Genre: Role-Playing (RPG)
Perspective: Bird's-eye view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Art: Anime / manga
Pacing: Real-time, Turn-based
Gameplay: Japanese-style RPG (JRPG)
Interface: Direct control, Menu structures
Setting: Fantasy, Sci-fi / futuristic, Steampunk
Published by: Nintendo of America Inc.
Developed by: Square Enix Co.
Platforms: Game Boy Advance (GBA), Super Nintendo (SNES)
The original Final Fantasy VI appeared in 1994 and became one of 3 parts translated into English, which means that it is available for Western and European players (in addition to it, Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy IV were awarded this honor). In each new part, the developers tried to come up with a new game world with its own systems and canons, laws and principles, unlike the previous ones.
And the worlds grew, developed, became larger and more powerful, and, as a result, in turn provided a huge scope for the implementation of the author's thoughts and ideas. All Final Fantasy producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, at the time of working out the basic concept of the world, did not even imagine how amazing it would become and how amazing it would be to explore it.
Unfortunately, all the ideas of the developers could not fit into the small volume of the cartridge allocated by Nintendo for their console, while its other flagship project (the Dragon Quest series) enjoyed much more popularity and attention from the company. In the end, this became a stumbling block, after which, 3 years later, the next part was released on the PSX console. But I ran a little ahead, let's return to part 6.
As mentioned above, Final Fantasy VI received a PSX port. The quality of the picture, the volume of the graphics, the redesigned combat system, the added CG movies speak in favor of choosing this particular part for passing. However, this anthology (in conjunction with the port of Final Fantasy V) was prancing for a short time. Time does not stand still, and a version of the game for the GBA was discovered on the horizon. It probably has a much weaker quality of graphics (the console is old-fashioned), but the added bonus dungeons, enemies and bosses, as well as a bunch of items can tip you in your direction. This is both good and bad. It's great that we have a choice.
To be honest, I don't even know where to start this review point. Before us is such a redesigned and deep game world that its description can take dozens of pages. Since the review is still a short description of the game, I will try to keep within a few paragraphs.
In ancient times, the world was saturated with magical energy. It was mainly used for peaceful needs (growing crops, heating, running water, long journeys, etc.). But not everyone wanted to share this power with other inhabitants of the planet. In an effort to concentrate all their strength in one hand, they started a war that led to ruin and decline.
The balance of the world was disturbed, but it just so happened, no matter how much harm a person does to nature through his stupidity or bad thought, it is still restored. The remaining magical energy healed the earth, water, air, the soil became fertile again, the rivers were filled with marine life, the poisonous fumes evaporated. The remnants of magic were sealed in a special place, the entrance to which is strictly prohibited ...
When we say magic, we must mean crystals with this energy. The main component of each Final Fantasy went through the new part. A little more about it, in the corresponding section.
Magic was gradually replaced and replaced by technology, as well as mechanisms operating on the principles of electricity, the power of steam, wind and water. This led to the emergence of more sophisticated and powerful weapons capable of causing significant harm to the planet. And you know what? Power hungry people have always been, always will be. Hundreds and thousands of years after the magical crisis, a new danger threatens humanity - an energy crisis.
It would seem that it is better to learn from the mistakes of others, but they throw us out of the fire and into the fire. The world is divided into several continents, and on the southernmost of all, a new source of energy is being developed (Magitek Research Facility). Scientists and the army are conducting experiments that are able to absorb the remaining magical power from crystals for use for non-peaceful purposes. The development process is closely watched by the Empire, represented by its Emperor Gestalt and the commander-in-chief Kefka Kevich.
The question is not whether a new war will start. And not even when it starts. The war is already underway, and we have to plunge into the very heat.
Unlike Final Fantasy II, where there was a specific rebel force opposing the emperor, Final Fantasy VI does not. In principle, there are several neutral states and peoples, but they are busy solving their own problems. In general, they live according to the principle, as if yes I suppose.
In the introductory video, we are shown a squad consisting of a girl and two soldiers (Biggs and Wedge are also very frequent visitors to the Final Fantasy series). They are aimed at destroying an anomaly, which is a monster, in caves near the mining town of Narshe. The squad moves with the help of gigantic mechanical armor with deadly weapons in the form of laser beams. This girl is the main heroine of the game, and her name is Terra. But why is she fighting on the side of the Empire?
Some time ago, the emperor learned about an amazing girl who is the child of an ordinary human woman and Espers (these are the gods who use magic). With her power, the Empire will be able to advance in the development of magic weapons at a much faster pace, so it was decided to take Terra into circulation, even if against her wishes. And so that the girl did not seek to leave the new home and desert, they put on her a crown, but not an ordinary one, but a hypnotic one. Brains on one side, and the girl mercilessly destroys civilians, according to orders, right and left. Even among the Emperor's army, there are rumors of this devil.
After fighting the boss in the Narshe caves, the girl loses consciousness and is saved (just don't ask me how) by a cute old man. The manipulative crown disappeared somewhere and Terra turned into an ordinary person, unfortunately, with the realization of all the horror that she had done so far. The soldiers begin their search for the missing "princess".
