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Magnificent Bastard / Tales Series

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"In order to do something, you must do it yourself, it is not enough to merely rely on someone else and go along with their ideals."
Kratos Aurion, Tales of Symphonia

With a fantasy series as long running as the Tales Series, it's perhaps inevitable that its heroes would encounter some dastardly yet brilliant foes such as these.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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  • Tales of Phantasia: Dhaos, the "Demon King," was once the beloved prince of Derris-Karlan who cultivated a prosperous and peaceful kingdom that prided itself on the value of diplomacy and dialogue. When neighboring kingdoms came to arms, Dhaos kept his land out of the war and organized mass aide toward the ailing when the war seemingly approached a conclusion. With his World Tree destroyed and Derris-Karlan threatened, Dhaos was spirited away to Aselia to find a new World Seed to save his land. Gaining an audience to the King of Migards, Dhaos narrowly convinces him to cease all magitechnologcal advancements through the sheer strength of his rhetoric. Framed and coming into conflict with Migards, Dhaos forged a pact with Daemonium and orchestrated a series of brilliant military campaigns meant to subvert their magitechnology for his own gain. Sealed in the Catacombs of Euclid, Dhaos manipulates Mars Uldole into freeing him and subsequently restarts his attempts to destroy Aselia and its inhabitants. Hardships weathering him in his onerous quest to save Derris-Karlan, Dhaos would later express regret for his actions and christen himself as the series' inaugural but eminent Well-Intentioned Extremist.
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  • Tales of Destiny 2: Elra(i)ne, Holy Woman of the Order of Atamoni, yearns to offer salvation to humanity by altering the events of the past to better align it with her vision of an ideal world that surrenders free will for lasting peace. Possessed of a graceful demeanor yet powerful voice, Elrane conducts religious sermons that charm the masses of Dycroft who revere her as the manifestation of the goddess Fortuna herself, wrapping almost all of the entire setting around her finger while surreptitiously collecting huge amounts of Lens for the purpose of creating her utopia. In the interest of maintaining such a favorable position, Elrane enlists Barbatos Goetia as her personal assassin to eliminate threats to her goals without exposing herself. Even when she meets her end at the Egg of God, Elrane expresses regret she could not usher in the best age of mankind she envisioned, feeling justified in changing the timeline and slaughtering heroes in the name of Fortuna.
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    • Kratos Aurion was a former hero of the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla who escorted the very first "Chosen", Martel to defeat evil. Having ascended to be an Angel of the Four Seraphim some 400 years prior to the game's story, Kratos wed a human named Anna Irving and she gave birth to hero Lloyd. After being forced to kill her, Kratos, thinking his son also died, decides to work as a Double Agent for the Angelic organization of Cruxis, manipulating the current Chosen of Sylvarant and her retinue to become an angel and vessel for Martel, while figuring out immediately her childhood friend was his missing son, but deciding to spare the boy's feelings. After defeating his son while holding back, it strengthens the boy's resolve to defeat him and stop Mithos Yggdrasil which is exactly what Kratos wanted. Snarky, brooding and very intelligent, Kratos was an honorable adversary to Lloyd and constant wrench in Mithos Yggdrasil's plans.
    • Yuan Ka-Fai, one of the Four Seraphim, is a cynical, calculated half-elf who rose in the ranks of the Sylvaranti military. When the capital of Tethe'alla was beseiged, Yuan joined Mithos, Martel, and Kratos to revive the Kharlan Tree and "expose his hypocrisy." Applying his military might, Yuan became one of the four heroes of the Kharlan War. After his beloved died, Yuan ultimately grew disillusioned with Mithos's methods. Spurred by Martel's desire to eradicate discrimination for all races, Yuan established the Renegades as its secret leader meant to oppose the Desians and Cruxis. Stopping at nothing to see Mithos foiled, Yuan orders assassinations on Colette to stop the Journey of Regeneration and, failing that, takes Lloyd hostage for leverage whenever the opportunity suits him. When traps and his contacts don't work, Yuan advises Lloyd and crew to make pacts with Summon Spirits in order to weaken the Kharlan Tree. An enemy as often as an ally, Yuan employed all manner of tricks to stop the cycle and reunite the worlds.
