|Final Fantasy VI|
Fainaru Fantajī VI
|Developers||Square Co., Ltd.|
Game Boy Advance version:
Wii Virtual Console:
PlayStation Network version:
|Game modes||Single player, multiplayer|
|Platforms||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance|
Final Fantasy VI is the sixth installment in the Final Fantasy series, first released in 1994 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was directed by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Itō, who took over from the series creator and producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, director of the five previous installments of the franchise. Long-time series contributor Nobuo Uematsu composed the musical score, while Yoshitaka Amano contributed to the image design.
Final Fantasy VI was the third installment in the Final Fantasy series to be released in North America (after the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy IV). As a result, it was first released in North America as Final Fantasy III to maintain the naming continuity. Due to various content guidelines imposed by Nintendo of America at the time, several other changes were made to the original North American version, including restrictions against nudity and profanity.
The story of the game focuses on a conflict between the Empire, a dictatorship slowly conquering the world, and the Returners, a rebel faction opposed to them. The Empire has acquired its great army through experiments with espers, magical demi-gods thought to be only myths. The Returners begin to seek magical power to fight the Empire on equal terms, and an amnesiac former imperial soldier, Terra Branford, eventually proves key to both sides for understanding magic and espers.
Final Fantasy VI features fourteen playable characters, the largest cast of any main series game in the Final Fantasy series. The game is set in a fantasy steampunk-style world, at a technological level roughly corresponding to Earth during the Second Industrial Revolution. It is also the last title in the series to be released for the Super Nintendo console and the last title to be renamed.
Final Fantasy VI was ported to the PlayStation and released in Japan in 1999, both individually and as part of the Final Fantasy Collection. In North America, this port is available as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology. In 2002, the PlayStation port was released individually in Europe and Australia. A new port of the game was released with additional content on the Game Boy Advance as Final Fantasy VI Advance on November 30th, 2006, in Japan, and February 5th, 2007, in North America.
The gameplay of Final Fantasy VI is similar in some ways to that of Final Fantasy V. Players can equip espers that teach spells and give stat boosts, similar to the jobs of the Job System from Final Fantasy V. What abilities cannot be taught by espers can usually be learned by equipping relics, which give abilities like Jump and Two Hands. The characters can also each equip a weapon, a shield, a helmet and a piece of clothing, each equipment piece often with its unique properties such as stat boosts or elemental immunities.
Unlike previous entries such as Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy IV (though it was later made possible on the later remakes), where party members come and go as the story dictates, Final Fantasy VI introduces the ability to change the party at almost any given time. Fairly early into the game - in a feature that would be repeated in later installments - players are allowed to form their own party from whatever allies the resistance has gathered. Each of these allies has a specific talent; for example, Locke is a Thief, Cyan is a Samurai, and so on. At times, such as the infiltration of the Southern Continent, the storyline demands that specific party members be taken along, but for the most part, the player can use whichever party they like. A total of fourteen playable characters were created for the game, each representing a different aspect of the Job System and possessing their own fighting style. Because of the vast number of characters, several dungeons in the game require the player to form multiple parties, using two or three groups to open paths for each other and work together to progress.
- Main article: Esper (Final Fantasy VI)
Though some characters have special abilities similar to magic, the only characters to learn regular spells naturally are Celes and Terra, although they have a limited spell pool. The characters as a whole can learn magic by equipping magicite, or a few select pieces of equipment. Magicite is the crystallised remains of an Esper, mystical creatures with intense magical power. Each character can equip a single piece of magicite at a time, and each magicite shard can be used only by a single character at any given time. Once equipped, magicite teaches magic by way of Ability Points. Each Esper teaches a spell according to a certain percentage rate, and winning Ability Points increases the equipped character's aptitude with that spell by the specified amount - once enough Ability Points have been won to put the percentage rate at 100%, the spell is learned and can be cast. Some Espers, such as Lakshmi, teach several basic spells quickly, while others, like Valigarmanda, teach a small handful of powerful spells slowly. This system means that with patience, any character, bar Umaro and Gogo, can learn any spell.
