This is where the series is heading when it comes to its villains. I wrote about this here, that as time went on, Final Fantasy villains became more sympathetic. I think we may actually see a Final Fantasy protagonist go to the dark side.
This would be quite a shock to make your main protagonist. Especially if you cared for them the entire first half of the game. The main villain you have to defeat for the good of the world was your main character.
Provide a dilemma to the players. Do you let them destroy the world and achieve their goals? Or do you simply suck it up and destroy?
It wouldn’t be a surprise for a central character to suddenly disappear and have yet a new person take over. We saw something like this in Final Fantasy VI and VII.
Both Terra and Cloud leave the party for a while and someone else has to take over.
- Terra leaves when the party splits during the World of Ruin. Celes takes over, and you can recruit Terra.
- Cloud leaves the party when he suffers temporary mental issues after intense Mako poisoning. But don’t worry, he’s fine to take on Sephiroth..
Who might be a good candidate? I’d say Agni.
From what we can analyse in Agni’s philosophy, many parallels exist between Agni and Terra. Both seem to be magical women with dangerous powers they don’t want to use but feel that they have too. They also see the damage war causes. But I believe Terra wanted to protect everyone and build. Agni might protect everyone by destroying all that harms. In the end, she may become misguided and destroy based on paranoia (which would be a sad heart-wrenching development).
Whereas Terra was half-esper, Agni’s summoner (Final Fantasy X) and a witch (Final Fantasy VIII). She can summon a dragon creature (Bahamut) and wield lightning, if not haphazardly (she seems to be a magical neophyte). This may provide a contrast between duty, but understanding she’s essentially a persecuted minority.
Agni seems tormented. She’s essentially a good person but may harbor misguided hatred at war. She could end up tyrannically destroying everything that makes her angered. All to rid the world of the evil that has besieged it. And she would succeed, much like Caius did.
Only she would cause the evil and pain the world experiences. Our protagonist would be evil in her eyes but blinded by her hared. And who’s right in the end?
Maybe there will be a terrorist overlord, an African dictator or an Arab warlord, who we’ll have fought two times? If we let the main villain in the first time, he will be the final boss we’ll have to defeat. But if we defeat him in the second time, something will happen to Agni and we’ll have to fight her? Maybe there will be two different storylines.
And why am I so sure that they will use Agni at all? I’m not. But why would Square Enix let a character like her go to waste? Regardless, she looks like a promising character. And I like her grandmother sounding name (it makes her seem even more gentle and sympathetic).