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Game Info:

Final Fantasy VI
Developed By: Square Enix
Released: April 2nd, 1994
Available On: Android, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Playstation 1, Super Nintendo, SNES Classic Mini, Switch
Genre: Fantasy role playing game
ESRB Rating: Teen
Number of Players: 1
Cost:12.99 for GBA version, 15.99 for Steam

Final Fantasy VI, or III in the US, while not the smash mega-hit Final Fantasy VII is, still has quite a cult following. And with good reason. This is a game that has a splendid cast of characters that have a unique range of abilities, colorful, interesting personalities, intriguing and often tragic backstories, an easy battle system, a villain based off the Joker, and a stupid octopus. What else could one ask for?

You start the game as ??????, Vicks, and Wedge, who are sent by the Empire to find a magical creature known as an Esper. After the mission pretty much fails, ?????? wakes up and has amnesia, but remembers her name. It's Terra. She was once part of the Gesthalian Empire, which is known and feared all over the world, but she is now pressured into joining a resistance group, the Returners, when she is rescued by an intriguing treasure hunter named Locke Cole. From here, you are taken south, to Figaro Castle, and the adventure really begins from this point. Gesthal's court mage, Kefka, is looking for Terra, having heard she escaped from Imperial Custody. Edgar, Locke and Terra pull a daring escape, and in the battle scene with 2 heavily armored pieces, we learn Terra has magical powers no other humans have when she either casts one of the 2 spells available to her- Cure or Fire. Upon Edgar stating 'No human is born with the powers you have', we begin one of the many plots in FF6- to uncover Terra's origins. There's not much to say about the plot after this without ruining the entire game.

How is gameplay? Well, like any turn-based RPG, there are random battles. One of the weak points in the game is the lack of easy ability to run from battle. We've all felt it- the fun gameplay of an RPG is interrupted by a long, annoying random encounter. In games such as Final Fantasy 4 and Chrono Trigger, running is easy. FF6 however makes it more complicated than it needs to be. Thankfully, it's not like Breath of Fire 2, where not only is the encounter rate insane, Run almost never works. But Squaresoft didn't make it easy either. In other games, also, the entire party will flee, but not in FF6. Some will leave right away, and some will stay on the battlefield. Unless you run into Leafers, which are small rabbits, expect to get to at least the halfway point of the battle theme every time you run into somebody.

Final Fantasy VI
Highlights:

Strong Points: Amazing storyline with awesome twists and turns; tons of treasures, dungeons, and secrets to find; amazing music; edge-of-your-seat storyline
Weak Points: Graphics are outdated by today's standards; Steam version is horrible; Running from random encounters is harder than it needs to be
Moral Warnings: Partial nudity; avoidable references to suicide and teen pregnancy; fantasy violence; some alcohol references

But battles are fun other than this. After you get to a certain point in the game, all of your characters can equip magical beings called Espers, which teach you different skills. Espers are based upon various mythological creatures. Some meet you during gameplay and you talk to them before they turn into what is called Magicite, or the corpse of an Esper, which teaches a human magical powers. Each character also has a different unique battlefield command.

Also, the soundtrack. While Nobuo Uumetsu has said that Final Fantasy IX was his favorite, and I can't deny it is the best soundtrack for Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VI is a [i]very [/i]close second. The game opens with an iconic rendition of Terra's Theme, which you will be hearing quite a bit during the game in different remixes. The battle themes- 4 in total- are all excellent in their own way. Each character has a unique theme that reflects their nature, and some of the NPCs even have slower versions of that same theme to represent their character and respective role in that PC's life. The iconic opera scene is there for a reason, and influenced future Final Fantasy themes, primarily Aerith's in Final Fantasy 7. Relm's Theme also influenced Eyes on Me. I can't hate on any of the tracks in this game. Well, except maybe Umaro's Theme.

Now for the Christian analysis. FF6 has magic in it, but it is fantasy magic. Also, the theme of the game is about finding hope after loss and has a plot where Kefka declares himself God, destroying the world. Sound like Satan? Exactly. This is the game where you fight a villain based on Satan . Also, the theme of the game, while in a fantasy world, shows the consequences of immoral actions, and in the ending, the characters contrast their value of life with Kefka's worship of death. It also shows the consequences of messing with the occult as Kefka's total lack of moral compass is clearly pointed to his training with magic. While this is not specifically pro-Christian, it is not anti-Christian, as Jesus says he comes to give us life and have it abundantly. This game does teach the importance of hope and restoration after loss. This is a message needed in a world that is getting darker and darker, much like the plot of FF6. It's not perfect. But it's much closer to the truth than a lot of stuff out there, both in the video game world and outside of it.

Final Fantasy VI
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 96%
Gameplay - 20/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls 5/5

Morality Score - 80%
Violence 7/10
Language – 7.5/10
Sexual Content – 6/10
Occult/Supernatural – 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 8.5/10
This game promotes the importance of family values. (+3 pts)
This game displays the consequences of evil and/or messing with the occult. (+3 pts)
The story in this game delivers a good moral lesson. (+3 pts)

How does Final Fantasy VI hold up morally, without analyzing the deeper aspects of the plot? Well, it's not inconsistent with the Biblical worldview, but it's not squeaky clean either. Some bosses show cleavage, and one area is filled with femme fatale enemies. The themes of suicide and teen pregnancy are dealt with. They are dealt with tastefully though, and the first scene involving suicide can be prevented if you play a certain minigame correctly. The second scene can also be dealt with if you don't recruit a certain character in the second half of the game; however, I still recommend viewing this scene as this situation and scenario truly shows how much this character has developed since the start of the game. Also, in fairness, the teen couple expecting the baby is at least engaged. There are some scenes that take place in pubs, censored to CAFÉ in the SNES version, and one scene involves a woman aggressively hitting on a recently widowed character. The aforementioned Edgar is also a total horndog, although he does avoid explicitly sexual comments. However, you still know what's going on. So, while it's a spectacular game, I would not give it to a younger gamer.

How does it hold up for being released 26 years ago? I can't complain. Does it? Yes! Please, go play it! Just don't give it to a younger gamer. If it was a movie, I would certainly rate it PG-13, and it was rated Teen for a reason. Also stay away from the Steam version, as the sprites look ridiculous.

Still, they just don't make them like they used to.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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