In addition to teaching normal magic, the Espers also give access to Summon Magic. A character can summon their equipped Esper once per battle, even if they know no magic themselves. At times, these summons are merely more powerful versions of the spells they teach, like Ramuh; at other times they are entirely different, such as Quetzalli. Some Espers also give permanent stat boosts when the equipped character levels up. For example, Gilgamesh gives +2 Strength, Fenrir gives an additional 30% boost to maximum MP, and so forth. This means that characters can have their stats changed at will to suit whatever task the player wishes them to fulfill - even physical fighters like Edgar can be powerful mages with enough leveling to increase their Magic Power. This system gives Summoned Monsters a much larger role in the party's strength than previous installments, something on which later installments, like Final Fantasy VIII, would expand.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy VI Characters
Final Fantasy VI features fourteen permanent player characters as well as a number of guest characters who are only briefly controlled by the player. Most of the main characters in the game are members of the Returners, an underground resistance movement dedicated to overthrowing the Empire. Almost every character is united in holding a significant grudge against said Empire:
- Protagonist Terra Branford (ティナ Tina)- a half-human, half-esper girl who spent most of her young life being bred as a weapon for the Empire.
- Locke Cole (ロック Rokku)- a treasure hunter (at various points of the game, he demands that people refer to him as treasure hunter instead of "thief") and rebel sympathizer.
- Edgar Roni Figaro (エドガー Edogā)- the king of Figaro and good friend of Locke, he claims allegiance to the Empire while secretly supplying aid to the Returners.
- Sabin René Figaro (マッシュ Masshu)- Edgar's erstwhile brother, he fled the royal court in order to hone his martial arts skills.
- Cyan Garamonde (カイエン Kaien)- a loyal knight of the kingdom of Doma, watched his family and friends die as a result of Kefka's poisoning of the water supply of the castle.
- Gau (ガウ Gau), a feral child surviving since infancy in the harsh wilderness known as the Veldt, coaxed into the party with offerings of food.
- Celes Chere (セリス Serisu)- a former general of the Empire and a Magitek Knight, she joins the Returners following her imprisonment for questioning imperial policies.
- Setzer Gabbiani (セッツァー Settsā)- the inveterate gambler and womaniser who joins forces with the party after being tricked by Celes, offering the use of his airship to transport the heroes around the world.
- Shadow (シャドウ Shadou)- a high-priced ninja mercenary, he offers his services to both Empire and Returners at various stages throughout the game.
- Relm Arrowny (リルム Rirumu)- a young girl living in the town of Thamasa with a passion for painting and a mysterious connection to Shadow.
- Strago Magus (ストラゴス Sutoragosu)- an elderly Blue Mage, Relm's adoptive grandfather and one of the few remaining Magi.
- Mog (モグ Mogu)- a talking moogle from the mines of Narshe
- Umaro (ウーマロ Ūmaro), a savage but loyal yeti also living in Narshe, he answers only to Mog.
- Gogo (ゴゴ Gogo)- a mysterious, fully shrouded master of the art of mimicry who agrees to lend support only when the party finds their way to the lair in the stomach of a giant monster called the Zone Eater.
A handful of Final Fantasy VI characters have reappeared in later games, such as Secret of Evermore and Kingdom Hearts II. A short technical demo, Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game, produced for the Silicon Graphics Onyx workstation, featured 3D rendered versions of Locke, Terra and Shadow.
A thousand years ago, three gods known as the Warring Triad descended to the world, and eventually began war for dominance that became known as the War of the Magi. To fight for them, the gods transformed humans and animals into creatures called espers, giving them immense magical power. After a long war, the gods realised their war was destroying the world and turned themselves to stone, their final wish being that the espers prevent their power from being abused. The espers took the gods' petrified remains and fashioned a new dimension in which they could live peacefully, away from humans, and to hide the gods from the latters.
In the present, the world has experienced a technological revolution, while magic has faded into legend. To the south, the Gestahlian Empire led by Emperor Gestahl discovered the entrance to the Land of Espers and kidnapped several of the creatures. Using machinery, the Empire found a way to drain the espers of their magical energy and imbue humans and machines with this power, resulting in the phenomenon known as Magitek. Using Magitek to overpower the armies of other nations, the Gestahlian Empire conquered the southern continent and began to push into the north with the ultimate aim of world conquest.
