Gaming to Anime: Final Fantasy VI
Our feature explores the history of the franchise in animation and then moves into what we'd like to see from a Final Fantasy anime. Will we ever see something that is universally loved by fans? Should an original property or existing one be used? If one that exists, what is used and what is tossed out? Read on to see our approach!
The History of Final Fantasy Animation
There have already been some attempts at bringing some of the magic from the Final Fantasy games to the animated medium.
In 1994 an anime OVA called Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals was released. This short and fairly unknown anime spanned four 30 minute episodes. What's most notable about this anime was that it was a direct sequel to Final Fantasy V, taking place in the same world but two hundred years later. This is remarkable since most entries into the Final Fantasy franchise introduce completely new settings that don't directly refer to previous Final Fantasy titles.
Have you played Final Fantasy VI?
Legend of the Crystals did not become a favorite addition to the Final Fantasy Legacy. The short four-episode format didn't allow for good story pacing, the animation wasn't anything special, and the series was rife with comedy and slapstick instead of the dramatic and emotional tales that made the franchise great.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was the next cinematic tale to bear the Final Fantasy name. While it was universally lauded for its amazing CG animation, the storyline was confusing and didn't deliver a good ending. As we all know, it flopped.
Final Fantasy: Unlimited was next in line, this time in the form of more traditional anime that ran for 25 episodes. When the series was originally announced it stirred up a lot of excitement in the Final Fantasy fan community. Like most titles in the franchise, the show offered up a new world and storyline but kept some familiar old elements (chocobos, moogles, and the ever present Cid). But the series itself was rather disappointing in most respects. It wasn't really a horrible show, but it didn't meet the high standards that the fanbase had come to expect from the franchise.
In 2006, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released in Japan. For Advent Children, Square-Enix returned to the idea of making a short sequel storyline to one of the games. There's far too much back-story in FFVII to fit into 90-100 minutes. Square-Enix knew that, and simply didn't even make an attempt to catch up on the back-story in Advent Children. They just threw you in right where they left off in FFVII, leaving you to fill in the blanks on your own. That's fine for the many rabid fans of the game (who arguably, were the only real target audience), but the rest of the world was kind of left out. There were a lot of people who really wanted to love the movie for more than the beautiful CG work, but they couldn't because they just didn't understand what the hell was going on.
Advent Children included a 30-minute anime feature called Last Order that explored the events that lead up to the game's main storyline. While it revealed some previously unknown tidbits about the FFVII saga, for the most part it didn't do anything remarkable.
Fantasies of the Future
With the DVD sales of Advent Children still padding Square-Enix's pockets, it's pretty safe to assume that they'll take another stab at a movie or series in the future. Let's take a page from Marvel's book, and venture into the land of What If?
What if Square-Enix gave the green light for another full-fledged Final Fantasy anime series based on one of the games? Logically, that question leads to another question: What game would they base it on?
We think that there's one front-runner that has all the necessary elements for a hit anime series worthy of the Final Fantasy label: Final Fantasy VI.
Before Cloud, Sephiroth, and the gang ushered in a new era for the Final Fantasy franchise, FFVI was widely touted as one of the best games Square ever created. The game was groundbreaking in its use of symphonic music, story arcs with mature elements, and a manipulative villain that broke the mold for video game antagonists.
A Quick FF VI Recap
For the sake of those of you who aren't familiar with the game, or just haven't played it in years, let's go over the basic plot and characters. The official Final Fantasy VI site for the GameBoy Advance version of the game sums it up well:
"The Ancient War of the Magi. When its flames at least receded, only the charred husk of a world remained. Even the power of magic was lost. In the thousand years that followed, iron, gunpowder, and steam engines took the place of magic, and life slowly returned to the barren land. Yet now the Gestahlian Empire would reawaken the magic of ages past, and use its dread power as a means by which to conquer all the world…
But there remains one small hope. When an enslaved woman named Terra frees herself from the Empire's mind control, she joins a band of rebels who seek to enlist the aid of a mystical race, the espers, in their struggle to prevent the Empire from dominating the world."
Locke is a thief, pickpocket, treasure hunter, and resistance fighter. He joined the anti-Empire rebel group called The Returners after the love his life died in an attack led by the Empire. He vows to keep Terra safe no matter what.
Terra is the daughter of a normal human mother and an Esper, a magical being. She has great magical powers that Emperor Gestahl tried to control against her will. After her escape she joins Locke and his band of Returners to fight the Empire's menace.
The main villain of the story, Kefka began as Emperor Gestahl's Court mage. After volunteering for an experimental procedure that went slightly awry, Kefka gained the ability to use magic. Oh yeah, he went crazy too.
Kefka was the one responsible for Terra's enslavement and a number of other dastardly schemes on behalf of the Empire. Although he's quite powerful, manipulative, and into hands-on villainy, Kefka's quite a coward and avoids fights with The Returners - until the end of the game at least, when he finally achieves the awesome power he's been looking for.
A heroic knight and bit of a technophobe, Cyan has a personal vendetta against Kefka, who poisoned his kingdom's water supply and left him as the only survivor. His greatest skill is his unparalleled sword technique.
A ninja for hire with a faithful dog named Interceptor, Shadow's motivations are very mysterious. He offers his help to both the Empire and The Returners, but always for a price.
Born into royalty, Edgar and his twin brother Sabin were forced to choose which one of them would take the crown when their father died. Neither of them wanted to inherit the troubles of kingship, so they decided to toss a coin, the winner chooses the future he likes. Edgar, however, used a double-sided coin to ensure that Sabin would win the toss and thus be free to pursue the life he wanted. The Figaro Kingdom is publicly allied with Emperor Gestahl, but Edgar secretly supports The Returners. Edgar has a penchant for all things mechanical.
After the coin toss, Sabin left the Figaro kingdom and pursued a life in martial arts. Although they're twins, Sabin and Edgar are pretty much polar opposites.
A notorious gambler and owner of a casino/airship, Setzer is the lovable rogue in the story. He's a free spirit that loves to travel the world, which is getting harder and harder to do with the Empire around. Setzer also made an appearance in Kingdom Hearts II.
