• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

RTTP: Final Fantasy VI

Lynx_7

Member
Apr 27, 2013
2,955
0
350
Brazil
Great thread Jeff, I love to read other people's experiences and thoughts on games like this. These personal anecdotes are generally more interesting to read than overly technical analysis to me.

I'm thinking about replaying VI myself for the 30th anniversary, probably with the BNW patch since I find the original game a little too easy and unbalanced (and also because I've already beaten it vanilla 2 times, so I want something fresh).
 

JeffZero

Purple Drazi
Dec 14, 2014
8,238
0
0
33
Mattoon, Illinois
In South Figaro, we find a man who doesn't like strangers. He'll talk to us if we should bring him cider. I'd love to bring him cider, since a nearby kid told me the fellow once served the richest man in town, and that means he must have stories to tell. But there's currently no cider to give him. But there will be.

Speaking of strangers, you know you're in for it when a theme like Shadow's kicks up on your way inside the local pub. What's funny is that when you try to interact with the guy, Locke's first line is "at the very least you could give me a response..." What did Locke actually say to him? What would Locke say to him? What could possibly compel Locke to strike up a conversation with him? The mysteries in this game may forever go unanswered.

Let's mosey, though. I've already spent two paragraphs on nonsense. Shadow's introduction "card" is among the finest, bar none. I love how Final Fantasy VI introduces its playable characters. Black screen, catchy quote.



You can't beat this. Edgar then remarks that Shadow would slit his mama's throat for a nickel. No translation can beat this. What a line. What a damn line. If you try to interact with Interceptor, Shadow's dog, the assassin says the dog eats strangers. You see, strangers are not well-liked in South Figaro. This we have established.



Also, I can't find a picture, but there's a guy laying in bed in the inn here and if you get in bed with him he'll just... talk to you about the Empire. Completely casually. No fraks given. That's just the kind of place this is.

After purchasing some relics and watching a conspiratorial millionaire pen a letter that will sell the town out to the Empire in short order, we pilfer elixirs from clocks, find more bearded men who say their ship isn't going anywhere, and visit a cozy abode where signs of Sabin overwhelm Edgar. Then it's off to...



...Mount Kolts, where we're following a man in black. No, not that man in black, it's not quite 1997 yet. As he hops about, I level up as desired, and steal bandannas from Brawlers. Stealing bandannas takes a very long time indeed, so there's no better time to browse NeoGAF from the comfort of my iPad 2 and read Final Fantasy XV posts all-the-while. I take care to cure when necessary, and after a desperate struggle, I slap bandannas on party members.



I guess you could say they look like this now.

We find a certain Vargas, who towers above us fifteen feet into the air once battle begins. In many ways I feel I've entered Shadow of the Colossus. Then I remember that this is totally normal for the SNES games. After killing his bears -- can you imagine mastering martial arts in the mountains to the point that bears heed your call? -- he hits us with a Gale Force that sweeps us off our feet. But Sabin is here! I input the blitz command for Pummel without even thinking about it, because some habits die hard. We end the battle instantly.



I just thought this looked cool is all.

Vargas dies, fooled by the evil in his own heart. When he and Sabin's master -- Vargas' father -- perished, he thought darkly and now he's paid the price. There's not much depth behind this scenario, but that's okay. It's a flashy way to introduce a character the plot's been teasing for a little while. Terra thinks Sabin looks like a bodybuilder. I mean, she's not wrong. Sabin asks if a "bear" like him could help out. Sabin, bro, we just fought your rival to the death. He had bears. You are not a bear. Edgar and Sabin blink at one-another adorably and Sabin joins the party.

By the way, Auto-Crossbow is early Final Fantasy VI's greatest achievement.

At the Returners' Hideout, we meet Banon. This man has seen some stuff. You can tell because his beard is tremendous. Several unnamed subordinates who all make me think of Cid Highwind for some reason walk around and sell me trinkets. Banon tells Terra the story of Pandora's Box, which is a curious element for a Final Fantasy game. I wonder, was this Pandora's Box in the original Japanese as well? Not that there's anything wrong with it, of course! I'd simply forgotten how on-the-nose this is.

