Emperor Mateus is the more…flamboyant of the Final Fantasy villains. Not as outlandish as Kuja, but way more metrosexually suggestive than Sephiroth. In fact, in Dissidia, Sephiroth decides to kill himself once he sees Emperor Mateus…
…OK. The context for Sephiroth’s actions are different in that game. But there’s no denying Sephiroth couldn’t compete with the Emperor. And he’s not the Emperor for nothing. Check out his a description of his appearance in the Final Fantasy Wikia:
The Emperor wears golden armor with purple and rose-colored robes over the shoulder armor. The robes have four portions, two connected on each side, and a raised collar and extended striped “shoulders”. His hair is blond (although the exact shade varied, with some artworks having it appear golden blond and other artworks and to a certain degree his sprites depicting it as a platinum blond) and spiked, with an extra-long ponytail, and purple ombre at the tip of the side bangs. His head is adorned with tiny colored jewels.
His dress is very heavy with gold, rose and purples; he wears very feminine colors. Colors don’t denote much about a person’s gender, though. Yet, consider that Emperor Mateus does, in fact, become female. When Firion, Maria, Gus and Richard defeat the Emperor the first time, his soul splits. Part of it goes to Hell, the other to Heaven. When it comes back, we now have two Emperor Mateus’ to fight. The Dark Emperor from Hell is obviously masculine, forceful and oppressive. But the Light Emperor from Heaven is decidely feminine. Perhaps he’s based on Lucifer, but we have a boss in Final Fantasy II named Lucifer.
Obviously, not wanting the clearly metrosexual Lucifer to outdo him, Light Emperor:
has six wings similar to a Seraph, and a golden gate on his back. He at times appears to be made of clouds and wears a light-colored robe.
Minwu, Scott, Josef and Richard defeat the Light Emperor. However, the heavens are eternal. In this sense, Emperor Mateus doesn’t die, so long as the heavens remain. The powers disperse, and he becomes a goddess in the process.
Yet, Mateus is a “he”, even in Final Fantasy XII:
Scion of darkness ruling and protecting those who live in the underworld, in opposition to Lahabrea the Abyssal Celebrant and scion of light. In the course of his rule, he submitted to avarice, and the darkness took his heart, transforming him until he was both evil and corrupt. Then in his cowardice did he bind a Goddess of the Demesne of Ice, and using her as a living shield, he challenged the gods. Defeated before their might, he fell screaming into the depths of hell, there to be imprisoned for eternity.
Why? Well, he’s male, yet still a woman.
Does this mean that Final Fantasy II takes place before Final Fantasy XII? Is Palamicia is actually the land of Ivalice?