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Bahamut is the overarching antagonist in Final Fantasy XV. He first appears to be an ally of Noctis Lucis Caelum in the base storyline of Final Fantasy XV, but is soon revealed to be the true villain of the game's expanded universe.
Bahamut and the Astrals have ruled over Eos since before the beginning of time. After the nation of Solheim turned on the gods, triggering the War of the Astrals that spread the Starscourge, Bahamut wanted to destroy the planet without considering another, morally acceptable solution, showing his first signs that he is either already evil, or at least on his way to becoming as such. With the other gods exhausting themselves to stop his Terra Flare from destroying Eos, Bahamut was able to keep his attempted genocide unknown to man, both by erasing or manipulating the other Astrals' memories as they slept, and by ordering that the Cosmogony books omit any mention of his shameful actions, and then he chose to manipulate two bloodlines to their deaths, all to eliminate the threat he should have dealt with more ethically without regard for his own wellbeing.
Though his plan came to fruition (in the game's initial ending) at the expense of an uncountable number of lives, including all the Lucian Kings and Oracles, a newly revealed/created timeline is soon shown where Noctis learns the truth of Bahamut, who revived Lunafreya to gather the darkness for Bahamut to use Terra Flare again, which is again thwarted by the other Astrals, including a newly purified Ifrit. Noctis then cooperates with Ardyn to destroy Bahamut in both the physical and spiritual planes, which makes the other Astrals and all magic disappear from Eos forever, but the Crystal absorbs all that remains of the Starscourge before shattering, saving the planet at last.
Bahamut is/was protective of the planet, but possesses a ruthless streak, as more clearly evidenced in the bonus content added after release: Final Fantasy XV: Comrades, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn and Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn Of The Future-. The content released after the main game reveals him to be uncaring toward the individuals who are to play a part in the fate he has spelled for the planet. His attitude in both the main game and additional content paint him as borderline fatalistic in his dismissal of an alternate solution to destroying the Scourge, to the point of an unhealthy obsession that is most fully expressed in The Dawn of the Future, where he completely abandons the salvation of Eos. Bahamut deems humanity inherently foolish without admitting his own horiffic actions or his responsibility for the events that caused such "foolishness" on their end, considering them of no more value to him than flowers; worthy of cultivation if healthy, yet perfectly willing to exterminate them all if diseased, even those that really aren't.
- This depiction of Bahamut is the first to become outright evil without any outside influence or another antagonistic character controlling him, in a subversion of his role in the original Final Fantasy appropriate enough(for most fans to think FFXV could be the last numbered game in the series).
- Aside from being (arguably) more evil than Bhunivelze or Kefka, this Bahamut is one of the most evil Final Fantasy villains, mainly due to the misfortunes he set in motion and his warped morality (or lack thereof) to the point of wanting to destroy the world as his first resort. If the other numbered games are taken into account, with the possibility that he was planning to reach godhood since the first game, he would have been manipulating the other protagonists, effectively making him the series' ultimate antagonist.
- The FFXV incarnation of Bahamut turning out to be evil has been foreshadowed subtly (and perhaps intentionally) by Noctis' pre-battle quote before fighting the Dissidia NT version.
- As with Ardyn, before his reveal to be a legitimately tragic (anti-)villain, Bahamut is one of the few villains to win, at least in the game's original ending. The companion epilogue novel, "The Dawn of the Future", shows a new timeline, branching off from the end of Episode Ardyn, or the end of Chapter 13, where Bahamut's true nature is exposed before it's too late.
- Very ironically, in the new timeline, Bahamut's original goal of destroying the Scourge is still fulfilled, but through his destruction by Noctis and Ardyn using the very power he intended to use against them, with Ardyn still dying but Noctis being saved as a result.
- In regards to the possibility of the majority of DotF happening after Chapter 13, it is implied, in the "Episode Noctis" segment that Chapter 14 as depicted in the base game took place only as a dream, as something of a subversion of the "Squall is dead" theory.
- His role is similar to Bhunivelze in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy XV was originally conceived as part of the Fabula Nova Crysallis series, which includes FFXIII, it's two sequels, and Final Fantasy Type-0, so this similarity may be an intentional throwback to these mythos.
- Bahamut appeared in a more positive light in those other titles, yet now he has become like the god he helped Lightning defeat, in a dark, cruel irony.
- In Final Fantasy XV, his role of being the real reason Ardyn became so destructive and evil, and then being killed by the "monster" he created in a fitting irony, mirrors the God of War series' version of Zeus, and Ares, by extention.
- Ironically, Bahamut also has Kratos' and Ares' title of God of War, and an even worse bloodlust and appetite for destruction and murder, even if Kratos' or Kefka's was more obvious, and while Bahamut was willing to destroy the world to meet his goals, Kratos simply didn't care(initially) what happens to the world around him in his quest for vengeance.
- However, Ardyn did not have to kill all the gods like Kratos did, only Bahamut, while the other Astrals , unlike the Olympian gods, fought against their corrupt leader and accepted their resulting deaths as punishment for their complicity in Bahamut's evil ways.
- Bahamut's desire to wipe out all life can be considered a throwback to earlier Final Fantasy villains like Zeromus , (Neo) Exdeath, and Kefka wanting to do the same thing. While his motivation is/was somewhat justifiable compared to theirs, it is ultimately overridden by the audacity of his chosen approach, his stubborn authoritarianism, and perhaps worst of all his diminishing lack of respect for human life.
- His turn to evil after being associated with the Final Fantasy heroes for so long is something akin to the original plan for Mega Man X to become evil in Mega Man Zero.
- Fittingly enough, Bahamut and Copy X are both tyrannical, hypocritical, and believe what they do is for the greater good.
- The result of magic and summons dying out with Bahamut is identical to what happened at the end of Final Fantasy VI after Kefka is killed, since he had become the "God of Magic".
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Final Fantasy Dimensions
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy Tactics