Such a trustworthy, charming lady.
|Title(s)||Angel of Death|
|Relatives||None (in the multiverse)|
A narcissistic antagonist from Final Fantasy IX, Kuja is a spell-casting wonder and patron of the arts. Though he originally served as an enforcer for Garland, Kuja struck his master down and nearly ended the entire world at the game's end. His magic tends to either deal devastating amounts of damage or make the target suffer a number of debilitating status ailments, but also permits the summoning of Eidolons - creatures of immense power conjured by magic - and usurping control of them from their former masters.
In Final Fantasy 9, Kuja was created by Garland in the year 1776 to assist in Garland’s plan to sent Terran souls into Gaia. That Kuja developed a sense of autonomy was an accident, although one that Garland would find to make the Genome equal parts successful and dangerous. What was not an accident, however, was that Kuja was created exactly as he was – that is, without a childhood or similar developmental course – and this led to stunted emotional growth, rendering Kuja seemingly-unable to undergo Trance. Knowing precisely how extraordinarily hazardous Kuja could be if left to his own devices too long, Garland deliberately made the Genome’s lifespan just long enough for the Master of Time to create a second, flawless variant of the prototype: Zidane Tribal. Kuja, of course, was unaware of his mortality, but fully realized he would be replaced. In his defiance, the Genome kidnapped Zidane and left him to die in Gaia. Garland, furious at what Kuja had done, banished him from Terra. However, Garland was still forced to continue using Kuja as an Angel of Death for his plans for Terra’s souls. Undaunted, Kuja constructed his Desert Palace to reside in.
While it is true that Kuja was responsible for igniting Queen Brahne’s imperialistic conquering-spree and also ostensibly correct that this was in line with Garland’s plan, Kuja sought a power source strong enough to slay the Master of Time. This power source, of course, was the plethora of Eidolon summons found in Gaia. Garland feared them and that was reason enough, in Kuja’s mind, to gather them for himself. Along with providing Queen Brahne with an endless supply of weapons in the form of Black Mages, Kuja offers Alexandria’s queen these summons to command. Gathering a majority of them was done by extracting the Eidolons from Garnet to summon later, but the most powerful Eidolan – Alexander – required four crystal shards to be reunited for a proper summoning. So began Kuja’s quest and Queen Brahne’s warpath. Once Zidane and company realize that Kuja is supplying Queen Brahne with Black Mages, however, they hastily shut off the source by destroying the Soulcage. This stops the flow of mist, but does nothing of consequence to Kuja’s plans.
Before too long, Queen Brahne’s success goes to her head and she deems Kuja unnecessary. Attempting to exterminate him, she brings her entire airship fleet and a large amount of black mages to bear against him and summons the mighty Bahamut! Kuja, however, is not without a sense of irony – dramatic or otherwise – and so takes control of the summon with the power of the airship The Invincible. Once controlled, Kuja unleashes catastrophe upon Queen Brahne’s army with the King of All Dragons. The Queen’s own ship is, of course, the first thing targeted by Bahamut’s Mega Flare. Not quite finished with inflicting death, however, Kuja makes a point of stopping by Alexandria to bring them a scarlet skyline. Summoning Bahamut to destroy Alexandria, the mighty dragon is thwarted by the emergency summoning of Alexander! Surprised, Kuja attempts to seize control of Alexander for himself, but Garland’s intervention results in the destruction of both Alexander and the city it was protecting. Kuja, cursing his master’s interference, vows to find an even greater power and retreats.
Zidane and company damage to track Kuja down to his Desert Palace, where they are promptly captured. In a twist of fate, however, Kuja offers Zidane a deal: freedom in exchange for an artifact, held deep in an area the Genome cannot safely access. The anti-magic field surrounding Oeilvert would be irrelevant to Zidane after all and Kuja even grants him three companions to bring with him. Upon leaving, however, the Genome goes back on his word and attempts to kill Zidane’s remaining allies. Only Zidane’s return rescues them from such a gruesome fate and forces Kuja to retreat to Mount Gulag, but Eiko is kidnapped in the process. Once there, Kuja attempts to extract more Eidolons from Eiko the same way he did so with Garnet, only to have his efforts frustrated by information the extractors, Zhorn and Thorn, provide him: Eiko is too young to safely have them extracted. Forcing the process anyway prompts Eiko’s Moogle pet to undergo Trance to save her and gives Kuja a different idea on how to rival Garland’s power.
Kuja returns to Castle Pandaemonium just as Zidane finishes fighting off Garland after the Master of Time attempts to take Zidane’s soul and turn him into an ordinary genome. Feigning loyalty to Garland for what may well be the last time, Kuja engages Zidane in combat long enough to undergo Trance. Upon doing so, he casts the cataclysmic Ultima spell and ends the fight. While it was true that Kuja cannot process the complex emotions necessary to Trance, absorbing the souls of people who can gave Kuja the emotional surges necessary to undergo Trance. After winning the battle against Zidane, Kuja kicks Garland off a cliff and proceeds to gloat about his victory and becoming Master of Gaia and Terra. Garland’s spirit, however, haunts the Ascended Genome with the knowledge that he is mortal.
