Final Fantasy Countdown: Final Fantasy VI

For today’s fans of Japanese-style role-playing games, Final Fantasy is pretty much the ultimate. The 500-pound gorilla, the mighty big cheese. That was not always so. In the early years of the series, Final Fantasy was popular, but in the end it was mainly an RPG among many others that was far from the popularity of the top dog Dragon Quest, together with excellent series such as SEGA’s Phantasy Star or Nintendo’s Mother (Earthbound) for the favor of Buyer vied. Final Fantasy VI changed that status with a bang.

No doubt Final Fantasy V was a standout game. Still, Square was frustrated. Because while content and playability were completely convincing, Hironobu Sakaguchi and his men had to make big compromises in the presentation. The original plan was to release Final Fantasy V on an opulent 16Mbit module. But Nintendo could not provide the appropriate memory chips, Square had to reduce its own ambitions and be content with 12 Mbit. That blow sat and laid the foundation for Square’s later departure from Nintendo.

But it was still too early to think about rebellion; in the first half of the 1990s, Nintendo was still the undisputed market leader in Japan. And after Nintendo finally complied with Squares memory requirements, which have now risen to a lush 24Mbit, with Final Fantasy VI, Sakaguchi and his people could really go all out. For the first time, the series creator acted as a producer and no longer held the position of director and writer: In his place came a young man named Yoshinori Kitase, who thoroughly turned Final Fantasy inside out!

The party meets Kefka for the final stand (SNES)

Kitase said goodbye to the classic fantasy setting. The world of Final Fantasy VI still offers fantastic flair, but enriched it with numerous steampunk elements due to the industrial revolution that began there. Any form of magic was lost in a long war, a totalitarian empire conquered empire after empire with superior technology and only a small group of rebels opposed the overpowering enemy. The key to the story is the young Terra. who, for unknown reasons, has mastered the art of magic ??

But even if Terra, known as Tina in the Japanese original, plays a key role, she is not the main character in the game. That also applies to the thief ?? Excuse me, treasure hunters – Locke, the young King Edgar or Celes, the former female general of the Empire. Final Fantasy VI has tons of intriguing protagonists, but none of them are the hero the whole story revolves around. Even if not all 14 figures are equally important, none of them are as exposed in the spotlight as their colleagues Cecil or Cloud. Again and again the party splits up and goes separate ways, the composition of the troupe changes again and again. But you are rarely so? as with Final Fantasy IV. The game gives you one or two characters relevant for the plot, you can fill up the other places of the group of four according to your own taste.

Similar to Final Fantasy IV, in Part VI each character has their own class and special maneuvers. Martial artist Sabin (known in Japan as Mash) heats up the opponent with correct move input with street fighter-like specials, Samurai Cyan (in Japan Chayenne) slowly loads his special maneuvers, King Edgar relies on mechanical aids. Nevertheless, you have more freedom in character development than in Part IV, albeit not as much as in Final Fantasy V. On the one hand, each character can equip two accessories that give new skills, talents, immunities or bonuses, and on the other hand, they return to good one Third of the game magic back into the world and can be learned individually.