At this moment, a local thief, nicknamed Loki, enters the house where Terra is resting. Having warned the old man about the danger, we take the girl and hide, escaping through a secret passage. Let's say we got out of Narshe. What's next? Before us is a whole map of the world, the dimensions of which are much larger than anything that we have seen before.
A big step for Loki and Terra is a small step to restore the balance of power and defeat the invading Empire. This is how our adventures begin, in which we will meet with a huge bunch of both friends and enemies, we will experience exciting moments, bitter losses, the destruction of everything we knew, and the acquisition of new hopes. A fascinating story that has just begun again and this time for you.
In no Final Fantasy, before or since, has there been such a huge number of acting characters for whom we will have to manage. The standard games of the main characters in the games of the series do not exceed 6-10 people. There are 16 of them in part 6 !!! Each of them has his own accounts with the Empire and joins our party not just anyhow. The history of the protagonists before the beginning of the events of the game is also thought out and does not cause any doubts, and in some events of the past (for example, Loki and Terra) we will be allowed to participate and experience them on our own.
This technique makes teachable players experience much deeper and longer than the usual course of the story. The pain that the characters experience can be felt mentally, they are so alive and human. Usually when there are so many characters in games, most of them are just a bonus add-on to the main group, but this is different. Whoever you play for, whoever you include in the active party, it is better to collect as many characters as possible by the end of the game, since there you will have to act together.
Yes, at your request, the characters can not be returned to the party after the first half of the game, but I strongly recommend not to engage in such nonsense and let each of them leave their own scar on the body of the Empire.
Final Fantasy VI is a quintessential Japanese RPG game that everyone will love. We study the world around us together with the connecting characters. Monsters come across not only on the world map or in the dungeons, but sometimes they visit cities. The fantasy genre is supplemented with a semblance of steam punk, so the interaction of magic and technology will have to be observed repeatedly.
It is better to wander through the dungeons well prepared, so in the cities you will have to buy the best of the available weapons and armor. Most of the treasures can be found in the dark corners of the caves, however, the innovation of this part is that ordinary items like potions can be found in the twists and turns of city streets in various boxes, boxes and other stuff. Once at a time, of course, it is not necessary, but sometimes after passing a location, a battle with a particularly strong enemy or, more simply, a boss, will await us.
Such battles often require complete dedication, better equipment, strong spells, and perhaps even luck. The characters with whom you will enter the battle are also of great importance, since, although secretly, each has its own skills and abilities (profession system).
The way of building professions like in Final Fantasy VI is one of my favorites. No need to suffer, meticulously choosing and considering the pros and cons of each profession before you decide to press the button “assign” it to one or another Persian. Each character has their own unique skills, and you can use any of the 16 professions simply by controlling that character.
New techniques, skills and magic are learned either with a set of levels, or after key events in history, or with the help of espers, or something else. For example, my favorite blue magic learns when the enemy attacks Strago with a spell that can be added to the list of this magic, and sometimes manipulation of the enemy is required in order for him to use this or that skill. The interesting thing is that this kind of magic appears in different parts of Final Fantasy, and almost every time it learns in a different way!
In short, there are professionals for every taste and color. The number of skills is truly huge, like the game itself.
Espers and magic
Several times you may have noticed how this incomprehensible word flashes in my review. Incomprehensible, because we have not yet met with such a manifestation of magical power. Essentially, Esper is a magical creature whose power reaches the mark of "god". Unfortunately, in the world of Final Fantasy VI, magic has weakened so much that the Espers, in their human and animal guises, can live in only one place, which is sealed from prying eyes and ears. In our world, they turn into crystals, which are examined by the laboratory of the Empire for its own purposes.
Espers are intelligent and quite capable of choosing a side to fight on. As you can imagine, this is not the Empire's camp, as it draws the last juice from the magical energy of the world. We can equip Esper in the corresponding menu of the game, after which the character to whom the Esper is assigned will begin to study the magic inherent in him. At first, the spells are not very strong, but still they will help us out from time to time, plus we can summon Esper himself onto the battlefield, who will cause serious damage to all enemies, or heal our squad, applying positive statuses and strengthening our defenses. After each battle, we will receive points that are automatically spent on learning Esper techniques, so when we want to use another Esper, the magic of the old one will remain at our disposal. The most powerful magic spells require more points than others, but magic can be learned by almost all characters.
Up to 4 people take part in the battles. This is better than three, since the offensive and defensive capabilities increase significantly. The maximum number of monsters present on the battlefield has decreased to 6 pieces, but they have become much more persistent and stronger than before. Most enemies also have unique techniques, or even two at once, so you will have to study the weaknesses of each in order to optimally rid the world of this foe.
Battles take place on a separate screen, where characters are transported to the accompaniment of the battle and the screen flickering. In general, each Final Fantasy has its own similar special effects. A trifle, but nice. Using a standard set of actions (attacks, magic, items), each character also uses something of his own.
