Characters of Final Fantasy VI
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|Final Fantasy VI|
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|Final Fantasy XII|
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|Final Fantasy Type-0|
Square's role-playing video game Final Fantasy VI (released as Final Fantasy III in North America) features fourteen permanent player characters, the largest number of any game in the main Final Fantasy series, as well as a number of characters who are only briefly controlled by the player.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Main playable characters
- 3 Other major characters
- 4 Reception and legacy
- 5 References
Concept and creation
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)
Final Fantasy VI was the first game of the series to feature character designers other than Yoshitaka Amano. While Amano drew most of the character artworks, monster designer and graphic director Tetsuya Nomura created the original designs and many story episodes for Shadow and Setzer Gabbiani, and field graphic designer Kaori Tanaka created the original designs of Edgar Roni Figaro and Sabin Rene Figaro. Co-director Kitase wanted to create as many characters that can stand up to be main characters and that the story did not revolve around one character, so each character can have something to bring to the table.
Main playable characters
Terra Branford, known as Tina Branford (ティナ・ブランフォード Tina Buranfōdo) in Japanese media, is the first introduced character, a mentally-enslaved Imperial super-soldier gifted with devastating magic.
Locke Cole (ロック・コール Rokku Kōru, also romanized as Lock Cole) is a thief, though he personally prefers to identify himself as a "treasure hunter." He bears a personal vendetta against the Empire for assaulting his hometown, killing his amnesiac love interest Rachel in the course of the attack. Her last word is Locke's name. Driven by the conviction that failing Rachel led to her death, Locke seeks to protect both Terra and Celes as he fights with the Returners against the Empire; Locke is equally compelled to seek a means of restoring Rachel's life, as his drive to right his greatest wrong took him to the depths of the Phoenix Cave to acquire the "rebirth" power of the esper Phoenix to save his lost love. The Phoenix Cave itself is a difficult dungeon requiring two parties to traverse and featuring lots of enemies that are vulnerable to light attacks such as Holy. The player will also find that some of the treasure chests are empty, though Locke will give the contents to the party once the dungeon is cleared. In the end, Rachel urges him to move on to find someone new to protect, and gives Celes her blessing to watch over him before departing for the afterlife. He is also featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a subcharacter representing Final Fantasy VI.
Celes Chere (セリス・シェール Serisu Shēru) is a former general of the Empire, genetically and artificially enhanced into a Magitek Knight following a magic infusion. First encountered in the dungeons below South Figaro, Celes is rescued by Locke before her impending execution over protesting the poisoning of Doma Castle. Later in the journey, Celes is used as a body double for the opera diva Maria to fool Setzer into providing transport in his airship to the Empire's capital of Vector. Within Vector's Magitek Research Facility, Kefka and an elite contingent of Magitek-armored troops attack the party – prompting Celes to warp herself and the antagonizers away, saving her friends. Kefka's claims of Celes operating as a double-agent create a schism with her and Locke, though their mutual trust is restored at the conclusion of the events on Crescent Island. On the Floating Continent Celes again rejects the Empire's plans, denying Gestahl's lust for power and impaling Kefka with her blade after being ordered to slay her comrades for amnesty. Regardless, Kefka succeeds in ravaging the surface of the planet by loosing the divine power of the Warring Triad.
Celes is the initial character in the World of Ruin, awakening a full year after the global devastation caused by Kefka's actions. Having been nursed back to health by Cid, the player has the chance to return the favor, either resulting in his death (which leads to a scene of attempted suicide and the discovery of Locke's bandana upon an injured seagull) or his survival (prompting reaffirmation in the belief her friends remain alive). Each outcome results in her departing the island aboard a home-made wooden raft. Over the remaining course of the game, Locke and Celes gradually develop a relationship.
She is also featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a subcharacter representing Final Fantasy VI. Her theme, "Celes's Theme", is also featured in the game.
Co-director Kitase revealed that Celes is his favorite character in the game.