Locke speaks of someone dear to him who had been imprisoned by the Empire. Edgar tells Terra he would never force her to join the resistance, or else they'd be as bad as the Empire. Banon asks Terra to be their ray of hope. Terra declines. Banon again asks Terra to be their ray of hope. Terra again declines. Lastly, Banon asks Terra to be their ray of hope. But wouldn't you know it, Terra declines.



I made this image myself for added emphasis. I'm so proud of my artistic aptitude and you should be too.

One of the Cids Highwind dies with a message that South Figaro's been invaded and I curse a certain millionaire.

A plan is launched for Locke to infiltrate South Figaro whilst the rest of the team heads for Narshe. Edgar wishes to see this esper for himself and apparently so does everyone else. Terra understands that tagging along is the only way she might begin to understand herself. There's some nice depth here, by the way; she's been questioning whether Locke's right that there's someone waiting for her who she should be fighting for against imperial dominance. She's questioning quite a bit, as well she ought to be. So much on her plate and she barely even remembers her name.

A Cid hands us a Genji Glove. Sometimes, kids, saying no thrice is the key to power untold.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605
Thinking back to the Figaro section, I always used to go solo hunting with Edgar for a while before you join up as a party. always equipped him with the mithril pike that was unequipped from Mog in the mines.
 

KojiKnight

Member
May 24, 2012
20,243
9
630
Did Amano ever draw Terra with green hair? If not is there an official reason why they made it green in game? I realize this happened quite a bit with Amano's concept vs what the sprites could handle but I never understood through reasoning on the hair colors.

Closest I can find is the one on the left.

I take that back, also this one.

My guess is most of his art work is from early design, and the green hair wss a fairly late decision.

(Edit) actually those might be re colors! I'll check my official books when I get home. As good excuse as any to look at them again.
 

DiipuSurotu

Banned
May 31, 2010
23,399
6
0
www.youtube.com
Did Amano ever draw Terra with green hair? If not is there an official reason why they made it green in game? I realize this happened quite a bit with Amano's concept vs what the sprites could handle but I never understood through reasoning on the hair colors.

There has never been an official statement, but the obvious guess is they made it green to differentiate her from Celes.

And by "they" I mean Tetsuya Nomura, who was one of the game's art directors. While Amano was the outside artist commissioned for concept art of the characters, Nomura was the development team member at Square who drew the characters' final designs as seen in the game.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
2
630
Madrid, Spain
I kind of feel sorry for those of you that didn't get to play FFVI when it was the pinnacle of home entertainment, especially coming from the much beloved but visually simple FFIV. I played it on release (allowing time for import shipping, because it was never released in Europe), and I blown away by its visuals. Its dark, mature story was virtually unheard of until then, and its characters, music, gameplay and everything else was 10/10. It stated my favorite game of all time for many years, even after the equally incredible Chrono Trigger. It was simply otherwordly in a way no other game was.

SNES era Squaresoft is probably untouched by any other developer at any other time in history. Even my beloved Platinum Games stands a small step below them.
 

Gaffi

Member
Aug 29, 2014
264
0
290
There has never been an official statement, but the obvious guess is they made it green to differentiate her from Celes.

And by "they" I mean Tetsuya Nomura, who was one of the game's art directors. While Amano was the outside artist commissioned for concept art of the characters, Nomura was the development team member at Square who drew the characters' final designs as seen in the game.
Yeah I didn't really think about it but both Relm and Celes are blonde yeah... green just seems such an extreme change, though it kind of adds to her mystic nature I'll admit. Also isn't her hair technically pale pale blue in game and portrait?

