|Final Fantasy characters|
Square Co., Ltd.'s console role-playing game Final Fantasy VI features fourteen permanent player characters, the largest number of any game in the main Final Fantasy series, as well as a number of characters who are only briefly controlled by the player.
Final Fantasy VI was the first game of the series to feature character designers other than Yoshitaka Amano. While Amano drew most of the character artworks, monster designer and graphic director Tetsuya Nomura created the original designs of Shadow and Setzer Gabbiani, and field graphic designer Kaori Tanaka created the original designs of Edgar Roni and Sabin Rene Figaro.
Terra Branford is the first character introduced in the game. She is initially a tool of the Empire, controlled with a slave crown. The crown eventually is removed by an NPC named Arvis, which leaves her with amnesia. She is taken by Locke to the Returners, and she eventually joins them. After traveling with the Returners, she eventually learns that she is the daughter of an Esper father and human mother, which explains her natural magic abilities and her transformation into an Esper form. She was taken in by Gestahl, who saw heritage as a potent weapon, and after extensive training and manipulation, she was able to destroy fifty Magitek soldiers in a single exercise. During the World of Ruin, Terra takes care of orphaned children, defending them from monsters, such as Phunbaba. After the monster's defeat, she joins with her comrades again to make the world safe for the children. Although she is expected to fade along with the rest of the Espers when magic disappears from the world, she is told by the Magicite remains of her father Maduin that she can choose to leave her Esper side behind, and she does.
Although Yoshitaka Amano designed Terra with blonde hair, the hair color was changed to green in the game itself. Amano has stated in an interview that Terra was his favorite character to design. Terra's name in the Japanese version was Tina Branford (ティナ・ブランフォード Tina Buranfōdo ), an exotic name for the Japanese but not Western people; when completing the North American English localization, Ted Woolsey changed it to Terra to keep the exotic feeling; this would also serve as a contrast between her name and that of Celes, whose name is derived from the word celestial. Terra is the heroine representing Final Fantasy VI in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, redesigned by Tetsuya Nomura (with both blonde hair in her default appearance and green hair in her alternate appearance), where she is voiced by Yukari Fukui in the Japanese version and by Natalie Lander in the English version.
Terra's hidden special attack is called Riot Blade.
Locke Cole (ロック・コール Rokku Kōru , also romanized as Lock Cole) is a thief, though he personally prefers to identify himself as a "treasure hunter." He has a personal vendetta against the Empire for destroying the town and killing his amnesiac love interest Rachel. Her last word is Locke's name. While also fighting against the Empire with the Returners, vowing to protect Terra and Celes, driven in part by his conviction that he failed Rachel, he also searches for a way to restore Rachel to life.
Locke's hidden special attack is called Mirager in the SNES version, and Mirage Dive in the GBA version.
Celes Chere (セリス・シェール Serisu Shēru ) is a former general of the Empire, genetically enhanced and artificially infused with magic, making her the second Magitek Knight. She is initially saved by Locke from an impending execution for treason against the Empire. During the journey, she fills in for Maria during an Opera to lure Setzer into kidnapping her so the party can get an airship to Vector. In the Magitek Research Facility, Celes rescues the party by warping away Kefka and his soldiers, along with her. This causes distrust between her and Locke, but later find trust in each other again. On the Floating Island, Celes rejects the Empire's quest for power, running Kefka through with her sword after being told to kill her companions. All for naught, Kefka knocks Celes away and the world is ravaged. Celes is the initial character in the World of Ruin, where she has been in a coma the entire year. After being nursed back to health by Cid, she either saves his life, or watches helplessly as he dies while caring for him (which leads her to throw herself off a cliff but she survives and later finds hope by finding Locke's bandanna on a seagull). She eventually leaves the small island in search of her companions. Locke and Celes develop a relationship throughout the game. Celes is a "Rune Knight", which allows her to absorb magic and learn it naturally.
Celes' hidden special attack is called Spinning Edge.