The Mysterious Woman
The game begins with two imperial soldiers named Biggs and Wedge and an unnamed woman attacking the neutral city of Narshe using Magitek Armor, due to reports that a live, frozen esper has been dug up in a mine shaft. In the rear of the newest mine, they find the frozen esper Valigarmanda. As they approach, the esper sends out pulses of magical energy, killing Biggs and Wedge and destroying the woman's Magitek Armor. She awakens in the home of a man named Arvis, who tells her that she was being controlled by the Empire with a Slave Crown. Amnesiac, the woman has no other knowledge of who she is other than her name: Terra. The Narshe guards arrive to arrest her, and Arvis sneaks Terra through the back door of his home, which leads into the mines. While running, Terra is cornered by guards and falls down a shaft into a separate area of the mines. She falls unconscious, remembering a man named Kefka who placed the Slave Crown on her head and ordered her to burn fifty Imperial soldiers as a test of the enslaving device.
At Arvis's house, a man named Locke arrives. Arvis and Locke are members of the Returners, a rebel faction dedicated to opposing the Empire pushing into the northern territories. Though Narshe has the power to help the Returners with their rebellion, the city remains neutral to avoid conflict. Arvis asks Locke to get Terra safely out of the city, and with the help of Mog and the moogles who live in the mines, Locke fights off the Narshe guards and escapes the city with Terra. The two travel south to Figaro Castle, a desert nation allied with the Empire, where Terra meets the flirtatious king Edgar who attempts to hide Terra from the imperial ambassador, Kefka. Kefka arrives looking for her, but Edgar feigns innocence. Locke tells Terra Edgar's alliance with the Empire is only superficial - in truth, he is collaborating with the Returners using Locke as a go-between.
That night, Kefka sets the castle aflame. Terra, Edgar and Locke flee on chocobos while the castle burrows into the sand. Kefka sends two imperial soldiers in Magitek Armor to attack the trio, and during the battle Terra reveals her ability to cast magic, stunning Edgar and Locke. The three despatch the imperial soldiers and escape Kefka. Now intrigued by Terra's abilities, Edgar and Locke ask her to meet with the leader of the Returners, Banon, in order to remain safe from the Empire and to eventually gain understanding of her abilities. Terra agrees, and the two travel to South Figaro then north through Mt. Kolts, where they encounter Vargas, son of the martial arts master Duncan Harcourt. Edgar's twin brother and Duncan's pupil Sabin intervenes and defeats Vargas, then joins his brother to help them stop the Empire.
At the Returner Hideout, Banon, the Returners and Terra discuss their plan to strike back at the Empire. Deducing the power of the Empire is derived from the rediscovery of magic, Banon asks Terra to return with him to Narshe and speak to the frozen esper again, possibly waking it up. The group receives word the Empire has attacked South Figaro and has found their hideout. Locke volunteers to sneak into Figaro to slow down the Empire, while Banon, Terra, Edgar and Sabin travel to Narshe along the Lethe River. The voyage is interrupted by a loud octopus named Ultros, and in the battle, Sabin is washed off the raft and down a different fork in the river.
Return to Narshe
At this point, the game splits into three quests the player can complete in any order. Locke attempts to sneak out of Figaro, and rescues an imperial general turned traitor named Celes, after which the two head north to Narshe. Sabin washes ashore north of the kingdom of Doma, and with the help of a ninja mercenary named Shadow, infiltrates an imperial camp as the Empire attacks Doma Castle under General Leo Cristophe's command. The Doma retainer Cyan dispatches the imperial commander to stall the attack, and Kefka poisons the river, killing Cyan's family and nearly all the inhabitants of the castle. Cyan joins Shadow and Sabin as they escape aboard the ghostly Phantom Train, which ferries the dead to the other side. Cyan witnesses the Doma dead and his wife and child among those boarding the train to depart to the afterlife. Shadow leaves as Sabin and Cyan leap down Baren Falls to Mobliz, and on the nearby Veldt they befriend a wild child named Gau who shows them a diving helmet they use to swim to Nikeah, where they board a ferry to South Figaro.
Terra, Banon and Edgar arrive at Narshe and rendezvous with Arvis. The four approach the mayor of the city and urge him to help them oppose the Empire, as the esper found will draw their attention back again. The others arrive, and Locke tells them Celes knows the Empire is already marching on Narshe. The Returners station themselves in the mountains to the resting place of the esper as Kefka leads the imperial attack to claim the creature. Dispatching the imperial forces and chasing off Kefka, the Returners save the town and the esper. They approach the esper on the cliffs over the town and it again reacts to Terra's presence. A surge of energy from the esper causes Terra to transform into a glowing pink monster, and she flies into the air and away from Narshe with a scream.