Edgar Roni Figaro (エドガー・ロニ・フィガロ Edogā Roni Figaro) is the young king of Figaro. Years before the game's events, neither he nor his twin brother, Sabin, bear any desire for the crown. Edgar determines the succession with the flip of a double-sided coin to grant his brother's deeper wish for a free life, relegating himself to the burden of rule. Edgar later reveals the facts of this rigged gamble to Sabin. As Figaro's monarch, Edgar publicly maintains a strong alliance with the Gesthalian Empire, but secretly provides support and aid to the Returners, a rebel group seeking the liberation of conquered city-states. He fancies himself a ladies' man, earning a reputation as a die-hard womanizer. While attempting to arrange a meeting between Terra and the Returners' leadership, the Empire's court mage, Kefka, makes a surprise inspection of Figaro, seeking Terra. With Kefka's subsequent torching of Figaro, the alliance between the two nations is broken. Edgar helps Terra make contact with the Returners, reuniting with Sabin along the way, and later helps the party reach the western portion of the northern continent after the Narshe assault by means of Figaro Castle's submerging capability.
During the World of Ruin, he appears disguised as a mercenary thief-for-hire named Gerad (an anagram of Edgar) in order to get back into the sunken wreck of his castle. Thereafter he returns to the player's control.
Sabin Rene Figaro, whose name is Macias "Mash" Rene Figaro (マシアス『マッシュ』・レネ・フィガロ Mashiasu "Masshu" Rene Figaro) in the Japanese version, is the younger twin brother of Edgar. Disgusted by the cold arbitration of his royal succession, Sabin leaves his heritage behind after winning a rigged coin toss to determine whether he or Edgar would not inherit Figaro's throne. He initially trains under the world-famous martial arts master Duncan Harcourt together with Duncan's son, Vargas. As the years of training wear on, Vargas grows increasingly jealous of Sabin's martial prowess, apparently slaying Duncan in a wrathful fit and fleeing to the mountains, with Sabin in pursuit. It is during these events that the Returners, accompanied by Sabin's brother Edgar, encounter him. With Vargas' defeat, Sabin is prompted to join the cause against the Empire, and after a period of separation where he meets Shadow, Cyan and Gau following the Imperial siege of Doma, he participates in the defense of Narshe.
After the world's devastation, Sabin is the first ally Celes is led to encounter, found supporting the crumbling wreck of a mansion in Tzen after an attack by Kefka's 'Light of Judgment.' In this event, Celes has a tight time frame to rescue a child still inside the mansion, so the player will have to judge whether or not a battle is worth fighting, especially since some of the enemies can inflict the Condemned status, and often cannot be killed in one hit. Sabin later finds Duncan alive and well in the World of Ruin, somewhere east of Narshe, having survived Vargas' attack. From him, Sabin learns his final martial technique, the Phantom Rush.
Cyan Garamonde, whose name in the original version is Cayenne Garamonde (カイエン・ガラモンド Kaien Garamondo), is a retainer to the king of Doma, a nation at war with the Empire. Stalwart in the defense of his home against the Empire's assault, he flies into a murderous rage after Kefka poisons Doma's water supply, which kills virtually everyone in the castle, including his wife and child. Launching a suicidal attack on the Imperial siege encampment, Cyan is assisted and rescued by Sabin. Shortly thereafter he encounters the spirits of his deceased loved ones aboard the Phantom Train, sending him into a depressed spiral that persists until the game's second half. Cyan later grows close to Gau after finding him on the Veldt, taking a protective, almost fatherly role over the abandoned child.