Celes was once one of the top generals in the Empire, but after being unjustly imprisoned and tortured by Gestahl's forces she was rescued by Locke and joins his efforts to destroy the Empire.
Strago is an elderly mage and descendant of the ancient Mage Warriors who fought in the War of the Magi. He's one of the few people around that has true knowledge of the Espers and magic. Strago joins The Returners after they save the life of his "granddaughter", Relm.
A thirteen year old boy that was abandoned to the wilderness while he was young, Gau has learned to survive amongst the wild monsters of the world. In the game, Gau's specialty was the ability to learn the attacks of the various monsters the player encountered. Gau would essentially merge into their group like a wild animal and learn their ways, eventually returning to the party with his new skills.
Mog's a cute little member of the moogle race, one of the trademarks of the Final Fantasy series. Unlike most moogles, he can actually speak the human language. He joins The Returners after they save him from a hostage situation.
Now that we've gone over the past attempts at Final Fantasy movies and series, learned from the mistakes, and picked a good starting point for a new animated tale. Let's talk about what this new series would have to incorporate to avoid abysmal failure.
Adapting Final Fantasy VI
The Whole Story
Hopefully, the past works in the franchise have clearly shown the perils of trying to cram tons of RPG story into a couple of hours. A new Final Fantasy VI anime would have to take the form of either a full series of no less than 25 episodes, an extended OVA, or a trilogy of movies.
The Engaging Villain
Kefka. Although he's not as pretty or as revered as Sephiroth, Kefka was definitely a very interesting Final Fantasy villain. He has many obvious parallels with Batman's Joker. Besides the obvious penchant for clown apparel that they both share, they're also both created by the very forces they will later seek to destroy.
Kefka was really an extraordinary bad guy. He was a scheming, manipulative, and very proactive character whose actions affected nearly all of the main characters in some way. This personal touch does a great deal to make the story more captivating. Unlike the confusing Sorceresses in FFVIII (the villain is Edea, no wait it's Adel, no wait it's Ultimecia!) or the amorphous blob known as Sin in FFX, Kefka acts as a very clear focal point for the viewer to despise and root against. He's one of the best villains to ever appear in an RPG.
The music in FFVI was written by long-time Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, the John Williams of video game music. Many consider this soundtrack even better than the heralded Final Fantasy VII soundtrack. Of course, the anime would absolutely require a whole orchestral soundtrack instead of the tinny MIDI sounds we had to put up with in the original game. There have been orchestral and piano versions of the songs released on CD, and many of the songs have been performed by symphonies across the world for various events. The soundtrack, in its entirety, would be an amazing element in a full anime series.
What to Avoid
The story here is fine as it is, actually it's fantastic. Screenwriters might be tempted to fiddle with things here and there to make things more watchable, but that would no doubt lead to a lot of problems. The original script should be left alone as much as possible, including the classic one liners like the delicious homage to Star Wars when Locke rescues Celes from an Imperial dungeon while dressed in Imperial armor and Celes says, "You're awfully short for a soldier."
The Voice Actor Trap
You would think this one would be obvious, but with the plethora of badly dubbed anime out there it's apparently not on the producers' radar screens. So much of the Final Fantasy storyline is based on making the viewer feel for the characters, and it's hard to do that if they all sound like frightened high schoolers in a bad production of Romeo and Juliet.
It would also be good to avoid the good voice actors that have become overexposed. Steve Blum (Spike in Cowboy Bebop and countless other dubs) is a great voice actor, but the anime fans can only stand hearing his voice so long. The same goes for Crispin Freeman (who actually voiced Setzer in Kingdom Hearts), Kirby Morrow, and all the other token anime voice actors. A new Final Fantasy series would have to be fresh and give some new blood a shot, or use voice actors that have a wide vocal range; Mark Hamill and Billy West (of Futurama fame) come to mind. Hamill did fantastic work as the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series so he could definitely do justice to Kefka, who's another scheming, crazy killer clown.
Advent Children spared no expense on the eye candy, and the results paid off. Many people were interested in the movie just to see the great CG work. By contrast, Final Fantasy Unlimited skimped on the artwork sometimes and that definitely had an impact on the overall feel of the series. The Final Fantasy franchise has enough clout behind it to warrant the upfront cost of high-quality animation if another series should be planned.
Things to Eliminate
As good as FF6 was, it was not without some flaws. There were some things that felt kind of silly in the game, and would probably be near disastrous in an anime.
Mog's Dance Skills
You can't have a Final Fantasy title without Moogles in there somewhere, and Mog represented his race well. Besides being quite adorable, he also was a valuable team member in the many battles of FF6. Mog would have to be a big presence in any anime based on the game.
However, in the game the character Mog's special ability was to do a "dance" that would unlock one of his special abilities. Mog's dance skill, even back when the game first came out, was kinda stupid. While the concept was ok in a 16 bit game with pixel art, it would be difficult for anime fans to enjoy seeing a battle where the heroes face a huge, menacing boss, with the storyline about to hit its climax, and then a two foot tall walking marshmellow busts out the Soulja Boy in the middle of the fight to unlock his Superman powers.
Strago's granddaughter is a playable character in the game. But unlike Gau who actually kicked ass, Relm was an underage member of the team that never quite made sense in the grand scheme of things. Relm was a somewhat useful character, sporting the highest magic power of all the playable characters and capable of controlling enemy monsters. But she just didn't fit logically. Besides being only ten, her special ability involved "sketching" the enemy monsters on her canvas in order to make copies of them that could magically come to life and fight for her. Later on, with the addition of a fake-mustache accessory, she can get even gain control of the feral dangerous beasts. Yes, that's right…a fake mustache that gives a ten-year-old girl the ability of animal mind control.
It's true that Final Fantasy is, well…fantasy. But there are limits to "suspension of disbelief". Relm would need to be nixed in the anime, or perhaps relegated to a brief cameo.
Another strange addition to the list of playable characters was Umaro, the yeti-like optional playable character that you could never even really control in battle. He was an odd character to begin with, and certainly not a fan favorite, so it would probably be best to leave him out and let others get that screen time.
