A treasure hunter and trail-worn traveler, searching the world over for relics of the past...
Locke Cole (written Lock in Japanese) is a playable character from Final Fantasy VI. He is a thief, but prefers to be called a "treasure hunter". Locke is introduced as a contact, spy, and saboteur for the Returners, the resistance group to the Gestahlian Empire.
Locke is of average height with a wiry build. He wears a blue vest and trousers with a white shirt, although concept art has his outer clothes as black. He has light brown hair and wears a bandanna. In-game, it is blue and rolled into a headband; in the Yoshitaka Amano artwork it covers his hair and is more colorful and patterned. His outfit is belted with a short sash. He wears brown gloves in-game and in some concept art.
I'll never let go. I promise.
Locke is driven to protect women he meets, instantly promising to help Terra and Celes despite them being former imperial soldiers. His want to protect women is due to unresolved guilt over a past incident which he struggles with. The incident was a key reason he joined the Returners, and although he blames himself, he is angry at the empire for their involvement.
Despite his tragic past, Locke is often less than serious. He jokes around with and about the other party members, particularly teasing Edgar for his flirtatiousness. He is proud of his skills and insistent on being called a "treasure hunter" or "adventurer" rather than a thief. Locke is kindhearted and tries to prevent others from experiencing the sorrow he has.
In his youth, Locke used to travel with his father, who was a treasure hunter. His father died and people in Kohlingen treated Locke like a common thief. Rachel was the only one not to consider him as such, and they fell in love, but her father detested him. To prove himself to Rachel's father Locke explored a dangerous cave with her.
A bridge crumbled under Locke, and Rachel, out of love and devotion, rushed to save him. She fell and was almost killed. Locke rescued her and took her home and nursed Rachel back to health, but she developed a case of amnesia. Blaming Locke for her condition, Rachel's father threw him out and Rachel agreed, as she had lost her memory of their relationship. The village turned against Locke, who left Kohlingen. Locke felt guilty for Rachel's loss of memory, and tried to redeem himself by protecting every woman he came across. One day, Kohlingen was destroyed in an imperial attack, and Rachel died, but not before recovering her memory and declaring her love for Locke, who joined the Returners to help the resistance against the empire.
Arvis calls Locke to Narshe to ask for assistance in helping Terra Branford. Locke is reluctant due to her affiliation with the empire, but agrees and finds Terra in the Narshe Mines ambushed by Narshe guardsmen and rescues her with the help of Ten Moogles. Terra cannot remember her past, but Locke promises to protect her and takes her to Figaro Castle as Narshe is no longer safe.
In Figaro, King Edgar Roni Figaro offers her shelter. Imperial general Kefka Palazzo, hot on Terra's tail, inquires of her whereabouts. Edgar lies, and Kefka sets the castle aflame. Locke, Edgar and Terra escape, and the castle burrows underground. The trio meet up with Banon, the leader of the Returners, at the Returner Hideout, who has Terra join their cause.
The city of South Figaro is put under imperial siege and Locke goes to investigate. He learns the empire is planning another raid on Narshe and sets out to warn the elder. He sneaks into the basement of the largest house in town where an imperial general, Celes Chere, is being interrogated. Locke rescues her, and vows to protect her and the two escape the town together.
Locke and Celes head to Narshe to warn the elder. Cyan Garamonde and Celes get into a brief quarrel, but Locke breaks it up. Everyone gathers to defend Narshe against Kefka and his troops, but afterward Terra reacts with the frozen esper, an ancient magical being of legend the empire wants to capture, and turns into an esper herself and flies away. A search party is assembled and she is found in atop the tallest tower in Zozo being cared for by the esper Ramuh. Ramuh asks the party to go to Vector, the Imperial capital, and rescue the other imprisoned espers, one of which—Maduin—is Terra's father. Celes agrees to lead the team, and Locke accompanies her.
To get to Vector the party needs an airship. In the town of Jidoor Celes learns a man named Setzer Gabbiani owns the only private airship in the world: the Blackjack, and is in love with Maria, the star of Maria and Draco opera, and wills to kidnap her. Locke suggests dressing up Celes as Maria to get Setzer's attention. The plan works, and Setzer agrees, as the result of a coin toss, to take the party to Vector.
After arriving in Vector the party heads to the Magitek Research Facility where they free the espers, but it turns them into magicite. Kefka discovers the magicite and orders Celes to come with him. Locke questions Celes's loyalty, but she casts a spell to teleport herself, Kefka, and the troops away to save the Returners. The empire's main Magitek engineer, Cid, helps Locke and his friends escape via a mine cart. They meet up with Setzer who takes them back to Zozo to see Terra, who recovers upon receiving her father's magicite.
The party heads to Narshe for a strategy meeting with the elder, Arvis, and Banon. The plan is for Terra to contact the espers and have them attack Vector from the east, while a coalition of Returners and Narshe guards strikes from the north. Terra leads a party through the Cave to the Sealed Gate to reach the Esper World where they are ambushed by Kefka, and have to escape. The espers destroy the airship, and in Vector Gestahl seems to have surrendered. He asks Terra to negotiate peace with the espers, and she agrees. Locke accompanies her to Crescent Island.
