Final Fantasy 6 is a traditional turn-based RPG by Squaresoft. In Japan, it was released for the Super Nintendo in April 1994. Later that year in October, it was released in North America as Final Fantasy 3. They changed it from Final Fantasy 6 to Final Fantasy 3 because the original Final Fantasy 2 and 3 were not released in North America. If you're confused, here's a chart to make it clearer:
The price tag for Final Fantasy 3 (SNES) in the North America was $80-90 US! Yes, it's true. Other Squaresoft RPGs had the same price. Regular Super Nintendo games went for around $50 US. To account for inflation in 2020, $80-90 US is around $140-170 US.
In October 1999, Final Fantasy 6 was ported to the Sony PlayStation 1 in a collection that also included a port of Final Fantasy 5. It was called the Final Fantasy Anthology. The games themselves had no changes or enhancements. They're just ROMs running in an emulator. It's not the best emulator either. There are moments of a slowdown in performance and inaccuracy in the sound emulation.
They did add some bonus content. Beautiful CGI animation sequences have been added to the beginning and end of both games. Final Fantasy 6 includes a gallery of CGI images and a database of enemy, boss, and Esper information.
After the release of Final Fantasy IV Advance & Final Fantasy V Advance, in February 2007 Square-Enix also brought over Final Fantasy VI Advance. It's pretty much a direct port except for a few new features. There are four new Espers: Leviathan, Gilgamesh, Gigantuar, and Diablos. There's a new dungeon called Dragon's Den and a place called Soul Shrine where you can fight monsters endlessly. There are three new spells: Flood, Valor, and Gravija. There's a bestiary and music screen. The script had been changed to be more true to the Japanese version. Devote RPG fans respect this release's translation to be the best thus far.
Its colors, menus, soundtrack, and sound effects have been modified to fit the Game Boy Advance's hardware. The game had been watered-down. However, this less than desired experience can be improved with the "Restored" version offered in Downloads.
Final Fantasy VI was remade with high-resolution graphics! This remake was released for Android in January 2014 then iOS in February that same year. It was later ported to Steam in December 2015. For the most part, the graphics were a touchup. Character sprites were all redrawn. The more significant foes had their battle sprites redrawn with gorgeous detail. All battle backgrounds were completely redrawn. The menus and battle interface have been reworked for touch on mobile. They made the game easier so that you don't have to grind as much.
This remake was not received well by fans. People were displeased with the new look of the sprites. It didn't help that upon the game's initial release it was full of bugs and typos. There was even a bug that crashed the game midway! But overall, Square-Enix didn't leave the fanbase with a good impression. I have a page with screenshots if you want to see.
In February 2022, Square-Enix released the Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster for Steam and mobile (iOS and Android). The Pixel Remaster features universally updated 2D pixel graphics, including character pixel designs created by Kazuko Shibuya, the original artist and current collaborator. All tracks have been remade, overseen by the original composer Nobuo Uematsu. The UI has been modernized. A new auto-battle feature was added to make random battles less of a chore. A 'boost' feature was added that allows you to increase the money, experience, and AP you earn.
The Pixel Remaster was generally well received. Not everyone was a fan of the new pixel characters. The biggest complaint was the tiny font used for dialogue and the UI, which was difficult to read and had no resemblance to the original pixel-based font. I have a page with screenshots if you want to see the tiny font. Steam users were able to remedy this by installing custom-made fonts.
A year later, in April 2023 the Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster was released for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. It can be purchased individually or as a Final Fantasy 1-6 bundle. Square-Enix had promised this version would offer a pixel-based font. The new font was an improvement, but fans still weren't happy with it. It wasn't nostalgic and it still wasn't easy to read. Nevertheless, that didn't stop people from buying the Pixel Remasters. They allowed us to finally have the opportunity to play the classic Final Fantasy games on modern platforms.
In an age long since past, a time that we can only imagine, mysterious people were said to hold the power of magic in their souls. All kinds of magic spells of healing and spells of destruction. So amazing was their power that they dominated the known world. No one contested their right to rule. The years passed peacefully. People worked the land, raised their families, and lived their lives contentedly. But as the years ambled by, those in power began to bicker.
First, they quarreled over minor issues, but as their hunger for power grew, so did their fights. As the magic-wielders quietly chose sides in the growing dispute, they began to work on weapons of destruction. Those weapons evolved by way of magic into a frightening group of beasts known as Espers. The coming of the Espers was the beginning of the end. Battle lines were drawn, and the masters of magic faced off. The contentious forces pitted esper against esper in battles that tested magic and violently ripped the world apart. Caught in the middle of a power struggle were the people. The fighting first crept then raced across the country, leaving burned buildings and devastated families in its wake.
Soon, the entire land lay blackened and smoldering, the grim result of a power struggle going mad. Finally, with Espers destroyed and the people slaughtered, three of the magi looked on the devastation caused by their petty jealousies--and their magic. They realized that magic was too powerful, too dangerous. So they used the last of their energy to summon all magic, then they retreated to a remote cave and turned themselves into stone, sealing magic away with them forever. As the three magi hoped, magic disappeared from the world, and the great war, which became known as the War of the Magi, faded into history. Few people spoke of magic, and Espers were only mentioned in legends that many claimed were fictional.
As time passed, the people lived peacefully, they learned much about machines and studied technology. Centuries later, living with advancements made possible by science, not magic, few believed that magic had ever existed at all. But then there were the Espers. Although no one had seen the strange beings, rumor about their existence persisted. Was it possible that Espers had survived the War of the Magic?
