This is another character I've been meaning to bring up here when I had the chance, and since I have more spare time today than I originally thought, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a crack at it.
Now bare with me; this character has an absolutely enormous list of extremely heinous actions and crimes to his name, and the game he's from, The Legend of Dragoon, is one of those ridiculously long RPGs that takes ages to play through, to the extent that it required 4 separate discs of content. Yeah, it's that kind of game, and on top of that, I only ever got a little ways through the second disc, and the last time I played it was at least several years ago. So yeah, doing a proposal from a character with such a huge list of atrocities from a game that long that I never even got close to finishing is daunting, to say the least.
So why is it worth going to all that trouble? Well, because from everything I've learned about this character, he's an absolute shoe-in for the category, and I figured that even if my proposal is flawed and happens to miss anything that could be important, I should at least give it a try so that he can get the attention he deserves. Finally, anyone who knows me and my writing style knows I have a LOT of trouble with truncation and being super concise, which makes this kind of character even more terrifying for me to cover... so this time around, I'll use the format suggested by this wiki rather than the one adapted by TV Tropes effort-posts that I'm used to using, in the hopes that it'll pretty much force me to make this at least fairly readable in terms of length. So with all that out of the way, let's get down to business:
So who's the character? It's Melbu Frahma, the true main antagonist of the Playstation 1 RPG epic, The Legend of Dragoon. He is the former emperor of the winged humanoid race called the Winglies, and is infamous even in the present day thousands of years later for being the most cruel and depraved of them all, even compared to their emperors before him...
While Melbu can be seen as somewhat generic in that he's a classic villain with overtly evil goals and traits, he does have a defined personality; even by Winglies standards, he is acknowledged in the legends and lore as especially cruel, manipulative, and sadistic, as well as xenophobic, egotistical, narcissistic, and most of all, a supremacist, even by their standards. When he finally reveals himself at the end of the game, he very much proves this all to be true.
Okay, so here's where some in-depth explanation is definitely required; The Legend of Dragoon has a considerable standard with characters like Emperor Doel, who is a megalomaniacal tyrant, instigating the civil war that takes up the first part of the story, and Lloyd, a Wingly who manipulates him to do just that, along with plenty of other atrocities, with the intention of bringing about the renewal of Endiness, the fictional land the game takes place in. Even Rose, who despite being one of the heroes, has periodically slaughtered almost entire village's worth of people under the guise of "The Black Monster" to destroy the person born as the "Moon Child", who is fated to destroy the world, and any who serve and are associated with them.
However, with that all said? If you include what he is infamous for doing during his reign, he easily eclipses anyone in terms of scale, sheer brutality and cruelness. During his reign, he is revealed to have had all other races aside from Winglies enslaved, after which they would either be forced into hard labor, or be used for entertainment, like gladiatorial sports. Through all this, he promoted the racist philosophy that they all deserved death due to their inferiority, and that it was by the "grace" of his empire that they were "spared" as slaves (and apparently, some species actualy did go extinct because of their treatment in slavery). Even Winglies weren't entirely safe from his tyrannical rule, since he apparently charged a city with aborting any babies who didn't display the magical potential required for "true Wingly status". Plus, later on, when the more benevolent members of his race had enough and aligned themselves with the humans and other races who rose up to put an end to his tyranny, he was fully willing to wipe them out along with anyone else who resisted him.
Eventually, he was defeated and killed by the heroic leader of the rebellion, Zeig. However, he was able to preserve his soul in his sword, where he would lay dormant until he used it's power to awaken his powers as a Dragoon once more. This doesn't happen for quite a few thousand years, since Zieg was cursed to petrification for thousand of years afterwards, and after he awakens, he lives a peaceful life for a time, and settles down with a family. However, when the aforementioned Black Monster attacked his village, he tried to activate his powers once more, which awoke Melbu, and allowed him to take over his body. After this, he he approached the aforementioned Lloyd under the guise of "Emperor Diaz" , and manipulated him into doing everything he does under the impression that tracking down the Moon Child will restore the Winglies' civilization and Endiness as a whole, making him responsible for everything Lloyd does, like the engineering of the aforementioned civil war.
When he finally reveals himself, it turns out his main goal in the present is to fuse with a life-form called the "Virage Embryo", which is currently trapped in orbit around the planet as "The Moon That Never Sets", and once it's reunited with the Moon Child (which I believe houses its soul), it will "purify" Endiness by outright destroying it. The idea is that by getting a hold of the current Moon Child, which happens to be Shana, the childhood friend of Dart, the main hero of the game (little to her knowledge), he will take her place when it tries to unite with her, and become the new "God of Destruction" to wipe out Endiness and replace it with a new world for him to dominate.
So yeah... I know that was basically a plot summary, but this should tell anyone reading this that Melbu is essentially behind and responsible for all the major events in the game, including numerous murders and massive wars in the present, and that's even without going into his oppressive and racist tyranny in the past. And of course, no one has his full-blown intentions of omnicide, since the aforementioned Lloyd, who carries out most of his present manipulations and schemes, does so after being deceived about using the Moon Child to reinstate the world, rather than destroy it. In short, he easily tops everyone here once his part in the story is fully revealed.
