Final Fantasy VI

I see Square learned how to lie through game titles just like Nintendo.

Game Data:

  • Review Date: June 16, 2021
  • Release Date: October 11, 1994
  • Platform: SNES
  • Publisher: Square
  • Developer: Square
  • Genre: RPG

Anecdotes: When I told my brother I was thinking of trying Final Fantasy, THIS was the game he recommended I play first. He had good things to say about the game, which, naturally, made me hesitant to play. He tends to share the popular opinion of things; my opinion is more often than not quite different from everyone else’s. What I think of a game doesn’t always match public opinion. In this case, though, I agree about how good the game is, but not necessarily the reasons for that.

Description: A resistance group sets out to fight the Empire in their quest to take over the world. While going after the Empire, a particularly despicable member gets so far out of control that even the Empire gets sick of him. Eventually, the Empire calls for a truce, but the villain emerges and completely changes the world.

I’m going to list the playable characters in Final Fantasy VI. This includes both permanent and temporary characters, but excludes the generic Moogles other than Mog. It also excludes Madiun because he never appears in battle.

  • Banon: Banon comes along for the rafting ride with Terra and Edgar as they head toward Narshe. Banon’s special ability is Health, a ridiculously overpowered healing spell that costs ZERO MP and heals the entire party. Banon falling is an instant game over, but with Health, that will never happen as long as Banon stays in the back row.
  • Biggs: Biggs (mistranslated as Vicks on the SNES) is one of the characters in the march through Narshe that opens the game. He’s rather generic.
  • Celes: She’s a POW that got caught by the Empire’s soldiers when they took over South Figaro. She’s a former military general that can absorb magic when her sword, using the Runic ability. Runic is useful in several fights, most notably the first Kefka battle and the fight when Dullahan. When not using Runic, I tend to use her as a mage. After Kefka ruins everyone’s lives, Celes gets stuck on an island, where she gets lonely (especially if the fish mission fails). Eventually, a dove flies by carrying some guy’s bandana, so she tries to reassemble the team to get revenge of Kefka.
  • Cyan: This guy is angry, and rightfully so. His story is quite sad. Kefka poisoned the water over at Doma, killing nearly everyone in the castle. He had to watch as his wife and son get transport to “the other side” on the Phantom Train. After losing them, Cyan then sets out to defeat Kefka. He realizes he’s not alone when he meets up with Sabin. His special attack is Bushido, full of nice abilities, but takes time to charge up. Because of the charge time, I use him as an attacker more. He’s efficient enough at that. Japan’s version calls him Cayenne, so I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be a pepper or a color.
  • Edgar: Edgar is the king of Figaro, where he defends the castle from Kefka by submerging it into the sand. Edgar doesn’t do anything interesting storywise until the World of Ruin, where he pretends to be “Gerad” and leads a troop of pirates to help break into his own castle. Edgar has a nice equipment selection, but none of the weapons matter because he has Tools. The Crossbow and the Drill are enough to destroy nearly anything in the game. He’s the man. I put him in the party quite often. He always stays in the back row.
  • Gau: Gau uses Rages that mimic enemy behaviors. The problem for me is that it takes too long to learn them and there are too many of them to choose from. I’m sure there are plenty of situations where Gau could be useful, but I don’t have to patience to find them. Both times recruiting Gau involve fighting 0 EXP battles on the Veldt until he randomly shows up. The first time also requires Dried Meat. It has to be done to enter the Serpent Trench.
  • Ghost: The ghost can be recruited on the Phantom Train to assist in battle. It’s just temporary and just added in for the fun of it. It’s fun to play, but not required at all.
  • Gogo: Gogo is whatever players want Gogo to be. Gogo especially shines in Kefka’s Tower, as Gogo can use everyone else’s abilities. For example, if Edgar is in party 2, Gogo can be put in party 3 so two parties have access to Tools. Gogo can also copy moves, so in the rare chance Relm doesn’t clear the screen with her spells, Gogo can finish enemies off with another one.
  • Leo: He is one of Kefka’s generals that didn’t agree with how Kefka what about doing things. Leo was about winning the war, but he wanted to do it in a moral way and costing as few lives as possible.
  • Locke: This jerk will spend most of the game whining about a dead girlfriend that he should have been able to get over by now. He also vows to protect women because he thinks they’re weak and need him, completely ignoring the fact that both Terra and Celes were Empire generals that took down hordes of enemies on their own. Anyway, Locke starts the game arguing with an old man over semantics like he’s the government trying to hide something. He then has to be told by the old guy to go help Terra because he didn’t want to do it. He even called her a witch. Locke ends up doing nothing in the rescue, but at least he credits the Moogles, which is the only good thing he ever did. He then brings her to Edgar, a known lecherous type, and leaves her alone with him. He only gets worse from there. In battle, he sucks even worse. There is no benefit to using him, and I thankfully won’t see this guy again after the Esper Cave.
  • Mog: Mog has the Dance command, which has all sorts of fun effects, most notably Sun Bath, which heals the entire party for over 1,000 HP each. It works a lot like the Geomancer job in V, but once a dance is chosen, the player loses control of Mog unless he goes plop. Mog can also equip the Moogle Charm, which completely eliminates common encounters. With Mog in the party and possessing the Moogle Charm, I can turn battles on and off by removing or equipping it, respectively.
  • Relm: She lives with her fuddy duddy grandfather in Thamasa. Relm is an artist that likes to draw. Her special ability is Sketch, where she can draw an enemy and use their attack against them. I hardly used Sketch outside of the third Ultros fight, but that’s due to fear of my game glitching out and losing saves. Relm is all right at first, but she really becomes a destruction machine after learning some spells. She has the highest magic skill in the game, and in a game where magic is quite potent, she will end up quite powerful.
  • Sabin: Part of the royal family of Figaro, Sabin is Edgar’s brother. He decided to leave the kingdom to Edgar. Sabin’s ability is Blitz, but I always have trouble using it because it requires button pressing sequences and the Blitz fails if any button is missed. The best thing about Sabin, though, it that the Japanese version calls him Mashu, or Matthew. Matthew, of course, is the best name on the planet.
  • Setzer: This man is a walking casino. He’s the airship man, taking the role Cid usually fills. The airship has a roulette table, but no craps table. Fail. Anyway, Setzer’s late rival, Daryl, has her own airship, but it requires going into her tomb to get it. After the fight with Dullahan (where Runic is very helpful), my favorite cutscene in FF starts where Setzer flashes back to Daryl and the party gets the airship and gets the desperate ray of hope it needed.
  • Shadow: He’s kind of a lonely guy who does his own thing. He comes and goes as he wishes in the World of Balance, such as right after the Imperial Camp (ugh). Shurikens, which cost 65,000 gil each back in Final Fantasy III, are now a tad bit cheaper, going for 30 gil each. Shadow can throw them, so stock up every chance possible. He’s decent in the World of Ruin, if he even appears there. I should also mention Shadow’s strongest weapon. Sometimes, when Shadow blocks an attack, his dog Interceptor will respond with a strong counterattack.
  • Strago: This fuddy duddy doesn’t do anything terribly interesting and he’s not all that exciting in battle, either. He has the ability to do Lores, better known as Blue Magic. He’s going to need to be taught both Lores and spells before he can be of major use. I tend to use him as a healer in a secondary party. In the World of Ruin, he’s at the start of a miserable tower climb. I would grab him and turn around, skipping the tower.
  • Terra: See Positives below.
  • Umaro: This may be the most underrated character in the game. The biggest criticism is that he can’t be controlled. I say, so what? Mog can’t be controlled once he starts dancing and Gau can’t be controlled after a rage is chosen. Nobody complains about them, so why Umaro? Here’s another question: If players could control Umaro, what would they direct him to do? Most likely, it’s the same things Umaro is already doing. None of it matters. Umaro is a hard hitter and a welcome addition to my party. Umaro is great. Just keep him up front and enjoy the show.
  • Wedge: Much like Biggs, he’s a generic fighter in a MagiTek armor. He only appears in the opening sequence in Narshe.