Of course this is all just conjecture and wishing, but Advent Children would never have gotten produced if it hadn't been for the fans demanding more from the Final Fantasy VII world. The folks behind Final Fantasy definitely listen to what their incredibly loyal fanbase has to say.
What do you think? Did you love Advent Children and only want CG Final Fantasy shows? Would you rather Square ditch its graphical eye candy for an intelligible storyline? Original content or adapted? Agree with what has to stay and what has to go? Let us know in our comments section, which is located directly below this article!
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Final Fantasy VI
1994 role-playing video game
1994 video game
|Final Fantasy VI|
Box art of the original Super Famicom (Japanese) release
April 2, 1994
Final Fantasy VI,[a] also known as Final Fantasy III from its initial North American release in 1994, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy VI is the sixth main entry in the Final Fantasy series and the first to be directed by someone other than series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was instead filled by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. Long-time collaborator Yoshitaka Amano returned as character designer and concept artist, while composer Nobuo Uematsu returned to compose the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums.
Set in a world with technology resembling the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story follows an expanding cast that includes fourteen permanent playable characters. The narrative depicts numerous more mature themes throughout the entire game than its previous installments including a rebellion against an immoral military dictatorship, pursuit of a magical arms race, use of chemical weapons in warfare, depictions of violent and apocalyptic confrontations, several personal redemption arcs, teenage pregnancy, and the renewal of hope and life itself.
The game received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its graphics, soundtrack, story, characters, setting, and mature themes. Widely considered by many one of the greatest video games of all time and the best game in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VI is often cited as a watershed title for the role-playing genre, winning numerous awards and being ranked as the 2nd best RPG of all time by IGN in 2017. Its SNES and PlayStation versions have sold over 3.48 million copies worldwide to date, as well as over 750,000 copies as part of the Japanese Final Fantasy Collection and the North American Final Fantasy Anthology.
It was ported by Tose with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation in 1999 and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance in 2006, and it was released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2011. In 2017, Nintendo re-released Final Fantasy VI as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition. The game was known as Final Fantasy III when it was first released in North America, as the original Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and Final Fantasy V had not been released outside Japan at the time (leaving IV as the second title released outside Japan and VI as the third). However, later localizations typically use the original title.
Like previous Final Fantasy installments, Final Fantasy VI consists of four basic modes of gameplay: an overworld map, town and dungeon field maps, a battle screen, and a menu screen. The overworld map is a scaled-down version of the game's fictional world, which the player uses to direct characters to various locations. As with most games in the series, the three primary means of travel across the overworld are by foot, chocobo, and airship. With a few plot-driven exceptions, enemies are randomly encountered on field maps and on the overworld when traveling by foot. The menu screen is where the player makes such decisions as which characters will be in the traveling party, which equipment they wield, the magic they learn, and the configuration of the gameplay. It is also used to track experience points and levels.
The game's plot develops as the player progresses through towns and dungeons. Town citizens will offer helpful information and some residents own item or equipment shops. Later in the game, visiting certain towns will activate side-quests. Dungeons appear as a variety of areas, including caves, forests, and buildings. These dungeons often have treasure chests containing rare items that are not available in most stores. Dungeons may feature puzzles and mazes, with some dungeons requiring the player to divide the characters into multiple parties which must work together to advance through the dungeon.
Combat in Final Fantasy VI is menu-based, in which the player selects an action from a list of such options as Fight, Magic, and Item. A maximum of four characters may be used in battles, which are based on the series' traditional Active Time Battle (ATB) system first featured in Final Fantasy IV. Under this system, each character has an action bar that replenishes itself at a rate dependent on their speed statistic. When a character's action bar is filled, the player may assign an action. In addition to standard battle techniques, each character possesses a unique special ability. For example, Locke possesses the ability to steal items from enemies, while Celes' Runic ability allows her to absorb most magical attacks cast until her next turn.
Another element is the Desperation Attack, a powerful attack substitution that occasionally appears when a character's health is low. Similar features appear in later Final Fantasy titles under a variety of different names, including Limit Breaks, Trances, and Overdrives. Characters are rewarded for victorious battles with experience points and money, called gil (Gold Piece (GP) in the original North American localization). When characters attain a certain amount of experience points, they gain a level, which increases their statistics. An additional player may play during battle scenarios, with control of individual characters assigned from the configuration menu.
Characters in Final Fantasy VI can be equipped with a variety of weapons, armor and, particular to this entry, powerful accessories known as "Relics". Weapons and armor increase combat capability mostly by increasing statistics and adding beneficial effects to attacks. By comparison, Relics have a variety of uses and effects, are almost entirely interchangeable among party members, and are extended in sophistication to alter basic battle commands and exceed normal limitations of the game's systems.
Although in Final Fantasy VI only two playable characters start the game with the ability to use magic, magic may later be taught to almost all other playable characters through the game's introduction of magicite and the Espers that magicite shards contain. "Espers" are the game's incarnation of the series' trope of "summons", powerful monstrous beings, many of which are recurring throughout the series, such as Ifrit, Shiva, Bahamut and Odin. Besides those returning from previous entries, Final Fantasy VI features approximately two dozen of them in total, with more added to later versions of the game.
The setting and plot of the game revolve heavily around Espers and their remains when deceased, which are referred to as "magicite". Each piece of magicite has a specific set of magic spells that a character can learn when they are equipped with it in the menu. If used often enough, these abilities become permanently accessible, even if the magicite is removed. Additionally, some pieces of magicite grant a statistical bonus to a character when they gain a level. Finally, when a character equips a piece of magicite, they may summon the corresponding Esper during battle.
Instead of the strictly medievalfantasy settings featured in previous Final Fantasy titles, Final Fantasy VI is set in a world that also has prominent steampunk influences. The structure of society is similar to that of the latter half of the 19th century, with opera and the fine arts serving as recurring motifs throughout the game, and a level of technology comparable to that of the Second Industrial Revolution. During the first half of the game, the planet is referred to as the World of Balance, and is divided into three lush continents. The northern continent is punctuated by a series of mountain ranges, the southern continent has been mostly subjugated by the cruel Gestahl Empire, and the eastern continent is home to the Veldt, a massive wilderness inhabited by monsters from all over the world. An apocalyptic event mid-game transforms the planet into the World of Ruin; its withering landmasses are fractured into numerous islands surrounding a larger continent.
