As part of the scenario to create a durable and balanced drama, a living being is chosen by the Gods to act as the ultimate enemy who will face the Protagonist Race. They would be known as the Archfiend, which is for many a Name To Run Away From Really Fast. Seven of them were created at the time of the Rance series.
The Archfiends are the most powerful beings of the Continent, leading the Monster Realm from the shadows. They are the main Big Bad of human history and their main goal is to destroy the Protagonist Race (Humans at the time of Rance games). All of them harbor immense power and are said to be nigh-invincible, making the task of killing them very difficult.
There can only be one Archfiend at once, so whoever wants to be the next Archfiend needs to be soaked by their blood, either by killing or receiving it from them, turning the former Archfiend back to their previous form before their transformation. The calendar system is also based on the name of the current Archfiend.
From Ssulal Era onwards, the Archfiend have a lifespan of 1000 years, and must choose a successor before they die.
- Big Bad: Their entire purpose, as they were created to destroy the Protagonist Race.
- Dark Is Evil: They really like to show their status as the Archfiend by wearing dark clothing or having black scales like Abel. Kkulf Kkulf is the only exception, because it can't wear clothing as a 4.7 km long Kaiju.
- Dub Name Change: The original name in Japanese is Demon King.
- Evil Overlord
- FaceMonster Turn: Played straight unlike Fiends. The person who takes the blood becomes possessed by the bloodlust it possesses. There are ways to suppress it like consuming Hirami Lemons or through the original persona's own willpower. Gai is the least infected by it, because all of the bloodlust went to his insane personality.
- Greater-Scope Villain: They are this to the Rance series as a whole, since they all influenced the Continent in some way, while the current one, Little Princess, is dormant.
- Klingon Promotion: Should one manage to kill the Archfiend and/or take enough of their blood, whoever does it becomes the next Archfiend.
- Misanthrope Supreme: With the exception of Gai's sane half, they all have a hatred against the Protagonist Race.
- Monster Progenitor: By giving a portion of their blood, they can create the Fiends. If they give all of their blood, they transfer their role to another living being.
- No-Sell: From the Ssulal Era onwards, every Archfiend has an invincibility shield.
- One-Man Army: Just like Fiends, but taken to a whole other level.
- Passing the Torch: Since the Ssulal Era, the Archfiend needs to choose a successor during their reign.
- Posthumous Character: All the previous Archfiends before Little Princess are this, except for Jill who was sealed instead of killed.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: They are insanely powerful beings, but their sanity is rather questionable since they mostly think of ways to make the Protagonist Race suffer.
- World's Strongest Man: They are considered to be the strongest being on the Continent thanks to their strength and invincibility shield.
- Your Days Are Numbered: After losing their immortality, all of them are informed beforehand of their lifespan of a millenia.
- Ambiguous Gender: Kkulf Kkulf gender was never stated.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Its entire body is approximately 4.7 kilometers in length, and looks like a giant octopus with multiple eyes, with an orange lump (presumably its brain) on its head. One of its tentacles harbors an appendage shaped as a female humanoid.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Kkulf Kkulf isn't a nobody to the Round Ones as it is the chief of their species, but compared to the Dragons its race is very weak. After becoming the Archfiend it became a gigantic Monster who only got killed by them after 2000 years of war.
- Last Stand: Becomes this for the "Blood Memories" when all its other Archfiend forms were defeated. Rance lampshades this by claiming that taking on the form of the strongest Archfiend means it's driven to a corner.
- Super Prototype: It is the first Archfiend created and was originally a Round One, who were considered to be a weak, flawed and boring race, but up till now no other Archfiend managed to surpass its strength and might.
- World's Strongest Man: Kkulf Kkulf is still considered the strongest Archfiend if not the strongest being to ever exist on the Continent. It was even stated its strength rivaled a First Class God and it didn't even need an invincibility shield, because it was already strong enough without it. The only reason Kkulf Kkulf died was after two millennia of war against the Dragons, the strongest and wisest of the protagonist race.
- Badass on Paper: While he did strike the killing blow against Kkulf Kkulf, it was a case of Cherry Tapping. He only got the kill by luck and striking the Archfiend while it was at its weakest. All the other dragons did the heavy lifting of the fight. Further, while he was a dragon, he was something of a weakling among his own race, and even the power-up from becoming the Archfiend didn't let him become strong enough to be a real threat to them.
- Butt-Monkey: Is considered this compared to the other Archfiends, because he got locked up by the dragons and couldn't even reign over his own subjects in his era.
- Dirty Coward: A justified example, because fighting against a race which managed to kill Kkulf Kkulf is suicide especially when you're not even half as strong as your predecessor.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Downplayed. Even though he was the one who finished Kkulf Kkulf, he went down as the least remarkable Archfiend in history afterwards.
