kuja

kuja is the primary antagonist of Final Fantasy IX. A Genome manufactured to provoke war between humans, he operates for much of the game from behind the scenes, working under the ample shadow of Queen Brahne. However, he ultimately wishes to acquire the power of the Eidolons so that he may overthrow his creator Garland and rule Terra. After he learns of his mortality, Kuja’s goal becomes the eradication of life, believing it “unfair” that the world should one day exist without him.

Kuja has a distinct silver-lavender hair color that falls just beyond his shoulders, with a large, curved spike at the front. He has narrow eyes, with a light-bluish color. He is of medium height, light build, with a pale complexion. He has white sleeves, with a violet guard around his shoulders. Kuja has a white robe that he wears on the back of his legs that extend to his ankles. The robe is held up by four straps that act as a codpiece. His pants are a deeper purple than his shoulder guards and his shoes are black with golden buckles.

Personality-wise, Kuja is somewhat different from many previous Final Fantasy villains. Kuja introduces poetic elegance to the role of the antagonist, contrasting greatly with many Final Fantasy villains. His speech patterns are highly metaphorical and somewhat jovial; he refers to Garnet as a “canary,” and Brahne as “the elephant-lady,” for example. His refined nature stands in stark contrast to his role as a sadistic war-bringer. This juxtaposition is characteristic of villains in fiction, particularly the evil genius archetype. Like other Final Fantasy antagonists such as Sephiroth and Ultimecia, he has a very narcissistic and sophisticated personality, in contrast to Zidane’s humility, friendliness and more relaxed nature. One of the few things he does share with other Final Fantasy villains is his seeming love of luxury, as evidenced by the Desert Palace.

Like any of the other villains in the series, Kuja has an ego to match his power. He lets his pride rule his head. While he could have killed Zidane prior to the game, he chose to let him live so he could prove himself superior to him. After discovering his destiny as a mortal, Kuja goes utterly insane. His former cultured personality is altered into insanity, and Kuja reiterates several times that he believes that life should not be allowed to continue without him. After Zidane finds him in the bowels of the Iifa Tree at the end of the game, Kuja is seemingly repentant. He tells Zidane to leave him behind and escape, and mentions he is happy that his friends managed to escape safely.

As one would expect of the game’s primary villain, Kuja is shown to be an exceptional mage. He can create Black Mages from Mist using machinery and magic, and even with no outside help can summon Mistodons from Mist. He is capable of controlling monsters as well, and is shown to control an army of Silver Dragons led by a Nova Dragon, as well as the monster Deathguise that attacks Zidane’s party in the Crystal World. Kuja is also largely immune to injury – even the Dragon King Bahamut‘s attack only barely succeeds in drawing blood from him.

After entering Trance, Kuja’s power increases exponentially. He knows the strongest spells of the game including Curaga, Meteor, Holy and Flare, and his strongest spell Flare Star is potentially lethal to the entire party. He is able to completely destroy Terra using Ultima, and even defeats the party with it. When Kuja casts Ultima against the party, no damage is displayed as being taken but the battle instantly ends, so it is physically impossible to survive the spell.Kuja is fought as a boss at Pandemonium and in Trance form in Memoria. Both times he casts Ultima upon his defeat, so although the party technically wins the battle, for storyline purposes Kuja prevails.

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