The weak lose their freedom to the strong. Such is the way of the strong. And it is the providence of nature that only the strong survive. That is why I needed strength.
~ Kuja
Ugh... I'm gonna die anyway... I won't have to be afraid anymore... But I'm not gonna die alone. You're all coming with me!
~ Kuja defeated in his Trance form; before he casts Ultima.
After you guys beat me, I had nothing left... nothing more to lose. Then, I finally realized what it means to live... I guess I was too late.
~ Kuja after Zidane returns to be with his brother's soul after Kuja himself teleports Zidane's party to safety.

Kuja is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy IX. He is a mysterious man who is revealed to be a Genome, one of the humanoid beings manufactured to provoke war between humans. He operates behind the scenes, at first working in Queen Brahne's shadow. He wishes to acquire the power of summoned monsters called the Eidolons to overthrow his creator, Garland, and rule both Terra and Gaia forever.

He has no voice actor in his original game, but in other Final Fantasy-related media such as the Dissidia games, he is voiced by JD Cullum.

Origin

He was created on the planet Terra by the villainous Garland. Garland sought to destroy Gaia in order to save Terra, so he sent Kuja there to disrupt the cycle of souls. Kuja acted as an angel of death by encouraging warfare amongst the inhabitants of Gaia. This act claimed thousands of innocent lives, disrupting the cycle of souls like Garland wanted. However, Kuja desperately wanted to prove his individuality and superiority over other inhabitants of Terra. While on Gaia, he attempted to find a great power to destroy his creator, Garland, with.

Role In Final Fantasy IX

Kuja was a mysterious figure for much of the game and was manipulating Queen Brahne into waging war on neighboring kingdoms, plunging a once peaceful world into ever-increasing conflict: a conflict that escalated after Queen Brahne managed to get her hands on eidolons that could destroy entire kingdoms, thus fuelling her quest for power even further.

Appearance and Personality

Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past... Though we hope for promising years. After shedding a thousand tears, yesterday's sorrow constantly nears. And while the moon still shines blue, by dawn, it will turn to scarlet hue!
~ Kuja

Kuja has long silver hair that falls halfway down his back. In his hair, he wears a large feather of the same color. He has light blue eyes and is of medium height, light build, with a pale complexion. He wears white sleeves with a purple mantle around his shoulders. Kuja wears a white robe on the back of his legs that extends to his ankles. The robe is held up by four straps that act as a codpiece. His pants are a deeper purple than his shoulder-guards and his shoes are black with golden buckles. Kuja has a tail, but conceals it.

Kuja's speech patterns are metaphorical and jovial; for example he refers to Garnet as a "canary", and Brahne as "the elephant-lady". His refined nature juxtaposes his role as a sadistic war-bringer. Kuja has a love of luxury, as evidenced by his home at Desert Palace.

Kuja is conceited and narcissistic in contrast to Zidane's humility. Kuja has an ego to match his power and he lets his pride rule his head. While he had his chance to kill Zidane when he was still a baby, Kuja chose to let him live to prove himself superior to him. After discovering his destiny as a mortal, Kuja's cultured personality turns into insanity, believing life should not be allowed to continue without him.

Kuja uses his elegance to hide his insecurities and deep down he is conflicted by his existence, having been created as a tool for Garland. Kuja scorns the black mages, but also finds himself identifying with them. As explained in Final Fantasy IX Ultimania Kuja never experienced childhood and thus his emotional growth is stunted, being unable to empathize with others or feel remorse for his actions. It appears that learning of his fate as a mortal and rebelling against this destiny allows Kuja to grow, and comes to see at least some of the repercussions of his actions.

In the Japanese versions of Final Fantasy IX and Dissidia, Kuja refers to himself with the boyish pronoun boku and addresses others with the familiar/informal kimi.

Powers and Abilities

Kuja is shown to be an exceptional mage. He can create Black Mages from mist using machinery and magic, and even with no outside help can summon Mistodons. He is capable of controlling monsters as well, and is shown to control an army of Silver Dragons led by the Nova Dragon, as well as the monster Deathguise that attacks Zidane's party in the Crystal World. Kuja is also largely immune to injury - even the Dragon King Bahamut's attack only barely succeeds in drawing blood from him. It is also shown that even when not in Trance, Kuja is capable of casting the extremely powerful Flare Star. This makes him one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, Black Magic practitioners in Final Fantasy IX, even before he gained the ultimate power of Trance.

After entering Trance, Kuja's power increases exponentially. He knows the strongest spells of the game including Curaga, Meteor, Holy, and Flare, and his strongest spell Flare Star is potentially lethal to the entire party. He is able to completely destroy Terra with Ultima, and even defeats the party with it. When Kuja casts Ultima against the party, no damage is displayed as being taken but the battle instantly ends, so it is physically impossible to survive the spell.

In Battle

Kuja is fought as a boss in Pandemonium and in Trance form in Memoria. Both times he casts Ultima upon his defeat, so although the party technically wins the battle, for storyline purposes Kuja prevails.