Edgar Roni Figaro (エドガー・ロニ・フィガロ Edogā Roni Figaro ) is king of Figaro, a huge womanizer, and secret ally of the Returners. He and his brother, Sabin, originally have no interest in inheriting their father's crown, so they decide to use a coin flip to determine who gets to walk away. He later reveals that he allowed Sabin to win by using a special coin given to Edgar by their father, specially made with two heads, one of Edgar, and the other of Sabin. As Figaro's king, Edgar is publicly allied with the Empire, but secretly provides support and aid to the Returners. He fancies himself a ladies' man and flirts with every woman he meets, but seldom gets anywhere with any of them. During the World of Ruin, he appears disguised as a thief named Gerad, an anagram of Edgar in order to get back into his castle undetected. Edgar is a "Machinist", which allows him to use various tools in battle such as an auto crossbow, chainsaw, drill, poison gas, air pump, noise machine, or stat scanner. Edgar's role as the "lady charmer" of the party was preceded by Edge, and would later be succeeded by characters such as Irvine, Zidane, and Balthier.
Edgar's hidden special attack is aptly called Royal Shock.
Sabin Rene Figaro, whose name is Macias "Mash" Rene Figaro (マシアス『マッシュ』・レネ・フィガロ Mashiasu "Masshu" Rene Figaro ) in the Japanese version, is the younger twin brother of Edgar. He leaves his royal heritage behind in order to train himself in martial arts after winning a rigged coin toss to see who would not inherit their father's throne. He initially trains under the world famous Duncan Harcourt, but Duncan's son soon becomes jealous of Sabin, thinking that Sabin would inherit the school, and apparently kills his father. He later meets his master, having survived his son's attack, in the World of Ruin, and learns his final technique from him. He is very high-spirited in nature, which makes him the first of many Final Fantasy "high-spirited young men," and he was followed by Barret Wallace, Zell Dincht, Quinna Quen(whom some assume to be male), Wakka , and Vaan. His class is listed "Monk", and he uses various "Blitz" techniques in battle, which require the player to input commands similar to Street Fighter. He shares a theme with Edgar called "Edgar And Mash." The wrestler Chris Sabin adopted his ring name due to the character.
Sabin's hidden special attack is called Tiger Break.
Cyan Garamonde, whose name in the original version is Cayenne Garamonde (カイエン・ガラモンド Kaien Garamondo ), is a retainer to the king of Doma, a nation at war with the Empire. He is a "Samurai" who uses Bushido techniques in battle. He joins the party after Kefka poisons Doma's water supply, which also kills his wife and child, and Sabin saves him from a suicidal attack on an Empire encampment. He blames himself for not saving his family, which leads him into depression. He quickly grows close to Gau upon their first encounter, possibly due to his generally endearing nature. During the World of Ruin, he writes love letters to a young woman named Lola, posing as her boyfriend, who passed away one year earlier in the town of Mobliz. Before his death, he requested that Cyan and company sent letters to Lola on his behalf until he could recover. In the World of Ruin, there is a sidequest in which he visits the ruins of Doma and Cyan overcomes his guilt and depression. Cyan speaks in a style resembling Shakespearean English, often using words and phrases such as "thou art" and "shalt not" and so on. In the original Japanese version, Cyan makes frequent use of the archaic copula verb "gozaru", a common feature of the faux-historic dialect used by samurai and ninja. Himura Kenshin of the manga and anime series Rurouni Kenshin also uses this pattern of speech.
Cyan's hidden special attack is called Tsubame Gaeshi, or "Swallow Return". It was known as Back Blade in the American SNES release.
Shadow (シャドウ Shadō ) is a paid assassin and mercenary, always accompanied by his faithful dog, Interceptor. Although drawn by Yoshitaka Amano, this character's concept was designed by Tetsuya Nomura. Shadow is freelance during the World of Balance, doing work for the Empire for pay, but also lending occasional assistance to the Returners. If the party leaves the Floating Continent early, we are left to assume he dies there, as he does not appear during the game's second half in the World of Ruin. If the party waits, he can later become a permanent playable member. When Shadow is with the party, his dreams/nightmares are portrayed during stays at inns. They reveal to the player that his real name is Clyde (クライド Kuraido ), and that he had a companion named Baram ("Billy" in the Japanese game). Baram/Billy and Clyde survive together committing crimes, but after a train robbery goes wrong, Baram is gravely injured and, unable to escape with Clyde but not wanting to die in the hands of the authorities, begs Clyde to help him end his life. Clyde, however, panics and flees. After an unknown amount of time, he arrives in Thamasa and assumes his new identity as a ninja assassin. As Shadow he is adept with throwing weapons, and Interceptor sometimes attacks his enemies. It's indicated that his involvement with a magical woman in Thamasa makes him Relm's father, although he either does not admit or know this, and was not present in her upbringing.
