Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
14. A VILLAIN WITHOUT A CAUSE
This isn’t a problem that is unique to Final Fantasy VIII, as several Final Fantasy antagonists weren’t given any motives other than “wants to kill the party.” Does anyone know what the Cloud of Darkness or Necron’s desires were?
The issue of Ultimecia having no character or explanation behind her motives stands out more as she is sandwiched between a group of awesome Final Fantasy villains that had a lot of character and became fan favorites as a result. Ultimecia looks bland when compared to the likes of Kefka, Sephiroth, Kuja, and Seymour.
The Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania guide gave Ultimecia a motive, as it explained that she knew that she was destined to be killed by a member of SeeD, so she wanted to control time in order to prevent it from happening. It would have been nice if she had explained that in the game, instead of leaving her motives in the supplemental material.
Seems like Scott would like to flesh out the narrative. I’m sure most fans want more backstory surrounding her. So was she a villain without a cause? Edea’s speech at Galbadia lets us know what her motivations were for her plans, as Ultimecia is speaking through her:
“…Lowlifes. …Shameless filthy wretches. How you celebrate my ascension with such joy. Hailing the very one whom you have condemned for generations. Have you no shame? What happened to the evil, ruthless sorceress from your fantasies? The cold-blooded tyrant that slaughtered countless men and destroyed many nations? Where is she now? She stands before your very eyes to become your new ruler. HAHAHAHAHA! A new era has just begun. This is reality. No one can help you. Sit back and enjoy the show. Rest assured, you fools. Your time will come. This is only the beginning. Let us start a new reign of terror. I will let you live a fantasy beyond your imagination.”
So her motivation was hatred.
I agree with Scott, though. Evil rarely makes sense, but more hints – even an explanation – would do wonders to the narrative. For our sake, we need to understand what type of madness we’re fighting against.