Trivia

  • In Hindi, kuj or kuja means "born of the earth", symbolizing Kuja's birth on Terra (terra is Latin for earth). In Hindu cosmogony, Kuja is the name of the planet Mars, which is also the name of the Roman god of war. This reflects Kuja's role to cause war and destruction on Gaia. Mars is known as the red planet, fitting with Terra being shown as a red planet to contrast Gaia's blue.
  • Kuja's name may also be derived from the Japanese word kujaku, which means "peacock", an animal befitting of Kuja's flamboyant and vain nature.
  • After the first battle against him in Pandemonium, Kuja explains that he achieved Trance through the use of the souls absorbed by the Invincible, in which he says Queen Brahne's souls was among them. Even if Garnet is not in the party at given moment, Kuja will still reference Brahne as "your mother." This is likely because the party members not in battle are "understood" to be present as well as the party members who are in battle.
  • Kuja is one of several Final Fantasy villains who, despite being the main villain of a game, is not fought as the final boss, instead being fought as the penultimate or antepenultimate boss (in his case, the former). Other villains with this distinction include Xande, Seymour Guado, and Barthandelus.
  • Kuja is the only main antagonist who defeats the player party every time he is battled. His final form falls after he casts Ultima, ending the battle in a "double KO."
  • Kuja is first primary villain in the main series Final Fantasy games to show genuine regret and remorse for his own actions.
    • He is also the first main villain with an unknown status, as the other villains were killed at the end of their stories. However, he is presumed to have survived and changed his ways due to him and Zidane being on initially good terms during Dissidia Final Fantasy, and this is given further credence due to him saving him (Zidane) and Terra from being killed by Emperor Mateus and Sephiroth in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.

Navigation

           Final Fantasy logo.png Villains

Final Fantasy
Garland | Fiends of Chaos | Chaos | Astos

Final Fantasy II
Palamecian Empire
Emperor Mateus | Leon | Borghen | Dark Emperor | Light Emperor

Final Fantasy III
Xande | Djinn | Gigameth | Goldor | Gutsco | Hein | Cloud of Darkness

Final Fantasy IV
Baron Empire
Golbez | Kain Highwind | Baigan | Dr. Lugae | Red Wings | Elemental Archfiends

Others
Zemus | Maenad | The Creator

Final Fantasy V
Exdeath | Gilgamesh | Enkidu | Demons of the Rift | Void | Enuo

Final Fantasy VI
Gestahlian Empire
Emperor Gestahl | Kefka Palazzo | Typhon | Ultros

Cult of Kefka
Kefka Palazzo | Magic Master

Final Fantasy VII
Shinra Inc.
President Shinra | Rufus Shinra | Heidegger | Palmer | Professor Hojo | Professor Hollander | Scarlet
Turks
Elena | Reno | Rude | Tseng Remnants
Kadaj | Loz | Yazoo

Others
Don Corneo | Fuhito | Genesis | Jenova | Omega Weiss | Sephiroth

Final Fantasy VIII
Adel | Fujin | Griever | NORG | President Vinzer Deling | Raijin | Seifer Almasy | Ultimecia

Final Fantasy IX
Alexandrian Empire
Queen Brahne | Thorn and Zorn | Meltigemini | Kuja

Others
Garland | Necron

Final Fantasy X
Yevon
Seymour Guado | Yo Mika | Wen Kinoc | Lady Yunalesca

Leblanc Syndicate
Leblanc | Logos | Ormi

Others
Jecht | Shuyin | Sin | Yu Yevon

Final Fantasy XI
Promathia | Shadow Lord | Shantotto

Final Fantasy XII
Archadian Empire
Vayne Solidor | Doctor Cid | Gabranth | Ba'Gamnan | Bergan | Ghis | Venat | Gerun

Others
Judge of Wings | Feolthanos

Final Fantasy XIII
Barthandelus | Bhunivelze | Caius Ballad | Jihl Nabaat | Order of Salvation | Orphan | Yaag Rosch

Final Fantasy XIV
Garlean Empire
Varis Zos Galvus | Nael Van Darnus | Gaius Van Baelsar | Zenos Yae Galvus | Livia Sas Junius | Nero Tol Scaeva | Regula Van Hydrus | Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina

Ascians
The Paragons/Unsundered Ones
Lahabrea | Elidibus | Emet-Selch
Individuals
Igeyorhm | Nabriales | Warriors of Darkness | Fandaniel

Illuminati
Quickthinx Allthoughts

Others
Heavens' Ward | Lolorito | Nidhogg | Teledji Adeledji | True Brothers of the Faith | Archbishop Thordan VII | Vauthry

Final Fantasy XV
Empire of Nilfheim
Iedolas Aldercapt | Ardyn Izunia | Glauca | Ravus Nox Fleuret | Loqi Tummelt | Caligo Ulldor | Verstael Besithia

Others
Bahamut | Ifrit | Somnus Lucis Caelum

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Chaos
Servants of Chaos (Asmodeus | Beezlebub | Belphegor | Leviathan | Lucifer | Mammon

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
General Hein | Phantoms

Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Earl Tyrant | Fungus | Herba | Oshca | Pist Shaz XI | Solijashy

Final Fantasy Adventure
Dark Lord | Julius | Glaive Empire

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Meteor Parasite | Raem

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Larkeicus

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Dark Lord

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Cu Caspel | Galdes

Final Fantasy Dimensions
Elgo

Four Generals
Asmodai | Baugauven | Styx | Vata

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Dark Lord

Vile Four
Dualhead Hydra | Flamerus Rex | Ice Golem | Pazuzu

Others
Skullrus Rex | Stone Golem | Twinhead Wyvern

Final Fantasy Tactics

The Lucavi
Belias | Cuchulainn | Dycedarg Beoulve | Marquis Elmdor | Vormav Tingel/Hashmal

Others
Algus | Delita Hyral | Gafgarion | Gerrith Barrington | St. Ajora | | Wiegraf Folles

Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Duelhorn
Alys the Ensorceled | Duke Snakeheart | Maquis | The Night Dancer

Khamja
Ewen | Illua

Others
Klesta | Neukhia

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Llednar Twem | Queen Remedi

Final Fantasy Type-0
Cid Aulstyne | Gala | Gilgamesh Ashur | Nimbus | Qator Bashtar | Qun'mi Tru'e

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