Several of the Returners stay behind to protect Narshe while the party members head to the west to find Terra. Using Figaro Castle to burrow under the mountains to Kohlingen, they continue south to Jidoor and then to Zozo, a town of thieves. Atop the highest building in Zozo, the group finds Terra, still transformed and under the care of an esper named Ramuh who tells the party about the War of the Magi and the imperial invasion of their realm, and that he called Terra to him to put her to rest when her powers awoke. Ramuh escaped the Empire with three comrades, but they fell during the escape and turned to magicite. Ramuh says the methods of the Empire of forcibly extracting magic from espers results in a weaker form of magic, but when an esper dies and crystallises into magicite, their abilities can be transferred in full. Though Terra cannot be helped and needs to accept her powers on her own, Ramuh urges the party to rescue the other espers in the imperial capital, and turns himself into magicite, entrusting them with his power and the power of his friends to fight the Empire.
Celes decides to lead the expedition, and Locke accompanies her to protect her. As no boats go to the southern continent, the group returns to Jidoor to find a reason. They meet the Impresario, who is worried that Setzer Gabbiani, the "Wandering Gambler", will abduct Maria, the star of the opera Maria and Draco. Setzer owns the only airship in the world, the Blackjack, and since Celes bears an uncanny resemblance to Maria, Locke hatches a plan for Celes to take Maria's place in the opera as a ploy to gain access to Setzer's airship. Ultros overhears the plan, and during the performance attempts to drop a weight on Celes. Locke and the others intervene and stop him, but the show is ruined, and in the commotion, Setzer abducts Celes. Celes helps Locke and the others sneak on board the Blackjack, and Celes tricks Setzer into helping them using a two-headed coin.
Setzer flies the group to Albrook, and they set off north of the imperial capital of Vector. With the help of a Returner sympathiser, they sneak into the Magitek Research Facility where Magitek weapons are manufactured. Witnessing Kefka torturing two espers, Shiva and Ifrit, they overhear Kefka declare his intention to revive the Warring Triad. Shiva and Ifrit entrust their magicite to the group, and they continue through the facility and release several espers being drained of their power. However, their efforts are in vain as the espers are already too weak, and they turn to magicite as well. Cid arrives and tells Celes the rumours that she is acting as a spy for the Empire, and Kefka appears and tells them the rumours are true. Locke begins to doubt her, and Celes teleports herself and Kefka away as the facility begins to overload. Cid helps the party escape on a mine cart, and they meet with Setzer and fly back to Zozo, destroying two cranes Kefka uses to try and destroy the Blackjack.
Allying with the Empire
In Zozo, one of the magicite remains from Vector is revealed to be Terra's father Maduin, and he restores her memories. Terra tells the party she is half-human and half-esper, born from a human named Madeline when she entered the esper realm and befriended Maduin. When the Empire attacked two years later, Terra was taken along with Maduin and raised as a Magitek experiment due to her natural magical powers. Now accepting who she is, Terra and the party return to Narshe and tell them their plan to attack the Empire using the machinery of Figaro and the resources of Narshe, but they are lacking manpower. They decide to open the gate to the Land of Espers and ask their help: as a hybrid, Terra is living proof the two races can co-exist peacefully.
At the gate to the esper world, Kefka appears as Terra begins to call out to the espers. Her cries open the gate and the espers rush out, destroying Vector and decimating the Empire, as well as crashing the Blackjack. The party goes to Vector to discover what has happened, and Emperor Gestahl tells them the espers' power has made him realize his ways. He declares a truce and asks the Returners and Terra to help him locate the espers that fled the gate and make them understand the war is over. Terra and Locke agree to accompany General Leo to Crescent Island to track the espers. To assist their efforts, Leo has hired Shadow, and Celes accompanies them as well acting as an imperial general again: when approached, she refuses to speak to Locke or Terra due to the earlier suspicion of her true motives at the Magitek facility.
