Twenty years ago, an RPG called Final Fantasy VI came out in Japan. And it’s all just been downhill for video games since then.
Square’s seminal RPG for the Super Nintendo was filled with issues: buggy skills; weird translations; way too many fights that were way too easy. But somehow, against all odds, the game once called Final Fantasy III struck a chord and resonated with millions of RPG fans. There were just so many memorable moments. Defending the esper on the frozen cliffs of Narshe. Stealing giant robots and escaping from an enemy camp as your party threw down one-liners, Lethal Weapon-style. Suplexing a train. Recruiting a sasquatch. Driving a giant castle across the ocean. Stealing enemy soldiers’ clothes to sneak through a captured town. Falling in love with Terra, and Locke, and Celes, and Edgar, and all the other 16-bit characters who somehow felt more real and compelling than any 3D hero we’ve seen to date.
…The friggin’ Opera House.
Final Fantasy VI was lightning in a bottle, and it’s hard to know if Square will ever capture anything like it again. Happy 20th birthday, FFVI. You’re the best.
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