During the World of Ruin, Cyan sequesters himself atop Mt. Zozo, writing pseudo-love letters under the guise of a deceased Imperial soldier to Lola, a woman in Miranda. This same soldier had previously requested Cyan and company write to Lola on his behalf upon meeting him in Mobliz before the planet's destruction. Later, the player has the chance to bring Cyan to the aging ruins of Doma Castle, wherein monsters named after the Three Stooges (called the Three Dream Stooges) invade his soul, with the rest of the party in hot pursuit. Cyan's soul is represented as a four-stage dungeon: the first stage is a rather disorienting area where one party member must find the other two team members and then tackle the Three Stooges. The second stage of the dungeon is based loosely on the Phantom Train, and the third stage loosely based on the Narshe mines. The last stage is based on Doma Castle itself, with a similar layout, allowing the party to view some of Cyan's fondest memories (such as teaching his son Owain how to use a sword) and containing the dungeon's final boss: a composite demon that feeds on Cyan's depression. This could imply that the party is traveling through Cyan's memories themselves. The party cannot backtrack to a previous stage upon clearing one. Upon clearing the whole dungeon, Cyan faces his guilt and overcomes it, restoring his faith in himself and his ability to live life. Cyan speaks in a style resembling Shakespearean English, often using words and phrases such as "thou art" and "shalt not" and so on. Likewise, Cyan makes frequent use of the archaic copula verb "gozaru" in the Japanese version, a common feature of the faux-historic dialect used by samurai and ninja in other contemporary Japanese media.
While being a serious and gloomy character to the story with the deaths of his wife and son, Cyan also gave some light-hearted comedy at times with his relationship with Gau. Cyan also had a predisposition to difficulty with technology.
Shadow (シャドウ Shadō) is a paid assassin and mercenary, always accompanied by his faithful dog, Interceptor. Although drawn by Yoshitaka Amano, this character's concept was designed by Tetsuya Nomura. During the first half of the game, Shadow operates only on a freelance basis, at times available to the player for a fee and at times appearing in the employ of the Gestahlian Empire. In two instances within the World of Balance, Shadow is forced into the player's party Crescent Island and the Floating Continent. Shadow's fate is determined entirely by player action on the latter area; should the player jump from the World of Balance attempting to escape the Continent's destruction sooner than 00:05 on the clock, Shadow is presumed to have perished during the collapse of the world (the player will be prompted if s/he wants to jump or wait for Shadow). However, if the player waits until 00:05 on the clock, Shadow will accompany the party, jump aboard the Blackjack and be available for permanent recruitment in the World of Ruin.
In the second half of the game, Shadow is, if rescued, found injured within the Cave on the Veldt and is returned to Strago's home in Thamasa to heal. Later on, he may be acquired by betting an item he seeks at the Dragon's Neck Coliseum and winning the ensuing match. Whenever Shadow is placed in the party, his backstory is revealed through dreams and nightmare sequences by using a Tent or resting at an Inn. Shadow's actual name is Clyde and he once lived a life of crime with his partner, Baram ("Billy" in the Japanese version). The pair are infamous in the pre-war period before the game begins as a duo of train robbers known as the Shadow Bandits, but Baram eventually suffers mortal wounds during a failed railway heist. Baram tasks Clyde to finish him off, but Clyde instead panics, fleeing his friend. An indeterminate span of time passes, seeing Clyde collapse from exhaustion upon reaching Thamasa, found by a young woman and her dog. It is heavily implied (and was actually confirmed in a 1995 interview with the game's developers) that Clyde fathers Relm, another character from the game, with this woman, eventually departing Thamasa under the guise of Shadow to escape his guilt over abandoning Baram.
Gameplay-wise, Shadow avoids engaging in close combat, instead opting to throw ninja weapons at distance. His special ability "Throw" enables him to throw unequipped weapons that may inflict extremely heavy damage on an enemy. Being a Ninja class character, Shadow has high speed and strength but low defense and average magic statistics. His weapons are various daggers and he can also use specialized throwing weapons to attack multiple enemies. If an enemy hits him with a physical attack, there is a chance that Interceptor will block it, absorbing all or most damage. Interceptor's counterattacks ("Wild Fang" and "Takedown") can inflict powerful non-elemental damage on non-floating enemies.