Here are some examples. Gau, who has the profession of a hunter, jumps on the monsters, after which the battle ends, and he returns to us after a while, with the already learned techniques of the enemy he attacked. Shadow uses throwing weapons as a ninja clan adept, including weapons from your arsenal if you don't mind. In addition, a faithful dog helps him on the battlefield, periodically attacking enemies. Terra possesses the unique power of a half-man, half-paper and magic becomes available to her from the very beginning of the game. King Edgar uses crossbows and other mechanisms to inflict damage on multiple enemies at once. Strago, as I said, has blue magic, and his granddaughter can draw a copy of the monsters to use his skills, etc. There are not just a lot of abilities, they are up to the roof and higher.
It's also worth noting how the battles go. Everything happens in real time with the filling of the action bar. Its speed depends on the parameters of the character himself and the applied spells (Slow, Haste). Once it is full, the characters have the opportunity to make their own move. You can transfer the move to another if the actions of the available character will not bring much benefit and if the move of another character is available. This foundation has long been entrenched in previous and subsequent games in the series.
After successfully performing in a battle, characters earn EXP, Gil, tech points, and items. The increase in the level and growth of characteristics depend on the level of the character, as well as items of equipment.
Parameters: speed, strength, attack, endurance, magic, luck, defense, magic defense, accuracy. Along with the increase in HP and MP points, they grow with a set of levels. For most parameters, there are corresponding items of equipment and weapons that increase or decrease them.
The game also has a huge number of accessories with additional abilities. Some hang permanent Haste, Protect spells on the character, others allow you to attack up to 2 times in 1 turn or hold 2 weapons, the thief's gloves increase the likelihood of theft, and some attachments give advantages to the main parameters (strength, defense, luck).
It is worth pumping and developing characters at least in order not to have problems when meeting bosses, but even with excellent weapons there are bosses that will make you sweat. Fortunately, most of them are completely optional and are not part of the task of saving the world.
Cities and infrastructure
Most of the cities have already bowed their heads before the Empire. She transforms any settlement to fit her needs, so a mining town like Narshe now extracts minerals from rocks for her. The Empire is ready to vilely poison or burn any castles that disagree with itself, not skimping at all on such methods of achieving goals.
But there are still places left untouched by her, however, awaiting their turn. The size of the cities increased slightly and the street lanes became complex. In any such city, you can replenish supplies of consumables, purchase improved weapons, shields and armor. Accessories are usually more expensive, but the price is justified by their properties. There are also hotels and bars in the cities. In the first, you can rest, staying overnight, which is always much cheaper than if you try to recuperate with restorative items.
When it comes to graphics, I highly recommend going for the PSX version. However, the GBA is not far behind. Some colors look richer on it, perhaps the artists just worked out their salaries in this version. Newly rendered locations, cities, a world map, as the most gigantic object in the game.
The redrawn monsters are admirable, although how can a monster summon it? Detailed animations of magic in battles are pleasing to the eye, and animated intro and end videos are beyond praise.
Map and transportation
It is vast and majestic. We will have to move on foot much less often than in the previous parts. Vehicles are delivered. The now traditional way of riding on feathered Chocobo birds will significantly speed up the exploration of the world map and help avoid unnecessary battles with monsters. Chocobos can now be rented from an inn in towns and cities for a small fee. Personally, I have always refused such an offer, because traveling on a pawn we gain experience. The game even features the Figaro Castle, which plunges into the sandy desert and overcomes the distance underground, finding itself on the other side of the ridge!
But the main means of transportation was and remains the airship. This time it even belongs to one of our characters - Setzer, who also runs the house of the Opera House. The ship, of course, may not land everywhere - the desert, forests, mountain ranges and water surfaces remain inaccessible to it.
Music and sound
The whole game is played with the sound of chords played by a completely different instrument (some of them are originally electronic) under the wise guidance of Nobuo Uematsu. In addition to the main classical melodies, this part adds "technical" sounds and elements (Magitek factory), Kefka's laugh. How terribly he laughs, making disgusting barking sounds that he just wants to gag him with a gag.
Additions to the original
When buns are added to the ports of games, they should be better than the original. It happened this time too. The following are the pluses of the improved versions of Final Fantasy VI:
- extended bestiary and 4 completely new espers (!);
- additional materials in the bonus section (video, art, music);
- additional dungeon GBA-version (Dragon's Den) and Arena;
- additional secret boss;
- CG videos;
- animated story scenes in the game;
- re-recorded soundtrack;
- improved graphics;
- new weapons and equipment.
The game from its point of view allows you to look at an example of a dying world, to try to stop and fix something. In terms of duration, it breaks all records, and when you have already decided that the end of the game has come, you will find that you have only completed the first segment of the two. Looking ahead, I will say that after the death of the first world (the world of Balance), you will have to travel and survive in the world of Ruins. The world map will completely change, structures that did not exist before will appear on it, and the cities that were will disappear.