At the end of the game, after Kefka is defeated at the top of his tower and it begins to crumble, Shadow remains there, separating again from the party presumably for the last time as they return to the airship. His final words in the English text are spoken to Billy: "It looks like I can finally stop running... Come and find me all right?" and translated from the Japanese: "I don't need to flee anymore. Embrace me warmly." Whether this means he intends for them to somehow be reunited in life, or in death is left ambiguous.
Shadow's hidden special attack is called Shadow Fang.
Gau (ガウ) is a feral child who lives among the animals on the Veldt. After being thrown out by his father, who believes Gau to be possessed by demons after his wife dies in childbirth, Gau manages to grow up and survive in the wild. He can communicate with humans, though he does not speak well and he often becomes confused with complex sentences. The party gains his trust after giving him some dried meat. He grows very close to Cyan (whom he affectionately calls "Mr. Thou" in reference to his archaic speech pattern), who quickly bonds with him and is the only person to keep in contact with him in the World of Ruin. Gau can learn and use the attacks of enemies on the Veldt by leaving the party for a short time. You can encounter Gau's 'father' in the game at some point in a house in the World of Ruin but it is never confirmed whether or not it is in fact his real father (Though there are indications as during the cutscenes that suggest he is including references to the Aged Man having a 'demon child' which he left on the Veldt, and Gau stating he was happy his father was alive after the encounter). His role in the party as "energetic young boy" was preceded by Palom, and it would set the stage for the characters of Zell, Vivi, and Hope. Gau does not possess a hidden special attack, as he doesn't use an "Attack" command.
Setzer Gabbiani (セッツァー・ギャッビアーニ Settsā Gyabbiāni ) is a gambler who owns the Blackjack, one of the few functioning airships in the world. He joins the party after he accidentally captures Celes Chere instead of Maria (a widely renowned opera singer in the final Fantasy VI world). It was a deception planned to gain access to the Blackjack. She uses Edgar's two sided coin and Setzer's gambling instinct to force him to allow use of his ship. In the World of Ruin, after the Blackjack's destruction, Setzer helps the party recover the one of the only other airships in the world, the Falcon, previously owned by Setzer's deceased friend, Daryl. Setzer's special ability, Slot, uses a slot machine to activate a variety of special attacks and techniques, which can both instantly kill enemies and the party. He also can gain the ability to throw coins at the enemies, which uses up gil.
Setzer also makes a small appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, as the reigning champion of the false Twilight Town's Struggle tournament, where he fights with Roxas, the first playable character of the game. He is either victorious or defeated, depending on the player's ability, and the plot advances either way. Although originally drawn by Yoshitaka Amano for Final Fantasy VI, Setzer was redesigned by Tetsuya Nomura to fit the style of Kingdom Hearts, and is voiced by Ryōtarō Okiayu in the Japanese version and Crispin Freeman in the English version.
Setzer's hidden special attack is called Red Card, unlike others it does not have a unique animation, Setzer instead repeats his "Cards" attack move three times in a row.
Strago Magus (ストラゴス・マゴス Sutoragosu Magosu , Stragus Magus) is an elderly Blue Mage living in the village of Thamasa. He is Relm's grandfather, and he is a descendant of the ancient Mage Warriors who fought the War of the Magi. He joins the Returners in thanks for saving Relm's life, and helps them find the Espers. Believing the worst for Relm during the World of Ruin, he joins the Cult of Kefka in his depression and stays in a trance until Relm talks to him. Strago later defeats a monster, Hidon, which he fought years ago. Unlike other Blue Mages in the series who need to be affected by monster attacks in order to learn them, Strago is able to learn certain enemy attacks simply by viewing them. He will not learn Blue Magic while blinded or incapacitated.
Strago's hidden special attack is called Sabre Soul, and it inflicts Instant Death rather than damage.
Relm Arrowny (リルム・アローニィ Rirumu Arōnii ) is a ten year old artist from the village of Thamasa, and the granddaughter of Strago. When the group arrives in Thamasa, she meets them, and they later save her from a burning house. She joins the party after she follows them to the Esper Cave, despite complaints from Strago, and saves them from a brutal battle with Orthros. She has the ability to "sketch" enemies and use their own attacks against them. She can also gain the ability to completely control an enemy in battle. It is speculated that she is the daughter of Shadow, although this is not explicitly mentioned throughout the course of the game. She is often referred to as 'beastmaster' because she is the only one who Shadow's dog, Interceptor, tolerates that makes her think of him as a "cute puppy".
Relm's hidden special attack is called Star Prism, and it too, like Strago's, attempts Instant Death rather than damage.
