In her pictures she captures everything: forests, water, light... the very essence of the things she paints...
Relm is independent-minded and often disobedient. She is sassy, making biting remarks when someone acts foolishly, though she does so with a good heart. She is a sought after artist, and her ability to bring her paintings to life allows her to weaponize them. When irritated, Relm will threaten to paint the offender's portrait.
Relm can use Sketch to paint an enemy and mimic their abilities, which can be changed to Control when equipped with the Fake Moustache. More importantly, her default Magic stat is the highest of any character, and she can equip female-exclusive equipment, making her a very powerful magic user. She can equip rods, maces, and robes.
Relm is a young girl from Thamasa. She has blonde hair covered by a large hat and wears a black tube top and a yellow cape. Her portrait sprite depicts her with a red dot on her left cheek, presumed to be paint due to her artistic tendencies. In the smartphone version her field sprite is the same height as the other characters' but in the original versions she is considerably shorter.
Relm is a sassy little girl who scolds Strago for his decisions. She makes biting remarks when someone is acting foolishly (in the Japanese version, she uses foul language, which was toned down in the overseas releases). Relm does so with a good heart and only means to help. If irritated, Relm often threatens to paint the offender's picture, much to the fear of the party, knowing what her paintings are capable of.
Terra Branford, Locke Cole, and Shadow visit Strago in Thamasa to ask him about the espers. While Strago feigns ignorance, Relm rudely barges in on the conversation and asks the visitors if they can use magic too. She then takes an immediate liking to Shadow's dog, Interceptor. This confuses Shadow because Interceptor does not normally like people. Strago invites them to stay at the inn for the low price of 1 gil.
However, during the night, Relm is caught in a fire while spending time at a friend's house (to play with a Fire Rod). Strago tries casting ice spells to put the fire out, but to no avail. The Mayor of Thamasa shows up and exclaims that Magic is forbidden, but Strago would not listen. Strago asks Terra and Locke to help him save Relm. The three go inside the burning building to rescue her, but are cornered by flames. At the last moment, Shadow and Interceptor come in and save them all.
Afterward, Strago explains to Terra and Locke the villagers' magic abilities were inherited from the Mage Warriors, who, after the War of the Magi, were shunned by the world and left to found their own community in Thamasa. Strago agrees to help find the Espers and Relm asks if she could come too, but Strago refuses. She follows anyway and catches up with them during a fight with Ultros. During the fight, Relm asks Ultros if she could paint his portrait, causing one of the more humorous scenes in the story to occur. She proves to Terra, Locke, and Strago that she can indeed be useful and together they continue on to find the Espers and Terra speaks to their leader, Yura.
She convinces them to negotiate peace with General Leo Cristophe and the Gestahlian Empire. She also takes notice of Celes and Locke's reconcilement and inadvertently embarrasses them by asking Strago if they are all "hot and heavy". However, the peace deal is revealed to be a trap set up by Kefka Palazzo to get more magicite. Kefka's plan is a tragic success, and Relm and Strago join the others in the fight against him.
What happens to Relm after the end of the world depends on whether or not the player waits for Shadow before jumping off the Floating Continent. If the party did not wait for him, Relm is found wounded in the Cave on the Veldt and the party has to defeat the Behemoth King to rescue her and take her back to Thamasa to recover. But before she can rejoin the party she disappears.
The villagers in Thamasa mention that Relm had been hired by Owzer, a wealthy art collector in Jidoor, to help him remove a demon named Chadarnook that has possessed one of his prized paintings. Relm could do nothing until the party showed up to help out. After the fight, Relm rejoins. If the party does wait for Shadow at the Floating Continent, however, Shadow will be found wounded in the cave in Relm's place and Relm will already be in Jidoor having been hired by Owzer.
After Relm rejoins, she goes to the Cultists' Tower where Strago has become a member of the Cult of Kefka. Relm awakes Strago up from his trance with a few choice words, and he rejoins, mentioning that Relm is as foul-mouthed as ever. Relm and Strago go back to Thamasa where they find Strago's old friend, Gungho, injured by Hidon, a monster he and Strago used to hunt in their youth. Strago and Relm go to defeat Hidon, and come back victorious.
