There are many worlds. Countless, infinite worlds. But even among such vastness, some worlds share similar traits and themes. These worlds are categorized to make them easier to understand for outsiders. One such category exists not simply because of its recurring traits and themes, but also of one defining link: that of a single Creator. And like worlds, many Creators exist. This is a record of the worlds made by one particular Creator, or more accurately, the hand-picked inhabitants of them.
The world they reside in now, a planet called Xineerauqs, is not one of their own, but of another's making. A paradise. Though rebellious at first, its unwilling guests have accepted their sugar-coated imprisonment, for try as they might, they cannot hope to fight against its ruler and his insurmountable army.
In the planet's only town, Domus Facina, do these complacent prisoners reside. Only their Creator's most villainous beings were brought here, yet with their various schemes on indeterminate hiatus, they rarely cause any problems. They are forced to live amongst one another under the watchful eye of a single man. The creator of this new world. The Landlord.
Despite the excitement, it was a day like any other. The villains, often referred to by the Landlord as “Final Fantasy villains” for reasons unknown to them, were enjoying a warm day at the public swimming pool. Knights from a land known as Ivalice conversed, while a former member of a military faction called SOLDIER reclined on the roof, reading his favorite epic, “LOVELESS”. A short, portly man chased a pair of twin jesters who had just stolen his hat, while an enormous man with blue hair and glowing tattoos glared at their recklessness. A former student of Balamb Garden tried to hit on a lovely General from the Avalonian Empire, while the Zanarkand Abes' former star player performed his daily swimming exercises.
Yes, the world's many inhabitants have taken a liking to their new, temporary home, though every once in a while, a homesick villain will lash out and need to be dealt with by the Landlord's army of female clones, one of whom was acting as a lifeguard this day. Unlike their respective worlds, this planet did not have a Lifestream, therefore making death impossible. This allowed them to do whatever they wanted, including dismembering one another, without fear. Domus Facina and its surrounding landscape provided every need the villains could desire. A bowling alley, a movie theater, an opera house, several restaurants and cafes, a museum, a library, a laboratory for its many resident mad scientists, a coliseum, an arcade in the mall... There are too many to list, so its inhabitants weren't likely to get bored anytime soon.
But sometimes, the excitement is a bit much to bear, and it's more fun to just relax at home, maybe with a quiet card game. Ten such people, not content with calling each other “friends”, had gathered together to play a custom, multiplayer version of “Tetra Master”, a card game from the planet Gaia. As they sat in the chairs at the round, wooden table, it didn't take long for the bickering to begin.
“Is it set up yet?” the impatient knight Garland inquired.
“It hasn't been that long,” replied another armored guest named Golbez.
“This had better not be a waste of valuable time, Kuja,” said an unconvinced ExDeath who, like the two before him, wore a full suit of armor.
“Don't be so ungrateful,” the elegant Kuja advised as he passed five cards to each player. “It wasn't easy adapting this game for group play.”
“This would never work with Triple Triad,” noted the sorceress Ultimecia, as she remembered a similar card game from her home planet.
“How about we make this more interesting?” Garland suggested. “Everyone who loses will have to fight me, one versus the rest in battle royale!” Garland wore a full suit of armor that covered all of his skin. His helmet looked like a metal skull, and had two enormous horns stretching out from either side. The helmet's eye-holes were pitch black, and only Garland's mysteriously glowing yellow eyes could be seen through them. He wore a long, purple cape, and wielded an enormous sword that could split into smaller swords connected by chains, as well as assume other shapes.
Garland was from an unnamed planet that the Landlord referred to as “Final Fantasy – World A”. He was the strongest knight in the kingdom of Cornelia, until one day when he decided to kidnap its princess, holding her for ransom in exchange for the kingdom. After being defeated by four mysterious warriors, Garland almost died, but four powerful creatures known as the Fiends sent him back in time, so that he might send them forward into the future and start the cycle over again, creating a loop that rendered all five of them immortal at the cost of the world's safety. Cocky and restless, Garland spends every day in Domus Facina fighting anyone that's willing to challenge him.
“Is that all you think about is fighting?” Mateus asked. “You shouldst find a more intellectual hobby.” Mateus wore a skin-tight, purple suit that covered everything from the neck down, while his breast, abdomen, and thighs were lined with golden armor. He wore golden high heels, large striped pauldrons that fanned out like wings, and a long, purple cape. His face was pale and elegant, decorated with colored jewels and purple makeup. His long, blonde hair was spiked around his head to resemble the shape of a radiant sun, while two horns made of gold were attached to either side. When in public, he was always seen holding his golden scepter, decorated with an amber jewel and silver dragon on top and three claws at the base.