  • Tales of Legendia: Maurits Welnes, leader of Village of the Ferines, exhibits a helpful and kind personality that belies a casually manipulative old gentleman. Foreshadowing his skills when he disguised Ferines within Vaclav's ranks to save Senel and his party, Maurits continues to hide his hand while building good rapport, performing a Rousing Speech to motivate an ally army and solemnly paying respect to Stella. Convincing Shirley to perform the Rite of Ascension, Maurits deliberately prevents Walter from helping her friend Fenimore Xelhes from death so as to give Shirley the final nudge into becoming the Merines. Calm and affable even when explaining the real history and why he wishes to return the world back to the ocean, Maurtis blocks Senel's attempts to prevent Shirley from activating the Wings of Light with an Awful Truth he strategically withheld for such an occasion. Eventually bested alongside his god Nerifes, Maurits undergoes a change of heart and endeavors into creating a peace pact.
  • Tales of the Abyss: When Van Grants learned that the Score predicted that the world would end, he decided to avoid this fate by destroying the world, killing all of its inhabitants, and creating a replica world in its stead. To accomplish this, Van pretended to be a loyal adherent to the Score, fooling nearly everyone in the Order of Lorelei so he could advance in rank to command the Order's military. When one of Van's plans hinged on Luke surviving his death that was foretold in the Score, Van kidnapped Luke and replaced him with a replica, framing the deed on the rival empire of Malkuth. Van is incredibly charismatic, capable of making his enemies into his loyal followers and is always one step ahead of the heroes. In the end, all of the heroes can't help but respect him despite his crimes.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Richter Abend, a former scientist seeking to kill the genocidal spirit Ratatosk and to resurrect his friend Aster, who was killed by Ratatosk. To accomplish this, Richter makes a pact with the demons of Niflheim, who give Richter the strength to face Ratatosk and a promise to resurrect Aster on the condition that Richter kills Ratatosk, which will destroy the barrier stopping the demons from invading the mortal world. However, Richter devises a plan to doublecross the demons by sacrificing himself after Ratatosk is dead and Aster is revived. Exploiting the tension between the peoples of Sylvarant and Tethea'alla, Richter uses Solum's core to control Brute, the leader of the Vanguard, turning it into a violent anti-Tethe'allan movement. Richter uses this ethnic violence to cover up his quest to find and kill Ratatosk. Along the way, Richter befriends Emil and teaches him self-confidence. After Emil stops Richter's plans, Richter works together with the newly-reformed Ratatosk to hold back the demons of Niflheim for a thousand years.
  • Tales of Xillia: Maxwell, Lord of the Spirits, masterminded the entire plot comfortably on his throne within the Temporal Crossroads. Distressed by the rapid death of spirits due to spyrix use, Maxwell cautioned the denizens of Elympios against it. When his warnings went unheeded, Maxwell created the Schism and the second world of Rieze Maxia in hopes of keeping spirits alive on the better one. When Exodus breached the schism, Maxwell created his "daughters" Muzet and Milla, fashioning the latter to draw out Exodus and fulfill his plans unsuspected. Successfully getting rid of Exodus despite twenty years of inaction without a hitch, Maxwell was open-minded enough to listen to Jude and Milla's viewpoints and changes his ways. Despite betrayal from Muzet and Gaius, Maxwell successfully holds them off while casting the heroes to Elmypios as a contingency. When agreements are made, Maxwell peacefully passes on while abdicating his title of "Lord of Spirits" to Milla to usher in a better, unified world.
  • Tales of Graces: Little Queen, the manifestation of Fodra's consciousness, experienced experiments conducted on her planet's core by scientists two thousand years ago. Witnessing the desolation of her home, she responds by slaughtering every last scientist responsible. Intent on preserving nature, the misanthropic Little Queen is the reason for the monster epidemic on Ephinea, suggesting she wanted to free another planet from humanity's grasp with as little as involvement as possible. Manipulating Sophie with a simple hallucination about friends' mortality, Little Queen tries to sway the Fodran Artificial Human to her side so neither can be alone. When the heroes arrive, Little Queen often attacks them without hesitation and uses her large numbers and monsters in attempts to overwhelm them. After losing as the Fodra Queen, Sophie is able to assuage the Queen's sorrow, and before she fades, receives the last bit of her power—and her hopes for humanity and nature to prosper in harmony.