In the ending, Relm and Strago have a few conversations, and Relm says she would like to paint a traditional, non-magic painting of Strago using a real canvas. If Strago is not re-obtained by the player in the World of Ruin, then Relm, stuck on a conveyor belt, is passed along by Celes, Setzer, and Edgar. She threatens to paint their portraits, saying, "You can't just throw me aside!" and they return to help her.
Through of a series of flashbacks unveiled by resting in various inns with Shadow in the party, it is revealed that Shadow is Relm's father. Shadow's dreams tell the story of him as a train robber named Clyde who fled the authorities with his partner Baram.
Baram was killed but Shadow escaped to Thamasa, where he married with an unnamed woman and fathered a child before leaving the village to keep his past from catching up with him. The village dog, Interceptor, followed him. This is why Interceptor is so friendly towards Relm, and why both Shadow and Relm can use the Memento Ring, said to be empowered by the love of a departed mother—in this case, Relm's mother and Shadow's wife.
If the player allows Shadow to die on the Floating Continent, the flashback sequence viewed when the player rescues Relm changes to show Strago speaking to Relm, who then cries out for "Daddy" and asks where he went and if he will come back, before Interceptor leaves. This fits perfectly with the flashback viewed if the player rescues Shadow instead of Relm, which shows him, as Clyde, walking away from Strago's home when Interceptor runs up from behind him. In the original English SNES release, he tells Interceptor to stay with "the girl", but the word used for "girl" in the Japanese release could also be used as a humble form of "daughter". In the Game Boy Advance release the word "daughter" is used instead, making it clear that Shadow fathered a child in Thamasa before fleeing the village.
Shadow and Relm's relationship was officially confirmed in developers' interviews in 1995. The developers considered having a scene in a bar (presumably in Thamasa) where Strago asks Shadow to reveal his identity. The dialogue was supposed to be as follows:
- Strago: I have one request... Show me your face. Even if you are him, I have no intention of wasting time trying to talk you into staying. I just want to know... for Relm's sake...
- Shadow: ...... (He takes off his mask and shows Strago his face. However, his back is turned so that the player can't see.)
- Strago: Thank you... Shadow. ...Come, let's have a drink.
Relm is a Pictomancer whose primary role is casting Magic, as her very high Magic stat and access to female-exclusive equipment make her a very powerful mage. Her Sketch ability allows her to replicate the attack of an enemy, and she can turn it into Control with the Fake Mustache relic. Relm has good Speed, but her physical stats are generally low. Her equipment is limited, though her rods, maces and robes can boost her magical prowess further, and she can equip the Cat-Ear Hood, one of the strongest pieces of armor. Her Desperation Attack is Star Prism that instantly kills an enemy not immune to Death.
Creation and developmentEdit
Relm's design and story were created by Kaori Tanaka (later nicknamed Soraya Saga), who also created Edgar Roni Figaro, Sabin Rene Figaro, Duncan Harcourt, and Vargas. Relm's "Control" command is based on the idea that monsters have true names, and whoever knows these true names has power over them (this is an idea well-known in real-world demonology). In the game's original strategy guide, Strago and Relm are said to fight with stuffed toys. This might be another idea that was tossed around during development, but in the end was never implemented. The idea wasn't used until Final Fantasy X where Lulu uses stuffed toys as weapons.
The developers wished they could have used Yoshitaka Amano's artwork in the game by having one of Relm's drawings being Amano's artwork, and in the ending have Relm painting a wall mural showing scenes of all the adventures the heroes had undertaken. However, it was not possible due to hardware limitations.
Relm's theme is simply named "Relm". It is mixed into the ending theme.
Relm has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XIV as a Minion.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
In Secret of Evermore, Relm appears among the crowd of spectators that includes other Final Fantasy VI characters at the gladiator battle of Antiqua. She appears alongside Terra, Locke, Mog, Strago, and Umaro.
- If Relm is in the active party when a battle commences, she will wave to the "fourth wall" before facing the enemy.
- As opposed to the rest of the party, her and Strago's Desperation Attacks inflict instant death rather than high damage.
- Relm's Sketch command is associated with many glitches in the SNES release.