Also also, I love how you feel the need to check every clock in the game, elixirs galore.
 

jb1234

Member
Aug 10, 2009
17,216
1
0
Seattle, WA
I kind of feel sorry for those of you that didn't get to play FFVI when it was the pinnacle of home entertainment, especially coming from the much beloved but visually simple FFIV. I played it on release (allowing time for import shipping, because it was never released in Europe), and I blown away by its visuals. Its dark, mature story was virtually unheard of until then, and its characters, music, gameplay and everything else was 10/10. It stated my favorite game of all time for many years, even after the equally incredible Chrono Trigger. It was simply otherwordly in a way no other game was.

SNES era Squaresoft is probably untouched by any other developer at any other time in history. Even my beloved Platinum Games stands a small step below them.

Yeah, there was nothing else on the SNES that matched what FFVI did at the time. Truly an astonishing game.
 

archvile7

Member
Jun 13, 2015
161
3
350
I definitely loved all of the side bosses and different character sub quests towards the end of the game. They further fleshed out most of the characters in a game with a very large roster. The World of Ruin story event was pretty amazing for it's time. I never played the GBA version of VI but apparently they added some more endgame dungeons, bosses, and Omega Weapon.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,801
0
0
Played this back in Winter 2015 after Majora's Mask 3D and it was freaking amazing. My last RPG experience at the time was Chrono Trigger, and I was already blown away by it, but FFVI took things to a whole new level. The cast of characters were extremely memorable as all hell (favourites are pretty much the ENTIRE party, which isn't something I can say about a lot of RPGs).

And then there was the best final boss battle I have ever played:


Amazing. Atmospheric. Fantastic. All I can say about the final battle.
 

Valentus

Member
Dec 19, 2010
3,883
0
0
The best RPG of the 16 bit era.
The best final fantasy

That was the game (along with dragon warrior) that make me inlove forever of Japanese RPGs.

I loved EVERYTHING about this game, everything.

I love the music
I love the fact that this game has no main character, all the gang is the main character
I love the battle system
I love the visuals

...And i love Kefka. For me, still unmatched in Final Fantasy villians. Even Final Fantasy tactics, with his genius writing, hasnt had a powerfull villian like kefka.

It hurts my soul that this game's universe hasnt been expanded like other games (with sequels, spinoffs, audio dramas, etc)... but its true that the ending closed the plot real well.

A true masterpiece that doesnt deserve the steam/mobile remaster we got.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605
Let's mosey, though. I've already spent two paragraphs on nonsense. Shadow's introduction "card" is among the finest, bar none. I love how Final Fantasy VI introduces its playable characters. Black screen, catchy quote.

His theme rocked my thirteen-year old self when it first came on. Still chills to this day.

Here's a remix: Fistful of Nickels

Funny thing, I always thought Shadow was wearing a hood (the brown part in the sprite was around his face) I know better, but it still looks super goofy and endearing to me.

I'm enjoying this retrospective a lot. Keep it up!
 

Slythe

Member
Aug 17, 2015
650
0
255
Ahh, cool. I think the iOS/Android versions of IV are based on the aesthetics found in the PSP version? I thiiiink? In which case it's basically slicker-looking SNES/PSX paint job. It's 2D instead of the DS' 3D version. Lacks the voice acting/additional scenes/augments/etc but it's faithful to the original and then includes the GBA version's party-switching and optional trials at the end.

...I could be way off-base here. My FFIV knowledge only goes so far. Goodness, there are so many versions of FFIV.

And yeah, eh, I don't dig the mobile look for FFVI at all. I think FFV's new style "offends" me far less, since that game's always been on the brighter side, but VI's somewhat darker aesthetic doesn't seem to be present from the screens I've seen. Although I'm curious how that style looks with the World of Ruin...

The iOS port of IV is a smoother looking version of the DS version (which is 3D and has extended cutscenes). I actually thought it was a great port.

Regarding artstyle of the V and VI ports, I think you might really be on to something here. V is a bright adventure with a lot of goofiness, so the brighter art style actually fits it quite well.

