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Espers come in a variety of forms. My appearance is similar to your own, so I can live here as one of you... without fear of anyone discovering the truth.
An esper (幻獣, Genjū?, lit. Phantom Beast) is a magical being in Final Fantasy VI. When killed, espers transform into magicite that teach the player magic. Equipping said magicite allows an esper to be summoned in battle. They are also central to the plot, being enslaved by the Gestahlian Empire who extract their magic to fuel their rampage for world domination.
Espers were created as a result of humans coming into contact with magic and the Warring Triad during their war for dominance. The gods realized what they were doing was wrong and sealed themselves away in the forms of statues. They returned the espers their free will, and asked to be protected by them. A second war began between espers and humans seeking to use their powers, beginning the War of the Magi. At the height of the war the espers created a new realm where they escaped with the Warring Triad's statues.
A handful of espers remained in the world, such as Valigarmanda, who was frozen in ice, and Odin, who was petrified in the Ancient Castle buried deep within the mountains. Ramuh lived in the human world for an unspecified time, using his humanoid appearance to blend into normal society, and he implies other espers do the same. The espers' magicite remains also remained, such as Ragnarok and Phoenix. As the remaining espers concealed their existence, the knowledge of magic became the stuff of legends and myths.
The espers lived in their world safe from human invasion until a woman named Madeline stumbled upon the Esper World. She fell in love with an esper named Maduin much to the other espers' dismay, and gave birth to a baby girl, naming her Terra. Two years later, an army of humans, led by Emperor Gestahl, infiltrated the Esper World. Unlike Madeline, who had come upon the place by accident, Gestahl had spent years searching for the Esper World. His troops began capturing espers, causing a panic, and the Elder, who was one of the few able to perform the feat, formed a Sealed Gate around the entrance to the Esper World and forced out the soldiers. Maduin was taken when he tried to stop Madeline and Terra from leaving before the gate closed, as Gestahl captured all three of them, but killed Madeline.
For the next sixteen years the captured espers were being held in the Magitek Research Facility in the Imperial capital of Vector, and were the subject of experiments conducted by Cid Del Norte Marquez, who extracted their magic power and infused it into humans using the process of Magitek, creating the Magitek Knights. His first experiment was done on a man named Kefka Palazzo. The experiment was deemed a failure, as Kefka lost his mind. A more refined process was invented and used on Celes Chere, whom Cid raised as his daughter. The refined process no longer harmed the subject's mental faculties, and soldiers and machines began to regularly be infused with magic.
At an unspecified point, the esper Ramuh and three other espers, Siren, Cait Sith and Kirin, escaped the Empire, but the latter three were struck down. Ramuh fled to Zozo, taking refuge atop a tower in the city. The espers Leviathan, Gilgamesh, Gigantuar and Diabolos also escaped, and would wander the world remaining free from detection for a year. Diabolos eventually dies and his magicite comes to rest in Dragons' Den.
At Narshe, the townspeople unearth the esper Valigarmanda in a newly dug mine shaft. The news attracts the Gestahlian Empire's attention, and they send Terra, under their control via a slave crown, to retrieve it with Biggs and Wedge. Biggs and Wedge are killed when the esper responds to Terra's presence, knocking her unconscious. Arvis finds her and contacts Locke to get her out of the city safely. The two are members of the Returners, an Imperial resistance group, and Terra joins their ranks to help them fight the Empire.
When the Returners return to Narshe, they attempt to have Terra awaken Valigarmanda to have a powerful ally to fight the Empire. The contact causes Terra lose control of her powers and transform into an esper. Ramuh, sensing this event, summons Terra to him and puts her to rest while she mentally wrestles with what she is. When the Returners track her down Ramuh explains the Empire's methods for extracting magic are flawed. Total transfer of an esper's power is only possible via magicite, the crystallized remains of an esper when they die. Ramuh entrusts the magicite shards of Siren, Cait Sith, Kirin and himself to the Returners, and tasks them to rescue the imprisoned espers from the Magitek Research Facility.
The Returners raid the facility and rescue the espers, though too late to prevent them from dying and turning into magicite. Kefka and the Empire learn that magicite magic is more potent than Magitek, and with the Empire's magic supply gone, the Returners ally with Narshe to open the gate to the Esper World and launch a joint human-esper attack on Vector. Terra opens the gate, but when the espers emerge they lose control of their powers like she did, and go on a rampage at Vector. The Empire is decimated and Gestahl calls a truce, asking the Returners to ally with him to find the espers and explain the truce to them to avoid further bloodshed.
While Terra, Locke and General Leo locate the espers at Crescent Mountain near Thamasa, it is revealed to have been a ruse to draw them out of hiding. Kefka arrives under Gestahl's orders and kills the espers, seizing their magicite, incapacitates the party, and kills Leo. The sealed gate opens and more espers arrive to attack Kefka, but he is immune to their powers and turns them into magicite. Kefka and Gestahl cross the sealed gate and raise the Floating Continent with the power of the Warring Triad. When the party confronts the two, Kefka kills Gestahl and takes the Triad's power as his own. The party flees, and the world is destroyed.
