Archive for final fantasy games

Final Fantasy VI (Part 2)

Posted in Game Analysis with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2011 by pixeltheater

This is part two of my look at some of Final Fantasy VI’s best scenes, which I could not do without mentioning (drumroll)… the opera scene. Never has Pixel Theater been more literal.

The Opera Scene:

Celes was a general in the Empire who was branded a traitor for speaking out against the poisoning of Doma Castle.

When the party needs transportation to the Empire, they are told that an eccentric gambler named Setzer owns an airship. Setzer can be a hard man to find, but he is enamored with a local opera singer named Maria and has vowed to kidnap her on the night of her big performance.

Because that’s how he rolls, that’s why.

As luck would have it, Celes looks just like Maria, and so the plan is for the former general to take her place. Now this military woman, who has no singing experience, must get in touch with her more delicate side to fill Maria’s shoes.

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Final Fantasy VI (Part 1)

Posted in Game Analysis with tags , , , , on December 15, 2011 by pixeltheater

For a long time, especially during the 90s,  if you were talking about compelling video game narratives, you were talking about Final Fantasy. The series pioneered the art of cinematic video game storytelling like nothing else. 1994’s Final Fantasy VI is, in my humble opinion (and I know some may disagree), the greatest of them all.

(If anyone’s wondering why the box says “III,” it’s because at the time, only two Final Fantasy games had been released in North America (the first one, which obviously had no number, and the fourth, which was called “II”). To maintain their American numbering continuity, the sixth entry was labeled “III” in the States. By the time Final Fantasy VII was released in 1997, the world of video games had become flat enough to the point where publishers could use the actual Japanese numbering and not confuse us Americans. Stateside re-releases of the fourth and sixth entries (on the Playstation, Nintendo DS, etc.) retained their actual numbers as well. Got it?)

I distinctly remember being a child and watching my older brother play Final Fantasy VI for the first time. As an inflamed Figaro Castle submerged into the desert sands to foil Kefka’s evil plot, I exclaimed, “It’s like a movie!”

What I meant, in my youthful enthusiasm, was that the storytelling, although still using text rather than spoken dialogue, had an ambitious cinematic flair that no game before it had been able to achieve.

What makes the sixth iteration particularly remarkable is that I cannot, off the top of my head, think of another RPG that features a genuine ensemble cast. As in, there is no one protagonist. Each of the game’s characters are so memorable and well-developed that it makes you roll your eyes whenever another game forces you to play as Generic Hero Guy.

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