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RTTP: Final Fantasy VI

DiipuSurotu

Banned
May 31, 2010
23,399
6
0
www.youtube.com
On today's wintry installment, reunions take second fiddle to first impressions between allies quite distrustful of one-another. That clown you keep hearing so much about has a little one-hit wonder he likes to call Ice2, but not before some party combinations prove far better than others. All this and an old man who groans laboriously, so grab some [more] cider and snuggle up for strange pictures of the "Finest Fantasy for Advance" -- only on Sony PlayStation.

Sometimes I don't even know what I'm typing.



Here in Narshe, old friends collide. Terra takes a back seat while Edgar and Banon discuss the imminent need to gather with a man the game rightly calls "Elder." Elder has an issue with throwing away the lives of his people, but more and more, it's becoming obvious he's got to bite the bullet. This conversation is retrospectively ironic considering I don't see a single one of his men on the field when the fighting starts, but hey, I'm sure they were, uh, defending the town or something. Even though Kefka's forces arrive from the south. Ah. Well. We can't all be perfect.

Mid-sentence, Sabin greets his bro and Cyan introduces himself. Gau does, too, after a fashion. Seconds later, Locke and Celes arrive, with Locke delivering the grim news that the Empire's almost on top of Narshe. Cyan draws attention to the fact that Celes Chere is in fact a former imperial general, which goes over swimmingly enough to trigger another panic attack from our resident Barristan Selmy when someone else lists off Terra as a former imperial soldier.



Photographed above, Cyan's reaction to discovering he's in league with two women he'd sooner duel to the death.

There's nothing for it then but to begin the battle in earnest. There's a scene with Kefka rolling up through the desert again and some of his troops aren't clear on the concept of wholesale slaughter so he spells it out to them as best he can. There's been a trend in Western society to depict clowns as closet homicidal maniacs, so it's refreshing to see the hard-working Easterners at Squaresoft making no concealment of the depravity inherent in all clowns, always.

Oh, I want to use this picture before it's too late.



So, yes. The Battle for Narshe. Let's capitalize it to make it all officious-like. On the way to the snowfield, there's a terrific sequence in which Celes and Terra become affiliated and Celes says she's no opera floozy before Cyan vows to keep his eye on her. Locke's hidden past is further alluded-to, and, well, I'm sure some other things happened, too, but I'm still stuck on Celes literally mentioning the opera derisively chapters before performing her #1 hit single.

Everyone lines up like ducks in a row and I equip them accordingly. When I'm ready, I let Ol' Banon know and he lets me hook up my teams. This is where my commitment to trivial plot ideas comes into play in a big way. Cyan goes with Gau, because I dig that he has lost his son and is treating Gau protectively. I throw Terra into the mix to heighten the drama of Cyan not trusting her or Celes; I'd do Celes instead but she's with Locke, because he will protect she and Terra, but Terra's already accounted-for with the Cyan dynamic. Also, Terra will one day discover the concept of love through the birth of a child, and Gau is a child. Edgar and Sabin stick close together and keep careful tabs on Banon, because they're bros, and that's what bros do.

Here's a more streamlined explanation.



The battle goes well for some and "eh" for others. Locke has his Genji Glove, but he's not yet been given access to the Full Moons I'll soon be purchasing, so his damage output is great but not gorgeous. Celes has an Earring, but not two Earrings, because I gave Sabin an Earring, because Fire Dance. So she can multicast Ice, but she'll need to cast it twice to mop up the opposition. Elsewhere, BioBlaster and Fire Dance are enough to make mincemeat of every Magitek mech, and Gau's scratching people as if he were some stray cat, so I really needn't go on.

Along comes a Kefka who we beat up to earn 15 silver points [and the salvation of an entire city].



This isn't the party I used and I don't appreciate Locke being the only one unconscious but whatever you get the point.

Once Kefka's bolted, Terra has this thing where she turns into, ah, Trance Terra, if you will, and her sprite is both lovely and also alien and she flies away, flies away, flies away home as everyone clings to the cliff. Some look awake, some look out like lights, but everyone agrees there's nothing sacred about their final ray of hope turning into a neon pink bipedal ethereal and soaring off into the horizon.



