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‘Final Fantasy VI:’ The paragon of its series

Have you ever wondered what our world would have become if Hitler had won World War II? Are you curious to know how different our lives would be if today’s technology coexisted with magic? Have you ever thought about what you would do if the world ended?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then “Final Fantasy VI” is the game for you. One of the most popular role-playing games (RPGs) to date, “Final Fantasy VI” is truly a beautiful and imaginative game. Released on April 2, 1994, “Final Fantasy VI” rapidly rose to stardom and became an icon for both Square Enix (originally Square) and Nintendo.

“Final Fantasy VI” is not only a masterpiece of its time but perhaps the best game of its franchise. The opening montage depicts the struggle between powerful magic and advanced technology. This struggle, “The War of the Magi,” drives the events of the game. Though a thousand years have come to pass since then, great tension remains as “there are some who would enslave the world by reviving the dreaded, destructive force known as magic,” according to the game.

From there, the main plot follows the battle between a resistance group called “The Returners” and the tyranny of Emperor Gestahl and his empire. The dark story of “Final Fantasy VI” is handled excellently and splits into two parts: the “World of Balance” and the “World of Ruin.”

In addition to a fantastic story, this game also showcases a cast of 14 permanently playable characters. Vastly diverse in design, each character undergoes major personal developments throughout the game. Among the best characters of “Final Fantasy VI” are the main character, Terra Branford, and the main villain, Kefka Palazzo.

Terra is a young woman born of a human and a magical being called an esper. Her struggle to understand love and friendship is the driving force of her character and leads her to become a great hero. As for Kefka, he is a maniacal and ruthless psychopath, reminiscent of Hitler with his genocidal tendencies. Well-known for his haunting laugh, Kefka’s unquenchable thirst for power, destruction and death leads him to become the god of magic and the final boss of the game.

As well as plot and characters, Final Fantasy VI also has remarkable game mechanics and an absolutely stellar soundtrack. In terms of mechanics, classic turn-based RPG battle style is essential. What’s unique about this game is the ability to form your own parties of characters, equipable relics which can provide stat bonuses and abilities, and of course, the equipable esper “magicite shards” that allow all of your characters to learn magic. As for the soundtrack, this game presents 61 songs, the longest being the epilogue. Perhaps the best piece of the whole game is “Dancing Mad.” This dramatic, four-stage song plays during the final battle against Kefka and is available on Spotify.

All in all, “Final Fantasy VI” is the culmination of what made its franchise great, and this emotion-evoking game represents an entire childhood for many people. Though “Final Fantasy VI” is over 25 years old, it continues to be a beloved favorite of many gamers because of its intricate plot, revolutionary game mechanics and timeless novelty.

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