A mysterious young woman, born with the gift of magic, and enslaved by the Gestahlian Empire.
Terra Branford, known as Tina in the Japanese version, is a playable character in Final Fantasy VI. Her unique abilities make her a key player in the war between the Gestahlian Empire and the rebel factions. Her gameplay name before the player names her is ??????, and her "name" in dialogue is Girl.
Yoshinori Kitase has stated that Final Fantasy VI has no official main character, as the developers aimed to give the entire cast equal development and status without anyone standing above the rest. However, Terra features prominently in much of the game's artwork and is pivotal to its plot; she is present in the game's logo, the game's main theme is named after her, and she was chosen as the heroine to represent Final Fantasy VI in Dissidia Final Fantasy. She is often considered the game's central protagonist, which would make her the first female protagonist in the mainstream Final Fantasy series.
Terra is an eighteen-year-old woman with mint green hair, a red dress with a purple sash around her waist, red boots, red wristbands and purple shoulder-pads (depicted as a purple cape in her portrait for the iOS/Android rerelease). Terra's baby sprite briefly depicts her with blonde hair and in her concept artwork, Terra is blonde with a sleeveless red dress with floral patterns, flowered white tights, two long red gloves, red boots and a purple-pink cloak with the same flowered design as her tights.
In Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy she sports both hair colors; in "normal" mode she is blonde and in "alternate" mode her hair is green. Her hair is always tied into a ponytail and sometimes depicted as curly. In Terra's esper form her hair is long and wild, and her body and hair are vivid lavender. This remains true across all depictions of the character.
At first Terra is confused, fearful and amnesiac. She is suspicious of anyone who wants access to her powers and not fully knowing what those powers are adds to her wariness. The few memories she has are disturbing and she is upset by reminders of the way her power was used. This allows her to sympathize with Celes Chere, another former Imperial. As she learns more about herself, Terra becomes assertive and determined and adds her opinions to the discourse or spurs the party onward. She shows an affinity for children.
Once she learns her true past and comes to control her powers, she turns her introspection to her humanity, a question that had troubled her from the start. She worries she cannot feel love and asks others about their emotions to try and figure it out. This question becomes so overwhelming she briefly loses her ability to fight, but in the end Terra is courageous and resolves to fight and use her special abilities to make the world a better place.
Terra was born in the Esper World to an esper father, Maduin, and a human mother, Madeline. Two years later the Gestahlian Empire raided the land and abducted Maduin. Madeline tried to keep Emperor Gestahl away from her daughter, but he struck her down. Intrigued by the prospect of a half-esper, Gestahl took Terra to the Empire and had her raised as a living weapon. The exact details of her upbringing are unknown, but General Leo was acquainted with her and she developed a fondness for moogles. General Celes Chere claims to have known her. Due to her innate magical ability, Terra was given the title of Magitek Elite.
The Imperial general Kefka Palazzo took an interest in her and placed a slave crown on her, forcing her to obey his orders directly. Among them was the order to annihilate fifty of the Empire's finest soldiers to gauge the extent of her powers and the slave crown's effectiveness. At some point after this Terra participated—alongside Kefka, Celes, and Leo—in Gestahl's declaration of war speech, although she did not salute Gestahl due to not being motioned to do so.
Terra is assigned on a mission to Narshe accompanied by two Imperial troopers: Biggs and Wedge to retrieve the recently discovered frozen esper, Valigarmanda, from the Narshe Mines. The trio reaches the esper, but it kills Biggs and Wedge, and resonates with Terra, knocking her unconscious.
She is rescued by Arvis, a resident of Narshe, who removes the slave crown and nurses her back to health. Though Terra suffers from amnesia, she is able to give her first name. The local police want to capture her thanks to her part in the town's assault. Arvis helps Terra escape, but the guards catch up to her in the mines. An agent of the Returners, Locke Cole, rescues her, along with a group of moogles, and Locke takes Terra to Figaro, where he promises to stay and help her until her memory returns.
Terra meets with King Edgar Roni Figaro and wonders if he's only interested in her for her special abilities. Kefka arrives to reclaim her, but Edgar posits she is not there. Terra worries over being an Imperial soldier and the prospect of choosing a side and when Kefka returns and tries to burn down Figaro Castle, Terra, Locke, and Edgar escape on chocobos while the castle submerges under the desert.
Terra uses magic in battle, shocking her companions. Terra worries she might not be human, and though the others try to reassure her, the idea troubles her. They head for the Returner Hideout by passing through the Sabre Mountains where Terra meets Edgar's twin brother, Sabin.