At Crescent Island, Terra, Locke and Shadow split up from the Empire and find the backwater town of Thamasa. There, Strago and his granddaughter Relm tell them they have no knowledge of espers or magic. That night Relm is trapped in a burning building, and the townspeople reveal their ability to use magic when saving her. Terra, Locke, and Strago enter the building and are trapped, but are rescued by Shadow, who has come to rescue his dog Interceptor that had followed them inside. Strago tells the group Thamasa was founded by magic-imbued humans after the War of the Magi, seeking to live normal lives without being persecuted for their abilities, and as their descendants, the townsfolk have some magical power. Strago agrees to help Terra and Locke locate the espers, and though Relm wishes to help too, Strago refuses. Shadow leaves to find the espers on his own with Interceptor.
At the Esper Caves, a third run-in with Ultros prompts Relm to intervene and save the party with her ability to Sketch living portraits of monsters, and Strago agrees to let her join them. The group finds the espers led by Yura, now apologetic about the destruction of Vector as they lost control of their powers when passing through the gate between realms. In Thamasa, General Leo and Yura reach a peaceful truce, at which point Kefka arrives and kills all the espers, takes their magicite and knocks out the party, claiming he is acting under the Emperor's orders. When Leo tries to stop him, Kefka kills him as well. The distant gate to the esper world flies open, and several espers race to attack Kefka, but he effortlessly destroys them and takes their magicite before departing. Alerted to the treachery of the Empire, Setzer and the other Returners sans Banon arrive at Thamasa in the Blackjack. Shortly thereafter, Kefka and Gestahl enter the gate to the esper realm and find the remains of the Warring Triad, and use their power to raise the Floating Continent.
The Rise of Kefka
The Returners board the Floating Continent, fighting back the Imperial Air Force, as well as Ultros and his friend Mr. Typhon. They find Shadow, who had kept working for the Empire until they attempted to kill him. After a battle with the legendary Ultima Weapon, Shadow departs again as the Returners confront Kefka and Gestahl before the Warring Triad. Celes arrives as Gestahl paralyses the party, and he and Kefka urge Celes to turn back to their side and kill her friends so the three of them can rule the world. Celes refuses and stabs Kefka. In his rage, Kefka attempts to awaken the Triad - Gestahl, knowing that this would result in a disaster, tries to stop him and is struck down. Kefka kicks Gestahl's weakened body off the Floating Continent to his doom. With Gestahl gone, Kefka moves the statues of the Triad out of alignment.
With Shadow's assistance, the party flees to the Blackjack, but they cannot escape in time: the movement of the Triad has destabilised their magical field and radically shifted the face of the planet, causing the apocalypse. The Blackjack is destroyed and the party members are scattered around the world. A full year passes, during which time Kefka raises a tower of ruins over the former location of Vector, and drains the Triad of their power, becoming the God of Magic. The new world born from the destruction of the old is a dying world where many plants and animals are radically mutated from the magical fallout of the apocalypse, and cities have been destroyed and decimated by Kefka's Light of Judgment, a beam of energy he uses to strike down anyone who opposes his rule.
After a year, Celes awakens on a small island with Cid, who tells her the state of the world. Depending on the player's actions, Cid either lives or dies as Celes takes care of him. Either in person or via a letter, Cid shows Celes a raft he has built and tells her to relocate her friends. Celes returns to the mainland, and in Tzen finds Sabin. Confident the others have survived as well, the two continue to Nikeah and find a man that looks like Edgar named "Gerad" leading a band of thieves. They follow him on a ship to South Figaro and then into a cave leading to the buried Figaro Castle: Edgar reveals himself, using the alias "Gerad" to trick the thieves into helping him enter Figaro since it was lost under the sand. In Kohlingen the three find Setzer, who shows them the tomb of his friend Darill, who owned an airship, the Falcon. With the Falcon, the group travels the world, discovering many long-lost secrets of the War of the Magi unearthed by the destruction of the world. This portion of the game is entirely open, allowing the player to travel and complete quests as they choose.
In Mobliz, the group finds Terra taking care of the village children after their parents perished in the apocalypse. Though she does not wish to fight, she is forced to battle a monster named Humbaba to protect the children, discovering her love for them in the process. The group finds Cyan living in Mt. Zozo carrying on a long-distance romance with a young woman called Lola, who believes him to be her dead boyfriend. Strago, believing Relm is dead, joined the Cult of Kefka, while Relm is a painter working in Jidoor for Owzer. Shadow, knowing nothing but fighting in his life, battles in the Dragon's Neck Coliseum. Locke, seeking a way to revive his dead lover Rachel, enters the Phoenix Cave to find the magicite of the esper Phoenix: it revives Rachel briefly for a few minutes, but long enough for Locke to come to terms with his guilt for failing to save her. Mog and Gau have returned to their homes in the Narshe mines and on the Veldt. In the Narshe mines, the yeti Umaro can be recruited, and the mime Gogo will join the party inside the Zone Eater on Triangle Island.