- Unexpected Character: In-Universe example, when the Blood Memories took on his form, Rance's children were surprised to see it transform into something that isn't human.
- Evil Genius: Downplayed. Ssulal wasn't affected by the Archfiend's bloodlust as much as the others, as she merely hunted a few humans.
- Flawed Prototype: Since she was the first Archfiend with the invincibility shield, she died an early death at 500 years.
- The Nicknamer: Notably, she nicknamed her Fiends out of attachment for them.
- The Red Baron: The Queen of Monsters.
- Single-Use Shield: Able to use four of them in order to nullify any attacks.
- Weak, but Skilled: She was weaker then the other Archfiends, but made up for it with her intellect. The fact that she asked the God Planner for a invincibility shield implies she could be defeated and killed by humans.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Subverted. Her era was relatively peaceful due to having less bloodlust than the other Archfiends.
- Genocide Backfire: The Annihilation War was one for him: By killing 50% of humanity, the Hero at the time was able to confront him directly. Despite being the winner of the duel, he was left with grievous wounds and lost 40 years of his lifespan, stopping the war altogether.
- Gone Horribly Right: He was chosen as the Archfiend, because his brutality and cruelness against mankind would bring lots of enjoyment to the Top God Rudrathaum. However in his era he almost caused their extinction, forcing the Planner to create the Hero System so that humanity would survive. At least until the Hero System was retconned to have been created alongside the invincibility shield.
- Pet the Dog: Showed kindness by taking Jill under his care and making her the next Archfiend before his death.
- An Arm and a Leg: She lost all of her limbs following her torture by her detractors near the end of the NC Era, but she got them back after becoming the Archfiend.
- And I Must Scream: Getting sealed into the void between the dimensions at the end of Rance 03. Before it happens she actually shows some measure of fear of being trapped, alone, in that darkness. She does suggest that given enough time she could build up her strength and break free, but that would take thousands of years, during which she'd be totally isolated from everyone and everything.
- Complete Immortality: She cannot be killed by any means, so the only way to get rid of her is to seal her with one of the two legendary swords, Chaos and Nikkou, but her immortality came as a price. See De-Power below.
- Crazy-Prepared: Along with the knowledge from Nighcisa about the Hero system, she created human farms to ensure that the population stays at a number big enough so that the Hero won't be strong enough to defeat her.
- Curtains Match the Window: Blue hair with blue eyes.
- De-Power: In exchange for her immortality, Planner reduced her strength to a mere 5 percent, making her defeatable by the strongest Fiends.
- Dub Name Change: From Gele to Jill (which is also similar to the proper pronunciation).
- Dude Magnet: Three of her Fiends happened to be in love with her. In a twist of irony, she was betrayed by Gai, the only man she felt genuine love for.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She genuinely loved Gai and was shocked by his betrayal, and still remembers him up to the LP Era in Rance 03, where her first question to Noce is to ask Gai's whereabouts.
- Full-Frontal Assault: She has never been depicted as wearing clothes in any of her appearances, emphasizing her lack of humanity. (This is also why her picture only shows her face.)
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Rance III/Rance 03.
- Just Toying with Them: The reason she didn't kill the human Gai on the spot when he tried to kill her, because she found him interesting due to his split personality.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: She's ultimately the one who finishes off a dying Noce, by taking back his Blood Soul to regain her former strength, making him Deader Than Dead in the process.
- Misanthrope Supreme: While hatred against the Protagonist race is natural in every Archfiend, she takes it to another level as a result of the torture she received from humans. As a result her hatred against humanity was the greatest of every Archfiend and her period was considered the darkest time during humanity's reign as the Protagonist race.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She was originally a kind girl who helps other with her knowledge, but people jealous of her assaulted, tortured and raped her, leaving her to die at the road afterwards.
- Oh, Crap!: Her reaction during her final confrontation with Rance in a Dimension Rift (who raises the level of everyone present), when it is revealed he has no Level Cap at all and it's making him stronger than her.
- Please Don't Leave Me: After her defeat in Rance 03, she asks Rance to stay with her to cope with the loneliness she felt for a thousand years. He was actually tempted for a split-second until Sill managed to get him back in the Continent, leaving her alone once again.
- Prison Dimension: Where she spent most of her eternal life after her sealing by Gai. After her freeing in Rance 03, she got back in one once again not long after.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Following her defeat at the hands of Gai, she was sealed by Chaos for a millenia until her unsealing by Noce in Rance III/03.
- Tom the Dark Lord: The most terrible and feared Archfiend in history, the greatest enemy mankind has ever faced... is named "Jill".
- Unexpected Character: In-Universe exemple. She makes an indirect appearance in Rance VI during the battle against Sieg, an Empathic Shapeshifter able to take the form of someone's worst nightmare: He transforms into Jill based on Sel Curchgolf's worst nightmare.
