Final Fantasy for the Sixth Time Part 1
Ooohhhh my friends. My dear friends, welcome to this episode of RetroViewer. I’m back into the SNES after my brief interlude with 64, and this time I’m looking at arguably the greatest RPG series ever created. We’re back in Squaresoft’s world today for (in my opinion, as always) the greatest of their series. I present to you, Final Fantasy 6! …Or 3. Depending on where you were at the time. But more on that laterLET’SGETITON! (Note, there may be spoilers ahead! Those who’ve never played it, be warned!)
Point 1: Which one is that again?
Final Fantasy 6 was released in Japan as… well, Final Fantasy 6. As in, the sixth installment of the Final Fantasy series. However, this was only the case in Japan. America had only seen ever seen two Final Fantasies, (not counting the Game Boy extensions, Final Fantasy Legends). So, we got Final Fantasy 3. Same name, same game. Everybody with me? Good! Let’s roll on.
Point 2: Music for a World of Balance and Ruin
First and foremost, Final Fantasy is legendary for its music, but 3/6 had some of the greatest tunes ever. From the random encounters, the boss battles, even just the Towns, the music is phenomenal. Designed by Nobuo Uematsu, who is a master of composition and theme, Final Fantasy 6 has some of the best music, bar none. Nobuo has created classics for the entirety of his career, but none compare to the somber melody of The Dark World, and the kick-ass blood pumper that is Decisive Battle. (Look those up, I promise it’s worth your while).
Point 2: The Main Character!
I always thought that FF6 had taken an interesting approach, one that I haven’t really seen in any other FF game since the first. Unlike most other FF games, there is no clear main character. We start the game introduced to Terra, who the first portion of the game seems to be the primary focus. As we move forward and more characters are introduced, we find that the story isn’t really about her. The storyline is more focused on the characters that inhabit this world, those who live in a world where a fearsome Empirical power is terrorizing the world. There are 12 in total, each one with their own arcs, their own flaws, their own deep personalities. FF6 is incredibly elegant in bringing each of those characters to life and giving me a reason to care about each and every one.
One of them Suplexes a Train. I’m not making that up.
Point 3: The ‘Ol Switcharoo
As I said before, we’re introduced to a character and theme throughout in the beginning, and you feel like we’ve got a good handle on what’s going on: a strange young woman suffering from amnesia ends up being the final hope of the rebellion against a cruel and power-hungry Empire. Pretty straight forward, you meet some allies along the way, rediscover Magic, find that the court jester is basically a psychopath and a murderer.
Then you discover the Empire’s true aim, a legend that has long been hidden and if tampered with, could destroy the world! Again, standard story-line, we must save the world from the power-mad Emperor! Guess how that ends.
Soooooo, you don’t save the world. Yeah, that lunatic clown behind the scenes, (his name is Kefka) who’s been little more than a joke that goes too long? He ends up screwing with the thing that absolutely should not have been messed with and basically becomes a crazed vengeful God. And the world is destroyed. Now you start the next half of the game as another character, one who was introduced about halfway through, and you must find the rest of your team (plus a few more) and convince them that you can take still Kefka down.
But how to do so, when all hope is lost? What do you do when the bad guys actually win? Tune in next time, for the next installment of RetroViewer!
To be continued…