Video Game Rants: FF6

Posted by: <twain on 06-04-2010 @ 8:00 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized

Today we are going to be talking about video games. Why? Because we here at worst cartoons ever firmly believe that videogames are an animated medium. Think about the animation of modern video games, and how far it has come from the old arcade games of the 80s. The styles as well as the technology have evolved to the point that many of the cut-scenes in modern games can rival the cgi found in films. There is also the pile upon piles of bad video games that just deserve a good kick in the face.

There was a lot of debate about which game should first be featured on our website. Some felt the classic Atari port of E.T. belonged here, others wanted to take on any game featuring aqua man. We finally rested on a game we feel best embodies the problems of a major video game Genre. That game is:

ff6logo2

(Shudder) I can hear the fanboys amassing already. Let me just make my self clear. Final Fantasy 6, or 3 as it was known in the United States, is not a horrible game…by itself. In fact it is probably one of the most beloved SNES RPGs of all time. The reason it’s here on our website is because of the legacy it has left the RPG genre.

The major complaint we all had with this game: Where’s the story? FF6 is a long game, which is really par for the course with most FF titles, but lacks a major narrative drive. If you ask 2 fans to summarize the plot of this game, you are likely to get 2 very divergent answers. The reason is that FF6 has a very weak story. In fact, you can argue that it has practically no real plot, just a premise. That premise? An insane clown/political advisor named Kefka is manipulating a nation to wage war against all the neighboring kingdoms in an attempt to gain access to some item that will let him destroy the world and become a god. Take away the insane clown twist, and you have most RPG villains.

FF6 tries to compensate for this basic plot by having a huge number of characters for the play to use. Including the two bonus characters there are a total of 14 playable characters. That, even by modern standards, is a crap load of characters. The problem with having this many characters is that you can’t really develop them all.

As it stands the development of these characters is almost entirely optional. 12 of the characters are picked up naturally over the story, but outside of an initial motivation for them to join your party, most of these characters don’t have much in terms of their own storylines or even a personality.

The strangest thing about this game is the indecision over who is the main female protagonist. The game begins with the character Terra, an amnesiac mage, who spends most of the game trying to figure out her origins. By the end of the game she isn’t even required to be in your party, and can very easily be forgotten.

The other female lead is one named Celes, one of those 18 year old generals that only seem to exist in video games and anime. She has been experimented on by her government to make her a soldier capable of using magic. From the point of her introduction, to the end of the game she becomes not only the main romantic lead, but the example of how deep and interesting this game and its characters are. The source of this love? Just take a look:

ff6 opera

This scene is considered one of the most dramatic of the FF franchise. There are accounts of people tearing up over this sequence, and frankly I don’t get it.

The major twist of this game is that the bad guy actually wins. At a little past the halfway point Kefka the *snigger* evil clown/jester/cospaly enthusiast…whatever, actually becomes a godlike being, and reshapes the world. You gain control of Celes a couple of years after the point living on a tiny island with her mentor. You try to save your mentor’s life by getting him fish…in perhaps the lamest mini game ever. When your mentor kicks the bucket, or gets better, you leave island and spend the remainder of the game recruiting your old friends. Then you climb a tower and kill the clown…The End.

This game in a lot of ways is the model that most JRPGs follow. The concept of the villain succeeding was fairly new, as was the concept of introducing the main villain early in the story. It also was one of the early RPGs that tried to be more character focused. In this case though, the large number of characters prevented any one cast member from being fully developed.

The game play was fun, but game play alone cannot compensate for a weak story at least in a RPG. FF6 is a sprawling adventure, but lacks a narrative focus or enough attention on any character that they become more then their archetype.

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30 Comments »

  1. Well what do you expect bloody Shakespeare, the SNES era was never full of great storylines anyhow.
    You know what? None of the Final fantasies had that deep of a story so why pick on VI out of all of them?
    Hell Final Fantasy I, II, III, V, VII, VIII, X, XI, XII and XIII have crappy storylines compared to VI’s.
    The only games in the franchise that comes close are IX and IV and we dont see you picking on them.
    My theory is you are a FFVII fanboy or something, as most post VI fans are totally ignorant to what came before or even after in IX’s case.

    Comment by Feh — June 11, 2010 @ 3:15 am

  2. “My theory is you are a FFVII fanboy or something, as most post VI fans are totally ignorant to what came before or even after in IX’s case.”

    Whereas YOU are a typical FFVI fanboy who can’t handle criticism of the game and try to criticize other games to compensate.

    Comment by Matt — June 27, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

  3. No, the initial post is correct. This criticism can be applied to all the early FF games but you chose FF6/3 to get a rise out of people. Stick to trashing cartoons.

