Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters: The Winner (+ more)

Hey everyone,

We've finally arrived at the end, sorry if it took longer than you wanted it to! 52 days ago I started this (two days I couldn't post), and have been revealing one by one my favourite 50 characters in the amazing Final Fantasy series. Naturally I've been preferring the more recent games, I did start with Final Fantasy VII after all, but I have respected the earlier games by at least having one character from each game. Anyway, as a recap, here is the other 49 in reverse order:
  • #50 - Garland (FF1)
  • #49 - Doctor Tot (FF9)
  • #48 - Xande (FF3)
  • #47 - Cyan (FF4)
  • #46 - The Emperor (FF2)
  • #45 - Golbez (FF4)
  • #44 - Galuf (FF5)
  • #43 - Garland (FF9)
  • #42 - Kain (FF4)
  • #41 - Barret (FF7)
  • #40 - Leo (FF6)
  • #39 - Gilgamesh (FF9)
  • #38 - Reno (FF7)
  • #37 - The Nero Brothers (FF9)
  • #36 - Seifer (FF8)
  • #35 - Kimahri (FF10)
  • #34 - Ba'Gamnan (FF12)
  • #33 - Vincent (FF7)
  • #32 - Zorn and Thorn (FF9)
  • #31 - Squall (FF8)
  • #30 - Lulu (FF10)
  • #29 - Jenova (FF7)
  • #28 - Rikku (FF10)
  • #27 - Sabin (FF6)
  • #26 - Cid (FF9)
  • #25 - Bugenhagen (FF7)
  • #24 - Irvine (FF8)
  • #23 - Locke (FF6)
  • #22 - Brother (FF10)
  • #21 - Cloud (FF7)
  • #20 - Baku (FF9)
  • #19 - Shadow (FF6)
  • #18 - Jecht (FF10)
  • #17 - Quina (FF9)
  • #16 - Red XIII (FF7)
  • #15 - Steiner (FF9)
  • #14 - Ultros (FF6)
  • #13 - Laguna (FF8)
  • #12 - Seymour (FF10)
  • #11 - Hojo (FF7)
  • #10 - Edgar (FF6)
  • #9 - Beatrix (FF9)
  • #8 - Auron (FF10)
  • #7 - Kuja (FF9)
  • #6 - Cid (FF7)
  • #5 - Balthier (FF12)
  • #4 - Zidane (FF9)
  • #3 - Sephiroth (FF7)
  • #2 - Vivi (FF9)
Without further ado, here's my favourite character:

#1: Kefka

Full Name (to knowledge): Kefka Palazzo
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: The Main Antagonist
Best Quote: "Life...dreams...hope...Where do they come from? And where do they go? Such meaningless things... I'll destroy them all!" 
I'd just like to say to a certain someone - no, it's not because I've just done an article on why I want a Final Fantasy VI remake.

Kefka is my number 1. It wasn't easy to make this decision, the Top 4 are really a big elite 4 in my eyes and there's little to seperate them in my heart. But I have chosen Kefka and I'm sticking to it.

Kefka or Sephiroth? Kefka, definitely. Why? There is one thing that Kefka does that no other character to my knowledge does. He actually becomes a god. So many tried, they all failed, but Kefka. Kefka becomes the lord of the world. He destroyed the world and reduced it to very little. No Sephiroth, no Kuja, no Sin, no one, was able to do this. (as I said I've not finished FF13 so if I'm wrong don't let me know!)

There are a few other things that I love about Kefka. That cackle, man, it's just brilliant. It's a shame that it can't work in a modern game, because it's truly a beautiful sound. You just want to kick his ass whenever he laughs, that laugh alone, nevermind what else he does.