With their ranks reassembled, the Returners attack Kefka's Tower. They enter knowing that if they destroy the Warring Triad to fight Kefka, magic will vanish, leading them to wonder what will happen to Terra. However, destroying the Triad does not lead to the disappearance of magic, as Kefka has taken on their powers and become the God of Magic. At the summit of the tower, Kefka tells the party mortal lives are without meaning or significance, as ultimately everything people build is destroyed and nothing they do has any impact on the world. The party tells Kefka that the day-to-day struggles and emotions give people the will to live on in spite of all the hardships and chaos he has inflicted upon them. Kefka goes berserk, turning the Light of Judgment on the world one final time before attacking the party.
Kefka is finally killed, but with him the essence of magic vanishes. The espers' magicite remains dissolve, but Maduin tells Terra she can endure as a human if she has a strong emotional attachment to something in the world. With the last of her power, Terra leads the group out of the tower aboard the Falcon, and falls onto the main deck, regaining consciousness to find herself alive due to her love for the children of Mobliz. The party flies around the world as the planet is restored and cities continue to rebuild in the aftermath of Kefka's defeat, and the game ends with Terra stepping to the bow of the Falcon and releasing her ponytail to the wind, finally free to live and enjoy her life as she wishes.
- Main article: Original Soundtrack of Final Fantasy VI
The soundtrack for Final Fantasy VI is the work of long-time series contributor Nobuo Uematsu. The score consists of themes for each major character and location, plus music for standard battles and fights with boss enemies, as well as for special cutscenes. The "Aria di Mezzo Carattere" is one of the latter tracks, played during a cutscene involving an opera performance. This track features an unintelligible "voice" that harmonises with the melody - the limitations of the cartridge size prevented the use of an actual vocal track. The orchestral album Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale features an arranged version of the aria, featuring Italian lyrics, performed by Svetla Krasteva with orchestral backing. This aria is also found in the second full-motion video in the PlayStation re-release with the same lyrics, but a different musical arrangement. In addition, the album Orchestral Game Concert 4 includes an extended version of the opera. Arguably the most famous sequence in the game, Electronic Gaming Monthly declared the opera scene one of the "20 Greatest Moments in Console Gaming" in 2002.
Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale features eleven tracks from the game, arranged by Shiro Sagisu and Tsuneyoshi Saito and performed by the Ensemble Archi Della Scala and Orchestra Synfonica di Milano. Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VI, a second arranged album, features thirteen tracks from the game, arranged and performed for piano by Reiko Nomura. Additionally, the original score was released on three compact discs in Japan as Final Fantasy VI: Original Sound Version. A version of this album was later released in North America under the title Final Fantasy III: Kefka's Domain, available exclusively through mail-order from SquareSoft.
- "I still remember when, during the launch party for Final Fantasy VI, the notoriously unforgiving Mr. Sakaguchi gave a speech. "Thanks to every one of you — we have created the best game in the world! No! The universe! Thank you!" I cried. There were tears on my face. Those tears made me realise just how much I had invested myself in the project. I hope that the Final Fantasy games forever continue to be a source of joy not only for the fans, but for the developers as well!"
- —Nobuo Uematsu, liner notes to Final Fantasy XIV / Battle Tracks
Yoshitaka Amano, also a long-time contributor to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the image designer. Amano provided concept sketches to the programmers, who converted them into the sprites that feature in the game. Some liberties were taken during the conversion, such as the changing of Terra's hair from blonde to green. The PlayStation release includes full-motion video produced specifically for the re-release: the character designs in these video sequences are based on Amano's designs, rather than the in-game sprites.
Though not the first game to utilise the Mode 7 graphics of the Super Nintendo, Final Fantasy VI made much more extensive use of them than either of its two predecessors. Unlike both Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V, for example, the world map is rendered in Mode 7, which lends a somewhat three-dimensional perspective to an otherwise two-dimensional game.
