Final Fantasy VI Is Over 30 Years Old! How/When Did You First Play It? What Moments Still Stick Out?

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ZombiePie

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#1  Edited By ZombiePie  Staff

Goodness, how time flies by! This week marked the 30th anniversary of the initial release of Final Fantasy VI, a game still considered by many to represent a gold standard for the JRPG genre as well as one of the best titles on the SNES. For many, the game represented a gateway game for RPGs as well as an exposure to video games as artistic and storytelling pieces. For those of you outside of Japan, Ted Woolsey's translation work represented a new standard to aspire towards and the figureheads that worked on the original game, such as Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu, we the first names in the industry you became attached to.

I wonder how Ted Woolsey is doing these days?
I wonder how Ted Woolsey is doing these days?

So, when did you first make an effort to play Final Fantasy VI? What are you earliest memories of it? There's no shame in saying the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection are how you first had a stab at it, but I'm wondering if there are any of you that remember when the game released on the SNES as "Final Fantasy III" and had to be recalled because the first batch of carts had a glitch where the game would crash if you tried to perform Relm's Sketch ability?

And what are the moments from the game that still stick out to you? I know the Opera House scene is widely considered the game's best moment, but I still have a soft spot for Sabin and Edgar's Coin Toss cutscene. Last year I played through the game and penned on this site that I still consider Final Fantasy VI required reading for anyone with even a marginal interest in writing about games under an academic light, and I stand by that to this day.

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AV_Gamer

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I've played it years after it came out as Final Fantasy III in America. After I played Final Fantasy II, which we all know was really IV. After I played Chrono Trigger, another JRPG considered one of the greatest ever made in the genre, and many others. But after I played it and FFV, it's clear that FFVI is the greatest game in the series. Yes, the opera scene is legendary with how well scripted it is for a 16-bit game and the amazing music. But the final boss fight with its many phases along with the awesome music of each phase, and the ending stood out to me the most.

I consider FFVI's ending one of the greatest in video game history, especially if you made the effort to collet all the characters before facing the final area. I think the cast of characters is great, and what makes FFVI so special, was each character was given an equal amount of development and attention. There really isn't a so-called main character in the game. Many people will claim Celes, Locke, and Terra are the main characters, but not really. It's the war torn world that takes center stage. And you can really make an argument that Kefka is the villain protagonist of the game, as the story centers around him more so than anyone. The theater presentation is amazing. I could go on and on about this game.

Do I think it should be remade like FFVII, after playing Rebirth and loving it, I say why not? I do think they are going to remake FFIX, and I think a high budget remake of FFVI could be amazing if done right.

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Ben_H

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I've never played this game (I've only played most of FFI and like 30 minutes of FFIV on the SNES Classic). This one and FFIX are next on the agenda after I finish FFVII, which I'm about 20 hours into. Like 30 minutes into FFVII I began to understand why people love these games.

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Nodima

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I first played it in the Anthology Collection, but I'd only rented it from Blockbuster and I seem to recall being a little bummed out it didn't have the Akira Toriyama cutscenes that the PS1 Chrono Trigger had added. Or just didn't like the look of the CGI more generally. It was no FFVIII, in either case.

A few years later when I was dabbling with emulation I got much farther in the SNES version of the game (wasn't cheating or anything, it just clicked) but wound up underleveled for World of Ruin and just didn't feel like grinding, so I dropped it. Never went back. Which is funny because I see a lot of discussion on this online, with some people even saying (sort of like FFVIII) it's best to be weak at that point due to...reasons...but I had very much a bad time.

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brian_

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I played it for the first time late last year via the PSN version on PS3. I'm only about an hour or so in. Got distracted by Sega Genesis games. I suppose a 30th anniversary is as good a reason as any to go back once I'm done with Shining Force 2.

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yyninja

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#6  Edited By yyninja

So many great memories. I remember seeing it first played on the SNES at my neighbor's place. I wasn't into JRPGs at that time, but was impressed by the detailed sprite work. I didn't get very far playing it at his place and he would never lend me the cartridge. Years later, I would play the game through emulation and remember never using Sabin because I couldn't figure out how to do the half circle moves on a keyboard. I did eventually play the game "legitimately" on the SNES Classic and found the game's dialog holds up considerably well.

I love how there are so many hidden scenes in the game. The aforementioned Coin Toss only happens if you have Sabin and Edgar in the party and sleep in the Figaro Castle. The dream sequences when you have Shadow in the party. The reunion scene if you bring Gau back to his father.

My favorite sequence would be the end credits where it shows all the characters trying to escape Kefka tower.

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SethMode

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This was the first FF I completed at around 11 or 12 years old. I have a lot of fond memories (because it is a wonderful game) but, oddly enough, my most indelible ones are anything that had a timer. I legit can still remember the sheer anxiety that the floating island/saving Shadow would bring me.

Favorite character theme song? Hard to pick but I've always loved Cyan's.

