Gamer Limit Banner

I just finished Final Fantasy VI yesterday (or is it III? Either way the one with Terra and Kefka). While I can see why the SNES version is sitting comfortably with a 93% on GameRankings.com, I found some flaws with the game. Namely with the characters.

Don’t worry, Kefka the insane clown was one of my favorites, probably because of my nearly crippling fear of clowns. It’s some of the heroes I have problems with. Read on to find out why I think the characters are Final Fantasy VI‘s greatest strength and its biggest weakness.

Quick question: how many characters are there in the ensemble cast of your favorite TV show or sitcom? Is the answer around five or so? Friends had six main characters. How I Met Your Mother has five. Scrubs had four main characters and a couple more really strong supporting characters. You get my point. Each of these shows had a just the right number of characters to get the audience emotionally invested in them.

Final Fantasy VI has fourteen playable characters. That’s more than enough to create three parties of four — something the game requires you to do at times. While some of these characters are memorable and surprisingly deep, others are mere throwaways that bog down the game. Having fourteen characters to manage and care about weakens Final Fantasy VI.

In the beginning of the game you’re introduced to Terra, a mysterious green-haired woman with the ability to use magic. After playing as her for a tiny bit, the game then introduces Locke the thief — no wait treasure hunter, as he calls himself. More and more characters are added slowly, and because of the nature of the plot, they all get split up and you play three separate scenarios with only a handful of them at a time.

While it feels a little constricting to have the game force you to use characters you may not enjoy using, it also forces you to focus your attention on them. It’s during these sequences that we get to learn a little more about Terra’s and Locke’s histories. To me, Terra isn’t that interesting, but Locke has a secret that haunts him, and I enjoyed his storyline.

By the time you get toward the game’s big twist climax event, your ranks have swelled to ridiculous numbers. The problem is that each of these new characters has their own unique command used in battle and their own history. The characters from the beginning — Terra, Locke, Edgar, and even I’d contend Celes, have been with you for a long time. You’ve had time to get to know them.

The new ones…not so much. They feel way more one note. Relm? What do we know about her other than she’s Strago’s granddaughter and that she’s kind of annoying. Strago? He’s old and uses Lores as his special attack. That’s about it. And they’re human! There are other characters–some optional–that aren’t even human. Mog? What’s his deal? Umaro the yeti? I don’t even know what the hell Gogo is.

This is the problem with any game, movie, or TV show that tries to focus on way too many characters or adds more and more of them mid-season, so to speak. But specific to Final Fantasy VI and RPGs in general is the fact that you have to spend time training/using all these secondary, less interesting characters. During the final dungeon you have to field three teams of four. That means I had to level twelve different characters, learn their abilities, and equip them with Espers so they could learn magical spells. These mechanics hurt the game in two ways. Firstly, it tries to force me to care about lesser characters. Secondly, it artificially lengthens the game by forcing me to grind with all my characters.

It was disappointing that I ended up feeling this way, because all things considered Final Fantasy VI is a very good game. While the plot is a little standard–band of rebels trying to stop an evil empire–the standout characters really make the game shine. If only the rest of the extensive cast had connected that deeply with me as well.

  1. I have to agree. Truthfully though if you built up a core team of like 6-8 guys and made them stupid uber you could just spread them out amongst the 4 teams and be basically fine even if most of team 3 were low level untrained weaklings.

    That said Gogo, Umaro, and to a lesser extent Shadow, are all secret characters so you don’t have to roll around with the full cast.

  2. avatar Kaeroth

    I think your point of trying to compare it with your usual show like Friends is not realizing the dimension of the story.

    Could they have developed some characters more? Yes. But the point always was that there isn’t even ONE main character (the sillyness of most games with this is beyond comprehension), but an entire cast of people from many wakes of life that happen to also be fighting the big bad guy, and fight together.

    Instead of being forced with some dull hero-wannabe protagonist, I’m free to pick whichever I want to make my main party, and none plays a particularly irreplaceable part in the cast – You can finish the game without ever getting Terra again, for instance. It’s tough as hell (As the split your-cast parts of the game become insane with few characters), but that gives you an impression of “this character is not the only one who can do it” that ultimately enriches the experience; most storylines have “chosen one” and “prophecies” that mark the main character as the only one who can do the task at hand, but it takes some good writing and design decisions to make it not-so.

  3. avatar Miles Schwenck

    My dream retirement is living on a 45ft center cockpit Hunter sailboat with my man and dog sailing the inter coastal waterways, the Caribbean, and any port I choose.

    http://www.dwpksO4BPTdwpksO4BPT.com/dwpksO4BPTdwpksO4BPT

  4. avatar Valrie Aschenbach

    Hi, We have paid for 2 months of letters and have not received any yet. How do I get that fixed?thanks

    http://www.y24I6KZv2wy24I6KZv2w.com/y24I6KZv2wy24I6KZv2w

  5. avatar Jere

    I was able to find good info from your blog posts.

    Look into my wweb blog – taking surveys for money

  6. avatar Hong Stare

    You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation but I in finding this matter to be really one thing which I feel I might never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking ahead on your subsequent put up, I will try to get the grasp of it!

    http://www.baohuhanji.com/plus/guestbook.php

  7. avatar Hyo Kalfa

    Good info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks :)

    http://www.cravedgames.com/profile/phsessums

  8. avatar Clemmie Bennink

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

    http://blogs.rediff.com/william926fuiwblog/2014/10/10/stumped-with-movie-advertising-get-knowledge-right-here/

  9. avatar Gilbert

    Store all jewelry inn a lined jewelry field tto
    restrict exposure to air, which may discolor it over time.

    Here is myy homepage; Pilgrim (altherren.fcbochum.de)

  10. avatar Jewel Turnbull

    Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your web site by accident, and I’m surprised why this accident didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

    http://www.itestcomments890.com

  11. avatar Guillermo

    Very nicee article, exactloy wat I needed.

    my page – v.gd; Jacklyn,

  12. avatar Annie

    It’s not good that you will just permit your man to walk all more than you just since
    he knows that you really like him.

    Feel free tto visit my site – how to get a guy to llike You (http://www.youtube.com)

  13. avatar Colin

    Players no longer news and a genuine website selling gaming accounts.
    Each activity browser mmorpg [Berenice] has a large role in Culture.

    From the internet might lead to an interesting near future.

    And now I am. Some less combat-oriented players operate as miners or salvagers,
    collecting revenue from a game that has wonderful family appeal, so if you invest initially
    in them. You just for that browser mmorpg easy to play these games.

  14. avatar Jamila

    This is mmy firsat time go tto see at hdre annd i am really pleassant to reazd all at single place.

    My web site deepkarmacanyon.blogspot.de, Sibyl,

  15. avatar Jimmy

    Thanks for any other fantastic article. Where else could anybody
    get that kind of info in such a perect manner of writing?
    I have a presentation ubsequent week, and I am at the search for such information.

    my webb site; a4 envelopes

Leave a Reply