During the peaceful time that followed the War of the Magi, a handful of kings ruled small realms with fair and even hands, that the people wanted for nothing. Most were satisfied. But some were not. A few greedy, power-thirsty, and disgruntled men emerged with plans to take over the world, bit by bit. The force that was to become known as the Empire was first led by Gestahl, who ruled with an iron fist. His generals were loyal, and the soldiers they trained swore allegiance to the Empire. Dissension was not allowed. The Empire was destined to be an awesome power, for it knew something that others did not. The secret? Espers. Gestahl and his generals had learned that Espers did still exist, after all. They had even followed them to a great gate that lead to another world. For all of his planning, Gestahl failed to foresee how his greediest general would one day tragically twist the power of the Empire.
Each character is differentiated by a special skill or unique attacks, inspired by Final Fantasy's traditional job classes. For example, Locke (a thief) can steal and Sabin (a monk) can use martial arts.
The magic system consists of equipping characters with Espers (the essence of deceased magical beasts) which allows them to learn magic. View the screenshot to the right. Every Esper comes with a handful of spells. Notice the number for each spell. Kirin's “Cure”, for example, has a 5. That means the character learns 5% of “Cure” per battle. Hence, “Cure” is learned after around 20 battles. An Esper must be equipped with a character for them to learn its spells. This screenshot shows all spells at 100%, meaning they've all been learned.
My favorite feature of Espers is the ability to summon them in battle. An Esper can be summoned once per battle. Most Espers simply inflict attack damage. A few of them recover HP. The rest cast a status ailment such as “Shadow” which vanishes the entire battle party.
Where do I begin? Final Fantasy 6 is well-known and respected as one of the best RPGs ever made. It's the pinnacle of sprite-based storytelling before the 32-bit era when games jumped to 3D. The graphics and animation are gorgeous; some of the best you'll see on the Super Nintendo. Nabuo Uematsu's excellent work on its soundtrack blew everyone away. The superb story has everything: heroics, betrayal, love, excitement, humor, sorrow, mystery, friendship.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Final Fantasy 6 is the incredibly fun battle system. Every time I replayed the game, I always had so much fun grinding everyone to learn the best spells. It never got old to see my overpowered battle party breezing through the game.
Another feature I love about Final Fantasy 6 is the vast amount of secrets. Seemingly with every playthrough, there was always something new I found to make the game more interesting. For example, in later playthroughs, I discovered the secret characters. In one playthrough I discovered Mog's Amulet (prevents random battles); I had fun using that to pillage the land of all treasures with no effort. In other playthroughs, I discovered new Espers. Remember this game was released in 1994 before the Internet. Unless you had a strategy guide (which I didn't), you wouldn't know all the secrets. In my case, this made the game more exciting as I discovered secrets on my own.
The one thing I don't like about the battle system is how quickly the value of characters' special abilities becomes obsolete. Magic is stronger and more useful than any special ability a character possesses. Of course, special abilities are required in some circumstances such as using Locke to steal certain rare items that can only be obtained through stealing. Special abilities are a hard sell when your characters can easily learn attack magic that inflicts 9999 HP or near. With the versatility of every character to learn any magic, the game reaches a point where there's no significant reason to select one character over another. At least for me, the game reaches a point where I select characters simply for their visual aesthetics.
When I was younger, I loved Final Fantasy 6 so much I considered it one of my prized possessions. The game became a part of me. I connected to its enthralling and emotional story. It brought me happiness during a difficult time. Its excellent soundtrack (which I still listen to today) made the game more memorable. Everything about the game left a strong impression on me. Always and forever, Final Fantasy 6 will be one of my favorites.
I remember the days I first played Final Fantasy 6. At first, I rented it and got up to the part where you move around Mog and choose the 3 scenarios. I remember how the graphics took my breath away with my first impression. I remember how the soundtrack captivated me. And the impact of Terra trying to find the right path. It's all so beautiful.
It didn't take long for the rental to convince me to purchase the game. My first experiences playing this game all the way through will live forever in my heart. I remember getting stuck in the Opera House. I remember that the Phantom Forest and Floating Island were so hard. What I remember most was Celes' leap off the cliff, and in the background, Forever Rachel playing. Ah, Forever Rachel, that song was my first favorite from the soundtrack. To this day I still find it very beautiful. The song carries so much emotion. Every tone reminds me of another Final Fantasy 6 memory.
Everything about Final Fantasy 6 is beautiful; even such a thing as walking across the world map and listening to the theme. Watching the mountains and coast scroll in different directions. Entering a town and listening to the soft and relaxing town theme.
The game's exciting moments will be remembered as well. I will never forget the rush of excitement when you save Terra from Narshe's guards, defending Duncan from Kefka's army, and escaping the Magitek factory in the rail car. And the impact of all the characters' pasts such as Gau's rejection of his father, the bond of two brothers and a kingdom, a magical woman struggling to find some sort of satisfaction in her life, and much more. I will remember all of that. The beauty and wonder of Final Fantasy 6 will live forever in my heart.
ShadowZ49's Final Fantasy VI Review - A solid review of the game, covering every aspect; includes scores (out of 10).
Jackie's Final Fantasy VI Review - A solid review of the game, covering every aspect.
LockeJV's Final Fantasy VI Review - A solid review of the game, covering every aspect; includes scores (out of 10).
NeoOtaku's Final Fantasy VI Review - A solid review of the game, covering every aspect; includes scores (out of 10).
IDooku's Final Fantasy VI Ramblings - He talks about his favorite team, opinions on all the characters, views on certain events in the game and the many wonders of Kefka's giant boner. Don't take his negative thoughts seriously, he's just teasing.