perjantai 8. lokakuuta 2010

REVIEW - Final Fantasy VI (1994)

SNES VERSION - Don't believe the lies: Take 2.
Genre(s): RPG
Released: 1994
Available on: PS1, SNES
Developer(s): Square, TOSE
Publisher(s): Square, Sony Computer Entertainment
Players: 1-2 [cond. multiplayer]

The development of Final Fantasy VI began soon after the ill-fated Final Fantasy V was released in Japan. To add to the confusion, the game was released in the U.S. as Final Fantasy III, which kind of obscured its remarkable standing as yet another great turning point in the series. Final Fantasy's creator Hironobu Sakaguchi passed on duties of lead designer and director on the behalf of Final Fantasy V's field planner Yoshinori Kitase and ATB designer Hiroyuki Ito. Under Sakaguchi's tight surveillance, the duo created one of the greatest stories and at the same time, essential games in the whole series, in other words a well-balanced masterpiece created from the best qualities of the games that came before it - a whole new standard for the series, but also the very last 2D Final Fantasy adventure. Final Fantasy VI is not the best game in the series - but it is STILL easily one of the best games ever created.

The pros and cons of power and greed

The new world map, complete with a proper
minimap to keep track of your surroundings.
A thousand years ago, three gods descended down to Earth and created the Espers, humanoid beasts with great magical power, to fight for them in a battle for world tyranny known in the present as the War of the Magi. Realizing their war was a petty mistake, the three gods known as the Warring Triad retreated and confined themselves to stone, and told the Espers to separate themselves from the human world, to prevent their great power ever to be harnessed and abused by the human race. Both humans and Espers continued their lives in peace, apart from each other in two different dimensions. In present time, technology has all but erased common knowledge of magic. The Gestahlian Empire rules the world in a constantly evolving dictatorship. It won't stop at nothing to enforce its rule by studying Espers, searching for their remains all over the human world, and attempting to resurrect the power of magic to make its technologically advanced army simply unstoppable. Whole towns are destroyed and innocent people are killed due to Emperor Gestahl's merciless hunger for more power. A small resistance group called the Returners stands against the Empire, and gets a chance at a true breakthrough when Terra, an amnesiac young girl brainwashed to fight for the Empire, and the last human capable of using magic naturally, takes their side.

Either way, he rules.
This is just one side of the story, a red herring if you will. Unlike its predecessors, Final Fantasy VI isn't a journey of a host of characters for some singular agenda, nor is it the story of one character fulfilling his or her destiny. Final Fantasy VI has 14 playable characters. That's 14, as in 7+7. If you really wanna nitpick, there are actually a few more characters you control for short periods of time, but these 14 characters form your actual group and may or may not remain in it 'til the very end. Three characters are completely optional throughout the game, and there are characters whose fates you can actually decide for yourself. First it seems like Terra's the absolute lead character of the game, but actually she isn't. She has a very important role in the game across the first half of it, but then it becomes clear that there really isn't a lead character at all; the game is all about a group of different people (and things) coming together, sharing their stories, sharing each other's mental pains of everything happening around them, sharing each other's grief. Each one of these guys and gals has a story of their own, and there's some sort of a sidequest or extra scene for almost everyone to overcome their personal problems. All of them have the same ultimate goal for the benefit of the world, but most of them have personal issues that they need to resolve before crossing the point of no return. In one word, the game's collection of stories is fascinating.

Details. Details.
Ted Woolsey, who previously worked on Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - a simplified Final Fantasy spin-off released in the U.S. to compensate for the rejection of Final Fantasy V - came along as the translator. People keep asking me why I despise Woolsey's work, since it lacks grammatical errors, and it's very innovative. I agree on both, and I'm glad the grammar's great. The "innovative" side is Ted's downfall. I like people with creativity and the audacity to break the rules, so to say, instead of creating a word-by-word translation, but I don't comprehend or tolerate actual changes to an original game's storyline made by a mere translator, especially inconsistent ones. The inconsistency also reflects on the characters' personalities and the way the characters speak - they seem to change all the time. Even though an American translator was hired to avoid mistakes made in the English version of Final Fantasy IV, the characters still aren't quite as fleshed out in personality as they're supposed to be, and most of the several death scenes in the North American game still suck. Ted followed the North American policies like a dog; death is very rarely mentioned, which means characters that clearly die are not explicitly referred to as being dead, rather gone or out of commission, or severely wounded. Also, even if Final Fantasy VI was never _quite_ as brutal or full of more or less obvious sexual references as Final Fantasy IV, the North American version is still heavily censored. This time, "Son of a bitch!" translates to what might be Ted Woolsey's most famous/infamous line of all time: "Son of a submariner!", instead of "You spoony xxxx!". It's stupid, but admittedly funny. So Ted accomplished something good... and like I said, at least the grammar works.

