Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 6)

Right we are half way down the list now, I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. Naturally, the second half of the list you will be seeing characters you are more familiar with, and I hope maybe you can make some guesses to who will be in this half, and who will be in the top 10.
Just to recap, here is the list so far:

#50 – Garland (I)
#49 – Doctor Tot (IX)
#48 – Xande (III)
#47 – Cyan (VI)
#46 – The Emperor (II)
#45 – Golbez (IV)
#44 – Galuf (V)
#43 – Garland (IX)
#42 – Kain (IV)
#41 – Barret (VII)
#40 – Leo (VI)
#39 – Gilgamesh (IX)
#38 – Reno (VII)
#37 – The Nero Brothers (IX)
#36 – Seifer (VIII)
#35 – Kimahri (X)
#34 – Ba’Gamnan (XII)
#33 – Vincent (VII)
#32 – Zorn and Thorn (IX)
#31 – Squall (VIII)
#30 – Lulu (X)
#29 – Jenova (VII)
#28 – Rikku (X)
#27 – Sabin (VI)
#26 – Cid (IX)

Now then, I shall continue with the list, here’s #25…

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#25: Bugenhagen

Full Name (to knowledge): Bugenhagen
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Minor Protagonist
Best Quote: "Ho Ho Hooo!"

What a character. I don’t think anyone dislikes this man, in game, or any fan for that matter. This man knows and explains the world of FF7 like no one else, his knowledge on the planet and the cycle of life is unmatched. He is so well respected that Red XIII calls him “Grandpa”. And he does it with great swagger to add it it. It’s a very emotional death that he has in the game, because even though he had a great life, and even though it isn’t real, you know that the world of FF7, if it ever were to exist, would be a worser place with him gone. What a character.


#24: Irvine

Full Name (to knowledge): Irvine Kinneas
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “...Guns and women of course.” ( Irvine about his “department”)
The womaniser is a character often played in the series and it’s most emphasised in Irvine . He’s not my favourite (you’ll see…), but he is very good at it. He “tries it on” with all three ladies in the game but comes closest to Selphie, but he’s just so funny when he does it. Irvine is the lone sharpshooter and lives his own made gimmick, but he struts it so well you can’t help but love the guy.


#23: Locke

Full Name (to knowledge): Locke Cole
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “This better not have anything to do with that Magitek-riding, Imperial witch!!!” (about Terra, who was under the Empire’s control)

Locke’s a great character, I consider him to be the major protagonist of FF6 but it’s a true debate. I like the correcting of him being a “treasure hunter” rather than a thief. He has charisma, and he was truly in love with Rachel, and held his guilt for a long time. He tries to help the two main women in the game, Celes and Terra, from falling to a similar fate, and you’ve got to give it to him for that. Locke is a very likable character, he’s not a debatably annoying character at all, and is a great character amongst a great cast in FF6.


#22: Brother

Full Name (to knowledge): Brother
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Minor Protagonist
Best Quote: “Not worry, me... take you there. No problem ya?” (Brother trying to speak English)


Brother’s another debatable character in terms of if he deserves a place in this list, mainly because of the controversy around his “affections” for his cousin Yuna. However I’ve always liked him, and furthermore in X-2, I think he’s funny and truly cares about Rikku. He’s also by far the best player in Blitzball, which makes him really useful. You may not agree, but I think Brother’s a great character and is my 22nd favourite character in the series.




#21: Cloud

Full Name (to knowledge): Cloud Strife
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: The Main Protagonist
Best Quote: Cloud: “All right, everyone, let's mosey.” Cid: “Damn! Again! Stop sayin' it like a wimp! Can't you say 'Move out!' or somethin'?” Cloud: “Move out!"


And BAM! Like that, you probably are surprised if you have been following this list properly. Yes, Cloud is as low as #21 in my list. In my opinion, that’s quite high, but because he is universally popular and a video game icon, you’re probably wandering why he is as low as this. The main reason, because I like other characters more, other characters from FF7 more, and other characters from Final Fantasy more. Cloud’s character is great, don’t get me wrong, his fucked up mind being dug into and twisted and eventually ironed out is one of the most entertaining things in FF history. However, the storyline and iconic image aside, what does Cloud actually do? He’s actually quite bland. I like him a lot, but because of the amazing storyline around him, he’s elevated to this fantastic FF mascot-like status, which is fine, but his character is still quite bland. That’s why he is #21 in my list.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.