The dark art direction of VI however is a really awkward fit with graphical style they've gone with on iOS, and this might play a role in my difficulty connecting with the world and taking it seriously. FWIW, the world of ruin looks awful on iOS:

 

Sephzilla

Member
Feb 13, 2013
54,446
10
405
While FF7 is my personal favorite in the series, FF6 is the game that I would say is the best in the series. I really love the combat system in this game, the story is really good, the art style is fantastic, and the roster of characters is so deep and everyone feels very fleshed out as a character. The only weakness this game has is Kefka - who's an incredibly one dimensional villain.
 

Slythe

Member
Aug 17, 2015
650
0
255
The only weakness this game has is Kefka - who's an incredibly one dimensional villain.

This has really disappointed me with this game. For years I've heard about Kefka, and I was expecting him to be some nihilistic Joker-esque character with some great moments. So far he has be a shallow clown (I'm in WoR).
 

Valentus

Member
Dec 19, 2010
3,883
0
0
This has really disappointed me with this game. For years I've heard about Kefka, and I was expecting him to be some nihilistic Joker-esque character with some great moments. So far he has be a shallow clown (I'm in WoR).

The actions of kefka through the Game i didnt see in any other final Fantasy villian.

If we Talk about unidimensional villians, exdeath and golbez are worst.
 

aggienader

Member
May 28, 2015
825
0
0
Texas
The best OST ever in a videogame. I absolutely love the main theme. It's been in my head for countless years, and whenever I eventually find it from a vendor in FF XV it will be all I ever listen to in that game. But in truth the soundtrack for XV is pretty great too.
 

PSFan

Member
Jan 28, 2016
1,854
179
405
The best FF game to me. And also still my very favorite.

And I'll take Celes over Terra anytime. I thought Celes was a much better character and she is my favorite FF female character overall. Locke is my favorite male character too.
 

Skulldead

Member
Nov 20, 2014
1,995
0
255
Quebec
My favorite FF by far, i like everything about it... The second World map is the most amazing thing i remember in gaming. Re-find all the character in any other order that i want was the most amazing game design pieces ever. This is easy in my top 5 RPG of all time.
 

JeffZero

Purple Drazi
Dec 14, 2014
8,238
0
0
33
Mattoon, Illinois
The past two days ended up far busier than I'd intended. :p I'll reply to posts and submit an update sometime today; I'm currently engaged in the first scenario. Not sure how many of them I'll knock out just yet, but it'll be at least one of them.

Looking forward to opinions on the order in which folks complete these! What a great chapter.
 

Gaffi

Member
Aug 29, 2014
264
0
290
I love how Shadow is a ninja but his music theme sounds like Old West music.
Well how much do you know about Shadow's backstory? It actually makes alot of sense. The layered and implicit history of Shadow that is mostly optional is by far my favorite aspect of FFVI.
 

jb1234

Member
Aug 10, 2009
17,216
1
0
Seattle, WA
The past two days ended up far busier than I'd intended. :p I'll reply to posts and submit an update sometime today; I'm currently engaged in the first scenario. Not sure how many of them I'll knock out just yet, but it'll be at least one of them.

Looking forward to opinions on the order in which folks complete these! What a great chapter.

I usually save Sabin for last as he's by far the longest.
 
Mar 4, 2016
892
0
0
The past two days ended up far busier than I'd intended. :p I'll reply to posts and submit an update sometime today; I'm currently engaged in the first scenario. Not sure how many of them I'll knock out just yet, but it'll be at least one of them.

Looking forward to opinions on the order in which folks complete these! What a great chapter.

I think I usually go Terra, Locke, Sabin. Shortest to longest if I'm remembering correctly.
 
Mar 21, 2005
22,116
2
0
I remember a friend at school telling me he saw the FFIII commercial on MTV, so that night I stayed up all night to see if I could catch it. Every damn commercial break my eyes were glued.

