5 betrayals in FINAL FANTASY games

The history of FINAL FANTASY is filled with heartbreak and betrayal. Check out some of the series’ best backstabs.
By Ryan Walsh

No plan survives contact with the enemy. That alone is a grave fact of life, but consider what it’d be like to bet everything on a plan when you’re not sure where the enemy is.

Things are simple and straightforward when the enemy’s in a uniform, brandishing a weapon and screaming at you, but it’s very different when your foe is someone you thought was an ally.

The FINAL FANTASY series is full of these famous betrayals - let’s look at some of its finest:


Garland becomes Chaos - FINAL FANTASY Pixel Remaster

Let’s start with the betrayal that started it all.

Garland was a respected knight in the kingdom of Cornelia, loved by peers and peasants alike. Then something happened.

Without warning, Garland turned his back on all of it. He kidnapped the daughter of the king he swore to protect, he soundly defeated the knights that he once led, and he demanded to be made ruler of Cornelia.

Few people know why (although STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN may just suggest some possible answers). Whatever the reason, all hope seemed lost until the desperate king was approached by four Warriors of Light.

And that’s how a legendary franchise was born.

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Queen Brahne turns the tables on Kuja - FINAL FANTASY IX

This entry is notable for a few reasons.

First is how decisive Queen Brahne acts when she turns on Kuja, the man that supplied her with weapons for her war effort. Brahne doesn’t wait for Kuja to be close or alone - she loads up her entire navy with black mages, takes them to Kuja directly, and proceeds to lay waste to his home with cannon fire, summoned eidolons and more.

The second notable thing is how ineffectual this betrayal is. Kuja’s island survives the attack, with the man himself only slightly hurt in the process. As for what happens next… let’s just say there are consequences…

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Kefka betrays Emperor Gestahl - FINAL FANTASY VI PIXEL REMASTER

FINAL FANTASY VI is full of betrayals. For example, Emporer Gestahl works hard to get the party to trust him, only for him to betray their trust for his own ends. That was mean, but at least it didn’t blast the world to ruin or anything.

That was saved for his henchman Kefka, who tries to claim an ancient power for himself. This leads to an outpouring of destructive energies that rips apart and shifts the continents of the planet.

In doing so, Kefka doesn’t just betray his Emperor, or the heroes - he betrays the entire world.

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Anabella Rosfield betrays Rosaria - FINAL FANTASY XVI

Anabella Rosfield is the Duchess of Roseria, but unlike her husband Elwin and sons Clive and Joshua her loyalty isn’t to the Kingdom. Instead, she believes her purpose is to preserve her Phoenix-bearing bloodline.

It’s for this reason that she betrays her husband and enters into partnership with what she judges to be the mightier force - the Holy Empire of Sambreque.

It’s thanks to her treachery that the Imperial forces successfully infiltrate Phoenix Gate and attack the Roserian forces - a betrayal that costs her dear when her beloved son Josua, the current Dominant of the Phoenix, is killed by a mysterious Eikon.

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Seifer betrays his own dream - FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered

Seifer, gunblade specialist and rival to FINAL FANTASY VIII’s protagonist Squall, had a dream of romantic adventure. He wanted to be the powerful knight for a sorceress, and go on to conquer an evil empire for her.

But a rash plan to help Rinoa and the Timber Wolves resistance group leads to the opposite happening - he confronts and ultimately pledges herself to the decidedly non-benevolent Sorceress Edea.

Before long, Seifer does some pretty shady things, from kidnapping kings and activating ancient weapons, to fighting against his former classmates.

By betraying his own dream, Seifer becomes the dictatorial villain he grew up convinced he’d fight against.

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Those are some of the more significant turnabouts in FINAL FANTASY history. Do you feel betrayed that your favorite didn’t make the list? Let us know via social media!