|War of the Magi|
|Final Fantasy VI|
|Valigarmanda, an Esper frozen in the war.|
|Result:||Exile of Espers from the world, while the Magi hide out in Thamasa. For the rest of the world, Magic is lost to myth and legends.|
|Espers and Magi||Espers and Magi|
The War of the Magi (魔大戦, Mataisen?) was a war fought 1,000 years before the events of Final Fantasy VI. A cataclysmic event that nearly destroyed the world, it forced humanity back centuries and set the groundwork for the game's events.
After the Warring Triad sealed themselves in stone, Espers and humans lived in peace for a time, until war broke out when humans attempted to seize Esper power for themselves. Espers and humans fought among themselves, and humans infused with Esper magic came into existence, called "magi". A battle of the war took place inside the Ancient Castle, in which the king, an Esper named Odin, was petrified defending the castle from enemies including enemy Espers and a powerful sorcerer. The Esper Valigarmanda was frozen alive during this war and buried within the earth, eventually discovered a thousand years later in the mines of Narshe. Various other Espers became Magicite and their shards were lost to the world.
During this time there came to be two "Ultima Weapons". The first was a destructive monster with incredible magical powers. The other was a powerful sword, which took its power from the user's vitality.
As the war drew to a close, the Espers created a new realm where they could live in peace and fled there en masse, taking with them the Warring Triad. Left to their own conflicts, the humans eventually turned on the magi, believing them to be the cause of the war, and many were hunted down and killed. A few escaped and founded the remote village of Thamasa. With the Espers and magi gone, magic faded from the world and into legends as humans began to rebuild.
The major idea in Final Fantasy VI is that the Gestahlian Empire is seeking to exploit the powers of the Espers via Magitek, which could lead to a second War of the Magi. The Returners ally with the Espers to destroy the Empire, leading to a smaller scale war that crushes the majority of the Empire. However, the Empire's leaders Emperor Gestahl and Kefka Palazzo still aspire for power and feign defeat to capture and absorb the powers of the Espers that destroyed their capital Vector. With their power the two entered the Esper realm and found the Warring Triad, which were raised about the Floating Continent. Eventually Kefka caused what everyone had feared when he disrupted the triad's balance of power, causing the end of the world which shifted the World of Balance into the World of Ruin, nearly destroying the known world.
- It is mentioned that Humbaba, Deathgaze and the Eight Dragons are ancient monsters sealed in the earth that are unleashed at the end of the world. Given that all of them are powerful magical beasts, they likely existed during the War of the Magi, but their exact origins and possible role in the war is unknown.