In the port of Albrook, Terra and Locke met up with General Leo Cristophe—the leader of the expedition—the mercenary Shadow, and Celes. Locke does not know what to say to Celes and the night before departure he attempts to apologize, but she runs away. On the boat to Crescent Island Locke gets seasick and embarrasses himself in front of Shadow. Shortly before landing, Celes tries to say something to him, but Locke walks away.
Locke, Terra and Shadow enter the town of Thamasa where they meet up with Strago Magus, the elder of the town, who asks Terra and Locke help him rescue his granddaughter, Relm Arrowny, from a burning house. Afterward Strago agrees to help Terra and Locke look for the espers and they head for the Espers' Gathering Place with Relm in tow. Terra and Locke speak to the espers' leader, Yura, and take him to Thamasa for negotiations with Leo. At Thamasa, Locke and Celes reconcile.
Kefka interrupts the negotiations and wounds everyone but Leo, who tries to fight Kefka and is killed. Kefka reveals everything was a ploy to gather magicite, and kills Yura and the other espers. He heads for the Sealed Gate to collect more magicite and the Warring Triad, a trio of deities who brought magic to the world the espers had been protecting in their realm, are revived, and the Esper World becomes the Floating Continent. Terra, Locke, Strago, Relm, and Celes meet up with the others and attack the Floating Continent, but as Kefka moves the Warring Triad out of alignment he destroys the world and the party is separated.
In the World of Ruin, Locke finds an injured seagull and bandages it with his bandanna. Celes finds the bandanna on the seagull and the discovery rejuvenates her hope of finding her estranged friends and she sets out to gather everyone up to face Kefka, now the world's ruler.
The estranged Locke hears a legend of the legendary esper Phoenix said to revive the dead. He wants to use it on Rachel and heads for the Phoenix Cave where the rest of the party locates him and invites him to Kohlingen. Locke uses the esper to revive Rachel who tells Locke to stop feeling guilty. She dies again, restoring Phoenix to life. Locke, exculpated, joins Celes and the others to fight Kefka.
After Kefka has been killed the party flees the crumbling Kefka's Tower and Celes drops Locke's bandanna that she had been holding onto. She returns to retrieve it and Locke saves her, saying, "I won't let go, I promise". They make it to Setzer's new airship in time and from high above watch the citizens of the world rebuilding their homes.
Locke has the traits of a Thief, his ability is Steal, which allows him to attempt to steal an item from an enemy. Relics can improve his ability to Steal, with Sneak Ring increasing the success rate and Brigand's Glove turning Steal into Mug and allowing it to damage enemies. His stats are well rounded, with high speed and evasion, and good physical stats, but low magical stats. For weaponry, he can equip most swords (including Ultima Weapon and Lightbringer), boomerangs and daggers, for armor, he can equip most Shields and heavy armor. His Desperation Attack is Mirage Dive that deals magical damage to one enemy.
Creation and developmentEdit
Locke's design was originally that of a slightly older, dark and mysterious partner of the male protagonist that became Terra Branford. He was supposed to be a rival of sorts to the other characters and was the one with the Runic command. As development proceeded his personality was tweaked and eventually became the more 'regular' character Locke is in the final game. After it was decided Final Fantasy VI would feature an ensemble cast with no clear main protagonist, everyone in the development team were encouraged to provide ideas for characters and their episodes. Locke's character and story were colored by influence from Hironobu Sakaguchi.
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Locke's theme is a heroic introduction played during his and the moogles' mission to protect Terra. His leitmotif is reprised in "Forever Rachel" and the "Ending Theme", and in the latter his theme plays in counterpoint with Celes's theme.
Locke has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game as a playable character (demo).
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII as a garbs.
- Final Fantasy Tactics S as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a card.
In a Famitsu character popularity poll, Locke was the only character from Final Fantasy VI listed. Author Scott Lynch makes an homage to Locke with the titular thief and con artist of his book The Lies of Locke Lamora.
A concept image early in the development of Final Fantasy VII features an isometric view and Final Fantasy VI sprites, including Locke.
In Secret of Evermore, Locke appears among the crowd of spectators that includes other Final Fantasy VI characters at the gladiator battle of Antiqua. He appears alongside Terra, Mog, Relm, Strago, and Umaro. Additionally, namesakes of his have appeared in Secret of Evermore and in Final Fantasy IX as an NPC. Locke Cole is himself a namesake of a playable character in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (see Tristam).
In Rudra no Hihō, two thieves by the name of Cid and Dune are view by the main characters as thieves and the party treats them as such. In these encounters, both thieves will repeatedly tell them that they are Treasure Hunters much in the same fashion to when it occurred to Locke.
In The Order of the Stick, Elan dresses up as Locke when he tries to board the Blackjack with Thog dressed up as Mog. The wig and bandanna were discarded when he was discovered to be a fake, although he retains all other parts of Locke's clothing style.
Locke is a surname of Old English and Old German origin and contains the elements "woods", "pond", and "fortified place", indicating that the person lived near such a landmark. It was used as an occupational name for a locksmith.
Cole is an English name that comes from the Old English col, which can mean "charcoal" or "coal-black".
- Locke's Desperation Attack, Mirage Dive (or "Mirager" in the SNES version), is a Band ability in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years used by Edge and Kain.
- Locke breaks the fourth wall when engaging Ultros for the third time in the Esper Caves. After Relm appears, he goes near the dialog box and says to himself while looking to the player, "A pint-sized virtuoso and an egotistical octopus, do I wanna know what's next?"