(Important to note, back in fall '94 MTV still actually played music videos... and a ton of Beavis & Butthead)

Finally - around 11pm - it came on...

https://youtu.be/d15qmRzn2Pc


Yup. That was it. Not great, but the very fact that I had seen the commercial for my most anticipated game ever was huge. It made it seem more real to me. Amazingly, I still didn't have an exact release date pinned down. That was frustrating and I certainly don't miss those days.
Only time I ever saw it on TV.

edit:
and for those interested, here's Chrystene Ells site showing some of her 'work in progress' puppet work for that very commercial: http://chrystene.com/archives/final-fantasy-iii-commercial-1992/
Strangely, she has it dated as 1992 though. :/
 

JeffZero

Purple Drazi
Dec 14, 2014
8,238
0
0
33
Mattoon, Illinois
Played this back in Winter 2015 after Majora's Mask 3D and it was freaking amazing. My last RPG experience at the time was Chrono Trigger, and I was already blown away by it, but FFVI took things to a whole new level. The cast of characters were extremely memorable as all hell (favourites are pretty much the ENTIRE party, which isn't something I can say about a lot of RPGs).

And then there was the best final boss battle I have ever played:


Amazing. Atmospheric. Fantastic. All I can say about the final battle.

Oh wow, are you a relative newcomer to RPGs at-large, or just 90's Squaresoft fare? Either way, welcome aboard. Would love to hear your thoughts on FFVII, FFX, FFT, and Xenogears someday. :D

The best RPG of the 16 bit era.
The best final fantasy

That was the game (along with dragon warrior) that make me inlove forever of Japanese RPGs.

I loved EVERYTHING about this game, everything.

I love the music
I love the fact that this game has no main character, all the gang is the main character
I love the battle system
I love the visuals

...And i love Kefka. For me, still unmatched in Final Fantasy villians. Even Final Fantasy tactics, with his genius writing, hasnt had a powerfull villian like kefka.

It hurts my soul that this game's universe hasnt been expanded like other games (with sequels, spinoffs, audio dramas, etc)... but its true that the ending closed the plot real well.

A true masterpiece that doesnt deserve the steam/mobile remaster we got.

So, at first I read your user name as "Verendus" and I damn near spit my coffee out in surprise. /random

Yeah, I really wish this game were better-received in Japan. Square has to know how much the West enjoys it; maybe now that the Japanese market's growing increasingly less relevant to their bottom line they'll treat it with stronger emphasis. It sounds kind of heartless saying something like this, but that's how things are now, and I've seen Western FFVI diehards question its relative lack of presence for entirely too long... >_>

The iOS port of IV is a smoother looking version of the DS version (which is 3D and has extended cutscenes). I actually thought it was a great port.

Regarding artstyle of the V and VI ports, I think you might really be on to something here. V is a bright adventure with a lot of goofiness, so the brighter art style actually fits it quite well.

The dark art direction of VI however is a really awkward fit with graphical style they've gone with on iOS, and this might play a role in my difficulty connecting with the world and taking it seriously. FWIW, the world of ruin looks awful on iOS:


Thanks for the intel. Makes a lot of sense. Ack, though. The World of Ruin's aesthetic is something I distinctly recall being one of my favorite aspects of the game. Seeing its presentation here makes me ever-glad I didn't spring for the mobile port.

I think I usually go Terra, Locke, Sabin. Shortest to longest if I'm remembering correctly.

I do believe you are! Sabin's is certainly the longest, at any rate.

edit:
and for those interested, here's Chrystene Ells site showing some of her 'work in progress' puppet work for that very commercial: http://chrystene.com/archives/final-fantasy-iii-commercial-1992/
Strangely, she has it dated as 1992 though. :/

Both these links were super-cool. I'd never seen 'em before. Thanks!
 

Widge

Member
Jun 4, 2009
2,739
0
0
Manchester
www.inverted-audio.com
I kind of feel sorry for those of you that didn't get to play FFVI when it was the pinnacle of home entertainment

This'll be me. I tried to play it a year or two ago but it just didn't resonate whatsoever. I think I needed to be on it at the time. Didn't final fantasy until the PS1 despite having a SNES. Secret Of Mana was my game back then.

I kinda have to live FFVI through the eyes of others now.
 

BumRush

Member
Dec 4, 2009
15,756
5
630
Whenever I see FFVI in a thread title, a very small part of me thinks a remake has been announced...
 

