Emperor Vandole (ヴァンドール皇帝 Vu~andōru kōtei) is the ruler of the namesake Vandole Empire in Secret of Mana and the backstory of Sword of Mana and Adventures of Mana. He serves as the primary antagonist of Secret of Mana until he is murdered by Fanha and Thanatos, the latter of whom supplants him as the primary antagonist.
Adventures of Mana Edit
Vandole is stated to be the father of Julius in the backstory of Adventures of Mana and is stated to have been killed when the Vandole Empire fell.
Sword of Mana Edit
In the backstory of Sword of Mana, Vandole used power from the Mana Tree to create an unbeatable empire, but he was defeated and slain by three Gemma Knights using the Sword of Mana. Much like in the world of Adventures of Mana, Julius is rumored to be his descendant. After Dark Lord's death, however, it is revealed that the Julius of this world is Vandole himself. (Heroes of Mana reveals there to be many parallel worlds influenced by Mana.) Julius's Shadow's reaction to Cibba's statement on Vandole's previous defeat further suggests that Julius's Shadow is the Vandole slain by the Gemma Knights years ago.
The Shadow's calling Vandole by the name of Julius instead of Vandole despite practically confirming that he was the Vandole fought by the Gemma Knights long ago calls into question if the Vandole of Sword of Mana's backstory is the resurrected Adventures of Mana/Final Fantasy Adventures' Vandole or a revived Julius from the same game.
Vandole desires Mana power, yet isn't completely sure what to do with it and ultimately decides to do as his alternate world descendant from whom he took his name did: make the current candidate for the Mana Goddess into his bride and succeed where the real Julius failed.
When Vandole is slain, he proclaims that as long as Mana exists he will return, revealing his true nature as the curse that serves as the manifestation of The Echoes of Mavolia that possessed both Ritzia and Anise.
Secret of Mana Edit
Another person under the name of Vandole appears in Secret of Mana. It is not clear if this Vandole is a reincarnation of the Vandole from backstory of Adventures of Mana/Final Fantasy Adventure, his son Julius from the same game, or a completely different person altogether though the cut diary makes it blatantly clear(from the Emperor's use of a Decoy to fake his death) that this is the same Vandole as the one from Sword of Mana.
He seeks to unseal the 8 Mana Seeds to obtain the Mana Fortress. After he succeeds in raising the Lost Continent, he shows such a callous disregard for his right hand Sheex's death that he gets betrayed by his servants the Lamian Naga Fanha and the ancient Dark Lich Thanatos, who also want to obtain the Mana Fortress. Once the empire succeeds in its goals, Fanha kills Vandole and while she and Geshtar face off against Randi, Primm, and Popoi, Thanatos activates the Mana Fortress at Fanha's request.
The diary cut from the finished game reveals that Vandole was a fake(a monster posing as him) and that the real one was in hiding(likely preparing the same type of recreation of Julius's crimes stunt as he did in Sword of Mana until Thanatos and Fanha derailed it by killing the Decoy).
The Sword of Mana/Secret of Mana Emperor has shown in all his appearances a general callousness to anyone and everyone, including his generals and his Adventures of Mana self's son Julius(if he isn't Julius himself) whom he supposedly stole his name from just so that he could one-up his scheme to make the Heroine his bride.
His callous attitude and lust for power results in his generals betraying him when he coldly disregards his right hand general Sheex's death and his other general Fanha's desire for vengeance for Sheex and Geshtar's deaths.
He is quite cunning, as he somehow produced a close recreation of the events of Adventures of Mana/Final Fantasy Adventure to the point where many of the people in Sword of Mana share the same name as their Adventures of Mana counterparts. The fact that Dark Lord held the name Stroud and that Medusa was identical to Anise to the point of sharing her lover Granz in Vandole's recreation may hint to his mastery of memory manipulation (known to be used on traitors to Mavolia as punishment for consorting with the outside world) to the point where it successfully brainwashed multiple Mavole (Stroud, Anise, Devius, Bigieu, Malyris and Count Lee) and the Mana Spirit Granz himself.
The fact that Dyluck recognizes Marley as Pamela despite her believing herself to be someone different indicates that not only did Vandole remove the Thanatos of the Sword of Mana world's vessel in a way that would doom him to death (freezing him in the ruins of Lorimar and altering his memories as well as the memories of everyone else there), but he also didn't care enough about consistency between memories to do more than the bare minimum and merely wanted to one-up his son with his recreation one way or another.
The fact that the cut diary from Secret of Mana shows him preforming the same decoy plan as in the backstory of Sword of Mana(where Julius's Shadow took the Emperor's place) indicates that Secret of Mana was merely the first stage of his first attempt at recreation only to have it derailed by Fanha's betrayal for Vandole's callous disregard for Sheex's death.