In the newly formed World of Ruin, only a few espers remain though magicite remains of espers are abundant and it is mentioned by NPCs there may be almost no espers left. With the destruction of Kefka and the Warring Triad, espers and magicite vanish from the world.
List of EspersEdit
The following espers are usable as magicite:
All summon attacks are unblockable, except for those that inflicts status ailments.
|Ramuh||Deals Lightning-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 50.||25|
|Kirin||Grants Regen to all party members.||18|
|Siren||Inflicts Silence on all enemies, it has a success rate of 136.||16|
|Cat Rain||Cait Sith||Inflicts Confuse on all enemies, it has a success rate of 128.||28|
|Ifrit||Deals Fire-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 51.||26|
|Shiva||Deals Ice-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 52.||27|
|Unicorn||Removes Blind, Poison, Petrify, Silence, Confuse, Sap, Sleep, Slow, and Stop on all party members.||30|
|Maduin||Deals non-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 55.||44|
|Demon Eye||Catoblepas||Inflicts Petrify to all enemies, it has a success rate of 96. It will fail on enemies immune to Death.||45|
|Phantom||Grants Invisible on all party members.||38|
|Carbuncle||Grants Reflect on the party.||36|
|Bismarck||Deals Water-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 58.||50|
|Golem||Protects the party against all physical attacks using the caster's HP when summoned.||33|
|Zona Seeker||Grants Shell on all party members.||30|
|Seraph||Restores HP to all party members, it has a spell power of 18.||18|
|Sonic Dive||Quetzalli||Makes the entire party use the Jump ability.||61|
|Fenrir||Grants Image on all party members.||70|
|Valigarmanda||Deals Fire, Ice, and Lightning-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 110.||68|
|Midgardsormr||Deals Earth-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 93 with a success rate of 150. It can't hit enemies with the Float status.||40|
|Lakshmi||Restores HP to all party members, it has a spell power of 34.||74|
|Alexander||Deals Holy-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 114.||90|
|Flames of Rebirth|
|Phoenix||Fully revives KO'd party member(s) with 1/4 of their max HP, it has a spell power of 4.||110|
|Odin||Attempts to instantly kill all enemies, it has a success rate of 110. It will fail on enemies immune to Death. Stalls enemy final attacks for 1 turn.||70|
|Bahamut||Deals non-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 92.||86|
|Ragnarok||Turns a single target into an item.||6|
|Crusader||Deals non-elemental damage to all enemies and allies, it has a spell power of 190.||96|
|Raiden||Attempts to instantly kill all enemies, it has a success rate of 140. It will fail on enemies immune to Death. Stalls enemy final attacks for 1 turn.||80|
|Tidal Wave||Leviathan||Massive Water elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 130.||70|
|1000 Needles||Cactuar||Deals 1,000 points of damage to all the enemies.||50|
|10,000 Needles?||Cactuar||Deals 9,999 points of damage to all the enemies.||50|
|Dark Messenger||Diabolos||Reduces HP of all enemies by 15/16 of current total. Ignoring protection to Death, and also inflicts Sap.||100|
|Excalipoor||Gilgamesh||Deals 1 point of damage to all enemies.||99|
|Excalibur||Gilgamesh||Deals Holy-elemental damage to all enemies, it has a spell power of 120.||99|
|Masamune||Gilgamesh||Deals damage to all enemies and ignores targets' defense, it has a spell power of 99.||99|
|Enkidu||Gilgamesh||Deals damage to all enemies and ignores targets' defense, it has a spell power of 200.||99|
- Main article: Terra Branford
Terra is the daughter of the human Madeline and the esper Maduin, making her a half-human and half-esper. She can use the Trance command to transform into esper form when she discovers the truth about her origins. From then on, she can control her powers, as long as she uses it in short bursts. This enables her to unlock her latent magical potential and increase her physical and magical power drastically. She can revert back into her human form at will. Terra is naturally gifted in magic due to her heritage, able to learn sixteen spells as she levels up without the help of magicite.
It is unknown how many espers exist during the events of Final Fantasy VI, but there are at least dozens if not hundreds. They are represented on the field by assorted sprites representing wolves, dragons and fairies, and are not given proper names. Yura and Esper Elder are the exception to this. In the battlefield, they use the summon sprites of other espers, so it is likely their field sprites are not reflective of their actual appearance.
The theme song for the Espers is called "Esper World," sometimes referred to as "Another World of Beasts." It plays in the Esper World and is also used during somber moments in the game.
Some of the espers appear in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. The espers are often associated with a relevant party member from Final Fantasy VI; Maduin was given to Terra in Final Fantasy VI, and players often assign Odin for Locke for its rare Speed level up boost because Locke has the highest natural Speed stat.
Ifrit and Shiva appear as bosses in Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
Esper is a recurring term in science fiction, used to describe an individual with paranormal abilities. It was original coined by Alfred Bester in his 1950 short story "Oddy and Id", deriving the word from the abbreviation "ESP" (Extrasensory perception).