One more potential Dragon Quest baddie.
Dragon Quest IX is the ninth installment of the Dragon Quest JRPG franchise released for the Nintendo DS in 2009. You play as a Celestrian that watches over humanity from the floating Observatory, gathering benevolessence to feed to Yggdrasil the world tree. One day, you are struck by a mysterious beam of light and sent down to the world below, becoming an amnesiac mortal simply called the Hero. The Hero will have to travel the region gathering the Yggrasil's holy Fygg fruits and battle powerful monsters to reclaim their powers and stop the evil Gittish Empire before they put an end to the world they sought to protect.
Who is Barbarus
Long ago, there existed two dragons that formed a balance of light and darkness: Greygnarl the light and Barbarus the dark. But when the Gittish Empire led by King Godwyn and his legion of monsters brought havoc to conquer the planet, Barbarus willingly joined them for the fun of it. He destroyed an unknown amount of civilizations before being killed by Greygnarl when the Almighty sealed away the darkness.
300 years later, Barbarus and the Gittish Empire are resurrected by Corvus, with the malicious dragon siding with the Empire to seek vengeance upon his brother. He first appears alongside Hootingham-Gore when the Hero is riding the Starlight Express to the Observatory with the seven Fyggs and seemingly betrayed by their mentor Aquilla. They were heading towards Upover where Greygnarl resides to "humiliate" him for his original defeat, not before Hootingham-Gore has Barbarus shoot down the Starlight Express as a way to show "how fired up" he is. The Hero and their fairy ally Stella plummet down to Wormwood Creek, but survive.
The Hero quickly makes their way toward Upover to ask Greygnarl in assistance to help them in battling the Gittish Empire. Around that time, Barbarus arrives and attacks Upover. After the Hero wins Greygnarl's approval by giving him his favorite "drink". he has the Hero mount him with the Dragon Warrior armor before clashing against Barbarus. At first, Greygnarl gains the upper hand until Barbarus reveals his newfound powers since defeat (the energy of the Celestians that Corvus drained) and quickly overwhelms Greygnarl. Not content with just killing him, Barbarus taunts his brother to witness the destruction of his home before launching a massive energy ball towards Upover. Greygnarl throws himself in front of the attack and is seemingly killed while the Hero is captured and imprisoned in the Gortress.
At the Gortress, the Hero and Sterling (the conductor of the Starlight Express) escape and cause a rebellion from the prisoners. After defeating Goreham-Hogg, Barbarus suddenly arrives with intentions to wipe out the prisoners. One of his shots is shown killing one of the knocked down guards. Sterling uses his reclaimed whistle to summon the Starlight Express that rams Barbarus out of the sky and he retreats.
Once Corvus was released from his imprisonment, Barbarus joins him in corrupting the Realm of the Almighty into the Realm of the Mighty, revealing that unlike the rest of the Empire, he was aware of Corvus' plans and joins him to destroy all life. In the center of the twisted realm, before the Hero could interact with Corvus' transformation into his final demonic form, Barbarus interferes under Corvus' order to stop the Hero for disturbing his slumber. The Hero ultimately triumphs against the dragon and slays him, avenging Greygnarl and everyone else he killed.
Excuses? None given.
Moral agency? He understands that the Empire is evil, yet willingly joined them for the fun of it.
Honorable? While he is allied with the Empire, nothing he does showcases genuine loyalty to them other than following their orders. And when he turns against them to side with Corvus, he only "protects" him from the Hero since they were trying to prevent him from ending the human race. Additionally, nobody is seen lecturing or commanding him to destroy Upover or the Gortress, showing that he's doing it on his own accord.
Made of evil? The game might imply this as Greygnarl (the bonus boss Grotto version) says that Barbarus was born from darkness. That just sounds too ambiguous since we never see Barbarus following the "balance of nature" stuff like Greygnarl does or even see him born from the darkness to confirm this statement. It should also be mentioned that Barbarus "forgot" the use and need for the light/dark balance.
He stands out in terms of resources compared to King Godwyn, who has the entire Empire under his support. There's also Yore, who I got approved earlier this year who destroyed out a kingdom and intended on wiping out all of humanity. Barbarus stands out for committing several attempts of mass murder, such as a peaceful village and a slave stronghold filled with innocent prisoners. Additionally, he joined Corvus in attempting to obliterate all of existence.
As for Corvus himself, he has a tragic backstory behind his actions as he felt betrayed by the people he loved, and eventually redeems himself. Barbarus has no sad backstories of any kind and was only serving Corvus for the fun of destroying everything.