They have the POT from Final Fantasy IV
hidden somewhere.
Thematically, Final Fantasy VI differs from its predecessors by a great deal and it also gave way to the smooth, futuristic settings of Final Fantasy VII and VIII. In our time, the world of Final Fantasy VI looks like the 19th century, shot full of fantasy elements and some certain technological advances that could've not been accomplished by any means in that time. There are no dwarves, elves, or anything of the sort. Final Fantasy VI has a fantasy world completely of its own, which some Final Fantasy stalwarts like moogles and chocobos inhabit, among everyone else. The crystals are still a part of the game... sort of. Phantom Beasts, summon monsters, or whatever you personally liked to call them before, return as Espers. In death, an Esper's essence is transferred into a piece of crystal known as Magicite, and these crystals allow humans to control Espers' powers. The Empire is after the Espers, so technically, they're after Magicite, and it's your group's job to protect the crystals and benefit from them. The Espers are a huge, perhaps the most important part of the storyline during the first half of the game, and they do a fine job in replacing the crystals as the main thread of the story, although they are presented as crystals themselves. Cid appears as a gentle scientist, who has worked with the Empire for all his adult life and is in charge of Esper research. This version of Cid is one of the dearest to me, on a personal level, and the last elderly version of him before the next game's well known reboot. Speaking of an evil Empire and a small, but notable resistance group, it's clear that the game's story is at least influenced by, if not totally written according to, Final Fantasy II. The character of Locke even looks like an updated version of Frioniel.

A prehistoric peacock?
I have mentioned the first and second half of the game many times, and I feel the need to explain these clearly divided halves of the game without spoiling it all too much, 'cause this is one game you definitely NEED to experience for yourselves, as a story as well as a game. I'll go into specific gameplay methods later in the same fashion - and rest assured, I will not spoil this game in the reviews of the two other versions either, just to encourage you to go and play the freakin' thing... and enjoy the hell out of it. So, the first half of the game introduces Terra as a sort of a lead character, but a surprisingly small portion of the game is played with her as a member of your party. Your main job is to find out Terra's secret and uncover the human mystery which is the Esper race, and the connection between these two, then do your best to take on the greedy Empire with what you've got. About 20 hours into the game, depending once again on your personal playing style, you are taken to another world in a whole different fashion than in the two previous games. During this half, your mission is to hook up with as many of your old acquaintances as you want, as well as a few optional new ones, and find the means to put an end to the prime evil of the game... who's there from the beginning (yay), and makes himself known as a severely disturbed, evil individual you simply HATE. And love. Terra, who you thought to be the main character, doesn't even have to be part of this second half of the game as another character takes her place as the "lead". I can't emphasize it enough: almost everyone's sort of a main character in the game. None of them lack face. And I love half of them.

You got mofos on this side, and mofos on that
side... so whatcha gonna do?
This game spawned so many of my favourite characters in the Final Fantasy universe - despite certain shortcomings in the translatory department - I can't even count them. Locke, the royal twins Edgar and Sabin, Terra, Celes, Cyan, Setzer, even the feral child Gau to some extent, and especially the mysterious Shadow, who created the trend for soft-spoken, dark characters in Final Fantasy games, are some of my absolute favourite characters, not only in the history of Final Fantasy, but the history of video games in general. The villainous Kefka is one of the most ingenious designs when it comes to bad guys in Final Fantasy games. He's a standard, and a clear influence on another great villain - Sephiroth. Unlike previous - and future - Final Fantasy villains, these guys are not exactly mischeavous, or greedy, or just evil without a cause, they're simply violently insane, and both believe themselves to be some sort of gods with the purpose of cleansing the world. Of course, both villains were also "created" genetically. Of course, you could also mention the critically acclaimed Kuja from Final Fantasy IX in this same context, but in my opinion, he's no Kefka or Sephiroth.

