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Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.
"A ruthless single-minded man with an insatiable lust for power."

The Emperor of Palamecia (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 Japan-exclusive novelization of the game: Final Fantasy II Nightmare's Labyrinth (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.



Mateus wears light, golden colored armor with purple robes underneath it. His hair is blonde and spiked, with an extra-long ponytail. On his chestplate are black and white stripes tracing his ribs, and on his waist and back are demonic looking faces. His gauntlets sport extended claws. Mateus also wears purple make up on his eyes and lips. He also seems to wear a purple crown.


Portrait from Anniversary.

Being the ruler of Palamecia, the Emperor is arrogant, but also is very intelligent and manipulative, like when it's thought that he kidnapped Hilda as a prize, but it was a setup to trap the heroes instead. Another case is when he almost tricked the spirits of Minwu, Josef, Scott, and Ricard, asking for their forgiveness and offering them eternal life. Despite his arrogance, he's often polite when referring to his enemies by name or calling them gentlemen but at the same time he's quick to call them insects or worms.

In Dissidia Final Fantasy, he retains his personality from Final Fantasy II and some more is added. The Emperor is always calm and never seems to lose control of his emotions, he never seems to get worried because he believes that his plan will succeed without fail. His intelligence is also 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. This is also another example of when he tricks the heroes, as it is their quest for the Crystals that lets Chaos destroy Cosmos and nearly erase the heroes, as well as his own comrades.


Emperor at the Coliseum.

Summoning up creatures from Hell, the Emperor was able to build up a massive army of demons. With this army, he slowly started taking over the world. However, several cities like Fynn resisted, but they were no match for the Emperor's might. Kingdoms that did pose a threat, such as Deist, were conquered only after their wyverns' drinking water was poisoned. While it never explains how he summons demons from Hell, it shows just how powerful the Emperor is.

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. Of course, 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.

The Emperor is defeated.

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 easily, but it is not over, as the Dark Knight has now taken over the Palamecian army.

The Emperor returns from Hell.

After getting into Palamecia's mountain-protected castle, the party confront the Dark Knight. Before they can do anything, the Emperor reappears, in a new demon body. By killing him, the party have only made him stronger, as he has now gained incredible strength and become Emperor of Hell. Ricard summons the Wind Drake to get the party out of Palamecia while he confronts the revived Emperor. The Emperor kills the Dragoon easily.

While it is not known if the Emperor intentionally killed himself to gain the dark powers of Hell, given the fact he already had power over Hell-spawn, it is likely that it was his true intention all along. Summoning the castle of Hell, Pandaemonium, where Palamecia once stood, the Emperor intended to reign over both earth and Hell. However, the party traveled through the Jade Passage and confronted the Emperor head on. He is eventually defeated, and fades away.

Minwu and party confront the Light Emperor.

In the Dawn of Souls and 20th Anniversary versions, something unforeseen happened when the Emperor was killed: His soul split into two entities. While one went to Hell and became the lord of Pandemonium, the other went to Heaven and became the lord of Arubboth. With his new powers, he summoned the fallen souls of Minwu, Josef, Scott, and Ricard to him as representatives of those who fell in the wake of the Empire's conquests.

Firion and party confront the Dark Emperor.

After they traveled to his throne within the walls of Arubboth, he asked for their forgiveness and offered them eternal life. They are reluctant, and consider his offer. However, the souls of all the people they care about appear before them, and tell them to look past his charade.

With their help, they realize they are being tricked, that this Emperor is no different from the other, and attack the Emperor's light side while Firion's group battle his dark counterpart. As he dies in conjunction with his other half at the hands of their respective parties, the Emperor's light half tells them it's futile that the bloody struggles of violence and war with continue as long as humans exist. Minwu comments at the very end that if anyone can change man's violent legacy, it would be Firion and his friends.



Emperor of Hell

The Dark Emperor Is the final boss of the original game. His face becomes demonic giving him fangs, yellow eyes, horns, and snake-like creatures on his head. His arms are covered by giant metal gauntlets. He is also shrouded by a dark-violet cloak. His powers in this form are mostly status effects, such as Blind, Slow, and various others. Every time he attacks you physically, he heals himself for the amount of damage done to your party.