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wollywoo

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#8  Edited By wollywoo

I first played this on an emulator in the late 90's. It already seemed "retro" then even though it was only a few years old. (That tells you something about the pace of technology changing during that period, or my young age at the time, or both. Imagine thinking of, say, God of War 2018 as retro.) FFVII had already been around for a while and I was aware of it, but hadn't played any of the later stuff since I didn't have a PlayStation.

It was quite a revelation to me that an SNES, or really any system, could provide this kind of nuanced storytelling, with so many characters and a lot of dialogue. Even from the first moments, seeing the Magitek Armor tromping through the snow, I was hooked. I knew games up to that point as being mostly about fun - it was rare to experience one that could give that feeling of sadness, wistfulness, and hope that came over me when that music started playing over the opening credits. The Ocarina of Time opening would have been the only comparison I could make. But nothing in Ocarina was as poignant as this game in its saddest moments. In particular, Cyan's story was incredibly tragic.

Eventually I was able to snag a used cartridge for $15 and played through the rest. I became totally obsessed with these characters and this world. Unfortunately, my save file became corrupted just as I was going to land in Kefka's Tower, and I eventually had to finish on the emulator. Even with the unreliable save battery, my FFVI cartridge is still a prized possession.

I think FFVI stands up well today - it's just a fun time. Its story is much faster-paced than modern JRPGs tend to be, and not nearly as wordy. I definitely recommend playing it in a version that lets you fast-forward, because it's quite grindy and the random encounters are not interesting. When I re-played it a couple years ago on an emulator, I'd just hold down the attack button and zip through random battles at 20x (or whatever) speed. I don't think I'd have the patience to re-play it without that.

Square-Enix, please don't remake this. It's great as it is. I don't need to see these characters in highly-detailed 3D models. I just want them to live on in my memory as they were. If it has to be remade, I hope it at least has some unique artstyle and isn't photorealistic.

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Edens_Heel

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This is still, for me, the gold standard for RPGs of this style. I go back and forth on whether it's my favourite in the series (I consider it my fave of the classic style, with XII being my fave of the more contemporary/3D entries), but god it left a mark. I got it the first day it was available at my local indie store, Master Player in White Rock, BC. I was in eighth grade at the time and generally pretty friendless, and this quickly became my world.

To this day, it is my favourite soundtrack in the series, with IV, Tactics, and XII coming close but not taking it (though the VII remake soundtracks are also pretty great—better than the games, actually). What I remember so much, though, are the things that are still so seldom seen in games. It was the first I'd played that actually touched on suicide, genocide, religious zealotry, etc. It dealt better and more openly with grief and loss than anything I'd played at the time. It was the first "open world" I'd experienced, with the second half of the game. And to this day, it is one of the best and most fleshed-out endings I've seen in a game, RPG or not.

I remember so many small moments throughout—the coin toss, meeting Gau's terrible father, Locke and his guilt over Rachel—but, and no disrespect to the opera, which is incredible, it's the mid-point upheaval that still sticks with me. *SPOILERS* To have a game where, at least for a time, the villain wins and manages to destroy the world... I'd not seen that before, not in this medium at least. It felt important, like it was trying to say "hey, this medium can be more, do more, if we're willing to go there ourselves." For my young creative brain, it was eye-opening.

In the pantheon of great RPGs, I probably love Chrono Trigger more (there are a lot of very personal memories wrapped up in that title), but FFVI is a beast that has not really been topped in what it does. An all-timer, no question. If Square could ignore their worst tendencies with respect to minigame overload and forced comic characters that weren't in the original, I'd be curious to see it remade. But really, it's near-perfect as is.

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Shindig

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I finished it several years back and it held up real nicely. Honestly, I get trepidation over RPGs with big cast lists. Kind of ironic that the whole 'getting the band back together' in the World of Ruin was my favourite moment.

The very idea of a ruined world seems fresh, especially in a sea of RPGs where the bad guys are foiled in the nick of time. Kefka actually gets to win.

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I first played FFVI through the Final Fantasy Collection that had IV, V and VI bundled on the PSX. I saved it for last as I was playing them chronologically. What a game. My favorite FF over VII despite the version I played had some issues with loading times that weren't present in the SFC/SNES release.

A moment that stands out is after the battle with the Ghost Train, Cyan is able to see his wife and child go off to the afterlife. Now as a father, seeing his child promise he'll practice his sword skills to protect his mother brings a tear to my eye. It's a moment I feel is overshadowed by Sabin suplexing a train but, I mean, there are SO many other moments in that game to talk about.

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cornfed40

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My weirdo friend in middle school had an SNES and was big on JRPGs, we played most of FF 3 over the course of a long weekend sleepover.

My favorite moments are Kefka poisoning the river, Cyan's loss and then "reunion" with his family, the entire Opera scene, and the fact that there were actual party members that you could completely miss recruiting. These all blew my mind at the time. The closest to a JRPG i had played and enjoyed was the original Suikoden, which i guess in a way has some parts pretty similar to what i enjoyed about FF 3, with Gremio's "farewell" scene and the missable party memebers