The game alludes to a conflict known as the "War of the Magi," which occurred one thousand years prior to the beginning of the game. In this conflict, three quarreling entities known as the "Warring Triad" used innocent humans as soldiers by transforming them into enslaved magical beings called Espers. The Triad realized their wrongdoings; they freed the espers and sealed their own powers inside three stone statues. As a precaution, the espers sealed off both the statues and themselves from the realm of humans. The concept of magic gradually faded to myth as mankind built a society extolling science and technology. At the game's opening, the Empire has taken advantage of the weakening barrier between the human and esper domains, capturing several espers in the process. Using these espers as a power source, the Empire has created "Magitek", a craft that combines magic with machinery (including mechanical infantry) and infuses humans with magical powers. The Empire is opposed by the Returners, a rebel organization seeking to free the subjugated lands.
Main article: Characters of Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI features fourteen permanent playable characters, the most of any game in the main series, as well as several secondary characters who are only briefly controlled by the player. The starting character, Terra Branford, is a reserved half-human, half-esper girl who spent most of her life as a slave to the Empire, thanks to a mind-controlling device, and is unfamiliar with love. Other primary characters include Locke Cole, a treasure hunter and rebel sympathizer with a powerful impulse to protect women; Celes Chere, a former general of the Empire, who joined the Returners after being jailed for questioning imperial practices; Edgar Roni Figaro, a consummate womanizer and the king of Figaro, who claims allegiance to the Empire while secretly supplying aid to the Returners;Sabin Rene Figaro, Edgar's independent brother, who fled the royal court to hone his martial arts skills; Cyan Garamonde, a loyal knight to the kingdom of Doma who lost his family and friends when Kefka poisoned the kingdom's water supply; Setzer Gabbiani, a habitual gambler, thrill seeker, and owner of the world's only known airship; Shadow, a ninja mercenary who offers his services to both the Empire and the Returners; Relm Arrowny, a young but tough artistic girl with magical powers; Strago Magus, Relm's elderly grandfather and a Blue Mage; Gau, a feral child surviving since infancy on the Veldt; Mog, a pike-toting Moogle from the mines of Narshe; Umaro, a savage but loyal sasquatch also from Narshe, talked into joining the Returners through Mog's persuasion; and Gogo, a mysterious, fully shrouded master of the art of mimicry.
Most of the main characters in the game hold a significant grudge against the Empire and, in particular, Kefka Palazzo, who serves as one of the game's main antagonists along with Emperor Gestahl. The clownish Kefka became the first experimental prototype of a line of magically empowered soldiers called Magitek Knights, rendering him insane; his actions throughout the game reflect his demented nature. The supporting character Ultros serves as a recurring villain and comic relief. A handful of characters have reappeared in later games. Final Fantasy SGI, a short tech demo produced for the Silicon GraphicsOnyx workstation, featured polygon-based 3D renderings of Locke, Terra, and Shadow.
In the town of Narshe, Terra participates in an Imperial mission to seize a powerful Esper encased in ice. Upon locating it, a magical reaction occurs between Terra and the Esper; as a result, the soldiers accompanying Terra are killed and Terra is knocked unconscious. Upon awakening, Terra is informed that the Empire had been using a device called a "slave crown" to control her actions. With the crown now removed, Terra cannot remember anything more than her name and her rare ability to use magic unaided. Terra is then introduced to an organization known as the "Returners", who she agrees to help in their revolution against the Empire. The Returners learn that Imperial soldiers, led by Kefka, are planning another attempt to seize the frozen Esper. After repelling Kefka's attack, Terra experiences another magical reaction with the frozen Esper; she transforms into a creature resembling an Esper and flies to another continent. Upon locating Terra, the party is confronted by an Esper named Ramuh, who informs the group that Terra may require the assistance of another Esper imprisoned in the Imperial capital city of Vector.
At Vector, the party attempts to rescue several Espers; however, the Espers are already dying from Magitek experiments and choose instead to offer their lives to the party by transforming into magicite. The group returns to Terra and observes a reaction between her and the magicite "Maduin". The reaction calms Terra and restores her memory; she reveals that she is the half-human, half-Esper child of Maduin and a human woman. With this revelation, the Returners ask Terra to convince the Espers to join their cause. To do this, she travels to the sealed gate between the human and Esper worlds. However, unbeknownst to the party, the Empire also uses Terra to gain access to the Esper world. There, Emperor Gestahl and Kefka retrieve the statues of the Warring Triad, raising a landmass called the Floating Continent. The group confronts Emperor Gestahl and Kefka at the Floating Continent, whereupon Kefka, whose mental state has progressively declined over the course of the story, usurps and murders Gestahl. Kefka then tampers with the alignment of the statues, which upsets the balance of magic and destroys most of the surface of the world.
One year later, Celes awakens on a deserted island. She learns that Kefka is using the Warring Triad to rule the world in a tyrannical god-like manner, destroying whole villages who oppose him and causing all life to slowly wither away. After Celes escapes the island, she searches for her lost comrades, who are found scattered throughout the ruined world. They come to terms with their situation and resolve to confront Kefka and end his reign, with Terra additionally accepting her half-Esper heritage and finding a new purpose in life in fighting for a better future. The group infiltrates Kefka's tower and destroys the Warring Triad before confronting Kefka himself, who has descended into nihilism as a result of his madness and plans to destroy all of existence as a means of self-validation. However, the group successfully destroys Kefka in battle, at which point magic and Espers disappear from the world; despite this, Terra is able to survive by hanging onto the human half of her existence. The group escapes from Kefka's tower as it collapses and flies away while watching as the world rejuvenates itself.