At the game's conclusion, Shadow remains within the crumbling ruin of Kefka's tower, quietly separating from the party and encouraging Interceptor to flee with the others. His final words are directed to Baram: "It looks like I can finally stop running... Come and find me all right?" (Japanese version: "I don't need to run away anymore. Embrace me warmly.") Interceptor is later seen with Relm in Strago's section of the ending. In Final Fantasy VI Advance it is implied that Shadow remained behind in Kefka's tower as it collapsed, allowing himself to die. Despite appearing in only one major role, the character was well received, including being voted at number seven in a popularity poll for Final Fantasy series characters by V Jump in 1995.
Shadow was featured in numerous top lists of the best ninja characters in video gaming, including by The Armchair Empire in 2006, Japanator.com in 2007, and Wild Gunmen in 2010. In addition, his dog, Interceptor, won the Nintendo Power Awards '94 at first place in the category Best Goodie ("the most popular good guy that isn't quite the main hero of the games"). According to Nathan Schlothan of RPGamer, "few RPG dogs are quite as iconic as Interceptor," an "incredibly loyal and friendly dog" that is "the one thing that ties Shadow to the past he has otherwise cast aside" as well as "an invaluable asset in battle."
Gau (ガウ) is a feral child who lives among the animals on the Veldt, having survived in this harsh environment nearly his entire life. His powers of speech are poor, barely capable of communicating with others and often growing frustrated with complex sentences (in the Japanese version this frustration is further exaggerated). Initially encountered by Sabin and Cyan, Gau is tempted into the party with a slab of dried meat and returns the favor by presenting the pair with Mobliz' missing Diving Helm, enabling the trio to survive the underwater current of the Serpent's Trench and eventually reunite with the Returners. He grows close to Cyan very quickly, becoming fast friends with him immediately upon their first meeting, calling him "Mr. Thou." He has a very strange power: he is able to assume the powers and elemental resistances of any monster fought previously with his Rage techniques (for example: the Rhinotaur Rage technique grants him the ability to absorb lightning damage; he also gets a lightning attack from it).
Gau is again encountered on the Veldt in the World of Ruin. In this second part of the game his origins are more thoroughly explored – by taking him and Sabin to the old man in the lone house west of the Veldt where Sabin's subplot first began in the World of Balance, it is learned that this man is, in fact, Gau's father, having tossed him into the wilds shortly after the death of his wife in childbirth and consequently labeling Gau a "demon child". This was mentioned when Sabin first visits the port town of Nikeah, when he talks to a woman who says the man had tossed his own child out of home.
Gau's youthful energy, spirit, and overall positive energy made him the first of the "energetic young boy" characters in the Final Fantasy series, a role succeeded by Zell, Vivi, Hope, and Prompto, and possibly preceded by Palom.
Setzer Gabbiani (セッツァー・ギャッビアーニ Settsā Gyabbiāni) is a gambler who owns the Blackjack, the only known airship in the world. He is first encountered by the party after being tricked into kidnapping Celes Chere instead of Maria, the opera diva with whom he's enraptured. Capitalizing on Setzer's love of gambling and chance, Celes coerces him into a bet using Edgar's double-faced coin, the result of which is his joining the Returners and committing his airship to their service. His ship, however, is torn apart when Kefka unleashes the divine power of the Warring Triad. In the World of Ruin, Setzer is found lamenting the loss of his ship in the pub of Kohlingen. Once reminded of his former bravery, he elects to lead his comrades to the tomb of his long-deceased friend, Daryl. In the depths of the crypt Setzer relives his memories of his and Daryl's romantic rivalry, revealing the restored hulk of her airship, the Falcon, which is turned over to player control.
Setzer also makes a small appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, as the reigning champion of the false Twilight Town's Struggle tournament, where he fights with Roxas, the first playable character of the game. He is either victorious or defeated, depending on the player's ability, and the plot advances either way. Although originally drawn by Yoshitaka Amano for Final Fantasy VI, Setzer was redesigned by Tetsuya Nomura to fit the style of Kingdom Hearts, and is voiced by Ryōtarō Okiayu in the Japanese version and Crispin Freeman in the English version.