See other parts in the listing!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 5)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#30: Lulu

Full Name (to knowledge): Lulu
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “You always said I looked grumpy, but those were the happiest days of my life.” (to Chappu, in the Farplane)

Lulu is a very cool character from FF10, she appears as a very cold hearted person but it doesn’t take long to realise she really cares about the people around her. She just doesn’t express herself easily, but her very “matter of fact” attitude really makes her “own” Tidus many a time in the game, which provides great entertainment. There’s also enough sex appeal in there as well, I’d hate to think what she’d want to do with those belts though! Lulu is a good character, one of the better from FF10, and my number #30 in this list.


#29: Jenova

Full Name (to knowledge): Jenova (otherwise J-E-N-O-V-A)
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: “Because Cloud...You are a puppet.” (the only line credited to Jenova)
Jenova is one fucked up character. Jenova is responsible for the majority of the crap in FF7 and has infected the planet to its in world state. Jenova is an alien and I’ve got to admit, I’d rather meet an alien in “Alien” than her, she’s that horrible. Her cells have created multiple monsters in the game, none more powerful and important as Sephiroth. It can be debated that she shouldn’t be in this list, I mean after all, she only has one line to her name. But her influence, her vile infected influence in FF7 can’t be avoided. Jenova deserves a place in this list, and #29 is where you will find her.


#28: Rikku

Full Name (to knowledge): Rikku
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Memories are nice, but that's all they are...”
Let’s get one thing straight. Characters like Rikku, Vanille and Selphie, are characters that people either love or hate when it comes to FF games. I actually quite like them, I love the energetic, happy happy, young female characters. They’re usually portrayed as being quite hot too, at least I think. But Rikku is the best, she really is cute, and you can’t help but feel sorry for her when her Home gets destroyed. Also, her intentions are right when she is trying to stop Yuna from completing her pilgrimage. I love Rikku, and I don’t care what you think!


#27: Sabin

Full Name (to knowledge): Sabin René Figaro
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “You think a minor thing like the end of the world was gonna do me in?"
Quite simply, Sabin and Edgar are the best twins in FF history. Yes, I shall confirm now, that Edgar is my favourite of the two but how high in the list is he? I’m not telling. Anyway, Sabin is fricking cool; he has a very quick wit for a man of his size, stereotypically speaking. He provides some of the best comedy in the game with Cyan and Gao, and he is at the centre of it. He also has full respect to Edgar and will serve him to the end. That is why Sabin is so high on this list, what a character.


#26: Cid

Full Name (to knowledge): Cid Fabool IX
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Minor Protagonist
Best Quote: Garnet: "The man who attacked you...was he the one who ran off with it?" Cid: "Good guess, but no... Actually... I met a lovely lady at the pub..." (referring to his affair)
Cid has appeared in every single Final Fantasy to date, but only two make the list (I hope you know who the other Cid is, if not, then wait!), the first being from FF9. Regent Cid is the leader of Lindblum, and a great leader at that, however he mainly provides the player with comic relief, as he is in the game in three forms, first as an oglop, then as a frog, and finally as a human again. There are loads of moments that I love with Cid, the Hedgehog Pie, Steiner shouting “OGLOP!” and smashing him into his throne, turning into a frog, creating a barricade in the trams underground when Alexandria take over Lindblum. He’s such a funny character, and for a man with such authority he’s really really funny.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 4)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#35: Kimahri

Full Name (to knowledge): Kimahri Ronso
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Pick spot. Shut up. Wait.” (to Tidus)
 
Kimahri is a great character, he’s so plain and simple yet you just can’t help but love the big guy. He is so loyal, so respectful to Yuna and he is everything a “guardian” should be. You don’t half feel sorry for him when Seymour destroys his race, and you just want to kick his ass with Kimahri for revenge. Another thing is you really feel sorry when you find out why he has his broken horn. Kimahri is a very good character, and deserves his place in this list.


#34: Ba'Gamnan

Full Name (to knowledge): Ba'Gamnan
Game: Final Fantasy XII
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: “We need Balthier alive! His corpse fetches but half the bounty!”

Ba’Gamnan’s role in FF12 isn’t incredibly important, he is a bounty hunter and wants Balthier’s body, preferably alive, so he can make money off him. Balthier uses his quick wit often with him, but that aside, Ba’Gamnan is really freaking scary. I don’t know what it is, if it’s his reptile look, or that damn awesomely sick weapon, but you just don’t want to mess with him. He’s a decent villain, and puts Vayne to shame in honesty, and really deserves a mention as one of the few sparks in an otherwise bland set of characters in FF12.


#33: Vincent

Full Name (to knowledge): Vincent Valentine
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Optional Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Hearing your stories has added upon me yet another sin. More nightmares will come to me now. More than I previously had.”