I believe I could fly.
Sorry... am I writing a novel here or something? Well, Final Fantasy VI is the kind of game you just can't explain in short. The next game is even worse in that sense. Anyway, I think the time is ripe to go into the game. I'll talk some more about the characters soon enough, but in a different way, how they play out, I mean.

The graphics of the game are great. I really don't understand why people keep dissing the graphical display as "bland". Yeah, well, let's take that into consideration for a moment. It's true that the less remarkable towns in the game look exactly the same, only the infrastructure is different. There are not too many different sprites among the NPC's, and the world map - finally in a constantly active minimap form - lacks landmarks besides the places you can enter. Look at all the different enemies, though. Look at the level of details. Look at the seamless Mode 7 graphics, applied to airship and chocobo rides, and to some extent, simply walking on the world map. There's one Mode 7-powered cart ride sequence that looks just horrible, but everything else done in 7 is awesome. After all this, look at the sheer size of the game. Its dozens of sidequests, its huge unique cast of playable characters, and the 40 hours it will take you at the absolute minimum to beat the game... if you're not some sort of boring and self-buff loving speedrunner. The game might not look like the polished-to-the-hilt Chrono Trigger, but keep in mind that Final Fantasy VI came out earlier, and features a huge world map, and a huge load of impressive Mode 7 effects, replaced in Chrono Trigger with several small world maps, and special effects which were made possible by the cartridge's larger capacity.

The Twilight Zone. Na-na-na-na...
The musical score of Final Fantasy VI is kind of a mixed bag. The music is excellent, there's no doubt about it, but there are admittedly a lot of songs which I don't personally like, and they're repeated a little too much. The main theme of the game, not the Final Fantasy theme which has been there from the beginning, but the (first) overworld theme that is clearly sold as the lead track of this specific game, is magnificent. The battle theme works, and the boss theme is probably the best there is in the whole series. What I like about the music is that there are no ambient filler tracks - each song is well refined, even simple background tunes for the lesser dungeons are composed to be interesting, at least. Like I said, I just simply don't like it all. "Aria di Mezzo Carattere" is one of the most popular Final Fantasy songs of all time, but I personally think its popularity has more to do with the fact that it was so astounding to hear "vocals" in a 16-bit game in 1994, even though if they're just synthesized, than its musical quality. It's kind of like a precursor to Final Fantasy VIII's "Eyes on Me", another really, really overrated song.

Yeah. Or maybe you're just a nice guy after all.
So, finally we get to how Final Fantasy VI plays out. I guess I'll start by telling you how they effectively eliminated classes, as well as Final Fantasy V's Job system. This might sound a little terrifying, I know. How could an RPG possibly be an RPG without some sort of strict classes or Jobs? Well, classes do exist, but they're not strict. Characters can use abilities based on their standard classes, or combinations of two different classes; for example, Terra is as effective in physical battle as she is in using magic; same goes for Celes. I guess they're kind of Red Mages or Mystic Knights, if you want to place them in some sort of allegory of the past. Locke is a Thief, Sabin is a Monk, Cyan is a Samurai, and so on, but the bottom line is, that everyone in the game, with the exception of two optional characters, can use magic - or more specifically, is given the ability to use magic in an early stage of the game. Some choice characters can also wield several types of weapons; Setzer can either use his own unique gambling-related weaponry or longswords, and Relm can use either her paintbrush or maces. Everyone has the same advantages and given certain equipment, everyone can deal the same amount of damage as the next guy. It might sound all too easy and boring, but it's actually quite interesting, 'cause for the most part of the game, you're given complete freedom to manage your party as you wish; for the first time it's up to you who you play with, and it's up to you what you equip these guys with. You can build some sort of 99-level supergroup and just kick all sorts of ass if you want to, or travel the world with the purpose of honing the unique skills of characters you don't normally use - except when you have to use several different parties according to script - but you're hell bent on going for the 100% completion mark.