Forget what I said about clowns. This is the real threat to the planet.

Regrouping, the team agrees to leave two people behind to defend Narshe, further destabilizing the notion that Elder's alliance is worth a damn since I guess his guards are now... uh... guarding... the moogles, yes, let's go with that. I choose Locke to helm a party which also sees Celes, Edgar, and Sabin, leaving Gau in Cyan's protective custody for reasons aforementioned. I loot a bunch of treasure chests and trot on over to Figaro Castle, where another memorable scene begins.



Like a boss.

Sabin flops down on a throne and reminisces. He and Edgar were having a rough go of it ten years ago when their father, the king, kicked the bucket most unexpectedly. It's theorized in-script that the Empire had him poisoned, which means that, yes, the Empire had him poisoned. A low-down no-good deal, that Empire. Sabin, despite being Edgar's twin as I understand things, is a more emotionally loose cannon than his twin-bro and calls the castle out on its politically focused demeanor following dad's demise. He tells Edgar they ought to run away together and leave it all behind, but Edgar ensures Sabin gets his freedom. The rest is history.



Gacha history right here waitin' for ya. Please be excited.

Poor Arvis, they didn't even make him a "shocked" animation.
 

deletethis123

Banned
Feb 7, 2015
873
0
495
Would these romhacks word on a DS Lite/GBA card? I've my GBA copy but I'm wondering if it's still playable on original hardware or if I need to play it with an emulator?
 
Mar 16, 2014
12,656
1
410
Canada
twitter.com
Seeing this thread and finishing XV had me booting up the modded SNES version of this game. The simple fact that it allows you to run and soft-save anywhere means that I finally have the chance to actually get through the whole game at some point. As of recently, my tolerance for old school RPGs just severely dropped, heck turn based RPGs in general even.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605
Coin of Fate is probably one of my favourite tracks. Edgar is such an awesome character.

I love stumbling across this whole scene way later on in the game because I didn't bring Edgar with me on my first run (I was going Locke, Celes, Cyan, & Sabin like the instruction booklet at the time). Sabin would just run off when we got to Figaro and come back and I thought nothing of it.
 

JeffZero

Purple Drazi
Dec 14, 2014
8,238
0
0
33
Mattoon, Illinois
Coin of Fate is probably one of my favourite tracks. Edgar is such an awesome character.

I love stumbling across this whole scene way later on in the game because I didn't bring Edgar with me on my first run (I was going Locke, Celes, Cyan, & Sabin like the instruction booklet at the time). Sabin would just run off when we got to Figaro and come back and I thought nothing of it.

I guess the cutoff for it is just the Floating Continent? Or is it something which can be done during Ruin as well?
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
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I guess the cutoff for it is just the Floating Continent? Or is it something which can be done during Ruin as well?


I swore I had a post ruin run before, after you finish the Gerad shenanigans. But it's been a long time.
 

JeffZero

Purple Drazi
Dec 14, 2014
8,238
0
0
33
Mattoon, Illinois
On today's rainy day special, some men have secrets and some men tell no truths. There are an inordinate number of old-folk isolationists and they all share the same exact sprite. Wind the clock to 1994 because we're turning dead people into magic.



I alluded to this last time around, but when you ask the old dude in Figaro Castle to submerge the "ship", he says "urrrrrgh!" and I've never been able to confirm whether he's urrrrrghing over physical hardship or general irritation. These are the questions we need answered via remake. The castle descends, then the castle also rises. We're on another continent, essentially, but it's all part of one great big landmass. That's the thing about the world* -- it's very evenly distributed and there are really only these two big landmasses. It's balanced.

*for now



I want to talk to you about Kohlingen. Kohlingen is the home of Locke's past. Locke does not appear to be from around here, but several years ago he set down roots with a lass named Rachel, who enjoyed his adventurer's spirit. Locke and Rachel were never apart from one-another. One fateful afternoon, or morning, or, you know, not relevant, the engaged couple hiked over yonder to a cave or mountain or, again, not really relevant, in search of treasure. Locke nearly falls from a bridge but Rachel saves him. This is a cool reversal and it ties into Locke's obsession with protecting women -- this is important, because instead of just being your token "guy's guy" Locke Cole has depth. A woman he loves rescued him and paid dearly for it. He's not going to let anything like that happen to any woman he comes across in future. It's not just a character trait. It's a defining psychological feature.