Strago Magus (ストラゴス・マゴス Sutoragosu Magosu, Japanese name Stragos Magus) is an elderly gentleman living in the village of Thamasa. He is Relm's grandfather and (together with the other inhabitants of Thamasa) a descendant of the ancient Mage Warriors who fought in the War of the Magi. Through his magical ancestry, Strago is able to learn techniques used by enemies, known as Lore (Blue Magic). He joins the Returners in thanks for saving Relm from a burning building, helping them seek the Espers on Crescent Island. He departs Thamasa with Relm, joining the party permanently, after Kefka's brutal attack on his village. Convinced of the worst for his granddaughter in the World of Ruin, Strago enthralls himself to the Cult of Kefka in a fit of depression, snapping out of his trance only when confronted by Relm. Strago later returns to Thamasa with Relm, confronted by an old friend with whom he once hunted the legendary beast, Hidon, and is compelled to seek out and destroy the monster. Undertaking this side quest enables Strago to learn the ultimate Blue Magic, though contrary to what he says to Relm, he does not have to tackle it alone (he must, however, be in the party during the battle with Hidon).
Relm Arrowny (リルム・アローニィ Rirumu Arōnii) is a ten-year-old artist from the village of Thamasa, the granddaughter of Strago and the youngest playable character in the game. When the group arrives in Thamasa, she meets them briefly, and they later save her from a burning house. She joins the party after tailing the player in the Esper Cave, despite complaints from Strago, and saves them during a scripted battle against Ultros. In the World of Ruin, Relm is either first found unconscious in the Cave on the Veldt (in the event the player did not wait for Shadow on the Floating Continent) or tasked with a commissioned painting by the grossly-deformed Owzer. Once Relm is recruited in the second half of the game, her presence in the party will snap Strago out of his chanting march at the base of the Cult of Kefka's tower.
Scenes with Relm and Interceptor upon the party's first meeting further imply that she is Shadow's daughter, supporting flashbacks during Shadow's dream sequences. A relic special to Relm, the Memento Ring, directly references her departed mother – Shadow is the only other character capable of equipping this item.
Mog (モグ Mogu) is a moogle who lives within the caves of Narshe with the rest of his species. He is distinguished from all the other moogles encountered in that he can speak human language, which was taught to him by the Esper, Ramuh, in Mog's dreams. During the game's introductory sequences, he and many other moogles help Terra and Locke escape from Narshe. Later in the story, Mog may be saved from a villainous thief, Lone Wolf, or abandoned for acquisition of an item. Either way, Mog is again encountered in the depths of the moogle's abandoned hollow in the World of Ruin. His class is a "Geomancer" these skills are learned based on the terrain, and activate attacks that incorporate the terrain, such as landslides, sandstorms, avalanches, and so forth.
Gogo (ゴゴ) is the first of two hidden characters in the game, encountered should the party be engulfed entirely by a creature on Triangle Island called the Zone Eater. A self-described "master of simulacrum," Gogo opts to mimic the party's desire to save the world, thus accompanying them.
Gogo's gender is not known. He or she is so shrouded in clothing that even the body's form is indecipherable. It is assumed that Gogo's identity and gender remain vague because, as a mime who copies others, these facts are irrelevant.
A boss named Gogo previously appeared in Final Fantasy V as a boss at the depths of the sunken Waltz Tower, guarding the final crystal shard, which granted the Mime job class.
Umaro (ウーマロ Ūmaro) is a yeti and the second hidden character in the game. In the World of Balance, references to him are made by citizens of Narshe with dubious sobriety, though he can be seen peering out of a cave above the entrance to the mine shafts. He is encountered much later in the game during the World of Ruin, after the group fights him over a Magicite shard. Should Mog be in the player party, he will convince Umaro to join the group.