It’s amazing how well received Vincent is, he’s most certainly the best optional character in Final Fantasy history (or is that Gogo? Difficult…). It’s arguable that you could say Vincent deserves to be higher up in this list, he most certainly is kickass, and his transformations would be a more than welcome expansion in a remake of this great game. Vincent, despite being optional, knows and plays a very important part in this game, but it’s his swagger, his look, his presence that makes him so memorable. That being said, he’s quite bland otherwise, and doesn’t say much unless he has to. But he definitely deserves to be in this, I’m sure some of you think higher than 33rd, but here is where he is placed in my personal list.


#32: Zorn and Thorn
Full Name (to knowledge): Meltigemini (or just Zorn and Thorn)
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: Zorn: We are in trouble! Thorn: Trouble we are in!"
Zorn and Thorn are very good homage’s to a pair of Shakespearean characters named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who serve a similar purpose, which are court jesters. Zorn and Thorn unlike their Shakespearean counterparts, are actually one entity, a monster named Meltigemini. Zorn and Thorn are really irritating little brats for the majority of the game, first working under Queen Brahne, and then under Kuja, but they do their job so well I love them. I love the quirkiness of their speech, when they say the same sentence just jumbled up to make it sound differently. Zorn and Thorn are characters that aren’t easily forgettable in a game that has lots of great characters in, in FF9.


#31: Squall

Full Name (to knowledge): Squall Leonhart
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Role in Game: The Main Protagonist
Best Quote: “I had a dream, too. It wasn't pleasant, though ... I dreamt I was a moron...” (referring to Laguna)

Squall is the first official main protagonist in this Top 50 list. He’s a debatable character, probably one of the early emos that you see on our streets today, however I do like him. Squall was emo before emo was, and when I was a teenager playing this game, I really understood parts of the way he thinks, probably to the dismay of some fellow FF fans. When I think of Squall, I think of a winey emo, yes, but he’s also a character in a state of transition, who is dealing with, ahem, puberty, and seeing how his character changes on screen from the start to the end of the game was an interesting ride. You may not like him, I personally for the most part do, but you can’t deny that it was an entertaining story that Squaresoft gave us and it served its purpose. I like Squall, I may not like his personality much, but I like him. That’s why he’s my #31.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

 

See other parts in the listing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 3)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#40: Leo

Full Name (to knowledge): Leo Cristophe
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Antihero
Best Quote: "People are people. Not everyone in the Empire is like Kefka."
General Leo is one hell of a character. He is one of the most honorable men in FF history and his death is one of the hardest to take in all of the games. Even though his character isn't explored a great deal, whenever he appears on screen, he is respectful and always tries to do what's right. Even though he worked with the Empire, he didn't do it because he was evil, he thought the Empire was trying to do good, he was just fickle. I think they should expand more on his character if they ever do a remake (see my FFVI remake article).

#39: Gilgamesh

Full Name (to knowledge): Gilgamesh
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Minor Protagonist
Best Quote: "My name is Gilgamesh. I'm gonna be famous one day so don't forget it."
Arguably an odd choice, Gilgamesh in FF9 doesn't have anything to do with the main plot of the game, but I love the fact that he appears randomly throughout the entire game, through different false names. I've loved Gilgamesh in all the FF games but his role in FF9 is my favourite, I find him comical and finding out his name is a task in itself.

#38: Reno

Full Name (to knowledge): Reno
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: "We may be retreating, but... we're still victorious."

Cool. I think most of the characters in this list are cool but if this was a list of "Coolest FF Characters" then Reno would be in the Top 5. Reno and the rest of the Turks are pretty damn entertaining, and get in your way quite often in FF7, but you don't mind because you love the interraction they provide you with. Reno may be the only representative from The Turks on this list, but Rude deserves at least one mention because he was a pretty awesome character also.


#37: The Nero Brothers

Full Name (to knowledge): Zenero, Benero and Genero
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Minor Protagonists
Best Quote: Benero: "Been a long time!" Zenero: "Been a long time!" Genero: "Been a while!"

Possibly the hardest to understand inclusion in this list but furthers my love for FF9. There's only one scene where you actually see Genero in. I just love these guys, primarily the movements they make when they talk to eachother, they provide a good moment of comic relief when they're on screen. It's hard to explain, as they're not big characters at all, but I just love them.