Or maybe I'm reading between the lines too much.



So Rachel has a big fall. She falls, thus, into amnesia. Her father curses Locke and a friend (?) of Locke's then urges him that leaving is the best move. Let's talk about the fact that Locke's friend (?) has a Zozo sprite. Using sage wisdom, I'm aware that Zozo's denizens are infamous for their lies. What are the odds this guy knew something and then...? Nah. Nah. I digress.



The Empire attacks while Locke is away. Rachel perishes. Her last words, it is said, are a remembrance of her bond to her beloved. In a fit of anguish, Locke meets an old folk who is crazy. The crazy old man offers to keep Rachel in suspended animation by way of herbs. I don't see mention of Rachel's father anywhere, so either he's dead or -- and here's a stretch -- grief over his daughter's passing transformed him into this weirdo. That'd be something. This is where fanfiction.net was born. Anyway, Locke opens up about this stuff, departs, and then Celes doubles back inside Rachel's place of keeping, says his name with anime-mystification, and walks out. It's kind of beautiful, really.

Oh, and Shadow's in the pub, but I'm not a pleb, so I have a full party of four, so he says "We meet again..." followed immediately by "Leave me alone..." which more or less confirms he has the social graces of your average internet forumite.



Don't tempt me, assassin.

The folks in Kohlingen claim to have seen a shining light girl creature HR Giger thing head south on the horizon, so naturally we head north instead. Here, an old crazy man -- are you starting to see what I'm seeing? -- wants to build a coliseum. He believes that mankind loses something of ourselves in times without war. That's great, pops, but we just want your Hero Ring. We move on.

In the forests, we fight many and more of the same three enemies. In fact, I fight them for some time, boosting levels to around 20. I dispatch so many of these buffoons that their names are emblazoned in my mind's eye. Iron Fist. Mind Candy. Over Grunk. Iron Fist. Mind Candy. Over Grunk. Iron Fist. Mind Candy. Over Grunk. The names become a chant. In time, I lose my marbles. Iron-fisted mind candy. Over-candied grunk fist. You see? This is what happens when you grind in RPGs, friends. Words of caution.

I was looking for a picture of Jidoor but I found this instead.



Jidoor is the westernmost town on the world map. I know this because a proud and boisterous NPC informs me of it. Nice to know the World of Balance keeps a singular worldview. Anyway, there's nothing to do here but shop. Typical rich folks community. We'll come back here later.

Wait, no, there is one thing to address.



When I came here, Locke was in the lead. Yeahhh.

We make for Zozo because once again we're chasing the light. This is the reverse FF7. Get out of here, men in black capes. We're hunting bright purple alien women.



Zozo rules. Yes, the random encounters every few steps can be cumbersome. Sure, if you're not well-leveled they can be downright terrifying. But it's fitting. All of it's fitting. I'm a strong believer that when it comes to atmosphere rain makes everything better and it never stops raining in Zozo. It's Burmecia of the slums; these men here are ratty enough.



Now we know where he's from.

So in Zozo, the secondary goal is to scale buildings and advance the plot. You have to leap from high rise to high rise, step in line with a motley crew of same-sprited ruffians all seemingly reporting to yet another old man with attitude, fight a guy literally called Dadaluma and ascend to the top where plot beats await. But this is all secondary. There is a primary goal in Zozo, and its name is Jason.



I told my roommate (Leon, of course, if you're reading this on GameFAQs; if you're on NeoGAF instead, well, uh, now you know his name's Leon) that I'd memorized the clock key password through careful study. I knew it in my heart I'd get it right. Alas, I was mistaken. The only thing I remembered was that it was six-something and ten, thirty, and fifty factored in. Well, two-thirds of those numbers factored in. So yeah. It still took a while. But soon enough, son, it was chainsaw time.