The party meets with the leader of the Returners, Banon, who tries to convince Terra to join their cause. He does not want to force her, because, as Edgar said, it make them "no different from the Empire", but tells her she may represent the Returners' last hope, and it is clear their interest in her centers around her wielding of magic. Terra is reluctant to be used as a weapon and speaks to the others in the Returner hideout to learn more about them.
Terra agrees to help the Returners and Banon proposes taking Terra back to Narshe to speak to the frozen esper and convince it to help the Returners to counter the Empire's use of magic. The hideout is discovered and the others flee down the Lethe River while Locke heads for South Figaro to stall the Empire's advance. Banon, Edgar, Sabin and Terra are attacked by Ultros, an octopus inhabitant of the Lethe River, who latches onto Terra's leg and while Edgar pulls Terra away, Sabin fights it off with a Blitz. He is thrown from the raft, and Terra, Edgar, and Banon reach Narshe without him. The three trek through the mines to meet up with Arvis after the local police reject both Terra and the Returners.
Once Sabin arrives in Narshe with Gau and Cyan Garamonde, and Locke returns with Celes, the Returners prepare to defend the esper with their boosted numbers. Celes is a former Imperial soldier who can use magic due to having been infused with it artificially as a child, and Terra asks her if she feels love but Celes takes it for mockery.
The Battle for the Frozen Esper commences with Kefka leading the Empire's forces while Banon directs the defense, and they repel the Empire. The group visits Valigarmanda and it resonates with Terra transforming her into an esper. She flies off. A search party is set up to look for her and they track her down in Zozo where she is found atop the tallest building. She is being cared for by Ramuh, an esper who called out to her when he sensed her. He explains she is frightened as she does not understand or control her power and must meet with her father to recover. Celes agrees to lead a party to infiltrate Vector and retrieve Maduin, with Locke accompanying her.
Locke returns with Maduin, now a magicite shard, and brings him to Terra. She regains her memory and becomes able to control her transformation. With the understanding of her origins and powers, Terra gains confidence and suggests they return to Narshe. The party formulates a strategy to attack the Empire: have the espers attack from the east, while a coalition of Returners and Narshe guards attack Vector. Terra agrees to be the Returners' envoy to the espers.
She leads a team through the Cave to the Sealed Gate to the Esper World where she is ambushed by Kefka, but opens the gate to an army of emerging espers who attack Kefka. Terra's group escapes to the Blackjack, the party's airship, but the espers are in hot pursuit and attack the ship, which lands near Vector.
Once they arrive in Vector they find the city up in flames and Emperor Gestahl appears to have surrendered. He invites the Returners to a banquet during which he proposes peace. He asks Terra to relay a message to the espers hiding out on Crescent Island to the east. Locke agrees to accompany her, and General Leo would act as the Imperial liaison. On the way, Terra asks Leo about love, still worried she would be unable to feel it due to her half-esper nature, but Leo assures her this is not the case.
Upon arriving at Crescent Island, Terra, Locke, and Shadow, an assassin hired to accompany them, make their way to the remote village of Thamasa to inquire about espers. The villagers are hostile to strangers, and when they ask an old man named Strago Magus for help, he denies the existence of espers. Terra, Locke, and Shadow stay at the inn and during the night a building goes up in flames with Strago's adoptive granddaughter, Relm Arrowny, stuck inside. Strago asks Terra and Locke to help him rescue her, and they witness Strago's magical abilities.
Strago reveals the truth of his Magi ancestry and agrees to accompany them to the Espers' Gathering Place. Within the Crescent Mountain Cave they discover the statues of the Warring Triad with magical power emanating from them. Terra speculates the espers were drawn by it, and that the statues' power connects the human and esper worlds. The group reaches the area where the espers and their leader Yura are hiding. Terra convinces Yura to set up a conference with General Leo.
Back in Thamasa, Yura and Leo begin peace negotiations, but are interrupted by Kefka who reveals this was a set up for him and Gestahl to retrieve more espers to turn into magicite. Kefka kills Yura and the other espers and wounds everyone but Leo, who fights Kefka, but is killed. Kefka collects the remains of various espers and heads to the Sealed Gate to collect more. The Warring Triad are restored and the Sealed Gate becomes the Floating Continent. Terra leads the funeral service for Leo and wonders if people only want power.