    Comment by Dumbface — July 11, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  4. The problem with this whole theory is that story in these Jrpgs is advanced through non-interactive cutscenes. Every minute spent developing characters is another minute of your day spent not playing video games.

    If I had wanted to spend my summer vacation NOT playing video games I would’ve just spent the time watching TV and saved my parents 60 bucks.

    Also, the ensemble cast means you can kind of pick your own favorites instead of having the game developers foist one spiky haired goober on you, as they do in pretty much all the Jrpgs that came out immediately before and after.

    I don’t know, story is great and all, but we are talking about a game; there’s something to be said for being able to choose your favorite character (As opposed to the developers’ favortite) and wander around finding new monsters to kill and new powers and weapons to kill monsters with rather then reading a bunch of text screens.

    Totally agree on the opera though; not only are Locke and Celes not super developed, they aren’t even going through an emotional moment when it happens; they’re just hanging out and having fun playing a joke on an albino zeppelin pilot.

    ALSO, I still refuse to believe that Celes was 18. I call total bullshit on that.

    Comment by Christopher — July 13, 2010 @ 6:11 am

  5. That would probably be the first negative criticism I have ever read and heard about this game. I haven’t gotten very far in the game so I can’t really say whether the plot/story is bad or not but for first impressions, the story actually seems pretty good.

    The fact that the bad guy wins of all things for while in the game intrigues me, so now I look forward to finishing it even more. I look forward to it but my favourite will most likely still be FFIX, I just loved the characters and story in that one, the gameplay and card game were also a lot of fun as well.

    I understand what you mean by having too many characters to level up though, I have that problem in FF7, FF8 and that game only has about 8 characters in those ones. I’m glad they fixed this by having all the characters not in your party still level up and develop in FF13. I want to see this feature even more but I guess that may take the fun out of levelling up your characters one by one. Still is annoying sometimes though.

    Comment by Leon Nasagawa — September 1, 2010 @ 6:18 am

  6. FF games suck. Glad someone had enough gustavo to write an article like this. Little plot or development, its amazing how bad this game did as FF3 in the first US run. Aside from Nintendo Power giving it a good review, it was pretty much ignored until FF7 came out and ushered in the fanbase.

    Comment by Zack — January 8, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  7. “Most of these characters don’t have much in terms of their own storylines or even a personality”
    Errrr what about Shadow?

    Comment by Soukounian — June 9, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  8. interesting how people demands so much from the story of a game made in the times most games had no story at all, and bash one part they actually did right, everytime someone tries to bash a good game, this happens: they pretend a good part of it is not “good enough”, even for the SNES standards

    Comment by abo — September 19, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  9. Um… I came here looking for a website that bashes crappy-looking cartoons and what do I see? This site isn’t suppose to be about video games.

    Also, this site hasn’t been updated for a year, so…

    Comment by no8 — October 26, 2011 @ 7:51 am

  10. “In fact, you can argue that it has practically no real plot, just a premise. That premise? An insane clown/political advisor named Kefka is manipulating a nation to wage war against all the neighboring kingdoms in an attempt to gain access to some item that will let him destroy the world and become a god.”

    This isn’t actually the premise of the game, FYI.

    The Empire isn’t waging wage for godhood: it’s waging war for /conquest/, just like basically every way in human history. They want land, money. They want to unite all people under their banner. The only reason they’re noteworthy, in this game, is because they’ve kinda rediscovered magic a few thousand years after it vanished from the world. The godhood bit doesn’t come up until a ways into the game, and even then, it’s not really Kefka manipulating anything.

    The rest I’ll give you, although I’ll still disagree about it adding up to a bad game. I’ll give you those bits, but your idea of what the premise/story behind the game is, is wrong.

    Comment by Joshi — December 16, 2011 @ 12:36 am

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  27. The prediction of zealous replies to this article certainly stop it from happening. I’m sadly not surprised to see such short sightedness from the fanboys. And I am one of them.

    -I’m a huge FF series fan… and I’d like to clear a few things up. FF6 is a good game, but it’s not as good as everyone thinks it is. Its simplistic storyline is far inferior to 7, 8 and 9s storylines, its gameplay isn’t as good as 10 or 5, and its pace is very, very strange. Its two main points are Kefka and the vast array of characters. The latter of which is also a crutch.

    -And don’t get me started on the whole 4, 6 and 9 thing. This has got to be one of the biggest piles of crap ever. I can’t say enough how excruciatingly boring 4 was and how 9 is inflexible as hell.

    -Absolutely agree with how naff the opera scene is. And to the guy who proffered shadow as one example of good character development? That’s called cherry-picking and it doesn’t make your point valid

    I feel like FF6 is like the movie Avatar. Everyone got caught up in the whirlwind thinking it was great because someone else said so. But they missed the fact that it was actually a piece of shit. I’ll get off my replying-to-a-3-year-old-article soapbox now

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