I remember seeing an FMV of Final Fantasy VI. It featured the graphics from the Anthology version. I remembered the opera music, Aria di Mezzo Carattere, that played in the background. The quality of the FMV’s graphics is suitable for the PlayStation era. But combined with that music! It was so beautiful. It set the mood of an epic that I had to play.
But then I saw game’s graphics. It was in 2D, so I lost interest.
I don’t know why I was so shallow and childish back then. Graphics really was all I cared about. But I should have cared about playing Final Fantasy VI. All I ever heard was how great the game was. Best game on the SNES. Greatest game of all time! Nobuo Uematsu recounts what Hironobu Sakaguchi said of this masterpiece:
I still remember when, during the launch party for Final Fantasy VI, the notoriously unforgiving Mr. Sakaguchi gave a speech. ‘Thanks to every one of you — we have created the best game in the world! No! The universe! Thank you!’ I cried. There were tears on my face. Those tears made me realize just how much I had invested myself in the project. I hope that the Final Fantasy games forever continue to be a source of joy not only for the fans but for the developers as well!
Final Fantasy VI was so beautiful it made a man cry. I have to play it now. I just have to. Do it for Uematsu, who put his blood, sweat, and tears into crafting this score. I bought Final Fantasy Anthology and waited. That night, I had a dream:
Chocobo burst through a house, with Terra, Locke and Edgar riding on them.
Watching Magiteck armor move through the snow was one of the most memorable I’ve seen in a long time. But what can I expect? Final Fantasy had several iconic intros afterward, including Final Fantasy VII and VIII.
To my surprise, the scene from my dream was in the game. It also leads to one of the corniest villains of all time. Kefka was a nobleman and a general who dressed like a clown. Why? Had I known nothing about this game, I would have thought he’d be some lame courier for the Gestahlian Empire. But I knew he’d be the top menace of the game.
By now, I’d played so many Final Fantasy games before and after, much wasn’t new. But at the time, I can see how this shocked the gaming community. The colors were much more lush and vibrant here than in any of the other Final Fantasy games. You could customize your characters, while still retaining their defining characteristics. The story was epic as usual, and the music was amazing.
But looking at the Nintendo catalog, I noticed something. We had Earthworm Jim, Mega Man X, Mortal Kombat II, Super Metroid. We didn’t have an RPG, nor one as cinematic as this. Final Fantasy III was an experience. This was the greatest game of that year. But on a technical level, it surpassed the games before it. And it set the tone for games after it. I was glad to have played it.
After I beat the game, I have another dream:
I’m on a roof of the second story balcony of a house. I wave to Celes. Terra and Celes wave back.