And by what else he does I mean a lot. Yes he destroyed the world. But he did much more than that. He made Terra into a slave, he made her kill 50 of his own army. Why? As a test subject. That heartless bastard. You want more? He set fire to Edgar's castle, he almost succeeded if it wasn't for the fact that Edgar can make his castle burrow underground, getting rid of the flames. But the act that stands out for me, more than most acts, is him poisoning the castle of Doma. Everyone died of poison, bar Cyan and his sentry. What a sick, vile man. He does more here, nevermind destroying the world, than most villains do. And he wasn't even finished! He killed General Leo, not with magic, that weakened Leo. He stamped him to the ground, he used his own feet, the same ones that he demanded the Gestahlian army members to clean earlier in the game, to crush Leo into the ground. What a vile image, an image I desperately want redone in 3D. Then he killed his boss, and destroyed the world.

It's not just what he does though it's how he does it. It's his manic laugh, his brilliant quotes, he is flamboyant as well as destructive, how many people can pull that off. He's a fucking mad man! But he does it so much that you can't help but love him, but want him dead there and then. Kefka is a cold, heartless, evil clown, but he does it with such style such swagger that he is just that one thing better than anyone else. Kefka is my favourite character of all time, well, for the first twelve games anyway!
Note: Kefka is the eighth and final character from Final Fantasy VI in this list.


This trophy is for Kefka!
Thanks for reading my list, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it, I had a lot of fun. I just want to go through some consolation characters, that came close, but inevitably had to be dropped from the list. There in order of game, not in preference so don't read into why they are in the order they are in.

Chaos (FF1), Minwu (FF2), Doga (FF3), Cecil (FF4), Tellah (FF4), Cid (FF4), Cagnazzo (FF4), Rubicante (FF4), Bartz (FF5), Faris (FF5), Exdeath (FF5), Gilgamesh (FF5), Gau (FF6), Setzer (FF6), Mog (FF6), Banon (FF6), Cid (FF6), Interceptor (FF6), Tifa (FF7), Rude (FF7), Heidegger (FF7), Mayor Domino (FF7), Zack (FF7), Don Corneo (FF7), Selphie (FF8), Ward (FF8), Edea (FF8), Cid (FF8), Ellone (FF8), Dr. Kadowaki (FF8), Raijin (FF8), Wedge (FF8), Amarant (FF9), Stiltzkin (FF9), Yunalesca (FF10), Barthello (FF10), Cid (FF10), Maechen (FF10), O'aka XXIII (FF10), Rin (FF10), Fran (FF12), Basch (FF12), Vossler (FF12), and, Venat (FF12).

I already said before, but I haven't played FF13, but based on the two and a bit discs (XBox 360 version) I have played, three characters I really like are Sazh, Vanille and Barthandelus. So that's 47 characters, so you could make an arguement that it's my Top 97, in no particular order.

Some statistics. In the Top 50 list the most represented game is Final Fantasy 9, with 13 entries. If you include the other 47, then it's beat by Final Fantasy 7, with 16 entries (FF9 would have 15). It's no surprise, they are my two favourite games in the series. I could do more stats, but I don't know if I can be bothered at this moment of time.

Game (brackets are the other 47 as well):
FF1 1 (2) FF2 1 (2) FF3 1 (2) FF4 2 (7) FF5 1 (5) FF6 8 (14) FF7 10 (16) FF8 4 (12) FF9 13 (15) FF10 7 (13) FF12 2 (6) FF13 0 (3)

Based on each characters role in the game, the most popular role in the list is that of the Major Protagonist, which means the main characters in the game, but not the focal character.

Role (brackets are the 47 as well):
Main Protagonist 4 (6) Main Antagonist 4 (6) Major Protagonist 19 (33) Major Antagonist 12 (21) Minor Protagonist 7 (23) Antihero 4 (8)

I touched on it before, but I don't believe Squaresoft/Enix have put as much emphasis in their female cast as their male cast, so it's natural in my opinion that there are more men in the list than women.

Gender (brackets are the other 47 as well):
Male 44 (74) Female 3 (12) Other 3 (11)

Once again, thanks for reading my list and sharing your views. I don't mind if you agree or disagree, it's all part of the debate. I just wanted to go through my personal list, but I'm not ruling out doing an unbiased list (Top 50/100 most important/popular characters) some time in the future. I'll also be going into doing lists in other media too (I've finalised my Top 50 wrestling catchphrases, but it won't be a day to day job like this. That will be up in a week or so). So stay tuned! I'm hoping this is the beginning of something really big here at my site, I hope I can keep you all hooked with my views on different manners of media. Until next time, take care!