A suicide attempt translated as a "leap of faith"
in the North American version. Fluffy, but
admittedly quite clever. Way to go, Ted.
Each character indeed has a special ability becoming of his/her traditionally assigned class. Locke has Steal, which can be upgraded to Capture with a certain Relic. Relics are accessories which can be used as before, to buff your characters in different ways, like rendering them immune to different negative status effects, but also, give them abilities carried over from class-specific ability lists of the previous games. For example, Sprint Shoes enable you to dash like a traditional Thief, and Dragoon Boots upgrade one character's Attack command to a traditional Dragoon's Jump ability. Two Relics can be equipped on one character at a time, and two different ones can actually be used to buff each other's advantages. Returning to the characters' natural abilities, they are really quite unique, and just to simply level some of them up, you need to do some sidequests. Gau has the special ability to "leap" towards enemies, which effectively ends the battle; then, the player needs to enter another random battle and wait for Gau to return. When he does, he'll have learned the abilities of the enemies he "leapt" and the enemies that the party was fighting before he returned. These abilities go to Gau's command list entitled Rage, which replaces Attack as his personal primary command. Rage can only be "leveled up" on a certain monster-ridden piece of land named the Veldt, which Gau calls his home. Some special abilities, like Sabin's Blitz, demand more than just simple commands. Blitz commands are executed by entering button combinations that could be straight out of any beat 'em up game. This Blitz ability specifically is also a fine example of an ability that usually levels up according to Sabin's personal EXP level, but the ultimate attack is gained by taking part in a small sidequest. Yeah. There's a lot of hidden stuff.

Speaking of hidden stuff... let's talk more about the Espers and how important they are to your progress. I can tell you right now: very. A few hours into the game, you'll have met a lot of characters and you're probably thinking to yourself that you've gotten all there is to the game, all the new stuff like different scenarios for different characters, and aesthetic changes for the better from menu design to customization options, but you're dead wrong - that's when the Espers come into play. There are 27 different Espers, including some series stalwarts as Ramuh, Ifrit, Shiva, Carbuncle (localized Carbunkl, to fit the 8-letter limit), Golem, Phoenix, and of course, Odin. Some of them are well hidden, some you'll acquire as you advance in the storyline - and a lot of them come in numbers, like six at once, to ensure you have one equipped on each character at all times. Why is it important? Well, you learn spells from Espers, for one. Some Esper crystals teach the same spells, but with a different Magic Point multiplier. You gain Magic Points (not to be confused with MP) in the same fashion you gained AP in Final Fantasy V, in battles along with EXP. Boss fights and some other scripted fights yield only money and usually a great number of Magic Points, yet no EXP. So, for example, Ramuh, being a Lightning-based Esper, teaches the Magicite's bearer Bolt, Bolt2, and as a bonus spell, Poison. However, Bolt2 can be learned quicker from Maduin along with Fire2 and Ice2, 'cause the spell has a larger Magic Point multiplier on Maduin's spell list. In case of most of the Espers, having them on you even if you've learned all the spells isn't all in vain; you'll get a specific, permanent bonus to your stats on each time you level up with the Magicite equipped - HP +10%, MP +10%, and such. Most of the Espers themselves are relatively weak in battle; I've personally found more use for the spells they teach instead of their attacks.

There's not one perfectly stable old guy in this
The sidequests are there from the beginning and when you gain control of your first airship, you can start doing them at once without even the slightest fear of wandering off somewhere you definitely shouldn't go to... the second half of the game is a little different, but at that point, you'll pretty much know where you shouldn't tread without caution. There are indeed dozens of sidequests in this game, especially on the second half as you are given the choice of trying to take on the final dungeon the moment you have the chance, or opting to assemble more friends to rejoin your cause. A few of the sidequests are not quests in the traditional sense, more like extra scenes just waiting to be discovered, but you will usually gain something neat from these as well. The sidequests range from supereasy (the wounded soldier) to superhard (The Fanatics' Tower).

