponent and create such opportunities. He also has Meteor, Zap-Trap Thundaga, and Trine, which creates attacks around the opponent instead of right on them, and thus they can be used to punish opponents that are using a Charged Attack or running for an EX Core; Trine in particular moves very quickly and can easily force a dodge from the opponent to avoid them. This means using Kefka effectively relies on pressuring the opponent and exploiting slip-ups in their movements to be able to land hits.

Design and Costume Tropes

  • Glasgow Grin: His overdone purple lipstick gives the impression his smile is much wider than his lips.
  • Monster Clown: Kefka is addressed as a clown by others including himself, and he's one of the most evil creatures serving Chaos.
  • Pointy Ears: For some reason he has pointed ears normally, when Terra doesn't and neither do any other Final Fantasy VI characters in other games. It's likely to enhance the image of Kefka as an immensely powerful Physical God.
  • Power Gives You Wings: When he transforms into his god form, he permanently gains six large wings.
  • Purple Is Powerful: His god form has purple skin.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: He wears a feather in his hair and paints his fingernails red. Also, he is the only male character besides Cloud who is able to equip ribbons and female exclusive equipment.

Storyline tropes

  • Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time Shigeru Chiba has voiced a Monster Clown — he was previously the voice of Buggy the Clown from One Piece.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: When he overhears Cloud and Kuja deciding not to fight, he mocks the "pitiful little poppets [for] letting their precious past prevent them from properly participating".
  • Arc Welding: Between Dissidia and Dissidia 012, Kefka's goal to take control of Terra and make her fight for him remains the same. However, 012 adds a new justification for why he is focused on this — the 12th cycle ended with the portal to the Void that they were summoning Manikins through were destroyed, and while they still have a fairly large number of Manikins on-hand, it's a finite amount. Kefka wants to take control Terra again because she'd be a very powerful minion, and that's something he needs in the 13th cycle that he didn't in the 12th.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Gives an especially big one when he discovers that Vaan took Terra and ran after fighting him.
  • Die Laughing: After he self-destructs in Shade Impulse. Unlike most examples, his laughter has shots of sobbing.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Fitting in with his In Love with Your Carnage view towards Terra, there's some rather thin subtext about her servitude to Kefka. At one point, he remarks "She always comes running straight back into my arms, anyway. What do I care!", and when she refuses to fight he tortures her, saying "Sorry babe, I only hurt you because you make me."
  • Double Take: Has a rather amusing one when Vaan runs off with Terra.
    Vaan: "We'll finish this next time! For now, I'm just gonna take the girl! Catch ya later!"
    Kefka: (waving) "Yeah, it's been a pleasure! Wait, you're, you, you're you w-w... WHAT!?"
  • Driven to Suicide: When defeated near the end of the 13th cycle, he destroys himself to see if that will finally satisfy his need to destroy.
  • Evil Mentor: He gives Kuja advice and assistance with capturing the heroes, but he does this to keep Kuja on track with the fake memories he implanted him with between the 12th and 13th cycles. And so he could get those fake memories into Kuja's head in the first place, he arranged for him to fight Lightning, then stood back and not only watched him die, but also proceeded to mock him.
  • Hated by All: No one likes Kefka. Even among the other villains, they sneer at him as a manic fool. The only one who seems to tolerate him is the Cloud of Darkness, who still expresses disapproval of his behavior and methods.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: His obsessive attitude towards Terra is full of sexual subtext, with him using pet names for her like "babe" and "dame", and talking excitedly about how powerful she is and he'd love to team up with her to destroy the world together.
  • Just Between You and Me: Averts it repeatedly. More than once the dialogue goes in a direction that seems to indicate Kefka is about to reveal information to the heroes, only for him to refuse to spill the beans or laugh that they wouldn't be interested. It's part of his tendency to Troll people; he's letting slip enough to make it clear to his enemies that he things they don't, but stops short of sharing anything useful.
  • Kick the Dog: He mocks Kuja when the latter is defeated/killed by Lightning. Honestly, it's really no wonder why Kuja would hate him.
    Kefka: Oopsie! Someone went and lost, didn't he? (Kefka approaches a keeling Kuja) You know what they say about second place: Completely pathetic! (Kuja fades away in clouds of darkness) Meh. Don't sweat it, a little thing like that's not gonna be the end of you. Should be the end of that rebellious phase of yours, though! The next time you fight, it will be study time! (mimes writing) All over again!
  • Mad Bomber: Has shades in the original Dissidia, where his preferred method to attack people is Ultima, which fires an orb of energy that causes a large explosion. His pre-fight cutscene against Terra has her just trying to evade him as he flies around cackling and flinging his explosive energy balls everywhere, doing more damage to his own tower than to her. When he uses Ultima in battle, he laughs as it explodes.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Not only does he screw with Kuja's plans, he also plants the idea to attack Tifa in Sephiroth's head, prompting Cloud to come to her rescue and setting the stage for his Heel–Face Turn in the next cycle. He did this simply because he did not like the idea of the two of them choosing to sit out the war.
  • Mythology Gag: The song that plays during the battle against Kefka in Prologus is "Esper Battle" from Final Fantasy XII, as that game uses the same terminology for its summons as VI did.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Gets very close with Kuja, leaning on his shoulders and getting right up in his face several times.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Don't let the clown make-up and constant joking around fool you — Kefka is just as cruel, sinister, and powerful as any other villain, and just as manipulative and sneaky as the rest, too. The reason the Cloud of Darkness doesn't remember Terra being on their side in the 13th cycle is because Kefka killed her in the 12th cycle, angry she told Laguna how to find the portal the Manikins were coming from. Kefka invokes You Have Failed Me me on the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Void; and yes, this is the same Kefka who pulls a fart joke.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: While Kefka really is a cackling, Ax-Crazy lunatic, he's far more devious and cunning than he lets on, and uses his madness to his advantage to get others to ignore him and dismiss him as just a raving nutjob instead of a dangerous schemer. In fact, after the Emperor and Golbez, Kefka is possibly the warrior of Chaos who is most adept at plotting and manipulation.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When the Cloud of Darkness had the chance to kill Terra (and presumably Onion Knight) with an energy attack, Kefka put down Cloud of Darkness's hand because he wants to make sure Terra returns to Chaos' side, feeling that she still has some use (that, as well as him and Cloud of Darkness having different methods of carrying out destruction: She wanted to destroy Terra outright, Kefka simply wants to "have some fun" while destroying things).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Well, it wasn't much of a speech, but Kefka's opening line to the Emperor (which qualifies as a Mythology Gag to what he said to Gestahl after he ended up fried by the Warring Triad) qualifies as such.
    Kefka: You are less than worthless!!
  • Shadow Archetype: To Terra, as a being with immense magical power within them that they can't control and for it are a danger to others. But Terra is trying to learn how to control her powers and has no interest in hurting anyone, while Kefka enjoys going all-out and unleashing his powers on others.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Suffers one in the closing stages of the 13th cycle, when his insanity reaches its peak. His intro with Terra in Dissidia 012 before this last battle is just a Madness Mantra of Kefka chanting "destroy" over and over in an increasingly manic manner.
  • Toilet Humor: He pulls a fart joke after spying Kuja and Cloud chatting.
    Kefka: What's this? The brooder and the narcissist having a heart-to-heart? Oh, this is rich. So rich it gives me gas. Gives me gas, I say! *camera cuts away, fart noise* And I... *camera cuts back* give it back."
  • You Have Failed Me: He executes the Cloud of Darkness after learning that they gave away information to Laguna about the door to the Rift.

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