Edgar era. Chainsaw era. BALEE DAT.



When I searched for Verendus' avatar, Google knew exactly what I was looking for. I typed "V-E-R-E-N" and it suggested "Verendus NeoGAF." Wow. Anyway.

We ascend these Tenpenny Towers. Near the highest point, Dadaluma, an exceptionally well-mannered gentleman, keeps spirit with his surroundings and lies through his teeth. We kill him, but not before he throws a Mythril Knife into Edgar's chest for over 700 points of damage. Chainsaw era, though, so y'know.



At the top, we find Terra, still in Esper form, passed out cold on a comfy bed. I want to talk about my least favorite aspect of Final Fantasy 6. I know, I know. But hear me out. There really is one thing I wish could have been handled differently. In scenes like these, and quite frequently during the World of Ruin, you typically do not know who he is speaking which line. As a huge stickler for storyline and characterization, I prefer knowing, you know? And I don't always know, so I pause each line and decide who in my active party best suits the line. Now, sometimes it's easier, because a given sprite will motion or otherwise act, so we know it's them. And on a scripted level, sometimes in this particular scene Locke and Celes will speak. (Celes will talk of familiarity with the Magitek Research Factory. Locke will... Locke will mention his grandma. Hey, it's something.) But I'd love a version where unique dialogue is scripted for every permutation. Damn, that'd be kicking.

I digress.

The scene itself is great, of course. Ramuh appears and explains he's an Esper. He fled the Magitek shindig because he didn't want to be used-up like his friends. A few of his companions -- Kirin, Siren, and Stray -- all fled right along with him, but died en route here. Gestahl invaded 20 years ago in search of Esper magical prowess and it was a slaughterfest to be sure. A gate was fashioned to keep him out. Ramuh mentions that Terra is neither Esper nor human, but does not elaborate much further just yet. "She's something different." The Empire has risen to world domination because of the despicable practices it commits upon the Esper people, and Ramuh wants to kill himself now so that the Returners can tap into that self-same power. Also, Ramuh lured Terra specifically to this tower in Zozo so he could protect her from herself in this time of awakening. It's a wonderful plan because even the Empire may never bother with a place this trashy.

So Ramuh turns into magicite, killing himself before our eyes. Huh. The party can now use magic, which is spiffy. Celes will lead the way to the Empire because she's intimately familiar. Cyan and Gau appear in the tower, meaning they, uh, left Narshe despite saying they'd protect it. I guess Elder-sama finally convinced his guards to get to work. Yes. That... must be it.

Everyone agrees to send a couple of people back to Narshe. Nevermind. Elder-sama, I gave you entirely too much credit. On the way down the stairs, Celes shares a scene with Sabin, which is cool because I don't remember this happening at all. Locke insists he go with Celes, for obvious reasons. Being a Locke fan and a Celes fan both, there's no way he wouldn't have, anyway. Cyan asks if he might join as well, but it's not remotely mandatory. Whereas many players would shove him off because his battle capability isn't exactly great, I treat it as narrative precedence, because, as you recall, I needed to post a complex mathematical equation last week to explain my eccentricities.



Next time.
 

Levito

Banned
Jan 16, 2011
7,386
4
0
Is the Steam version really a "avoid at all costs" type of thing? The art definitely sucks but i'm not a big emulator kind of person.
 

jb1234

Member
Aug 10, 2009
17,216
1
0
Seattle, WA
Am I the only one who sees the opera musicians as trained monkeys?

I've worked in a musician's pit. That's not a very accurate representation in general, haha.

Is the Steam version really a "avoid at all costs" type of thing? The art definitely sucks but i'm not a big emulator kind of person.

Nah. If you can get past the sprites, it's a perfectly decent version of the game. In some ways, it's better than existing versions thanks to bug fixes and the music presented in its original glory.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605


This is the greatest thing I have ever seen.

I got stuck in Zozo as a kid - I think that was when the guide in the instruction booklet ended, and you had to jump across all those buildings. I didn't realize I could jump across buildings for the longest time, and the constant enemy crawl wore me down.