Kuja does not take this well.
The revelation sends him well off the deep end and, in a fit of childish rage, decides that the worlds cannot exist without him and they will die too if he must. Hitting the point home, Kuja unleashes Ultima’s terrible power on Terra and utterly annihilates it before setting his sights on Gaia. Zidane and company rush to Gaia and the inner sanctum of the Iifa Tree, Memoria’s Crystal World. There they find Kuja, about to shatter the Crystal that begot all life on Gaia. Zidane and his allies thwart Kuja’s efforts, however, by first defeating Deathguise and then facing Kuja himself. The fight drags on long enough for Kuja to cast his Ultima spell again, sending the party into edge of oblivion. There, they face Necron – the being seeming-charged with the destruction of all life. Defeating him, Zidane and company managed to escape the Iifa Tree before its collapse.
Kuja’s entrance into the multiverse comes after Iifa Tree’s collapsing begins and the fight with Necron ends. At his weakest, Kuja slowly dies as the Iifa Tree finally falls apart and entombs the genome. His apparent demise would not, however, be the end of him just yet.
Kuja's entrance into the multiverse consisted of a one-way ticket to Pandaemonium. Blood imps, zombies with a soul-piercing gaze, naive shopkeepers, and one positively infuriating lamia marked this as a particularly terrible, if fitting, start for the Genome.
After departing from the Pandaemonium hellscape, Kuja found himself wandering into the Demeter Plaza mall and sampled candies. An encounter with a certain Witch made things a great deal more complicated. In the Tower itself shortly thereafter, Kuja ran int - or, rather, was run into by - an elven girl.
A visit to the Wing of Nightfall proved to be a fateful encounter with Margaret Moonlight as they began planning a Duet to Die for.
During a particularly amusing shopping trip, Kuja ran across a pair of mages. One was particularly innocent and naive, while the other was more reserved and the owner of a Spheal. While Kuja thought nothing of her initial suspicion of him, a costume contest's fallout resulted into more of a rivalry.
During a Vacation in the Southern Islands, Kuja encountered what he believed to be adraconic Eidolon. Instead, he merely found Rayquaza and they fought until Kuja fled. While he was successful in unintentionally avoiding Rayquaza during the aforementioned costume contest, Kuja's entry into the Heart Day's Slugfest makes fighting the dragon again inevitable.
On hearing of a luxury multiversal train, Kuja simply had to get aboard. Little things like theft of a train ticket were such small sacrifices by comparison to the prestige gained from the trip.
Powers and CapabilitiesEdit
While a terrifyingly powerful mage on Gaia, in the multiverse Kuja holds a less potent role. His magical capacity stems from his creation as a Genome and is fueled by the very souls he harvests. At present, Kuja's spells are debilitating in nature rather than devastating - they are more inconvenient than harmful. Much like his personality, Kuja's spell capacity in the multiverse is manipulative of his opponents.
Similarly, his constitution had been considerably drained by the multiverse. This has forced him to fall back to graceful evasion or neutralization attacks with his magic to defend himself from harm, as it does not take much effort to bring him down otherwise. This vulnerability is even more evident when Kuja is outnumbered.
As far as non-combative weaknesses are concerned, psychologically, Kuja has a few glaring personality flaws to exploit. The first of which is his intense individuality and ambition. Trying to suppress that will evoke a very angry response, particularly if the agitator favors Time-based motifs or can impersonate Garland convincingly enough.
Being so shamelessly narcissistic, any attacks on Kuja’s ego that aren’t brushed off will be rebuked in more… violent ways. Referring to Kuja as a “flawed prototype” or otherwise destined to be replaced is a very good way to show you have a death wish. This goes doubly for inducing jealousy pangs; not a difficult feat given his raging insecurity.
Finally, to say Kuja fears his mortality is to say water, in liquid form, is slightly moist. The very thought of not ruling an eternal kingdom sent him into a villainous breakdown culminating in an homicidal display of his power. Anything that can remind him of this fear will paralyze his ambition, if nothing else, until the roadblock is removed.
A powerful, battle-capable airship built by the Terrans, The Invincible stood apart from other Gaian airships in three ways: tremendous firepower, ability to override control of summoned Eidolons, and serving as a containing vessel for the harvested souls of Gaia. Though intended for Garland alone, Kuja has stolen this vessel at least twice in the past and seems to have commandeered it here as well. Much like Kuja himself, however, its power has been dampened considerably. Though it still holds a soul container for the departed, it can no longer level cities in a single beam of brilliant death or control mythical beasts.
- "Looking your absolute best simply means you are your best, you know."
- "The future is full of opportunity."
- "They even managed to hurt me, a little."
- "Oh, you poor dear. Left lacking, I see. Don't worry, I'm sure even a broken bird will fly eventually."
Kuja is aspiring to form a band with Margaret Moonlight.