Final Fantasy VI entered development after the release of its predecessor Final Fantasy V in December 1992. The development of the game took just one year to complete. Series creator and director Hironobu Sakaguchi could not be as intimately involved as in previous installments due to his other projects and his promotion to Executive Vice President of the company in 1991. For that reason, he became the producer and split director responsibilities for Final Fantasy VI up between Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito: Kitase was in charge of event production and the scenario, while Ito handled all battle aspects. Sakaguchi supervised Kitase's cutscene direction and ensured that the project would coalesce as a whole. The idea behind the story of Final Fantasy VI was that every character is the protagonist. All members of the development team contributed ideas for characters and their "episodes" for the overall plot in what Kitase described as a "hybrid process". Consequently, Terra and Locke were conceived by Sakaguchi; Celes and Gau by Kitase; Shadow and Setzer by graphic director Tetsuya Nomura; and Edgar and Sabin by field graphic designer Kaori Tanaka. Then it was Kitase's task to unite the story premise provided by Sakaguchi with all the individual ideas for character episodes to create a cohesive narrative. The scenario of Final Fantasy VI was written by a group of four or five people, among them Kitase who provided key elements of the story, such as the opera scene and Celes' suicide attempt, as well as all of Kefka's appearances.
Regular series character designer Yoshitaka Amano's concept art became the basis for the models in the full motion videos produced for the game's PlayStation re-release.Tetsuya Takahashi, one of the graphic directors, drew the imperial Magitek Armors seen in the opening scene. By doing so, he disregarded Sakaguchi's intention to reuse the regular designs from elsewhere in the game. The sprite art for the characters' in-game appearance was drawn by Kazuko Shibuya. While in the earlier installments, the sprites were less detailed on the map than in battle, Final Fantasy VI's had an equally high resolution regardless of the screen. This enabled the use of animations depicting a variety of movements and facial expressions. Though it was not the first game to utilize the Super NES' Mode 7 graphics, Final Fantasy VI made more extensive use of them than its predecessors. For instance, unlike both Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V, the world map is rendered in Mode 7, which lends a somewhat three-dimensional perspective to an otherwise two-dimensional game.
The original North American localization and release of Final Fantasy VI by Square for the Super NES featured several changes from the original Japanese version. The most obvious of these is the change of the game's title from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy III; because only two games of the series had been localized in North America at the time, Final Fantasy VI was distributed as Final Fantasy III to maintain naming continuity. Unlike Final Fantasy IV (which was first released in North America as Final Fantasy II), there are no major changes to gameplay, though several changes of contents and editorial adjustments exist in the English script. In a January 1995 interview with Super Play magazine, translator Ted Woolsey explained that "there's a certain level of playfulness and ... sexuality in Japanese games that just doesn't exist here [in the USA], basically because of Nintendo of America's rules and guidelines". Consequently, objectionable graphics (e.g. nudity) were censored and building signs in towns were changed (such as Bar being changed to Café), as well as religious allusions (e.g. the spell Holy was renamed Pearl).
Also, some direct allusions to death, killing actions, and violent expressions, as well as offensive words have been replaced by softer expressions. For example, after Edgar, Locke and Terra flee on chocobos from Figaro Castle, Kefka orders two Magitek Armored soldiers to chase them by shouting "Go! KILL THEM!", in the Japanese version. It was translated as "Go! Get them!" Also, when Imperial Troopers burn Figaro Castle, and Edgar claims Terra is not hidden inside the castle, Kefka replies "then you can burn to death" in the Japanese version, which was replaced in the English version by "Then welcome to my barbecue!". Similarly, as Magitek soldiers watch Edgar and his guests escape on Chocobos, Kefka swears in Japanese, which was translated by Ted Woolsey as "Son of a submariner!". The localization also featured changes to several names, such as "Tina" being changed to "Terra". Finally, dialogue text files had to be shortened due to the limited data storage space available on the game cartridge's read-only memory. As a result, additional changes were rendered to dialogue in order to compress it into the available space.
The PlayStation re-release featured only minor changes to the English localization. The title of the game was reverted to Final Fantasy VI from Final Fantasy III, to unify the numbering scheme of the series in North America and Japan with the earlier release of Final Fantasy VII. A few item and character names were adjusted, as in the expansion of "Fenix Down" to "Phoenix Down". Unlike the PlayStation re-release of Final Fantasy IV included in the later Final Fantasy Chronicles compilation, the script was left essentially unchanged. The Game Boy Advance re-release featured a new translation by a different translator, Tom Slattery. This translation preserved most of the character names, location names, and terminology from the Woolsey translation, but changed item and spell names to match the conventions used in more recent titles in the series. The revised script preserved certain quirky lines from the original while changing or editing others, and it cleared up certain points of confusion in the original translation. The WiiVirtual Console release used the Final Fantasy III name of the SNES game.
Main article: Music of Final Fantasy VI
The soundtrack for Final Fantasy VI was composed by long-time series contributor Nobuo Uematsu. The score consists of themes for each major character and location, as well as music for standard battles, fights with boss enemies and for special cutscenes. The extensive use of leitmotif is one of the defining points of the audio tracks. The "Aria di Mezzo Carattere" is one of the latter tracks, played during a cutscene involving an opera performance. This track features an unintelligible synthesized "voice" that harmonizes with the melody, as technical limitations for the SPC700sound format chip prevented the use of an actual vocal track (although some developers eventually figured out how to overcome the limitation a few years later). The orchestral album Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale features an arranged version of the aria, using Italian lyrics performed by Svetla Krasteva with an orchestral accompaniment. This version is also found in the ending full motion video of the game's SonyPlayStation re-release, with the same lyrics but a different musical arrangement. In addition, the albumOrchestral Game Concert 4 includes an extended version of the opera arranged and conducted by Kōsuke Onozaki and performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, featuring Wakako Aokimi, Tetsuya Ōno, and Hiroshi Kuroda on vocals. It was also performed at the "More Friends" concert at the Gibson Amphitheatre in 2005 using a new English translation of the lyrics, an album of which is now available. "Dancing Mad", accompanying the game's final battle with Kefka, is 17 minutes long and contains an organcadenza, with variations on Kefka's theme. The "Ending Theme" combines every playable character theme into one composition lasting over 21 minutes.
