- "Soldiers of the Empire! We stand at the dawn of a new age! The lost power of magic has returned to us! We are the chosen ones!"
Emperor Gestahl (ガストラ, Gasutora?), is a Non-Player Character in Final Fantasy VI. He is the dictator and ruler of the Gestahlian Empire, and at first appears to be the game's primary antagonist. He is fifty years old during the events of the game.
Born to a military family in the southern state of what would become Vector in the Gestahlian Empire, several decades before the events of Final Fantasy VI, his father was involved in a military coup while he was 13 years old, eventually being crowned Emperor some time later. During his time as Emperor, Gestahl spent much of his time researching ancient tales of magic and sorcery, looking for truth behind the tales, and many of his researchers did the same. The exact details of Gestahl's rise to power (outside of his father being involved in a coup) are unknown, but he came to lead Vector some time before his scholars located the portal to the Land of Espers beyond the Cave to the Sealed Gate. Gestahl personally led a raid to capture Espers, but he and his troops were ejected when the Esper Elder cast a spell to seal the gate for good. In the chaos, the Esper Maduin and a human woman Madeline were swept out as well. Outside the gate, Gestahl found Madeline's daughter, Terra. Madeline attempted to stop him from taking Terra, but Gestahl struck her down, and took Terra, Maduin and the other Espers captured back to Vector.
The next several years would see the rise of Magitek, making the Empire the most powerful force on the planet as they rediscovered the secrets of magic. Owing to this, Gestahl made a speech to the empire declaring their intent to conquer the planet. However, when the Returners open the Sealed Gate more Espers emerge and destroy Vector. The Returners that come to the Imperial Palace in the aftermath are treated to dinner with Gestahl, who claims he has lost his will to fight at the sight of how powerful and angry the Espers were, and the losses his Empire has experienced. Gestahl asks the Returners to accompany a force of Imperial soldiers lead by General Leo to Thamasa to locate the Espers and negotiate peace with them. This is a ruse to locate them, however - Gestahl dispatches Kefka to the village to turn the Espers into Magicite. Kefka kills Leo and burns the village, reportedly telling Gestahl that Leo was a traitor.
With the power gained from the Espers in Thamasa, Gestahl and Kefka cross into the Esper realm and raise the Floating Continent with the power of the Warring Triad at their fingertips at its summit. The Returners land on the continent and confront Gestahl, who uses the power of the Triad to paralyze them, leaving only the former Imperial general Celes. Gestahl and Kefka hand Celes a sword and offer her the chance to rule the world with them if she proved her loyalty and dispatched her friends, as well as hinting that Gestahl also desires for Celes and Kefka to mate and produce Magitek progeny. Celes refuses and stabs Kefka, who flies into a rage and demands the Warring Triad to reveal their true power.
Gestahl, knowing what their true power would cause, tries to stop Kefka by engaging him in battle. At this point, Gestahl exhibits a great deal of magical power by utilizing the most powerful magical spells in the game (as he had likely also been using Magicite), culminating in Meltdown. Kefka is protected from these attacks due to his own powers along with standing in the middle of the statues. Finally, Gestahl is struck down by a bolt of lightning from the Triad. Mortally wounded, Gestahl is kicked by Kefka off the side of the Floating Continent to his doom, marking the end of the Gestahlian Empire, although not before Gestahl laments that Kefka's actions will result in the world knowing true fear.
- After the banquet with Gestahl and before leaving for Thamasa, it is possible to talk to the emperor. In the English Super Nintendo Entertainment System release, the name shown in his textbox is "Majesty," while he is known as "Gestahl" in the Finest Fantasy for Advance release.
- In the Final Fantasy VI Ultimania guide, Gestahl was born October 26th, he is 5'10, weights 157 lb, and his blood type is B.
- There is a bit of confusion about Gestahl's age from the source materials. In the 20th Anniversary Ultimania his age is said to be 50, yet in the timeline given in the Settei Shiryou Hen Character Guide states he was born 72 years before the events of the game, and became Emperor around the age of 50.
- There is a portrait of Emperor Gestahl in Owzer's Mansion.
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ Gestahl: Celes, child... You alone are special. Why don't I give you and Kefka the task of creating progeny to populate my new Magitek Empire? Final Fantasy VI Advance
- ↑ http://forums.eyesonff.com/final-fantasy-vi/126790-ffvi-ultimania-settei-shiryou-hen-translation-project.html