Doom Gaze - the most difficult secret boss to
find, one of the easiest to kill.
The list of different equipment and items in the game is huge. Remember, you have your basic weapons, body armor, helmets, and gloves, as well as about a million different Relics. The battles are very dynamic, and generous with money drops. Since looting from enemies is quite lucrative this time around, and since you'll find a lot of equipment in the field if you're enough of an explorer, money should never prove to be an issue for you in Final Fantasy VI. The once again improved menus and charts make buying, selling and simply browsing through your equipment easy and comfortable. We have come a looooooong way from the original Final Fantasy.

How about ATB? Word to word, what I said just before: the battles are very dynamic. In easy battles, you can get by just by pressing and holding the A button throughout the battle. The guys are quick to take commands, and the complex scheme of Sabin's Blitz works like magic even if a particular move requires you to rotate the digital pad, which would seem extremely hard at first. You can target all enemies with applicable spells simply by pressing L or R instead of awkwardly toggling your way to the furthest enemy and beyond. In addition to back attacks, there's the pincer attack, in which enemies attack from both sides, and a pre-emptive side attack, which is the same, but you're the one who's attacking. Payback time, bitches - for all those annoying back attacks over the years. One last thing, and to me, it's the most important tweak to the Final Fantasy series' battle scheme, not just the ones in which ATB is applied; you can FINALLY change the active character at any time as long as that character's time bar's full, without having to sacrifice a valuable turn by defending or doing something equally useless.

Some of the last dungeons are large-scale
puzzles based on the benefits of teamwork. You
can even use two controllers.
Final Fantasy VI introduced the concept of Desperation Attacks, nowadays better known as Limit Breaks. A character in critical condition randomly executes a unique, devastating, unblockable attack; if you're lucky, this attack might just be enough to dispose of your offender.

Regardless of your playing style and/or speed, you're guaranteed a fun, lengthy game... what am I saying, one of the most distinguished masterpieces of a video game the world has ever seen. Not too easy, not too hard, but the longest 16-bit game in existence. Final Fantasy VI is all about the will to explore. You're prompted and tempted to go out of your way to do those sidequests and increase your probability to succeed; leveling up is easy, comfortable and fun, and absolutely everything you do in the game takes you deeper into the brilliant story the two equally brilliant stand-in directors produced us.

We'd like a word with the lord of this wasteland.
It's hard to believe Square did one better with Final Fantasy VII; Final Fantasy VI is such a magnificent game it doesn't leave much ground for improvement, but it's just the 16-bit environment that limits it in comparison to the next game, the first 3D chapter in the Final Fantasy saga. It's like all the best qualities of the five previous games merged into one, arguably the best game on my favourite video game console of all time, and simply put, one of the best games ever... topped in its genre only by its sequel.

Graphics : 9.1
Sound : 9.0
Playability : 9.8
Challenge : 9.2
Overall : 9.7


The Sony PlayStation port of Final Fantasy VI was released internationally in 2002, three years after it was originally published in Japan. It was shipped to Europe more or less only to capitalize on the series' success, to promote the release of Final Fantasy X - of which a playable demo is included on a second disc - and to wish the first PlayStation a safe trip to nothingness. Be that as it may, finally getting an official European version of Final Fantasy VI was huge news to every Final Fantasy fan out there, regardless whether they had played the original game or not.

Surprisingly, for the most part, the game is near 100% identical to the original game. The default button scheme has been changed to correspond to that which has been used since Final Fantasy VIII, and you can run without having to equip Sprint Shoes, but that's about it. Everyone knows of the opening cutscene that was added in to take advantage of the console's properties and for the developers to have some 3D fun with familiar, 2D characters. It looks very nice by the late 90's standard, but kind of makes you feel you would've liked a full-scale remake of the game instead of some three-minute teaser of one. Besides - Gau, Cyan, Strago and Relm are missing from what's supposed to be a definitive cavalcade of non-optional characters.

Paul Phoenix got lost.
Despite being released on Sony's platform, in a less strict time for censorship, Ted Woolsey's original translation, as well as graphical changes to the original Japanese version of the game remain the same. Some minor mistranslations have been fixed - as a well-known example, Vicks' name is corrected to Biggs - and the grammar is polished a bit further throughout the game, but, dialogue content is exactly the same. You won't necessarily even notice the difference. I did, but it's because I had just finished the original game when I took on the PlayStation port.