Moral Event Horizon
If it isn't already plainly obvious, he's one of those villains who's crossed it too many times to bother keeping track of. His mass enslavement and oppression of all other non-Wingly races alone puts him far over the line, and in the present, when he's finally awakened after being dormant for thousands of years, he doesn't get any better, manipulating massive wars and many individual murders through Lloyd to ultimately flat-out destroy the world and recreate it to his liking.
No problems here; both in the past and present, he uses his authority, charisma and talent at manipulation to initiate mass enslavement, threaten genocide, initiate massive wars, and ultimately wants to destroy the world so he can dominate a new one of his own design. He holds NOTHING back.
No problems here either. While Winglies are historically infamous in the game's universe for being xenophobic, egotistical and self-absorbed, there are also plenty of positive examples of them to be found as well, and as mentioned before, there were even quite a few of them that existed during Melbu's reign that were disgusted by him and rose up along with the other races against him. All evidence points to him being an especially abominable member of his species that embodies all the worst traits that they're known for, and who is dedicated solely to his supremacist ideals, and later on, the birth of his ideal "perfect world".
No Redeeming Qualities
Ultimately, no, he has none whatsoever. Lloyd is just a pawn to him, and once he discovers the truth and turns on Melbu, he quickly makes short work of him. Even his sister, Carle Frahma, who apparently tried repeatedly to oppose his dictatorial lifestyle and convince him to abandon it, meant little to him, since not only is there no evidence that he ever so much as considered turning away from his racist beliefs and practices, but there were times he would apparently get her to do him favors and hide his true motives since without knowing them, she wouldn't be able to refuse carrying out a request for her brother.
Quite tellingly, the most positive thing you can say about him is that when he first discovered the aforementioned Virage Embryo, he made sure to separate its soul from its body to prevent it from destroying the world as prophesied. Obviously though, that had nothing to do with care for anyone of anything in particular, but because that would include him along with everything else, and evne then, he was perfectly willing to use it's soul to further his ambitions, namely, by keeping it in a crystal sphere that h always had with him to fuel and enhance his skills. And of course, by the present, once he found a way to fuse with it himself and become the God of Destruction, he's fully wiling to destroy the rest of the world with it.
Even without playing through the game, I find it pretty clear that he's never played or shown in a sympathetic light whatsoever since he's a tyrannical supremacist who does pretty much everything for self-gain and based on his personal, bigoted ideals. Absolutely none of the information given about him shows or suggests there's anything sympathetic about him, or that at all justifies or provides an excuse for his attitude and personality.
While he's not actually revealed until the end of the game, we do see the results of his manipulations and everything they've caused throughout the game before discovering that he's behind it all, whether it be the wars themselves, the many people that die as a result of them, etc. As for his tyrannical oppression and slavery during his rule, I'm pretty sure it's not explicitly shown in flashbacks, but it is explicitly referred to and at least partly shown in manuscripts, which I think is enough to not be dismissed as generic "off-screen villainy", especially since it's important historical information within the game's setting. And obviously, while he doesn't succeed in destroying Endiness, the fact that it's explicitly spelled out that that's what he intends to do, and the player is even shown images of what would happen to the world if the Virage Embryo succeeds in being used for its designed purpose during the final battle, I think that's about as "onscreen" as it can be without actually coming to pass.
If you've been reading through this in any degree of detail, then it's probably already obvious to you that yes, Melbu is the worst-of-the-worst in this setting, bar none.
The Legend of Dragoon is a pretty typical T-rated RPG setting. So yes, as mentioned, you get civil wars and see many soldiers die on both sides of the conflict, you have entire villages being razed and destroyed for the sake of finding or killing one particular person (by armies and the Black Monster), and even some established characters who you have the time to get attached to die over the course of the game. In general, it's a pretty harsh setting where plenty of bad things happen to good people, but no, I wouldn't say it's especially over-the-top, gruesome, or appalling. In fact, despite the T-rating and all the violence that comes with the setting, there's not even much in the way of blood, and all the violence and senseless destruction is naturally viewed in a negative light; while it require the use of violence from the heroes, one of the main directions of the game is to put a stop to it and regain peace, with plenty of heroic people willing to risk their lives to make that happen, as is typical for these types of games. So no, I don't believe at all that it's the type of setting that's too depraved for someone to count for the category, least of all the kind of character that is revealed to be the one truly responsible for it all, and working toward the end goal to become a god and destroy everything over what amounts to an "unquenchable hunger for power", as stated by this very wiki.
Hoo boy... what a task. I hope I did a good enough job of providing the necessary details to understand the character and his part in the story without making the overall proposal too strenuous or exhausting to read. I also hope I provided all the details that were important with regards to his qualification for the category. To those who are more familiar with this game, know that I truly did my best. In fact, I'm almost positive there are at least some comparatively smaller things he's responsible for through Lloyd, but when it's this kind of character, it's pretty much a requirement to focus on the bigger and more important things he's connected to for the sake of keeping it to a reasonable length.
Hopefully, I won't be taking on another character with this much history or this massive of a rapsheet anytime soon... or ever. To those who attempt to cover such things... I salute you. It's exhausting... but worth it, nonetheless. This isn't one of those characters that "just makes the grade", in my opinion; practically everything about his personality, characterization, actions, goals, and his role in the story scream "pure, unadulterated evil", so if this proposal results in him going up, I have no regrets. I hope others find it worthwhile.