Final Fantasy VI: Grand finale

No, sorry for the misleading title; this post isn’t about the album Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale; it is merely the conclusion of this string of posts I’ve been making all week about the game via material culled from the most recent GameSpite bonus book. (The remainder of the bonus book content is being sidelined for other purposes.)

Today’s entry is just a plain ol’ Final Fantasy VI retrospective. I think it’s a pretty good one, and I say this as someone who is quick to admit when something he has written is garbage. These days it’s fairly unusual to see articles about FFVI that don’t hastily proclaim it the greatest thing ever or take a contrarian tack and decry it as bloated garbage, since the game’s American fanbase is relatively small compared to that of the subsequent games, and those fans tend to be quite passionate. This article tips in on the “Final Fantasy VI is great” side of the scales, but not all the way to “Final Fantasy VI is the greatest.” I apologize in advance if this offends. Nah, just kidding. If you’re offended by someone else’s opinion about a video game that you didn’t personally create, I strongly recommend spending a few months away from your computer to develop a sense of perspective. It’s healthy!

(Also, as an aside, the next book will be mailed in June to anyone who is a site supporter as the end of this month.)

10 thoughts on “Final Fantasy VI: Grand finale

  1. If FFVI had limited which spells each character could learn from espers based on their classes, the endgame would have been harder and the classes would have remained more distinct.

    I personally prefer VI over VII because VII actually kept too many of the abstractions of the SNES era, such as text dialogue, battle screens and turn-based combat. Metal Gear Solid was everything I expected a 32-bit game to be. FF didn’t get close to what I wanted until XII.

  2. I’m one of the rare few who love VI & VII equally. Alongside XII, they’re the only Final Fantasies I truly love. I’ve never understood the love for X (nor the hatred for X-2). Have you read the time extend feature about VIII in the current issue of Edge? It makes a good case for a game I can’t stand.

    • I’m with you, mechanix, in so far as loving VI and VII equally. Along with Earthbound and Chrono Trigger, FFVI was my real gateway drug into JRPGs. But as a 13-year-old nerd (at the time), there’s no denying the lasting and life-changing impact VII had on me as well.

      Of course VI has aged much better, and I would argue IX is the only FF that can rival it in the ”Aged Beautifully” category.

  3. I’ve always considered FFVI to be the best of the series. And while it does have a lot of the sensibilities of FFVII, and alludes to what is to come, I think Chrono Trigger is the true bridge between the two generations. In a lot of ways, FFVII feels like CT, albeit with a confusing story and graphics that haven’t aged particularly well.

    That’s certainly an interesting take on all of it, and while I’m not sure I agree with all the postulations, it’s probably just as valid as any other person’s opinions on the matter, including mine. It very much is thought-provoking stuff.

    Also, given the tech, FFVI seems more steampunk than sci-fi, at least to me. Could be waaaaay off-base with that one, though.

    • FFVII didn’t keep CT’s single screen for walking and battles. I think Parasite Eve and FFXII were Square’s only two non-action RPGs to do that, right?

  4. Great article, but on the “absence” of crystals… the crystals in FFVI are magicite.

    • Magicite stones are ancient mystical artifacts of unknown origin, each linked to a different elemental force, that together bind the fabric of the world? I missed that particular plot twist, I guess.

  5. Always preferred FFVI to FFVII although I played 6 well after 7. I found the combat in 7 to be way too simplistic and the story wasn’t all that interesting after it fell apart while 6 kept giving right until the end. That and Tetsuya Nomura really annoys me and I just can’t get along with the games where he had a big influence over the story (not tried the world ends with you yet).

  6. Extremely interesting piece on FFVI! Indeed, it is very insightful, well thought-out and researched. It made me think a lot about FFVI in different ways I hadn’t thought of. I may have to read it again.

    However, I didn’t find FFVI to be too easy at the end because the last dungeon required 3 parties; you had to spend a lot of time on leveling and tweaking multiple characters that I largely ignored because I focused on one party the whole game. However, the last time I fully played FFVI was like 10 years ago…

    Also, I found it fascinating that the Japan fanbase is not that into FFVI. Are you saying that EUR and US are more into FFVI? Does this explain the lack of a FFVI remake or better ports?

    • Also, I originally was excited to read about the album Grand Finale but was pleasantly surprised anyway!

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