See other parts in the listing!
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | The Winner (+ more)



  2. I am stoked that Vincent and Squall made it on this list and were as high as they were even though I have them muchhigher on mine. I will say I was disappointed to not see Genesis on here. Sephiroth, like with most FF fans, was my favorite villain... until Genesis was introduced with Crisis Core. Being the pretty boy, that quotes a play(which is very well written)the entire time is one side but the fact that he has one of the top 3 most epic sword ever seen in FF ontop of the fact that he is ballsy enough to not only try to fight Sephiroth by himself but Firaga Angeal in the face for interfereing... He should at least get an honorable mention on everybody's lists.

  3. Kefka to me is nothing more then a watered down version of The Joker from the DC series. For half the game he never even acted like a true antagonist but one for comedy reasons. It's apparent that Square seemingly took qualities that The Joker shared and put them onto Kefka.

    He's also very one-dimensional, in that he's simple evil incarnate. If FFVI actually delved more into his character so that we could flesh out more of what set him to this, then it would've been more interesting.

    However he just runs around killing, and being evil, which to me an Antagonist should do more to be interesting.

    If relationship w/ Terra is only shown in short spurts, hence why I didn't feel any strong protagonist to antagonist build off.

    Only when Kefka became a "Demi-God" did he finally have antagonistic potential due to what he did with the World of Balance to the World of Ruin.

    You mention of Kefka achieving "God" status, and yet it was done so on purpose for the simple fact that even when reaching his ultimate peak, Kefka Could Be Beaten and was Beaten.

    However someone like Sephiroth whom, "had" he'd achieved the Goal Status of "God", then Cloud and the gang would've had absolutely No Power to Stop Him anymore. So Sephiroths "true" peak would've been truly untouchable where as Kefka was still left with vulnerability.

    Kefka only maimed the world, not completely destroy it. The other antagonist once again are not allowed to do so because their achievements would've been absolute.

    Take Kuja for example, he summoned an Entity called Necron that would've destroyed all of Reality within FFIX.

    Sephiroth with the summoning of Meteor to wound the planet so much that he would consume the entirety of the lifestream to become a God had to be thwarted before hand.

    Where as in Kefkas case it took a small band of group (Locke, Terra, Celes and co.) for Sephiroth it took the Might of Holy and the Entire Lifestream of the planet in order to defeat Meteor.

    Kefka killing General Leo is quite an overrated story piece within FFVI. Lockes relationship w/ Rachel was more compelling then Leo's death. Not to mention if you compare that to the Greatest Final Fantasy death of all time, that goes to Aerith by the hands of Sephiroth.

    Unlike General Leo, Aerith was a pivotal central character in the storyline that had a direct relationship with the main Protagonist of the game. Making her death far more dramatic than any characters death within any FF game to date.

    In all honesty, it is one of the Most Powerful Death Scenes in comparison to any video game death scene of all time. Of course you're top-50 ranking is preference, however to me, I've never understood the whole Kefka love from so many people.

    Some of my most beloved and favorite characters came from FFVI, however the storyline in there was still written very childishly due to the generation of where gaming was at the time, hence why I feel FF games from VII onward had overall more riveting characters barring FFXIII for me since I barely played that game.

  4. Very good points, I think we're to agree to disagree on our overall opinion of Kefka being the greatest FF character of all time however I completely understand where you're coming from. Of course, Kefka gets beat in the end of the game, so yeah, he didn't "destroy" the world completely or achieve a God-like status that he was invincible, but he still did more damage than any other villain in FF history, the way I see, and also I just love his character, and everything about it.

    You talk about him being a "Joker" ripoff and I thoroughly agree, however at the time there wasn't really a video game villain like Kefka, back in 1996. I just love him and he's my favourite FF character of all time. But yeah, I see where you're coming from and you make some very good points.

  5. This is a well written list. KEFKA FTW