The CD format of the game brings in a couple of unwanted glitches. I haven't played on a physical PS1 in almost a decade, so I don't remember if it was ever an issue on that apparatus, but on the PS3, scripted scenes, including the opening credits of the game, skip forward, or simply break in midway. The loading times of random encounters - presented as screen fade ins/fade outs - spawn awkward pauses to the smooth, dynamic flow of the game, both in the beginning and end of battles. This I remember to be a problem all the way from the days of the PS1.

The great escape from Figaro... just one of the
things I would've liked to witness in 3D.
Since it utilizes a whole different memory system, and since the game just had to be decorated with some bonus features besides that one cutscene, a bestiary, as well as an artwork gallery, are added in. New entries to both features are unlocked in the game's start menu as the player progresses, and they can be accessed and viewed by simply loading the wanted partition of the save file from the memory card. There's also a memo save, which allows the player to create a temporary RAM file at any time; upon annihilation, the player can continue the game from that spot, but the file is lost if the console is shut down or reset.

Final Fantasy VI for the PS1 sports the game's correct title and cool bonus features, but in the big picture it's just a near-identical dose of one masterpiece of a game, yet less fluid and dynamic than the SNES original. Those who haven't yet experienced the game's greatness are strongly advised to seek this version out - Game Boy Advance owners, on the other hand, should turn to the next one.

Graphics : 9.2
Sound : 9.0
Playability : 9.3
Challenge : 9.2
Overall : 9.2


GameRankings: 93.68% (SNES)

Nintendo Power ranks Final Fantasy VI #14 on their list of the Top 200 Nintendo Games of All Time.

The last Final Fantasy game to be released on a Nintendo system for the next 11 years.

The first Final Fantasy installment to feature voice samples, although they're fully synthesized - namely main antagonist Kefka's maniacal laughter and the "vocals" in "Aria di Mezzo Carattere".

For the first of many times, several character names were localized in North America, for varying reasons. Five main characters were renamed: Tina -> Terra, Lock -> Locke, Macias -> Sabin, Cayenne -> Cyan, and Stragus -> Strago.

The characters of Biggs and Wedge make their first of many appearances in a Squaresoft game, as Imperial soldiers from Vector, hired to escort Terra to Narshe. However, Biggs is a victim of mistranslation and is called Vicks in the original North American version of the game; the same mistake was repeated in Chrono Trigger (1995), which was also translated by Ted Woolsey. This mistranslation later became an inside joke and used on purpose in the Dissidia manual. Biggs and Wedge are named after Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles, minor characters in the original Star Wars trilogy. In Chrono Trigger they're accompanied by Piette, another minor character in Star Wars.

Character designer Yoshitaka Amano considers the character of Terra Branford his best work.

Kaori Tanaka, who worked on the game as a co-writer and artist, later took part in the development of Xenogears. The game features royal siblings Rene and Roni - which are also the middle names of Edgar and Sabin Figaro. Rene and Roni's castle is a mobile desert fortress, just like Figaro Castle.

Whenever Edgar uses the Chain Saw tool, missing his target or instantly killing it, he sports Jason Voorhees' mask from the Friday the 13th movie series.

Sabin's Aura Bolt Blitz is executed the same way as the Hadouken fireball in Street Fighter II, and it's also a projectile attack.

Strago Magus shares the honour of being the oldest playable character in a Final Fantasy game with Cid Pollendina in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. Both men are 71 years old by the game's end...

...Umaro, on the other hand, is the youngest playable character in a Final Fantasy game with only 4 years of age. Of course, they're yeti years.

Gogo is rumoured to be the boss character Famed Mimic Gogo from Final Fantasy V, who enters a dimensional warp, never to be seen again. However, as fans of the series know, there hardly are this kind of strong links between any of the games, except maybe for the character of Gilgamesh, who also made his first appearance in Final Fantasy V, and is also known to travel between dimensions. There are many other rumours swirling around as well, about Gogo being a character whose fate is rendered unclear during the course of the game.

The thief Siegfried is named after the hero in the German poem Song of Nibelungs. During development of Final Fantasy VIII, parts of Siegfried's personality were applied to the character of Seifer Almasy; the name Seifer itself is a relocalization of Siegfried.

