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Kefka Palazzo
DissidiaKefkaArtwork

Series

Final Fantasy

Debut

Final Fantasy VI (1994)

Console of origin

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Species

Human

Gender

Male

Kefka Palazzo (ケフカ・パラッツォ, Kefuka Parattso?) (spelled as Cefca Palazzo in the Japanese version), is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VI. The prototype to the Magitek Knights, Kefka acts as Emperor Gestahl's court mage carrying out the emperor's orders, but behind his back schemes for his own ends.

While previous villains in the Final Fantasy series were distant, cold, ruthless, and bent on their goals, Kefka is loud, short-tempered, maniacal, and destructive. His popularity among Final Fantasy fans as a villain is rivaled only by Sephiroth. Kefka is known for his many one-liners, his final almighty appearance (which has become something of a tradition in the series), as well as his sociopathic hatred of everything in existence. Kefka's most defining character trait is arguably his laughter, a high-pitched whooping cackle.

DescriptionEdit

Kefka is an outlandish jester and clown. In his original concept artworks, and in Dissidia Final Fantasy, Kefka wears an outfit composed of primarily red and yellow fabrics, a mismatched jumble of stripes and polka dots. He wears a red and white striped ruffle around his neck and a red cloak with a yellow and red inner lining. In his field sprite in the original Final Fantasy VI, as well as alternate artworks and, to a lesser extent, an alternate costume in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Kefka wears green robes with gold linings and red clothing. In his field sprite for the iOS/Android rereleases, he has a white and red ruffle, purple boots, red clothing, and a brown robe with green fabrics and gold linings. Kefka's face is covered with white make-up, red make-up around the eyes and white make-up on his hands. He has blond hair tied into a tight ponytail, accentuated by an extending feather. In his "god" form, Kefka is a demonic angel with purple skin and a red loincloth. His limbs are more muscular and he bears six wings — four light, angelic wings and two dark, bat-like wings (although the Final Fantasy Anthology model replaces the bat-like wings with light angelic wings). In this form, the only resemblance Kefka retains to his human self is his ponytail, which is longer, with strands flowing upwards, and the feather that remains in his hair as a final reminder of Kefka's once-extravagant dress sense. In Dissidia Final Fantasy, his appearance is altered slightly, with Kefka gaining a wide grin resembling a Glasgow smile accentuated in purple lip make-up.

HistoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

Kefka is thirty-five years old and Emperor Gestahl's right-hand man. At least sixteen years prior to the start of Final Fantasy VI, Kefka was the first experimental Magitek Knight, which gifted him incredible magical power, but shattered his sanity as the process had not been perfected yet. Kefka became a cruel, destructive madman, and acquired a reputation as one of the most dangerous men in the Gestahlian Empire. About six years after the procedure, the Gestahlian Empire's military was restructured with Kefka and Leo Christophe being two of the individuals involved. Kefka used a Slave Crown to control Terra Branford and, as a test of whether its enslaving effects were effective, had her burn fifty Imperial soldiers alive. 

The EmpireEdit

Kefka sends Terra to Narshe to acquire the recently discovered frozen esper, Valigarmanda, sending Biggs and Wedge with her. The mission fails when Valigarmanda awakens, dispatches Biggs and Wedge, and damages the Slave Crown, restoring Terra's free will but leaving her with amnesia.

Kefka comes to Figaro Castle seeking Terra under orders from Gestahl and presumably as part of a reconnaissance mission. He complains about Figaro's location in the middle of a desert and makes his soldiers to wipe his boots from sand. King Edgar, who is sheltering Terra in the hopes she will join the Returners against the Empire, conceals her whereabouts. Kefka doesn't believe Edgar and sets the castle on fire. When the castle burrows under the desert, Kefka has his bodyguards attack the fleeing Edgar, Terra and Locke Cole. The trio dispatches them and leave Kefka fuming.

Kefka comes to the kingdom of Doma as part of a battalion led by General Leo Cristophe. It is rumored Kefka will replace Leo as the general of the Imperial military, to which at least one soldier declares he'd quit if Gestahl ever let Kefka become the head of military. Although Leo wants to win the siege with minimal casualties, Kefka plots to poison the river and kill the castle's population. After Leo is called away by Emperor Gestahl, Kefka orders the Imperials to dump the poison. One soldier is reluctant as there are captured Imperials within the base and Sabin Rene Figaro and Shadow attempt to stop him, but Kefka dumps the poison himself, killing everyone in the castle except for Cyan Garamonde and a Doma Sentry, all the while musing about the music of the unified screams of hundreds of voices.

As the Returners reunite in Narshe, Kefka leads an Imperial force to the clifftops above Narshe to claim Valigarmanda. Kefka persuades his reluctant forces to slaughter everything to get the esper, but the Returners guard it and, after fighting off his troops, confront Kefka in battle. Defeated, Kefka flees, but swears revenge. Terra confronts Valigarmanda and is transformed into an esper herself and flies off. Tracking her down, the Returners meet the esper Ramuh, who tells them the true source of magic: magicite, an esper's remains, which can teach magic at a higher concentration than Magitek. The Returners use Setzer Gabbiani's airship, the Blackjack, to fly to Vector and release the espers imprisoned by the Empire.