#36: Seifer

Full Name (to knowledge): Seifer Almasy
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Role in Game: Major Antagonist/Antihero
Best Quote: “This is great... I have a Chicken-wuss and a guy who just reached puberty in my squad...” (Seifer about Zell and Squall, respectively)
Seifer is an oddball, parts of his character I really like and other parts I really detest. The latter is mainly that he is your typical chav, your high school bully. But when you strip down his character, and see what he represents and see from a psychological point of view what he does, he really is quite complex. He wants to protect the sorceress, no matter what one it is, he wants to be a knight. His aspirations are twisted but are genuine, and quite admirable actually. He’s a debatable character none of the less and the pros outweigh the cons for him to be put this high in the list.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 2)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#45: Golbez

Full Name (to knowledge): Theodor (changed his name to Golbez)
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Role in Game: Antihero
Best Quote: "Ignorant dotard. Have you any idea with whom you are dealing?"
Final Fantasy IV really was beginning of the antihero character that has been semi popular in the series. For three quarters of this game Golbez is the main villain, and he's absolutely terrifying, in a fricking cool way. When Zemus finally lets go of his control on Golbez, all he can do is feel bad for what he put the characters through, and the world. He is expanded in other FF4 related games, but we're speaking about this game on its own, and even on its own, Golbez is a brilliantly created character and deserves his place on this list.


#44: Galuf

Full Name (to knowledge): Galuf Halm Baldesion
Game: Final Fantasy V
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: "Galuf: Whose idea was it to steal that pirate ship, anyway? Bartz: Yours, you old coot!" 

Galuf's character in Final Fantasy V stands out very well due to two reasons, his sense of humour, and his nobility. In the start of the game he is very funny, and provides some comedy moments particularly due to his amnesia. Later on, he takes on Exdeath and narrowly fails, and dies a noble death. He is the first major death in FF history for me, and they couldn't have chosen a more cooler character to kill off. Galuf's a great character, and deserves a place in this list.

Note: Galuf is the first and only character from Final Fantasy V in this list.


#43: Garland

Full Name (to knowledge): Garland
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: "To live is to give life meaning, yet one must take others' lives to survive... Terra's souls will sleep until they forget such nonsense."

Yes, both Final Fantasy Garlands make my list, with FF9's taking a higher place in the list. Garland in FF9 is an intriguing character because of the fact that he, is actually a villain, but doesn't approve of Kuja's plans. He created Zidane and Kuja to be his "Angels of Death" and cause havok in the game. His many quotes in the game are great and it was hard choosing one, he really does question life and living, and in someways it does make the player think about life in a different way. He deserves a mention in this list and he is a very good villain and is pretty badass as well.


#42: Kain

Full Name (to knowledge): Kain Highwind
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Role in Game: Antihero
Best Quote: "Confident bastard, aren't you?"
 
I'm sure all the FF4 fans out there disagree with Kain's placement in this list. Kain is a complete badass don't get me wrong, but FF4 is a game that I don't consider as high in regard as some of the later games. But Kain is really cool, he's just a great character, playing in between the lines of good and evil throughout the game. You truly understand some of his motives because Cecil "has the girl" and the darkness in his heart makes him an easy target for Zemus to take him under his wing. Also, Kain's image is so memorable, he's in the main logo above, and there's a rendition of this in every port and remake done. Despite this game being so old, Kain is still seen in high regard and more than deserves a mention in this list.


#41: Barret

Full Name (to knowledge): Barret Wallace
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: "Don't need no appointment... This is a 'mergency! Anyone who don't wanna get their face bashed in better git outta the way!! "

Who can't love Barret? Barret swears like a trooper and we love him for it. He may be inspired by Mr T but you know what? I prefer him to Mr T. Barret kicks ass and looks cool too with his gunarm, and even though he doesn't have the biggest brain in the world, he really fucking cares. He wants to make a different to the world of FF7 and uses what he knows best, brute force, to help the cause.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Friday, October 08, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 1)

Hey people,

I'm doing a countdown of my favourite Final Fantasy characters, and why. This list isn't necassarily the most popular, or most important, it's a list of what I consider my favourites and in what order.

Before I start I thought I'd just explain a few things. Firstly, I'm not including the MMORPGs which in name, are the 11th and 14th games in the series. Not only have I not played these games, but they're both games that are not about characters, more about an expansive world and interaction with people online. If that annoys you then tough titties.

Unfortunately I'm not including 13 either. At the time of writing this I've played through MOST of 13, but my disc 3 has got laser burned, and I can't afford to replace it yet. So while I like certain characters in 13 (namely, Sazh, Vanille and Barthandelus), I don't feel comfortable listing them. So this list is FF1-FF10, and FF12.

Secondly, I wanted to include at least one character from each of the games (obviously not the above three), unfortunately that means there's only one character to represent a select few games, and while I'm not telling you which ones, you can imagine it being the earlier games. There was a lot less character development in these games and very few of them stood out.