The original score was released on three Compact Discs in Japan as Final Fantasy VI: Original Sound Version. A version of this album was later released in North America as Final Fantasy III: Kefka's Domain, this version of the album is the same as its Japanese counterpart, except for different packaging and small differences in the translation of some track names between the album and newer releases. Additionally, Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale features eleven tracks from the game, arranged by Shirō Sagisu and Tsuneyoshi Saito and performed by the Ensemble Archi Della Scala and Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano (Milan Symphony Orchestra).Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VI, a second arranged album, features thirteen tracks from the game, performed for piano by Reiko Nomura. More recently, "Dancing Mad", the final boss theme from Final Fantasy VI, has been performed at Play! A Video Game Symphony in Stockholm, Sweden on June 2, 2007, by the group Machinae Supremacy.
Nobuo Uematsu's former rock band, The Black Mages, released a progressive metal version of Dancing Mad on their eponymous first album in 2003. Their third album, subtitled Darkness and Starlight, is so named after its premiere track: a rock opera version of the entire opera from FFVI, including the Aria di Mezzo Carattere performed by Etsuyo Ota.
In 2012, a Kickstarter campaign for OverClocked ReMix was funded at $153,633 for the creation of a multiple CD album of remixes of the music from Final Fantasy VI. Andrew Aversa directed the creation of the album, Balance and Ruin, which contains 74 tracks from 74 artists, each with its own unique style. The album is free and available at the OverClocked ReMix website.Video Games Live composer Jillian Aversa, Andrew Aversa's wife, created a music video tribute to Aria di Mezzo Carattere, together with cellist Tina Guo, expanding on the arrangement from Balance and Ruin.
Final Fantasy VI was ported to the PlayStation by Tose and re-released in Japan and North America in 1999. In Japan, it was available in both a standalone release and as part of Final Fantasy Collection, while in North America it was available only as part of Final Fantasy Anthology. In Europe it was sold only as a standalone release. Fifty thousand limited-edition copies were also released in Japan and included a Final Fantasy-themed alarm clock.
Final Fantasy VI's PlayStation port is very similar to the original Japanese Super Famicom release. With the exception of the addition of two full motion video opening and ending sequences and new screen-transition effects used for the start and end of battles, the graphics, music and sound are left unchanged from the original version. The only notable changes to gameplay (in addition to loading times not present in the cartridge versions) involve the correction of a few software bugs from the original and the addition of a new "memo save" feature, allowing players to quickly save their progress to the PlayStation's RAM. The re-release included other special features, such as a bestiary and an artwork gallery. On December 18, 2012, the port was re-released as part of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box package in Japan.
Final Fantasy VI was re-released as a PSone Classic in Japan on April 20, 2011, and in PAL territories on June 2, 2011. It was released in North America on December 6, 2011.
After the PlayStation, Tose then ported the game to the Game Boy Advance, on which it was released as Final Fantasy VI Advance. It was released in Japan by Square Enix on November 30, 2006, with Nintendo handling publishing in North America on February 5, 2007, and in Europe on July 6. It was the last game to be released on the Game Boy Advance in Asia, as well as the last one to be published by Nintendo on the system. It includes additional gameplay features, slightly improved visuals, and a new translation that follows Japanese naming conventions for the spells and monsters. It does not, however, have the full-motion videos from the PlayStation version of the game. Four new espers appear in Advance: Leviathan, Gilgamesh, Cactuar, and Diabolos. Two new areas include the Dragons' Den dungeon, which includes the Kaiser Dragon, a monster coded, but not included, in the original, and a "Soul Shrine", a place where the player can fight monsters continuously. Three new spells also appear, and several bugs from the original are fixed. In addition, similarly to the other handheld Final Fantasy re-releases, a bestiary and a music player are included. Even in the Japanese version, the music player is in English and uses the American names, e.g. Strago over Stragus. The package features new artwork by series veteran and original character and image designer Yoshitaka Amano.
The original Super Famicom version was released for the WiiVirtual Console in Japan on March 15, 2011, in PAL territories (Europe and Australia) on March 18, 2011, and in North America on June 30, 2011. The game was released in the West with its original North American title of Final Fantasy III. The Super Famicom version was later released on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan. On December 22, 2015, Square Enix released the Game Boy Advance version on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan.
Nintendo re-released Final Fantasy VI worldwide in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES/Super Famicom Classic Edition.
Mobile platforms and PC
Ports of Final Fantasy VI for Android and iOS mobile operating systems were announced in 2013. The mobile-optimized versions of the game were released on Android on January 15, 2014, and iOS on February 6, 2014 with mobile-adapted controls and save features, but redrawn, slightly blurry graphics.
A Windows PC port, itself a port of the Android version, was released for Windows PC via Steam on December 16, 2015. The Steam release featured controls optimized for PC, Steam achievements and trading cards.
Final Fantasy VI received critical acclaim and was commercially successful in Japan upon release. In mid-1994, Square's publicity department reported that the game had sold 2.55 million copies in Japan. In the United States, where it went on sale in the last quarter of 1994, it became the year's eighth best-selling SNES cartridge; despite this, it was not a commercial success in that region, according to Sakaguchi. As of March 31, 2003, the game had shipped 3.48 million copies worldwide, with 2.62 million of those copies being shipped in Japan and 860,000 abroad.Final Fantasy Collection sold over 400,000 copies in 1999, making it the 31st-best-selling release of that year in Japan.Final Fantasy Anthology has sold approximately 364,000 copies in North America.Final Fantasy VI Advance sold over 223,000 copies in Japan by the end of 2006, one month after release.
GamePro rated it 4.5 out of 5 in graphics and a perfect 5.0 in sound, control, and fun factor, stating that "characters, plotlines, and multiple-choice scenarios all combine to form one fantastic game!" The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly each granted it a unanimous score of 9 out of 10 (36 out of 40) and their "Game of the Month" award, commenting that it had set the new standard for excellence in RPGs. They particularly praised the graphics, music, and the strong emotional involvement of the story. It won several awards from Electronic Gaming Monthly in their 1994 video game awards, including Best Role-Playing Game, Best Japanese Role-Playing Game, and Best Music for a Cartridge-Based Game. Additionally, they ranked the game ninth in their 1997 list of the 100 greatest console games of all time.Famitsu scored it 37 out of 40, making it one of their two highest-rated games of 1994 (along with Ridge Racer). For their part, Nintendo Power declared the game "the RPG hit of the decade", noting its improved sound and graphics over its predecessors, and the game's broadened thematic scope. Moreover, they suggested that "with so much story and variation of play ... fans may become lost in the world for months at a time".Nintendo Power also opined that the game plot was "not particularly inventive" and the "story is often sappy–not written for an American audience".
