Final Fantasy VI Game Review

Druce Chandler, Writer

     Final Fantasy VI (FF6 for short) is the sixth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, developed and produced by SquareSoft (now known as Square Enix). The game was released as Final Fantasy III in North America on October 20, 1994, on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), but due to guidelines at the time, SquareEnix had to tone down some dialogue and censor certain enemies according to Fandom.com. However, as time goes on, it was released for PlayStation, Game Boy Advanced, IOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows with bonus content. In addition, if you don’t feel like finding one of those consoles, another option called an Emulator which is a hardware or software that enables one computer system, but it’s best not to go in-depth as there is not something that I’d rather deal with. On the other hand, it was the last game in the main series to feature two-dimensional graphics and sprites, while also being the first game to not revolve its story around crystals as the first five have done so already. Nevertheless, Final Fantasy VI at the time got around 3.48 million copies sold from the SNES and Playstation versions.     

     Essentially, Final Fantasy VI story starts off with conflict between the Gestahlian Empire, an empire attempting to Conquer the World, and a rebel faction called the Returners who are resisting them during the first part of the game. Plus, the game takes place in a fantasy steampunk- style world on three continents called the World of Balance (WOB) before a catastrophic event happens. Also, while the conflict starts, Terra Branford, the first female protagonist in the series, with two Imperial soldiers Biggs (mistranslated as Vicks in the SNES version) and Wedge are sent to Narshe, a neutral city, in order to raid a frozen esper name Valigarmanda (Tritoch). Sadly, things don’t go as planned as both the soldiers get killed in the process, and Terra who was controlled by a slave crown gets knocked unconscious and gets amnesia. Afterward, during a different point in the game, she will join the Returners helping them understand a better dynamic of magic. 

     Surprisingly, Final Fantasy VI has the most playable characters out of all the series up to fourteen characters (Terra, Locke, Edgar, Sabin, etc.) in which three are optional, obtained from side quests in the game. In addition, most characters in the game tend to have an interesting backstory as you can them from doing certain events. Furthermore, there is a typical tutorial system with a tutorial to a few characters on how their abilities work. In contrast, a gameplay element to note that in every console for the game (except IOS and Android) use the Active Time Battle pseudo-turn based system, introduced in the previous title. On top of that, almost every character through the use of magician, a remnant of an esper dying, can learn magic, gain magic points and experience, enhance stats slightly while equipped, and they also are the summon system. Another thing this game was known for is the party swap system, in which it allows you to switch party members in and out of your party of four characters at a time, this system would, of course, be used in most of the games following it and some remakes. As I have mentioned earlier, with the tutorials, every character at least has use of talent such as, steal, blitz, bushido (sword tech), dance, magic, fight, rage, mimic, throw, sketch, and lore. Most of all, this game is most notorious for its relic system as each character can equip two at a time and they can enhance talents, protect against negative status alignments, grant a positive status alignment, enhance stats, change certain commands, or make weapons more powerful. 

      At this point, there are some things to note for instance, in some scenarios you may be forced to have a certain character in your party at that time or you may have to create two to three groups of your party in order to navigate a dungeon. If you play the game on a SNES emulator (not the console as they are not made anymore), there are a few glitches/bugs such as the vanish-doom bug, or the airship glitch, while a minor mistranslation error at the beginning with Biggs being mistranslated as Vicks. Don’t think you’re done with the game yet as there is another part to the game I haven’t mentioned called the World of Ruin (WOR) in which the true antagonist Kefka Palazzo, moved the Warring Triad out of balance destroying the world, and changing it for good. Before that happens, there is a time limit as on of the characters named Shadow, who is like a mercenary, as if you want him permanently in your party in the World of Ruin you must wait, otherwise he’s dead and unusable for the rest of the game. However, in the World of Ruin there are a massive amount of side quests before facing Kefka, the final boss, only if you want every character back, want the best weapons you can get, or want to get every item, even though all you need is Edgar, Setzer, and Celes to beat the game. Lastly, if you’re one to go and seek out older games, then this is a game for you to check out.