  • Tales of Hearts: Incarose is in equal parts the most vicious, cunning, and loyal mechanoid within Creed Graphite's inner circle. Working to unseal her master and dispose of Lithia, Incarose manipulated the Maximus Empire, the Valentin Church, and internal factions politically and strategically by providing the truth about Kohaku's Spiria Core, using their movements for her own gains, and keeping herself abreast of shifting circumstances. Although betrayed by Azide Silver, Incarose returns the favor by killing him when least expected while using the development to enrage Kor so much the seal on Creed is broken. Stopping at nothing to eliminate those against Creed's ambitions, Incarose fights to the bitter end, passing on while solemnly lamenting her devotion to her master.
  • Tales of Xillia 2: Bisley Karcsi Bakur, C.E.O. of Spirius Corporation, orchestrated the events of the plot to guide Elle into the land of Canaan and use her unique abilities to use his Chromatus to enslave spiritkind and prevent Chronos from killing all humans. Pragmatic, affable, and holding humanity's best interests at heart, Bisley provides Ludger with a window of opportunity to repay his debt and evade arrest as a suspect for Julius's "murder" while subtly manipulating and exploiting Elle for her abilities to reach the Land of Canaan. When the millionth distortion is set to form, Bisley fools Chronos into thinking Ludger is the Key of Kresnik instead of Ell and uses the chance to bind the Great Spirit of Time to finally attain his revenge against him for murdering Bisley's lover. Soon running the risk of becoming a distortion catalyst, Bisley chooses to sacrifice himself so Ludger and Elle have a fighting chance, refusing to contribute to the Origin's trial.
  • Tales of Zestiria: General Maltran, the Blue Valkyrie, succeeded a family of knights and molded herself into the pinnacle of knighthood, elegance, and spearmanship. When attacked by jealous fellow countrymen turned into hellion, Maltran lost her faith in humanity and pledged allegiance to Heldalf, becoming a hellion herself strong enough to retain her sense of self. Taking up an apprentice in Princess Alisha Diphda, Maltran used and manipulated her as a means of stoking the flames of war between the Hyland Kingdom and the Rolance Empire. An esteemed military advisor, she also incited actions within the Hyland council to push the war into an earlier start. Nihilistic yet manipulative, Maltran helped brew the malevolence her master needed, impaling herself upon Alisha's lance and going out on her own terms without a shred of regret.

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  • Tales of the Tempest: King Aruella VIII is an alien Spot who drifted too far from his homeworld and became stranded on the eponymous continent. Motivated purely by singleminded homesickness, Aruella determined his sole recourse to return back would be harvesting a Precepts known as Life Magic as much as possible for the Pensient. A master manipulator bearing unfathomable patience, Aruella's first chance saw him goading Couber under the alias of the human traveler "Walls Garner" into committing the Beast Wars. When that fell through, Aruella waited until Pope Vincent Bridges of the Church became the next significant figure for him to influence, starting the Leymon hunts using the social climate of the world. Steadily receiving strength from the various conflicts, Aruella contented himself with stowing away on Mount Ayre until the final confrontation. His cruel but alien mentality making him come across as an unfettered king, Aruella's young appearance contrasted the centuries of intelligence he utilized to great effect.
  • Tales of Crestoria: Assid and Forte are twin scientists under King Gadel with a fanatical loyalty to the goddess Kasque. Finding faith in the deity after a dark period in their lives involving the brutal murder of their parents, Assid and Forte performed brutal gambits, including forcing a bandit to kill a child then broadcasting it on Vision Central, in relentless attempts to summon Kasque. Happening upon Kanata Hjuger and the Transgressors, Assid and Forte quickly earn their trust with feigned niceties and appeal to their common sensibilities. Whisking away Sonia, Kanata's sister, to Yednark, Assid and Forte plan to use the girl's grudge against Kanata to either destroy the city or have Kanata kill her and frame the disaster on Vision Control—with either result favorable for them. Strong-willed, faithful, yet cruel and manipulative, Assid and Forte responded to Kasque's descension with Tears of Joy and undying servitude.


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