Early screenshots of the original Japanese version of the game reveal some minor, different plans made during development. At the start of the game, instead of Valigarmanda being the frozen esper, Maduin appeared encased in the ice. Though Final Fantasy VI is the first appearance of Biggs and Wedge (ビックス and ウェッジ), they were originally going to be called Les and Bafra (レス and バフラ).
Localisation and censorship
The English language localisation for the Super Nintendo includes a number of changes to the original Japanese game. The most obvious of these changes is the alteration of the game title, which was changed to reflect the fact it was only the third Final Fantasy title to be released in North America. Unlike Final Fantasy IV (originally released in North America under the title Final Fantasy II), there are no major changes in gameplay, though certain editorial alterations exist in the English script. In a January 1995 interview with Super POWER magazine, translator Ted Woolsey explained that "there's a certain level of playfulness and... sexuality in Japanese games that just doesn't exist here [in the USA], basically because of the rules of Nintendo of America and guidelines." Some of the graphics of the game are subtly changed to cover up instances of nudity and more risqué sprites. Another example of censorship includes removing the smoke from the sprites of enemies such as Misty (originally "Dahling").
|The North American graphics for Siren were edited to cover up a minor instance of nudity.
From left to right: Japanese & PlayStation (all), American SNES, and American/Euro Advance.
In addition, the English localisation features several name changes. Some such alterations were necessitated by length restrictions (e.g. "Stragus" was shortened to "Strago"). Other changes were made in order for the game to meet the aforementioned content guidelines from Nintendo, which, for instance, placed restrictions on the use of religious imagery, leading to the rechristening of the magic spell "Holy" to "Pearl." A number of changes were made simply because of cultural differences between Asian and North American audiences. For example, Terra's Japanese name, Tina, sounds exotic to Japanese speakers, but is a common Anglophone name. Finally, the text files had to be shortened because otherwise they simply could not have fit into the available data storage space of the cartridge ROM.
The North American and European PlayStation port retains the bulk of Woolsey's original translation, with minor changes, including the return to the original Japanese title of Final Fantasy VI, and a number of character and item names alterations. While the translation remained, all the censorship present in the SNES version was lifted, and all versions of the PlayStation release used the original sprites. This remains true for the Finest Fantasy for Advance release of the game, although instead of using the uncensored Japanese version of Siren, a third Siren sprite was used which was more censored than the original Japanese sprite, but less so than the original North American release.
The scene where Celes is being tortured by the Empire was removed for the Game Boy Advance release of Final Fantasy VI. This is because the original Final Fantasy VI was created before the Japanese ratings board, CERO, existed. Violence is rated strictly in Japan, and Square wanted a CERO A rating for the Game Boy Advance version, which would have been impossible if a game depicts violence against a restrained human.
Ports and Remakes
Final Fantasy VI was the third and last of the Super Nintendo Final Fantasy titles to be ported to the Sony PlayStation, and was released exactly one year after a similar port of Final Fantasy V, and two years after a port of Final Fantasy IV. It was followed by a remake of the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II in the compilation Final Fantasy Origins. In Japan, the PlayStation port was released individually and alongside both Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V as a part of a limited edition boxed set titled Final Fantasy Collection. In North America, the port was released alongside Final Fantasy V as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology. In Europe, the game was released individually (along with a demo of Final Fantasy X), making it the first time the game had ever been officially released in territories using the PAL system.
Technically, the PlayStation port is similar to the original Super Nintendo version. Aside from the addition of a few new full-motion video cutscenes before the original opening and after the original ending, the graphics and sound are unchanged from the original version. Unlike the re-release of Final Fantasy IV in the Final Fantasy Chronicles compilation, the script for the North American PlayStation release was essentially left unchanged; gil remained "GP," Ultima Weapon "Atma Weapon." The only notable changes to gameplay were the revision of Vicks to Biggs, the correction of a handful of computer bugs left in the original game, and the addition of a new "memo save" feature, which allows players to quickly save their progress to the PlayStation RAM. Because of the volatile nature of the memory of the system, memo saves are lost if power to the console is interrupted. Finally, the port includes a number of bonuses, including a bestiary and artwork gallery that can be accessed from the main menu, and which are revealed as the player progresses through the game.