Emperor Mateus Palamecia was from what the Landlord called “Final Fantasy II”, which is presumably how the Creator categorized their worlds, he thought. He was the ruler of the Palamecian Empire, and after making a deal with the devil, received the power and resources he needed to conquer the world. He was eventually struck down, but as he died, his soul split in two, and each one took over a different afterlife. With Heaven and Hell both under his command, it would only be a matter of time before the mortal realm was also his. Arrogant and conceited, Mateus feels he is above all others, and anything that exists should belong to him.
“Bah! Let him do as he pleases,” Xande advised. “None of us can die while we're on this planet, so why not take advantage of it?” Xande had blue-gray skin and blank, white eyes, though his lack of irises did not make it difficult to discern his expression. His long, white hair was spiky on the top, and long in the back, like a mullet. He went shirtless, only wearing baggy, yellow pants, like that of a djinn, and a long, blue cape. Though he carried a magical red staff, he preferred to fight with his fists, which were noticeably stained with blood.
Master Xande, from “Final Fantasy III”, was once one of three immortal students of the Great Magus Noah. When Noah had nothing left to teach, each of his three students were given parting gifts. While the other two received great powers and dominion over different realms, Xande received the gift of mortality, so he might one day die as a human. Shocked and unappreciative of his gift, Xande immediately sought a method of preventing his demise, going so far as to taint the world's Crystals, flood the planet, and freeze time. Xande is terrified of death and will do anything to prevent it, so Xineerauqs is precisely where he wants to be right now.
“Indeed,” Golbez agreed. “A lack of death means a lack of consequence. We have no reason to fight one another apart from the sheer thrill.” Golbez, like Garland, wore a full suit of armor that showed no flesh, though not even Golbez's eyes were visible through the horizontal slit in his helmet. His armor was all dark blue in color, including the cape that hung from beneath his enormous pauldrons, and the horns on his helmet were shaped like curly antlers.
Harking from “Final Fantasy IV”, Golbez was born the son of a Lunarian and a human. After the prejudiced execution of his father, and his mother's death shortly after giving birth to his younger brother Cecil, he was taken in by another Lunarian named Zemus, and raised to be his loyal minion. Manipulated from a young age, Golbez committed many atrocities to see Zemus's plans to completion, but when the spell was finally broken, he turned on Zemus, though he was never able to forgive himself. Golbez is quiet, polite, and wise, and does not succumb to his desires like the others.
“Haha! Count me in, then!” ExDeath complied. “Whether I win or lose matters not to me; I'll still join in the fight!” ExDeath, much like Garland and Golbez, wore a full suit of armor that almost completely covered his body, save for his fingers and some parts around his elbows, which revealed his skin to be gray in color. His azure-colored armor looked very organic, as though it grew to fit his body, and his light-blue cape dragged on the floor as he walked. He often was seen holding an amber-colored, twig-like shortsword, though he preferred to fight with his magic.
ExDeath was from the Planet R, in the world of “Final Fantasy V”. When the world's inhabitants could no longer use the Void to seal away evil beings, after dividing the world in half to keep anyone from using it for evil, they instead starting using a large tree. When that tree, filled with evil power, gained sentience, it assumed humanoid form and wreaked havoc, re-integrating the planet to attain the Void's power. ExDeath seems obsessed with ending his own existence, as living is too painful for him to bear, but he believes ending all of existence is the only way to achieve this.
“PASS,” Kefka obnoxiously refused. “As much as I'd love to pummel someone into the ground, not being able to enjoy every blow's not quite as... INVIGORATING.” Kefka resembled a clown in his appearance, wearing white makeup on his skin, purple lipstick, and red, haphazard eyeshadow. Though his blonde hair was short, it was still tied up in a tiny ponytail, the band of which also held a huge peacock feather, several assorted cloths, and colored beads. His outfit was a mishmash of reds, yellows, and other colors in stripes and polka dots, with a frilly, striped collar, puffy sleeves, long cape, and mismatched boots.
Kefka Palazzo was from “Final Fantasy VI”, and acted as a general in the Gestahlian Empire until Magitek experiments drove him insane. Though he was allowed to remain in the Empire as court mage, he never recovered from the experiments that gave him magical powers, and he gained a penchant for murder and treachery. After disrupting the balance between three, petrified goddesses, Kefka absorbed their powers as well and became the God of Magic, causing global ruin in the process. Nihilistic and sadistic, Kefka's love for death and destruction cannot be sated.
“I don't remember ever agreeing to such terms,” said Sephiroth with his arms crossed. “I have no interest in fighting unnecessary battles.” Sephiroth had long, silver hair, and bright, green eyes. He wore a black, leather trenchcoat with no shirt underneath, only a leather abdomen guard bearing the logo of SOLDIER. He wore black pants with thigh-high black boots, and metal pauldrons on each shoulder. His weapon of choice was the Masamune, a seven-foot long katana, though its length could vary each time he summoned it.