Acquisition of PowerEdit

Within the Magitek Research Facility the Returners spy Kefka torturing espers and overhear him cackling over the power he has gained from them and his plans to restore the Warring Triad. After entering the heart of the facility and retrieving the magicite of the dead espers, the Returners meet the Imperial scientist Cid, who realises the true source of esper energy. Kefka, overjoyed to learn this, attempts to have Celes, a former Imperial general turned Returner, hand the pieces of magicite over to him, but Celes spirits herself and Kefka away so the Returners can escape, although not before Kefka hints that she is a spy under the employ of the Empire making the Returners doubt her intentions. Later, Kefka activates two large cranes in the Imperial Palace to attack the Blackjack as the Returners flee the continent.

With Terra aware of her origins as a half-human, half-esper hybrid, she and the Returners go through Cave to the Sealed Gate to the Land of Espers to secure their support for an attack on the Empire. Kefka follows and declares that Gestahl has told him to let Terra ally with the Returners to have them open the gate. Kefka is defeated when the espers emerge from the gate and Gestahl has Kefka imprisoned in Vector as a ploy to earn the Returners' trust so they would ally with him to find the escaped espers.

Ascension to GodhoodEdit

Gestahl releases Kefka and he is dispatched to Thamasa where he has his soldiers attack both the Returners and General Leo's troops before killing the espers and taking their magicite remains. When Kefka orders his troops to burn the town, General Leo steps in but Kefka slays the general and projects an illusion of Emperor Gestahl who "admits" he set up General Leo to allow the Empire acquire more espers. Kefka explains he'll cover up the murder by claiming he disposed of a traitor.

The Sealed Gate rips open and a wave of espers flies into the village to attack Kefka, but Kefka has grown too strong and the espers' attacks have no effect. Kefka slays them with his magic and takes their magicite shards.

Kefka and Gestahl cross over to the esper world, find the Warring Triad and raise the Floating Continent. When the Returners confront them, he orders Celes to strike the Returners down to prove her loyalty to the Empire. Celes stabs Kefka instead and an enraged Kefka rushes into the field of the Triad and demands they bestow their power upon him. Ignoring Gestahl's warnings, Kefka has the Triad strike the Emperor down and pitches his body off the edge of the floating island. Kefka moves the Triad out of alignment, shattering their delicate magical field. Shadow and the Returners narrowly escape, but the damage is done; the World of Balance shifts into the World of Ruin.

After the end of the world Kefka drains the Triad of their power, turning them into weakened husks and himself into a god. Kefka builds a tower from the rubble of the world he had destroyed and from there rules the world, smiting anyone who dares defy him with the Light of Judgment: a beam of magical energy that can destroy entire towns. A cult rises, worshipping Kefka (likely out of fear more than anything else). Kefka creates numerous new monsters to guard his tower should anyone rise up against him. 

DefeatEdit

A year after the end of the world, Celes awakes on a deserted island and journeys to reunite the scattered Returners who assault Kefka's Tower. Atop Kefka's Tower he reveals he views life as meaningless and destruction as inevitable. The Returners deny his claims by citing how, despite the world being in ruin, they have found hope on which to hold on. Kefka finds their examples sickening and decides to destroy everything, even the essence of life itself. He summons a gnarled pillar filled with effigies of himself and upon confronting Kefka in a golden skyscape, he laughs maniacally as he states he'll destroy everything.

Kefka is defeated and since he had become the God of Magic, magic vanishes from the world, and the espers and their remains are destroyed. Terra, due to her connection with the children of Mobliz, is spared, and becomes a human. Kefka's Tower collapses and peace is restored unto the world. 

AbilitiesEdit

Kefka's power improves as the story progresses. He attacks Sabin in the Imperial Camp with a simple Morning Star, and could be injured by any attack (although he remarks after the second battle he was holding back). In Narshe, he knows strong spells for that point in the game, but they are overall weak in the scope of the entire spell list — his strongest spell at this time is Blizzara. Kefka acquires more power by absorbing the espers' strength and by the time he arrives in Thamasa he can project illusions, single-handedly kill dozens of espers while being immune to their powers, and presumably can use Banish. He can disable the espers' powers, an ability strongly implied to result in the destruction of anyone in close proximity, as evidenced by the disappearance of the three Magitek Armor troopers who accompanied him when he used it. He is still vulnerable at this point as Celes stabs him aboard the Floating Continent, although he seems more angry than hurt.

Following his taking control over the Warring Triad, Kefka becomes the God of Magic and his strength increases exponentially. He exploits the abilities of warping reality: elemental manipulation, power bestowal, and magical absorption. He utilizes telekinesis, and can project a pyramid-shaped magical field around him, although it is not specified whether it was intended to be a magical barrier or a projection of his power. Now knowing the most powerful magical attacks in the game, including Ultima, Kefka levitates debris from around the world to form his tower. He uses Light of Judgment to smite those who do not acknowledge his ruling of the world, and at least half a dozen towns are hit by the Light and devastated. Kefka creates various new monsters to guard his tower, including the revived, but weakened, Warring Triad themselves. Kefka creates a new magical spell called Forsaken, (known as "Goner" in the original U.S. SNES release) his signature attack with a magic power of 220, the highest in the game. However, Forsaken does not ignore defense, limiting its potential power. Kefka can use his wings for offense, appropriately referred to as Havoc Wing. In Dissidia Final Fantasy Kefka can use Havoc Wing in his regular form in addition to his god form, although he needs to partially transform into his god form to sprout the wings. He can summon angels to sap others of their strength, called Fallen One (Heartless Angel in the GBA remake).

GalleryEdit

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