CrichtonKicks

Member
Nov 6, 2004
4,354
0
1,130
The dark art direction of VI however is a really awkward fit with graphical style they've gone with on iOS, and this might play a role in my difficulty connecting with the world and taking it seriously. FWIW, the world of ruin looks awful on iOS:


Can someone show the same screen from the SNES version? It's been over 10 years since I beat the game and I can't recall what it looked like there.

I've played a fair bit of FF6 on Steam and using a mod to remove the bilinear filter I think it looks pretty good but I haven't got to the WoR yet.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605
Well how much do you know about Shadow's backstory? It actually makes alot of sense. The layered and implicit history of Shadow that is mostly optional is by far my favorite aspect of FFVI.

Those dreams were really something. I named my first Everquest character Baram back in the day :)

I think I usually go Terra, Locke, Sabin. Shortest to longest if I'm remembering correctly.

I think I did this too most playthroughs.. I forget, does Shadow leave your party earlier if you do the scenarios in different orders?
 

Gaffi

Member
Aug 29, 2014
264
0
290
Those dreams were really something. I named my first Everquest character Baram back in the day :)
That's awesome! I name all my custom characters after Shadow's real name
Clyde
. Also I wonder why they named the buddy Baram. I believe his name originally translated to Billy. As in Billy the Kid, which makes so much more sense.
 

MegaSackman

Member
Aug 14, 2014
5,249
0
0
The only weakness this game has is Kefka - who's an incredibly one dimensional villain.

I agree, that's why I always found Sephirot to be a better villain, at least it has reasons and development to act like he acted. Sadly the fame got him in every game to the point of overexposure.
 

Slythe

Member
Aug 17, 2015
650
0
255
Is the iOS Version good? I'm thinking of getting it...

I'm wrapping up my playthrough on iOS now. Also first time playing the game. Here are some pros and cons:

Pros:
- couldn't be more convenient having it on the phone
- game is very stable and I can leave it running in the background if I need to stop playing for a bit or I'm in a dungeon where I can't save
- the menu/turn based combat feels very fast with a touchscreen. Once you learn where everything is it's very quick to navigate

Cons:
- Artstyle is bad. Really bad. Characters are overly colorful and cartoony in a distracting way, and the have portraits during dialogue that range from okay to eye damaging. Also as noted in discussion earlier FFVI's dark asthetics are a big part of its charm, and this version has a graphical style that clashes with this badly
- movement is done with a virtual dpad, but it feels awkward and goes away quickly if you take your finger off the screen. This results in a lot of tapping on the screen to get the dpad to reappear

Overall I give the port a C. It's very playable and convenient, but the bad visuals really make you question at what cost.

Side note: I don't know much about translations so someone else might have to offer perspective on this. The translation on iOS seems fine, but kind of goofy and slapsticky. Not sure if that's normal or not.
 

Mcdohl

Member
Feb 19, 2015
2,129
2
415
Seattle
If you think about it, it's the most bittersweet FF of all (well I have yet to finish XV).

But think about it, the world was devastated and brought to shit.

Even after you finish the game, there's hope to rebuild sure, but the damage is done.

The heroes did not win in this game, they failed and then did everything they could to set things right.

That was beautiful, human.

It was a bunch of people trying to do the right thing, there's humility to it.
 

Zakkath

Member
Mar 8, 2009
1,137
0
0
Your thread made me want to replay this game again. I now realize how much I missed it (and missed a good jrpg in general). I am now playing showing it to my son and we`re having a great time. He renamed the Moogles : Googles and had a good laugh at their "Dance" move that caused a cave in ;)
 

Mcdohl

Member
Feb 19, 2015
2,129
2
415
Seattle
I agree, that's why I always found Sephirot to be a better villain, at least it has reasons and development to act like he acted. Sadly the fame got him in every game to the point of overexposure.

Kefka was the victim of a failed magitek experiment that drove him insane.

