By Clinton Nix / August 6th, 2012
One of the most talked about moments of Final Fantasy VI is the famous Opera Scene. If you’ve read anything about the game, then chances are you’ve heard about it a hundred times by now. In fact, Electronic Gaming Monthly named it as one of the ’20 Greatest Moments in Console Gaming’. Looking back now, the scene is technically limited by the aged SNES hardware, but there is something else that shines brightly deep within the experience and it transcends the ancient technology.
Take a look at this video, and experience the music in full, orchestrated glory. Perhaps this is what Nobuo Uematsu heard in his head while composing? Do watch in full 1080p if possible. The video has been put together by Elder-Geek.com.
What this video does not show is the intriguing story that brought our characters to this Opera in the first place. Setzer is known as a wild man, and he is in love with Maria, a singer at the Opera House. It was discovered by the Impresario that he would come and steal Maria away, so Celes was asked to take her place.
During this time, Locke finds out that Ultros has come to foil their plans by dropping a heavy weight upon Celes from above. While the Opera moves in full swing, you have to keep Ultros from wreaking havoc.
It’s not just this scene and the fact that you take part in the epic opera itself, but that the game will not hesitate to throw in comedic moments just for a laugh. In this case, Ultros, the clown-like, Octopus-comedian steals the show whenever he can.
Ultros is absolutely one of my favorite video game antagonists. I never take him seriously, and in fact, I don’t think he was ever intended to be serious. His boss fights are fairly easy, but it is always hilarious when he pops his purple octopus-head in to ruin your party’s plans.
*Ahem* There’s SAND on my boots!
What would a discussion about Final Fantasy VI be without talking about the maniacal villain himself? At the first half of the game, Kefka Palazzo acts as Court Mage to Emperor Gestahl, but certainly doesn’t owe his allegiance to him. Behind the Emperor’s back, Kefka manipulates the Espers to his own advantage and destroys whole cities and Kingdoms without authority (R.I.P. Elayne and Owain). Eventually, the Jokeresque madman rises to power and claims Godhood over the world.
Of course, there have been many villains in video game history that have had the same world-dominating scheme since then, so those who play the game now might not understand what makes Kefka such a good villain. However, it could be said that Kefka is certainly one of the first video game villains to have such a strong personality, and his minimal lines in the game are enough to cement his vile personality in gamers’ minds. The fact that this was possible with the limited technology of the SNES is quite an incredible feat. I’ll never forget that shriek of a laugh, or the horrendous moment when he decided to commit genocide on the entire race of Espers single-handed. I’ll always love to hate you, Kefka.