  • Terra is something special. Here are over 2,200 characters to explain.
    • I can’t even come up with a word to summarize my opinion of Terra, just a symbol: ♥. There are plenty of great characters all over video games, but very few of them are as well written and likable as Terra. She’s a former Imperial general that, according to game text, fried 50 soldiers in under 3 minutes. That’s purely amazing right there, but she gets better. She then wows the boys when she whips out magic spells, which gets the guys to value her once they’re calmed down. She’s got everyone’s respect already, yet she’s nowhere near her full potential.
    • Terra is better than competent in battle. Keep in mind that some things in battle I say about Terra also apply to Celes. Let’s see:
      • Terra can equip swords and heavy armor. This means that using Terra as a tank is a great option. Due to a bug in the game, M. Block not only covers magic, it also covers physical evasion. Give Terra M. Block equipment, like the Force Shield and Illumina, and she will be virtually unhittable.
      • Terra can do melee well, but to assist her strength, I give her Bismarck with +2 bonuses at every level. Using her this way means there is no need to teach her extra spells, as the spells she learns by leveling are good enough.
      • While she makes a great swordswoman, Terra makes an even better mage. When Terra and Celes are together in the party, I tend to use Terra for offense and Celes for healing. Terra can burn about 90% of what she comes across and blow through the game with relative ease.
      • Oh, did I mention Terra has the Morph ability that temporarily doubles the damage she inflicts?
    • Later in the game, Terra is found supporting a group of children. She gets a story arc about love in an excellent piece of writing. The love here has nothing to do with boyfriends, husbands, or significant others in any way. Can I say I love the fact that she cares deeply about these children? She’s helping out the kids in Mobliz after a beam split the town in half. When Phunbaba (great name) comes around to cause more trouble, Terra gets out there to fight. After two rounds of this, Terra realizes she needs to get out and fight to save these kids that view her as a mother. Those kids are her personal motivation to rejoin the party, even more so than the overall party’s reasons to fight.
  • The cutscenes in this game are very good, but one in particular that tears me up happens at the end of Darryl’s Tomb. Setzer reflects on his time with his late friend Darryl. From this, he finds the airship. In some excellent work by Square, the airship slowly emerges and the characters feel hopeful for the first time in the World of Ruin. It’s uplifting and tearjerking at the same time. And then there’s the score for this scene. While Setzer remembers Darryl, the music is slow, sad, and somber. It’s rather depressing. Then there’s the airship and the music changes to “Searching for Friends,” which has a rising start before turning into an upbeat, hopeful overworld tune to replace the cold theme used earlier. Nobuo Uematsu did an outstanding job with this. It’s standout work in a game with plenty of good music.