Emperor of Heaven

The Light Emperor Is the final boss of Soul of Rebirth, where he is fought by the deceased characters of the game. He appears angelic with six wings, a golden arch on his back, a golden gown, and has golden clouds at his feet. His powers are somewhat the same as his other form, but the Light Emperor's stats are higher than that of the Dark Emperor, and can still drain health with his physical attacks. However, he loses the ability to cause status effects, but he can now use Holy and Blaze XVI .


The Emperor of Hell.
"This world can have but one Emperor, and I am he!"
—The Emperor to Leon after returning from Hell

Even before he crowns himself Emperor of Hell, Mateus is incredibly powerful, being able to summon demons and cast very strong Thunder spells. Upon his death, and eventual rebirth, he gained the ability to summon Pandaemonium, an allusion to Milton's Paradise Lost, wherein it is the capital of Hell. The Light Emperor has more Holy themed abilities, and he possesses the ability to summon the dead, specifically, Firion's fallen allies. Both of the Emperor's forms have access to many high-level or even max-level spells, primarily Flare and Starfall and status spells like Blind and Silence. Their normal attacks also heal them.

In Dissidia Final Fantasy, his list of powers is expanded. He gains the ability to produce magnetic energy mines from his staff, and can create crests of magic energy that fire projectiles or ensnare enemies.


Main article: Emperor (Final Fantasy II Boss)
Main article: Emperor (Final Boss)
Main article: Emperor (Soul of Rebirth)

The Emperor is fought three times in Final Fantasy II. Once in Cyclone by Firion, Maria, Guy, and Ricard and again in Pandaemonium by Firion, Maria, Guy, and Leon, whilst Minwu's party fights him once in Soul of Rebirth.


Portrait from Anniversary

The original final battle theme of The Emperor was called "Sentō Shīn 2" ("Battle Scene 2"). A rearrangement of the theme by The Black Mages titled "Battle Scene II" appears on their first studio album. Another arrangement appears on the Dissidia OST.

Other Appearances

Dissidia Final Fantasy

Main article: Emperor Mateus/Dissidia

Chaos has summoned a combined force of Final Fantasy's 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.

Ivalice Alliance

The Esper Mateus from Final Fantasy XII is named after and based on the Emperor, its appearance also bears similarities to the Emperor's armor. The Esper's back story is based off of his command of hell. The Totema Mateus from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is also named after the Emperor, but that is where the similarities end.


The Emperor's name Mateus, is Portuguese cognate of Matthew, and means "gift of god".


  • The Emperor was the first villain in the series to wipe out an entire kingdom by poisoning the water supply of their wyverns, an infamous act that would later be performed by Kefka Palazzo in Final Fantasy VI to an even grander scale where the water supply of people is poisoned.
  • It is told in the game that an Emperor of Palamecia once challenged the world to see who could reach his daughter on a high floor of his castle. Many men tried this challenge but they all failed until one man used a hot air balloon to reach her. The emperor was furious and embarrassed by this and swore revenge, from which the Emperors' desire for conquest was born. Whether or not this was about a previous emperor or the current one is unknown. This story can be read in the Mysidian library in Dawn of Souls. It is basically an adaptation of the traditional Rapunzel fairy tale.
  • Though the Emperor is arrogant, it is interesting to note that he addresses his enemies (particularly Firion) using their names, in a somewhat undistant manner.
  • The Emperor is well known in Japan for his cheesy deathcry of "Uboaaa!" and the romanized version, "Uboar!". "Uboar" is even the name of a popular Japanese fanclub of his. His deathcry also is used when he loses in Dissidia, and Tidus questions him about his scream. In the English version, his deathcry was changed to "Ungaahhhh!", which has also caught on in Japan, thanks to the English subtitle option of Final Fantasy II for the PSP. "Uboaa" is used in the English prototype of Final Fantasy II, Dark Shadow Over Palakia.
  • His name, Mateus, is referenced in Dissidia, as the name of his best weapon, Mateus's Malice.
  • The Emperor is subtly referenced in the popular web comic 8-Bit Theater. Black Mage Evilwizardington is killed by Lich and sent to Hell. There, he overthrows the current rulers of Hell and takes over, absorbing the powers of Hell and returning to Earth. He kills Lich and announces his plan to conquer the world, but is stripped of his powers shortly after when Lich heals the overthrown demons and becomes the new king of Hell.
  • The Emperor (to an extent), resembles King Jareth from the 1986 fantasy film; Labyrinth.


This article uses material from the "Emperor Mateus" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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