Game Boy Advance
A port of Final Fantasy VI for handhelds had been considered by Square in early 2001. The project failed due to the absence of an appropriate platform - the WonderSwan Color was not powerful enough to run the game, and Nintendo did not allow Square to develop on the Game Boy Advance, despite Sakaguchi's wishes.
Years later, after relations between Square (now Square Enix) and Nintendo improved, it was announced that Final Fantasy VI would be re-released on the Game Boy Advance under the title Final Fantasy VI Advance. This is consistent with the re-releases of Final Fantasy IV (released in North America on December 12, 2005) and Final Fantasy V (released in North America on November 6, 2006). Final Fantasy VI Advance' was released on February 5, 2007. Like the other Game Boy Advance re-releases, several extra features were added, including the new dungeons Dragons' Den and Soul Shrine, and a new superboss, Kaiser Dragon.
A port of the PlayStation version was released for PSN in Japan on April 20th, 2011 and in PAL territories on June 3rd, 2011. The North American PSN port of the PlayStation version was released on December 6th, 2011.
Producer - Hironobu Sakaguchi
Directors - Yoshinori Kitase, Hiroyuki Itou
Main Programmers - Ken Narita, Kiyoshi Yoshii
Graphic Directors - Tetsuya Takahashi, Kazuko Shibuya, Hideo Minaba, Tetsuya Nomura
Music - Nobuo Uematsu
Image Designer - Yoshitaka Amano
Battle Planners - Yasuyuki Hasabe, Akiyoshi Oota
Field Planners - Yoshihiko Maekawa, Keitah Etoh, Satoru Tsuji, Hidetoshi Kezuka
Event Planners - Tsukasa Fujita, Keisuke Matsuhara
Effect Programmers - Hiroshi Harata, Satoshi Ogata
Battle Programmer - Akihiro Yamaguchi
Sound Programmer - Minoru Akao
Effect Graphic Designer - Hirokatsu Sasaki
Field Graphic Designers - Takaharu Matsuo, Yusuke Naora, Nobuyuki Ikeda, Tomo Inazawa, Kaori Tanaka, Takamichi Shibuya, Shinichirou Hamazaka, Akiyoshi Masuda
Monster Graphic Design - Hitoshi Sasaki
Object Graphic Design - Kazuhiro Okawa
Sound Engineer - Eiji Nakamura
Remake Planner - Weimin Li, Aiko Ito
English Translation (SNES) - Ted Woolsey
English Translation (GBA) - Tom Slattery
- In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, the bosses Phantom Train, Ultros, Ultima Weapon and Deathgaze are guardians for the crystals of the True Moon.
- The 200th issue of Game Informer Magazine features multiple covers based on their top ten games ever. Final Fantasy VI was the only Final Fantasy game featured in the top 10, placing 8th, but Final Fantasy IV (80th), Final Fantasy VII (15th), Final Fantasy X (43rd), Final Fantasy XII (112th), Final Fantasy Tactics (45th), and Vagrant Story (184th) could be found throughout the list.
- In another 200th issue of a magazine, this time Electronic Gaming Monthly, the game ranked as 36th on their "Greatest 200 Videogame of their time" list.
- Final Fantasy VI, along with Final Fantasy V, are the only Nintendo era Final Fantasy games that have not been fully remade, only ported.
- In the webcomic Order of the Stick, the main cast of Final Fantasy VI appear briefly, with two characters attempting to sneak onto the Blackjack (while dressed as Locke and Mog). This results in them being found out and the main cast tossing them off the airship at a fairly high altitude.
- In the introduction to the PlayStation version, "Narshe" is misspelled as "Narche."
- Several of the main characters of the game appear as spectators in the stands of the gladiator battle in Secret of Evermore.
- Because the FMVs use character appearances more based on the Amano art, Celes in particular has an appearance quite different from her sprites during the ending.
- Although the representative characters from Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy X have switched between Warriors of Cosmos to Warriors of Chaos and vice versa between Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VI is the only one of the three where all the representative characters belong to only one faction in the latter game; Terra and Kefka are both Warriors of Chaos in Dissidia 012.
- Final Fantasy VI Advance official site (Japanese)
- Wikipedia entry on Final Fantasy VI
- Final Fantasy VI at the Final Fantasy Compendium
- Final Fantasy VI at Caves of Narshe
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