Mog (モグ Mogu ) is a moogle who lives within the caves of Narshe with the rest of his species. He is distinguished from all the other moogles encountered in that he can speak human language, which was taught to him by the Esper, Ramuh, in Mog's dreams. He and many other moogles help Terra and Locke escape from Narshe, and Mog is later taken hostage by a thief, and saved by the returners. Mog's special skill, Dance, changes the environment of the battle and randomly invokes different skills. In the history of Final Fantasy, he is the only moogle ever to be a permanent party member in a game. Mog's special abilities classify him as a Geomancer.
Mog's hidden special attack is called Moogle Rush, in it, Mog copies Sabin's Pummel / Raging Fist blitz technique verbatim.
Gogo (ゴゴ) is a mysterious stranger, completely shrouded in multicolored fabric, and trained in the art of mimicry. Gogo is found in an alternate plane after being devoured by a monster called the "Zone Eater." After being found, Gogo mimics your goal of saving the world, and agrees to join the party. Gogo is able to mimic any action performed by other characters with the exception of Terra's "trance" ability. Gogo can also take on the skills of others for personal use, and copies any magic that they know. Gogo also appears as a boss in Final Fantasy V, granting use of the 'Mime' class. It is unknown what gender Gogo is.
Gogo's hidden special attack is called X Meteo, and requires "Attack" to be customized to his command list. Gogo will never use it by simply miming other characters' "Attack" command. In the GBA version, this move is called "Punishing Meteor".
Umaro (ウーマロ Ūmaro ) is a yeti found in the isolated depths of the mines of Narshe. He is found late in the game during the World of Ruin, though he can be seen in the mines early in the game. After the group fights him over a Magicite, Mog is able to calm him down and have him join the party. Umaro cannot use magic, Espers, or anything besides his original equipment. He cannot be controlled in battle, though with certain relics, he will sometimes throw party members or use an ice attack.
Umaro does not possess a hidden special attack, as he is constantly in an uncontrollable berserk status.
This section covers other characters who either play a major role in the plot, or are briefly controllable by the player (but without the full range of options given to the above fourteen characters).
The game's main antagonist, Kefka Palazzo (ケフカ·パラッツォ Kefuka Parattso , Cefca Palazzo in Japanese materials) is a mad nihilist who served the Gehstral Empire until he used the Warring Triad to devastate the world.
Ultros (オルトロス Orutorosu ), whose name is Orthros in the Japanese version, is a large, talking, purple, carnivorous octopus who appears multiple times as both antagonist and comic relief. Each time he appears to fight the party, he is bent on making a meal out of them, making him the first (and, so far, only) carnivorous antagonist in Final Fantasy history. Typhon (テュポーン Tyupōn ), whose name is Chupon in the original North American Super NES version, is a large, red, two-headed floating monster, who appears as Ultros' "friend" while fighting the party while they are going to the Floating Continent, the final stage of the World of Balance. Typhon doesn't speak often but has a volatile temper, according to Ultros. After the game shifts to the World of Ruin, the two of them end up working as a receptionist and combatant in the Colosseum. Typhon's specific purpose here seems to be discouraging the betting of "useless" items, rather than actually fighting, by snorting the betters out of the arena. Ultros, sometimes under the name Orthros, and Typhon have since appeared in other games: both are optional bosses in Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls under the names Orthros and Typhon, Ultros is a boss in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, and as a boss in Chocobo's Dungeon 2 under the name Orthros again. Orthros also makes an appearance in Final Fantasy XII as an elite mark black flan who attacks women, and Typhon appears in Final Fantasy VII as a summon. He also appears, again as a flan named Orthros in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Ultros appears in Dissidia: Final Fantasy as a summon, again using the name Ultros. Ultros is one of the many aliases of Ben Cohen.
Leo Cristophe (レオ・クリストフ Reo Kurisutofu ) is one of the three leading generals of the Empire and a temporary playable character. Unlike Kefka and Celes, Leo refused to undergo the magic fusion procedure, and is therefore incapable of using magic. He possesses a strong sense of justice and honor, despite his continued loyalty to a regime that possesses neither. He is later sent as an ambassador to the Espers to negotiate a truce, though it is later shown by Kefka to be a ruse designed to lure them out. Leo does his best to fight against Kefka and his troops before ultimately being struck down by Kefka in the form of Gestahl. He is buried by the Returners afterward. Leo has the ability, Shock, which uses his sword to create a column of energy around himself and his target to deal heavy damage.