Lastly, I want to say that I'll be doing this on a day by day basis. So that means one character per day, so it will take around 50 days to post this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did compiling it. By all means debate if certain characters should be rated higher, or lower, or off the list completely.

Oh, and certain important characters are not in it. Probably the biggest surprise being Aerith. Why? Because in honesty, I just don't like her enough, she's very important, but I'm not a huge Aerith fan. Now onto #50.

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#50: Garland

Full Name (to knowledge): Garland
Game: Final Fantasy I
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: "I, Garland, will knock you all down!!"

Garland is the first Final Fantasy character with a bit of oomph about him. He also has the first great quote of the series, which is above. He has a fantastic role in the game, quite unique actually, as he is the first boss in the game, and then becomes probably the most important character in the game. He's responsible for the majority of the crap that goes on the game and creates the time loop that will let him live forever. Considering this is the first FF game, his plot is quite deep for a game made in '87. That's why he deserves a spot in my Top 50 list.

Note: Garland is the first and only character from Final Fantasy I in this list.


#49: Doctor Tot

Full Name (to knowledge): Doctor Tot
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Minor Protagonist
Best Quote: "Where should I start...? First, your beard! Second, your nerdy hat! Third, your thick eyeglasses! All signs of a nerdy philosopher!" (Eiko to Tot)

Doctor Tot isn't a major character but his presence is truly felt in Final Fantasy IX. He was Garnet's tutor when she was a child, and he helps and gives advice throughout the game. He is warm and gentle, and is pretty much the grandfather of the game. Even though he is a very nerdy guy, he is really cool, and deserves a mention in this list.


#48: Xande

Full Name (to knowledge): Xande
Game: Final Fantasy III
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: "You've come far. But the darkness is three steps ahead of you. You're too late! Perish!!"

Xande is probably the only major character of note that really makes an impact in Final Fantasy III (I'm not including the DS remake, the original is what I'm talking about). He steals all the crystals because he fears his own mortality. By draining the crystals of their power, he is immortal again. The premise for this character has been done similarly many times but because he was one of the first he deserves a mention in this list.

Note: Xande is the first and only character from Final Fantasy III in this list.


 #47: Cyan

Full Name (to knowledge): Cyan Garamonde
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: "No. Mr. Thou is THAT one. Over THERE!" (Sabin, to Gao, about Cyan)
Cyan is an awesome character. Not only does his Bushido attacks kick ass, but he's a genuinely nice guy. You feel so sorry for him, when he loses his son and wife when Kefka poisons the waters of Doma, but you also respect his courage to fight and gain revenge. His Old-English text is fantastic, and watching Gao and Sabin rip into it is hilarious. It's not hard to see why Cyan deserve to be in this list.


#46: The Emperor

Full Name (to knowledge): Emperor Mateus
Game: Final Fantasy II
Role in Game: The Main Antagonist
Best Quote: "This world can have but one Emperor, and I am he!"
The Emperor is the first official main antagonist to make it in the list so far. He is a wickedly evil man, and a very good villain in a weaker Final Fantasy game. He just wants to take over the world, plain and simple, but he does it in a very vicious way, and even takes over Hell. The Emperor has traits in his characteristics and his mission that transcends through the majority of the modern villains now, and deserves a mention in this list.

Note: The Emperor is the first and only character from Final Fantasy II in this list.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Mercy Side: Why I Want a Final Fantasy VI Remake

Before I start this article, I thought I’d announce on my site that I’m currently working on another project, which is listing my Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters. That, fingers crossed, should be starting in a week or so if I can get it finalised and put online, we’ll find out in time. I don’t want to talk about it too much; I’m very excited about this project, and hope any Final Fantasy fans out there will like it too. Now onto the article.

Why I Want a Final Fantasy VI Remake

Warning: This article WILL contain many spoilers, as the content I wish to discuss in detail will have plot and character information. If you are interested in Final Fantasy VI AND VII are not familiar with it, just be aware there are spoilers and therefore, I recommend you don’t read it. Let’s move on.

Final Fantasy VI, or in America , Final Fantasy III, was released roughly in 1994, on the Super Nintendo (SNES). It was the final 2D Final Fantasy game and it was the last on the SNES. It’s currently never been remade; however it has been ported on the Playstation and Game Boy Advance. The game was received remarkably well, citing the best points of a great character set list, a grand soundtrack and a magnificent villain in Kefka. 3 years later, Final Fantasy VII was released on the Playstation, and was not only well received, but is considered the best Final Fantasy of all time. By all means Final Fantasy VII trumped everything Final Fantasy VI did, and is seen as an “inferior brother” of sorts.