- The Unfettered: Hoo boy. Her era was remembered as the most dreadful ever for humanity, and for a good reason: Destroying every human nation, enslaving humanity, and to top it all creating human farms to prevent the Hero to kill her. All to make sure humanity wouldn't get the ghost of a chance against her.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She was originally a human with great beauty and talent, but people who were jealous of her assaulted and raped her with grievous injuries. Nighcisa found her at the roadside and feeling pity for her, he saved her life by making her the next Archfiend. As a result from the torture she received from humans, her hatred for the protagonist race was even greater then any other Archfiend before her.
Near the end of his era, he began to search for a potential successor, first by trying to have children: Only his daughter Hornet was born from his sex spree, but later considered her a failure despite having extremely high potential for battle. Eventally, after using the Fiend Berksham's ability to hop into other dimensions, he found a perfect candidate. He proceeds to kidnap the high-schooler Miki Kurusu, heroine of Little Princess, whom he thinks will be his successor. Her Childhood Friend Kentarou Ogawa manages to reach his castle, but arrives too late: Miki was turned into the 7th Archfiend. Upon realizing what he did, probably due to his insane personality, he lets Kentarou kill him out of regret.
Some time before dying, he writes a last will to Hornet, declaring his intent to create a peaceful coexistence between Humans and Monsters with Miki as their Archfiend. Wanting to honor her father's wishes, she tells the other Fiends of her intention to get Miki back for this purpose, a decision met with huge controversy in the Monster Realm, creating two factions and causing their first civil war in history: The Hornet Faction, whose goal is to find and protect Miki Kurusu, and the Kayblis Faction led by him, who gathers the vast majority of the Fiends and Monsters, whose goal is to capture her in order to turn Kayblis into the Archfiend.
- Anti-Villain: The only Archfiend who didn't wage war against humans, because all of the bloodlust went to his insane personality.
- Big Bad: Of the Little Princess game as Count Dracula.
- The Dragon: To the Archfiend Jill as his Supreme Fiend.
- Dragon Ascendant: Became the next Archfiend after betraying Jill.
- Enemy Mine: He allied with the current Hero at the time to seal Jill away with his help and the sword Chaos.
- Face Death with Dignity: When Kentarou kills him for kidnapping Miki and turning her into the Archfiend. The only thing he did was apologize for it and allow himself to be killed by Kentarou.
- I Let You Win: See Face Death with Dignity
- Small Role, Big Impact: He doesn't directly appear in the story, but his death and last message are what caused some of the events of the Rance series games.
- Split-Personality Takeover: While his human personality is peaceful, his insane one can take over to launch wars against the Protagonist Race.
- Two-Faced: He became this after absorbing the Archfiend Blood from Jill. It also shows his split personality with the demonic half being the insane personality and the human half being the sane one.
For tropes concerning her original persona Miki Kurusu, click here.
- Deader Than Dead: She was erased when the Archfiend Blood was taken out of Miki meaning her soul won't go back to Rudrathaum and reincarnate. Along with that Miki is back home and that the Blood Souls are destroyed there is no way to recreate her.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only thing she retains is her love for Kentarou.
- The Ghost: Downplayed, she sometimes influences the personality of Miki Kurusu, but canonically almost never appeared onscreen outside of non-canon scenarios.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The entire Rance series is happening because of her absence, as Miki is the catalyst for the whole civil war in the Monster Realm.
- Harmless Freezing: During her short appearance in Sengoku Rance, she casted a powerful curse on Rance, only for Sill to take it, putting her in eternal ice.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her eyes are red and is one of the most powerful beings on the continent.
- Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Since Miki takes Hirami Lemons quite frequently, she isn't able to manifest at all.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: She is this for Miki.
For tropes concerning his original persona click here.
- Archnemesis Dad: The enemies who oppose him are his children.
- Badass Cape: Wears a long black one.
- Big Bad: Of Part II.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: While Kayblis intended from the start to conquer all of the Human Realms to be the Archfiend and reign as its despot, Archfiend Rance spent most of his reign staying in his castle, trying to fight the bloodlust with sheer willpower. Also, his non-interference policy allowed Monsters and Humans to live together after 6000 years of constant conflict. Subverted during the times when the bloodlust took over during the War of the Brutal King.
- Darth Vader Clone: Archfiend Rance fills many bills of this. Wears dark armor with a cape and a helmet that covers his face? Check. Was originally the protagonist of his series until the death of a loved one? Check. Has besides swordsmanship also magical abilities? Check. Are his enemies his own children? Ultra check, he has eleven of them. At the end pulls a HeelFace Turn and joins his children to defeat the ultimate evil? Checkmate.
