I mentioned before that I was playing Final Fantasy VI and I’m almost finished with the game. Since I’m almost done, I figured I would share some thoughts on the game.
To start, I play the original SNES version of the game. This was one of the most sought after Final Fantasy games to me and it’s been one I’ve wanted to play for a long time. We have all heard the debates about whether Final Fantasy VI is better or VII is better. Before playing this game, my favorite Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy IX. There are a lot of reasons why I believed that and I will share in a different blog. So, let’s start talking about the story:
Final Fantasy games has always had some great stories up through the first one, all the way until Final Fantasy X (XI had a story? …I kid…or do I?). Regardless which one is your favorite, Squaresoft always nailed the story. Final Fantasy VI features another lovable cast rich with personalities that will rival real human beings. You begin as Terra, a Magitech Knight who’s sole reason for being is to be a soldier for the Empire. The Empire is looking for a relics (not relating to relics you can use in the game) that have magical powers beyond measure. These magical stones are called Espers. Which the game focuses on quite a bit. An Esper, is basically a summon. An eidolon or an Aeon in other games.
Then we met Kefka. The main antagonist of the game. Kefka is the general of the empire. His exact details aren’t known in the game, but he is one of the best soldiers the Empire has; even though you kick has ass throughout much of the game. At one point you see the true Kefka and how he really can be pain in the ass. Terra and Kefka have a lot to do with each other. And they clash a bunch of times. They are both caught in a conflict that would spell the rebirth of the War of the Magi, that almost destroyed all of civilization nearly a millennium ago.
So, basically, Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy X has the same story. (I kid again, but they are similar in a way).
Remember how I said that Final Fantasy VI had a lot of personality? Well, that’s because there are a lot of characters to talk to…and to play as. Some that will stay in your party forever and some that show up for a minute. I have already talked about Terra and Kefka, but allow me to delve into what they can do for you in battle. Also note: There are 13 characters in the game, I’m only going through about 4-6 of them here.
Terra - Terra is your mage. There I said it. She is also the only mage that I know, who is the central protagonist. Final Fantasy creator Yasunori Kitase said that there has no main protagonist. However, given the fact that she’s part of a certain clan and that she is heavily focused, I truly believe that she is the main protagonist. She is a huge magic caster who will be one of the most focused when it comes to casting spells. Terra is the only one who can inherit learn Ultima at LVL 99; so she has that going for her. She is also a decent fighter in her own right. Even with standard weapons, she kicks a lot of ass.
Locke - Lock is a treasure steal–err…TREASURE HUNTER. He’s also another character that you meet at the beginning of the game. Locke is one of the better characters in the game even if only for his steal ability, and later Capture, which you can use from a relic. He’s probably the one with the most spunk out of all of them.
Edgar - Edgar is the king of Figaro and probably one of the strongest characters in the game physically. Edgar controls South Figaro and is loyal to the Empire…until Kefka decides to change that. Edgar is a powerhouse using Tools. Tools are essentially another way to physically attack an enemy. He isn’t so hot on the magic, but tools and later his Dragoon abilities are top notch.
Sabin – Sabin is the best character in the game. Not only is his attack with claws devastating, his Blitz attacks are off the charts. There is not one point in this game where Sabin isn’t broken beyond repair. The moment you pick up Sabin is when he is broken. Blitz attacks are physical and at time magical attacks that can devastate any enemy in the game. Just talk to Grand Train after Sabin suplexes the damn thing. Also, his last attack will just kill anyone in one hit.
Celes – Celes is just like Terra in the fact that she is an Empire soldier, however, she is much higher class. She is infused with magicite that allows her to cast magic and learn more of them. Of course, just like everyone else, she can learn her magic through Espers, but she also can learn through leveling herself up. Celes can also dish it out physically as well. She has a ton of great armor and is comparable to Terra and even Edgar.
Shadow - The last character I would like to discuss is Shadow. Shadow is one of the most unique characters in the game (and there are plenty of them). Shadow is a ninja with a dog named Interceptor (If I get a dog, I’m naming him that). Shadow has a very weird history and you’ll catch glimpses of his story through the gameplay. But, most of the time, he’ll just leave your party…bastard. Shadow can deal the damage as well. Mostly physically, he can throw items at enemies. Items like swords, rods and even some custom weapons like Shurikens and Skeans.
This is classic Final Fantasy here. This is one of the most advanced battle systems and gameplay systems that had come out to date. Not only does it feature full range on how you can equip your character, but the leveling system works in such a way that allows your players to learn whatever they want. The only thing that’s persistent with characters is that they all have their own set of abilities whether it be Tools, Steal, or Blitz.
Battle is pretty simple. You have the Active Time Battle system that Square has been known for; I noticed that toward the end of the game, enemy scripts were really fast. There is a lot of action in the Fanatic’s Tower that really keeps you on your toes. Most of the game has great pacing.
You learn abilities in different ways. If you want magic spells certain characters can learn them on their own, while others can learn them using Espers. At one point in the game, you will start gaining AP for your magic spells. I found this a pretty good way to learn magic and extremely logical. More logical than I can say for learning magic through items, ala Final Fantasy IX. You can learn magic at different rates depending on the type of magic. At certain points you can learn certain spells faster with other Espers. This makes learning lower level spells faster for characters with no magic.
You can equip a bunch of items to use as protection and your offense. You can also equip Relics; in this game, it’s akin to accessories in other games. All relics have a certain effect. Economizer will allow a magic caster to cast all magic for just 1MP. This is HUGE for later parts of the game and one that I put on Terra at all times. Other relics like the Sprint Boots will allow the user to walk faster in the world and the Dragoonboots allows the user to use the command “Jump”. This allows the user to use a very powerful strike on an enemy.
Nobuo Uematsu is back at it again. This time, he comes out full force and delivers one of the best soundtracks in the game’s history. During my play I have been listening to the game’s soundtrack on the side and one track or rather one set of tracks that got my attention was played during the Opera: Maria and Draco. That’s the play that happens in the World of Balance. It features a whole set of songs that play during that whole scene. The opera begins with a song called: Aria de Mezzo Carattere.
Aria begins the opera with a ho hum attempt at trying to replicate singing. But, the song itself is pretty outstanding. Which then brings me to the The Wedding which sets up the tone for the battle of Ralse and Draco over Maria. During the The Wedding scene a fierce battle that eventually ends with Draco winning the hand of Maria and in the end or “Grand Finale?”, Maria then thanks Draco for his bravery. If you wish to hear the orchestral version of these songs (they’re all in one), check out Opera Maria and Draco.
Of course, the Final Fantasy VI’s soundtrack is more than just the opera. The battle themes once again make their appearance and all three of them are very fun to listen to and love. Another theme that I thought was rather good was the entitled Dark World which, of course, is the theme for when you enter the World of Ruin. I should also mention that Dancing Mad, the final ending boss theme, is also amazing…but you should already know that by now.
Final Fantasy VI is a grand game. I am still in the midst of finishing it, but this impression has turned out to be a whole review. And since I am the closing moments, I figured I would write this 1500 word essay about why this game is good. But, is it better than other Final Fantasy’s? I will discuss that in a future blog. Final Fantasy VI is a great game. Probably one of the best in the series. I have finally done myself the favor in playing this game to see for myself. Kefka is a maniac. Locke is dapper and Terra is strong. The world is full of mystery and wonder and the gameplay hits a great balance of grind and exploratory.
Final Fantasy VI is a wonder and one of the best SNES era games to come out during its time and should be remembered for years and years to come.