Kefka is thirty-five years old and Emperor Gestahl's right-hand man. At least sixteen years ago Kefka was the first experimental Magitek Knight, which gifted him magical power, but shattered his sanity as the process had not been perfected yet. Kefka became a cruel, destructive madman, and acquired a reputation as one of the most dangerous men in the Gestahlian Empire. ahlian Empire.
 

JeffZero

Purple Drazi
Dec 14, 2014
8,238
0
0
33
Mattoon, Illinois
On today's exciting episode, a 1994 JRPG river's name is funny in 2002, an octopus asks not to be messed with [kids], there's a blue light special in Narshe Cave, and birthday suits are all the rave. Kick back with some cider and enjoy the penned nonsense.



Lete River is an on-rails all-raft RPG with choices that matter. We're talking "up, left, or right." I think one of these options got retranslated as "straight" in some version of the game, but I might be mistaken. It's been a while. Anyway, I inadvertently selected the optimal path, despite having intended to level up a bit during the journey. Hate when that happens.

I'm sure most of you know, but there's an old-school grinding trick here involving a rubber band and the ability to leave your console on overnight. Set the cursor to memory so that Banon's constantly healing everybody and Edgar's constantly Auto-Crossbowing foes into the next dimension. Wake up to high-leveled characters. I've never done this, although I was mildly tempted once. The thing is, you'd lose out on the chance to boost stats with Espers, wouldn't you? Sounds like kind of a raw deal to me. They add up, as I recall.

Along the way, we first encounter this guy.



A lot of people love Ultros. Currently, I'm on the fence. I think folks dig just how random he is, and how his shenanigans are purely self-serving; a kind of farcical third party interest. Or perhaps they just think a talking octopus is totes legit. I won't deny either of these charms. There is a charm to Ultros, this much is true. I don't remember worshiping the ground he... er, slithers on, though, but it's early times yet.

"Yaaaaoouch! Seafood soup!" is still a tremendous line. After the feast, Sabin dives in to take Ultros out, failing. The current takes him to some twice-be-damned realm and his brother is left with a sigh. There's a real comical moment here where Edgar and Banon agree that he'll pop up any second and it just never happens. This game does know how to have fun.

Now we're presented with one of FFVI's several iconic screens.



That is one seriously gaudy message box.

There are lots of reasons I tend toward Terra's scenario first. It's short, it's immediately relevant considering it starts out with you still on Lete River, it... well, come to think of it, I suppose that's it. But it's enough. With Terra, Edgar, and Banon as our active party, we follow the water until we're suddenly on the world map. Then it's a fast walk to Narshe.

Banon and Edgar take turns getting punched by guards. Terra feels positively dreadful about this whole unfortunate arrangement. There are many theories on where Banon goes after the one year timeskip. I like to think he died fighting the good fight, because I'm really kind of morbid and it's rough going in that era. It's entirely possible this Narshe guard's punch catches up with him, though, and he simply breaks his hip and watches the world fall into ruin. Then again, how old is Banon, anyway?

His Wiki page claims he's 54. Now, I don't know about you, but 54 isn't all that ancient to me. I had a sneaking suspicion he wasn't the 70+ fellow fans often seem to think, given his luxurious lion's mane is still in full yellow bloom, but y'never know these days.

In conclusion, we've learned that Banon isn't really all that old, so he probably didn't break his hip, so he very likely died in a blaze of lionly glory at some unknown point.

But right. Narshe.



There are so many moogles here. Not to go on another tangent, but I'm going on another tangent. Have we ever "decided" what the deal is with Mog serving as narrator for a while? These moogles are all too merrily greeting my party with many, many kupos upon my arrival. I've always gotten the feeling they've foreseen my entry. So chill, so composed. Prescient moogles would explain a lot. On the other hand, and yes, I know, this is in fact most probably the truth, Mog as narrator could mean absolutely nothing and the moogles are saying kupo because when you're a moogle and you're not in Final Fantasy IX and it's not yet Mog's turn to join, what else are you gonna say?



Obligatory reminder that Stiltzkin is amazing.

