You have braved the bowels of Hell to reach me. But the hand of man, which deals in false justice and forsaken love, can never hope to defeat the lord master of Hell!
~ Mateus the Dark Emperor

The Dark Emperor is the dark half of Emperor Mateus's soul and the final Boss in Final Fantasy II. In contrast to the game, the novel version of the Dark Emperor is the final form of Satan, who had been controlling Mateus in this incarnation.


After getting into Palamecia's mountain-protected castle, the party confronts the Dark Knight. Before they can do anything, the Emperor reappears, in this form. By killing him, the party only made him stronger, as he has now gained incredible strength and became 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.

Summoning the castle of Hell, Pandaemonium, where Palamecia once stood, the Emperor intended to reign over both earth and Hell. He was backed up by an army of demons and the revived Palamencian soldiers(who like the Emperor had gone to Hell upon their death).

However, the party traveled through the Jade Passage and confronted the Emperor head on. He is eventually defeated and destroyed forever, his death causing Pandaemonium to disappear from Earth.

Powers and Abilities

The Dark Emperor is much more powerful than when he was just Emperor Mateus. The Emperor gains the ability to summon Pandaemonium to the surface world as well as a slew of new demonic powers. His physical attacks have a drain effect, allowing him to steal lifeforce from enemies to replenish himself and heal injuries.

His physical strikes sometimes poison or stun whom they strike. His Thunder spell has been enhanced and has gained a high level Flare attack and the original Meteor spell, Starfall as well as many status ailment spells. The Emperor is nigh invincible to most physical attacks unless it's against the Blood Sword or the attacker is augmented by Haste or Temper, and he is immune to all elemental magic and almost any attempt to inflict status ailments on him, with the only known method to do so being the Cursed Sword.

His Dark Half was also shown to generate purple flames of what was presumably hellfire, as evidenced by his encounter with the party in Castle Palamecia where he attempted to use it to kill them. Similarly, even the mere act of returning from Hell to the living realm causes noticeable distortions, where the environment flashes with shades of purple.

Dissidia Final Fantasy

The Dark Emperor appears as Emperor Mateus's EX Mode.

Novel Version

In the novel adaptation, the Dark Emperor is separate from Mateus and is actually Satan. Trapped in the Stone of Iludia, Satan corrupts the men of Palamencia by filling their minds with hatred, with Mateus being his latest victim. When Firion's party destroys the Stone of Illudia, Satan returns to Hell and assumes the form of the Dark Emperor to take over the world.


  • While it is not known if the Emperor intentionally allowed the heroes to kill him so he could gain the dark powers of Hell, given the fact he already had power over Hell-spawn, it is possible that it was his true intention all along.
  • In the original Famicom version, the Dark Emperor has a unique targeting byte for the final boss battle. This results in a bug when using the Wizard Staff as an item to cast Scourge XVI. The spell will target one random enemy or ally, but it does not exclude the Emperor's unique targeting byte, potentially causing the spell to target the Emperor despite him not being present (resulting in no effect).
  • In the Famicom version, this is the only final boss of the series where the characters do a victory pose after winning. This is changed in the remakes.
  • In the cutscene preceding the battle with the Light Emperor, where Minwu, Scott, Ricard, and Josef experience a vision of the battle, Firion used the Masamune on the Emperor, with Maria following up with Holy Lv. 16; the Emperor retaliating by casting Flare XVI on Maria; Guy using an Elixir on himself, Leon attempting to strike the Emperor down with Excalibur and the Sun Blade, but missed him, and Guy and Maria following up with the Rune Axe and Yoichi's Bow, respectively; Leon casting Cure Lv. 16 to the party; the Emperor casting Starfall X, and Firion casting Ultima Lv. 16 on the Emperor in return.
  • In the GBA and PS versions, the Emperor's battle sprite possesses a lower half and torso, while in all other appearances he lacks those attributes.
  • He is also known as "Empire" in the "Dark Shadow Over Palakia" translation.


           Final Fantasy II Villains

Palamecian Empire
Emperor Mateus | Leon | Borghen | Dark Emperor | Light Emperor

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