Final Fantasy VI: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
April 2, 1994
RPG / Fantasy / Role-Playing
Final Fantasy VI takes place on a large, unnamed world. During the course of the game, its geography and landscape change due to various developments in the game's plot. During the first half of the game, the world is divided into three major continents and referred to as the World of Balance. The northern continent is punctuated by a series of mountain ranges and contains many of the locations accessible to the player. Most of the southern continent has been taken over by the Empire, while the eastern continent is home to a large patch of land called the Veldt where monsters from all over the world can be found. Halfway through the game, the world's geographical layout is altered, resulting in its three large continents splitting into several islands of various size situated around a larger continent at their center. This altered layout of the game's locations is referred to as the World of Ruin.
Final Fantasy VI, known as Final Fantasy III for SNES in the United States (because that’s not confusing at all, right?) was released for both the Super Famicom and SNES in 1994. The game was developed by Squaresoft, a company that, of course, would later join forces with Enix to become … yes, Square Enix.
The game begins with the story of a young girl with a green ponytail (blonde in the original artwork) named Tina in Japan, Terra in the North American translation. To this day, Squaresoft/Square Enix all but swears she is not the main protagonist, that all the characters make up the team, but come on, please. The main theme music of the game is Tina/Terra’s Theme, she is the first character you meet in the game, and for so many reasons I won’t go into here, that argument is just completely invalid, but I digress.
Basically, and I will call her Terra from this point on, Terra is a magic user. You do have the ability to grind her abilities/skills/HP/MP to the point that she can be just as amazing a warrior as she can be a magic user. The same can be said for other party members later on.
You join up with these various other characters throughout the game, and each has strengths and weaknesses that you discover along the way. There are lots of hidden treasures, puzzles to solve, weepy moments, funny moments, did-that-really-just-happen?? moments, opportunities to work the ol’ gray matter, and so on. The Japanese to English translations were done by a man many of you may know as Ted Woolsey.
Ted Woolsey was an interesting man with an intriguing, sometimes infuriating, sometimes hilarious way of truly making a project his own. If he couldn’t make the storyline translate to what the actual Japanese storyline dictated, he pretty much took creative license and made it work any way he could. Many gamers take fault with this, for obvious reasons. And there is a certain line by a certain character at a point in the game where this is just absolutely hilarious, yet infuriating at the same time. I’ll try not to spoil it too much for those who haven’t played, but pay attention to when your go back to find your separated party at about the middle of the game, after a certain calamity happens … you’ll see what I mean.
For a long time, especially in my teenage years, ages 14-18, I scoffed at this man’s name, like a spoiled brat who didn’t appreciate what was right in front of me. I thought his translation of this game was laughable, and I failed to understand why he didn’t do things in what I thought was the “right” way, true to the original, and paying better attention to dialogue for certain circumstances in the game.
You will see Woolsey’s translation on the SNES cartridge, as well as on the PS1 Final Fantasy Anthology disc. I suggest if you are interested in this game, one of these copies is the way to go, preferably the SNES, but FFA is a good substitute. I do not recommend playing the Gameboy Advance version of this game FIRST. I do not think you will enjoy the experience as much. Go with the SNES or the PS1 version for the maximized gaming experience. The Gameboy Advance version was supposed to be more true to the storyline, but they actually CUT OUT at least one scene due to its violent nature, but without that scene, the dialogue and events that occur afterward do not make much sense. I know the Woolsey translation can be a little goofy at times, but the Advance version really made me appreciate Mr. Woolsey so, so much more than I ever thought possible.
Also, there are a few glitches worth noting in this game in the SNES and PS1 versions. For example, Dark/Blind basically does nothing, but that’s not a bad thing. You just get nifty looking sunglasses, but it really does not have a huge effect on your characters. Also, Evade was intended for physical evade, and while it is given a numerical value depending on your accessories, it does nothing. However, Magic Evade is both your physical and magical evade, so go by that. There are a few other glitches/bugs here and there, but these are the main ones to be aware of in the game. These bugs were fixed in the Gameboy Advance version, but in my opinion, it’s not really all that worth it unless you just like having a handheld version of Final Fantasy VI (which I do, but I wish it were more like the original, even bugs and all, I wouldn’t mind).
The soundtrack is excellent, as it was conducted by the one and only, composer Nobuo Uematsu. The songs translated well to a midi format, and are absolutely beautiful and definitely appropriate to the game. The graphics are great, especially if you enjoy games with 2D sprites (could Edgar really be flipping me off instead of wagging his finger at me …?); good maps; airships; intricate, elaborate castles and other structures; cozy little towns that seem so inviting; and the occasional breath-taking view of mountains, the ocean, and glimpses of the sun and sky itself.
Great role-playing game with a solid storyline, beautiful soundtrack, and excellent graphics.
Those who have no patience for role-playing games, strategy, or Ted Woolsey might want to pass.