  • The game has a ton of bugs. Some work in the player’s favor, such as the M. Block statistic covering BOTH magic and physical defense and making players unhittable, or Blind status doing absolutely nothing. I’ve read much about a two step boss kill using Vanish and Doom, but I’ve always refused to use it. Others are pure trouble, such as Relm’s Sketch command, which can result in anything from junk graphics to having save data wiped out.
  • Locke. This guy makes me want to scream. Worse yet, the game keeps forcing him into my party in the World of Ruin. All he did was steal, die, and act shady.
Locke Highlight #1: Locke tries to hide the fact that he’s an immoral jerk and violating commandments by rewording his “title.”
Locke Highlight #2: Locke initially refuses to help a woman, even going so far as to call her names.
Locke Highlight #3: Terra knows Locke is a blatant liar. In this same scene, Locke tells a woman WITH AMNESIA to remember where this switch is. How ignorant.
Locke Highlight #4: The Figaro brothers get reunited, but Locke makes sure to stand right in between them because he’s an idiot.
Locke Highlight #5: Here, Locke threatens an innocent man because he knows what Locke truly is.
Locke Highlight #6: Locke’s inability to get over an old girlfriend comes into play, so he gets creepy on Celes.
Locke Highlight #7: Locke makes an unnecessary scene against Cyan because he’s afraid Celes will slaughter him. Locke, as usual, does absolutely nothing.
Locke Highlight #8: Locke’s stupidity gets this guy to mock him. Maybe the King should do the talking.
Locke Highlight #9: Locke volunteers Celes to pull off a scheme without ever asking Celes. Locke is such a jerk.
Locke Highlight #10: Locke barges in on Celes in the dressing room so he can start whining about an ex-girlfriend.
Locke Highlight #11: Locke interrupts a play to brag about himself.
Locke Highlight #12: Locke goes back to insulting people he disagrees with.
Locke Highlight #13: Locke sucks.
Locke Highlight #14: Locke has now moved on to insulting old people. Thankfully, after this, I never saw him again.


I wrote this in 2021. The answer is a resounding YES.
And that’s why I like Terra. I don’t want to be normal, either.
If she’s not important, why waste time and effort on her?
Terra does some rafting; this area looks good for 16 bit graphics.
I just can’t hate Ultros.
Ah. Shadow must be a Belmont.
Yes. I was a waiter for 20 years. I know what they look like.
Speaking of waiters, here’s one in a nice uniform.
Yes, he is. Gau need not worry, though. Locke will never notice Gau exists.
There’s usually an easy way to beat bosses. Here it’s just turning him into an imp.
NOOOOOOO!!!! Please just go away!
It’s time to play the music; it’s time to light the lights. It’s time to get things started on the Muppet Show tonight.
Hello there, Shiva.
Serious war ending talks must always have a Moogle in one of the seats.
Please shove it. Nobody asked for that.
What would Relm’s dad say about her using that kind of language?
Does that mean Atma Weapon can collect $200?
There are the statues; this could lead to some trouble.
Locke being gone is a reason to celebrate, not mourn.
The world didn’t end; it just got rearranged.
No. That was Locke I was talking about.
Celes is right. Edgar’s stupid farce was to trick a pack of pirates into sneaking into his own castle. Don’t think about that too hard.
I found the experience huevo, but I don’t think I ever used it.
This is my favorite cutscene in FF6. Setzer flashes back to his late friend, who has an airship we’re going to need. It’s very touching, leading to…
…the Falcon emerging from the water. The music gets more upbeat and the game takes a major turn here.
Those that have been reading know exactly who I picked up first: Terra.
Nintendo must have insisted on censorship clouds. It’s so silly.
There’s no “treasure hunter” in this party either now or in the future, but I’ll go find the Moogle.
At this point, the ONLY things that can hit Terra are the unblockable attacks.
Zone Eaters really suck, but in a different way than Locke. It sucks the party in, where there’s a full dungeon that leads to Gogo.
In hindsight, I probably should have used Umaro for this.

My Progress: Midway through Kefka’s Tower

Final Opinion: Final Fantasy VI is an excellently written game and an absolute joy to play. However, I’m reviewing the SNES version, and it’s clear the game wasn’t play tested enough because it is packed with bugs and glitches. I’m torn between an A and a B, depending on how much the glitches bother me. The answer is not much, so we have an A here.

Grade: A

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