Final Fantasy week, day 2

Heroes are great, but villains make the tale...

Yesterdaywe decided, once and for all, who was the best Final Fantasy hero. Today we're going to have a bit more fun and sift through the oceans of bodies and broken realms to determine the baddest villain in the series' history. We're not necessarily gunning for the final boss though - they have a tendency to come out of left field. No, we're considering which character causes the most trouble throughout the quest, how much damage he inflicted and the scope of his crimes.

5. Kefka (Final Fantasy VI)

This walking loony bin doesn't aspire to much - he just wants to destroy the world and rule with an iron fist. His methods are overt: there's no subtlety or behind-the-back maneuvering at all. He wants ultimate power, and it's clear from the first 10 minutes you're going to have to take him down.

He lays ruin to the whole planet, reshaping the once green world into a charred, depressing relic. An honorable clan of knights refuses to lie down and surrender, so Kefka poisons the water supply and kills the entire town just to prove a point. He even uses parts of the broken world to construct his own patchwork, mountainous lair. There's no respite from his madness. If only there were a bit more meat to his goals, Kefka could have been the ultimate villain in the series. As it is, he's more like The Joker - a lesson in insanity.

4. Vayne (Final Fantasy XII)

Most Final Fantasy antagonists are in your face - personally insulting you, killing your friends and generally being a huge pain in the ass. Vayne isn't like that. He manipulates governments and ruthlessly kills his family to achieve political power - political power over armies, over researchers into new magical technologies, over anything that will bolster the claims of the Archadian Empire. Caught up in the sweep of his ambitions, you'll constantly find yourself fighting indirectly against him. As you cut down his minions one by one, even his younger brother comes to your aid. It all ends badly, though, with one of the silliest final battles the series has coughed up yet. Too bad, Vayne. You had our grudging respect.

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