Fuck you, Hill Gigas and your magnitude 8's. Though suplexing them was fun. Also I just found this.
 

jb1234

Member
Aug 10, 2009
17,216
1
0
Seattle, WA
Is the iOS version of this any good?

Most people who hate it are comparing it to the SNES original. And it definitely has some graphical changes, with some of the sprites clashing with the original backgrounds. But it's perfectly playable, in some ways the best version of the game (mechnically, at least) and if it's the only version you have access to, well worth getting.

Jeff, you're falling behind!
 

ErasureAcer

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
11,303
0
0
39
Minnesota
I was in some thread the other day where some dude was complaining about FFVI because you split into different parties at times(think he made it to Kefka's tower and was whining about it there because some folks weren't leveled properly). Greatest idea in the series. Needs to be used more.
 

GregLombardi

Member
Dec 5, 2008
6,092
1
0
Most people who hate it are comparing it to the SNES original. And it definitely has some graphical changes, with some of the sprites clashing with the original backgrounds. But it's perfectly playable, in some ways the best version of the game (mechnically, at least) and if it's the only version you have access to, well worth getting.

Those people that hate it should be all people. But your argument in favor of getting it if you have no other way to play such a classic is, unfortunately and much to my chagrin, sound.
 

b3b0p

Member
Aug 23, 2010
1,722
2
660
Stillwater, OK
I'm playing this right now. SNES version.

I'm about 12.5 hours in. It's good, but I'm not sure I can call it my favorite. The thing holding me back is the enthrallment of the story and characters. I'm just not grok'ing it like I feel either I should be or others are. The story, it makes sense when I read it, kind of, but it's like isn't captivating me the way Chrono Trigger or even Earthbound did. I feel like there is too much happening or to remember. If you asked me to regurgitate and summarize exactly I would have a difficult time connecting all the pieces for you. Is it just me? Did I have too much to drink when starting? Anyone else? I guess this is why people can re-play this game so easily.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605
I'm playing this right now. SNES version.

I'm about 12.5 hours in. It's good, but I'm not sure I can call it my favorite. The thing holding me back is the enthrallment of the story and characters. I'm just not grok'ing it like I feel either I should be or others are. The story, it makes sense when I read it, kind of, but it's like isn't captivating me the way Chrono Trigger or even Earthbound did. I feel like there is too much happening or to remember. If you asked me to regurgitate and summarize exactly I would have a difficult time connecting all the pieces for you. Is it just me? Did I have too much to drink when starting? Anyone else? I guess this is why people can re-play this game so easily.

I think the too much happening bit is intended. It's supposed to be a sprawling epic where you watch these characters get sucked into new situations time and time again. Unlike Chrono and EB, you are rarely in control, at least in the first half. Stick with it.There will be room to breathe later on.
 
Jul 27, 2015
96
1
0
I'm playing this right now. SNES version.

I'm about 12.5 hours in. It's good, but I'm not sure I can call it my favorite. The thing holding me back is the enthrallment of the story and characters. I'm just not grok'ing it like I feel either I should be or others are. The story, it makes sense when I read it, kind of, but it's like isn't captivating me the way Chrono Trigger or even Earthbound did. I feel like there is too much happening or to remember. If you asked me to regurgitate and summarize exactly I would have a difficult time connecting all the pieces for you. Is it just me? Did I have too much to drink when starting? Anyone else? I guess this is why people can re-play this game so easily.

It's about how you take many characters from various walks of life with their own backstory and emotional baggage and bring them together for a common goal. Along the way they help each other learn to deal with their problems, find out who they are, resolve old disputes, and mature. Keep at it and as the characters work together more, the more the story lines merge or become resolved and the game becomes more focused.
 

b3b0p

Member
Aug 23, 2010
1,722
2
660
Stillwater, OK
It's about how you take many characters from various walks of life with their own backstory and emotional baggage and bring them together for a common goal. Along the way they help each other learn to deal with their problems, find out who they are, resolve old disputes, and mature. Keep at it and as the characters work together more, the more the story lines merge or become resolved and the game becomes more focused.