Cid Del Norte Marguez (シド・デル・ノルテ・マルケズ Shido Deru Norute Marukezu ) is the chief researcher for the Empire, and one of the many incarnations of Cid in the series. His research leads to the development of Magitek Armor and soldiers. He is very close to Celes, and turns on the Empire as she does. In the World of Ruin, he takes care of Celes, who is in a coma an entire year, and many others, though they all commit suicide before Celes wakes up. Celes then takes care of Cid, who is ill and fatigued, and she can either end up saving him or letting him die.
Gestahl (ガストラ Gasutora , Gastra) is the leader of the Empire. He is obsessed with reviving magic by utilizing deceased Espers and the Warring Triad statues. After an initial failed attempt to get into the Esper world, he finds Terra, and plans on using her abilities. Years later, he uses Magitek soldiers to quickly take over most of the world and destroy anyone who gets in his way, all while making a second attempt at reaching the Esper world. He eventually obtains the statues, but he is soon betrayed by a power-hungry Kefka and kicked off the Floating Continent.
Biggs (ビックス Bikkusu ) (mistranslated as Vicks in the original translation) and Wedge (ウェッジ Wejji ) are two temporarily playable Imperial soldiers equipped with Magitek armor. They raid the town of Narshe with Terra, who is under the control of a slave crown. They are eventually thrown into a dimensional rift by the Esper located in the mines, presumed dead since neither are seen again.
Maduin (マディン Madin ), an Esper, and Madeline (マドリーヌ Madorīnu ), a human woman, are Terra's parents. They meet after Madeline accidentally stumbles into the Esper world, and Maduin nurses her back to health. Though other Espers do not trust her, Maduin defends her, and they soon conceive Terra. Eventually Gestahl invades the area, captures Maduin, kills Madeline, and takes Terra wth him. Maduin is drained of his magic for twenty years before finally being made into magicite. Maduin would later be referred to by name as an Eidolon used by Eiko Carol in Final Fantasy IX and as a summon in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, romanized instead as "Madeen."
The Warring Triad (三闘神 Santōshin ), individually known as Fiend (鬼神 Kishin , Poltegiest in US SNES version), Demon (魔神 Majin , Doom in US SNES version), Goddess (女神 Megami ), are beings responsible for the War of the Magi and the creation of Espers. After causing mass destruction, they willingly allow themselves to be sealed in stone in the Esper world to prevent any more fighting and keep balance in the world. Possessing the statues grants Kefka great power, which he uses to shift the continents and cause mass destruction. They eventually awaken after being placed in Kefka's Tower, where they fight the Returners on their way to Kefka. Each also represents one of three "main" elements of the Final Fantasies, via their affinities: Fiend is "Fire", Demon is "Blizzard", and Goddess is "Thunder". Demon is also noted for possessing a unique Lore spell, called Force Field, and Goddess uses Quasar, a Lore that was previously unique to her, which meant that a completionist player would have to traverse the final dungeon twice in order to collect every spell for Strago. In the GBA version, the new esper, Gilgamesh, alleviates the situation by having Quasar among his spells.
In its review of the Gameboy Advance release, IGN says Final Fantasy VI's "cast of characters is huge and varied, and though several of them do draw from traditional RPG archetypes, this was the game that helped define those archetypes in the first place." In the Gamespy review of the Gameboy Advance Version, it is said that "the large cast of characters, that is one of this game's hallmarks, is most impressive because of their individuality, both from a story and from a gameplay perspective, as well as the amount of effort that was put in to exploring their personalities, motivations, and histories."
Several characters from the game have received stand-alone praise, such as Kefka who has been repeatedly named one of the franchise's greatest villains. In 2008, IGN place him sixth on their list of the "Top 25 Final Fantasy Characters" with similar sentiments, but also included several other characters from Final Fantasy VI on the list. Ultros, who placed twenty-fourth, was praised for bringing "much needed" comic relief for the title, described as being augmented by Ted Woolsey's translation for the North American localization. Celes placed fourteenth, and was stated as providing one of the greatest memorable scenes and musical pieces in the game through the impromptu opera scene. Setzer placed twelfth, described as having "that most crucial of qualities in a hero, an unshakable sense of humor", as well as introducing the Gambler job class that would appear in later titles in the series.
A character in Final Fantasy 6, 'Locke Cole' is a Treasure Hunter (read: Thief, but not to his face) on the side of the Returners.
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