- Deader Than Dead: Since Quelplan extracted the Archfiend's blood out of him, his existence is erased and there is no way to bring him back, because of the destruction of the Blood Memories that created him.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Despite the plot of Part 2 being about going on a journey to defeat him, he is not the final boss of the series and was erased from existence when the Archfiend blood was extracted by Quelplan which caused the creation of the Blood Memories, the true final boss.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Sill.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: As a result of Rance suppressing this persona, he and the Monster Realm revolves between Neutral when Rance is in control and Heel when he's not.
- Hope Crusher: His presence alone is already enough for the enemy to give up hope of standing a chance and his first fight against the El Party went so bad that nearly all of them gave up hope and nearly tried to give up and plan fortify humanity's last defenses in Nippon. They only regained hope when Reset and El told them to try one more time, especially since the latter was the one who instigated their formation.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: It is made awfully clear that even at their strongest, the El Party is unable to defeat him. The most they can do is give Reset an opportunity to slap him back into sanity.
- Knight of Cerebus: There is nothing funny about him compared to his human counterpart. Notably, while he still engages in rape, he does it not for his own pleasure but rather to make the other party suffer.
- Magic Knight: Besides retaining his swordsmanship skills, he also gained a Magic Lv2 skill.
- Master Swordsman: His swordsmanship evolved even further thanks to his Sword Combat Lv3 skill.
- Offing the Offspring: He tried to kill all of his children when they failed to be a challenge for him. They only managed to survive and escape thanks to Shizuka and Nagi offering their bodies to keep him busy.
- One-Man Army: He trounce the El Party effortlessly. Keep in mind that at this point, they had already managed to defeat an entire army of East Helman.
- Pet the Dog: While it was probably because of the original Rance's influence, him transforming Rizna into a Fiend allowed her to recover from the physical damage and mental trauma she got as a result of the Second Fiend War.
- Purposely Overpowered: When he joins the El Party against Quelplan, his card show exactly how strong he is. Aside from buffed stats which are probably 3 to 4 times greater than his children, his Archfiend Attack is a 8.5X for 3 AP unlike other skills of this scale which are more around 8 AP. So of course, you lose this card after the fight.
- Rogue Protagonist: He went from the Protagonist of the entire Rance series to the (pen)ultimate villain of the last game.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Villainous Rescue: During one of his more sane and controlled periods he once saved humanity from the Hero Geimark, who was slaughtering humanity to ironically enough become strong enough to kill him and save humanity from his wrath. As said by Zance (after hearing the story of Geimark's rampage):"Right, and our father, Archfiend Rance, took him out. Ironically, he probably saved more people than the Hero."
- World's Strongest Man: While the Archfiend already is the strongest being on the continent, Archfiend Rance is so strong he's even stronger then other Archfiends. It took 11 of his children whose levels are above level 250 along with other allies to just create an opening. They even knew they couldn't beat him so the best they could do was make the Archfiend personality dormant via Reset's slap. For comparison Rance was able to defeat Jill at Level 560 and he only had a Lv2 Sword Combat skill to fight with while his children not only had 2 Swordsman with that skill, but also a magician with a Lv3 Magic skill, a ninja with a Lv3 Ninja skill, an archer with a Lv2 Bow Combat skill and three different kind of medics with Lv2 skills in their healing abilities each. And that still wasn't enough to defeat him. It's clear that if Rance wasn't holding the Archfiend's blood back, the entire population of the Continent would have suffered a hell even greater then the era of Jill.
- Boss Rush: A variation since those transformation are more like phases and the fight is treated as one boss. However the Blood Memories fight by transforming into the Archfiends it once possessed. It started out as the most recent Archfiend, Rance and ended with the first one Kkulf Kkulf. After Kkulf Kkulf was defeated it was left vulnerable to kill.
- Demonic Possession: What it does to its hosts, prompting them to cause destruction as much as possible.
- Enigmatic Empowering Entity: Its very existence is well hidden from mortals, but some of them acknowledge the existence of a "cursed blood" responsible for creating the Archfiend. It finally appears before mortals eyes due to its inability to possess Quelplan (naturally immune to it) and was extracted from Archfiend Rance's body. Surprisingly, it's actually very weak by itself, and it merely copies the powers of the Archfiends but not being as strong as them.
- Flat Character: By itself, the Blood Memories doesn't have a personality on its own and is merely predisposed towards suffering and hatred.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: It's very powerful and only wants to make the Protagonist Race suffer. This is justified, because that's the task it's programmed with and the being that would become the Archfiend forms the bulk of the their personality since the Blood Memories only influences its desire for destruction and chaos on them.
- Greater-Scope Villain: For the inhabitants of the Continent, since it's controlling the actions of the Archfiend.
- Last Stand: Its transformation into Kkulf Kkulf the first Archfiend is seen as this by Rance.
- True Final Boss: Of the Rance series.
- Zero-Effort Boss: As shown at the end of Part 2 when his Last Stand fails against the El Party: It's unable to defend once it went out of options to fight.