Umaro cannot be controlled during battle and he can only equip relics. However, two of these relics, which only he can equip, grant him some powerful special attacks that he may use even in the Tower where the Cult of Kefka resides (everyone else can only use magic unless the "Berserk" spell is cast on them). One of these attacks, granted by the Rage Orb, allows him to fling a party member at an enemy: this doesn't hurt the thrown party member and can even damage an enemy a fair amount. The second attack, granted by the Blizzard Orb, allows him to strike all enemies for ice-based damage. As always, the player has no control over when these attacks are used.
Other major characters
This section covers other characters who either play a major role in the plot, or are briefly controllable by the player (but without the full range of options given to the above fourteen characters).
Kefka Palazzo (ケフカ·パラッツォ Kefuka Parattso, Cefca Palazzo in Japanese materials) is a sociopathic nihilist who served the Gestahlian Empire as Court Mage until he used the Warring Triad to devastate the world. He serves as the main antagonist of the game.
Ultros and Typhon
Ultros (オルトロス Orutorosu), whose name is Orthros in the Japanese version, is a large, talking, purple, carnivorous octopus who appears multiple times as both antagonist and comic relief. Each time he appears to fight the party, he is bent on making a meal out of them, making him the first (and, so far, only) carnivorous antagonist in Final Fantasy history. Typhon (テュポーン Tyupōn), whose name is Chupon in the original North American Super NES version, is a large, red, two-headed floating monster, who appears as Ultros' "friend" while fighting the party while they are going to the Floating Continent, the final stage of the World of Balance. Typhon doesn't speak often but has a volatile temper, according to Ultros. After the game shifts to the World of Ruin, the two of them end up working as a receptionist and combatant in the Colosseum. Typhon's specific purpose here seems to be discouraging the betting of "useless" items, rather than actually fighting, by snorting the betters out of the arena. Ultros, sometimes under the name Orthros, and Typhon have since appeared in other games: both are optional bosses in Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls under the names Orthros and Typhon, Ultros is a boss in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, and as a boss in Chocobo's Dungeon 2 under the name Orthros again. Orthros also makes an appearance in Final Fantasy XII as an elite mark black flan who attacks women, and Typhon appears in Final Fantasy VII as a summon. He also appears, again as a flan named Orthros in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Ultros appears in Dissidia: Final Fantasy as a summon, again using the name Ultros. Ultros and Typhon appear in Final Fantasy XIII-2 downloadable content, and again as an optional boss fight in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Ultros also makes a cameo appearance in the film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.
Leo Cristophe (レオ・クリストフ Reo Kurisutofu) is one of the three top generals of the Empire, the others being Celes and Kefka. Unlike his compatriots, Leo refused to undergo Magitek infusion. Fiercely loyal and possessed of a strong sense of personal honor, Leo conducts himself with a measure of restraint and ability otherwise absent in the tyrannical ambitions of the Empire. His siege of Doma sought to minimize casualties on both sides of the fighting until Kefka's poisoning of the water supply, and he is the first to espouse the Emperor's later, apparent desires for an end to the war. Leo later leads the Imperial mission to seek a truce with the Espers on Crescent Island, accompanied by both the Returners and the troops loyal to him. This turns out to be a ruse meant not only to lure the Espers into a trap (seeing Kefka reduce them to Magicite to collect for the Empire) but to also eliminate Leo and other Imperial dissidents who might threaten Gestahl's plans. Although more than a match for Kefka's tricks in combat, Leo is eventually – and brutally – cut down after Kefka masquerades as Gestahl, playing on Leo's unswerving loyalty to kill him. He is thereafter buried by the Returners and surviving villagers of Thamasa.
Temporarily controllable only during Kefka's assault, Leo has a special ability called 'Shock' that deals heavy damage to all foes about him by creating a powerful energy field. He is also in possession of powerful equipment and Relics the player is unable to acquire until much later in the game.