The party flies to the Floating Continent to stop Gestahl and Kefka's plans. Kefka uses the Warring Triad's power to shield himself and kills Gestahl. Kefka moves the statues out of alignment, the Triad's power is unleashed on the world and tears apart land and sea; although the party attempts to escape on the Blackjack, the airship is torn in two and they are separated, flung to all corners of the world.
One year after Kefka destroyed the world, Terra finds herself in the village of Mobliz, which is attacked by Kefka's "Light of Judgment". The adults have died and the orphaned children latch onto her and so Terra stays to care for the kids with a new feeling awakening inside of her, making her unable to fight. Celes and Sabin try to convince her to take up arms, but though she is relieved they are alive, Terra refuses, knowing she would only be a burden. When the town is attacked by Humbaba, Terra tries to defend the children but falls.
Celes and Sabin drive it off and bring her back to town where they take their leave, after Terra says she needs more time to figure out what is going on inside her. When they return, Humbaba attacks the town again and upon seeing her friends in danger, Terra joins the battle in her esper form and helps them defeat the monster permanently. The children are startled by her appearance, but soon recognize her as their "mama". Terra realizes what she had been feeling is love for the children and with this epiphany entrusts the care of Mobliz to Duane and Katarin and joins the party in their battle against Kefka.
As the party prepares to invade Kefka's Tower, Terra's friends worry over her fate as they might have to destroy the Warring Triad, the source of magic, which allows the espers' survival. As the party confronts Kefka atop his tower, even if Terra wasn't recruited into the party, she senses the party calling to her and flies to the tower. In response to Kefka's nihilist rant, Terra says the inevitability of death and destruction do not matter if one has something to live for, and cites "love" when Kefka asks them why they bother to fight.
After Kefka is killed, Terra transforms into an esper and uses the last of her power to help the party escape Kefka's Tower. The magicites shatter as magic vanishes from the world but before vanishing, Maduin tells Terra she will live on as a human if there is something in the world she feels strongly for. The party catches her on the Falcon as her esper power fades and Terra's love for the children of Mobliz allows her to become fully human. Terra stands at the airship's helm and unties her ponytail, savoring freedom at last.
Terra is a playable party member who excels in many areas. Her high magic stats, and her ability to equip female-exclusive equipment and other items make her a powerful user of Magic. Additionally, her decent physical stats, ability to equip including all swords (including Ultima Weapon and Lightbringer) and shields and all heavy armor also make her a very strong physical attacker. Terra's special ability, Trance, doubles any damage she deals while in use, meaning she can deal heavy damage in any role. Terra is one of two characters who naturally learns magic upon leveling up. Her Desperation Attack is Riot Blade, which deals magical damage to one enemy.
Creation and developmentEdit
The character that would become Terra Branford was originally a male half-esper in his early 20s whose design was changed to that of 18-year-old Terra. At the end of the game, she was supposed to disappear with the espers but the development team decided it would be "going too far", and had her only lose the magic part of her being.
After it was decided Final Fantasy VI would feature an ensemble cast with no clear main protagonist, everyone in the development team was encouraged to provide ideas for characters and their episodes. Terra's character and story were colored by influence from Hironobu Sakaguchi. 
During the choosing of characters for Dissidia Final Fantasy, Terra was Tetsuya Nomura's first choice for the hero representative of Final Fantasy VI, based partially on being featured prominently on Final Fantasy VI cover and in advertisements, and that, not counting Cosmos herself, there would be no females on Cosmos's side if not for her. The first artworks of Terra were not her final look: the design changes made from the first to final versions include a differently designed face, longer bangs, a slightly bustier body, and a paler shade of blonde hair.
In data texts for the game, there was a line omitted apparently for the flashback of Kefka placing the slave crown on Terra where she shouts, "No! Get away from me!" (a similar line is used when she casts Blizzara in Dissidia).
Terra's voice actress in the Japanese version of the Dissidia subseries is Yukari Fukui, who would later voice Oerba Dia Vanille from the Final Fantasy XIII series. In the English versions, she is voiced by Natalie Lander, who also voiced Emily Jefferson in The 3rd Birthday, also made by Square Enix. Both actresses voice her with a youthful, innocent and gentle (yet at times sharp) tone. In the original Final Fantasy VI, Terra only has one voice clip, a screeching wail, uttered when she first transforms into an esper form and flies off.
