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by Chris Rasa - April 1, 2015

Final Fantasy VI - Super Famicom (1994)

Japanese Super Famicom Cover

US GBA Cover

Remember the Final Fantasy series? Sure everyone knows about Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XIII with all their spinoff games and stuff, but were you aware that there were Final Fantasy games even on the SNES? Most of them are better off forgotten, but for some reason Final Fantasy VI in particular has developed a strong cult following. Absent from US shores until the GBA version came out (SquareSoft did a weird thing where they gave us 1, 2 and 3 but then skipped to 7 out of nowhere), people always talk about Final Fantasy VI like it's a lost holy grail of SquareSoft's RPG making.

Like a lot of old games, most of that is just nostalgia, and Final Fantasy VI is pretty middling when you really get down to it. First off it has no graphics, just hand drawn stuff like Killer Instinct. But even worse, the characters are barely animated. They have these huge drawings of monsters and big guys that look nice but don't even move! The sound design isn't much better. Most of it is pretty slow and they use an organ a lot. It's uncertain why they made a decision to avoid the chintzy Mario Paint trumpets in the old games and then just use a chintzy organ instead for almost everything.

Anyways, the characters are pretty dumb. At first the game is like MechAssault and you're in these awesome powered armor mechs, but then OF COURSE something goes wrong and you spend the rest of the game as a girl named Tina (they changed it to Terra in the US but this is HARDCORE Gaming 101 not Use the US Names 101) who is moping around because she hit her head and can't remember stuff or whatever. After that you know how Final Fantasy games roll, crystals, blah blah evil emperors. You then get little guys called espers that let you cast different magic, and then you get relics that let you do even more stuff.

Eventually, you meet a ninja and his rad hound, and then you meet someone named Celes. The game talks her up like she's going to be a major player, but in general she's just some opera floozy who jumps off a cliff because she's too stupid to feed an old man food that isn't poisonous. Great character development there SquareSoft. The character does this because if you jump off this one supposedly magical cliff it makes you feel better? Uh, sorry Celes, jumping off a cliff would actually be you trying to kill yourself. Fortunately she can't even do that right, and just washed up on the beach to find an important note from Cid that lets the game's story progress. Helpful beyond the grave, why couldn't we play as this guy instead of the party of losers the game gives us? They blow it so bad that they actually get to the evil emperor guy and don't even kill him, then they capture this really foppish juggalo named Kefka after he poisons a hundred a kids and they don't even kill him either, OF COURSE he escapes. And unlike other games, our heroes are so dumb they actually manage to let the bad guy destroy the world.

Like most old games, the story and characters are honestly pretty banal, and don't hold up at all when compared to the more recent Final Fantasy titles. It's worth a play for a few minutes to see what all the fuss was somehow about in Japan in the 90s but I wouldn't really bother otherwise.

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Final Fantasy VI (GBA)

Final Fantasy VI (GBA)

Final Fantasy VI (GBA)

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