Banon (バナン Banan), known as Bannana in Japan, is the leader of the Returners, a group of rebels that opposes the Empire's harsh oppression. The party first meets him in the Returners' secret base, where he plans to have Terra try and speak with the frozen Esper in Narshe. He later accompanies them to the imperial capital of Vector when Gestahl proposes a truce, which eventually turns out to be a ruse. They have a party and a laugh about it but he is last seen among the ruins of Vector after the Espers destroyed it. His fate after Kefka's rise to power is unknown. Banon is temporarily controllable during a mission to transport him from the Returners' secret base to Narshe. His special command, 'Pray', is a powerful healing ability that targets the entire party and does not use magic points.
Cid Del Norte Marquez (シド・デル・ノルテ・マルケズ Shido Deru Norute Marukezu) is the chief magical researcher of the Empire, and one of the many incarnations of Cid in the series. His pursuits lead to the creation of the Magitek labs and production facilities, together with the development of Magitek armor and soldiers. He is very close to Celes, turning against the Empire upon witnessing her fight against Kefka. In the World of Ruin, he washes up on the same lonely island as Celes, caring for her throughout the duration of her coma. Those others who wash up along with them eventually fall to despair and commit suicide before she awakens. Celes is turned over to the player's control at this point, and Cid's ultimate fate is left to the player's ability to care for him in the sequence that follows. Should Cid die, Celes will discover a letter and the key to Cid's raft after attempting suicide herself. In the event Cid is nursed back to health, he will provide the raft for Celes of his own accord, wishing her farewell.
Emperor Gestahl (ガストラ Gasutora, Gastra) is the aging, power-hungry dictator of the militaristic Empire. Obsessed with the legends of magical power dating from the ancient War of the Magi, Gestahl seeks the sealed world of the Espers prior to the game's beginning, affording him the capture of dozens of Espers – Terra's father and Terra herself among them. These enslaved few would form the basis for the Empire's Magitek in the years to come, the fruit of this research enabling Gestahl to crush the city-states on the southern continent and expand northward. Later in the game, his second attempt to enter the Esper world proves largely successful, though the culmination of these events lead to his death at the hands of Kefka and the destruction of the world.
Maduin and Madeline
Maduin (マディン Madīn), an Esper, and Madeline (マドリーヌ Madorīnu, Madonna in US SNES version), a human woman, are Terra's parents. They meet after Madeline accidentally stumbles into the Esper world, and Maduin nurses her back to health. Though other Espers do not trust her, Maduin defends her, and they soon conceive Terra. Eventually Gestahl invades the area, captures Maduin, kills Madeline, and takes Terra with him. Maduin is drained of his magic for twenty years before he is finally reduced to Magicite. Maduin would later be referred to by name as an Eidolon used by Eiko Carol in Final Fantasy IX and as a summon in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, romanized instead as "Madeen". He also appears as an Esper in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and as a transfiguration of Titan in World of Final Fantasy.
The Warring Triad
The Warring Triad (三闘神 Santōshin), individually known as Fiend (鬼神 Kishin, Doom in US SNES version), Demon (魔神 Majin, Poltergeist in US SNES version), Goddess (女神 Megami), are the beings directly responsible for the War of the Magi and the creation of Espers. After the seemingly endless period of near-apocalyptic destruction their conflict causes, the Triad willfully cease their battle and mutually seal away their abilities, reducing themselves to stone statues. It is the magical balance of these three that maintains harmony throughout the world, though Emperor Gestahl, obsessed with power, seeks the Triad to further his own desires. Gestahl is betrayed and slain by Kefka, who gains control of the Triad and upsets their balance – this singular act virtually annihilates the planet's surface, reducing it to a wasted, chaotic shadow. Drained of their power by Kefka in the time following his ascension, they are awakened as mindless husks that attack the party as the player traverses the mangled spires of Kefka's tower.