In 2005, when working on the Playstation 3, a “technical demo” was released for Final Fantasy VII. It showed the introduction of original game, the first FMV, done with the graphics of the Playstation 3. Fans went, to put it nicely, ape shit, and for the past 5 years, and probably going into the future, have done everything in their power to make their thoughts heard on a total remake. Square-Enix have many times in the past 5 years have said that it’s going to be very difficult; all the members who worked on FF7 are on separate projects and like true professionals, they have ruled out a remake until everyone is on board to see a project happen. As a side note, I’d like to praise Square-Enix for their responses, the last thing I personally would like as a huge fan, is a chopped and changed team, or worse, a separate team altogether, working on such a prestigious and wonderful game. However it really bugs me, no one asks for a full Final Fantasy VI remake. Why?

Before I explain further, I’d like to say I actually, believe it or not, prefer Final Fantasy VII to VI. But the main difference between these games, the thing that separates the three years between them, is the graphics. Between the years of 1994 and 1997, the world of gaming changed forever. Everyone wanted the next generation console, everything was going 3D. Squaresoft (at the time, they are now Square-Enix) were actually going to release it in 2D on the SNES, but with Chrono Trigger’s imminent release (another absolute classic), and it being a priority, the game got postponed. When work resumed, it was too late, 3D was THE thing, and in order to keep up with the market, Squaresoft would have to make the game 3D. After a few tests on some Final Fantasy VI characters (see FF6 tech demo), they realised that it would be better on a CD Rom. With Nintendo still wanting to use cartridges, Squaresoft had no choice but to move to the Playstation. Taking all this into consideration, you can easily see the differences between FF6 and FF7. There may be 3 years apart in time, but in those 3 years, EVERYTHING changed.

You see, Final Fantasy VII does need a remake. Because in 1997 the power of the graphics is nothing in comparison to now, it just looks blotchy and buggy, and, well, inferior. However what people forget, is that it was so close to actually being a 2D game. Can you imagine Final Fantasy VII being 2D? All that made FF7 so memorable was in 3D. Aerith’s death, Sephiroth walking through flames, Cloud on his motorbike. None of these FMV’s would be that great in a 2D game, not to look at anyway.

Now think about what COULD be an FMV in Final Fantasy VI, that wasn’t. What about the War of Magi, which was only referenced but never shown? That could be in FMV. Terra apparently destroys 50 soldiers when she was under control by the Empire – you could show her kicking ass. The opera singing scene with Celes, could be blown up in full FMV, it is after all, one of the most iconic scenes in Final Fantasy history. When Terra transforms into a full Esper, which could be done in FMV. How about the poisoning of the waters of Doma? That could be done in FMV. Most importantly, the end of the World of Balance could be done justice to how important it is, in full FMV.

This epic scene could be so amazing in 3D.
Final Fantasy VII in my opinion was before it’s time, but Final Fantasy VI was WAY before it’s time. The story and the events need a complete overhaul. What really annoys me is that some stubborn modern FF fans won’t even contemplate looking at FF6 because of the graphics. They are missing out on a lot, because of this. At least FF7 has been played by millions and millions of fans, now AND in ’97. Only the hardcore fans really have bought the ports of pre FF7 games. Final Fantasy VI is head and shoulders above the previous 5 games, and even in 2D, holds its head above water amongst the modern games. This is why Final Fantasy VI, in my opinion, should be a priory remake over Final Fantasy VII.

----------------

What I Want in a Final Fantasy VI Remake

If there is one job I envy in the world, it’s the people who create video games. I’d love to be a video game designer, but my problem is that I have an imagination, but no contacts, and no physical ability. My imagination is a strong point, but you need more than that to make a video game, you need to be multi talented. But I will give my thoughts to what I personally think a Final Fantasy VI remake should include, or in some cases, should not.

The first thing I’d recommend Square-Enix do is to cut some of the characters out of the game, not completely, but out of the main cast. There are 14 main characters in the game, some very important to the plot, some have very little if anything. Final Fantasy VI has the most main characters in a Final Fantasy game ever. They “boast” about this achievement, but I don’t think it’s a boast-worthy feat. The reason why no game since has had this many characters is because it’s too many characters to balance. Since FF6, there usually are two, three or maybe four core characters to the plot, and then maybe around four or five more characters that make a circle around those people. That’s the best way to build an RPG if you ask me, and it’s worked for Square-Enix since then.