The final battle is heavily influenced by Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. This final battle, on the other hand, influenced Sephiroth's ultimate form in the next game.

The original script of the game differed a great deal from the final product, and it was even less centered on one character. Here are some original drafts (SPOILER WARNING!).

- Terra was to be a 25-year old male, and supposed to vanish and die in the end with the rest of the Espers.
- Locke was to be an older man, sort of mentor and rival of Terra's. He had the Runic skill.
- Cyan and his backstory remained the same throughout development, however originally he had a female rival named Angela, who was supposed to be a playable character in the game. It is possible that some of this Angela's design was passed on to Celes.
- Gau was to be a totally secondary character, who would leave the party once reunited with his now sensible father after the Sabin scenario in the World of Balance. However, he was apparently perceived such a funny character the designers decided to leave him in the game. Still, he's the only non-optional member of the party who doesn't have the ability to use the regular Fight command, an extensive sidequest or some other true place in the game's main story, which makes some people refer to him as the game's most useless main character.
- Celes was to be just as mentally unstable as Kefka, and indeed the double agent she's constantly suspected to be by Cyan. Her character would have become more loyal to the party due to their acceptance towards her despite her past, and comprehensive of what it's like to be "one of the good guys". This concept was later used for designing Cait Sith in Final Fantasy VII.
- Mog was re-recruited into the party differently, through a moogle chasing minigame.
- Strago had a wife named Lara, and their constant bickering was a humoristic focus in the character's backstory.
- Gogo was recruited differently, through another minigame based on his mimicry.
- Umaro was recruited differently, through a random encounter on the world map, during which the player had to bait him in. This was partly rewritten and made a part of Gau's recruitment process.

Terra, Locke and Shadow, along with a Stone Golem, were later used to test the battle system in a 3D environment, when Square was first planning to release Final Fantasy VII on Nintendo 64 (back then, known as the Ultra 64), before moving on to the Sony PlayStation and choosing CD format over cartridges. There were even rumours of a quick 3D port/remake of Final Fantasy VI. This famous technical demo was shown in several gaming conventions during 1995, and stills from it can be found all over the Internet.

Terra, Locke, Mog, Strago, Relm and Umaro can be seen in the crowd in Secret of Evermore.

Four bosses from the game (Phantom Train, Ultros, Atma/Ultima Weapon and Doom Gaze) made a return in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, as crystal guardians of the New Moon.

Terra is also the name of the planet of Genomes in Final Fantasy IX, as well as a little girl at Giza Plains in Final Fantasy XII.

Locke is also the name of one of the playable characters in Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest and an NPC in Final Fantasy IX. A namesake character can also be communicated with in Secret of Evermore. Locke's Desperation Attack, Mirage Dive, is a name of a Band ability in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.

Setzer makes a cameo appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, as the alternate Twilight Town's reigning Struggle champion. He is voiced by Crispin Freeman. Setzer's name and allusions to him are mentioned in Final Fantasy Tactics, and in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, pieces of equipment named Gambler's Gear and Gambler's Hat make the character look like Setzer.

Mog can be associated with almost any later Final Fantasy game, but it would seem the playable character named "Mog" in Chocobo Racing is designed after the one in this game.

Gogo is mentioned in Final Fantasy IX, in a few gift item descriptions.

Kefka "appears" as a chance card in Itadaki Street Special, and his infamous laughter makes a return at Gold Saucer's Ghost House in Final Fantasy VII. In Bethesda Softworks' Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, there's a dungeon called Kefka's Burial.

TNA professional wrestler Joshua Harter uses "Chris Sabin" as his ringname, and it is indeed derived from the game.

Terra Branford (voiced by Natalie Lander) and Kefka Palazzo (voiced by Dave Wittenberg) are rivals in Square Enix's all-star anniversary game Dissidia - Final Fantasy, released on the PSP in 2008. Locke was originally planned to take the lead, but the designers figured that Terra had a stronger emotional link to Kefka than Locke. The treasure hunter does appear in the game's instruction manual, though, as a tutor, alongside some other characters. Siegfried also "appears" in the game, as a Ghost Card.

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