The Warring Triad appears in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in the form of statues on the floating continent Azys Lla, virtually identical to the original sprites in appearance. A series of side quests allows players to fight them for powerful weapon rewards. In this appearance, the three deities are given names based on notes from original concept artwork that ended up not being used in Final Fantasy VI. The Fiend is named Sephirot, the Goddess Sophia and the Demon Zurvan
Reception and legacy
In its review of the Game Boy Advance release, IGN says Final Fantasy VI's "cast of characters is huge and varied, and though several of them do draw from traditional RPG archetypes, this was the game that helped define those archetypes in the first place." In the GameSpy review of the Game Boy Advance version, it is said that "the large cast of characters, that is one of this game's hallmarks, is most impressive because of their individuality, both from a story and from a gameplay perspective, as well as the amount of effort that was put into exploring their personalities, motivations, and histories." Nintendo Power described the characters as some of the more memorable Final Fantasy protagonists ever, citing the ending's great character moments.
Several characters from the game have received standalone praise, such as Kefka who has been repeatedly named one of the franchise's greatest villains. In 2008, IGN placed him sixth on their list of the "Top 25 Final Fantasy Characters" with similar sentiments, but also included several other characters from Final Fantasy VI on the list. Ultros, who placed twenty-fourth, was praised for bringing "much needed" comic relief for the title, described as being augmented by Ted Woolsey's translation for the North American localization. Celes placed fourteenth, and was stated as providing one of the greatest memorable scenes and musical pieces in the game through the impromptu opera scene. Setzer placed twelfth, described as having "that most crucial of qualities in a hero, an unshakable sense of humor," as well as introducing the Gambler job class that would appear in later titles in the series. Nintendo Power listed Shadow as one of the best ninjas on Nintendo consoles. In an article on Dissidia Final Fantasy, IGN editor Ryan Clements called Terra one of the most recognizable and well-loved characters to join the army of Cosmos. In another poll the same year, eight of the characters – Locke, Edgar, Celes, Setzer, Terra, Shadow, Sabin, and Relm – were named among the fifteen most popular characters in the Final Fantasy series.
- Edge Staff (5 August 2013). "The Making Of: Final Fantasy VI". Edge Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
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- Father: Get out of my house! It's your fault Rachel lost her memory! Locke: Wait! Just let me talk to her...! Rachel: Please, just go away! I don't know who you are, but my parents get upset whenever you come here! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Locke: A year went by... When I finally returned, I found out that Rachel had been killed in an Imperial attack. Her memory had returned just before she died. The last thing she said was...my name. I never should have left her side. I... I failed her... Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Celes: Why are you helping me? Locke: You remind me a lot of someone... What's it matter, anyway? I'm helping you because I want to! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Locke: You're all safe! Behold... The legendary treasure that can undo death itself... Player character: Is that... magicite? Locke: It is. Legend has it that the Phoenix turned itself to stone ages ago. Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
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- Sabin: Let's leave this place! Let's forget this crazy kingdom, and live our lives how we want to! You said you didn't want to be a king, right? Edgar: A life of freedom, huh...? Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Edgar: Sabin... Let's settle this with the toss of a coin. Dad gave me this one. If it's heads, you win. Tails, I win. The winner chooses whichever path he wants...no regrets, not hard feelings. Okay? Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Locke: Terra... Wait for me... I won't be gone long. ...And watch out for a certain lecherous young king who shall remain nameless. The guy moves in like a hawk! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Gerad: Look, I'm kind of busy here. I have to get ready. We're leaving for Figaro on the ferry soon. Celes: Don't play dumb with me! Edgar? ...You didn't lose your memory, did you? Gerad: Listen... It grieves me to have to disappoint such a beautiful lady, but I've been Gerad since the day I was born! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
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- Sabin: The Empire killed everyone in Doma, down to the last child... Cyan: Kefka...poisoned them... Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Cyan: I am in thy debt! Sabin: No need for thanks! I'm Sabin, from the kingdom of Figaro. We should get out of here! Cyan: But I must avenge my family and my countrymen...! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
- Cyan: I wondered what had become of that poor girl, always waiting for word of her beloved. I decided to pay a visit to Maranda. I learned that she had long since stopped receiving replies, but still sent a letter each day. I could not bear to stand by and do nothing... Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) 5 February 2007
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