So what do you have with FF6’s characters? Well there are three major characters, that’s for sure. There’s Terra, Locke and Celes, who all in turns take the player through the game. The great thing about these three characters is the debate that fans make about who actually is the main character. Most would agree it’s Terra, but all three can make a claim. I say further this debate, by emphasising and concentrating on all three characters individually throughout the game. Terra and Locke are primarily playing baton in the World of Balance, and Celes is the clear baton holder in the World of Ruin, however I think that you should mix the three throughout both games. That’s obviously difficult due to the plot on the World of Ruin and that’s fine, however when (or if, of course) Terra and Locke join the party, maybe you could have cut scenes made which switches the game’s baton holder on purpose. I don’t need to make an example of what, it could be trivial, or something else that may add extra layers to the plot. But I think that it should be further emphatic that this is a game with not one, but three main characters and I think further fan debate would add to the game.

This scene is still considered a very memorable moment in FF history. It can be worked on in a remake.
I slightly touched on it before, but in the original you have a choice whether or not to recruit the Scooby Gang for the finale against Kefka. You have to have Celes, Sabin and Edgar with you; everyone else is up for grabs. I say cut this out completely, and force the player to find all the characters. It’s fun and required in the original anyway, so remove the choice and force the extra chapters onto the player, giving you more opportunities to do the above paragraph.

Now that the debate is over with regards to the three main characters, I want to talk about the other eleven. I said I want to cut some of them out, so who should be cut out? My answer is to cut out Gao, Mog, Umaro, Gogo and possibly Strago. Why? Well who out of those characters have a huge say in the plot of the game? Possibly Strago, but barely. Gao gives you a diving helmet in the Veldt, Mog and the other moogles help Terra and Locke out in the start of the game. That’s it. These characters, and some I actually quite like, need to be cut out of the main cast, so we can concentrate and prioritise the other characters. I’m not saying get rid of them, just let them be characters in the game, like everyone else. Gao can still give you the diving helmet, hell; you can include the scene where he meets his father, just don’t make it mandatory, and don’t make them into main characters. The same applies with Mog, in fact, I’d think a Mognet would be awesome in this game, and maybe Mog can be a moogle to help you save on the world map, both taken from Final Fantasy IX. It would make Mog useful in another way, and Mognet could add letters similar to the ones in FF9. The others barely have a thing to do in the plot, apart from Strago.

Strago is a difficult one, because of his connections with Relm. Relm is a character I’d like cut out of the game if I had my way, however she is far too important to the plot, particularly Shadow’s plot, and don’t ever make me think about getting rid of Shadow! However Strago could be cut out, if we change the plot slightly. If we make Relm “want” to join the party, and Strago not let her, similar to the original, only for Relm to run away, it can work. It’s the other way round in the original, Strago joins the party, and then Relm wants to. Cut the scene out where Strago wants to join, and you can add Relm in, when she runs away, and sketches Ultros’ portrait, showing her worth to the rest of the party. Have Strago reluctantly agree to this, and it works. If we get rid of all the above characters, that leaves us with 9 characters, which is still a lot, but it’s much more manageable than 14.

Another use of having less main characters to worry about is one of the major flaws in the original game, which is the balance of the characters. Characters like Locke, Celes and Terra, the main characters, are no where near as useful as players like Sabin, Edgar and Cyan. The latter three have very useful individual techniques that don’t require MP, where as the former three can do minor special techniques and magic. I think they should balance it out a bit, either by expanding the former’s techniques, or make the latter techniques MP based.

Speaking of battles, one thing I really want kept in this game is the ATB battle system. Just including the main series, it’s not been used since Final Fantasy IX, which is now 10 years old. I think adding or changing the battle system might make the game less playable, and it would be nice to include the old school ATB system, it’s still my favourite and cannot be beat in my opinion.

The one thing I don’t want disappearing is the multiple party’s function that appears in three parts of the game. I think that could work, even in a 3D FF6 game, and would be quite interesting. If it works out, then maybe we could add it in a future FF game, it’s a unique feature that FF6 carries that emphasises its individuality.

There’s three characters that I believe deserves an expansion in the game’s plot, and they are Celes, General Leo and Ultros. Celes is accused of being an Empire spy at one point in the game, and leaves the party. I think we should expand on this, by actually having Celes have a dilemma about doing what’s right, and her loyalty to the Empire. When Locke saves her, I think there should be a major hint of reluctance on her part to join him, because despite them torturing her, it’s all she’s known. Make her character more complex this way, because then when Kefka debates if she is an Empire spy, you could raise a further case for her to be one. I think Celes shouldn’t be entirely sure of what side she is on through the entire game up until she stabs Kefka on the Floating Continent and finalises her decision on whose side she’s on. I think it would make a great layer to add to the game.