Sephiroth, from “Final Fantasy VII”, was born as an experiment by Professor Hojo, in which the cells of an alien called Jenova were injected into him whilst he was still in the womb. Having never known his true parents, he was raised by the Shinra military force, and had always displayed immeasurable strength. When he eventually learned of Jenova's existence, he decided to continue the work of his lone parent-figure, seeking to absorb the planet's Lifestream and migrate to a new one. Calm and taciturn, Sephiroth is single-minded in his goals, but patient in their execution.
“You boys can do what you want in the future,” Ultimecia advised. “I'm more interested in our present task. Kuja, what do the symbols on these cards mean again?” Ultimecia, the only woman at the table, had long silver hair, most of which was put in two horn shapes. Her face and body were covered with colored markings, though whether these were makeup, tattoos, or a result of the mutation caused by her sorceress powers were unknown. Her hands had turned purple with tapered fingers, and her bare feet clawed and blackened. She wore a long, red dress with a black, fur collar, and had large, black wings on her back.
Sorceress Ultimecia, from “Final Fantasy VIII”, was a witch from the distant future. Having been hunted and despised her entire life for what she was, she plotted to use the powers of a young girl named Ellone to cast a spell known as Time Compression. With it, she could cause all of time and space to converge at a single point in an era before her own, rendering her the only living being left in the universe and absorbing all of it unto herself. She is calm and observant, cunning and manipulative.
“It's really quite simple,” Kuja explained. “The first digit is Attack, the second is its Type, and the last two are Physical and Magical defenses. It's easiest if you just remember the phrase 'All Taciturn Phantasms Mourn'.” Kuja was quite effeminate, having pale skin with red lipstick and eyeshadow. He wore red nail polish, and his long, silver-blue hair seemed to to be made of feathers. He wore a purple jacket with no undershirt, exposing his midriff, as well as long, purple boots, and a white cape on his hips. His leather codpiece conceals the monkey-like tail he is so ashamed of.
Kuja was a Genome from the planet Terra, in the realm of “Final Fantasy IX”. He was created to cause wars on another planet called Gaia, in order to eliminate its life and gather soul energy. Once the planet was barren, the inhabitants of Terra would use that energy to resurrect themselves in the bodies of soulless Genomes. The jealous Kuja turned against his creator when another Genome was made with a soul, but when his revenge was near completion, he learned how limited his lifespan was. Terrified of death and facing his mortality for the first time, Kuja used the soul energy for himself to travel back in time, and attempted to destroy the Mother Crystal that birthed the world. Kuja is narcissistic and arrogant, though poetic and somber.
“Whether it's spent battling,” Seymour began, “or having a friendly card match, the time we have to enjoy these things seems almost... limitless.” Seymour had long blue hair, which draped behind him in the shape of two antler-like horns. His face was covered in visible vein patterns, and his fingers were tapered, giving them a sharp appearance. He wore a thick, black robe with black pants and shoes, and wore a green, cloth belt. He wielded a blue staff with a red, ornately-patterned head.
Maester Seymour Guado was from the planet Spira in “Final Fantasy X”, and made up one of several members of its ruling religious faction, the Yevonites. The world had been ravaged by a monstrous beast known as Sin, that had always returned from the dead for the prior millennium, no matter how many times it was defeated. With no known way to kill it, and the peoples' sorrow a never-ending factor of daily life, Seymour came up with a rather extreme plan. Each time Sin is killed, the creature that kills it becomes Sin in its place. Seymour planned to become Sin intentionally, and use its power to kill everyone in Spira. He himself had already died, but because his soul was never sent to the Farplane, he remains among the living, immortal. If it happened to him, the same could for everyone else, he thought, and no one would fear death again. Seymour is ruthless, yet eerily kind, genuinely caring for the well-being of others.
The term “limitless” sparked a thought in Garland's mind that day, for he knew something the rest of them did not. Having experienced it consciously countless times himself, he knew that each and every world looped at their end back to their beginning, to repeat every event once more. Sometimes the means were slightly different, but the ends were always the same. From creation to destruction, all births and deaths happen again and again. When they inevitably returned to their own worlds, he thought, everything would resume as it always had, and nothing would change.
Only a handful of beings knew this harsh truth, and Garland wished he were not among them. What meaning does his existence have if he is doomed to live and die repeatedly? He gave up trying to find an answer eons ago. Now, the only thing that makes him feel alive is combat. Never-ending, limitless battle. If he is doomed to never die, to never find inner peace, or to never make any permanent changes to the world, then this is the existence he wants.
And Xineerauqs, a planet filled with worthy opponents who never died, was the perfect place for that.