Ahead on their way, Terra and Company chance upon a blue light that serves as guide to eluding a security sensor. It's remarkable that this checkpoint informs studious onlookers on just what it takes to proceed. We charge through, and suddenly "Old Man" is "Arvis." Arvis and Banon agree that Terra might help in calming the people. I want to mention Arvis' description of the mood here in Narshe. Mild berserk. He says his people have gone mildly berserk. Friends, if anyone ever describes a town's populace as mildly berserk, don't break for gas.



I don't know what this is and I don't want you to tell me either.

Locke's done a good job doing the things he did off-screen here in South Figaro, but he's on-screen now, so it's time to make tracks. An old man wants cider, but we established this on a previous date. When Locke attempts polite conversation with imperial troopers -- as he did with Shadow the last time he was here -- they tell him "scram, blockhead." Folks who were not so young as I was in 1994, kindly inform your topic creator: was blockhead actually something people used as an insult?

Let's see what Google thinks.

Tony Simon AKA Blockhead was born and raised in Downtown Manhattan, in New York City. The son of an artist, he found a fondness for music at a young age.

...Well, that was weird.

There are some merchants sprawled about and I can beat them up and steal their clothes. This may cement Locke Cole as the Final Fantasy franchise's most extraordinary thief. Zidane Tribal and Balthier Bunansa are impressive characters through and through, but have either of them successfully pilfered attire off an opponent's back in the heat of battle? I'd like examples of moments either Zidane or Balthier pulled off a heist quite like this..



Fine, we'll go with the mobile port for this one. Better to see the merchant's shock and embarrassment this way, anyway.

Locke also steals a green trooper's clothing. He tells a kid the password's courage, and it's a shame it isn't rosebud. He's fetched cider and beaten senseless the merchant who thought to deliver it. The informant millionaire -- a true villain, to be sure, but I reckon when the town gets ravaged later he gets what he paid for -- does at least feel bad. He says he didn't even need the money. Man, General Leo's a sweet-talker. There's a nice beat here where you can chat up imperial troops for their thoughts on the war and the Empire's next moves. This one guy, he's just having a bad day through and through, and a bad career, too. I like to think he's one of those scattered couple of imperial survivors after the fall.

Locke chances upon a woman who will change his life.



As memory serves, Celes Chere is my favorite 2D Final Fantasy character. (Locke's in second place.) Memory is a fickle thing, so we'll see how I look upon her now, all these long hard years later. But for now, introductions. Her title card says she's a product of Magitek engineering (thanks for the spoiler, game) and her spirit's as pure as snow. It just so happens to have snowed here in Illinois recently and I tell you, I shoveled Celes' pure spirit for some time. The soldiers here punch the heck out of her. I seem to recall this being toned-down considerably by Advance. Is that correct? I'm not imagining this, right? Anyway, it'd lose impact if true.

Seeing this, Locke hides up on a rafter (there's some nice use of sprites in this game's action, man) and then dives down and rescues her. He gives her the same verbal treatment he gave Terra, that he'll protect her no matter the cost. I reckon there's a lot of intrigue behind the guy's devotion to defending women for those who aren't yet privy to his past. I already know, and it's tragic. Celes is confused, but nabs the key from a sleeping soldier who wants for bread and soup. I hear you, sleeping soldier. I hear you.

Through the passageway, across the world map (with a nice continuing theme from South Figaro, rather than the usual track), back through a nearby cave and it's time for Tunnel Armor.



I'm not sure what the above player could have been doing wrong, because this dude's a chump. It serves as a nice introduction to Celes' Runic, which admittedly I'd completely forgotten how to use. My Locke does have a Genji Glove, so he's kind of a big deal, but Tunnel Armor goes down in three shakes of a cross button.



Next time.
 

TriAceJP

Member
Apr 19, 2011
3,045
3
625
Seattle, WA
www.unpopulargaming.com
I was a pretty big fan of the skill mechanics but the story did absolutely nothing for me.

People try to say it is because I played it after the fact. Nah kid, right there on the SNES when it dropped.

Opera scene was nothing.


Solid game, I don't get the hype over the story at all.