In 1997, Nintendo Power ranked it as the eighth greatest Nintendo game, saying it "had everything you could want—heroes, world-shattering events, magic, mindless evil—plus Interceptor the wonder dog!" The same year, GamePro said it "still remains one of the most fun, innovative, and challenging RPGs to date." In 1996, Next Generation said the scene in which Terra cares for a village of orphaned children "can perhaps be safely named as the series' finest hour ... no other game series has tackled such big issues, or reached such a level of emotional depth and complexity."
Final Fantasy Collection received 54 out of 60 points from Weekly Famitsu, scored by a panel of six reviewers.IGN described the graphics of the PlayStation re-release as "beautiful and stunning", reflecting that, at the time of its release, "Final Fantasy III... represented everything an RPG should be", inspiring statistic growth systems that would later influence titles like Wild Arms and Suikoden. Moreover, they praised its gameplay and storyline, claiming that these aspects took "all ... preceding RPG concepts and either came up with something completely new or refined them enough to make them its own", creating an atmosphere in which "[players] won't find it difficult to get past the simplistic graphics or seemingly out-dated gameplay conventions and become involved". RPGamer gave a perfect rating to both the original game and its PlayStation re-release, citing its gameplay as "self-explanatory enough that most any player could pick up the game and customize their characters' equipment", while praising its music as "a 16-bit masterpiece".
The game's release for the Game Boy Advance also garnered praise. the Game Boy Advance re-release was named eighth best Game Boy Advance game of all time in IGN's feature reflecting on the Game Boy Advance's long lifespan.Final Fantasy VI is often regarded as one of the best titles in the series and one of the best role-playing video games ever created according to multiple websites. Readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu voted it as the 25th best game of all time. In an updated version of the "Top 100" list in 2007, IGN ranked Final Fantasy VI as the ninth top game of all time, above all other Final Fantasy games in the series. They continued to cite the game's character development, and especially noted Kefka as "one of the most memorable bad guys in RPG history."Nintendo Power listed the ending to Final Fantasy VI as one of the best finales, citing the narrative and cast variety.
Main article: Final Fantasy VII
Following Final Fantasy VI, Square began testing for its next entry Final Fantasy VII on the N64, but technical issues, escalating cartridge costs and the higher storage capacity of CD technology persuaded Square to move Final Fantasy VII and all their subsequent titles onto the PlayStation. During early testing on 3D development software, the team rendered a battle involving Final Fantasy VI characters Terra, Locke and Shadow. The decision to move to PlayStation soured the relations between Square and Nintendo. Due to this, Final Fantasy VI was the last series title to release on a Nintendo platform until Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles in 2003.Final Fantasy VI was included in the Super NES Classic Edition and is listed as Final Fantasy III for the North American and European release on September 29, 2017.
In 2010, Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto stated that the development of a remake of Final Fantasy VI for the Nintendo DS was "undecided" due to "technical issues". Later, however, Square discussed remaking VI as well as V for the Nintendo 3DS. In 2015, Tetsuya Nomura, then directing Final Fantasy VII Remake, expressed interest in remaking Final Fantasy V and VI.
Final Fantasy VI has made multiple appearances in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game.
This audio file was created from a revision of this article dated 2 February 2010 (2010-02-02), and does not reflect subsequent edits.
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- ^Cid: Celes... at last...! You're finally awake... / Celes: I... feel like I've been sleeping forever... / Cid: For one year, actually... ... / Cid: We're on a tiny, deserted island. After the world crumbled, I awoke to find us here together with... a few strangers. / Cid: Since that day, the world's continued its slide into ruin. Animals and plants are dying... The few others who washed up here with us passed away of boredom and despair. Square Co (October 11, 1994). Final Fantasy III (Super NES). Square Soft.
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10 Final Fantasy Games That Would Make Amazing Anime Series
The Final Fantasy games are, with a few exceptions, mostly self-contained games that each tell incredible but separate stories. Playing RPGs can be time-consuming, and it's an investment that turns a lot of players off of the genre— but it's also an investment that has a tremendous payout in the experience and overall accomplishment when finally seeing the end credits.
RELATED: Final Fantasy: 10 Ways The Franchise Has Changed Since 1987
The stories are sometimes over the top, but many grounded moments and character development exist that can still be somewhat rare in the medium of video games. With so many Western and Japanese influences, many of the stories of various Final Fantasy entries could easily be adapted into anime.
10 Final Fantasy VI: The Magical Steampunk Story With An Anime-Style Time Skip
Originally released as Final Fantasy III in the West, FFVI has many story tropes that can be found in anime and manga. The game is set during a battle between the Empire and the group of rebels that oppose the crown's attempt to conquer the entire planet named the Returners.
Amnesia plays a key part in the story as the first playable character introduced is being used as a weapon; An esper named Terra that frees herself of a mind-control device after unleashing too much energy. Terra meets 13 other characters, each with their own stories and commitments to stop the Empire. The mysterious power of espers and their world is revealed to be the main goal of the villain, Kefka. This villain players love to hate, along with all of the other elements, would make FFVI a perfect anime.
9 Final Fantasy VIII: The Growth Of The Stereotypical Loner Character
Squall Leonhart starts off as a loner, but over the course of the game, becomes a more involved and deep character. Despite being the central protagonist, the overall plot of FFVIII tells many unique characters' stories while they interact and change Squall for the better.
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The world's magic system is unique, naturally being used by a sorceress and Guardian Forces. Mercenaries like Squall are able to use magic with the help of Guardian Forces, and while the game is political in the beginning, it becomes almost an entirely different game in the second half. Love, betrayal, and time travel are just a few of the hooks in the story that could be a draw to fans of anime. It has so much subtext, in fact, that theories surrounding the fate of Squall are still discussed at length today, over 20 years after the game's original release.
