Operation Rainfall Origins: Final Fantasy VI

Monday, August 6th, 2012

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Please click for ‘full Yoshitaka Amano glory’

 When several other writers and myself were discussing an article series on games that brought each of us into gaming, I immediately thought of Final Fantasy VI.  Sure, there are games I’ve played before that were fun, even great– but when it comes to the game that has inspired fond memories, sparked imagination, and started a lifelong love of all that is Japanese, then the game in question is undoubtedly Final Fantasy VI.

If you missed out last time, Jonathan Higgins wrote his gaming love letter about The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

Also in the wait for the upcoming release of The Last Story, I consider this as a tribute to the two important people who gave me this gaming experience:  Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu.

A Child’s Imagination

It all started from the influence of my cousins. They were a bit older than me, but I loved hanging around them. They were into Dungeons & Dragons, video games, and all sorts of nerdy stuff that a kid with gobs of imagination would love. Of course, I’d already been introduced to video games, so it wasn’t a completely new experience for me. At that age, though, my imagination was starting to run wild, and I didn’t really care for reading books, so I clung to the next best thing.

Whenever I was around my cousins, I would be swept up into this air of the fantastical, and while they were into many different things, the one experience that caught my attention the most was with Final Fantasy VI (back then, it was called Final Fantasy III.*  If this is unfamiliar to you, go here and here to inform yourself). I just loved to watch them play.  I eventually got a chance to play it on my own, but it was tragically marred: I had rented a copy for a day, but in a rare occurrence, we had a big power outage and the electricity didn’t come back on until it was too late. The damage was done, and that fantastical world I craved was kept just out of my grasp.


Original US box art

There are a number of events in FF VI that captivate my imagination, and I’ve replayed the game on many occasions to experience those moments again and again.  The game’s opening scene is one that sends chills down my spine even today, and always sparks my imagination on the world and the characters. The haunting title screen, with its ominous chords and lightning flashes in the background, turns into a briefing of the world and its struggle while overlooking the empire’s castle. And then, when the scene finishes on the edge of the cliff at Narshe, with Terra, Vicks, and Wedge, the world seems not only alive, but weeping; it draws you in and says:

Explore me. Yes, I am full of intrigue, I am what you want. I am strife, I am love, I am friendship and betrayal.

The opening for this game is simple, yet very powerful and it only took a matter of minutes. There aren’t many games that have been able to captivate a curious mind like myself since, even with the cutting edge technology that we have today.

Part of the epic opening.

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About Clinton Nix

Former Volunteer- Clinton started following the movement back when it was still being hosted on the IGN message boards and with the Amazon push of Monado. He’s also an audio engineer, studying in Seattle and waiting for his big break into the world of audio (but not to the detriment of video game writing, of course).

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  • Lots of people Say VII was the best Final Fantasy ever I dunno if I would ever pick a favorite but VI is one of the best games that Square has ever done with a great story and one of the best scores ever this game is just full of win.

  • I guess you could say the American version was half the Japanese version. Eh heh heh…

  • I think this should be the next remake for the Final Fantasy series. Being honest here, think about it. So much more epic than Final Fantasy VII.

    • I agree, this would make for a nice upgrade. Square Enix would have to carefully choose how they would remake it though- I’m guessing go for a similar upgrade like what they already did with Final Fantasy III and IV.

    • Yea i’d love to see them continue the remakes they started on DS with 3 & 4 and remake 5 & 6 on the 3DS that’d be awesome to see.

  • This is and will be my favorite game of all time!

  • If/When they remake this game again, I hope they do it in a similar style to FFI, FFII and FFIV on the psp… it would keep the charm in place, we wouldn’t have to worry about ‘bad voice acting’ ruining the characters we love… and we could FINALLY have an official version of the game with a real orchestra and vocals for the Opera Scene.

    • ive yet to play a FF game with “bad” voice acting and yes this does include FFXIII, what the problem is, is not bad VA its bad writing, and bad directors who manage VA’s. the VA is not at fault at all. if anything id rather have a game with the worst VA in history of video games than a game without it, because then people who want VA can still get it and you can simply go into the menues and turn it off.

  • Seriously one of the greatest video games ever made. The story is well crafted and the beautiful sprite work still holds up today (while the PS1 FF games look dated, VI still holds it’s own). Also, I miss Star Wars references in my JRPGs…

    • not really… the sprites look like garbage to me, ive seen some beautiful sprite work done. though i do admit the STORY may or may not hold up well as ive yet to beat the game

    • Well, the character sprites are superdeformed, but if you look at the enemy sprites, they are still supremely crafted, and held their own at the time this game was relevant, and they still look good today.  Mainly because, I think, the artistic vision was translated to the actual sprite instead of acting only as a ‘concept.’  

      Take a look again.  Tell me that those enemy sprites still look good to this day.

  • I got this on the PSN several months ago. I’ve yet to finish this one as well (Why do I keep doing this to myself, argh!!), but I’m absolutely loving it. While I most likely won’t buy it, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing this game getting a remake in the vein of Final Fantasy IV on the DS.

  • Offering + Genji Glove ftw?

  • Easily one of my favorite games of all time and my favorite Final Fantasy. There’s hardly a thing about Final Fantasy VI that I don’t adore. Playing Theatrhythm recently has rekindled a lot of those old memories, and it only makes me sad that they didn’t include more music from the game. (Seriously, Square Enix, where’s my floating continent theme?)

    And I would love to see this game get the same sort of treatment that Final Fantasy III and IV were given on the DS. That style of update did wonders for both, and to see FFVI be given the same love would be awesome.

  • My personal favorite too, Only FF I played that I hit the level cap. Love that growth egg. I mopped the floor with Kefka with ultima. Fighting through the dragons den, searching for megadeath. Ah the wonderful memories.

  • I absolutely adore this game, and I absolutely adore this article. Such great writing is coming out of the Operation Rainfall Origins series!

  • ive yet to get into this game, i do have a strong imagination and i guess i could imagine more realistic character models, but for me the emotional impact the game is supposed to give is simply lost to me. 2D sprites cant show emotion like 3D character models can, so ive yet to finish more than 5 minutes of the game and no matter how hard i try i cant seem to play any final fantasy game older than 7. and i have tried, please give me a compelling reason to keep playing a game that looks like a jumbled mess of pixels, i guess it would be awesome for a 3D remake (i know everyone here would never agree to that) or do a remake that involves better 2D backgrounds and better sprites most likely of the hand drawn variety.

    • I disagree, in Final Fantasy VI there were many animations to express emotions, and I think imagination helps also in that part.

    • if you don’t spend more than 5 minutes, then you really aren’t giving ANY game justice.  When was the last time you knew how an RPG would play only in the first 5 minutes?  

      Honestly, this is your thing.  If you don’t like the old style, then no one can convince you.  However, if you eventually do give it a chance, you will see that the old visual style lends more to imagination, as well as the fact that this game in particular doesn’t hesitate to make fun of itself.  

  • sniper712

    best 2D FF, Mog and Shadow’s sprites are some of the best, plus art screams Chrono Trigger. 9 was one of the best 3D FFs ever. I like a FF that gives Playable Moogle as an option…