|“||This world can have but one emperor!||„|
|~ Emperor Mateus|
Emperor Mateus, also known as the Emperor of Palamecia (in Japanese: パラメキア皇帝, Paramekia Kōtei) is the primary antagonist and final boss of Final Fantasy II. He is the ruler of Palamecia who aims to conquer the world through demonic forces. Though known simply as the Emperor in Final Fantasy II, he is named Mateus (マティウス, Matiusu) in the game's Japan-exclusive novelization: "Final Fantasy II Nightmare's Labyrinth" (in Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーII 夢魔の迷宮, Fainaru Fantajī Tsū Muma no Meikyū) by Kenji Terada.
Appearance and Personality
Mateus wears light, golden colored armor with purple robes underneath. His hair is blond and spiked, with an extra-long ponytail. Black and white stripes trace his ribs on his chestplate, and demonic looking faces embellish his waist and back. His gauntlets sport extended claws. Mateus wears purple makeup on his eyes and lips, and appears to wear a purple crown. Being the ruler of Palamecia, the Emperor is arrogant, but is also intelligent and manipulative.
Despite his arrogance, the Emperor is often polite when referring to his enemies by name or calling them gentlemen, but at the same time he is quick to call them insects or worms. He also seems to be a misanthrope, harboring a hatred of humanity. This is especially evident just before the final battle against the heroes in his Hell Emperor form, as well as being defeated as the Heaven Emperor, declaring humanity to have a flawed sense of justice and forsaken love, and being inherently violent. In addition, he views himself as the only one truly capable of ruling as Emperor, as evidenced by his first lines upon returning from Hell is telling Leon that the world can only have one Emperor, in reference to himself. The Emperor's dark half was also shown to be very destructive, to the extent that he explicitly stated that he no longer cared about ruling the Empire, and instead wants to destroy the world with his infernal powers.
In Dissidia Final Fantasy, the Emperor's personality from Final Fantasy II is expanded on. The Emperor is always calm and never seems to lose control of his emotions, because he believes his plan will succeed without fail. His intelligence is again demonstrated, as it is he who formulates the plan to kill Cosmos for good and end the war in Chaos' favor using the Crystals. He is also somewhat treacherous, as evidenced by his backstabbing Chaos nearing the end of Dissidia. Nonetheless, he's implied to have little tolerance for nihilists, and was depicted in a pre-battle conversation with Kefka Palazzo to threaten to give Kefka "a taste of Hell".
In the novel Muma no Meikyū, which had also been written by the same guy who wrote the story for the game, it's stated that Palamecia is cursed with demonic influences that corrupt its leaders. The demon, desiring to rule the world by human proxy, turns men into malicious masterminds by using everything at its disposal to pollute their thoughts with its malice.
Final Fantasy II
The Emperor was able to build up a gigantic army of demons by summoning up creatures from Hell. With this army, he started taking over the world. Several cities resisted, but they were no match for the Emperor's power. Kingdoms that did pose a threat were conquered by poisoning the drinking water.
After Firion and the rest of the party gather several supplies to help aid the rebels and sink the Dreadnought, the Emperor kidnaps Princess Hilda of Fynn and makes her the prize in a tournament at his Coliseum. Firion and his comrades attempted to rescue her, however it is revealed to be a trap, and the Emperor unleashes the Behemoth on them. Locking the party away, the Emperor continues his assault on the land above.
By the time the party escapes, the Emperor has summoned a giant Cyclone to destroy Fynn. The party makes their way inside, and makes another assassination attempt on the Emperor. He is killed , but it is not over, as the Dark Knight has now taken over the Palamecian army.
After getting into Palamecia's mountain-protected castle, the party confronts the Dark Knight. Before they can do anything, the Emperor reappears, in a new demonic body, meanwhile the other half of his soul has become the Light Emperor.
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Chaos has summoned a combined force of Final Fantasys ultimate villains in an attempt to gain control on a number of Crystals, resulting in total control of the Final Fantasy worlds. The Emperor of Palamecia is one of these villains and he stands as the villain representing Final Fantasy II, opposing Firion.
As one of the higher-ranking villains, the Emperor is the mastermind of the game's overarching plot to destroy Cosmos and drown the world in darkness. He manipulates hero and villain alike towards this goal when needed. However, it is later revealed that the Emperor orchestrated this plan with the intent for both Cosmos and Chaos to die. The Emperor's ultimate goal is for both gods to perish and their warriors with them, leaving him to survive their destruction and rule over existence in their absence.
- In Dissidia 012 Prologus, Emperor Mateus's fighting partner is Garland, his superior. Coincidentally, their respective Japanese voice actors, Kenyu Horiuchi and Kenji Utsumi, voiced the Metal Gear Solid 3 characters Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov and Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, who possessed a similar role of second-in-command and commanding officer, respectively, although the main difference between them is that Mateus and Garland's relationship was strictly professional, while Volgin and Raikov were also lovers.
- In addition, the shoe was also on the other foot regarding characterizations and voice actors: In Dissidia, Garland (voiced by Keiji Utsumi) is the comparatively more noble character, while the Emperor (voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi) was the Complete Monster, whereas in Snake Eater, Volgin (voiced by Keiji Utsumi) was the Complete Monster while Raikov (voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi) was comparably more noble.
- His appearance and, in the Dissdia subseries at least, his voice was similar to Jareth from the 1986 Jim Henson film Labyrinth, portrayed by singer David Bowie. His Dissidia art even bore some similarities to Jareth's design in the sequel manga.
- Ironically, similar to Jareth and his interest of Sarah Williams, Mateus in the Dissidia series has some interest in Terra Branford, as he expressed disappointment in the first game that, although Terra's likely to be back under their control, Kefka Palazzo will have control over her; and in Dissidia 012, he offered to have Terra under his command in Kefka's stead after Terra had trouble obeying Kefka's demands due to Kuja's interference. In addition, his opening quote when fighting her in the first game in a standard match had him chuckling evilly and saying "Why don't you let me control you?"