8 Final Fantasy XV: Multiple POVs Could Make For Entire Anime Seasons Each
FFXV was released with several forms of media leading up to it. A movie and anime were made, both set before the events of the game. The world is as modern as it gets, with cars, gas stations, and Cups of Noodles, mixed with powerful creatures, summons, and magic.
Within the story, the main character Noctis makes his way to Altissia in order to marry his childhood friend and fiancee, Lunafreya. The marriage is used as a union to meet the terms of a peace treaty between his own kingdom of Lucis, and her Empire, Niflheim. An anime adaptation could go on for seasons as there are countless perspectives to be taken into account, as well as the history leading up to the events of the game.
7 Final Fantasy IV: The Time Skip Alone Would Have People Invested
FFIV begins with quite the opener, as the Red Wings' Captain Cecil is stripped of his rank after questioning orders for attacking a Wizard town to obtain the Water Crystal for the King. It is set during a time of war and has a race of Dwarves living in the Underworld, and the Lunarian race living in the outer region of the Blue Planet.
High fantasy like FFIV is the perfect setting for an anime, and with each character met having their own unique class/job, it makes for a varied cast with a story of deception, betrayal, and saving the world. If that wasn't enough, the story of FFIV expands into the Interlude and The After Years games. The After Years takes place 17 years later and focuses on the coming of the second moon. It's told in parts and themes around impending doom from the descending moon and what that means for the people of the planet.
6 Final Fantasy X: Another Adaptation Might Make People Move On From The Infamous Laughing Scene
FFX was the first fully voiced-acted Final Fantasy, and because of this, many scenes have been made into memes. The game follows Tidus, a Blitzball player that seeks his father's approval, while also being resentful towards Jecht. Tidus is taken someplace far from home, meeting a group of people he becomes friends with while they journey to quell the anger of a monstrous force called Sin.
The cast is relatively small, and because of this, there is plenty of room for character growth. Where FFX deals with serious topics and a city-devouring god, FFX-2 is much laxer in its execution with a light-hearted delivery, though each perfect for an anime.
5 Final Fantasy VII Trilogy: Love Triangles, Existentialism, & The Fate Of The World
FFVII, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus would make amazing anime, each with different tones and stories. While there is a lot to cover here, the trilogy follows three protagonists that are tormented by their duties and sacrifices that have made them into who they are.
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Vincent's story could easily be adapted into a horror series, while Zack fits into the shonen protagonist trope being the fun-loving and casual speaking SOLDIER with a happy demeanor. Cloud follows tropes as well, with the added mix of not quite knowing who he is— following a path he thinks is his, but ultimately finding out that not everything is as it seems.
4 Final Fantasy VII Remake: A Revisit & A Retelling, But With Its Own Twist
Avoiding spoilers, FFVII Remake is different enough to deserve its own anime. The game follows a similar pattern but fleshes out some characters and adds twists to a story that players will think they know. With so many series being remade in the anime world, Remake would cater to both people familiar with the story of the original with departure from the story, while still following the story beats for fresh people.
Following the deeper complexities of what unfolds, the sequel for the game will certainly add more depth to characters while most likely adding its own unique characters to the mix as well.
3 Final Fantasy XII: Stopping A War Before It Happens
FFXII follows Vaan as its protagonist, but the main character, in reality, is Ashe. Ashe is the princess of Dalmasca, a kingdom that had remained neutral during times of war, and she was to marry a prince to strengthen their numbers in a union with a neighboring kingdom.
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Things were cut short, however, as Prince Rasler is killed during the opening parts of the game. Dalmasca is conquered by Archardia willingly by the King, after signing under its rule in order to save its people from war. Two years later, the game shifts perspective to Vaan and how he gets caught up in problems bigger than him. The game follows a diverse cast of characters, each trying to stop a war that seems to be just over the horizon.
2 Final Fantasy XIII: Stopping The Destruction Of Their Planet
FFXIII follows a wide cast, but most people recognize Lightning as the central character in the story. She is often compared to Cloud, and the fate of Cocoon, the artificial planet that the characters live on, lies in her hands.
Throughout the story, the party uncovers more and more evidence that leads to a conspiracy set in ancient times. Attempting to save the planet, Lightning fights tooth and nail to uncover the plot while being led in different directions. A lot of loss is dealt within the game's story, and Lightning takes a path of revenge as a result.
1 Final Fantasy IX: A Serious Plot With Lighthearted Elements Mixed In Makes For A Good Anime Plot
FFIX is whimsical and complex in its delivery. The cast has an existential crisis, trying to find out who or what they are while trying to stop the Kingdom of Alexandria from their rampage. Zidane is caught up in this after kidnapping the princess for her own safety, as ordered by the Regent of Lindblum, and they quickly catch each other's eye.
The story focuses on Zidane and Garnet primarily, but the entire cast of characters each have their time to shine. Garnet's mother appears to be brainwashed, going on a murder spree with her soldiers, endangering the lives of anyone that opposes her.
NEXT: Final Fantasy: 10 Hardest Boss Fights From The PS1 Games, Ranked
Next5 Merciful Anime Heroes (& 5 Who Show No Mercy)About The Author
Adam Aguilar is a writer interested in horror, games, anime/manga, and old comic books. They are a challenge seeker with a love for stories of all genres. Adam has been a musician for 15 years, with a focus in guitar and bass. They write poetry as well, but reserves it for personal use.
A strong smelly smell appeared in the toilet, inherent in the old feces that had been lying in the intestines for a long time. Leah, go away. There is no need for you to stand here and sniff shit, "Diana suggested to her. " It's nothing, I don't care about this smell, "said. A friend," I want to see how you poop.
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There are futanari and dickgirl elements. I will not say that I distinguished myself in some way in my life. Was an ordinary guy in an ordinary family with ordinary interests. Nothing to be proud of, or, on the contrary, to be ashamed of. Everything, like everyone else.FINAL FANTASY VI CG Cutscenes in HD (UPSCALED W/ AI GIGAPIXEL)
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The red-haired Olga Ternova's entire pubis was covered with red curls. Then he saw Masha coming out of the shower room door. And she is beautiful, Kostya realized.