"Terra" is the main theme of Final Fantasy VI, and it is worked into the songs "Opening Theme", "Metamorphosis", "Save Them!" and "Ending Theme". The theme plays on the overworld map in the World of Balance, but is replaced by "Dark World" and later "Searching for Friends" in the World of Ruin. The piece's melody is incorporated into "Awakening", another theme associated with Terra that plays when she experiences a personal revelation, including when Terra awakens in Arvis's house at the beginning of the game.
"FINAL FANTASY VI Symphonic Poem: Born with the Gift of Magic" is a symphonic poem arranged and orchestrated by Roger Wanamo for the Final Symphony concert series. Final Fantasy VI was the first Final Fantasy game Wanamo played and was swept away by the story, the characters and the music. He wished to retell his experience with this arrangement that focuses on the journey of Terra Branford, the heroine born with the gift of magic. Over the course of the piece he examines the different stages of Terra's life that made her into the person she is.
Terra has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XIV as a Triple Triad card.
- Final Fantasy Tactics S as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Legends: Toki no Suishō as a summon.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015) as a playable character.
- 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 Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Explorers as a Trance.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
- World of Final Fantasy as a guest character. as a guest character.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad.
- Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game as a playable character (demo).
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
In the April 11, 2013 Producer's Letter Live for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, producer Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) showed a video to spotlight the Magitek Armor in the game, which was, at his instructions, inspired by the opening scene of Final Fantasy VI, and featured Terra, Biggs, and Wedge.
In Secret of Evermore, Terra appears among the crowd of spectators that includes other Final Fantasy VI characters, at the gladiator battle of Antiqua. She appears alongside Locke, Mog, Relm, Strago, and Umaro.
In Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, there are several obtainable Avatar Parts in the Avatar Menu based on Terra's Dissidia outfit, such as "FF6 Terra's Sword".
In Gunslinger Stratos 2, a costume based on Terra was released on November 6, 2014.
Tina is the shortened form of various names that end with -tina, including Christina (English for "Follower of Christ"), Martina (Latin for "Servant of Mars" and "God of War"), Valentina (Latin for "Strength" and "Health"), etc. Tina has no meaning of its own as a standalone name.
Terra" is the Latin word for "Earth". It is also present in some Latin-derived languages such as Italian and Portuguese."
Branford can be split into two distinct parts.
Brân is a word of Welsh origin that means "raven" or "crow", an animal associated with sorcery and shapeshifting in Irish and Welsh mythology. This suits Terra's esper roots as well as her unique command, Trance, by which she transforms into her esper form.
A "ford" describes the shallows of a body of water suitable for crossing unassisted.
- Terra is one of the few Final Fantasy characters who have non-human parents, along with Cecil Harvey, Golbez, Aerith Gainsborough and Seymour Guado.
- Along with Faris, Terra was Yoshitaka Amano's favorite character to design.
- In Final Fantasy XII, there is a little girl in Giza Plains named Terra who watches the pet Cockatrices raised there.
- With over two dozen pieces of artwork of her by Yoshitaka Amano, Terra has the most official artwork of any Final Fantasy character.
- Terra is mentioned in one of the possible questions in Captain Cryptic's Confounding Quiz in Final Fantasy XIII-2 where she is said to be an actress.
- In the Canadian manual for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Terra's last name is misspelled as "Bradford".
- In the GBA and iOS versions, there's a slight change to Terra's actions during her flashback: Originally, she doesn't move at all when the top generals and soldiers proceed to salute Emperor Gestahl after the latter gives his declaration of war speech. However, in the GBA and iOS versions, although still not saluting the emperor, she nonetheless moves in close along with the top generals while still staying a slight distance away from them and the Emperor. This is because the GBA and iOS versions had a smaller screen display compared to the PSX and SNES versions.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Final Fantasy VI Settei Shiryō-hen, p.10
- ↑ Final Fantasy: Kitase's Inside Story (Accessed: November 21, 2015) at 1Up.com
- ↑ V-Jump issue (in Japanese) (Accessed: September 25, 2009) at Infoseek
- ↑ The Making Of: Final Fantasy VI (Accessed: February 21, 2015) at Edge Online
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Final Symphony (Accessed: July 08, 2015) at Spielmusikk Konzerte
- ↑ FINAL FANTASY XIV: Developer's Blog (Accessed: November 22, 2015) at FINAL FANTASY XIV
- ↑ Bob Rork Woolsey (Accessed: July 18, 2014) at Chrono Compendium
- ↑ A Day in the Life of Yoshitaka Amano (Accessed: November 22, 2015) at 1UP.com