I think the too much happening bit is intended. It's supposed to be a sprawling epic where you watch these characters get sucked into new situations time and time again. Unlike Chrono and EB, you are rarely in control, at least in the first half. Stick with it.There will be room to breathe later on.

Thanks, this makes sense and I now can see that since you pointed it out.

I'm of course going to keep at it. I'm not stopping. What I meant by holding me back was that it's holding me back from stating that it pulls me in like Chrono Trigger does. Chrono, once I start I can't stop because it's so epic, engaging, enthralling. The story and characters are just awesome. Similar to Earthbound. I still want to play Secret of Mana and Evermore since I hear those are also great games as well as Final Fantasy II (SNES aka IV) and Final Fantasy V.
 

DrROBschiz

Member
Feb 9, 2013
19,768
2
445
Michigan
Thanks, this makes sense and I now can see that since you pointed it out.

I'm of course going to keep at it. I'm not stopping. What I meant by holding me back was that it's holding me back from stating that it pulls me in like Chrono Trigger does. Chrono, once I start I can't stop because it's so epic, engaging, enthralling. The story and characters are just awesome. Similar to Earthbound. I still want to play Secret of Mana and Evermore since I hear those are also great games as well as Final Fantasy II (SNES aka IV) and Final Fantasy V.

Add Lufia 2 to your list
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
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Final Fantasy VI Retrospective: Simply The Best, by Jason Schreier

... Nearly every character in your 14-person ensemble is more complicated than they seem—except perhaps Umaro, who seems like a dumb snowman and is, in fact, a dumb snowman. From Terra’s tragic heritage to Cyan’s secret pen-pals, Final Fantasy VI has character depth that even today would be rare in a video game. In 1994, it was unprecedented.

People always wonder why today’s RPGs have such a hard time comparing to Final Fantasy VI. One easy reason: nostalgia. But here’s another possibility.

Said director Yoshinori Kitase in an interview with Edge Magazine: “It’s maybe strange to say [this], but I miss the limitations of making games in those days. The cartridge capacity was so much smaller, of course, and therefore the challenges were that much greater. But nowadays you can do almost anything in a game. It’s a paradox, but this can be more creatively limiting than having hard technical limitations to work within. There is a certain freedom to be found in working within strict boundaries, one clearly evident in Final Fantasy VI.”

Lots more in the article.
 

Raven117

Member
Oct 5, 2015
6,763
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565
The scope of FFVI was simply incredible.

What I will never understand is how the JRPG's went with this kind of writing (not saying it was Shakespeare, but characters had depth and didnt' fall into complete boring animie tropes), to j-pop.

I think the limitations on the hardware allowed us to imagine the game differently than perhaps what the creators even intended.

As a kid, I envisioned a dark, gritty, steampunk world, where magic laced through amid fantastical machines. The charters were tragic yet likable...the villain, a bad dude.

Maybe the creators had more of a cartoony anime in mind, but it didnt' matter. Up to interpretation.

FFVI is and most likely always will be my favorite Final Fantasy.
 

BorkBork

The Legend of BorkBork: BorkBorkity Borking
Oct 11, 2004
16,867
1
1,605
The scope of FFVI was simply incredible.

What I will never understand is how the JRPG's went with this kind of writing (not saying it was Shakespeare, but characters had depth and didnt' fall into complete boring animie tropes), to j-pop.

I think the limitations on the hardware allowed us to imagine the game differently than perhaps what the creators even intended.

As a kid, I envisioned a dark, gritty, steampunk world, where magic laced through amid fantastical machines. The charters were tragic yet likable...the villain, a bad dude.

Maybe the creators had more of a cartoony anime in mind, but it didnt' matter. Up to interpretation.

FFVI is and most likely always will be my favorite Final Fantasy.

Your imagination is much, much better than the creator's realized vision. See: Super Metroid & Other M.
 

Raven117

Member
Oct 5, 2015
6,763
3,436
565
Your imagination is much, much better than the creator's realized vision. See: Super Metroid & Other M.

Yup...maybe thats why we not only have nostalgic memories of these games, but the games themselves were books more than movies. Suggestions to allow our mind to paint the picture. As opposed to modern video games...where the realization of the world can be much more exacting.