General Leo is probably towards the top of a hypothetical list of underutilised characters in FF history. The great General Leo is a character sworn to do what’s right, he is a very honourable man and never shows any signs of evil. I think his character should be used much more, and have a very similar role to the game that Beatrix has in FF9. I also think General Leo’s death should be in FMV, showing a grave in the sequence at one point, I think his death is one of the most tragic in FF history. You just want to kick Kefka’s ass there and then when he does it.

And last but not least, I want Ultros to have more moments, and more to do with FF6. I don’t want him directly involved in the plot, he is purely comic relief in the game and want him remain that way. However I think he should be in the game more than he is, I want him to randomly appear out of nowhere to annoy the player, and he’s just brilliant at it. He is one of my favourite unimportant characters in FF history and deserves more recognition for being one of the best at his role in the series.

Ultros deserves a bigger role in this game - he's too comical and great not to.
I’d just like to quickly talk about Kefka. When I’ve ever thought about a FF6 remake, I’ve always been concerned about Kefka in full 3D. His cackle is so legendary, and his voice would always be difficult to do. He also, as a clown, looks very odd and doesn’t look like a major villain, more of a joke villain. However all these thoughts disappeared when I played Dissidia, I must give Square-Enix credit for their reincarnation of Kefka, and his full 3D and vocal debut, they did an absolute splendid job and made me want to see this game remade even more.

I now want to talk about making an impact with the scenes in the game. To do this however, I’d say make the game aimed slightly more towards adults, that’s not to say I want it an 18+ game or anything close, but borderline 15+, on the 12+ side. I want some graphic detail in the game, particularly in three scenes. Firstly, I think that an FMV of Terra transforming to Esper form is required, and I think that they should do a full motion sequence of the event. Make it very “American Werewolf in London ”-esque, just slightly less graphic obviously due to the age rating. I really want people to see the transformation; after all, when Terra does change, she can’t control her actions; similar to a werewolf is incapable. I think taking advantage of modern visual graphics would really make the scene quite shocking, and very scary, because in the original the scene doesn’t live up to how important and striking it really is.

The other two scenes in the game I’d like done more maturely have to do with Kefka. The first one is the poisoning of the waters in Doma; I think this could be done in FMV form and make it really bad. I’d compare it to maybe the ending of Blade Trinity, where the Daystar (the vampire poison) kills all the vampires, just slightly less graphic. Really make the player feel sorry for the Doma people, and make it Kefka’s first major crime in the game. I think it would straight away cause great impact, which is what I want more of in this game.

The final thing is the most climatic scene in the entire game – Kefka’s Apocalypse. Kefka is the first (and as far as I’m aware, no FF13 spoilers please, only) major villain to achieve Godhood, and he’s the only major villain to completely destroy the main world of a game. This is very important, and also very dramatic. Squaresoft have done the best they could with what little graphics they had in comparison to now, however they can make it even better. I really think that Kefka’s Apocalypse should be a very long FMV, maybe 5 minutes long, really show the player how big a deal it is. Show them the destruction of all the locations that are not in the World of Ruin being destroyed, think of Final Fantasy X where Sin destroys part of Kilika, just much, much worse. Really hit home the idea that this world will never be the same. I also think that when the destruction scenes are finished, turn the screen to pitch darkness for maybe, 20 seconds, just to give the player that horrible urge that it may be game over. I really think this would be one heck of an impact on the person playing the game, especially for the first time. It’s already an iconic moment in Final Fantasy history – but I think in full 3D in modern times, it could be an iconic moment in video game history, seen as possibly more shocking as Aerith’s death in Final Fantasy VII. Square-Enix have an opportunity to do this, and if I were them, I’d grab it with every chance. They could also make Kefka's final battle, all four forms, look even better than it did when it was 2D. In 2D it looked brilliant, but in 3D, it could be even better.

---------------- 

Conclusion

I want a Final Fantasy VII remake, like a lot of people do. But I want a Final Fantasy VI remake to be prioritised, not because I like the game more, as I said before, I actually don’t. I prefer VII to VI. But at the same time, the three years between these two games were possibly the most important 3 years in video game history. 3D gaming revolutionised the video game history, and that major change in video games made one of these games much more memorable than the other. Final Fantasy VII IS out of date and DOES need a remake. But Final Fantasy VI deserves one before, because it was way before it’s time, and scenes in the game could be much more memorable and effective in a 3D remake. Final Fantasy VII being remade would be nice, but it’s only going to be a crisper version of what it is now. This is a 2D game that deserves a 3D remake. Please Square-Enix, read this article and think about it very carefully.

If you don’t, then in the words of Kefka, “I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE you!”

Date: 7/10/10